Arc by Staples - weekly agenda AND tabbed monthly calendar

Looks like Arc by Staples is offering a weekly agenda + tabbed monthly calendar for 2013. Online price is $11.99 (compared to Circa's $19 tabbed monthly calendar and $29 weekly refill).

I'm not going to include the link because I don't want this post to be lost in the spam filter. Here's the website description:

M by Staples™ Arc System 2013 Weekly/Monthly Planner Refill Paper, White, 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"
Item: 721630
Model: 41787
Product will be available 9/20/2012
Premium, heavyweight paper
12 months (January - December)
Tabbed, monthly overview
Junior size
Staples Brand 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

For 2012, I used Levenger/Circa's monthly tabs and the Arc weekly agenda. The Levenger monthly tabs were a disaster because the paper had a glossy coating that didn't take to pencil erasers very well. The Arc weekly agenda worked pretty well for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Arc tabs and weekly agenda look this year. I'll post a review once I get it.

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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Review - Arc 2013 weekly & monthly refill

I bought the Arc agenda refills. They were $9.99 at my local staples.
I am greatly disappointed with the quality and layout and will be returning them.

Although my major gripes are with the tabbed monthly pages, the overall set-up of the planner pages makes it impossible to use the weekly pages by themselves (see more details below).

I took some photos of the Arc pages with side-by-side comparisons to last year's Circa pages. I'm happy to e-mail them to you if you send me your e-mail address. (Sorry, don't have time to fuss with uploading to image hosting sites, etc.)

The main things that bug me:
(1) the monthly tabbed pages are made of the same (thin) paper as the weekly pages. They are not made of sturdier (cardstock) paper. For me, this means they will wear out more quickly.

(2) The tabs themselves are ugly. They're grey and the months are abbreviated in all-caps, italic font. The tabs are also smaller because the months are abbreviated (JAN, FEB, MAR...).

(3) The monthly pages have a one-inch wide column on the right side for tiny preview calendars for future months. This takes up a lot of space and the calendar (and writing area) is smaller as a result.

Additional notes:
The weekly pages are not sold separately from the monthly tabs. You can't just throw out the tabbed monthly pages and use the weekly pages separately. (Last year, I used Circa monthly tabs and Arc weekly pages and it worked fine for me). For all months, the last weekly page of the month is printed on the front/first page of the tabbed monthly page.

In addition, the weekly pages for each month don't end before the next month's tabbed page comes along. For example, for January 2013, January 24-27 is on the front/top page of the February tab. Turn the page to find the February monthly calendar on a 2-page spread. Turn the page again and find two pages for February planning and checklists. Turn the page a third time to get to Jan 28, 29, 30 and Feb 1, 2, 3. Annoying.

Overall, Circa has a cleaner look (no alternating grey scale shading for the days) and the design is nicer. I'll be shelling out the $48 for the Circa monthly tabs and weekly pages (note: Levenger has free shipping, no minimum order right now). Early reviews on the Levenger website show they've gone back to matte paper for the monthly tabs (last year's glossy/coated paper was such a total disaster for me). All reviewers have complained about the weekly pages being flimsy. Hopefully that gets fixed since the agenda pages are "made to order".

Totally agree with the above review

I bought the Arc agenda refill the day it became available. When I got home I was totally disappointed with the extremely cheap quality of the paper and the tabbed dividers--and with the way the weekly pages are organized. Totally useless for my purposes.

Staples ARC Paper punch

Just arrived the ARC paper punch is now being sold on the UK web site. Its a beast as well !!!!