EcoSystem and Rhodia 2011 Planners.


In the packages from Rhodia and EcoSystem that we were lucky enough to receive this fall, there were two semi-large/medium black planners.  These are both the variety that start in the summer; so I have given these 6-8 weeks of testing (each!) personally.  And now, I am having trouble deciding which to use for 2011(and the Daycraft models we’ll look at tomorrow don’t help the decision).

EcoSystem 2011 “Advisor“, flexible black cover.

This is a great (and green!) EcoSystem notebook, printed with the days of the week on the left and lined note pages on the right.  The paper and binding are top-notch, and the entire book is eco-friendly to boot, featuring 100% post-consumer recycled paper, organic cotton elastic and bookmark, etc.  There’s the usual information one finds in the beginning of a planner and a nice pocket in the back to boot.  I’ve actually beat the heck out of this thing since early November, and it’s come out looking practically new.  If you’ve had a Moleskine in the soft-cover variety that’s had the “moleskin” and cardstock cover materials separate, fear not.  In my own experience at least, this flexible and matte cover is as tough as a hardcover.  And I really like the tacky material of which it’s made.

The printing is nice and unobtrusive, and the binding is tight.  Maybe I need to just crack it, but the binding was tight enough that this book’s biggest flaw (which is, to be sure, slight) is that it doesn’t sit quite as flatly on one’s desk as some other books do.  Still, the elastic is snappy, and the bookmark is beefy.  “2011” is debossed in the upper right of the cover, and it’s classy-looking.  This is definitely a planner that will last through the year intact.

In some ways, EcoSystem’s planner functions like a Moleskine, only, well, better.  (I’ll talk more about that when we review the pocket “kiwi” EcoSystem book in the new year.)  This might be worth mentioning for some Comrades: this book has the best moon cycle symbols I’ve seen.  If you follow the moon (like I do), you might appreciate this.  The fonts and inks are definitely a plush for this book.

Rhodia 2010-2011 Academic “Weekly Notebook“, black flexible cover.

This book is actually an academic (summer-summer) planner, but the 2011 model seems to have the same features.  This Rhodia planner has the week on the left, and heavy graph lines on the right, on very very very white paper.  The 6 x 9 inch dimensions render it rather large, but it’s actually very thin and carries well.  It opens completely flatly on the table, all by itself.  The elastic even “closes” into a straight line along the back cover when it’s open, helping it to both stay out of the way and help the book lay down well.

If there’s something I wasn’t crazy about regarding this book it’s that all the printing and graph lines are a little obtrusive and darkly-printed.  One thing I always appreciated about Moleskines was that the printing inside was grey and out of the way.  Using pencil, the heavy lines took some getting used to.  This is probably a person thing, though.  The colorful inks and well-planned fonts make up for it.

The Rhodia planner has great information about holidays around the world, not merely a mention that there is a holiday in a certain country on a certain day.  It also has the best maps I have seen in a planner.  We usually find one global map with timezones on it, sometimes even country outlines/labels.  But the Rhodia has a total of seven pages of detailed maps!  If maps and/or geography interest you, you might agree with me that this is a great thing.  With the holiday listings and detailed maps, one might expect this planner to be unwieldy.  But, as I mentioned, it’s thin and light and very portable.  With the nice paper and great contents, don’t ask me how Rhodia pulled this off.

8 Responses to “EcoSystem and Rhodia 2011 Planners.”

  1. Gary says:

    The Rhodia’s also come in 4×6. And your review has me Jonesin for one! Sigh. I have no access around here to actually hold one, so may have to closed my eyes and pick. Would like to know if the 4×6 is merely the 6×9 run through a hot dryer, or did they omit something. Pix on rhodiapads seem to show the absence of the three-month thumbnails at the bottom, and instead have the last day of the week from the left-page on the bottom right-page. Anyhoo, tough decision!

    • John says:

      Might be just a smaller version? (I think I saw some pix on Flickr that showed the differences once.) I will say that the spacing was tight enough that I don’t think I’d have liked the smaller one myself. :)

      • Gary says:

        I think I’ll go with the Eco. Like you, not sure if I’d like the dark printing of the Rhodia over time. Going up tomorrow to Ann Arbor for a Trader Joe’s/Ikea run, and there’s a B&N near there, so I can check out the Eco. Curious about their journals as well. Their online prices (through B&N…actually, appears EcoSystem is a B&N company) are mucho cheaper than in-store, BTW.

  2. Back in late ’07, I wrote a post that got bumped to the front page of 43 Folders: “The *Perfect* Weekly Planner?“. What I finally ended up using was a Moleskine Weekly Planner + Notebook, which looks very similar to the EcoSystem you mention above. It was almost perfect, but for the soft cover. I would have liked this hard cover. Oh, had I known about this notebook then!

    I just love the concept of a lined notebook page next to the calendar page. I made so many lists and to-do items, it was perfect.

    Of course, I’ve since switched to my iPhone and computer calendar, which should be high-treason for a pencil enthusiast. But it’s just so darn convenient!

    • John says:

      I’d been using Moleskines since 2003 (dork factor!), but I sorta gave mine up this summer when the Blackwings came out. The paper is smooth and all, but the smear and ghosting (especially in my little planner) got pretty gross. I’d always wanted to check out Field Notes and EcoSystem, and I was stoked as hell when they sent some samples this fall.

      Moleskines had become a joke against me, since I was always the guy at a meeting with at least 3-4 of them on me (planner, notebook, journal, etc.). “What? Do you work for the company or something?” I’ll never admit how many of these things are in my apartment!

      I could go on. : ) There are just too danged many varieties of what was a really cool niche notebook. I hate that it’s become just a brand now. Not to mention the prehistoric PVC covers that the company promised to fix this past summer and the fact they won’t even publish more comments (at least none that I’ve sent) to the post about this issue. http://www.moleskinerie.com/2010/06/they-smell.html

      But, well, I still like the danged things. ; )

  3. Shelf Appeal says:

    The Rhodia looks spiffing. I particularly like the perforated corners, to tear off each page as you’ve used it. Is there an official name for that, I wonder?

    Anyway. Enjoying the detail, detail, detail.

  4. ana says:

    Thanks for showing these planners! I saw the Ecosystem planner at B+N yesterday but they were all sealed. I truly appreciate the peek inside!

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