‘Weeks’ In the Knees

A review of the Moterm Original Weeks Cover in Full Grain Veg Tanned Leather

Original Weeks Covers in Full Grain Veg Tanned Leather (Espresso & Apricot)

Full disclosure, I’m not using a Hobonichi Weeks this year. Oh I bought one…in fact I bought two; a regular Weeks and a Mega so that I could try both. “Trying them all” is apparently a thing I do.

I discovered that I just can’t make a book this size work for me as my main planner or even as an on the go type planner, so I put them away after abandoning the effort in roughly March. Since the Weeks was a fail for me, technically I did not need to order one of the new Full Grain Veg Tanned Leather Moterm Original Weeks Covers when they were announced. But did that stop me? Absolutely not.

In the full grain veg tanned leather timeline, the Original Weeks Cover was actually released before the Personal Luxe. It might have even been the first release in the new leather. Initially, I wasn’t going to order one because I knew I would’t use it and I was trying to be sane and wait for a size I would use. But sadly for my checkbook, patience is not a virtue I possess and curiosity about the new leather got the better of me so I ordered the only color left at the time, Espresso.

Yay, a brown! Comfort zone intact.

As always, the covers you are about to see were purchased using my own funds and this post is an honest review consisting of nothing more than my own personal opinion and experience.

When it arrived and I saw, felt, and took a whiff of the new leather for the first time, I knew I’d better figure out how to make a Weeks work for me because I was going to need this cover in my daily kit.

If you have read my recent review of the Personal Luxe 2.0 ring planner, then you already know my feelings about this new full grain addition to the Moterm family. If you haven’t seen it yet I’ll wait while you go read it and learn about why this leather is so special.

(……..hums a tune while waiting) 

Once again, in my excitement I failed to take unboxing photos, but I don’t really need to because Moterm tells you exactly what to expect. The lovely branded box, the dust bag, and the cover itself.

Espresso is a rich, dark chocolatey brown color that is absolutely stunning.  Since this was released prior to the Personal Luxe, this Espresso Weeks Cover was my fist exposure to the new leather. My enthusiasm for this cover is why I jumped into the Personal Luxe planners with both feet. By the time that release rolled around I knew the leather was kickass!

Promo picture of Espresso from the Ali Express Moterm Shop
The Espresso Weeks Cover that I received

Look at it in sunlight and prepare to have your socks knocked off.

Are your socks knocked off? Thought so

Because the first release of these covers sold out in the blink of an eye, Moterm quickly offered a pre-order so that anyone who missed out on the initial offering could order one. What did I tell you about Moterm listening to its customers and being responsive? They are really fantastic about giving their customers what they want. Even though I know this to be the case, it impresses me each time I see it happen.

So anyway of course I went ahead and pre-ordered another one, this time in Apricot. If I’m going to have two Weeks that I’m not going to use, why not have two covers to not use with them. Planner addict logic.

Although they had originally said to allow approximately 45 days for production after the pre-order period closed, I was surprised to see a shipping notification after only 30 days. It arrived on day 33. Kind of amazing if you ask me. 

Apricot is a light honey color, very much like un-dyed leather (it is dyed, but it is the pretty much the same color as un-dyed leather). I knew I was going to love it since when my pre-order arrived I already had the Personal Luxe in this color. I was definitely not disappointed when I opened the box.

Promo picture of Apricot from the Ali Express Moterm Shop. Those are not my hands lol!
The Apricot Weeks Cover that I received. I GOT TEXTURE!!
Look. At. The. Texture ❤

Now that we’re done drooling over the leather, lets get into the plethora of features:

  • 5 card slots and an additional smaller pocket at the bottom of the front interior
  • an outward facing slip pocket on the front interior
  • 2 inward facing slip pockets on the front interior
  • 2 bookmark strings with leather tabs
  • that awesome big back wallet pocket
  • 2 slip pockets and a small secretarial pocket on the back interior
  • High, outward-facing partially elasticized pen loop to accommodate a wide variety of pen sizes (my Lamy Safari fountain pen and Dr. Grip multi pen both fit without issue)
  • Double snap closure in case your book gets phat
Promo Picture from the Ali Express Moterm Shop showing the interior features

I want to talk a moment about that high, outward facing pen loop. In previous versions of the Original Weeks cover, the pen loop (while still placed high up on the cover, which is awesome) was more inward facing. It held a pen just fine, but kind of felt…wrong. In my opinion it got in the way of the book too much and was awkward. Many people had the same impression and sent their input to Moterm about it and they changed the design based on customer feedback. I cannot stress enough how incredible this company is.

Although made for the Hobonichi Weeks planner or Weeks Mega, this cover measuring in at 4.3″ tall by 8.8″ wide can accommodate any other notebook or planner of comparable size (any book approximately 3.75”x 7.4”). I’m told you can use it for your Skinny Mini Happy Planner, and there are several weeks-sized notebooks available on Amazon or Etsy as well. 

As I mentioned, both the regular Weeks and the Weeks Mega fit perfectly – with the plastic Hobonichi Cover on Cover even. Of course you don’t need the plastic cover since you have this gorgeous leather one, but I like the extra pockets. You can never have too many pockets am I right?

Here is a top view showing both Weeks types. Mega on the left in the Apricot, regular on the right in the Espresso
Another view. Mega on the left in the Apricot, regular on the right in the Espresso
A gratuitous glamour shot

Just yesterday Moterm did a re-stock of the Original Weeks Cover in Full Grain Veg Tanned leather on Ali Express, and there are still a few colors left as of this writing, so go claim yours while they last. At $57.99 for this quality leather they are a steal.

All of the 7 colors offered, promotional photo from the Ali Express Moterm Shop

I may or may not have picked up Honey and Caramel in this re-stock, so I seriously need to find a use for a Weeks in 2023!

Help a girl out…what are some other ways I can use a Weeks (not planning, I’ve got that handled in my Personal Luxe)? Drop some ideas in the comments.

Moterm Personal Luxe 2.0 in Full Grain Veg Tanned Leather

Moterm is not a new brand, but it is relatively new to my planner radar. Founded in 2016, Moterm is a self-produced brand company offering leather planners and accessories. The founders of the company ran a leather goods factory for over a decade before starting the Moterm brand, and so are no strangers to leather and leather good production. Their Mission Statement is to “relentlessly build amazing products with honest prices and superior quality to let everyone enjoy a better life”.

How can you not get behind a brand like that?

Moterm have offered an array of ring planners, notebook covers and pen cases in either their “Lichi” pebbled leather or a “Croco” print leather and, as their Mission Statement says, they do so at very reasonable prices. There is a lot of bang for your buck with this brand, and who doesn’t love a great value? You can check out their website at Moterm.com and at their shop on Ali Express.

Very recently, Moterm have started to release some of their planner sizes in a new, higher end, full grain Vegetable Tanned Leather and it looked so nice in their adverts that I had to place an order to check this new leather out in person. To date they have released their Weeks Cover, Pocket Luxe 2.0 and this Personal Luxe 2.0 in the new veg tanned leather. Look for reviews on the other styles soon. Because I bought them too. You knew I would.

These planners were all purchased using my own funds and this post is an honest review containing nothing more than my own opinion and experience.

I love neutrals, so I went for the ‘tan rainbow’ and chose the colors Apricot, Honey and Caramel out of the seven colors released. Full disclosure, I also wanted to get a fourth color, Chestnut, but I dilly dallied enough after placing my initial order that Chestnut had sold out by the time I got around to deciding to go back for it. Lesson learned for next time.  

These planners (and all Moterms) come nicely packaged in a sturdy, branded box. Each planner came in its own dust bag as well and the entire unboxing experience was very pleasing. Here is what you get:

From the Moterm Shop on Ali Express because I was so excited that I forgot to take unboxing photos

My initial reaction when taking them out of the box was to literally squeal with delight because these things are SUPER NICE. The leather is a big step up from their previous offerings IMO and all of three colors that I chose are really rich and beautiful.

The three colors I chose (L to R): Apricot, Honey, Caramel
Left to Right: Apricot, Honey, Caramel

There is no option at this time to make special requests when ordering as far as texture goes, and Moterm makes a point in their description of this leather to make us aware before buying that textures and dye lots will vary quite a bit, even among planners of the same color. This is because it is high quality leather and because of the tanning process used.

“Full-grain” leather simply means that the hair is removed and then the hide goes immediately into the tanning process. All of the oil-absorbing properties and original characteristics of the leather remain intact. Full-grain leather is the top of the food chain (or, hide chain, as it were) and is stronger and more durable than other grades of leather

“Vegetable tanning” is one of the oldest methods of tanning. It has literally been around for centuries. What makes vegetable tanning so unique is that it can be used to make thicker leather and results in more body and character. Vegetable tanned leather also tends to age better than other leather processing methods, and combined with the use of full grain leather, will develop a rich patina over time. And it also retains that awesome leather smell.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk on leather processing…now back to the review 😉

The photos below of the individual colors with the color names are promotional pics from the Moterm Shop on Ali Express. Take a scroll down the product page to see more examples of each of the seven colors available.

Apricot is the lightest shade and although Apricot calls to mind an orangey color, this planner is not orangey in the least. I would call it more of a pale honey tone, very similar to undyed leather, or maybe undyed leather with a slight patina. This veg tanned leather is NOT un-dyed…it is just a light color and resembles un-dyed leather. I was hoping it would and I was not dissapointed.

Promo picture from the Moterm Shop on Ali Express

Honey is more of an amber shade and has a subtle orange undertone. It is the next step up the rainbow of tans and perhaps my favorite shade of the three. Today. Ask me again tomorrow because they are all stunning. The Honey I received is a blend of smooth with a bit of texture thrown in to make it interesting. The strap closure, however, is pebbly and delicious! I almost peed my pants when I opened the dust bag and I’m not even kidding.

Promo picture from the Moterm Shop on Ali Express
Check out the swoon-worthy pebbles on the strap of my Honey!

They were right, the colors do vary a lot and there are several different textures of leather used in the making of each planner. I personally love this, as it makes everyone’s planner a work of art and unique.

The darkest of the three colors that I ordered is Caramel. Of the planners that I received, the Caramel one is the thickest, yummiest smelling leather and it has a bit of a pull-up effect to it as well. Scratches easily rub out with a little thumb massage and it is my favorite of the three as far as how it feels. I got a smooth one, but the interior is deliciously textured and I actually have a hard time putting it down. This is the one I take to bed and leave on my bedside table so I can smell the leather as I drift off to sleep. To dream about planners. Duh.

Promo picture from the Moterm Shop on Ali Express
Isn’t the interior of my Caramel absolutely scrumptious?

As mentioned this is the Personal Luxe size, which is a slightly wider variation on any other brand’s Personal size planner. Because they are the Luxe size, they will not only fit normal personal sized inserts (3.75” x 6.75”) but they will also accommodate my beloved Franklin Covey Compact inserts (4.25” x 6.75”). Since I flop around between these two sizes on an almost daily basis, that was an appealing feature and probably why I went nuts and bought three of them. 

The Personal Luxe 2.0 with 30mm rings and Personal size inserts on the left/front, and with 25mm rings and FCC inserts on the right/back. A post about my seemingly endless indecision between these two insert sizes will be coming soon

All seven colors of the Veg Tanned Personal Luxe 2.0 planners have silver hardware, and all come with 30mm silver rings installed.

One of the things I have loved from the get-go about all Moterm ring planners is the ease of removing or changing out the rings. You can purchase personal rings in either 30mm or 25mm size, and in silver, gold or rose gold very easily and inexpensively (I get mine from Amazon) and all you need to change them out is a flat head screwdriver. I like gold hardware, so I put gold rings in all three of mine. 

The ability to quickly, easily and inexpensively change out the rings makes these planners even more versatile and is a huge win as far as I’m concerned because not only am I a planner spaz, I am also a klutz. So if I can change the rings on these planners without issue, you can too. Easy peasy bacon cheesy.

Moterm makes planners with the intent for them to be USED. “To let everyone enjoy a better life”, as they said. They are not only beautiful (especially this new full grain veg tanned leather), but extremely functional. The three F’s (features, functionality, flexibility) of the Personal Luxe 2.0 and all Moterm products really, are quite frankly amazing for the price.

I am beyond thrilled to see the addition of this new leather to their lineup, as well as to hear that they plan (Lol! Get it?!) to release the entirety of their line in veg tanned leather. This will of course take time, but I can wait. This leather is worth waiting for.

As I said, this new leather is fantastic – looks great, feels great, smells like a saddle – but also worth noting are quality features such as the straight, even stitching. That the card pockets are stitched and not just cut. The addition of a leather cover for the zipper pull. The fact that they give you two closure snaps so you can choose chonky or sleek for your planner’s waistline. I absolutely adore that.

The list of amazing features on this planner is a long one:

  • the big back wallet pocket (which will fit standard sized letter paper folded in half)
  • a gusseted zippered pocket (with the aforementioned leather cover for the zipper pull so it won’t dent anything)
  • secretarial pockets front and back
  • plenty of card pockets – 10 total (4 vertical card slots and 1 horizontal, slightly deeper card slot on both front and back)
  • an outward facing slip pocket in the front
  • two slip pockets in addition to the secretarial pocket in the back
  • a partially elasticized pen loop that easily fits even the fattest of pens (my go-to pens are Lamy Safari fountain pens and a Dr. Grip multi-pen, and both slide in like buttah)
  • an included flyleaf that has a slip pocket as well as an additional partially elasticized pen loop

I mean come ON! All of that…in wicked nice leather…for under $100.

Yeah you heard me right, the Personal Luxe 2.0 in Full Grain Veg Tanned leather goes for $90.99 and they will even ship it to you for free.

Normally I would say run, don’t walk to Ali Express to get yours, but they are all sold out at the moment. I know you’re bummed. But fret not, because you can go join the Moterm Official Fan Facebook group, look at pictures, salivate and await a re-stock with the rest of us. And they will re-stock. Because Moterm listens to its customers and is extremely responsive.

Clearly the new veg tanned leather is going to be a game changer in the plannerverse, and I can’t say enough good things about the quality of it. Suffice to say I am insanely impressed with these planners. I give the Moterm Full Grain Veg Tanned Personal Luxe 2.0 an enthusiastic thumbs up and can’t wait to report back in a few months on how they break in and patina with daily use.

I’m Back and I Really Mean It This Time

What with society collapsing all around us and all, I thought this would be a perfect time to start blogging again! A lot has happened since my last attempt to resurrect this blog, and I won’t bore you with all of that, but I’m sure you will find some comfort in knowing that I’m still waffling around the planner world trying to decide on which size is right for me. With Chaos comes indecision. Go figure.

What else, what else? Well, I have not one but two retired racing Greyhounds now and a few lizards as well. Ok, more than a few. And yes I have a section for them in my planner. I bought my first ever big girl house just in time for the economy to collapse and can now no longer call myself a lifetime renter so yay me. And I’m going through menopause so there’s that too. Good times.

Anyway, I’ve got some great content lined up for you (if you like planners that is, otherwise you’re kinda screwed and probably shouldn’t be here) and I’m excited to get this show back on the road.

So stay tuned…for realsies this time!