I know! I promised this about a zillion years ago, and now it’s probably too late, but hey. Here we go.
I have used the Ciak page per day diaries for my daily journal for the last four years, but for 2013, I bought the Moleskine instead, because the paper quality in the Ciak was getting so poor.
Well, I won’t be making that mistake again.
I really don’t like the Moleskine. I mean, I’ll (probably) use it for the year, but I won’t buy it again. Apologies to all you Moleskine fans out there, but this one’s not for me.
[click on any picture to enlarge; the black circular thing visible in some pictures is just a weight to hold the book open!]
I bought the one described as A5. It’s not A5, it’s 21.2cm x 13cm, which is almost 2cm too narrow for A5.
The cover is hard and covered in red vinyl-type stuff. It doesn’t feel especially nice in the hand. There is a vertical elastic fastener in red and there is one ribbon-marker, also in red. The OCD part of my brain has noticed that NONE of these are the same red.
|Cover, showing clashing cover, page-ribbon and elastic closure|
When you open the diary, there is an “In case of loss, please return to:” section, with the reward described in dollars. I wouldn’t go and change my money in order to reward someone and since it will never leave the house, I have just left all this blank.
Then there is a cover page, then a page for personal data. You can see from the picture below one reason why I am so unhappy with this diary. Yes – all those grey marks are the print from the following page, showing through, since the paper is so thin.
|Thin thin paper!|
After the cover page is a double-spread summarising 2013 and 2014. I don’t really know what these would be used for. I certainly don’t use them, even in a planner. If people find them indispensible, please let me know why in the comments?
Then there are three double-page spreads covering 2013 with the month listed vertically. I suppose that if I were using this as a planner, they might have some use. [In all honesty, I’m only doing the full walk-through for you guys, since I won’t use any of these pages at all!]
After the 2013 months in columns pages, there is a double-spread of International Holidays.
Then comes three double-page spreads covering the months for 2014 in columns. I didn’t bother taking pictures as they are the same format as those for 2013. What surprised me was putting the double-page of holidays in between the months for 2013 and those for 2014. If I did use them, I would probably have wanted them next to each other. (Good job they’re just wasted paper then huh?)
The comes a ‘Travels Planning’ double-spread where you are supposed to record your destination/itinerary, the date and an essential bibliography or notes. There are no lines and I dislike that, as I prefer the guidance of lines. On the LHS it doesn’t matter too much as the paper is so thin that the lines from the months as columns shows through. On the RHS all that shows through is the map from the next page.
The map is a double-page spread showing the capitals of some major countries and the time difference from GMT. The map is very poor. Zoom in on the UK/Europe to see how bad it is.
Then there is a double-page spread of flight durations to/from a variety of places. Then dialling codes and plate codes and so on, on the next double-spread. Then some measures and conversions and international sizes. Then there is a double-spread with a ruler down the side of one page (why??) and a blank page before the day per page section starts.
I haven’t photographed my entry for Jan 1 (for obvious reasons!) but you can see how bad the bleed-through is, just from a biro.
The page itself has times down the side and a space to record the weather at the bottom. The line spacing is 6mm. The edges of the page/book are rounded.
Right at the back, after Dec 31, there are four pages for notes, unlined. This is a major let-down for me. The Ciak diaries had graph paper, lined notes paper and lined A-Z pages (which I used as notepaper). I used the very last 2 pages to record all the books I read in the year, with the date started and date finished and then on Dec 31 I used to use the remaining sheets to do a review of my goals and whether I achieved them or not (and if so, why? And if not, why?). I have also used the graph paper to monitor my weight and my weekly running mileage. The four sheets of unlined paper are hopeless for me, but I will sit down with a guide-sheet and draw the lines in myself so I can use them.
Inside the back cover there is a pocket. The diary came with a separate little booklet and some sheets of stickers. Some of the stickers are self-evident, but I'm not sure what I would use some of them for (e.g. "it happened"). Four stickers for training sessions covers a week for me. I don't know. The stickers seem like a nice idea, but there are so few of them it makes them a bit pointless.
The three slightly clashing shades of red annoy me
The paper quality is at least as bad as the Ciak, if not worse
The vertical elastic closure means I can’t strap a pen to the diary
The size is odd – not really A5 but then, what is it? (US paper size??)
The lack of lined pages at the back is irritating
Will I buy it again?
No. I’m half-tempted to just buy another Ciak and write this off as a loss.