Not dead yet? Reviving the ABP/1

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Last year, we decided to discontinue the APB/1, a medium-sized daily planner, since sales were weak. We’re obviously sorry to disappoint the fans of any discontinued product, and we do listen when enough people ask us to bring something back. Reader JoniB spoke up on a recent post that mentioned the ABP/1, and wondered if we’d consider reviving the format.

The answer? It depends. In the past, we have accommodated people, and reintroduced discontinued formats like the Businessnote. To no avail — people didn’t buy it, and after a year, we had to take it off the market for good. Similarly, we have tried repeatedly to satisfy people’s requests for a full seven-day, 24-hour planner, first with the President 24/7 and then the Horizon 7. Unfortunately, neither sold.

At the moment, we’re trying to steer ABP/1 users towards the very similar Journal 21. But we would certainly be interested to know if people truly prefer ABP/1, and why. So if you’re passionate about the format, please speak up! You can leave your feedback on this post or contact us via email.

40 thoughts on “Not dead yet? Reviving the ABP/1

  1. Paul Simon used to sing:
    “… Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
    I got a Nikon camera
    I love to take a photograph
    So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away…
    Same here, don’t take my ABP away, I’ve been using it for 32 years

    • Hi Douglas, sorry to disappoint you. As you can see from the date of this original post (2010), the ABP1 has been in trouble for many years due to low sales. First it was discontinued from the US lineup but still available from Canadian suppliers. This year Canada decided to stop producing it so it is no longer available. The people who use the ABP1 really love it, but unfortunately there weren’t enough buyers to keep it going.

  2. Just saw this is available for purchase. So happy about it. U used journal21, but prefer the seperation line of this one. Still googling to see if there are u.s.a. holidays listed and if there are monthly pages. Looking to use this to replace my giant day designer planner. Same concept…day per page with to do list. Love it!

  3. Yes, this is another comment coming long after the original post. I just wanted to chime in my support of the ABP/1.

    The Journal1 is not similar at all, in my opinion. It lacks all the features that make the ABP/1 great, from the distinct time and note sections to the perforated corners, paper quality, etc.

    There’s clearly a passionate fan base for this product, please do not discontinue it!

  4. Just wanted to let QV know I just ordered this – The original post date may be 2010 – but I can’t wait to receive it for 2013. It looks like the perfect planner. The page design is brilliant. It’s the perfect combination of structure and flexibility. LOVES: Time column actually spans a whole day and not just 9-5. Most of my life happens AFTER work 🙂 Large notes area that I can use as horizontal or vertical columns, or not. Tear off corners, mini calendar, awesome. Love all the reference materials front and back also. Now that I’ve found it, PLEASE don’t discontinue! I’m sure I will find more things to love after I see it and actually get to start using it.

  5. Please do a 7 day Trinote/Prenote!! The only reason I don’t use your other formats is because there isn’t a notes page. If you can replicate it with the addition of Sunday, I would end my search for a better planner.

  6. I just read this and now I’m confused because I am about to order the Quo Vadis ABP/1 Vinyl from Alko office or classic office products. I have used Moleskine’s similar version but am going back to the ABP/1 because I love the schedule in the left margin. I’m sad that you would discontinue this version because it makes the most sense to me. I’m not a fan of the Journal 21. I might as well go back to moleskine because the page design is cleaner. Please keep the ABP/1!

  7. I am happy that the ABP/1 is back. I was truly disappointed when I had to notice that it is not available anymore. I love especially the two sections: the time section can be broken into colour blocks for example, whereas the notes section is free of these very annoying boxes (phone/e-mail etc). I don’t know, but I have the feeling the pre-formatted boxes are for very structured people. I need space, I need room wihtout being limited to these boxes. I also would prefer, like many other users, to have either at the beginning of the agenda or at the beginning of each month a one-month section in horizontal lines (no boxes!).
    Unfortunately, the agenda is not available in all stores, so I had to run around to get it. In addition, I had truly liked another cover – a more expensive one like the textured ones. I was not able to find. The journal 21 I just find very unhandy, unstylish and without the division into sections not userfriendly. Thanks for having the AbP/1 back in 2012.

  8. Following up to my comment above, I did purchase the Journal 21 for 2011. Aside from the other disadvantages noted above (in comparison with the ABP/1), the thick-but-slick Journal 21 pages do not allow fountain pen ink to dry quickly enough: smear city!! There is a happy medium between bleed-through and smearing and ABP/1 is it!

  9. It was love at first sight, when I first picked up by mistake, the ABP1 planner. Since then, four years to be exact, we have been inseparable. I am a college student and i have some very unfortunate problem in remembering certain things. So in hope that you bring the ABP1 back i will tell you its wonders and its problems.


    1. The name ABP1, easy to forget when searching for it online. It also makes it sound like an unfinished product, like it is still a prototype.
    2. The yearly section. Nice thought, but no, a monthly section would have been more usefull. Of course it would have to be located between months. No offense, but its annoying to flip all the way to the begining yearly section then back to the present day.
    3. The phone/email section at the botton, kind of useless seeing as there is a whole section in the back. The little monthly calendar on the right is kind of annoying as it wastes space. If the monthly option were added, it would be more appropriately placed there for it to be usefull (the little calendar of current and next month). And i dont mean a monthly downloadable option like there currently is because it kept falling out to the point that it ended in shreds at the bottom of my waste basket.

    Those are the main problems I can think of at the moment.

    The Wonders:

    1. The daily time section on the left. I love it, I know exatly where I have to be each day, since my classes are every other day and usually the times are all over the place, and fitting in meal times are difficult.
    2. The diary section on the right. I have so many uses for this. I write my class assignments/due dates. I use it to manage my finances (seeing as i am college student it is very important). I use post-its to stick lists of things i need to finish for the week and write it down on the dairy section on the day that i have completed it, cross it off the post-it and move the post-it to the next day if there are things left undone or add to it.
    3. The Phone section at the bottom is not completely useless. The calendar on the right needs to go for space. I am an avid reader and like most things, i tend to forget the tiles of books i have read. But i use this section to write down all that information. It also gives me so much pride to see how long it takes me to read a certain book.
    4. I keep these planners for reference. Selective forgetfulness happens a LOT in my family. And i love that everything that happened on that day is recorded for future reference.

    I don’t just LOVE the ABP1, i NEED it! No offense but your other products just don’t fill my needs. I cant use 3 different things (daily, monthly, yearly), it frustrates me seeing as i tend to misplace things. I conviniently own the cherry red ABP1 for easy recovery.


  10. Please don’t discontinue this planner! Out of all the planners I’ve used, this is the one I’ve stuck with for the longest because it’s so perfect. I’m a student and love the notes section to write down any assignments or homework.


  11. Hi!

    I have had the ABP/1 every year since 1986, and was happy to find the 2011 edition at the Beloeil, Quebec, Buro Citation store again today.

  12. Please keep it!! This is the only planner I use now. I use the times for appointments and the column side for to-do lists. I am now ordering my 2011 one from Canada.

  13. I am very disappointed to see that the ABP1 is going to be discontinued. It is the perfect planner for me. I have taken a look at the Journal21 and I do not think it will suit my needs. I enjoy having only half a page for scheduling. The other half I use for to-do lists for the day. On the bottom section, I track my daily workouts. I cannot do that with the Journal21 unless I drew a line down the middle of each page which would take forever. I hope you re-consider.

  14. please don’t discontinue this planner. I agree with all the comments above and use this on a daily basis. it’s perfect for a daily schedule full of meetings and gives me enough room to jot down a To-Do list.

  15. Just ordered my refill of the APB 1. I really like having a 16-hour schedule and a separate space for notes. I also really like the size – big enough to be able to write a lot on a page but small enough to fit in my purse and carry around.

    I agree with the others about the phone/email section; that is where I record my purchases. The one thing I would like to see is a small space for recording future year appointments.

    I would be very sorry to see this planner discontinued. I’ve tried many planners over the years and it is my favorite.

  16. I’ve used the Journal 21 for many years, but it was too much like just writing on a page of notebook paper! I found the ABP 1 two years ago and love the two columns so I can quickly look at scheduled appointments and still have the space to write details as needed. I agree with one of the above posts about taking out “Phone/Email” title on the bottom of the page…users can figure out what they want to add here. I was buying this calendar at my local Barnes and Noble. Maybe if they put this style BACK where more people can see and access it, it would sell better!

  17. I have already written to Exaclair Inc with a complaint about ABP1’s apparent discontinuation. I had purchased the ABP1 for each of the last approximately 15 years. I like that each page covers a duration from 7:00 (or before) to 10 p.m. and that Saturday and Sunday are given full pages. This suits my scheduling requirements better than any other product of which I am aware. I also like the 2 column separation. I use one column for title of event or meeting and the other for details. A plus also is the area at the bottom which I have used for notes about events or reminders of things to do or people to call on that particular day. All told I think it is a very good product and ideal for my needs. I will be greatly dissappointed if no longer available.

  18. I have tried using different planners over the years, but ABP/1 is the only planner that really works for me. I am a busy M.D.-Ph.D. student with lots of commitments and a long workday. I love the ABP/1 because it allows me to keep track of all my lectures, labs, due dates, and appointments on the left and keep a to do list on the right where I write down everything from my reading assignments and office-hour questions to reminders to get gas and return library books. I am currently on my 3rd ABP/1 and I would hate to switch to a different brand.

    P.S. I also take advantage of the calendar and address books sections, because I like to have a hard-copy of my contacts. The only thing that could possibly improve the ABP/1 for me is a 6 am – 11:30 pm schedule on the left side of the page, but I am aware that I have a greater than average workload.

  19. I agree with liking plenty of dedicated space for notes alongside the appointments – I use this area for my check lists, and I use it more than I use the appointment space. Also, my day often starts before 8, and so does the ABP/1. As far as appearance, the ABP/1 has a more “open” feel to it than the Journal 21 with its line around the page. The Journal 21 description does not say whether it has a full page for Saturdays and Sundays, but one of the things I like about the ABP/1 is that it does. My weekends can get just as busy as my weekdays, and I need a planner that accommodates that need. I will definitely be checking out Classic Office Products – thanks for that tip!

  20. I have used the ABP1 for the last four years also and have found it to be perfect for numerous reasons. Every person I have shown the calendar to has found it to be perfect for their needs. I work full-time and go to school and it provides everything I need. Unlike the Journal 21, it provides a place for appointments and has a separation for phone numbers that you can quickly jot down. I know many people just put people into their mobile phone but I prefer to write the number down so I have more time to enter in/request an email address through my phone.

    What makes the ABP1 unique is that it has a place for appointments and has a huge space to write down notes. I have found this area just the right size to put in assignments and write quick notes about the appointment I had (which I can see because it is right next to it!).

  21. I thank you, too, Leah! And Karen! Whoot!

    Alas, I have to use the Note 27 I bought. Since it is a reimburseable item for work, they would balk a second planner in the same year. I’ll check Classic Office Products (thanks for the link) next year for the 2012 edition and keep my fingers crossed that the ABP/1 is still available there.

  22. I like the clean and non-gimmicky layout, which makes use of all the space, unlike the rounded text box in the Journal 21. But the Journal 21 now has the months included in a calendar format. I can’t work with the “planning calendar” column view of months for noting down appts and such, not enough space per day, although someday I’ll come up with a mono-use for them.

    Anyway, I’ve shot my fund for planners, so the question is moot.

    And thanks, Leah, for digging up the reason for the name! I’ve also enjoyed reading about the reason behind some of the other planner names.

  23. I have used ABP1 for 4 years. It’s the best I’ve used, and I’ve used paper planners for more than 30 years. It successfully combines the functions of a diary, calendar and to-do list and has the following virtues:
    1. Daily schedule from 7am to 10pm. That’s the minimum I need! Other planners must be designed for people of leisure. Is there anyone who sleeps from 9pm to 8am?
    2. More space for notes than events. I need to track billable hours and work done. This works well.
    3. Space at the bottom for “to-do” lists. This is a very efficient way to list 20+ to-do items in minimal space.
    4. Space at the top for “headlines.” Easy to create a billboard for something important.
    5. High-quality paper — good for fountain pens.
    I think this calendar is unpopular because its competition is not other paper calendars but rather sophisticated software applications. ABP1 is a heavy-duty tool for serious people. I could convert to the Journal 21 if necessary but this calendar is perfect.

  24. Thanks for your comments, everyone! I will forward them to Karen.

    For what it’s worth, the ABP/1 was named after the factory in Marseille where our plastic covers were originally manufactured. It stands for “Au Beau Plastique,” which means “The Beautiful Plastic.” I don’t know where the number 1 comes from, and it does sound a bit odd in English, but… well, there you have it.

    • Thank you for the background information! The words really help the product name stick in my head better. I just noticed that Classic Office Products has the ABP/1 listed for 2011. Was I mistaken that the line was discontinued as of 2010?

      One thing I also like about the format is that the appt. hours go from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

      • Hi, Pensive! Sorry it took me a while to dig up an answer for you: the ABP/1 is apparently still printed for sale in Canada, so for the moment it hasn’t truly been discontinued. Classic Office Products notwithstanding, there aren’t very many US retailers who carry it, however…

    • Ah! That explains it. Well, my head is just too used to American marketing names & labels. However, I AM glad that they aren’t named like cars! Ha-ha!

  25. The name-challenged ABP/1 was on my watch list for 2010 and I was disappointed when I learned it was discontinued. I feared that the Journal 21 pages would be too green and I wanted to have room for both notes and appointments, with the two areas separate (and the large notes space free of any stifling boxes and categories). If the ABP/1 were brought back, with the monthly calendars instead of the Anno Planning format, I’d be very happy. It’s silly, but I do think that renaming this format would help sales. The others have names and this sounds like a code.

    P.S. I know that Quo Vadis seeks to tweak the design and layout of its products, so here’s my two cents’ worth: Taking out the phone/email prompts at the bottom (but leaving the lines) would add flexibility and minor fiddling at the top could make room for a priority box.

    • Pensive, I agree on the product name being “code” sounding AND the 2 cents! I also agree on preferring the monthly calendars instead of the anno planning. I guess I’m too old to change. Ha!

  26. Thanks for asking this, Leah! I wanted the ABP/1 because it is the closest format to the Franklin Covey desk-size format that I am using. The Journal 21 is all schedule and no notes – not the 2 distinct columns I prefer. (The planners with the schedules on the top and notes on the bottom would drive me bonkers.)

    I like to schedule meetings and have a wee bit of extra room to make notes as to who I’m meeting or what the room number is, etc.

    The other part of the page is for my daily “To Do” list. I have 5 seperate clients that I work for and need to break the to-dos into sections for each client.

    I HATE the Franklin Covey binder – it is too bulky, proprietary, and clumsy. I wanted a sleek bound version and the ABP/1 was perfect. I bought a Note 27 to use in 2011 for the writing space. It’s rather BIG but it is better than the stupid binder!

  27. If I were a daily page user, I think I would prefer the 21 to the ABP/1 Looks to me like a brighter cleaner format with more space to be deligated either to appointments or to notes leaving the user the option.

    But currently I’m using the Academic Septanote which fills me current need better with it’s weekly view for college classes. (Thanks so much, Karen.)

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