Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Academic planner guide 2013/2014:

As some of you already know, in September I'm delving back into the world of further education and starting a year long postgraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier Unversity.  As well as giving me the opportunity to better myself as a human being, my postgrad comes with the need for purchasing new stationery and (joy of all joys) a brand new academic planner.

I should stress that my last statement wasn't sarcastic whatsoever.  I genuinely love buying stationery, and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.  I've been obsessive about keeping a planner since the days of homework diaries in high school.  I'm a queen of procrastination, but having all of the tasks I'm avoiding laid out neatly in my diary makes me feel a lot better, for some reason.  I'm kind of a connoisseur of academic planners (even if I do say so myself) so if you're in the market for a new one, let me present you with the crème de la crème.

Source: here

The Moleskine large soft cover weekly academic planner in black (what a mouthful!) was probably my favourite university planner.  I'm a list maker, especially when I get stressed, and the lined page next to every week is perfect for writing to do lists, or jotting down notes relevant to that week's tasks.  The Moleskine is slimline, hardwearing on the outside and has an elastic closure to keep the pages clean and neat when not in use.  It also has a ribbon to keep your place in the correct week, which is a must for me.  My current (non-academic) diary doesn't have one, and it drives me mad!

My only issue with the Moleskine planner is the lack of space given for each day (particularly weekends), but bigger days would mean losing the ruled page that I found so useful.  It's also quite pricey (around £10 online, and up to £20 in shops) but the quality is good.  Unfortunately, you are mostly paying for an established brand name who can get away with charging so much because of their popularity!

Source: here

The Dodo Acad-Pad is a much more whimsical and lighthearted weekly planner than the serious and sombre Moleskine.  It has coloured pages, little drawings and (normally made up) facts to read and keep you amused whilst pretending to study.  Somewhat unusually, the Acad-Pad has five columns for each day, which you can use however you please to plan your academic year.  Being quite unoriginal, I used the columns as they suggested in the sample page  of the planner (below), splitting my days into a 'To do' column, then 'Morning', 'Afternoon', 'Evening' and 'Dates & deadlines'.  This set up worked quite well, but again I just didn't feel I had enough space to fit everything in, especially on days when there was a lot to accomplish!  Still, being able to split my day up into morning, afternoon and evening was more helpful for planning my time.  

Source: here

The Dodo Acad-Pad comes in more formats than I could ever have imagined (large desk diary, small pocket diary, wall calendar, loose leaf, the list goes on!) and retails for around £9 to £15, depending on where you buy it and which one you choose.

Source: here

It's safe to assume that an individual with a fondness for stationery also loves Paperchase.  The place is a treasure trove of cuteness that could make anyone want to live at their desk, and it's a great place to pick up a cheap and cheerful weekly academic planner.  They tend to be a little bit smaller in size, but if you're not into to do lists and just need a place to note down deadlines then this is the planner for you.  The Paperchase diaries average at around £7 each, and you can choose from loads of cute designs!

So which of my recommended academic planners have I bought this year?  The answer is none of them!  This time around, I've decided to go for my very first day to day view planner, which will give me much more space to plan out each day (and for my beloved lists!).  

I discovered the striped diary in the photo above from Asda (£4), and it's perfect!  Obviously with more pages it's a little chunkier than my previous week to week planners, but this bargain find just goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to find your perfect planner.  There's even room to fill in my brand new timetable when I get it.  Exciting!  I love the stripes and colour scheme, it reminds me of a deckchair!

Are you heading back to school or uni soon (and have a disturbing love for stationery products like me)?  If so, pop back soon for a big stationery haul post!  Undeniably the best part of going back to school.


  1. Stationery is my FAVE. I used to use a Moleskine planner too but the small pages were a bit annoying. I switched to a Filofax a few years ago and it was the best decision ever (overdramatic? never!) - love being able to add my own inserts so there's plenty room for to do lists and notes. Currently have a "week on two pages" set up which is usually plenty space, but think I might switch to a day per page next time I need to buy new inserts.

    1. It's amazing how many people are stationery addicts! I don't feel grown up enough for a Filofax yet, but I might consider switching next year. I like the idea of being able to customise it to my needs!