Let’s look at Resolution first, because that’s the only set non-subscribers can buy.
I don’t use any pre-printed journal or date book, so I’m not the target market. But it’s nice. Resolution is thoughtfully formatted, and nicely pocketable. The end-of-the-year release date is perfect for those who resolve to “be more organized” next year, and for holiday gift givers. As an organizing system, it’s reasonably priced: a set of one Date Book and two Checklist Journals is $12.95.
I hope that Field Notes plans to add this set to the regular lineup. It would be odd to sell it once, and never make it available again. Imagine a bright and optimistic young student (we’ll call her Maryanne) who faithfully adopts the Resolution system, organizing her life with it throughout 2018, staying the course for 365 straight days — only to be told next winter that she’ll have to find a different planning system, because Resolution is no more.
That would be a gut punch for Maryanne.
But that doesn’t seem like the Field Notes way — they don’t pull the carpet out from under young dreamers. Also, just practically, Field Notes says they’ve had a lot of requests for pocket planners and to-do-lists. I’d guess, therefore, that Resolution is slated for the regular lineup eventually. Let’s hope so, for Maryanne.
With the Resolution set you get two Checklist Journals, which are the red and cyan blue notebooks. Inside are 48 pages of gray paper, “ruled” with alternating dark gray and light gray lines, each with a slashed circle on the left side. Each page has twenty line items, so between the two Checklist Journals, Maryanne can check off nearly 2,000 “to do” items next year. Good for you, Maryanne. Please write “run for office” on one of those lines.
The white Date Book is thicker than a regular Field Notes, at 56 pages. At one week per page, that makes a 56-week planner. The interior paper is gray here, too, primarily the darker gray from the Checklist. With each Date Book page only 3½ by 5½ inches, and each weekday’s space only four lines, you can only fit so much. But that’s why you have the Checklist Journal for your to-do list.
The title “Date Book” should not be taken literally: Saturday and Sunday get even shorter shrift, splitting the space of one weekday slot. But Maryanne is fine with that: she is focused on her educational and professional development, not her social life. This young lady is an inspiration.
Here’s a closeup of the interior writing paper, with the Date Book on top, and Checklist Journal below.
About the writing paper on the inside pages of the Resolution notebooks: I believe the base paper is the same as the light gray used inside the Lunacy special edition, which is a thick paper, excellent for fountain pen use, with no showthrough, no feathering and good dry time. In the Resolution, however, that lighter gray paper is inked with a darker gray, to make the darker stripes of the Checklist and most of the Date Book. It’s the darker gray that predominates in the Resolution.
I dislike the duller, darker gray color. It’s the gray of the late November sky over Chicago, dreary and leaden. Opening the Resolution notebooks could give a person Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Now, of course my reaction to the color is personal, and won’t be everyone’s. Maybe white interior pages would have been too glaring, when the cover of the Date Book is white. But I don’t find the colors of the covers that great either. I’m just not in love with the color scheme, inside and out. Others will differ.
Happily the Checklist Journals do have a jaunty “Staple Day!” smack on the middle page, which brings some much needed good cheer to the Checklist enterprise.
So there we are.
Now here’s the best part (for me). Subscribers got an awesome (to me) Tenth Anniversary Edition along with the Resolution sets. As a longtime fan of Field Notes, this Tenth Anniversary pack makes the winter subscription a huge winner (for me), even apart from the Resolution set.
The Tenth Anniversary set reproduces three early notebooks, two from Aaron Draplin and one in the initial Field Notes kraft paper brown. Two in tan or brown, and one a beautiful cherry red.
Now, only subscribers get one, but I’m guessing only subscribers will actually want one. You probably have to be a fan of Aaron Draplin and Field Notes to geek out over these, and if you are, you’re probably a subscriber.
Field Notes explains it all on the band.
I don’t know how many subscribers are even going to open these: the world being what it is, some will just sell the pack on eBay. I probably won’t use mine (having so many others to use), but I sure as heck opened them. They are excellent. And, like a new mother, or a person returning from vacation or the raising of a Chicago Blackhawks championship banner, I don’t care if you want to see photos — here are more photos.
The back covers.
A peek at the inside of two — the handmade Draplin one, and the first Field Notes test run.
And here is my absolute favorite part, from inside the back cover of the tan Draplin Design Co. notebook.
That may be Aaron Draplin’s manifesto. But Fountain Pen Follies lives by it, too.