Planner #3: The Dark Horse

I was planning to go into 2021 with one planner I knew, and one new planner. Then I found out about a planner via The Stationery Cafe podcast, and I had to grab one just to try it out.

Introducing the Take a Note planner. This planner is going into its 6th year. So it’s pretty new, and I couldn’t find too many places to buy it (and ship to US). I pre-ordered mine via A Blank Note, and the planner shipped out in November. I’m glad I pre-ordered this since it seems to be selling out in what few places I can find it at.

Take a note planner cover (2021)

The English version of this planer comes in an A5 size.

The planner lays flat, at least for the most part. Some pages do curl upwards from the spine, but I think you could fix this with some pressing down of the page.

Monthly runs from December of the previous year to March of the next year. (December 2020 – March 2022)

The weekly is a hybrid vertical weekly layout meets daily. There are two days split vertically down on each page, with the exception of Monday. For Monday, on the left is a horizontal section listing the days of the week to write quick notes, and Monday itself takes up the right side of the page.

The weekly runs from the first week of January 2021 through the last week of December 2021.

Like the Jibun Techo, the months are grouped together followed by the weekly/daily hybrid pages grouped together.

The boxes this planner checks:

  • A5 size, portable.
  • Monday start planner.
  • Made with Tomoe River paper. Completely fountain pen friendly. Grid layout throughout.
  • Month on 2 pages.

Other features that it includes:

  • 1 page dedicated to monthly layouts of:
    • September through December 2020
    • All the months of 2021
    • January through April 2022
  • A page of a yearly plan Gantt chart. Each month gets 2 rows of boxes so you can’t note a lot of things with it.
  • Starting with the monthly pages, the pages on this planner are numbered.
  • Monthly pages have plenty of space around the monthly layout. There’s some space on top, right, bottom, and a lot of room on the left side.
    Also, on the right side next to each weekly row of the monthly layout, there is the page number of the start of the corresponding weekly/daily hybrid pages.
  • The time on the vertical/daily hybrid pages runs from 6 am to 3 am. (So 6 to 24 and then 1 to 3.)
  • 8 blank grid pages at the end.
  • It comes with a clear cover. The cover has a lower curved pocket on the inside of the front and back covers. It also has a built-in pen loop.

The cons:

  • No ribbon.
    With the way the spine is done to lay the planner flat, I’m not sure I could glue some ribbons to the top of that spine and still have the planner function well. The planner does fit in an A5 Hobonichi cover, so you could put it in that and use Hobonichi’s built-in bookmarks. The Hobonichi cover may hamper the planner’s ability to lay completely flat just from the bulk.
    I’m still deciding how to work around this. Maybe I can use Midori’s clip bookmarker, or glue a ribbon to a Plastiklip and use that.
  • The vertical week is split between 4 pages. The only way to see the whole week at a glance is by filling out the horizontal weekly overview on the first page of the week. I’m not sure how well this will work for me. However, I am curious enough about the weekly/daily hybrid layout that I’m willing to give it a try. In the end, this may or may not remain a con for me.

Take a Note does a great visual guide to their planner on their site.