One of my most popular posts is a review of the Russell + Hazel Mini Binder and SmartDate system.  I wrote that review over a year ago and thought I should write an update to show those curious about these binders how they hold up with frequent use.  By “frequent use” I mean I open my planner 10 times a day if not more.

Here are the things I’ve noticed after over a year of using my planner:

  • The hardware really held up – I have zero complaints here, everything works like brand new
  • The cover is mostly worn on the creased corners, which is what I expected from shoving it into my purse 10+ times a day
  • The pockets and tab dividers I bought for my binder are like new
  • Buying only new SmartDate sheets really does save money in the long run

If I could make improvements, here is what I would do and have done already:

  • This binder could really use a bookmark like a pretty ribbon or something, although I’m sure I could make something myself
  • I like using a dry erase marker for the tabs because I might not need the same categories all year
  • I would love a cover page or even a template to make one on my own – that way if someone opens it, they don’t immediately see your schedule
  • I wish Russell + Hazel sold a hole punch so you could be sure that it would work for the mini binder. I bought one that works from Amazon made by Franklin Covey but I imagine one from Russell + Hazel would look fantastic on my desk – and probably gold.  (I’ve had questions about the model of hole punch, this one works great and it’s Franklin Covey 22997 Four-Sheet Seven-Hole Punch for Classic Style Day Planner Pages, Metal.)