To the recent plethora of Daycraft notebook reviews on the blogosphere, I’m going to contribute my own. Some time ago, Mr. Foreal Lee from Daycraft sent me three of their newly-released 2013 diaries for review. You heard right. THREE of them! I collected the parcel from the post office, and ripped it open in a restaurant in Sentosa, scattering packaging material everywhere. The waiters were glancing at me from time to time. I can imagine them thinking, “Suspicious character”, or “is she going to clear up the mess, or not?”
So I will take them one by one. Let’s talk today about the Daycraft Signature Chromatic Diary.
Warning: the following will be super picture-heavy. Pictures speak more than words. Probably the best way to present the diary to you!
Signature Chromatic 2013 Diary (English version)
– Fine Italian polyurethane
– 106mm by 150mm (that’s an A6 size)
– 192 pages
– International holidays 2013
– International guides
– Gift ideas
– 70gsm paper
I copied the above info from the description on the brown paper! Let’s break them down and analyse them one by one…
Firstly, yes, it is ORANGE, and a bright one at that. From front cover to the back, a totally uninterrupted happy orange, except for a tiny “Daycraft” logo embossed at a corner on the back side. I would like to say, it is great to have such a fun colour for a diary. I’m not a very “bright-colour” kind of person, but imagining this diary in a faded sort of orange is a bit of a turn-off. So, bright orange is the right way to go!
This Signature Chromatic range of diaries can be found in other bright colours on Daycraft’s website. Check them out, and do be careful of the size and the language that you are going to choose before you buy it. The diaries come in A5 and A6, English and Chinese versions.
Next: the cover is made of fine Italian polyurethane. Finally I know the material. It is the same nice and soft rubbery material that was on the Signature Wine Journal that I reviewed sometime back. I realised it had been written on the brown labels all along, but the last time I was probably too sleepy to have noticed it. The polyurethane material is nice, but the downside is that it is not resistant to indentations. Meaning, you’d better keep this notebook in a nice place and not just throw it around in your bag, where pens, keys and other hard stuff can scratch or leave dents on it! Let’s try to see how far this notebook cover can last! If I remember, I’ll try to do a revisit at the end of next year. 😉
Being A6 size, it is small and compact. It actually fits into my Smiggle stationery case, which I will talk about in another post. I usually like big notebooks, but considering that I don’t write so often in diaries, A6 is a great size for me. If you prefer more space to write in, and a bigger size to carry around, consider the A5.
Having 192 pages, let’s see what they consist of:
The Signature Chromatic Diary in A6 size comes in a weekly-view format. The week is spread out across two pages in columns, with Saturday and Sunday sharing the same column. I’m not sure yet whether I like this format, because I haven’t used such a layout before! It would definitely make me be more concise and precise in my recordings, though. Let’s see… with the bold line on each day halfway down the page, I could divide that column into “before lunch” vs “after lunch”, or “during work” vs “after work”. Or even “top priority” vs “low priority”!
The weekly planning pages stretch from November 26, 2012 all the way to January 5, 2014. However it also has monthly planning pages for you if you want to continue all the way to December 2014. Isn’t that awesome!
Other nice pages I didn’t include in the pictures above are: International Holidays, Income and Expenses, Venue List (for frequently-visited or important places), Main Contacts, and Notes pages.
Now for the most important part that I guess most of my audience is waiting for: are the thin 70gsm papers used for the notebook fountain pen-friendly?
Well, not really. But I wouldn’t say it is an absolute 0/100. Considering that 70gsm is pretty thin, it performs not too badly already. I tried writing with a range of pens…
… and in fact, most of them did not feather (or at least not visibly), and about half of them didn’t bleed through!
While all of them showed through (normal for thin paper), only the Pilot Twin Marker, Sailor Jentle Blue Black, Private Reserve Arabian Rose, R&K; Alt. Goldgruen and somewhat the J. Herbin Vert Empire had bleeding through.
I would say that a smooth-nibbed fountain pen with a fine nib and selected inks can actually work on this paper!
Last but not least, this was what really attracted me a great deal to the diary. It is also the “signature” of this Signature Chromatic Diary:
If you’re interested, check out the series on Daycraft’s website. And I also got informed of a special deal: free personalized debossing on any 2013 Signature Diary (including this Chromatic range) or Executive Diary!