Annual June Meeting

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Every year, representatives from the U.S. and Canada meet with the head of our parent company in France for two days.   We look at new products, share news and make some decisions for future products, printing and production.

As part of my marketing report, I bring up questions and complaints, requests for new products or product features, errors and problems, we have been made aware of in the past year from this blog, the Facebook page, emails, telephone calls or conversations at shows.   Some of them we can address here for future editions, others go back to the product developers in France.   Suggestions and requests all get a hearing, even if for manufacturing or other reasons we cannot implement them.

So,   I would like to ask you – if you had a seat at that table – what would you say?   What would you ask for?

As always, thank you for your help and support.

33 thoughts on “Annual June Meeting

  1. It’s so good to see that I’m not the only one who writes things down on the weekends! Planner fanatics are precisely the people who *do* plan all 7 days regardless of how they categorize their obligations.

    Laurie, it’s nice to have your support because your blog serves as the internet’s most comprehensive resource on planners. I used the Space24 for awhile but the weekends were on a different page and only half-size. In any case the notebook layout is career and social death for me, I can never find anything in the blob. If I expanded my weekend-respecting planner hunt to those with vertical columns I know I’d have more luck but those planners seem geared toward appointment heavy, work-dominated lives/weekends, which isn’t a good fit for me either 🙁

    But then there’s the weekly Principal! It’s is so visually appealing with its *daily* designated space for appointments, notes, and to-do lists. The designers really understand and respect that organization extends beyond the work day. But that hidden Sunday box! It kills me! So I have a more detailed suggestion: add Thursday to the left page. Then, on the right side, another four boxes-Friday through Sunday and one other box with similar formatting but undated. That way you’ve got a nice even 4 boxes per page, weekend separation for the traditional folks, and, if the undated box is at the top of the page, a weekly notes section that actually looks like it’s part of the week not at the end where uncategorized non-priority to-do lists typically go to die. Let me know what you think!

    Valerie, as an ADHDer myself I’ve found the Principal’s “flexible structure” the best in the QV line. Its daily format focuses me on the present day while its weekly layout lets me easily see what I have to do over the next few days. The Principal unfortunately uses the standard 6 day week so you have to redraw Sundays box, it’s worth the effort though.

    It’s also pretty customizable, just write things where you feel like they should go. For example, I write birthdays in the Priority box, name people to contact (regardless of medium) in the right side boxes, and, in the big bold middle column, I take advantage of the wide-ruled lines and schedule the two or three two-hr daily lessons. The lessons times are inconsistent so they need to pop-out; by writing them in the giant middle block my lessons stand out from the fuzz. To the left of the big box, where the teeny tiny appointment lines live, I jot down short lists of what to bring to the meetings and draw an arrow towards the particular event. Since my work is not too chronologically constrained I appreciate the generous room for daily events that don’t have to be performed at a certain time. With a little wite-out and a few colored pens you’d be surprised at how easy it is to bend a planner to your will.

    • Wow Andrea, thank you! 🙂

      I really like your idea of shifting the columns over to have 4 columns on each page.

      Something that QV might consider if they don’t want to make Sunday its own column is to just move Sunday to the top of the page and put the list boxes below it. That way Sunday is still in the line of sight with the other days of the week, without sacrificing any space of the list boxes.

  2. I love love your Trinote and got one after seeing my instructor use one. Some things I would change if I could:

    Add a full day schedule for Sunday.
    I wish it could be the day of rest for me, but it really is just another day full of tasks to do. I’d like to be able to plan assignments with a full-day schedule.

    Change schedule to 5am to Midnight.

    Include monthly planner at the front.
    I inserted a print out of two months per page, & tuck it into the cover. Each week I look at the month and add events not noted into the upcoming weekly schedule.

    LOTs of note pages or insertable note pages.
    Since I bought mine in May, I use the past dated pages as my note pages. Will probably keep this up, alternating between Trinote and Septanote each year at the “wrong” time so there’s always blank pages to use.
    I’m planning on making my own insertable note pages using the Address Book as the template, so that I can transfer information each year without re-writing.

    Offer covers that have zip pockets for sticky notes, papers, pen.
    But I will probably make one. It seems odd to me that currently, the cover only serves to make the planner ‘pretty’. I really like my cover but there doesn’t seem to be any added value, as in I can’t hold anything else but the planner.

    Make the Septanote more “academic”: spots for course info, etc like other planners. Minor thing, I know.

    Perhaps develop an ADHD-friendly planner that’s based upon the Trinote? I have ADHD and for a lot of people with it, Trinote/septanote’s kind of schedule is recommended and very useful to “see” where the time goes. Part of the reason I recommended the schedule be 5am-12midnight. Also why I use the pastdated pages as note pages; its a common tip for people with ADHD to use their planner as their “external frontal lobes” and bring it EVERYWHERE, and use it to jot down ALL notes.

    Include a link to your webpage that has holidays by region, so that we can fill them in our planners.
    Realized there isn’t a point in using the planner to figure out when Father’s Day is or other “hallmark” holidays.

    My main “complaint” is that the planners you offer are not very “customizable.” For instance, I can’t add to it. Or insert business cards, or rearrange notes. But I understand your planners different from others in this way, and why would anyone expect you to change? It is a great product, I will use it for a while for sure. If you were to come out with a binder-type Trinote/Septanote, I would definitely get one.

    I’m sure most of your customers are like me and very picky about planners…I only use the weekly style of the Trinote and yours is the only one I could find that had this weekly arrangement with hourly schedule; my previous planner was a subject notebook with the same weekly format and I loved it so much that I kept blank pages to keep copying…from 6th grade in 1998! But yours is much, much better as an adult. Even your other similar planners did not appeal to me, because of the little changes. Like, not the same amount of room for notes, no notes, etc.

    Maybe someday, customers could “customize” their planner online and then have it printed and shipped?? I’m sure that’s probably not feasible, but perhaps the “best” way to offer such a thing if it were possible.

    I realize most of these suggestions are unreasonable and unattainable, but a girl can dream…
    Until then I will devise custom-solutions. & keep using your trinote/septanote 🙂

  3. Very tempted to buy the Note27 but would love it in a slightly more portable size with 7am – 8pm time frames.
    Does anyone know of a layout like this, I don’t like that Sunday is on the notes side in the Space24? Thanks!

  4. Thanks Karen and Laurie. I’m not surprised that the two planners mentioned are geared toward some crazy sounding work schedule, it fits in with the theme that in the planner world, Sundays should be a day off and if it’s not then you clearly work all the time. Size may have been an issue as well… people with stuff to plan on Sundays are most likely not at home, which means they need something portable.

    Right now I use the Principal which fits very well in all my bags. Because I usually do less on Saturday than I do on Sunday, I use wite out tape and redo Sunday with space from Saturday’s box. I also either wite out or ignore pre-printed appointment times because most of my events either overlap, start in the evening, or have no particular time-frame.

    So I’m not a CEO and thankfully I do not have a 24 hour schedule either. Like most Quo Vadis customers I’m just a person who functions better by writing down what I need to do and where I need to be and Sunday is as good a day as any. It would be so much easier with a planner that treats all seven days equally.

    • I hear ya Andrea. As a parent with active kids, I need a planner than has plenty of space to schedule busy weekends, but will still fit in my handbag. Not easy to find!

  5. Please please please consider a weekly planner with equally-sized planning space for each of the 7 days. Sunday is a legitimate day yet most planners separate it from the other six days by putting its box to the side or slid underneath a two-page spread. Others don’t even separate Saturday from Sunday. I feel patronized almost, as if my events don’t matter when they fall on a Sunday. All seven days are equally worthy of planning-group all 7 together with consistent formatting.

    Also, I too agree with Laurie’s request for monthly calendars with every planner. Everyone will benefit. It’s really a no-brainer.

    • Andrea, FYI – we tried several times to have a full week 24/7 planner. It didn’t sell, and we finally had to discontinue it.
      There still seems to be a demand, perhaps our format was too large or people require space per day for notes, but don’t need a more than 8 am to 7 pm schedule. We will also push again for monthly planning pages. They will add signatures to the book, making it more expensive and also possibly presenting problems with the current covers, since they are cut for a particular thickness. However, we will press again on these issues. Thanks for letting me know your priorities. Karen

      • Andrea FYI the Note 27 planner does have the same amount of space for all 7 days, but it is very large (8 1/4 by 10 1/2 inches):

        http://www.quovadisplanners.com/catalog/note27

        I remember the Horizon 7 had all 7 days as vertical columns but was discontinued because it didn’t sell. I’m guessing that was because it was also a very large planner and not portable enough for folks who used it at work during the week and out and about on weekends.

        It would be great if QV could make a portable 7-days planner, maybe in the Executive size. The Executive’s wide pages could be adapted to accommodate all 7 days as columns.

  6. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your response. I know it’s not your remit, but thanks for taking up the cudgel, as it were.
    Wishing you a successful meeting.

  7. Hi Karen, I’m an American living in France and I like to get an agenda in France and America (for all the holidays and info). I’m curious why names are changed between the two countries. For example, I’m using a a Ministre Prestige agenda from France but it’s setup like the Trinote (but 16 X 24). I’d also like to see some agendas with a spiral and/or an elastic band. Love the quality of Quo Vadis – many people I know who haven’t gone digital use Quo Vadis.

    • Hi Lisa, enjoy your time in France! We translate the agenda names into English or the closest equivalent. (Ministre = Minister). The Ministre Prestige in France has ivory paper. We do have some ivory paper agendas, but don’t offer it in the Minister format. We have one academic edition in spiral, but gave up on spiral planners for calendar year because they did not sell well. A lot of people in the US seem to prefer datebooks that are refillable and they can reuse the cover. The Habana planners offer an elastic band. Take care. Karen

  8. Thank you for asking and thank you for listening!

    I second Laurie’s request and Speck’s idea sounds great! I’d prefer narrow ruling, but it isn’t a deal breaker. I love the composition book format but the paper they have is atrocious.

  9. Simple:
    PLEASE make G. Lalo Eclats D’Or paper available in the USA!!!
    I bought some in Europe this spring, and now I’m dying to buy some more here. I’d rather not pay overseas shipping costs, and I bet there is enough of a fine-paper/fountain-pen-user market here.

    Eh?

    • This is so frustrating! We did–but none of our retailers were interested. Too expensive. Should we try again in the 2012 catalog? We are planning to sell G. Lalo online ourselves later this year, and I will ask that our stocks of this product be included. Karen

      • Karen, thanks for the response! That is really fascinating. It is expensive, but I would think the fountain pen user niche would be willing to pay for it. I guess I should do my own blog review to stir up a little more interest. (I learned about it from Okami/Whatever’s blog review, and that’s how I knew to snatch it up in Amsterdam when I saw it, because I couldn’t get it here.) Anyway, it would be great if you sell it online yourselves; then we’d have a source!

  10. Well, this is a pie-in-the-sky wish but I’ll throw it out anyway. I would wish for a notebook resembling the iconic black & white marbled composition book, college-ruled, with CF paper that would retail for under $13.00 USD. The A5 page size is too small and the A4 page size is too large. It would be nice to have an intermediate sized, utilitarian notebook with FP-friendly paper at an affordable price.

    FYI – Specs on a comp book are 7.5″ x 9.75″, 96-100 sheets, 6.5 to 7.0 mm ruling, cloth-bound/tape bound, single signature, board covers, rounded corners, no elastic, no bookmark, no back pocket.

    • Spec, I looked at the Exaclair catalog and we don’t have an exact match, but there are two notebooks that are close: Clairefontaine clothbound, 6 1/2 x 8 1/4, 96 sheets, ruled with margin, $7.50. There is also a clothbound French-ruled, 96 sheets, 6 3/4 x 8 3/4, $7.50. Be well, Karen

  11. Hi Karen.

    This is probably out of scope for your meeting, but might be considered as AOB at the end. The point being the almost total lack of retail penetration of Clairefontaine products in the UK. Yes, there are some on-line retailers and yes, some of them are good, but they usually carry narrow product ranges and you can’t really see the “look and feel” of a product from a web catalogue.
    The options for purchase that we have in the UK are thrown into stark contrast by the sales and support that companies like yourselves offer in the US (there being no equivalent of this blog, or Rhodia Drive, for example). Thus I have to put in a request for more UK penetration via your good selves.
    Why can’t the Head Office in France perform a feasibility study on the UK market? After all, we’re both in the EU and only a short hop across the Channel. 🙂

    • Mike, I will mention your comment to the head of Quo Vadis at the meeting, and also pass along your comment to the UK distributor of Clairefontaine, Rhodia and the other brands. Thank you. Karen

    • May I please add the same comment but relating to the Netherlands? I order my quo vadis items from the us or uk from online shops, and that works but is very expensive. I cannot even contact the Dutch distributor because the dutch and the belgian website of clairefontaine and related brands is clearly a machine translate from the French. There are no “real” people involved in this site.
      I will understand if you cannot do anything about this, but thank you for anything you can do. Please keep up this website too, i love it.

  12. I know you get this every year, but, monthly calendars in all the weekly planners. I know the issue is that you can’t add extra pages because then the new books wouldn’t fit into the reusable covers. But there are some pages that, in my opinion, can go.

    Last year when I printed monthly pages and taped them into my Trinote, I covered up the weekly pages before Jan. 1, and the pay and receive pages in the back. That totaled exactly twelve pages, so there was a month per page/ two months per view.

    In my opinion, the benefit of gaining the monthly calendars outweighs the loss of the other pages.

  13. Dear Karen,

    As you know I love most of your products, but if it was possible I would love J.Herbin “Perle Noire” to be a little more water resistant, but without impairment of the other properties like “blackness”, flow, drying time etc.

    Hope you’ll enjoy your days in Paris.

    Lennart

    PS: I presume that you are going to discuss the J.Herbin inks as well

    • Hi Lennart, I wish we were going to Paris but we’re actually going to Montreal (the food is wonderful there, too.)J. Herbin’s India ink and also the Authentic ink are very black. However, you can’t use a fountain pen with them. The only Herbin ink that I’m aware of that is waterproof is the India ink. I will pass along your comment to on water resistant ink to the people at J.Herbin. Perle Noire is the most popular ink J. Herbin sells – in the US and worldwide. Take care, Karen

  14. The thin notes section that can be inserted into planners is a start, but I’d like thicker pads with perforated pages in assorted formats – grid, lined, blank so I can keep/remove notes, sketches, etc in my planner and/or swap out with a removable address book that doesn’t get tossed each year. I like my Journal 21, but end up scribbling all over the address book trying to keep track of scraps of information that won’t fit on one page.

    Keep pretty colors on the plain Habana covers. I’m not a devotee of the artist series. Not crazy about the artists chosen and I’d rather have a broad selection of colors so I can keep track of my projects/manuscripts/notes and add my own labels.

    Put some pretty colors on the book mark elastic instead of a shade the color of old panty hose! Consider elastic pen cases capable of holding larger pens so I can fasten my nice pens to my Habanas and dayplanner [Journal 21].

  15. Expansion of the decopatch line. Mixed Media is exploding right now along with art journals. This appears to be an untapped market for the product.

    I would love a planner geared for those of us who not only write in the journal.

    K

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