What set up are you using for 2015?


What is everyone using this year?

I ask because even though I feel as if I've tried a hundred ways to organize myself, I am still looking for that perfect set up.

Happy 2015!

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Day-Timer: bad for fountain pen users

After years of being aware of them, I have taken the plunge into day-timer, and I am already regretting it. Love their daily format, the size (3x5) and tight wire binding that still allows flexible page turns (fits in my shirt pocket and inside small pouches without snagging or bulkiness, unlike my circa 3x5 if punched sideways), hate the paper (really bad bleed through with fountain pen ink).

I actually purchased Noodler's X-Feather ink to get around the bleed through issues, and even though it helps, the paper actually defeats the ink to some extent. Personal experimentation suggests to me Day-timer paper is only a small step or grade above toilet tissue when it comes to working with X-Feather ink, the ink one supposedly can write with on toilet tissue (per some reviews). But the ink works very well on Noodler's mini planners paper (which I tried briefly last year, thought I would try something new this year, oh well).

I have some day-timer accessory booklets, and there is a marked inconsistency/difference in the quality (the project sheets actually resist all the fountain pen inks I throw at it with no bleed through, though most of them in turn took much longer to dry, this is what led me to take the plunge to trust the whole day-timer system, even though I had read of the paper issues before (that plus a day-timer news release which stated that they had upgraded the paper quality in recent years . . . . NOT, except the project list paper).

One more thing, the MEAD company owns Day-Timer, as well as Day|Runner and At.a.Glance, plus produce many of the typical run of the mill paper products found in local supermarkets. I own a nice white MEAD stenopad with paper that feels great to the fingers, good paper thickness, but has the same terrible bleed through with fp ink as the much thinner day-timer paper, so I can only assume *everything* from that company must be like that.

Sorry for the rambling, this has been bothering since I bought it on an online black Friday sale.

Kind of sad

Back in the days when I used DayTimer, I liked their paper--and they used to brag about only using the finest (this was the 80s), and I'm pretty sure that they advertised it being usable with fountain pens, and I have this vague memory of images of the pages with a fountain pen in the picture. Back then, I only used Cross ball point pens (in my 3x5 wirebound DTimer, with a wallet that held my pen. I do know that their paper was a joy to write on with that pen. They weren't owned by anybody else back then. Bummer about the whole downward trend, especially with that company. I was considering buying my daughter a DayTimer for this year for her at school. I'm now glad I didn't.

I still love their page layout, and the wire-bound designs. I wonder if the quality of their leather wallets has dropped off as well.

I am so glad to see all of you!!

see below

Exacompta inserts for Day Timer Portable organizers

Paper. The inserts are made with French-milled Clairefontaine paper. This ivory, 85 g paper is fountain pen friendly.


wire bound

Thanks, but once you start dealing with ring binder formats, you can simply cut to size and punch any type of paper you want, the one I have is wire bound, to avoid the snagging rings in a shirt pocket.

2015 set up

I wish Daytimer/Franklin Covey worked with fountain pens - I like having the structured page when I plan my day. A little OCD, I guess. Since the middle of last year I've been winging it.

I am using a Leuchturn 1917 as a modified bullet journal. I use glue dots to put a graphic month calendar on the first left page for the new month, adding a list of "big" to dos on the right hand page (new glasses, etc). Then I start the month on the next page by putting the hours 8, 10, 12, 2, 4, 6 2/3s of the way over every other line as my make-shift calendar, and boxes with to dos on the left side of the page. The bottom half of the page and, often, the next page are used of my bullets and emergent tasks that come up.

It's not as kludge-y as it sounds, and it works for me wonderfully. If anyone is interested, I can post a picture of the "framework" for a day before I fill it in.

Let's see that photo!

I'm sure lots of folks would enjoy seeing your photo, Liz!



Pleae do!

I could add it to the Dynamic Templates

Call it the "Liz'N'Cats" format
"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) ***

Couldn't upload a picture

But I included a better (I hope) description in the templates section and a link to the picture on a pinterest page. http://www.pinterest.com/lizncats/journal/



I'm all electronic now, except for transient notes to self.

1) Exchange/outlook for work email and calendar. Flags and categories for to-dos from email. Synched to phone.
2) Tickets in electronic ticket system give me specific to-dos for each customer (separate systems, unfortunately). Accessible from phone if necessary.
3) Electronic 'stickies' program for notes and short-term to-dos that aren't from email or calendar or tickets and need to be wherever my laptop is.
4) OurGroceries app for grocery lists to share with husband. Synched to phone.
5) gmail for personal calendar, husband calendar, and kids calendar, synched to phone and to outlook.
6) password program on phone and desktop for remembering all the be-danged passwords.

I have a paper monthly calendar on my desk for me to decorate with stickers and washi tape and notes about whatever. I still keep 3x5 cards around for transient notes. Have a giant pile of sticky notes in various colors waiting for a purpose.

I miss paper, but it's untenable as a solution for my job and inconvenient for home use. And all my info is synched to various tablets, desktops, laptops, and my phone so hardware loss is not really a big concern at present. It's all backed up in the cloud. If the primary source should be inaccessible, offline copies should keep me going for a while.

I spend a lot less time printing out forms and writing stuff down now. Except for a recent software change from gmail to exchange on the corporate side, I spend a lot less time fussing with my systems, too.

It isn't very centralized, but I don't get a choice on items 1 and 2, alas.


I found some new binding options




The first uses 3:1 coils or GBC ProClic while the second uses standard binding combs.
Check out the video on each page.
"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) ***

Impressive for the size

I have never seen that type of binding in such a small size before! I wonder if the size and spacing of the holes is similar as that used by the pocket sized Day-Timer planners? I have seen that type of punching on a number of notebooks, what I don't know is whether there are any kind of standard sizes with the smallest ones (I know there are with the larger ones). If the smallest sizes are standardized, it could theoretically give Circa/Rollabind systems a run for its money.

The main issues would be, whether there is any type of reusable binding system/sheet insert that could be used, and whether there is any type of really tight spine system, as in tight enough for the spine of a small notebook to comfortably fit in small spaces (like a shirt pocket). The spines on the videos seemed too big, but I noticed there were several options, which suggest maybe spines from other sellers could be used.

Day-Timers offers some preprinted sheets with slits that can be added to their planners, kind of like an imitation Circa thing, except it is not a whole system, you buy the sheets and installation kit from them, you don't make your own. If I could make my own, that would probably be all the motivation I need to move away from Day-Timer.

I think it would work on Pocket Day-Timer

Did a quick search and found an example.

If you zoom in on the picture and count the holes, there are 18. The page is 6.5 inches tall, and the "3:1" notation means 3 holes per inch !

I believe they are absolutely identical, meaning you probably could make your own refills using ProClick spines
"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) ***

The continuing Graph Ruled Composition Book

I used to use the packaged planners, but they just didn't do the job for me. Also a fountain pen nut, they sucked (except for the original Day Timers). I dipped my toes into bullet journals: I have to also keep verbose notes, which bullet journaling just doesn't support. My planner is primarily work related, but I am doing better at using for supporting home stuff.

I use a Graph Ruled Composition book, from iScholar. I'm on the third one. We're work-week oriented, so I'm able to break up the flow into one-week sections with at least one page per day; just depends on the week and what I'm doing. I keep health notes in it, too, with the daily to-do encompassing both work and home. I use a Pentel multi-color pencil to color-code weeks and sections. One key I did pick up from bullet journaling is creating an index at the front. I actually have two indexes: one for each week start and one for highlights. I also use tabs to mark week begins and project information.

It's not perfect, but it's a start and always growing. I love to read the comments from other people - always ready to learn.

forgot to add, I think I'm a 7 year, 4 months vet of this site

and again, I recognize great souls here by name. That is SO good to see you all again.


I am so glad to see all of you!!

I missed you all so much.

Any chance of us all posting articles to main page again. I'd love to tell you about elan planner I use for project planning that really works.

I also have been using blue sky calendars for last three years and dividing the pages into three subject areas so can keep track of health, work, 'meaningful endeavors' ... that works pretty well.

As an author with five books and 22 audio series published, I have several ways I plan and keep track of projects that might be useful to others also.

Let me know...
and jon, were you the person who made the cornell template for me? Still in hard use. Works perfectly.

Bless you all, bless us all.



and jon, were you the person who made the cornell template for me? Still in hard use. Works perfectly.

I remember making that! This is very neat that you are still using it! Would not have expected that. Thanks!

jonglass's cornell template

This template you made for me jon, is an MS Word template that transferred just fine from Word 2004 for mac to Word 2011 for mac. You did really good. And it has helped me immensely. Thank you again for taking the time to help this elder of the tribe.

USE #1: Printed out on three hole pages so can put in ring binder and fill in the three blank areas by hand works great.

For those perhaps not familiar with Cornell notes... it is a page divided into three parts, wide right hand column for material at say, a lecture,
and narrower left hand column for key points of the lecture,
and say 2" high column at bottom of page for one's questions.

It is a way of studying that is so organized and thorough... so that I dont have to go wondering what questions I had about x, or what are the main points of pages and pages of material, and... the taking of extensive notes by hand, is another avenue of 'remembering' new learning kinesthetically, even if one doesnt review the right hand column ever again. Much sticks in memory just from having written copious notes, but ESP with left column of critical main points.

USE #2: Then Jon and others here who might find this interesting, I began pouring transcripts from my own lectures into the Cornell format, for audio editing. The left hand column became the place for editors/engineers to write notes, time stops, content changes, noise artifacts etc right alongside the uninterrupted text on the right. It makes for a longer manuscript by about one-third [longer] to use the Cornell format, but the clarity it brings is just super and speeds up process enormously during a group process.

One could buy the cornell pages I think maybe in a notebook already laid out, but I've never seen one. One could draw each page by hand with two lines only, and that would be fine if you only needed a couple pages. But I use hundreds at a time, and I had tried and tried to create a cornell template using MS Word 'columns' and with their 'draw table' to get the lines to stay put while the text flowed page after page. Couldnt do it.

But guess who did? Jon!! And with much grace. Not to say he isnt weird and strange and wondrous like the rest of us.

Thanks jon and So good to hear from y ou. I hope everyone will say hi. I surely remember many already here by name.

I have probably quoted YGOR a jillion times to my students who sometimes naively ask me to practically do their research for them , lol. THe ygor phrase is : Google is your friend." Thanks ygor, short and sweet and to the point


Cool use case

USE #2: Then Jon and others here who might find this interesting, I began pouring transcripts from my own lectures into the Cornell format, for audio editing. The left hand column became the place for editors/engineers to write notes, time stops, content changes, noise artifacts etc right alongside the uninterrupted text on the right. It makes for a longer manuscript by about one-third [longer] to use the Cornell format, but the clarity it brings is just super and speeds up process enormously during a group process.

OK, that is a cool use for the template. I can very easily see how that would be helpful. Actually, I can also see how that would help me in a similar situation. I have to do voice-overs for videos sometimes. I could use this side space for timing notes, etc. Thanks for the inspiration.

Oh, and I went and downloaded the template (again--since it's no longer on my computer--that was like three computers and several hard drives ago!) and at first blush, I couldn't figure out how I did it! I eventually read through your original thread and saw I'd put the rules into the header of the document. I don't think I would have been able to think of that today. My brain is dying... ;-)

I'd LOVE to hear your set up KUB!


If you email Ygor, he'll walk you through the steps to posting an article.

It's fairly easy...but it's been almost 2 years since I did the last article so I don't remember the ins-and-outs.

But I'd love to read about your system!


I just emailed Ygor, to ask

I just emailed Ygor, to ask how to. Thanks Ostrander for your suggestion. Hopefully soon can post and you can see the system.



Yey! Thank you so much, Archangel!
Maybe this will inspire others to start posting, too :)


I did hear from Ygor

he will help me post some pix and words.

stay tuned.



Pardon: Did We Everr Hear...

From Kub/Archangel about his/her system?

is my Sunday in a spam folder?

I made a Sunday post that hasn't shown up yet.

A4 Arc

I bought Arc M by Staples home in my hand luggage from a UK holiday in January 2014. (Yes! I check out stationery stores on holiday!) Along with that heavy punch! (And Pilot V-pens in pink & mauve!)

A5 did not work for me, alhough it looked great and I used lots of old DayRunner and other pages in it. It was too tiny to spread out and properly organise in.

This year I found Staples Australia are finally shipping to Western Australia! My A4 leather cover & expansion rings arrived 2 weeks ago and so far, I am really working well with it.
Inside I have a combination of paper stuff from kikki.k (it's high GSM so doesn't bleed through badly) as well as the Arc pages & home printed stuff.

I am using a cheap A5 ring bound diary which slips into a sleeve in my Arc planner, along with a skinny "brain dump" notebook so I can grab & go to appointments with kids in tow & still have the essentials in my smaller bag. I'm thinking about Buying some expensive paper for next year, and using the calendar widget to make my 2016 diary pages.

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My planner setup for 2015...

I've had some upheaval in my personal and professional lives, and I find them to be one and the same now.

I have a part-time job that I do from home, a part-time Masters program that is likewise remote, a family and household to run, and the usual volunteering and leisure pursuits.

At work last year I used a Staples Arc full-size (8.5" by 11") notebook. The covers didn't quite hold up as well as I would have liked (it was a black-and-white floral, and the black tended to rub off at the edges), but I loved the ability to mix lined and graph paper and constantly reposition the pages. I liked it enough to invest in the Arc punch.

This year I've got that same notebook, and I've loaded it with free pages from www.passionplanner.com at the front. I like that she gives equal space to the weekend days, since they have just as much (or more) that I need to put on them, and I like the "good things that happened" and other empty spaces for lists and doodling. I've realized the lack of a full-page calendar, though, and I just came back here to get the Dynamic monthly layouts to augment it with.

I read through some of the previous discussion and I'm glad that the site is still up and running. There's a wealth of knowledge in the back posts here, and I'm constantly coming to search for something, whether it's to see whether FlyLady has ever been mentioned and what people think, or to brush up on GTD. Thank you Doug and Ygor!

Wow, nice to see so much recent activity here


Does Passion Planner have a half size? If not, are any of their pages in landscape and suitable for cutting in half? For instance a week on one full page (8.5 x 11) would become a week on two half pages (4.25 x 5.5).

Right now I'm using a DIY MS Word one week per half page (4.25 x 5.5). I like it because I can customize each week/page with a productivity quotation.


I agree - nice to see folks chatting again

Cath, do you mind showing us your 4.25x5.5 page?

Lucy the Literacy Lady, Literacy Intervention Specialist

passion planner

Looks amazing!

Lucy the Literacy Lady, Literacy Intervention Specialist

2015 finds me...

...back to disc bound books. I tried Filofax for a while and still love and admire what some folks online have done with it. However, I just had a hard time writing in it. I tried using the pad refills and even made my own pads with a stack of paper and rubber cement. Then DH dismembered (removed the spine) a Fusion filofax for me and I tried to use book rings to make the filofax pages fold back like a disc-bound pr spiral notebook. But I was spending too much time on it and still hadn't found something I actually liked writing in, not to mention during the transition there were so many things I was having trouble keeping track of. So I dusted off my arc collection and started using that in a matter of minutes. Right now I'm using the spineless Fusion Filofax to house the notebook and tablet, as well as some of the pages from the Personal filofax that I need to transfer over.

I had trimmed some blank and graph index cards to fit inside my arc previously and I'm using those pages now as well.

Lucy the Literacy Lady, Literacy Intervention Specialist

DIY 1/2 letter

I'm using a DIY 1/2-letter planner in a Day-Timer binder.

I've made my own planner pages for many years in order to have pages that work best for me -- show what I want to see, track what I want to track.

Last year I was inspired by DIY Fish to make a monthly page with the calendar on slightly less than 1/2 of the 11"; when folded, the outer edge meets with the rings. When unfolded, the monthly calendar is out on the left, visible when I'm doing weekly & daily planning. Each day in the monthly calendar is a bit narrow for me, but I'm getting used to it. To the right of the monthly calendar are two columns I use while advance-planning the month: "essential", "highly desirable" and "desirable" boxes to prioritize the month's tasks; and a column of boxes for each week of the month to note things that must be done that week & to spread the month's tasks out.

On the back of the monthly calendar I have a Month Tracker where I track various daily, weekly, & monthly tasks -- some "self" items, some "house task" items. I've just spent today modifying this tracker by removing all the daily tasks & some of the weekly tasks, then I created a Weekly Task Tracker on one of my weekly pages.

I have love-hate relationship with weekly pages. If I go straight from the monthly calendar & prioritized lists of tasks on the monthly page to daily pages, I tend to get all gung-ho about planning my days & I fill out a week's worth (or more) of daily pages, filling the days right up. Then, when I don't accomplish all I'd listed on the day's page, that leads to a lot of re-writing, or if the slippage was major, to wholesale throwing out future pages & totally re-doing them.

If I use a weekly page, then I sometimes feel that I'm writing things down at least 3x: first in the week's box on the monthly page (and maybe also on the prioritized lists on the month's page), then on the prioritized list on the week's page & in the day's box on the week's page, and finally slotted to a time on a day's page.

If I don't use daily pages, then I fill up whatever size box I'm using for days in my weekly pages. With no ties to time or a schedule, it's easy to fill a day up with tasks that will take way longer than the time available -- a sure way for me to get to OOPS -- Over Optimistic Planning Syndrome.

My revamped 1/2-letter week's page has 2 boxes for "essential" and "highly desirable" tasks at the top. I just made a weekly task tracker table today that's 1/2 the width of the page below the "essential" box. The other 1/2 of the page is a box per day for pre-planning. This weekly page is punched on the right, so lies on the left of the planner. I see this page in the middle between the month's calendar & the day's page.

On the back of the weekly page is space for "Reflections on This Week" and also boxes to track how I fared meeting goals & accomplishing tasks in my categories .

My daily pages are hole punched on the left & lie on the right side of my planner. I have 2 side-by-side timed appointment lists: one to plan my day, one to track how I actually spent my time. I also have a blank box that I use to list things I'm grateful for, and I have boxes to track how I'm doing accomplishing tasks towards the goals in the "big picture" areas of my life.

I have been leaving the back of the weekly pages blank. I'm working on losing weight & need to track meals & food, so I'm thinking of putting that on the back of each day's page

The best thing about making my own planner pages is that I can tweak to get what works for me.

The worst thing about making my own planner pages is that it's really easy to spend a lot of time tweaking layouts...

Would love to see some of your pages

Dragonsorg, I would love to see what your pages look like.
They sound very good :)

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How do we upload images to D*I*Y Planner these days?

I would love to share what my pages look like, but I'm not sure how.

The image gallery seems to be broken. I see captions & descriptive text, but no images. Sad, because I used to love to see how other folks created pages or systems to organize themselves.

All my pages are pages or numbers documents. Long and long ago I used Appleworks, which I preferred, but time marches on and sadly, computer software is not forever.

Would it work for me to create PDFs of my pages and then upload the PDFs to the the templates section? No guarantee that you would be able to print out the PDF and use it, but it would show what I'm talking about and you might be able to customize whatever you're using in a similar fashion

dragonsorg pages uploaded to templates section


I couldn't figure out how to upload to the gallery, but I did figure out how to upload to the Templates section.

Sorry the thumbnails for my pages are small, because I print my own pages. Since the pages in my organizer are 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", and since I live in the U.S. and standard copy / printer paper for me is 8 1/2 x 11" paper, most of my forms are designed to be printed 2 forms to a page and to be rotary-trimmed into 2 sheets. So the thumbnail shows 2 sheets and one page is sorta hard to see. My monthly calendar is not 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", but is printed on an 8 1/2" x 11" paper that has the calendar on the top and has planning blocks below and is folded so that after hole punching, the calendar is the right-hand page and the planning blocks are the left-hand page. The calendar can be unfoldeld so that I can see monthly calendar, weekly planning/tracking page, and daily page all at once.

What I've uploaded is just to give folks an idea of my system. I think that you should be able to print the pages out, but you will not be able to customize any of the headings. I also have no idea how these pages will print out. I've worked with them so that they print out with appropriate margins and fit to the page for my printer. To get the thumbnails uploaded, I "printed" each page, then selected "save as PDF". I then opened the PDFs in Preview and exported to a .PNG format to be able to upload the file and have a thumbnail show. So, I have no idea what has happened to margins & formatting, sorry.

I have a lot of different forms I created over the years when I was using a DIY self-designed and self-printed 4x6" Hipster PDA organizer. When I decided to shift back to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" format, I've not redesigned all the forms. I'm thinking about a meal-planner form & an intake-tracker form (to help with the dieting) but haven't felt the need or desire to fiddle with those.


Aaaaand ... Thinking about going back to A5 ... or something ...

OK, 5 months on, I am finding that although I plan more and better with the A4 - I really need mini-forms like A5 that I can grab and go on the bus with. I was thinking of trying a lighter, smaller (new) A5 setup with Arc. Which requires, obviously, yet more purchasing ...

*** Putting my brat hat on ***
Why is it SO HARD to find a planning solution that works for more than a couple of months? Is it the changing nature of life? Is it that, at heart, I really am too disorganised to become organised?
*** hat off ***

Going to try reducing the "stuff" I am carrying in the leather A4 - maybe switching out the guts for the poly A4 cover, or perhaps even having the TWO going at once - the lightweight poly for taking to work, perhaps, while the leather remains here for the days I am not working.
Reducing work days for a while would be a nice (but obviously impossible) option wouldn't it, ROFL.

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Personally, I am crap at maintaining anything for very long. Sticking with any system for any kind of repetitive maintenance whatever fails miserably with me. I fiddle with my system regularly whether it's actually got problems or not.

Just lately I made myself a white board system for the various customers I work with so I can have a short list of to-dos for each one visible at all times. I also have a small notebook that sits open in front of me for more detailed notes for each one. That's working better than the notebook I had before, that had everything all jumbled up together in chronological order. but now I feel the urge to make my notebook dry erase too..I don't know why, the notebook itself doesn't have any particular problems, I keep a pen handy and my scribbles are useful even after I've checked stuff off the list as done, because I refer back to it up to a week later to review which things I've already completed.

So today while I was out of the house for a hair appointment, I stopped by staples and picked up some more mini sheet protectors and some colored paper. Did I need either one to mock up a new system to see if it would work? No. But I didn't want to reuse some of the sheet protectors from my half-size 43 folder notebook, despite the fact that I haven't used it in years..

This week is a light week for me, work-wise. I'm only booked for half my hours, so instead of catching up on cleaning my desk or paying my bills or whatever, I'm fiddling with my system yet again for the umpteenth time this year.

The problem for me is not the system. It's the maintenance, and the boredom that comes with it.



I love dry erase. But I've had my dry erase phase. Kids & Husband kept messing things up. And dry erase doesn't travel either.

I am now a big fan of Frixion erasable pens by Pilot for writing up my calendar pages. I have convinced myself when they went on special, that I needed a set for my work bag as well as home ... Then they invented Frixion HILITERS ...

I was thinking about different coloured sections for my planner ...

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I have two links for you on the subject of dry erase

The NoteBoard (available online)
Crayola Dry Erase Crayons (available in most art/craft supply stores and some office supply stores or online)
"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) ***


I've seen those. I don't really need stuff to fold up tiny, but I was tempted by these:

Nuboard on Amazon

Those, with their protective clear sheets and stiff pages, seem like they'd do better on the inadvertent erasing front.

Of course, ordinary sheet protectors (the smooth kind) are also dry-erasable, and then you can print whatever form you want, stuff it in the protector, and just use it.. So I have a small collection of mini sheet protectors (half-letter) that I'm going to be fiddling with soon.

And my favored pens at the moment are the expo ultra-fine.


Neat, but in the spirit of DIY...

I found out that the NoteBoard is just index cards and dry-erase lamination.
I was able to chase down dry-erase lamination, but never got any.
It would be easy to make notebook pages with it.
"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) ***


I didn't care much for the folding aspect of the noteboard when I first saw it, but the Nuboard seems a bit expensive for what it is. Some Amazon reviews mention fingerprints and small scratches showing very clearly on the page, so durability seems doubtful.

In looking up this topic, I found a few cheaper alternatives:

features many pages instead of just a few

also generous with the number of pages available.

the most interesting of the bunch to me, because it is disk bound (circa, apparently)!

If the quality of the alternatives is the same as the nuboard, then that would make the nuboard a bit of a rip off, I think. Only someone who jumped in and bought them to compare, could be sure.

At any rate, it seems very doubtful any of these products would come even close to a real white board, in terms of ease of erasing after a few days.

I would be curious to try Igor's DIY suggestion with dry-erase lamination, if economical.

Circa, no. Atoma, yes. (I think)


I do not think Circa has invaded Europe yet.
You can get Atoma products from Myndology : http://myndology.com/shop/category/luna/
The spacing of the punch is the same as Circa/Rollabind, but the outer edge of the disc is flatter.
I found you can put Circa/Rollabind punched paper on Atoma discs without problem, but the reverse has some problems.

I'll dig my Atoma/Myndology stuff out of boxes and post a few pics.
"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) ***

My bad, it is Atoma


In the above video there is a closeup with the word "Atoma" clearly visible in some of the disks.
Depending on how thick the pages are, maybe they can be repunched without damage? Who knows.


Before I saw the above video, I sent the folks at Esquoia an email about the issue. Though we already know the answer, I figure may as well share their reply:

"Our notebooks are based on ATOMA system, although we have tested using ARC (Staples/Levenger) rings, it does work well too. (However, opening and closing pages can be slightly more complex)

For now we are looking to release only new products and types. But maybe in near future we will come to USA size too! Thanks for an idea!"

Just got my Esquoia

Looking forward to taking it to work and putting it to the test.

I got the A5 size with blank pages and it seems to be very well made. The pages are not flimsy and a page worth of notes erases easily with a damp paper towel.

Cult Pens has ATOMA paper, so if necessary, regular paper could be added to the Esquoia. Also, if I want to turn one of the blank pages into a particular "format", a planner, for example, I could use a permanent marker to draw in the structure, theoretically.

I do love playing with new productivity gear...

thermal lamination


I picked up a pack of the Scotch thermal laminating pouches and ran them through the Amazon Basics laminator. It seals well, it punches well, and it is working nicely with my expo ultra fine tip markers as well as the vis a vis wet erase fine tip pens. There is a bit of staining with some colors, but it's more of a smeary stain and less like permanent letters. So I printed out some of my old favorite forms for various purposes, laminated them, punched them, and disc bound them up. It's working well. And it's been amusing as a way to switch up my tracking a bit.

Not quite sure which of the forms is going to 'stick' for more than a week or two, but we'll see. so far it's interesting and has been satisfying as a way to keep all my projects visible at the same time so I don't feel like I'm losing track of any of them.

So what I've lam'd:
* plain paper, in various colors, on half-letter
* a daily schedule with a most important tasks and a notes section on a letter size page
* a two-undated-months on a single letter page calendar
* a project overview with space for lists of tasks for eight different projects, landscape letter

I like the dry erase for the shorter-term tasks, and wet erase for stuff that needs to stay put longer, like 'go live' dates and project names.. The wet erase really does not rub off when I'm erasing the dry stuff, though the reverse is not necessarily true.


Expo brand?

Maybe how well the markers wipe off depends on the brand? My Expo brand dry erase markers do not erase well from some hard vinyl sheets I have, water and other stuff do not completely remove it, same result I found with a laminated calendar I used to have, though some reviews on Amazon suggest wet erase might work better?
This is the main reason I am interested in the more expensive, portable options. Of course, a more expensive white board doesn't have those issues.

Expo colors


I am having no trouble whatsoever with Expo black, but you're right--the red, green, and blue are less perfectly erasable on the lam sheets. I end up with a slight colored 'fog' in the area where there once was colored writing. I have not yet applied soap and water to the affected area, though I have used expo brand white board care spray to try to clean the fog.

The wet erase is behaving perfectly in all the colors I've tried. It has the side benefit of being rather more difficult to accidentally erase. OTOH, keeping a container of water on the desk to refresh the rag is a weensy bit of a pain. I might get a travel hair spray doodad and just put water in it so I can spray the rag without fear of the cat knocking the container over..



Wow, I never noticed that difference before, glad to know the black markers can be used on vinyl if need be.

Just found that my recently purchased Dry Erase Board by Quartet does erase all the Expo color markers I have with no difficulty, I am doubtful the dry erase notebooks are worth the extra money since at least some of them seem to be based on vinyl,

Stay tuned - report coming

I was able to get a package of unpunched, unbound pages from the WipeBook folks.
I am very excited with what I was able to do with them -- including testing a few different sorts of marker (and crayon)
I hope to get a more detailed report composed over the weekend.
"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) ***


Looking forwards to it. :-)

Another update


I picked up a pack of Staedler Lumocolor correctable markers with fine tips. These take longer to dry by a second or two than the expo dry erase, but they stick better than regular dry erase. You can erase them with the felt erasers on the pens, if you want to erase something small. For bigger areas I just dampen a rag and the ink comes right off. It leaves no stains.

For a portable setup, these Lumocolors would work really well, being resistant to casual wiping-off. The little felt erasers require good pressure to get the stuff off, though water makes it easy. I also like how fine they are, being comparable to 'normal' pens in thickness.

I wish they came in more colors, though.

Also, they work equally well on page protectors as on laminated sheets. Haven't tried them on ordinary dry erase surfaces, but I would expect no issues there.

I have taken to keeping a travel hairspray bottle of water on my desk to dampen the rag for wiping, which works really well. It doesn't take much water to clean an entire sheet, and the little felt erasers are good for more precision. Anyway, I'm happy with them and see no particular need for the wet erase or the other dry erase markers with these little doodads around.


whiteboard tape

Glad to hear you are having fun with your Esquoia. By the way, instead of permanent markers for structure, try white board tape on amazon, many good options available. :-)

An now for just a few questions:

1-How does the surface of your Esquoia compare vs a "real", more expensive white board (like the now old fashioned "remarkaboard"), vs say a dry erase calendar with a cheap vinyl covering? Sorry, I am presuming you might have used such things before Esquonia.

2-What brand of marker did you use? The site doesn't seem to say, they just want you to buy theirs for some reason.

3-How tough are the pages? I am thinking that if they can be trimmed to better fit USA half letter size, and the holes repunched with a circa punch, I might just give it a try myself.

Thanks for listening patiently. :-)

Only played briefly at this point, but...

1 - The pages are similar to a white board - a little slicker, I think, but it has been a while since I've done any extensive white-boarding. The pages are much better than when I tried the marker on page protector route, I will say that. The pages are moderately stiff, but still thin enough that 50 of them in the notebook is not overstuffing by any means.

2 - The Esquoia came with a Staedtler Lumocolor correctable black fine point pen. The pens come in 4 colors and can be purchased on Amazon, as well as the Esquoia site. Bonus - apparently, they can be refilled, as well. Oh, and it doesn't smell like white board markers.

3 - My only concern with trimming the pages might be fraying the edges, making them more susceptible to wear and water damage. It might be worth getting a refill pack of 5 pages to play with and see how easily they are modified.

Thanks for the tip on white board tape - I do love Amazon.

Esquoia extra pages

Thanks, yes, the extra pages seems like a better way to go than getting a whole notebook.



Yes, the nuboard does seem rather expensive, though it is actually board rather than just laminated paper, and it's got the transparencies between the boards to provide protection and an extra layer of drawing, which is interesting.

For my part I'm using white board pens on the sheet protectors I bought (avery mini) and they take the ink well. I can also put colored paper into the sheet protectors to make the pages color-coded, which is handy when I'm working on five or six or seven customers at a time, each with an outstanding to-do list and special data to keep track of. It's also festive and cheery.

I am taping and re-punching the protectors with my rolla desk punch. I think disc binding will be tighter and restrict wiggle movement of the sheets better than the mini-three-ring binder or the 7 ring classic binder.

I am interested in the 'correctable' dry erase markers a couple of the sites mentioned as not smudging. I'm wondering if that's like the Zwipes pens, which are rather more painful to erase than I'm looking for. I'll be looking for those next.


I use water soluble OHP

I use water soluble OHP markers on a form/page that I laminate. More robust than dry erase but you can still erase with a damp cloth or tissue. Bob H.

Frixion also do a marker and

Frixion also do a marker and a fine/needlepoint pen. I would be wary about their permanence though. Bob H.

The exact opposite happened to me.

In 2011, I found my ideal ring planner, after adding dividers that helped organizing by color, I finally got my ideal setup.


I bought the very same ring planner again but, in another color, one is for home, the other is in whatever bag I am carrying that day.

Just wonderful!


Thanks everyone for all the inspiration with ideas, projects, systems, paper reviews...

I am running out of room in the home planner and will need to find a way to archive the paperwork generated, so bring on your ideas.


hobonichi planner

Hi, everyone. Nine year, 16 week member here. Love this page. This year I am doing something totally different and very organic. I've combined some of my templates with a hobonichi planner, homemade since they are so difficult to buy in the USA. I also use some bullet journal codes.Anyway, the way this is working: First, I printed and glued in copies of my daily routines, monthly menu, vision for my home, daily timeline, quick cleaning plan if company is dropping by, and my healthy grocery list. Nice reference. Now the fun part: I hand draw with a ruler the monthly calendar and a 2 page spread of a vertical week (this is where I use the bullets). Behind that, are the hobonichi pages for the days for that week. Every week has a vertical week and 7-8 hobonichi pages. The end result is that no only do I have the advantages of a vertical planner with bullet features, I also have a journal that inspires creativity and spirituality. Since I'm drawing every line by hand, it is very colorful and organic. I find that one 7 1/2 x 10 1/2 one inch thick blank book from B & N lasts for a quarter. It's the most creative thing I have done in a long time, it is attractive, efficient, and inspiring to me.

Questions about hobonichi planner

Were you using an actual Hobonichi planner ?
I Googled up info on them and they are very interesting. 400 page notebooks made of Tomoe River paper. Very nice.
"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) ***

Hobonichi planer

I popped back in expressly to see if anybody else had gone the Hobonichi Techo route. I just made the leap to dump out of my entire 8.5 x 5.5 configuration and move to the A5 Hobonichi Techo Cousin with some A5 accessories I found at Maido Stationery in San Francisco. I've been on the old Franklin Covey/Day-Timer Sandalwood for two decades. I agree that the paper quality keeps going down year over year. I was just not happy with anything I was seeing. I don't like how small the allowed writing space is per hour. I try to track time for billing purposes in 15 minute increments by hand while it is fresh in my mind, but there is a lot of wasted space in most other designs. Often my hours do not fit a classic 8 AM to 8 PM pattern, so I have to work around that, too.

I ordered the Hobonichi Techo and expect to receive it this week. Curious to hear how others are liking theirs.

Hobonichi planner

Last year I made myself a bootleg of the hobonichi planner out of a series of 1 inch thick books from Barnes and Noble and I have to say that it was a very creative experience. For 2016 I'm going back to my At A Glance vertical layout 8.5 x 11 planner. I'd like to do an ARC planner. I just hate having to invest in the hole punch when I don't know if it's the style for me.