Welcome to the second in our Pick Your Planner Series, where we'll be taking a deep-dive into the design details of each planner in our range, for those of you who really like to do your research when making such an important stationery purchase!
We're going to start with the most popular of all the Mark+Fold planners: The Diary.
Good if you like:
— planning in detail (down to the hour)
— one planner for the whole year
— making plans feel fairly permanent
What's the page layout?
The main body of the Mark+Fold Diary is a week-view layout, with the days of the week listed along the top of the page and equal sized columns per day. Each column is lined, and divided into 3 'blocks' which you may like to use to represent 'morning' 'afternoon' 'evening,' but as with all things Mark+Fold, this is intentionally left blank so you are free to create your own system. For example, we have one customer who runs a bar in London and they use one block for staff shifts, another for group bookings, and so on. It's really designed to suit any and every lifestyle.
We designed it so that Wednesday falls in the centre-fold, so it kind of feels like 'hump day' as you move across to the right-hand page and roll on into the weekend! The weekend days have a subtly different line, so that they 'feel' very slightly different from the weekdays. This is a sort of visual cue, inspired by customers telling us the kinds of plans they make for the weekend tend to be quite different to weekdays. We also felt that when you view your 'visual picture' of the week, it's helpful to see Wednesday in the middle, and the weekend days as a clear and distinct 'block' at the end.
At the bottom of the page is a dot-grid zone, where you can make any additional notes. This started in response to customers describing 'jotting things down on the fly' as well as wanting to mark definite appointments within a specific time slot. But again, this is totally flexible for you to use as you wish. We also designed a post-it note with the identical dot-grid pattern, to fit perfectly over the top, so that you can add 'temporary' or 'TBC' notes, and then move or re-move them as your plans change.
There is an additional blank column on the left hand side, for additional notes, to-do lists or whatever else you like (it can be left as a nice bit of blank breathing space too, if that's your thing).
What other pages are there?
In addition to the week-view pages, we include a year overview at the front (for the current year) and one at the back (for next year). Again, this gives you a nice snapshot, so you can circle your upcoming trip to the other side of the world, or check if your birthday lands on a Friday this year, and that sort of thing.
In response to customer feedback, we also added in a few dot-grid pages at the back (usually around 8 pages, depending on where dates fall and how this affects our page count). This is for whatever notes you like — come people told us that they've always kept a list of important phone numbers, addresses or birthdays at the back. You can do whatever you like here. It's often about these rituals, year on year, that make a diary special, so we try to allow enough space for you to do that, in your own way.
How am I supposed to use it?
Trick question! As with everything Mark+Fold, we are not prescriptive so we don’t tell you where you write your 'to do list’ or anything like that, we let you decide how you’ll use it. It’s always about creating your own system.
But broadly, this is a planner to last a full year, from January to December (usually with a week or so either side, plus a very top-level year overview). It works well for someone who wants to jot down where and when they might have meetings or appointments, with plenty of flexibility to create a system to suit you.
Some people carry it with them as a daily companion, one of the few precious things you carry with you every day, ready to jot down an appointment as you sit and make plans with friends or colleagues. Others have told us they like to keep it pristine in a fixed location at home or in their office — one proudly keeps it "on the console table in the hallway, for visitors to admire," and a busy mum told us hers lives "on the kitchen counter so that everyone can see how busy I am, and when I plan to be unavailable!"
Won't I be scared to write in it?
Some people find the permanence of the diary intimidating, like something written in the diary is something you must stick to and never change! Some simply use pencil to avoid unsightly scribbles. We would say embrace the changeable nature of life — book things in and don’t be afraid to put a simple line through them and change things as you go. It is in the very nature of plans that they are liable to change, and any busy work or social life includes some last-minute alterations. Perhaps when you look back in years to come, you will enjoy seeing the layers of plans, one on top of another.
Anything else I need to consider?
To state the obvious, it's designed to last a whole year, so choose your colour carefully!
You can browse our full range of 2024 Diaries + Planners here.
Thanks for reading this first edition of the 2024 Pick your Planner Series, we hope you’ve found it useful. The next edition will focus on: The Wall Planner
You can browse all our Diaries + Planners here
As always, we love to hear your feedback and suggestions, or to see pictures of your planners in their natural habitat, filled with notes! So please do share and tag us #mymarkandfold @markandfold.