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She’s a Bad Mama Planner: 2012 Barnes & Noble Desk Diary


I am a bit of a planner junkie. I have no qualms about juggling several planners at once even if it does sort of defeat the purpose of having a planner in the first place. I am adept at rationalizing why I need a separate planner for gym visits, writing projects and work stuffs. And damn it, if I find Moleskine color-a-day planner for under $10 (like I did two years) I’ll buy that bad boy too.

“She’s poetry in motion a beautiful to sight see…”

Last January I sauntered into Barnes & Noble with a crisp $10 bill and a dream; get my fancy pants planner as I had done every year they’d been in production. Except THEY WERE ALREADY GONE. None on the website and I was left with nothing but disappointment and craftfail dreams of making my own. Not this year. This year I got myself to Barnes & Noble immediately after Christmas and Babby bought me one for the blowout bargain bonanza price of $9.60.

“She’s foxy classy, sexy sassy…”

And like Parker Lewis, you just can’t lose with this kind of seductive copy:

    The 2012 edition in the popular and long-running Barnes & Noble Desk Diary series showcases the golden age of American book cover design. Renowned rare-book archivist and curator Richard Minsky provides dozens of extravagantly colored and evocatively designed examples dating from 1882 to 1915, with brief descriptive text…This handsome, richly illustrated, hardcover planner comes in a beautifully designed gift box and provides a convenient weekly agenda format, monthly calendar grids, and a year of captivating literary art in a durable, quality binding. Also included is a quiz on famous works of literature, lists of prize-winning books and authors, an 8-page supplement of classic world maps, and other special features. (source)

    “She’s built she’s stacked she’s got all the curves a man likes…”

    Measuring in at a purse/messenger bag-punishing 11.02 x 8.78 x 1.03 this hardbound desk diary is not for those who like to plan on the go. In fact when compared to the 2010 model (bottom) the 2012 desk diary (top) looks like it’s not the only thing at my house to add some heft to its frame.

    “Her body measurements are perfect in every dimension she gotta a figure sure to get attention…”

    But can this fancy, gilded edged, hardbound diva actually get its plan on? Yes and…no. This won’t go against any motherly wisdom if I tell you sometimes pretty things aren’t always as functional as you’d like. For starters, what do planner makers have against people planning their weekends just as action packed as their weekdays? If you’re a freelancer (or a lapsed freelancer like me) half the time you wouldn’t even know what day it was if it weren’t for a planner. I don’t really differentiate between days. Mine is one continuous Tuesday, if the truth be told. Which means weekends have a lot more going on than the four lines allotted for them. While each month contains both a double page month-a-glance page and some space to jot down an overview of monthly activities, I’d really like to see a “Notes” section incorporated into each month’s section rather than the end. The other thing: my day starts earlier than 8am sometimes and usually ends later than 6pm. Of course maybe my planner’s trying to tell me something.

    “Na na na na na na na na na na na na…woo, hoo…”

    The paper is fantastically luxe and seems an improvement in quality from previous models. Bleed through is minimal, though with permanent markers I noticed it more than with my Lamy Safari rollerball. That said, even at the full retail price of $19.95 this is still a lot of planner for the buck and definitely DTPW? approved. But you’ll have to hurry because they fly out the door when they’re on discount.

    I keep humming this while I play around with the planner.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/06/2012 4:37 am

    I’ve always used Moleskine planners, but switched to an executive size, loose leaf Planner Pad this year. The thing weighs a ton but I LOVE it anyway.

    Nice review!

  2. 01/10/2012 11:57 pm


    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    Yes, the planner is lovely–but that PEN! Please, tell me, what’s the brand?

  3. 01/12/2012 10:28 pm

    Hi, tolerk! The pen is a Lamy Vista Rollerball! I adore it. Isn’t it fab? Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to unlurk anytime. 🙂


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