Being self-employed and managing not only my own blog but blog posts and social media for clients means that I absolutely have to be on top of everything. Gone are the days when I could just knock out a blog post as and when I felt like it or had time. Now, every hour needs to be accounted for and that’s nigh-on impossible without some sort of diary or calendar. I’ve always loved diaries and planners, but a few months ago in an attempt to streamline the amount of crap I carry around in my handbag, I ditched notebooks and diaries and went paperless. I transferred everything onto Google calendar and it worked well for a few weeks. Then, my phone broke and I couldn’t fixed for a month.
Not being able to look at my schedule unless I was at home and had my laptop switched on was a nightmare. I found myself getting more and more disorganised and I knew I needed to go back to using a physical diary or planner. Luckily, just as I was looking to buy a boring cheap Academic diary to see me through until the New Year, TOAD Diaries got in touch and offered me one of their personalised diaries to review.
TOAD Diaries offer a range of diaries, planners and notebooks which you can customise to your exact specifications. I wanted something that showed me a page a day and something that started mid-August.
You can also choose between hard back or spiral bound. I went for spiral bound as I find it easier to keep it open, but I’ve found that some of the back pages sometimes slip out – I think the diary might be just a little bit too heavy for the binding. It’s not a massive issue because they just need sliding back in, but in hindsight, hard back probably would have been better. I picked an A5 size diary, which is the perfect size for carrying about in my handbag. You can get bigger and smaller ones, and prices start at about £12.
There are plenty of cover designs to choose from. I went for the pretty dandelion clocks one and had my blog name added to the front. It’s subtle, classy and professional. Theres a protective plastic front cover which is absolutely necessary because the actual paper cover of the diary is very thin and flimsy – in fact, the plastic covers could do with being just a tad thicker as they have bent a little.
The pages inside the diary itself are exactly what I need – plenty of space for dates, appointments, meetings, deadlines and notes, with useful notes pages and year planners. At the back there is a small plastic pocket for business or appointment cards, which is great, but I would like to see a bigger pocket to slip in loose papers.
I do really love my diary from TOAD diaries, and already I’ve seen a huge improvement in my organisation. Whilst being paperless does have it’s place, for me, a physical diary will always be the way forward!
*I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.