The Organized Writer: Quo Vadis Scholar Planner

by Jeff Abbott on October 19, 2009

I’ve mentioned before how much I like Exaclair/Clairefontaine products. Their notebooks are superb and I use a Exacompta Journal 21 as my daily planner. Recently Karen at Exaclair offered up some of their new Equalogy “green agenda” planners for review, and she kindly sent me on of their ecologically friendly Quo Vadis Scholar Weekly Planners to test-drive.

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My usual planner is a one-page-per day format; the Scholar has a week on two pages, which is nice in that it gives you a birds-eye view of your week’s activities. This lack of an overall view is my major complaint about day-a-page planners: while you have tons of room for thinking/doodling/plotting world domination, you don’t have as easy an overview of the shape of your week. After I copied all my remaining appointments for the year over the Scholar, I did have a much more immediate view of each week’s activities.

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The Scholar lives up to its name in that it’s an academic year calendar, running from August to July. If you’re not on an academic year, then you may well want to wait for a standard year calendar. Considering my wife works at a school, and both my kids are students, I feel I live on an academic calendar any way, so this wasn’t a drawback to me.

Each page has several lines for your appointments or to do list. The lines do not have times tied to them, which I liked. I can write in my own appointments’ times. For creative types who work with blocks of time, this is an advantage.There’s also a small space labelled Priority, which I like. You can pick the ONE THING that matters the most and list it there and have it silently nag at you.

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I liked the layout of the pages a lot—they don’t tie you to a specific schedule, but there is ample room for my daily amount of notes and commitments. Monday through Wednesday, with a section for notes, is on the left side of the page; Thursday through Sunday is on the right side of the page.

Each page also includes a perforated corner, so you can tear off to the current page and find your spot in the planner instantly. When I first used Exaclair planners I didn’t think I’d much use this feature, but I love it.

The front includes a Time Schedule, which would likely be used to plot out class schedules. If you follow Julie Morgenstern’s Time Block approach to organizing you could use it in a similar fashion. But I would only mark them up in pencil. It also includes an “Anno Planning” section where you can see your year in a single view. I love this as I can mark the most critical dates on my schedule: book due to editor, book released by publisher, vacation, etc. and see how my time is parceled out for the year.

The back includes a removable address book (not particularly useful to me) , calendars for the next three years, maps of the world. As someone who writes international thrillers, I found it useful to always have a map at hand. Your mileage may vary.

Exaclair products are known for their superb paper. The paper in this Equology planner is 88% made from recycled materials, and so it’s not quite as good as the standard Exaclair paper, but it’s still good. It’s a bit grayer in tone. I wrote on it with a Rhodia pencil, a Lamy Safari fountain pen, and a Levenger True Writer pen, and the paper handled all very well, with no bleedthrough or smearing.

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While the Scholar is an obvious choice (given its on an academic year) for students or teachers, creatives, and anyone who wants a nice weekly planner should also enjoy this cleanly designed, eco-friendly, and priority-focused planner.

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Laurie December 5, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Great review Jeff. I received a Minister Equology to review and I really like it. I’m pretty impressed with the paper, and I think the format is great.

    Karen is also very generously sending me a Journal 21 to use and review, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it! I’ve been wanting to check one out for a very long time.

    By the way I linked your blog on my blog, hope you don’t mind.

    Happy writing,

    Laurie

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