Monday, 10 September 2012

Review of a £1 day per page diary

The Day2Day A6 diary by Tallon International Ltd.

Some of you will no doubt be wondering why I have bought a £1 diary. Most if not all of the things I review on here are far more expensive and better quality.

Well, I bought it because I wanted a cheap page per day diary to dismantle and use in my Mulberry. I don’t have any need to keep these pages as at the end of the week/month/year (when I have a clear out) they are just thrown away – they are used to plan the day only. I journal in another book altogether.

Anyway, I bought this one from Amazon and chose it a) because it was A6, b) because it was £1, c) because it was case bound (i.e. sewn and then glued and therefore easy to dismantle).

When it arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised. Maybe that’s because I had zero expectations for it, but it’s actually pretty reasonable.

So, what’s it like?

Front cover:
The diary is bound in leather-effect thick paper over sturdy card, with 2013 in gold in the top right-hand corner. The spine has “A6 day to view diary 2013” in gold on it. On the back cover is the brand: “Day2Day” also in gold. The 2013 version had a black cover. I also ordered a 2012 version (for 49p) but had no choice over the cover colour. Since I was only dismantling it, that wasn’t exactly an issue! I think it came in dark red, navy or black. The one that came was dark red.
The diary has a ribbon marker sewn into the spine.

Front cover
The inside cover has a year planner for 2013, with the months running in vertical columns and the weekdays running down the left-hand side.

Inside cover: year planner
The next page is a personal information page.

Personal information page
Following this are a calendar for 2012, with a calendar for 2014 beneath it on the left page (with, in a tiny font, a list of public holidays for the year). On the right is a larger font calendar for 2013, with again, the bank and public holidays listed underneath.


After this are some pages with metric/imperial conversions, clothing sizes etc., a list of notable dates (including Christian and Jewish festival dates) and a variety of national days for different countries. Then there is a table of sunrise and sunset times for 2013 and phases of the moon and the moon rise and moonset times.

Information pages

Following this is a double spread of international information and holidays for major countries of the world.

International information

Then there is a page for telephone numbers and three pages of notes.

Telephone numbers and notes


At the back, after the diary pages, are four pages to summarise accounts (paid and received in separate tables), then an annual accounts summary and some statistical summaries. On the back cover is a year planner for 2014.

Account summary Jan to June

Account summary July to Dec

Account/statistical summaries

Back cover: 2014 planner

Diary pages:
The pages are slightly less than A6 in fact, at 14.2cm x 10cm (c.f. 14.8cm x 10.5cm for A6). The diary itself starts on December 24, 2012. The months are in clear sans serif font along the top with the date in bold next to the week day just below. There are 26 lines in total, though the bottom 6 are half-width as there is a month calendar towards the bottom of the page. Line spacing is 5.5mm and the “line” is actually made of dots. Saturday and Sunday share a page.
Notable information (holidays, moon phases etc.) are on the top line.

Diary pages

The pages are quite thin – at least as thin as filofax paper and possibly thinner. In total, the pages of the diary measure 8mm thickness. My immediate thought was, “Uh oh. These won’t handle any kind of pen well!” (given that the much thicker paper in my Ciak diary has bleed though from a biro!) but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Here are the fountain pen tests:
(the top two inks are Quink black ink cartridge and Parker black ink cartridge).

There was some feathering with the Parker Sonnet but not with any of the others, including the Waterman’s ink (which usually feathers and bleeds like nobody’s business).

Here is the reverse:

As you can see, very little bleed-through except from the Waterman’s ink. It’s certainly acceptable.
As it is, I will probably not use fountain pens on this paper anyway as my diary and daily task-lists are colour-coded to match the different areas of my life. A more realistic test would therefore be to use those pens.
Here’s the result:

And the reverse side:

Very little bleed-through at all. The paper looks very indented because I was writing on my proper desk which has a leather insert. I should have put something harder underneath or put the paper into the Mulberry before writing, for a proper test.

The case-binding was easy to dismantle (until the last set of pages in the section which were of course glued into the spine and needed some coaxing) and they were easy to trim to size and punch. At only 8mm deep, I can probably fit the entire year in the Mulberry, to be honest! I’m more likely to have 6 months in though. Currently, I have until the end of December 2012, but only because I haven’t dismantled the other diary yet.

In summary – I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the paper was, especially given that it only cost £1. Why can’t filofax use paper this thin but this good? It can’t be for reasons of cost! It must be just because they are thrawn. To use a good Scot’s word.

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