No Diary Diary – Chris Congreave – review

no diary diary review

In the final part of our 2013 hangover series we look at Chris Congreave’s No Diary Diary effect. This essentially does what it says on the tin – or at least it does what is implied on the tin if you’re familiar with the idea of the diary trick! In short, a card in your wallet matches a random card assigned to the date that a spectator has freely chosen.

I’ve looked at and used a number of diary effects over the years – I’ve even come up with one or two of my own. And for me, the question is always, will they dislodge my standard worker – which is Bob Cassidy’s version (I learnt it on his Mental Miracles DVD)…

As the name of this one suggests, it can be distinguished from many of the other versions in that it uses no diary. Instead it utilises a small credit-card sized calendar with a card printed next to each date. It’s the same sort of prop as in Tony Miller’s ‘Pocket Space’ – but is probably slightly more logical since a credit-card-sized calendar is not that uncommon – you often see them in a marketing context.

Another point worthy of note is that this effect comes with, wait for it, printed instructions! This is a plus point for me – who almost always prefers written instructions over a DVD – but I am aware that not everyone thinks that way.

There’s nothing devastatingly new here (apart from the premise itself of using a printed diary card) – but there are a number of aspects we like. First, it takes up little space in the pocket (well, wallet). Second, it resets instantly. And thirdly there are a good number of variations and presentation ideas included – some of which I prefer over the original. There are ideas by Titanas and Sean Goodman and a few unattributed variations.

I can see myself road-testing the variation which uses bank notes instead of playing cards – which suddenly seems to give more motivation for the wallet, and also gets an extra laugh (groan) to set up the big kicker finish.

In summary, a clear effect, well produced props which should last a good length of time and clear instructions*. Well worth a look.

Available from MagicDirect.

* I actually have a small issue with one part of the instructions which I think is the wrong way round. It is difficult to say more without exposure, and the ‘correct’ explanation is obvious – and this may just be the way I interpret one element of the diary cards. Sorry to be so oblique but I am reluctant to expose.

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