Usually my spam folder is filled with oddly-capitalized tales of murder and intrigue, including sums of at least (US$7.5M) Seven Point Five Million U.S Dollars that need a Trust Worthy foreign individual such as myself to help escort out of any number of African countries for a percentage of said sum. But one rare day I spotted an email from Mr. Foreal Lee in reference to Daycraft Notebooks & Diaries. I carefully scooped this rare opportunity out of the spam folder, and am now three sample notebooks richer for having done so. The first notebook I want to review is the one I’ve put to the most use so far: the Daycraft 2012 Signature Diary.
The cover is made of fine Italian polyurethane, which is an abbreviated way of saying “fantastically soft who-knows-what that I want to rub my face on even though people are giving me weird looks.” According to the papers I have here, this exact model seems to be the D631K 2012 A6 size Diary (Black Color) with 408 pages, 60gsm cream paper, 108mm x 149mm page-a-day model.
Typically I am wary of soft cover notebooks, as I am dead certain that I will ruin them at the bottom of some bag, the covers will be all squished, and tragedy will ensue. But it has held up so far. We’ll see how it does over time as the year goes on.
There is a ribbon marker—not too short, not too long—but no elastic band and no back pocket typical of so many notebooks. Given how many empty pockets I have at the back of so many notebooks, I don’t much care about the pocket, but I do tend to like an elastic band. The notebooks I have without plastic bands have a tendency to sit around with one cover flopped up.
Content-wise, it’s jam packed. Well, not necessarily packed with jam, per se, more packed with information. I enjoy having daily planners with unobtrusive tomes of random knowledge, so this is perfect. My notebook has a list of international holidays for 2012, international guides for 28 different countries—tourist information, outgoing international code, what number to dial for emergency services, what type of currency is used & the denominations, what the value added tax is, what side of the road they drive on—etc., IDD codes, world time, size conversions, conversion tables, even nutrition and health:
There’s also a table of food calories for common foods, how to calculate the calories you need, how to calculate BMI, gift ideas (traditional gifts for anniversaries, birthstones and flowers for each month, and the symbols and dates of each sign of the zodiac), special dates, year planner, and then, of course, the actual pages for each day.
I’ve used the month page to list out overall goals for each month, and highlight the days I’m scheduled to work.
And then each day gets its own page, except for the weekend, which gets one page for both days. I’ve been using this diary especially for keeping up with my extensive list of goals and resolutions, so it’s nice to be able to plan out some goals for the next day on each page.
See those colors on the page? Each month has a different color. Don’t believe me?
Now, very importantly, how does this paper hold up when it comes to the pen test? The thickness of each page is only slightly more than what’s typically reserved for facial tissues or voluminous holy books.
I was VERY surprised how well it handled a large number of pens, especially the broad nibbed fountain pens—there’s little to no fuzzing or feathering. Now, there’s bleedthrough like nobody’s business:
But there are so many things I love about this notebook that I don’t mind sticking to gel pens and ballpoints. I’m currently way into using various Pilot FriXion models to plan things out, so I can erase if I need to without having to use a pencil. A notebook this colorful deserves exciting pens.
According to the Daycraft website, I can find no U.S. distributor for the Daycraft brand—but some of you international types may be in luck (here’s their list of distributors)—and there’s whole lists of shops for those fortunate enough to live in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand or Turkey.
But I see from both Pens Paper Inks…Whatever! and Notebook Loves Pen that Daycraft products may perhaps be obtained through a U.S. distributor by the name of Mr. Andrew Oentojo at Star Imports: starimport[dot]andrew[at]gmail[dot]com …so I’d say give him a try! Mr. Foreal Lee says we’re back to not having a U.S. distributor! :( My fellow Americans, guess it’s back to holding our horses and bribing friends overseas to get notebooks for us.
But honestly, this seems like the kind of AMAZING PRODUCT the equally amazing JetPens should already be carrying. (hint hint please?)
At any rate, I hope that the convenience of obtaining such diaries and notebooks increases exponentially in the near future, and that you are able to get one for yourself. Thanks again to Mr. Foreal Lee for this sample!