What's different about the one I'm reviewing here from Paperblanks is that it is an 18 month diary. That's a year and a half. It took me from July 2012 and will go up to December 2013. For someone juggling home, work and children at school, this is actually a godsend. I don't really know why, but having a diary that runs from January to December is a bit of a bind.
I need more flexibility than that - my planning often takes me well over that year for one thing! And the school year inconveniently starts in September, so I need to be able to start planning that out from now really. Not doing just one term and then following on in another diary ...
Sorry this is turning into more of a rant than a review. But parents out there - you know where I'm coming from on this don't you? And you'll know why I was so excited to get to review this little diary.
There's three different sizes of the 18 month diary, plus there's different covers you can get too. The Midi one(£14.99) was just the right size for me - it fits in my handbag, but is big enough for that crucial one-week page view. Well it is one week over two pages, but the point is that you can see the whole week at a glance.
The cover on this diary looks a bit like scuffed leather. It isn't but the effect is so good I expect it to be a soft leather every time I pick the diary up! The covers are exceptionally hard and stiff but not too thick.
First off the practical stuff. The paper used is really good quality. I like to use ink pens, and there wasn't any show through on the other side even though I mostly write in black. If you hold the page up you can see the writing on the other side, but you'd have that with ball point or pencil too. The important thing is that the ink doesn't go through the page, and there's not enough show through to be disruptive.
At the front there are month planners for each month in the diary. Handy for an at a glance view, but I probably won't fill it in. I never do, so for that reason I'm glad that there's still a little month calendar at the end of each week's spread. There's also room there to make notes.
There are two, rather beautiful fabric book marks, one in red and one a darker cream than the pages in the diary. There's also an elastic binder you can use to hold back all the pages you haven't go to yet.
What really impressed me is the superb binding. This allows you to keep the pages nearly flat at any point in the diary, even near the front or the back.
If you like address books then you'll be pleased to find a small one tucked into the pocket at the back of the book. I was more pleased to find the pocket there to be honest. This is a slightly 'concertinered' pocket in that it has a single fold so can pop out more, or lie flat. Very handy for tucking in tickets, receipts or notes.
The diary has 208 pages and measures 130 by 180. Other features included (which I haven't had a use for yet, but who knows?) are:
- Monthly planners for 2013
- National and international holidays & celebrations summary for 2013
- International dialling codes
- Clothing sizes, measurements, and temperature conversion tables
- World time zone chart
- Travel planning memo page
- Birthdays and important dates memo page
Pros: a good size, excellent quality, will definitely last the entire 18 months
Cons: to be honest I haven't come across any negatives yet. It costs more than I've ever paid for a diary before, but then for the quality and the extra six months it seems to be worth it. Would make a fabulous present.
Overall verdict: 9/10