A stationery review for you! I haven’t done one for a while, but I have been playing with products in the background. This review is partially sponsored: I received the Daycraft cover in red, along with a lined notebook refill and a plastic card holder (not featured here). I bought the weekly and monthly planner inserts, and all opinions are my own. I’ve divided the review into two sections: the case and the inserts, to make it easier to read.
Handy Pick Holder
I think the most obvious thought when looking at this product is that it’s very similar to the Filofax Flex, except smaller and made of a different material.
There are a range of different colours available and two different sizes. This review is for the small model, which is 141mm x 83mm and fits nicely into a pocket. The cover is made with Italian PU (fake leather!) and cross-stitched, which is apparently good for durability (I haven’t tried to break it so can’t vouch for that!). The PU in two-tone, with one colour on the outside and another on the inside. My cover is red (one of the best colours) and so is red on the outside and a maroon on the inside.
The cover is entirely plain on the outside except for a tiny Daycraft logo embossed on the bottom left hand corner of the back. Minimalist and tidy. It feels very grown up and sleek.
Inside, the cover has a card slot on the left hand side, followed by three vertical full length slots for storing refills. The slots have rounded corners so won’t scuff easily.
I have to carry an ID card for work, so I need one card slot and the design suits me fine. I don’t want any more as the holder will start getting bulky, but if you carry more than one card with you (e.g. business cards), you might find the holder lacking.
Overall, I think the holder is nifty and well-designed, and it’s nice to touch!
Handy Pick refills
To be honest, I think this is where the product slips up a bit. I’m not particularly enamoured with the inserts (come to think of it, I wasn’t thrilled with the Filofax Flex inserts either, although that mostly related to paper quality issues). The inserts look boring. Thought obviously did go into their design, as they’re two tone and labelled in English and Japanese (see pics), but I just find them so bland.
You can buy the inserts on the Daycraft website. I’ve used the site before and never had any problems, and this time was no exception. Although the items are shipped from Hong Kong, you can buy through PayPal, and your order arrives really quickly. It’s great! Also, free worldwide postage!
The weekly and monthly planners are sold in packs of two. The weekly planner covers six months, so the two-pack is a whole year. The monthly planner is 13 months, and so the two-pack covers two years. The planners are undated, which really annoys me as I am lazy and can’t be bothered with the faff, but there is merit to this. They can start at any time, can be arranged how you want and can be marked up for any events and national holidays relevant to you. It also means your Saturday and Sunday get equal space in the weekly planner (as you could start the week on any day).
It took me about half an hour to go through one book and stamp the date in each section, and my fingers were stained black from the ink. I couldn’t be bothered to do the second book so at the moment I only have a six month planner!
Despite being a grump about undated planners, I do love the layout of the weekly planner. It’s a week to view with notes page, which is my favourite planner layout. It gives room for scribbles and lists. There are no wasted pages in the book – each page except the back page is given over to the calendar. The back page is a Personal Details page, which a) I rarely fill out, and b) is in Japanese so I don’t know what it says anyway!
The paper has actually held up well to fountain pens. I’ve used a Handy Pick notebook for the ink tests, but the paper in the planners is the same. It feels so thin that I assumed it would be rubbish, but it’s not bad. There’s little feathering with inks.
As you can see below, there’s no bleeding and very little show-through. The felt tip shows through, but everything else is fine!
Because the planners are so boring to look at, I’ve decorated the weekly planner with some strawberry paper. I haven’t done the monthly planner yet, but I will do soon!
I’m now using this product as my daily planner, and have put my Filofax Flex away. It’s so small it fits neatly into my handbag, and it’s a pretty little product to carry around. At the moment, I’m only using a weekly planner (for life) and a monthly planner (for the web), and I’ve clipped a pen in the inner spine. I don’t personally need the notebook in my holder, so I’m not using it. I write my to-do lists in the weekly planner.
If you’re looking for a small, discrete planner for your handbag, I would recommend this product. Plus, there are lots of colours available so you can choose one to suit your tastes