Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Back in a Ciak!

Cover with label

At last. I have suffered with the execrable Moleskine diary through the whole of 2013 but AT LAST it is 2014 and I am back in an A5 Ciak. I should never have left.

As ever, I bought the diary with a red ‘leather’ (bonded leather) cover. I don’t think there are many differences in the diary since I last reviewed it, early in 2012. It is a true A5 size (not a pretend A5 like the Moleskine).
[click on any picture to enlarge]

Front cover
Back cover (the label peels off easily)

The first page has a few lines as a title page, though I rarely fill these in. Following this is a page that is blank apart from “2014 daily diary . agenda giornaliera” across the top followed by a page for personal information (in Italian and English). There then follow some calendar pages which any regular reader will know that I don’t either use or value: 2014 on one side and 2015 on the other as small monthly day/date things, then a month per page for 2014, with Saturday and Sunday sharing the same space as a weekday. These squares also have the holidays written in so some of them end up a little cramped but nowhere near as bad as they were in 2012! Since I don’t use them and this is entirely a reflective journal and not used for planning, these pages will stay blank anyway.

Title page
Personal information page
Calendar pages: 2014 (l) and 2015 (r)
First double spread of monthly pages

After the month per page section, there is a map of the world showing time zones, followed by a double page spread of International dialling codes  (no, Malawi still doesn’t make it into the list. It’s +265 in case anyone was wondering...).

Time zones
Dialling codes

After this are weights and measures which are SO pointless even for the English speakers of the world, never mind the Italian speakers of the world... (WHO measures anything in rods??? Come on... WHO??? Why would you need to know that 1 rod = 220 yards = 201.2m??? And let’s not start on short tons versus long tons for weight (which as anyone with a smattering of physics knows is mass not weight anyway. Oh, don’t get me started...!)).
Rant over... moving on...

Weights and measures
There is then a page of international clothes sizes and (perhaps the most useful of all) a page indicating world temperatures across the year (though sadly, Malawi still doesn’t make it into that list either).

Clothing sizes (l); world temperatures (r)

Lastly, before the diary itself starts, there is a page indicating holidays for countries around the world.

The diary itself is fairly plain. It is in five languages (English, French, German, Spanish and Italian) with the days of the week in each language across the top of every page. The month is indicated in three languages per page: English, French and Italian on left-hand pages and German, Spanish and Italian on the right-hand pages. There are time slots indicated down the left of each page, starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm. Holidays and phases of the moon are indicated on the top of the page by the date/day/month. Starting at the 9am line, there are 22 lines per day with a line spacing of 7.6mm. I ignore the time slots and just write a reflective diary about my day.

January 1

The pages are sewn and glued and the diary doesn’t lay flat without a bit of persuasion (as evidenced by the paperweights in the pictures). There is a ribbon marker in black to match the elastic closure – no clashing not-quite-the-same-red as the horrid Moleskine had – and it’s a decent length one too, though it does need a knot tying in it to stop it fraying. The horizontal elastic closure is strong and holds a pen firmly against the page edges.

After all the diary pages there are 6 pages of squared paper (2.5mm x 2.5mm squares) then 10 pages for notes (4 more than there were in 2012) then pages with “a . b . c . d” “e . f . g . h” “i . j . k . l” “m . n . o” “p . q . r . s” “t . u . v . w” “x . y . z”. I use these as more notes pages and have put correction tape over the letters. The last page(s) will be used for recording the books I read in 2014; the other pages will be to do a reflection of the year – highs/lows/significant incidents etc. The (hateful) Moleskine had four unlined notes pages, two of which I used for recording the books read in 2013. I haven’t been able to do a reflection of the year in the diary this year but I may do one and tape the pages in/attach them somehow.

Squared paper
Notes pages
Address pages (which I will use for more notes)

The paper seems to be the same paper that was in the diaries in 2012 which was NOT fountain pen friendly. I have tried a tiny bit of fountain pen in this one and think it won’t be an option for daily writing after all (I drew a small cloud and raindrop underneath on today’s page to indicate the weather and it shows through on the reverse quite significantly). The paper is described as recycled, acid-free, pH neutral and chlorine free. The blurb on the label says ‘acid free paper suitable even for fountain pens’ but it lies. It’s a light ivory in colour.

I love these diaries, faults and all. The cover is sturdy and quite tactile, the elastic closure is brilliant, the notes pages are really useful for a yearly reflection and the line spacing is just right. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be back in the Ciak, even if fountain pen isn’t an option in it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the good review. I keep looking for a planner which is perfect in a technical but also original way and used a Rhodia last year for the first time. Couldn't find one in a store this month, so went with the standby large Moleskine but in a soft cover which seem to make up for it's shortcomings.