My job involves sitting behind a keyboard. Happily, I’m largely responsible for planning my own time, and I run multiple projects simultaneously, with distinct tasks that fill a traditional Monday to Friday working week.
All of which is to say: I live and die by my to-do list. I have a very particular habit: every day I create a new list of tasks, which I number and (hopefully) tick off. For the past year or more I’ve done this on the handy A7 sheets of the Off-Lines paper station, and I tuck each day’s sheet into my notebook as a bookmark.
But before that, I used a curious specialist pad by Mnemosyne called the “163”, which showed a week at a glance, in a panoramic landscape layout ideal for keeping in front of your keyboard for quick references.
The Baron Fig Mastermind Week Pad takes the same approach. They sent me one to review, and I took it for a spin.
First impressions: Baron Fig’s usual clean branding and concise colour palette stand out. Take off the cellophane and you find a cover sheet showing the layout; behind that are 54 weekly sheets, split into three pads of 18. This keeps the pads nice and thin so they don’t get in the way.
The front cover simply comes off when you’re ready to start using the pad, so nothing gets in the way, and the corners are rounded (a bit clumsily, I might add).
The layout itself is very simple. Four full-height boxes for Monday to Thursday, with the weekend tucked under Friday (and who does a full day’s work on a Friday, amirite?!). Each day is a simple open box — no lines, grids, checkboxes, numbered lists, date boxes or anything. This is how I prefer it.
Writing with a relatively fine nib I found plenty of room for at least 10 to-do items, which should be enough for all but the most hectic days — although note that each box is considerably smaller than an A7 sheet. You can also see in this comparison that the paper Baron Fig uses is quite creamy.
And here you can see the Baron Fig “Monday” box next to a sheet from the Mnemosyne 163 pad I mentioned at the start of this review. You can see that the Mnemosyne list space is not only more prescribed, but also tiny — I generally wrote in it with a Platinum 3776 Ultra Extra Fine in order to fit everything in, because everything else wrote too large. That was the main reason I stopped using the Mnemosyne…
You can see that the Baron Fig paper handled inks and nibs of all kinds pretty well. It’s a thick paper with some tooth to it, and it feels absorbent, meaning there’s little shading and no sheen. Dry times hovered around the 15 second mark.
Bleedthrough happens only with the most extreme nib and ink combos (not that it matters on this pad, because you’re unlikely to use the back side of the pages).
It’s worth noting, though, that your experience of the paper may vary. I’m testing a couple of other products from Baron Fig that are meant to use the same paper, but perform very differently. In the photo below, the bottom paper comes from Baron Fig’s Mastermind Desk Pad, and the blue and pink ink dry time tests are the same on both sheets — but the Desk Pad dries in less than five seconds, while the Week Pad took more than ten. As well as the difference in dry time, the Desk Pad had a lot more tooth and feathering, too.
This is much more batch variation than I would expect or want from a paper product. So buyer beware.
Each sheet in the Week Pad tears off as you’re done with it, so there’s no clumsily folding it around to the back. The adhesive is just strong enough that the sheets don’t come off accidentally.
I’ve used the Baron Fig Week Pad all this week in place of my usual daily A7 sheets, and I’ve enjoyed the experience. The pad sits naturally at the front of my desk, and I’ve found it helpful to have a clear view of what I’ve achieved over the course of the week, without having to shuffle through a pile of old sheets. When I work from different sites, I’ll still tuck my sheet in to my notebook as a bookmark, only this time the sheet will be bigger than a single day.
For me, the Baron Fig is a better product than the Mnemosyne 163, mainly because the layout is more spacious and the old sheets tear off cleanly. And I think if you’re looking for a panoramic weekly layout like this, those are your only two options — but do let me know if you discover an alternative!
The Mnemosyne 163 is priced at £6 for 30 weekly sheets, while Baron Fig charge $9 for 54 weeks. I think that’s pretty good value. Looks like I’ve found a new addition to my productivity routine!