Friday, 4 January 2013

Review of the Leuchtturm “Some Lines a Day” five-year diary

[I’ve owed everyone this review too… sorry!]

I bought this five-year diary from Bureau Direct (no affiliation, just a very satisfied regular customer) with the aim of capturing the essence of my day, to look back on in the future. I have a number of ways of planning my day and also reviewing or capturing my day, but wanted something different. I plan my day/week/year in my Mulberry or a filofax, but I don’t keep the diaries from previous years – they were there to plan and once the day is gone, are not worth keeping. I have a diary in which I reflect on the day and record what has happened (see here for the review of the Moleskine that I am currently using). I suppose I could read back through journals, but my journal is A5 and I wanted something to compare snapshots of my days over time. Hence, this book.

The book is black, with a hard cover. The cover is similar to the covering on the Moleskine diary, but feels nice to the touch (whereas the Moleskine doesn’t). There is a vertical elastic closure in black and a ribbon-marker in green (which does match the green of the writing on the front. Take heed Moleskine. These things matter to some people!).

The front cover has, in white script-typeface, “Some lines a day” and underneath in small capitals in green, “The 5 year memory book”.

The first page has a space for you to complete which years the book covers. There were some labels included, for labelling the spine of the book for archiving, though they seemed the wrong size for that – the three ones towards the top of the sheet are too wide for the spine and the long ones at the bottom of the sheet are too long.

The diary really does only have space for a few lines per day, as its name suggests. The overall size of the book is 14cm x 20.8cm (A5 near enough). There is a page per day with space for five entries per day (hence the five-year diary…). The space for the daily entry is 14cm x 3.5cm.

My biggest challenge was what should I record to capture the essence of the day? What would I want to look back and know about, five years from now? I decided on:
  • The weather (oh, how very British of me…)
  • A one line summary of my day
  • What I was most grateful for that day
  • What I was most proud of that day
I may also record any health issues, but I’m not sure (that would seem quite negative when the aim was to keep the book positive).

I duly filled in the first entry with fountain pen – J Herbin éclat de saphir in a Parker vector. I didn’t do that again! The ink didn’t feather and dried smoothly enough, but as you can see from the picture below, the bleed-through is terrible. On the 2nd January I used a J Herbin rollerball pen with J Herbin bleu pervenche ink cartridge. The bleed-through was better, but still there. Last night I used a J Herbin rollerball pen with J Herbin lie de thé ink. [Bang goes my plan of sticking to the same ink for a year!]

This is such a shame, especially as Leuchtturm are supposed to produce fountain-pen friendly journals and notebooks according to the Bureau Direct listing for this diary.

It’s a nice idea and a classy looking book, but it is completely let down by the paper quality and for that reason, I'm not sure I would recommend it.

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