I always maintain that I have no control when it comes to stationery and planners and journals although I have been trying to practice some budgeting and self-control this year.
The question is, faced with this, as a self-respecting #plannernerd, can I walk out empty-handed?
Obviously, since you are reading this unboxing post, I could not. But faced with that much variety, it still took a lot of self-control to walk out with just one (laugh).
Considering that I love stationery so much, this is the first time I have ever bought anything from Typo.
Typo is part of the Cotton On Group from Australia, which are known for their nice (but mass-produced) and cheap (but not so cheap anymore now) clothes, accessories and shoes. Typo is their stationery arm, and they apparently also offer homeware, travel accessories and some crafty bits and pieces.
I am not sure how long the planners have been around, as I only started taking note of them around this year. So at the moment, I know nothing of the quality of the paper, but I have to say, the designs are gorgeous, and the bright, young designs make me think of Kikki.K designs too.
The Typo Buffalo Diary (can anybody tell me why buffalo??) are designed in Australia, but produced in China. It comes in two sizes: A5 and A6, and two formats each: weekly and daily. They mainly come with a semi-hard cover, an elastic band that wraps vertically (similar to the Moleskine), and a pocket at the end of the book.
The A5 (but not the A6) has a small range of Deluxe planners, Premium planners and Soft Cover planners. As far as I can tell, the Deluxe has a wide horizontal band that is likely held by velcro, some internal pockets, and a soft touch cover. The Premium range has a hard cover and no elastic band. The Soft Cover ones, I believe, are likely to be similar to the Moleskine soft cover ones (meaning you can roll up the planner easily).
I do apologize for not checking thoroughly, but I was so overwhelmed by all the designs when I stepped into the shop (laugh).
The design I finally decided on has a medium gray (blue-tinged) cover with rose gold accents which my camera and room lighting cannot capture properly, but I promise you it is beautiful. The cover is semi-hard, with a soft cushion-y feel to it. The bulldog clip I used while taking photos immediately left an indent on it.
There is an shiny rose gold band that goes around it near the top, and has 2017 scratched out on it. The elastic band that holds the planner together is also a beautiful rose gold, and is tight enough to feel secure, although the material feels slightly flimsy and I think it will loosen quite quickly.
Opening up to the first page, there is the usual “In case of loss, please return to” section, accompanied by a sweet illustration that says “Book of Days”.
It also says the diary may contain coarse language. I don’t why.
The next page is your usual personal information page. I must say that I love the font (or is it typeface) that Typo uses in their planners.
Followed by one of my favourite layouts, a vertical yearly calendar on one spread! This could be one of the top reasons alone for why I bought this planner.
Then you get the year-at-a-glance calendar, which provides three years, which is great. But the anal part of me just does not like that the current year is ‘split’ in half.
Don’t you just love that font (typeface) though?
Next up is a list of public holidays. Australia and New Zealand come first obviously, followed by a limited number of countries, likely the ones where Typo has established outlets.
A spread for adding contacts.
The next spread is quite special, offering some information that most (serious) diaries and planners usually do not. There is a list of birthstones by month, names of wedding anniversaries, and both western and oriental zodiac signs and their corresponding month / year.
Finally we come to the main event! The planner proper starts on January 2017. There are no extra pre-planning months for 2016 or forward planning for 2018. I like the light grey squares they use for each day with the thin white space in between, allowing you to view each day clearly but isn’t too jarring as to cause any distraction.
There is also a nicely spaced ruled area on the far right where you can put in to-dos, reminders, expenditure or special things to take note of for the month.
Each monthly calendar is then followed by the weekly layout. The weekly layout goes on for a few spreads until that month ends. The week layout for each month always starts on the 1st, regardless of which day it is. So if the 1st is a Wednesday, there will be white space left where Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be.
Each page is divided into three equal spaces, so Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are on the left, while Thursday, Friday and the weekend are on the right. Saturday and Sunday share one space between them, so if you have full weekends, you can lay it out as you prefer.
After the planner proper ends on December 31st, there are some blank Notes pages.
Finally, right at the end of the book is a single pocket, which unfortunately is rather flimsy and badly put together. The paper used to construct it seems likely to tear easily or the glued areas might come away very soon. There are so many creases all around it!
I like the layouts used in this planner a lot. (hat vertical year layout!) Some people prefer to have all the months together, and then all the weeks together. But I find that involves a lot of flipping around, whereas having the month and weeks together matches the way that I work, think and plan. The design of the monthly pages (separated grey squares) is also a different take from the usual suspects, which is fun.
The paper used is stated to be acid-free, although there is no other information about the thickness of it. The colour of the paper is not too yellow, quite close to the Moleskine in fact, and quite to my preference as I find yellow or off-white paper to be rather distracting. But it isn’t bright white either to cause headaches or painful eyes when you are working on it for long periods of time.
The pages feel thick enough that there will not be much ghosting for normal ball pens or gel pens. I do hope that the smooth pages means lesser bleeding for fountain pens, but I doubt very much so. I don’t think the pages will be able to live up to fountain pens, markers or sharpies. A pen test is very much required.
Overall, for something made in China, the quality of the planner is acceptable and I like it a lot, mainly for the beautiful cover designs, the font / typeface that they use inside, and for.the monthly / weekly layouts. I actually have my eye on another, the brown faux-leather cover, which I might just get for the office.
Go get yourself one of these pretty planners already! The A5 size Buffalo Planner retails for S$19.99, the Deluxe A5 is S$29.99 and the A6 is S$16.99. As of mid-September, you can buy any of the pens in store at half-price with the purchase of any planner. You can enjoy the same offer online.