This is going to be such a hard blog to write because I know deep in my heart that I have already decided which planner I prefer and maintaining a fair and non-biased approach is going to be difficult. So full steam ahead.
The PPUK is a true A5 whilst the EC is slightly larger. Weightwise they are pretty much the same. If size were to be an issue I can see that the EC might be a bit big to carry around with you, but as my planner will be staying at home it’s not a problem for me.
The paper in the PPUKK is slightly thicker than EC. I’m not much good at guessing paper weights but I would say that the PPUK is close to 110gsm whereas the EC is about 90gsm. Now for the pen test. I only use fountain pen, pencil or fineliners. I would rather write in my own blood with a stick than use a biro or rollerball. But for both there is no bleed and no show through on the other side. So far so good.
Both have sturdy metal ringbinders, although the EC is considerably more sturdy than the PPUK. With no more use other than sitting on the windowsill this week, the PPUK is slightly wonky around the bottom two rings. Because they are ring binders they both lie completely flat, but the downside is that the rings will get in your way when you are writing (on the left page if you are right handed, on the right page if you are left handed.)
The EC comes with the option to purchase (at additional cost) an elasticated pen holder. The PPUK doesn’t, but as they are freely available elsewhere it isn’t much of an issue.
There is an elasticated closure for the PPUK which is absent from the EC. Again as my planner will be living at home this isn’t a problem, but if you are planning to chuck it in and out of bags you might want to find an alternative means of keeping it shut.
Both have wipe clean plastic covers. In the case of the EC the coloured cover IS the cover, in the case of the PPUK there are two clear plastic covers front and back.
Both come with plastic bookmarks. The EC is the full size of the planner, the PPUK one is about 2/3 of the length of the planner.
Both come with clear plastic pockets. The EC pocket is slightly smaller than the planner, is not removable but is sealable. The PPUK pocket is the same size as the planner and removable but is open at the top. The EC has an extra pocket at the back which is unsealed but the height of the pocket front is such that most things seem to be reasonably secure.
So to the inside. The PPUK goes straight to calendar. After the front page (which you can personalise with your own message and contact details) the first page is the week to a view of the first week of September. The overview is at the back. Personally I found this a bit odd, but there is nothing wrong with it.
The inside is where it gets a little hard to compare because you can personalise how the week to a view is set out in terms of plain, lined or a combination of the two. You can also chose the colour of the paper and what you put in the little boxes across the bottom. I can only compare with the options I chose.
I don’t do lines so I opted for completely blank I did opt for the little weather and exercise boxes but in retrospect I think they were a bit of a waste of time. I couldn’t bear not to put anything in the bottom so I opted for squared, list and plain. Again if I was re-ordering I would go for plain all the way across.
EC gives equal space to all days of the week (HURRAH !) whereas the PPUK gives only half a column to Saturday and Sunday. For some of us these are the busiest days of the week. On the other hand I do like the completely blank columns of the PPUK whereas the EC breaks them up into Morning, Day and Night. If I decided to use this planner I think I will keep the top half for the day blocking and the other two sections for planning and notes.
Both planners have space for phone numbers and addresses, the PPUK has much more at 9 pages, whilst the EC has only 1 plus a page for important numbers (schools, doctor etc.) As my planner doesn’t leave the house and all these numbers are in my house manual, I don’t need the A-Z
I have some plain and some lined paper at the back of the PPUK and that’s about it.
The EC has in addition Birthdays and Anniversaries.
Large monthly planner at the beginning of each month and plain and lined paper.
Year calendars for 2013 and 2014.
The EC also has laminated tabs for each month.
Now the key point for the PPUK is the personalisation, the ability to chose exactly how your planner looks and to print key personal dates in the diary for you. I thought this would be great. But the text is SO tiny! Also the dates come with a little balloon next to them which frankly I thought was twee and also meant that dates which were important but not birthdays also had a balloon next to them. I’m not sure my daughters actually celebrate the beginning of term!
Looking at the yearly overview the dates are inserted here too. But again the text is so tiny that it seems a bit of a waste.
So have you guessed? I’m sorry to say that even though I would always encourage people to buy British – this time I am going with the EC. It just looks and feels better, it is laid out in a way I can use and frankly is a lot prettier! But this comes at a price and if you are in the UK the shipping is almost as much as the planner itself. Time will tell if I am prepared to shell out the eyewatering amount required again next year.