My usual planning system includes my Erin Condren Life Planner coupled with a bullet journal. Since my EC already has my appointments and daily to do lists, I use my bullet journal mostly for collections, trackers, goal setting, and other types of lists. While functional, I really like the freedom to be creative that the bullet journal system gives me. I have always been a list maker, so having all of my lists in one place makes me happy.
I usually carry at least one, if not both, of my planners with me every day. As I throw them in my handbag, I have been searching for protective covers for both in order to protect them from the rest of the random stuff in my bag like keys, medications, knitting projects, and makeup. Given my commute and hours at the day job, I carry a lot of stuff in that bag since I am gone all day.
For my bullet journal, I use a LT1917 A5 dotted notebook. This notebook fits perfectly in a Foxy Fix No. 8 traveler’s notebook, and I had my journal and a couple of TN inserts all in there together. I loved this set up, but there were some drawbacks, most notably I was then afraid to scratch my beautiful leather TN in my purse. As a protective cover, that kind of defeats the purpose. It also was rather bulky, making it heavy to carry around.
Enter Woodland Cottage Farm. Woodland Cottage Farm sells custom fabric covers for a variety of planners in a variety of sizes. After picking the fabric from the options available and deciding on the number of ribbon bookmarks I wanted, I ordered an A5 cover specifically for the LT1917. Shipping was within the time frame advertised and packaged well to endure shipping. This is the front and back view of the one I ordered:
The inside has pockets on both the front and back flaps. The back flap also has a pen loop of substantial size, and an attached ribbon that you enclose over the front cover to secure the covers and keep the whole thing closed.
This is the point in the review where I have to admit that I am kind of dumb sometimes. I could not figure out how to get the cover on! I mean, sure, I figured out the cover of the notebook slides into the fabric cover behind the pockets, but once I had the back cover slid in I could not figure out how to get the front cover in without taking the back cover out again. I sat there puzzled for longer than I would like to admit. (Just in case anyone else is struggling, you have to open the notebook cover all the way back – like almost until they are opened enough where the outside covers touch one another. Then you can slide that cover right on.)
The cover fit is snug. Given how the cover is made, I highly recommend buying the cover specifically listed for your journal. While I have not tested it yet, I am not confident that another brand notebook in the same size would fit in the cover. With the cover on, the notebook still opens and lays flat, so there are no concerns in that regard.
Here are a couple of photos with the notebook closed while in the cover.
So, to recap, I like that the fabric cover means I worry less about throwing my journal in my bag, and since it only holds the journal it is lighter to carry around. The cover is well made, and there are customizable options with the fabric choices and bookmarks. Because it is tailored to specific notebooks, it fits well.
The one con I would have, if it even counts as a con, is also the tailoring to specific notebooks. I was considering switching from an LT1917 to a Scribbles That Matter or Archer and Olive notebook next time I need one, and I am not sure that the cover will fit if I do so. It makes switching around notebooks on a whim a bit difficult unless you buy covers to fit each of them to have on hand. To be fair, this is true of other planners, as well – it’s not like EC covers fit in Happy Planners, so consider this as only a very minor concern. I am not even sure if this is something to really be concerned about, but since I am wondering about it, I thought I would mention it in case others are, too.