Monday, September 26, 2016

The Delights of Ostrichy Cows Or How I Learned To Love Non-Flying Cows

The Delights of Ostrichy Cows
How I Learned to Love Non-Flying Cows

Planner courtesy of Gillio Firenze
Review courtesy of Plannerology

As planner aficionados, we all can agree that a great planner really sets the space for our planning needs. Many times I have found myself unable, YES, unable to write a single word down in a planner simply because the outer shell was not in agreement with what I wanted to experience. Everything is energy. In this particular review, the energy Gillio sent me came in the shape of a Medium Mia Cara wrapped in, never naturally occurring, purple ostrich, which in fact was also never naturally occurring, purple cow’s leather embossed with an ostrich-like pattern.

Behold! The Non-Flying Cow hailing from the island of Purpletopia (aka Florence, Italy). Can there be anything lovelier? I think not.

I had been enjoying the non-flying capability of the purple ostrich Appunto on A5 so I was familiar with the genus and species. Knowing I had a penchant for Medium Mia Cara models, the good folks at Gillio managed to make a non-flying ostrichy cow FLY across the pond to my home in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was shocked customs didn't’ think we were engaging in exotic animal trade. Pleased as punch, I engrossed myself in the usage of this planner to offer a very specific review on capabilities and limitations.

The following are my thoughts and my photos except for the two Mella Pieper shared with me. I have indicated her photos as her own.

First Thoughts: Resilient and hearty leather! For anyone that has already experienced the non-flying cow leather, I am sure you will agree with me the leather is robust and gives the use full confidence in considering participating in “Planner Throwing” events in Olympics. Not that I would want to throw this planner. I am simply saying the quality one experiences at first touch gives a resounding reflection of heft and sturdiness I have not encountered in any other leather save for Scotchgrain; weatherproofed leather! There is an essence of Saffiano leather which comes through slightly but doesn’t go all the way down that path. I love the texture and find myself gliding my fingers over the copious “dots” along the grain. Planners were made to be used-chucked in handbags, plopped on tables and demonstratively handed over to assistants glaringly whilst saying “I don’t have all the answers, I am the talent. Find the answer in here.”

Suggestion of Design No.1: Although seemingly wonderful, the pen holder on the Mia Cara was designed during an era when pens were an afterthought. I have never been able to properly use the pen slot designed for the Mia Cara models because either my pen will slip out as I tip my planner or it will mar the leather with various angles from the clip. I HIGHLY recommend an elasticated pen loop (or two while you are at it-one larger, one smaller).

Secondary Observations: As with all things Gillio, a lot of care has gone into the overall feel and function of this planner. One doesn’t even need to pick it up to notice the penchant for quality design. In keeping with the Mia Cara standards, all seven card slots accommodate various credit cards or Identification cards. I have never worried about these slipping out and this model continues to reassure me of this feature. Overall, the non-flying cow leather gives the planner a slightly “spongier” feel to it which is not altogether unpleasant. I quite like the rather haptic feedback my planner gives me when I am bit stressed out and I start to squeeze it. It doesn’t feel odd or awkward. It feels pleasant and welcoming.

Depending on the angle the light hits the non-flying cow leather, the color changes. Note the variations within my own photos which were taken indoors, with natural light, close to 12:00 PM with a bright blue sky. I have not added or edited the photos except for adding a black border around them.

The Dots! Dotting the landscape (get it?), the user finds elevated bumps intended to mimic the pores of the non-flying ostrich! Although slightly exaggerated in shape and color, they give a wonderful ton-sur-ton color combination, in effect allowing one to have a bi-color planner all within the same color hue.

The Dark Side of Dots: Lo and behold, the dots on my A5 Appunto have started to wear down and out revealing white marks underneath the darker purple hue. I was rather dismayed when I shared this finding with Mella.

And then she revealed to me something extraordinary. Pay attention, oh ye of little faith. Someone had come in to the shop with an old ostrich planner, showing where the years of usage had worn down the ‘bumps’ down to their nubs. What a thing of beauty! I’m not saying this is for everyone and certainly this planner needs some conditioner (in the name of everything holy, please condition this planner!!!) But my goodness, doesn’t this look lovely?!

These photos convinced me to learn to appreciate the non-flying cow leather in a different way than I was used to. You can’t listen to classical music and then say you can’t dance to it. It wasn't made for dancing. Similarly, you can’t look at ostrichy leather and say why doesn’t it stay the same way I bought it? Because this is how it patinas.

Suggestion of Design No. 2: Dear Gillio, dual poppers. That is all.

Firstly is the Medium Mia Cara and secondly is my used A5 Appunto. You can see the wear in the bumps on the right. Also, the Appunto has slightly raised bumps whilst the Mia Cara has flatter bumps. I think overall, that will affect the patina for each planner.
Medium Mia Cara

A5 Appunto
Handmade items will always wear out and will do so recording the history of their timeline as well as they user’s thoughts. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on one of these models, I highly recommend embracing the variations. I am not saying this because I was given review sample. I am saying this because I fundamentally believe in the classic yet modern beauty these planners represent.

As a fanatic of design, I can appreciate the distinction of a typical models created by hand versus cookie-cutter models created by machines. As a self-professed snob of consistency and standardization how can I then appreciate something with so much variation? the answer for me is simple: We can consistently create beautiful designs, unique in their own right, while maintaining high standards of quality. I create resumes for my clients. Each one is different, yet each one is standardized to maintain consistency in various aspects. Make sure when you pick up your planner, you maintain your expectation of standards to the same aspects. That is, if you are about high-quality leathers, stitching and design, continue to evaluate your planner based on those quantifiers.

I am pleased Gillio have picked Plannerology to provide honest feedback for their latest model, the Medium Mia Cara in purple Ostrich print. I welcome you all to join me in further discussing how making first-class lifestyle choices, like picking handmade over machine made, impacts every aspect of our lives and creates the calm or stress we have.

You can find discussions at or via photo at Instagram @KarineTovmassian. You can also find me next year in San Francisco, California at the first annual PlannerCon speaking about the first-class lifestyle and analogue planners in a post-digital 21st century. You can also hear me telling Steve Morton to “shut-it” at our podcast, The HitchHiker’s Guide To The Plannnerverse, available at iTunes and on

These new colours will be released at 14:00 CET on Tuesday 27th September on the Gillio Website.There will be an introduction discount offer on each of the new colours, see the Gillio website for full details.

Each organiser will come with 2017 inserts and a free pen in a colour of your choice, make your selection at the check out.

Should you want a colour that is out of stock, you are advised to register your email address for each colour you are interested in as Gillio do take notice of the number of email addresses registered to determine which colours to have made next.

As soon as a colour is restocked then the list is cleared down. So if you miss out on a particular colour, please register your email address again.

1 comment:

  1. What a great review. When I saw the pic of the older planner, my hands itch to clean it up. It looks great. I was onderin how a ostich would age.