From Rings to Strings: Planning Trends

Like everything else, there are trends and classics when it comes to planning.  My original planner many, many years ago was a personal Filofax Finsbury in breast cancer pink.  This was about 15 years ago.  I fell out of paper planning and swung between a wing and a prayer, a little WHSmith diary and my phone for a while.

I rediscovered planners and the joy of using it to be creative via Instagram.  I promptly purchased a cherry red personal Finsbury and it was love. Then I began to see Erin Condren Life Planners.  Those became very popular fast.  I recently found a photo of my first ever UK Planner Addicts meet in Paperchase London.  It was then I saw how popular ring bound planners were.

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These are trends as I recall I’ve seen.

Filofax

This is a planner classic and I don’t think it will ever really disappear.  Various sizes are popular.  The Malden seems to be a particular favourite of many including me.  It’s lush leather and big rings make it so practical yet beautiful.  Filofax have released various other planner items, including the flex, clipbook and more recently their notebook with removable pages similar to the Happy Planner or Arc system.  I will always revert to a Filofax when rings call me.  For me the quality is good for the price bracket.

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Other Ringbound

In terms of other ring bound trends, other beautiful quality and more pricey options became desirable and still are.  These include Louis Vitton, Kate Spade, Gillio and Van der Spek.

Kikki K also began to feature in this market, with both personal and A5 offerings.

More recently Michael’s in the USA released a range of ring bound affordable planners which are nice.  

Also Carpe Diem – Simple Stories sell A4 planners which are more affordable.  Also Paperchase in the UK have a great range.  Webster’s  Pages also offer a more affordable version.  Also Dokibook are another more affordable range.

Coils

Erin Condren Life Planner is the one which Continues to be popular. Plum Paper planner was also very popular around the time ECLP first became popular.  However the ECLP has endured and has a loyal following. In the UK The Personal Planner offers the ability to customise in lots of ways. Bando is another popular planner and Kate Spade also offers a nice selection.  For 2018 I’m moving from an eclp to a Recollections spiral bound from Michael’s.  It gives me a similar layout but was over half the price.  A kind friend who lives in the USA but visits home in the UK regularly got it for me.

Disc Bound

Me and My Big Ideas – create 365 Happy Planner, is a sort of hybrid between a Filofax, having the flexibility to remove and add pages, with the feel of a coiled planner.  This has plastic discs on the spine.  The pages are cut in such a way that they can be removed, similar to the Arc system.  This planner has proved very popular and continues to be.  Available from mini to large, with it’s changeable covers and multiple insert packs available it is a good priced planner with lots of versatility.  The brand also offers lots of stickers that are very popular too.

Bound Books

The creation by Ryder Carroll of the Bullet Journal system means good quality notebooks such as the Leuchtturm 1917 and Moleskine have increased in popularity.  There are many other beautiful books, such as Scribbles That Matter,  Rhodia and Lemome to name a few.  The Leuchtturm remains the classic and most preferred it would seem.  Search Instagram to see some of the beautiful creations some make in these journals.  Another bound book that many love for planning is the Hobonichi Techo.  I don’t know much about these but they always look beautiful.  

Strings

The Travellers notebook has risen in popularity in 2017.  The original system was the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The system of being able to add in and take out a variety of notebooks and other items such as dashboards and beautiful vellum papers is at present, the biggest planner trend.  There are a huge number of makers of stringed notebooks.  Popular at present in the UK are Foxy Fix , Chic Sparrow , Meadowgate Leather and Lyradori.   There are so many out there it’s mind bogging! 

 Michael’s have them in the USA and Webster’s Pages are another affordable option.  The range from micro to A5 and there are very many variants in between.  There are also many, many different places to get inserts, from those that are suitable for watercolour paintings to general notebooks.  The most popular is currently dot grid inserts and the most popular size seems to be a B6.  Slightly larger than a pocket sized.

Washi Tape

Washi tape is decorative paper tape that originated in Japan. It has been a popular embellishment for many years. There are so many designs available.  More recently it waved in popularity for those buying weekly sticker kits for planners such as the Erin Condren Life Planner,  as they often have “washi” stripes themed with the kit.  It is however a staple planner item and I have a large collection. My favourite Etsy stores for Wash are BonBonsKawaii and Jadies Crafts for foiled washi.

Planner Charms

Little trinket items that you hand from the top or bottom ring of a ring bound, or the strings or closing loop of a travellers notebook.  These vary greatly.  

Current trends on the front of the Traveller’s Notebook (TN) is a bow or floral clip.  Again, search Instagram or Etsy to see the variety.  My favourites are from Isabelle the Owl, Kawaii Studios,  Dotty Moo and The Punk Planner.

Paperclips

Again, hundreds! From Fimo to embroidered there are so many available to customise your planner,  These have been popular for about 18 months,  If you search Instagram you will find some planners rammed with many of these paperclips.  Each one a tiny work of art.  My favourite store is My Unicorn Planner.  In addition I’m a big fan of an Oli Clip,  a magnetic page marker.  Very strong magnets and come in a range of lovely designs.

Stickers

This has become epic. So many stores.  Many make a living from selling themed kits for the Erin Condren and Happy Planners.  There are a huge number of functional stickers available for anything you can probably think of…yes…even that! 

I am on design teams for Your World of Colour and Katie’s Sticker Company who both do kits.  Your World of Colour also has a huge range of functional stickers.  Check the “about me” on this blog or my Instagram bio for discount codes.

It’s easy to begin to understand why people never seem to find “planner peace” with so many things coming into play.  I personally find that Instagram is wonderful at helping you to feel like you want something else and to buy all the things!  No matter what I buy I will never have a pretty thing like that.  It is after all, a planner.  It’s main purpose is to make me feel organised (even if I’m not!)

I’ve not covered off planner pouches, bags, pens, stencils, pencils cases…  Just know there are, and will continue to be, a myriad of ways to spend your hard earned cash making your planner and your planning journey beautiful.

This is a planner stack from a recent UKPA meet again at Paperchase London. You can see the difference in the types of planners.

Recently I’ve seen prolific planner people moving back towards rings.  Maybe the TN thing is waning?  I’d really like to know what trends I missed out?  Being in the UK it’s UK/Europe biased.  Are there any trends I don’t know about?  I’d love to know.

Have a great day!

 

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Pocket Moleskine Bullet Journal Set Up

Hello.  I thought it worth sharing with you my latest every day carry I’m trialling.  My last post was my beautiful TN which I am still using and love. However the temptation to stuff it full is high,  I also printed two lovely inserts for tracking everything Christmas related which I will share in a later post. Long and short of it, it’s too fat and heavy for an every day carry!

I was lucky enough to get a lovely limited edition Hello Kitty pocket Moleskine from TKMaxx for only £2.99.  So I thought I would make it an every day carry bullet journal.  If you have not yet heard of a Bullet Journal, you need first to go over to it’s creator, Ryder Carroll’s web site   It’s a really simple system, that helps you keep really organised.

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As you know form my previous blogs about my pocket Filofax Malden this size works for for me.  I tried the bullet method before in my TN.  However I felt I was just drawing weekly layouts that I could just buy ready done in a TN insert.  I realised this time that I need to follow Ryder’s basics and then tweak slightly as I learn more about what works for me.

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I vowed to go minimal on sticker usage.  They sometime overload my brain and distract me from just the things I need to do.  That said, I did opt to add a beautiful wreath sticker from It’s Paper Co inside the front.

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First page of course is the index.  This particular book is lined.  I tend to prefer dot grid, but I’m sticking with this book as I don’t intend to draw much in it.

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I’ve saved just two pages for Index which I hope will be sufficient.  I’m using a Pentel Inkjoy 0.7 Gel pen which you can see does ghost.  However it’s not really bothering me.  I’m also ignoring the fact my handwriting is awful!  However my main focus is me and my needs, not it looking pretty for Instagram.

Next is the future log.

 

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On reflection I think maybe the future log could have been laid out differently.  If I had turned the book 90 degrees I could have perhaps made it fit a little better.  That’s the point though of trying it out though in a cheaper book first.

Next is the month overview.  I’m using the classic key presently, suggested by Ryder.

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Then of course, each weekly view.

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I drew this out in advance of the week.  However next week I am trying just doing it a day at a time.  This is because I tend to have more tasks and events at the weekend, and this was too small.  It’s fine if a week goes over two pages, so I want to give myself the flexibility of having as much or as little space I need each day.

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When I used the system previously, I struggled a little with just the future log.  I bought some annual stickers from Oops A Daisy UK (who also sell fab stencils) on Etsy and put them in the back of the book.  I use this to mark school holidays, birthdays and annual leave.  There is space for me to write them next to each month, just not done that yet.

I also added a little pull out pocket calendar from the lovely Ali at Crafty Ali Cat at the back with some washi.

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I use a Leuchtturm 1917 stick in pen loop in the back for my Inkjoy.

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Finally the book came with three cute Hello Kitty bookmarks and I’ve also added into the back pocket a Filofax pocket ruler.

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I also use a coffee cup metal bookmark from Ali Express to mark the current day page.

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That is the set up so far, and I’ve not yet missed having a bigger planner with me.  I am adapting and trying little things as I go.  Last week I used day text stickers from Your World of Colour which looked nice. (Discount code Planitzoe15 for 15% off over £8 spend).  Much neater than my writing!  I also have added in Christmas gift ideas and tracker and an order tracker.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this system if you have, or are thinking of using it.

Have a great day!

Pocket Malden Update

I  shared my set up of the Ochre Pocket Malden in April 2016.  It’s proved to be a popular post and I thought it would be useful to update you on it, as it is still very much in daily use.

I made a decisions around November 2016 to cease putting it in a protective case in my bag.  It was making it heavier and bulkier than necessary and although pulling it out of a case is minimal effort, I still found it a pain.  I reasoned that worst case I could buy another if I hated they way it looked as it aged.  I need not have worried, it has picked up some scuffs and scratches but still looks lovely.  I have the Malden travellers wallet in the same ochre colour that I use as my purse.  That too looks fine with signs of wear.

My current dividers are pink and green ones that I feel are spring like.  I do sometime change them as I do not change the planner now as I just love it so much!  I have a cute butterfly attached to the zip inside I found in a planner I picked up from a charity shop.  I also have a coffee cup one.  I have had planner charms attached to the bottom ring but they invariable get broken in my bag.  The pockets inside have mainly planner stickers in them.

I am using monthly view pages so I can have an overview of the month’s plans.  Because the planner is so chunky (I call it Fat Boy) I remove used weekly pages periodically.  I do keep the whole year monthly view in there as that gives me a key date or events overview instead of keeping all those weekly pages.  I did start off with a year to view but found I use the monthly instead far more so |I removed it.

I decorate my weekly pages.  I pop a little check list onto the top of the page to add my top priorities for the week.  I tend to have a vague theme each week, some weeks are decorated more than others.  I tend to express my sticker obsession better in my Erin Condren Life Planner which stays at home. I store used pages in planners not currently being used.

I have a small contacts section and a finance section where I track my money transfers each month when I am paid.  The just a few notes pages and lists such as all the Disney films my daughter has so we don’t repeat buy!  I really only use these sections.  I played around with various sections but they were just not used (such as order trackers etc.)  SO my sections are: Diary which are my monthly and weekly pages, contacts, lists, finance. notes including a world map and London Underground map and then three clear pockets with stickers in.  I have  small note pad in the back for just jotting things down on.

My pen is a lovely rose gold one I picked up at Christmas from B&M store.  It is metal so has a lovely weight to it. It’s a black gel one.

It’s really working for me.  I could probably slim it down if I removed some of the spare stickers, but I’m happy with it.  I love the fact a Malden is just so stuffable!  I have looked at the new Kingfisher colour Malden that Filofax finally released in pocket size.  I love blue, so may ask for one as my birthday gift in June.  Pocket is a fine size, I just find personal too large to carry around with me.

So that is where I am right now.  Still loving the Malden.  I wish I had bought it sooner, it might have saved me buying loads of others (but probably not!)

UKPA Big Meet, ECLP & New Intentions

Wow – what a year so far.  It’s been a crazy few months for me, and unfortunately this blog ended up on the back burner for a while.  I was made redundant after 15 years at the same place.  I started a new job in July which has been a challenge and it involves a longer commute each way.  We have had to work out as a family how we need to alter our days to cover this.  I’m not 100% there, still trying new things, but I feel ready to pick this blog back up.

The main motivator is that I will be attending The UK Planner Addicts group Big Meet 2016.  It is the very first one and I was very lucky to get a ticket.  The event sold out in under 10 minutes!!  I am really excited about meeting new like minded friends.  Getting to look at all the different planners.  Buying lots of stickers from the Etsy stores present of course.  I hear the goody bag is epic too.  So it’s a great subject to blog about.  I will take stacks of photographs and share everything I can.  We also have a guest speaker attending, Kristina Karlsson the founder of Kikki K.wp-1474726470908.jpg

In other news I caved and got an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I now have an 18 month neutral vertical with classic coil, which I purchased from a planner group in the UK.  I also got a lovely cover for it.  I love it.  But the sticker obsession is real!  I’m still working out my style.  I know I’m not a fan of glossy stickers as they are hard to write on, more expensive and thicker.  My planner is already chunking up with each decorated week!  I tried a few no white space weeks and I just can’t cope with the visual aspect of that.  I need a bit of white or I can’t see the wood for the trees.  I still use a pocket Filofax for out and about and the ECLP stays at home.

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So that is a summary of where I am at.  Watch this space for UKPA Big Meet posts.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for plenty of Big Meet 2016 images, as that is where I intend to put everything on the day as we go along.  Let me know if you are going too, I’d love to meet fellow UKPA bloggers.

Spring planner switch…or is it?

Hey friends!

Just a quick update, things have been a bit manic and my planner activity is slow.  However I did decide to swap out of my beloved pocket Malden Filofax for my pocket Hearts Filofax.  I felt that it would be nice for spring to have more colour.  That and the Hearts is much lighter.

I literally swapped everything across, although I did swap in some more spring like coloured dividers I had.

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Pocket Hearts on Bournemouth beach last summer – just because!

I miss my Malden!  The extra back and inside pockets are much better.  I love it’s feel and it just makes me feel whole. I know, pretty weird.  I might keep the alternative dividers but I expect to be back in the Malden shortly.  Although I may give the Raspberry Finsbury a turn as it has better pockets including the long back one.

I’m seriously considering selling my pocket cross Filofaxes and maybe even the pocket Chameleon. Hmmmm, needs more thought!

Maybe the sun we have had in the UK this week has got to me!

 

For the Love of Malden (all about my Filofax Pocket Malden planner)

Late last summer, I discovered that a pocket size Filofax worked beautifully for my needs.  Provided it was one of the ones with the 19mm rings, it holds everything I need and is small enough to carry with me.  I have always loved the look of the Malden range, and finally succumbed to ochre loveliness in November 2015 from the UK website Colemans.

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It was love at first unboxing.  It is made from beautiful soft leather, and the ochre colouring looks so classy.  It has the 19mm rings and came with cotton cream 2016 inserts.  I’m not such a fan of the Filofax inserts however, I find the paper a little thin for my liking.  I keep it in a cover with butterflies on made by the talented Joey from her Etsy store So Joey.

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So let’s crack on with it and walk through my set up…

Inside front

The Malden comes with three pockets inside the front cover and a zipped pocket.  In the largest one I keep heart check box stickers from Handcrafted by Sheree on Etsy, a project life card that says “Dream Big” and some clear ring reinforcements specifically for pocket size.  It is approximately 7cm deep so can hold reasonable sized items.

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The next pocket at approximately 6 cm deep has my NHS blood donor card (same size as a credit card) a couple of membership cards and some Panda sticky notes.  The third 5cm pocket holds first and second class postage stamps.  I currently don’t have anything in the 7cm deep zipped pocket.  I’m worried about marking the leather if I put anything in it, as it is not particularly deep.  I have attached a small metal Butterfly I found to the zip.

My dashboard is a laminated sheet of family photographs.  I also have a really cute charm attached to the second from bottom ring of a Kawaii toast with chocolate spread I bought from the lovely Ruth from her Etsy store Kawaii Studios.  The dividers are ones I made myself from papers I got from TKMaxx.  They are called Steampunk Botanica, a recollections signature special paper pad from Michaels.  I tend to keep small sticky notes on the reverse of my dividers for ease.  I have also recently added name tabs to each from Girl of All Work, purchased from the Suzy Stick It web site

Section 1 Calendars

My inserts are from Piaric in the US, and are on beautiful thick, smooth white paper.  The first page behind the divider is a 2016 calendar.

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On it I have circled family and friend’s birthday, one colour for each.  I did order the 2016 fold out year calendar, but have now removed it as I just do not use it.  I then have month on two page overviews for the year.

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I complete these ahead of time with things I know are due such as birthdays.  I then fill in something that happened that I might wish to remember once the date has passed, from my weekly pages.  I use a small bronze Butterfly paper clip to mark the current month.

Next is a laminated quote “charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful” which I love.

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I then have the Filofax registration number in case of loss and the personal information pages.  This is paper clipped together with several past weekly pages.  It means I can open the weekly calendar to the current week.  I tend to file away used weeks in another pocket planner not in use, and keep about 4 weeks-worth only in the planner.  I have a summary on the monthly pages of key events so rarely need to refer back to the weekly pages.  I have the rest of 2016 weekly pages in the planner with me.deco week

Let’s discuss the delicate subject of decoration.  I love a decorated page.  It allows me to be creative and also encourages me to use the planner more if I enjoy looking at it.  However, in all honesty pocket size can become a little small to write in if it is sticker and washi heavy.  I recently acquired a Life Designer Planner that I use as a stay at home planner.  That gets decorated to the hilt.  Since I got that I stopped decorating my weekly pages in the pocket.  I do still punctuate with small stickers, but it is mainly a scribble in on the go, “to do” and appointment tracker.  I use the stay-at-home planner for recording events, TV shows, weekly food menu etc.  My photographs show two decorated weeks and a functional one.

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Section 2 Expenses

Each month when I am paid, I record the payment of bills and any funds transferred in here.  I also have a hole punch project life card on it reminding me what my regular transfers are.  I do not track every expenditure, just the big items each month to ensure I do them and they are timely.

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Section 3 Contacts

This section has taken time for me to get right.  Originally I has the A-Z dividers in, but I found this made the planner too thick.  I then had post-it tabs with the letters on I added myself to the contact pages.  However, this just looked ugly to me.  Now I have just the pages and no alphabet markers.  It’s still relatively easy to find the contacts as they are in alphabetical order.  I rarely use this section and I’m still in two minds if I really need it.  I also have a hole punched project life card on with a list of the names of our neighbours.  We only have 8 houses in the street and it is really handy at Christmas!

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Section 4 Lists

This section is hard to name.  It has information in it I need to refer to.  So it has a list of all the Disney movies my daughter currently has on DVD, as I always forget what we have.  It is useful when I’m out shopping if I see a bargain, or if I am asked at birthday or Christmas time what she wants.

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Next are my 2016 goals written down, a good visual reminder to keep me on track.  I then have a list of every True Blood episode.  I have the entire box set but it is taking a very long time to watch them.  I forget where I got to so I tick each episode off once I have watched it.  I’m only on season 3 and had them since Christmas 2014!

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I have a list of every job I have seen Miss Rabbit do in Peppa Pig.  Yes, really!  It’s a challenge my husband and I set as we were trying to remember them all.  I only have 21, sure there are more!  Then a few pages of Filofax to do pages.

Section 5 Notes

General notes so the first page is Royal Mail prices.  Then various things such as a Filofax wish list, a list of pocket planners with 19mm rings from Filowiki, (THE place to learn about Filofaxes) some work notes and then family clothing sizes.  Behind the remaining blank notes pages, I have the folded London Underground map and folded work map both from Filofax.

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Section 6 Stickers

The final thing in the rings is a top opening pocket with small functional stickers specifically for the pocket.  Small icons to satisfy my decorating need to a minimum.  This too has a small butterfly paper clip on the top to avoid any falling out.  My butterfly paper clips and many of these stickers are from BonbonsKawaii.

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Inside back cover pockets

I have a small note pad in the smaller top opening pocket and a spare laminated divider with some reusable Martha Stewart tear drop stickers on it in the 8cm deep pocket.

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I find the pen loop too small for my favoured Frixion pens, so it stays flat and unused.  I put my two pens, one black Frixion pen and a Frixion highlighter under the closure loop instead.  Finally, the pocket Malden is one of those fantastic planners that has a pocket running the full length behind it.  In here I have my AA recovery information.  This and the zip pocket is one of the reasons people often use it as a wallet.

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Pros and Cons

This works for me so well.  I own quite a few pocket sized Filofaxes, but have had no desire to move out of the Malden yet since I moved in back in November 2015.  I just love it, the feel, the smell, the fact it lays flat.  The sections work for me at present and it fits nicely even in the protective pouch in my handbags.  It looks classy and I’m not embarrassed to pull it out in public or at work.

Really the only down side is I find the leather can mark easily.  I really don’t like it scratched.  I don’t mind the general wear you get, such as the crease on the front by the spine where it lays open, but I found even a nail scratched across it can leave a mark.  This is why she lives in a cover, as things in my bag would certainly mark it.  Some people adore the way it wears.  I’ve even seen them with dark patches on them where the oils from your skin darken the leather on the closure loop or where it is held.  The protective case does make it a little bulkier, and if I use a non-leather Filofax pocket such as my hearts, I don’t use it.

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In summary, I don’t regret for a second spending the money on the Malden.  I agonised for over a year if it was worth the money.  I can hand on heart say it was the right decision for me to get it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have, so feel free to comment below.

P.s. I told you my handwriting was chicken scratch 😉

Pen of the Week – Pilot FriXion Ball Erasable

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I mentioned in a recent blog that sadly I am the owner of awful chicken scratch writing.  Luckily for me there are pens out there that allow me to erase the worst of my writing and have another go.  I also find that sometimes plans change, so the ability to remove an entry or alter it in my planner is a real bonus.

The Pilot Frixion pen is available in a larger range of colours.  You can also get them as an erasable highlighter.  Although a little expensive for the pen, it is really very quick and easy to erase.  A useful feature too is that you can buy replacement ink inserts for them.  I have them with a removable lid and also a version that clicks on and off with the clip.

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It gets the name from the method used to erase the ink.  Heat is generated by friction when you rub the hard rubber eraser over the ink, that heat then erases it.  I say the name in the same way you would therefore say friction, although I have heard it pronounced Frix-On.

Ink

I only own the standard pens in black, red and blue ink.  A friend purchased a large pack of 12 lovely rainbow colours on the internet and they were really nice colours.

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The real attraction for me is the erasable ink.  In truth, I do find the ink to be a little pale in colour.  The flow too is not always smooth, resulting in sometimes a striated effect on the pen stroke.  However, I personally am happy to live with this for the excellent performance when being erased, even after some weeks of having been written.

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The yellow highlighter I own is a lovely vibrant colour.  I do however think the pink one is a little weaker than I would like.  Both erase well though.  Mine are all medium stroke at 0.7 and there is a fine stroke version available.

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Purchasing

I have seen them readily available in the UK in many places that stock stationery. I have even seen them in larger supermarkets, often on offer.  Prices are around £7 for a pack of three.

Overall the ability to erase is the main key feature for me.  I overlook the sometimes weaker coloured ink that is not so smooth.  I much prefer the clicker type, as the barrel is a bit smaller and I’m hopeless as retaining detached items of anything, so a lid is too risky!  I use mine in my on the go planner rather than my stay at home one, as I am more likely to need to erase from that one.

I’ve tried a Uniball erasable which had better ink but did not in my opinion erase as cleanly.  The Frixion is often the pen being used by the planning community.  It does not fit in my Malden pen loop, but honestly very little does.  But the clicker ones fit nicely in the gap behind the planner closure strap.

Let me know, what else is out there that performs as well as the Frixion in erasing but perhaps has nice colour?  I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.