Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Review of Ciak A5 DPP diary

[click on the pictures for an enlarged version]
I have bought Ciak diaries for the last few years. I buy the A5, day to page version and so far have always bought them with a red cover.
They were described on The Journal Shop site as having a leather cover, but the Ciak site (English version) says:

The daily diary is 15x21 cm with a day per page, it has 208 sheets (416 pages) and it is printed in one colour on recycled ivory paper 70 gms.. The languages printed are English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. The daily diary Ciak has a printed address book at the end of the book. The cover is in man-made leather, with a patented elastic horizontal closure in black colour and it is packed in a shrink wrap. The original Ciak has its logo embossed on the spine of the book.

I checked with The Journal Shop and they said that it was in fact bonded leather - very small pieces of leather bound together, but leather nonetheless.

The layout of the diary is as follows:
As usual, around the outside is an elastic band which is useful for holding a pen against the edge of the book. There is also a ribbon (which usually frays unless you tie a knot in the bottom of it).

Diary with elastic closure holding my biro and knotted page marker
Inside, the first page has a title space:

Then a page for personal information (in English and Italian). After that is a full calendar for 2012 on the LHS and 2013 on the RHS, followed by a month per page which includes holidays. Unfortunately, on common holiday days, this information completely fills the square for the day, so you’d better not plan to do anything then.

better not have any plans for Jan 1st...
After that is a world map with time zones across a double-spread, then international dialling codes (although not all countries as Malawi isn’t there). Then comes a series of pages on weights/measures and their conversions, international sizes, world temperatures and then the diary. At the end of the book there are 6 pages of graph paper (2.5mm x 2.5mm squares), 6 pages of notes, then 7 pages of address pages. The notes pages and the diary pages are feint ruled at 7.5mm. The paper is described thus: contains recycled post-consumer waste and FSC fibers. It is  produced with pH Neutral ECF fibers and it is Acid-Free.
[American spelling and Odd Capitalisation are from Ciak]

The diary is page per day (with none of the irritating sharing of weekends going on you get in other diaries), with the day and month in a variety of languages across the two pages.

biro showing through on LHS.
I have to say, after several years of buying these, that I have been disappointed with the quality of the diary in the last couple of years. The paper at 70 gms is too thin.  You can see in the picture above that the entry for the 19th has shown through to the 20th and I’m only writing in biro! Even Filofax paper isn’t that poor.

In comparison, the notebooks from Ciak (same size) have 100 gms paper, which holds fountain pen beautifully. The first diary I bought from Ciak had the same quality paper and I wish they hadn’t changed. It’s actually so poor now that if it is the same for 2013 I will buy another brand.

All in all:
It’s archival quality paper, but otherwise quite poor quality. Unless it improves I will spend my money elsewhere.