It's that most wonderful time of the year

A time for choosing next year’s diary or planner.  I don’t have a habit of writing diary entries, but I do love the choosing and buying of diaries and planners, especially in the last few years when I’ve been travelling overseas regularly over the Christmas/New Year period.

Diary planners sold in Singapore are either targeted at girls below 12 years old, or businessmen who don’t know how/don’t like to use PDAs/iPhones/smartphones/Google Calendar/iCal.  I first stumbled upon diary planners that were not so cute, yet not so rigid, when I first went to Japan.

diaries and planners

These are the few diaries and planners that I own originating from:

From left: Tokyo, Singapore, Korea, Korea, Taiwan

The colours in the following pictures are terrible, as I’m using my iPhone camera inside a rather dim room.  My brother has taken both cameras for his work visit to the States!

As with most other notebook lovers, I have certain likes/dislikes which affect my purchases, almost to the point of nerdiness. Size, weight, colour, design, hard covers/soft covers aside, things like colour and roughness of the paper, height of free note lines, etc etc can also drive me (or mainly my friends who are shopping with me) nuts.

The red’s a calendar diary (is that correct terminology?) that I bought in Tokyo when I was there in 2007. Produced by Sun Star, I was really impressed with it because it covers 548 days (2007.10 – 2009.03) which is at least 3 months more than most other calendar diaries.  The pages include personal information (including your dreams!), calendars for 3 years, a year on 2 pages, a month on 2 pages, a week on 2 pages, address book, website id and password record pages, free note pages and tiny tiny tiny barely visible maps of the railway/subway systems in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Yokohama, Sapporo (I think), Kyoto and Kobe.

Inside the red diary from Tokyo

The yellow polka dots is just a notebook but I really love it for the handy size and flexible cover.  There’s quite a lot of empty pages left over in the middle, because I have a habit of writing either from beginning or end, but not in one direction all the way through.

Inside yellow polka dots

The pink is what got me into diary/planner collections.  I first saw it from Gmarket which is a Korean e-commerce site. Produced by Romane (see their products at www.romane.co.kr), the design (both inside and outside) are pretty and utilitarian at the same time. This range is the only one that appeals to me, they call it the 365 Diary, and it comes in S, M and L sizes. Mine is the 365 Diary.M. They’ve got the first design out for 2012, insides are very similar to this year’s, but the outside isn’t appealing to me, yet. I have 3 more months to like them!

The size is perfect for having it in your bag, yet not losing it among everything else. A nice, thick, yet very flexible plastic cover protects all your records inside, and the elastic band (I really dislike flat bands that go horizontally, vertical ones a little less) keeps everything inside. It opens up very flat, and the paper is just a nice thickness and roughness for me. I would have preferred just slightly thinner, because I have a strange quirk of pressing really hard when I write (finger cramps!) so that pages curl up after I’m done.

Pink 365 Diary . M from Romane.co.kr
Inside the pink 365 Diary M from Romane.co.kr
The pink 365 Diary from Romane comes with stickers
The pink 365 Diary from Romane comes with translucent stickers

Last one on my list is the brown one, supposedly from Korea. I can’t verify it because there’s no information inside the diary. I bought it in Taipei at a place called Shih-Da Night Market. Shih-Da Night Market is situated between 2 large universities in Taipei, which means stationery needed! There used to be 2 stationery shops, but the last time I went, there was 1 left, but I still spent at least 45 minutes in there.  I hope it’ll still be there this December when I’m going again.

Nothing much to be said about brownie, because I haven’t used it yet. But similar to pink, the insides are pretty yet utilitarian enough for me.  There are the usual week in 2 pages, but nothing is dated, so you get to use it any year you like. There are even some pages set aside for you to paste pictures or photos with a written entry underneath. Might be a bit childish for some, but I like the way things are planned out in Korea-produced diaries!

brown unidentified diary from Taiwan, supposedly produced in Korea
brown unidentified diary from Taiwan, supposedly produced in Korea
inside the brown, pages where you can stick photos and write entries
inside the brown, pages where you can stick photos and write entries

Where’s the last diary? I’m not covering it. It’s  a too-cutie-pie diary targetd at 12 year old girls. I bought it in a bookstore in Taiepi, because I can’t leave a bookstore without buying something!

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