22 Jul 2011

artbox.co.uk - diary review part I

Before I start this post, let me just tell you this. This is NOT a sponsored post. I bought these items off of my own whim and I am not paid to write this review. However, I will write it anyway because this lesser known brand does do planners too and I just want to give you guys more options for diaries/schedulers if you're indecisive about what to use in the coming academic year/new year.

Anyway, a brief introduction of the site itself first. Artbox specialises in selling 'cute' stuff from brands such as San-X and Hello Kitty. Most of their stuff has a Korean/Japanese/Chinese feel to it with the 'cuteness' but this doesn't necessary apply to all the items - especially when it comes to the stationery! I've purchased from the site before I bought these planners too. Last year, I bought something from there for my friend's birthday and found that a lot of the stuff could be good gifts for people who are somewhat oriental (forgive me if that sounds assuming, I'm just saying what I, an oriental myself, think with regards to the products!).

So, what lead me to purchase a diary from there? Well, another of my friend's birthdays is coming up later this month and also, my sister's birthday is in a few weeks time so why not kill two birds with one stone? Or three, if you include my love of planners.

Moving onto the planners. I bought two so will review them separately. Here is the first one:

It looks cute, right? It's a little bit feminine I think with the use of a warmer colour in a reddy orange but not so feminine that it completely alienates the male market. First thought? It feels pretty sturdy and looks pretty cute too - and is also small and more importantly, light enough to cart around with me everywhere. Plus, the design is simple but not boring, unlike my Moleskine. Apologies to my beloved Moleskine for saying that but it's true! This simple design beats the black of my Moleskine any day! Plus, it's cheerful - something which can possibly contribute to my happiness project.

Anyway, upon the grand opening of the front cover, this is what you're greeted with:

Personally, I'm liking the quote at the front. It's another way of saying 'seize the day' or 'carpe diem' for those of you who are latin language inclined.

The month pages look like this:

And the week pages look like this:

Now, you'll notice that both formats are undated - this is the genius of it! You can use it whenever you want! You just add in the dates yourself and voila, you're good to go.

At the back, there are note pages:

A close up of the left corner:

'Don't waste your time' being very apt for me, I felt! I waste so much time doing needless things that this reminder should be good!

And right on the last page:

The 'personal' page where you fill in your details. I find a lot of planners from Korea/Hong Kong are like this. I've bought a few before from Hong Kong which were imported from Korea, albeit not from this brand, and they all had the personal details page at the back.

And finally, the back cover:

The only flaw I can see with the planner is that the spine is pretty stiff and it doesn't stay open flat. However, I had that problem with my Finsbury Filofax anyway so it's not as if it's something I'm not used to! And I'm sure it will lie flat with use so I wouldn't worry too much about it. It just adds to its' durability - something that has to be a bonus surely?

For those of you who are interested, this is the exact planner here. It was £7.50 and there is free delivery if you spend over £20. Not a bad deal I thought? However, with most things costing quite little, it can be quite hard to spend over £20!

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with this planner and am actually planning to use it for 2012 when it finally swings round. After all, it's cheaper than a set of Filofax inserts and definitely cheaper than the Moleskine I'm currently using!

Part II with the review of the second planner I bought will be coming soon!

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