Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review of Keel's Simple Diary

Today's post will not be about Filofax. Although one of my personal Filofaxes did creep into this post to make a sneaky appearance ...

A few weeks back I read about Keel's Simple Diary, which is sold by Taschen, an Amsterdam-based book webshop. I was intrigued and ordered a copy of this Simple Diary. There are six different colour options, and I opted for Red. Little did I know that this would reveal so much information about my personality!

But first things first: I received the diary wrapped in cellophane

The diary is not very thick and - much to my surprise - it has a soft cover, without feeling floppy.  The front is simple and too the point:

As is the back side:

first page
  The diary has a ribbon page marker in matching colour. The paper quality is very thick and smooth!

And in the back a small pocket is included for your paper knickknacks. It's similar to the Moleskine book pockets, but definitely less sturdy.

A very nice feature is that all the edges are finished in silver!

The book has a very convenient size, it's only slightly smaller than a Personal Filofax.
A Filofax got into this post. I told ya!

The red is a very vibrant fire red. That I didn't choose red by coincidence was revealed by a loose leaflet added to my shipment:
This put a big smile on my face ...!

On the Taschen website you can read about the background of Keel's Simply Diary:
" In a world where products are out as soon as they're in, where communicating without wires doesn't come without strings, and even our accessories need accessories, we need simple tools. A book that helps us look inside because we are overloaded outside.

There are three reasons why most people, although they have tried, won't keep a diary:

1. Not every day is very eventful.
2. It actually takes a lot of discipline to write.
3. In retrospect, many find what they have written embarrassing.

Keel's Simple Diary™ offers structure for those who don't have time to wonder, making it easy to record life's moments. It gives the pleasure of a quick response and the sense that no matter what's wrong, more is right.

This instant classic is filled with refreshing philosophy and original wisdom.
Keel’s Simple Diary™ entertains, helps you focus and keeps you company."

Every page in the book is individually set-up. At the top you'll find a prompt to fill in the current date, and then there are different frameworks to enter more information about your day. I have included the screenshot of two such pages to give you a proper example:

So true!

Something I didn't know, but learnt through another leaflet in the diary is that Keel's Simply Diary is also available as a free App! Of course I immediately downloaded it on my iPod Touch. You get to choose one of the 6 colours and if you'd like, you can also get the complete contents of the Volume One of the Simple Diary (there's also a Volume Two btw) for only € 0.79 (or $ 0.99).
The App won't let you experience the joy of writing on paper, but it will grant you more room to elaborate on your day.

Conclusion and personal opinion:

I love the idea of offering people with little time some sort of structure to journal about their day. The texts are wonderfully funny and witty and will most definitely make you smile. It is certainly challenging to summarise your day in only one or two sentences. I believe that this Simply Diary will in the end be a very insightful keepsake.
However, it will not tell you in future years how you spend day X or how desperate your felt on day Y. I can picture using Keel's Simple Diary alongside a "general" journal, just for the fun of it. Because - in the end - a day not laughed is a day not lived!

I hoped you enjoyed this little review!


  1. I actually really like the look of this little book and I am going to see if my local WHSmiths stock it. I've just downloaded the App for my iphone, looking forward to giving it a try now. Thanks for sharing. x

  2. I have the orange volume one. I was trying using it everyday, and then I stopped....I want to complete it and the volume 2 as two of my 101 things challenge.

    1. Good thing that they aren't dated! That way you can pick it up again when you have time. I think the Vol 1 and 2, both filled, would make a wonderful keepsake for future years. Or for your offspring. Imagine we had books like that on our parents! Would love to see that ... ;-)

  3. Jotje, would you mind telling us where you brought your's from, I can not find a single one in the UK (unless I buy online that is).

    1. Gail, I actually bought them online at, because I couldn't find them anywhere else ...