Why I’ve ditched my Filofax for the Arc notebook system from Staples.
The quest for the perfect journal/organiser/planner.
I love writing lists and being organised. I’m also a bit of a fan of the old-fashioned analogue system of staying organised: a pen and paper.
I’ve looked at online journals and digital lists, and whilst I do have a ‘to do’ list on my phone, I prefer to keep on top of my administrative tasks with a planner or diary. When I started blogging, I didn’t realised how much organising and planning it would involve, there’s so much to keep track of:
- Income/Expenditure – Although so far it has mostly been expenditure!
- Scheduling posts.
- Contact Details of PR agencies and brands.
- Details of collaborations/sponsored posts/gifts/competitions/reviews.
- Linky lists.
- Blog Ideas.
- Blog Post Planning.
- Weekly blog planner.
- Reading lists.
- Resources for bloggers.
- Blog conferences.
- Dates for submitting posts for round-ups.
- Blog contacts.
- Notes, tips, how-to’s, reminders.
The list goes on! That’s in addition to all the usual diary entries I need to make to keep the Taylor household on track!
The quest for the perfect planner.
I’d only been blogging for a few months when I realised my little diary/notebook wasn’t up to the task. In fact, it was woefully inadequate. I needed a better system. Preferably something customisable, which could expand to meet my needs. It needed to have a diary section, but also plenty of useful sections to keep my blog organised.
I considering a number of candidates, but despite their merits, they all had disadvantages:
- A5 Filofax – Bulky, expensive, doesn’t fold back onto itself to keep it compact.
- Bullet Journal – a great idea for indexing and keeping track of everything, but not designed to replace a diary.
- Specialist Blogger’s Journals like the one available from Paperchase. Limited number of pages and functions and needs replacing each year.
- DIY journal using a ring binder and printables – bulky and not very stylish.
- Conventional page-a-day diary. Again, it was simply a diary without pages specific to organising my blog life.
The Arc Customisable notebook from Staples.
Despite its drawbacks, I was ready to settle for another Filofax until I discovered the Arc Customisable notebook in Staples. It comes in various sizes, A4, A5, A6 and has different cover options too, including leather. Unlike the other contenders in my diary/planner shortlist, it ticks all the boxes:
- Fully customisable system.
- Different sizes, colours and materials are available.
- Lots of accessories (expansion disks, rulers, plastic sleeves, dividers).
- You can download or design your own pages and add them to the system
- Expandable. There are 3 different sizes of expansion disk available to accommodate your pages.
- Reusable – The Arc diary inserts are for any year.
- The pages can be folded 360 degrees onto themselves so it isn’t as bulky as a Filofax.
- Diary inserts and other branded page inserts are generally less expensive than the Filofax versions.
The only disadvantage with the Arc system is the initial cost of the specialist punch you’ll require if you want to add your own pages to your notebook. It retails at around £40. This may seem expensive, but it’s a heavy duty beast of a punch and once you’ve bought it, you can add extra pages and customise your notebook to your heart’s content. You can also make additional notebooks for little more than the cost of a packet of expansion disks (unless you want to buy the ARC covers, which start at £6.99 for the blue poly ‘starter’ notebook which includes a ‘notes’ and ‘address book’ section).
Plus, even after factoring in the cost of the punch, the Arc system still costs less than most A5 Filofaxes.
I’ve found my perfect journal/planner!
After all of my research, the Arc customisable notebook by Staples won the battle of the planners! I went out and bought myself a blue poly Arc notebook, the Arc punch, a diary insert, some dividers and some punched pockets. I love it. It’s stylish and so easy to customise.
There are a wide range of accessories available in the Arc system series, including dividers, rulers and plastic punched pockets.
You can also buy different sizes of expansion disks, depending on the number of pages you want your notebook to contain. My A5 Arc notebook uses the largest expansion disks, (38mm), which can hold up to 200 pages.
Although the Arc punch is a significant investment at around £40, it’s a lot of punch for the money and it opens up endless possibilities in terms of customising your notebook. I’ve designed my own blogging printables, which suit my needs perfectly.
The punch, which can be adjusted to suit A4 or A5 pages, makes specialist holes in the paper. The unique hole design means the pages slot onto the plastic expansion disks with ease and are just as easy to remove.
Here’s my fully customised ARC notebook. I used the largest 38mm expansion disks and designed my own blogging printables to help keep me organised. My notebook/planner also contains a diary, a monthly calendar, blog ideas pages, blog post pages and PR contact pages. There’s also plenty of room for notes and punched pockets at the back.
I love the flexibility of the Arc system. It’s such a bonus to be able to incorporate printables I’ve designed to suit my needs.
Overview: The Arc customisable notebook.
For the full range of ARC customisable notebook and accessories visit the Staples website: ARC customisable notebook system
Alternatively, you can find a selection of Arc products in your local Staples store.
Over to you.
Do you like virtual or analogue planners and diaries? What do you think of the ARC system?
This is not a sponsored post. I saw the ARC system. I bought the ARC system. I love the ARC system!
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