Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Planner Review: Quo Vadis Sapa X

I have added a new planning tool to my arsenal this year - the pocket-sized Quo Vadis Sapa X planner.  After using DIY planners for many years, I felt that it was time for a change.  And - while I was planning to buy myself a new planner at the end of last year - I conveniently won this Sapa X from the Quo Vadis blog.  This is the first planner I've reviewed for this blog.

To start with, the Sapa X is a "pocket-sized" planner.  The refill measures 3½ by 5¼ inches; with the cover on, the planner as a whole measures approximately 3¾ by 5½ inches.  Compared to a standard Field Notes notebook, the Sapa X is the same height but slightly wider.  It's a small planner, but actually not as small as I was expecting it to be, and I was surprised by how roomy the pages felt.

My Sapa X came with the Quo Vadis Texas cover; it's a soft, flexible cover with a matte, "faux-suede" finish and a feel similar to that of Rhodia's Webnotebook.  My colour is bamboo green, which is a bright, happy shade of green, and the exact colour that I would have chosen if I had bought this planner for myself.  The Sapa X is also available with the Quo Vadis Club cover, and in various colours.  Both covers are refillable.

Removed from the cover, the planner is simply bound in white cardstock, making it easy to recycle or to file away once the year is over, and allowing you to re-use the cover for next year's planner.  Inside, the Sapa X is printed with grey and teal text - a colour scheme that I think is easy on the eyes and that looks particularly good with my green cover!  The paper is relatively lightweight at 64g (compare that with 90g for the Rhodia Webnotebook or 85g for the Quo Vadis Habana).  This means that you can see the ink and text showing through a bit from the previous page, but that doesn't bother me.  Apart from that, the paper is very smooth and lovely to write on with all kinds of pens.  Some of my inkiest pens (such as the 0.7 mm Pentel EnerGel and the Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5) did bleed through slightly, although you probably can't even tell in the photo below.  Because of the show-through and the chance of bleed-through, I'd suggest sticking to finer-tipped pens with this planner.

The Quo Vadis Sapa X has a weekly planner layout.  The squares for each day are unlined, which I like, as it offers maximum use of the small space.  An hourly schedule (from 8 AM to 7 PM) is printed along the right and left sides of each day.  I'm not sure how useful this schedule would be.  I think that the space in this planner is probably too small to allow you to plan your day hour-by-hour (unless your handwriting is very tiny), but it should be fine if you only have occasional appointments.

The left-hand side of the weekly layout contains the days Monday to Wednesday, a small notes section, and a tiny monthly calendar that highlights the current week.  The right-hand side contains the days Thursday to Sunday.  The space for Sunday is unfortunately smaller than that of the other days, and lacks the hourly schedule.  This could be an issue for some users, but I think that it will still be usable for me.

Apart from the weekly planning pages, the Sapa X also includes yearly calendars for 2016 and 2017 (at the front and back of the planner, respectively), the usual page for filling out your personal information, a short section for addresses (which I'll probably use as notes pages), and several world maps (which, because of the small size of this planner, are almost unreadable).  It also includes two unlined notes pages at the beginning of each month.  I like the idea of this feature, but in practice the placement of these pages can be awkward.  Sometimes they fall on two facing pages (which I like), but at other times they are on opposite sides of the same sheet, breaking up the weekly spread (as the photo below shows).

Overall, I feel happy with my Quo Vadis Sapa X.  While it does include some features that I don't need (address book), leave me puzzled (monthly notes pages), or just don't work with its small size (maps), the most important part of the planner - the weekly layout - does work for me, and the overall quality of the planner (paper, cover, etc.) is great.  If you need to do more extensive daily planning, I would suggest a larger size (and luckily, Quo Vadis makes many different styles of planners, so chances are they make one that will suit you).  But if your planning needs are simpler and you would prefer a smaller size, then I would certainly recommend the Sapa X.

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