31 August 2015

My wandering, wayward heart (my version of planner peace) by Anita

After reading Helen’s excellent post about defining planner peace, it reminded me that I’ve been considering writing about this subject for some time. The great thing is that everyone’s version of peace will look quite different, and that’s one of the things that I love reading about here or on other blogs. The flexibility of a ringed binder draws me back every time as it’s so easy to open the rings, remove the contents and start over.

I’ve had a little look back at my previous posts here on Philofaxy and there seems to be a recurring theme along the lines of ‘I’m so content with this one, I couldn’t imagine changing and thank you very much, I won’t be buying any more’. However, after a varying amount of time I do change and I’ve recently realised just what this means for my binder use and peace of mind.

Quite some time ago, I had a Facebook conversation with the lovely Ro about buying Filofaxes and something she said really struck me as very true that I have a ‘wandering, wayward heart when it comes to these things’ and about my tendency to like variety now and then.

So, this is what my planner peace looks like:
  • First and foremost, I do not mess with my set up. This is my cardinal rule, I guess. Whilst some changes can be beneficial, I don’t want to tinker about with my system for the sake of it as this can just be another form of procrastination for me
  • I am allowed to change my binder when I fancy some variety, as I am able to recoup my costs as I’m careful about what I spend. I love Filofaxes, but I don’t want a large collection and I dislike owning ones that aren't in use, so I sell my original one to fund the incoming newbie
  • My main binder is either personal or one that takes A6 paper as I find them the best compromise between page size and portability 
  • I am allowed to own more than one! For some time, I struggled with this with my minimalistic tendencies but I am finding that an additional A5 is very helpful for planning projects and taking notes
  • I've learnt over time that my version of planner peace will change and I'm OK with that 
  • Something new (for me) that I'm considering is the idea that I can keep one additional one that isn't being used. It may be just one that I love and don't want to part with, or maybe in a different size for my changing needs
  • I keep my stationery supplies at a minimum. On purpose I have a limited amount of storage for this and I don't decorate, so it means I don't need much more than spare paper, my hole punch and a couple of pens. 
I've actually found it quite useful writing this post as I've been figuring this out as I go along and putting it into words has been very helpful. I've never had 'a unicorn' and I feel very fortunate as I usually find any new replacement quite easily thanks to this wonderful online community.

30 August 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Grace

A big thank you to Grace for agreeing to go under our spotlight. 

My name is Grace, I’m 25 and I’m from a seaside town in Kent (UK). I live both there and in Nottingham where I attend University. I’m a “mature” student (on paper only!) and graduated from the University of Nottingham this July; I am about to start my Masters at the same place. My studies centre on early medieval (c. 500 – 1100AD) history, language, and literature, but I like history and books from all time periods. I also work part-time. Outside of my planner and stationery obsession I devote the majority of my time to my studies, but I also dabble in crafts, mostly card making, and a little bit of cooking and baking; oh, and I have an unhealthy obsession with the works of JRR Tolkien. I am an animal lover, particularly of my black, fluffy cat called Conan, and I fully intend to one day be a crazy cat lady.

Q1 – When did you buy your first organise and what was it?

My first organiser was a kids’ fun-fax style planner when I was very young. I filled it with very important things such an inventory of my toys and plans of Saturday – plait My Little Pony’s mane, Sunday – rearrange Barbie house furniture – clearly planning has always been part of me. The first Filofax I purchased myself was a Personal Lavender Metropol in 2011 when I was studying to get into University.

Q2 – What other brands have you used or considered using?

I like the gold rings in Kikki K planners and I think the Kate Spade are beautiful. The majority of the ones I like are discontinued models though.

Q3 – Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (style and size)?

It’s a tough question as I love my Kingfisher Blue Metropol – I love the colour and because it’s discontinued I ended up in a furious bidding war on eBay for it. But for functionality I’d have to say my compact Pennybridge. It has all the features of a wallet, which I needed, but the added rings so I can use it as a planner too. The outside pocket also fits my iPhone 6 in perfectly so if I’m just popping out to the shop or for a coffee all I need to take is that.

Q4 – How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?

I have five different Metropols – two personals, in Kingfisher Blue and in Lavender, an A5 in Red, a Mini in Chocolate Brown, and a zipped A4 in Red – technically the A4 is a Folio but it has full sized rings in it – it’s just the name ‘Folio’ seems to half the price! I also have a Compact Pennybridge (the wallet) in Purple, an A5 Domino Patent in Turquoise, and a Clipbook in Petrol Blue.

Q5 – What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Unless I ever find that kids’ fun fax (it may possibly be in my parents’ attic collecting dust) then that would be the Lavender Metropol, the poor thing is pretty battered so it’s officially retired to shelf life now.

Q6 – What do you use your organisers for?

Absolutely everything! From the obvious day to day planning to things like tracking my food, health, books read, finances, assignments… etc.

Q7 – How many sections do you have in your organiser and what is each section used for?

I have four (!) planners on the go, plus a Clipbook.

The Personal Metropol is my day-to-day planner and has five sections: it has a WO2P diary, a general to-do list, a food log, reading lists, and a ‘misc’ section for notes/brain dump type things.

The Pennybridge is a wallet and finance tracker. So there’s a WO2P where I write down everything I spend, then also sections for shopping lists, online orders, and wishlists.

The A5 Metropol is my household planner; it has four sections and some sub-sections. The first section has things like tenancy info, cleaning schedule, passwords and logins (in code), and direct debits. The second has contacts and addresses with a pen-pal sub-section, the third is for crafts and stationery with inserts like cards I need to make and an inventory of my favourite/frequently used stationery and craft items and where they were purchased so I can replace them easily. Fourth is a health/wellbeing/fitness section, which, among other things, includes monthly pages so I can track some health issues and see on which days I may have had symptoms or problems.

The A5 Domino is my University planner. The first section has my timetables and a year to view so I can quickly see my deadline dates; the second has WO2P diary that I designed myself to plan out my studying schedule; the third section is again my own inserts that are for planning projects, essays, and other assignments; the fourth has information sheets about the modules I take, and the last section is for me to keep track of the books I take out of the library.

Lastly, I use my Clipbook for taking notes when I’m on campus.

Q8 – What was the feature about Filofax you like the most?

Adaptability and flexibility! And also the range of colours and styles to choose from. I love how I can have one planner full of mostly reference things with all sorts stuffed into the pockets and another, such as the Clipbook, that is dedicated to just note taking as its design is perfect for that.

Q9 – If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

I love my Compact Pennybridge as a wallet, as it has all you need for that – card slots, a generous zip pouch for coins, inner and outer pockets and a zip close to keep everything safe… the only problem is the teeny compact rings. So I’d take that planner and widen it to have full sized personal rings and combine my wallet planner with my day-to-day planner. I’d have it available in aqua (like the Lockwood) and black colours with a gold zip and purple with a silver zip – yes I have thought about this too much!

Q10 – How do you carry your Filofax?

The Pennybridge, Personal Metropol, and the Clipbook travel in my handbag – I have a large handbag that also carries an 11.6” laptop, pencil case, and a host of other things. The A5s stay at home on my desk.

Q11 – Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

Well, the one I liked the most was the A5 Patent Domino in Turquoise… and I did buy it!

Q12 – What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?

I’m one for the cheaper models, so the most was about £40 for the A4 folio – which is the only one of my planners to have never been used, typical!

Q13 – What is your favourite Filofax tip or hack?

Philofaxy dated diary inserts! I have at least one type in every single one of my Filofaxes, for various purposes.

Q14 –Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

I love that there’s a community of planner and stationery nuts out there – so I particularly love reading the Readers Under the Spotlight, Experienced Users, and Web-Finds. I often get comments from friends, family, and even strangers such as “Hey! The 1980s called, they want their Filofax back!”, or “Why in the hell would you use a Filofax when you have an iPhone?!”, and I often point them in the direction of Philofaxy to say, well, at least I’m not the only one, there’s an army of us!

Q15 – and what do you not like about Philofaxy?

There’s nothing about Philofaxy itself, but when it comes to the online planner community the term ‘planner peace’ annoys me, but there was a guest post about that very recently that covered the term very nicely. I just think having a perfect system is great, but as for ‘planner peace’, then life changes constantly, and that’s the reason why Filofaxes are adaptable to change.

Q16 – What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?

Not a track but an album – One Man Army by Ensiferum (a Finnish Folk Metal band)

Q17 – Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet up? If not do you intend to one day?

I have not – maybe one day, but I can be quite a shy little sausage when it comes to meeting new people.

Q18 – what was the last movie you watched?

I recently finished reading Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, so I watched the 2008 movie adaptation as I wanted to see how someone else interpreted the novel.

Q19 – What was the last book you read?

As above – Brideshead Revisited. But I usually have two or three books (or more) on the go at any one time, some for work/study and some for pleasure. Currently I’m reading a book on Old English grammar (study!), the posthumously published work of Tolkien that just came out, The Story of Kullervo (pleasure), and Studs Terkel’s The Good War: An Oral History of WWII (bit of both?): this is why I need an entire section to track my reading!

Thank you Grace and all the best with your Masters.

As you know we are always looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, you don't have to be 'well known' or a long term user to be considered to appear in this 'spot'.

So please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com today. Thank you.

29 August 2015

Web Finds - 29 August 2015

So I hope you have had a good week.

So now it is time to enjoy a great collection of blog posts and videos from around the internet, so grab a drink and make yourself for our weekly round-up.

Here are some Philofaxy posts you might have missed this week:
  1. Reader Under The Spotlight - Stacey
  2. Opening and Closing the rings on our organiser
  3. Free For All Tuesday No. 238
  4. Fixing Ring Gaps
  5. Experienced User - Sam
  6. Free For All Friday No. 354
So here are the latest Filofax and other brand blog posts from around the Internet:
  1. What’s Your Planner Type? | Planner Week + GIVEAWAY & Coupon Code - Brandie Sellers
  2. So You’re Ready to Get a Planner . . . - Homemakers Daily
  3. How to make your own ring bound planner from scratch – part 1 - House of Lotte
  4. My Gillio pocket Compagna is here! - Love All Planners
  5. Planner Fidelity - Stationery Starlet
  6. Das 7. Meet up in N├╝rnberg - Filomaniac
  7. Why haven’t you finished that project? - Planning Your Life Out on Paper
  8. How to build your perfect planner system? Week 12: Start to thinking in projects! - From Chaos to Order
  9. Living In An App World, And I’m An Analogue Girl - The Weekend Wife
  10. How to make your own ring bound planner from scratch – Part 2 – Process flow - House of Lotte
  11. Can I Use a Planner That's Not Perfect For Me? - Giftie Etcetera
  12. Trip Tuesday - The Small Stuff - Stationery Starlet
  13. Are You Trying to Do Too Much? - Time Management Ninja
  14. My Italian lover – Gillio planner - I hearts simple living
  15. Wordless Wednesday - Anita Lim
  16. Time management Monday: what to do during your least productive hours - Quo Vadis Blog
  17. Planner Girl: August Update - Thoughts Along Life's Highway
  18. How to make your own ring bound planner – Part 3 – transferring the pattern - House of Lotte
  19. My new red Pocket Executive!! - It's Bluetiger
  20. 10 Types of To-Do Lists - Homemakers Daily
  21. How to Log Exercise in a Planner - Giftie Etcetera
  22. Using a planner correctly? - Stationery Starlet
  23. The real reason WHY you haven’t finished that project yet. - Planning Your Life Out on Paper
  24. Podcast #8 – Introducing GTD to a Friend - Getting Things Done
  25. Lifestyle: What’s in my Handbag (Intern Edition) - The Life & Loves of Ninegrandstudent
  26. Filofax A5 Pear Saffiano Review - Zoeplans
  27. Filofax A5 Domino Setup for University - Mary Plethora
  28. My Filofax Tabs - Claudine's Art Corner
  29. How to Use a Planner for Temporary Amnesia - Renew Your Space
  30. Which Planner Pages Are Worthy of Top Tabs - Giftie Etcetera
  31. Size matters - It's Bluetiger
  32. Fall Is In The Air!! [printable] - Planner Fun
  33. Stretch/Re-Purpose Planner Stationery - The Weekend Wife
  34. Planner Meet Up | Planner Week - Brandie Sellers
  • We monitor over 400 blogs and sites, your Filofax/Organiser blog posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • We can not guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • For some general tips on Filofax Blogging, please see this post
We are on the look out for more people to take part in Reader Under the Spotlight. If you would like to appear in this feature then please contact Steve : philofaxy at gmail dot com  Thank you.

And here are a selection of the latest Filofax videos for your enjoyment.
  1. Van der Spek 'Janet Leather' Planner - Sevanseights
  2. Love my Van der Spek - Karen Robertson
  3. What's in my filofax personal ?! - Judi Baliga
  4. A5 Holborn Spiritual Filofax & More - Monique Smith
  5. Setup filofax penny bridge compact - Francesca Brini
  6. Filofax Ochre Malden Set Up | College Set Up 2015 - Hollydaly
  7. DIY planner with free printables and DIY filofax cover - BACK TO SCHOOL - Patty Sway
  8. Filofax Setup - Diyar Akar
  9. My new Filofax Malden in Ochre. - Sam Kelly
  10. Pocket Filofax Malden Ochre | Setup - The Planning Witch
  11. Art Heals Us: My First Filofax A5 DIY Setup with dashboard and inserts - Art Heals Us!
  12. Filofax or Midori?!? - Horizon1322
  13. My Mini Filofax Wallet Setup - Seaweed Kisses
  14. {Filofax & Art Journal} Fluoro Pink Original as Summer Fun Kit - DarkLittlePeople
  15. Planner-love: Filofax the Original Patent Nude A5 - Unboxing - Miasockergryn
  16. 10 FILOFAX HACKS & DIY's | Kalender, Schulplaner - ViktoriaSarina
  17. Filofax planner layout 2016 - Laqwanna Franklin
  18. Filofax Saffiano Pocket Planner Unboxing - Shay Sharing
  19. DIY Cute Dashboard For Kikki-k/Filofax - Pimp my Planner 
  20. Filofax Malden Unboxing from Pens and Leather - Mady Lopez
  21. Filofax Fall 2015 New Items - Pen Boutique - Maryland - Roger Kent
  • For tips on how to improve your videos, please see this post.  Also this video too Webfinds 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser Videos could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
My Week Posts
  1. My week #175 - Paper Lovestory
  2. Weekly Post #118 - Miss Mai's Adventures
  3. My Week #34 (2015) - Joanny White
  4. My Week 34/52 - Twenty5seven
  5. Weekly Post #119 - Miss Mai's Adventures
  6. Weekly Post #120 - Miss Mai's Adventures

28 August 2015

Free For All Friday No. 354

How are you at setting your own goals? Setting realistic deadlines for what you might achieve in a week?

During most routine weeks I manage my time and achieve most things fairly well. Alison and I tend to work as a team from the point of view of doing things around the house, having been married for coming up to 30 years, it is a fairly 'well oiled machine' !!

However, since we moved to France, we obviously are together a lot more and that took a little bit of getting used to. We have adjusted our tasks I suppose. We often do our own trips though and if I'm at home on my own I used to find it quite a struggle adapting to having to do everything, so I would often run out of time or not achieve as much as I thought I would in the week or so.

This week Alison is at a local literature festival in the south of our region, so I'm at home and so far the planning and tasks are going well.

Why? My organiser... yes of course... I wrote out a list in my usual way and then I've allocated each task to a day with the aim of doing it on that day and hopefully getting through the tasks by the time Alison returns on Saturday!!

One thing that helped me though was starting my plan early before Alison had left, she is very good at prompting me for things I need to do! I also looked at the weather forecast (very English!!) to see when to do things outside as well. As it happens it's been fairly accurate this week for here (for that read it has rained quite a bit!)

So all in all I'm feeling quite pleased with myself!!

Do you have weeks when it all goes to plan... because of the way you used your organiser?

And as it is a Friday you are of course free to discuss anything ring bound planner related.

27 August 2015

Experienced User - Sam

Thank you to Sam for his contribution to this feature. 

Hey There, I'm Sam, 39 male from Cairo, Egypt who's obsessed with anything related to Papers, Pens, Stickers, Colors, Post It Notes, new planners, cats, dogs and Coffee :-)

Working in a Travel Agency on which I do have several tasks with time limits and due dates that must take place, thus usage of a Planner is a Mandatory Item for me to keep track of what's taking place.

Have tried digital for sometime, however they never worked for me. Quoting Jennifer Mcquire-- whom i almost memorize her YouTube Vids " I need to have that paper in front of me " which is 100% true !

1. When did you start using an organiser?

Well, that goes back to Prep school on which an Original Black Filofax was given to me by my mother- who was a teach but never used one herself. At this time I was mainly using it to store contact numbers,  emails and addresses (cell phones were not in function yet, we're talking the 80's ) as well as a brief Journal section.

2. How has your use of an organiser changed over the years?

At first, it was mainly used for storing contact numbers and email addresses. Later on, I started " Actually" using the Calendar pages, writing my " To Do's " and stuff. Later on , more sections were added like " Expenses, Quotes, Bucket lists, etc". Now it's more of a daily used planner for personal and Business use.

3. Which diary format works best for you and why?

Hmmm, I use a system of combining Month, Weekly and daily inserts . Pay days, bills , vacations and long term planning is listed in the Monthly calendar with reference on weekly and daily pages as well. Weekly pages are mainly used to highlight important events during the full week and Daily for to do lists and events.

4. What other information do you keep and maintain in your organiser.

Finances, Lists, Books to read, Music to download, and work related lists and issues.

6. What routines and structures do you use?

Once I report to office, I open my Planner and see how would my day go. Once I finalize a task, I write it off with a highlighter or a marker, keeping only unfinished tasks. In case a task was not cleared within the required day, I move it to next day's task list (Day page). On weekly basis during weekend, I re-check all pendings tasks to see if they are still required and in function, or I should remove them for good.

7. Do you use one binder or several, and if several, how do you use them?

I have several binders (One Personal Coverstory, One Personal Malden , One Compact Pennybridge, One Pocket Malden and a pocket Patent. I also have Three Moleskine's and One ECLP ). I keep on switching between binders according to my mode, however at all times i only use only one Binder, never use separate binders for different purposes.

Thank you Sam.

If you would like to take part in this series please email and mark your email 'Experienced Filofax User'

26 August 2015

Fixing Ring Gaps

A lot of people in our community encounter gaps in rings, although some companies would have you believe that the number of ring problems reported is a low percentage of their total output. I will let you make up your own mind on that.

Sometimes if the ring gap is only small they do not cause a major problem, as long as the pages are not catching on them then they will be ok.

So what should you look for?

What should good rings look like? 

So there are different fixes for different types of rings and different fixes for the different types of problems we often see.

First of all if you receive a new organiser and it has unacceptable ring gaps on one or more of the rings, you should contact the supplier and tell them you are not going to accept the item and arrange for it to be returned.

To help the retailer roll up some coloured paper and place that inside the rings like in the above photos to show the detail of the rings better. Photographing 'shiny' things is never easy!

1.  Damaged beyond repair.

If it arrives like this.....

With thanks to Samantha Brihante for this photograph.

It is a definite return to the supplier!

2. Removable rings.

If your rings are the removable type from say Gillio or Van der Spek or any other company that uses this type, then it is easy to remove the rings to replace them with a new set.  To do this follow this video.

3. Rings touching but not interlocking correctly. 

If the rings on your organiser look like this from above:

This is where the two halves of the rings are not lining up correctly internally. Sometimes you can correct this by opening the rings with the tabs, pressing firmly and then closing them again. Doing this 10-20 times can shuffle them back in line again.  When you press down on the tabs it pulls the out of alignment ring halves back in to alignment. You can try pushing them longitudinally to assist in the process.

Note how in my very exaggerated example the tab is also out of alignment. I pushed the rings in opposite directions to show this example. Normally they wouldn't be that far out!

4. Height difference between the two halves of the rings.

If when you look at the ends of the rings they are displaced like this:

Initially try opening and closing the rings a few times, if all of the rings are different heights then something isn't quite right internally and you might be able by pressing down on the rings on the high side to get them to click back in to alignment.

If it is only one or two rings then a little bit of applied force on those particular rings might get them back in to alignment again. But be careful you don't over do it!

5. Small gaps - most common problem. 

If the rings on your organiser meet perfectly when you squeeze them together if there are gaps with no steps vertically or laterally then this fix might work. If the rings are distorted in any way then it will not work.

If you have gaps on all rings, something has gone wrong internally, on non-riveted rings ease off the cover plate and visibly check the mechanism internally. Pay attention that the tabs are not holding the rings open. Try lifting the tabs at each end and watch the rings to see if the gap decreases.  

If it isn't the tabs and the rings are the riveted type (Malden, Finsbury etc) there’s not a lot you can do apart from returning the organiser to Filofax for a replacement.

If the gap is just small on only 2 or 3 rings then these instructions will work in nearly all cases.

Caution: Please carry out these instructions carefully and precisely. If you squeeze too hard you will cure one problem but create another. So only squeeze gently at first. You are going to carry out this at your own risk… you have been warned!

If you have gaps like this but the others are ok. Firstly try opening and closing the rings a few times using only the tabs at the end to open them.

Still got a problem?

Then read on.

Find yourself some rulers or something similar. I picked rulers because most people have them and they will sit in between the rings without you having to hold them in place. And with several you can make them the right thickness by adding and subtracting them.

Open the rings and place the rulers in the gap of the good rings.

Now gently squeeze the ring with the largest gap, but gently.

Take out the rulers and try closing the rings. Is there still a gap? If there is repeat the process but squeeze a little harder this time.

Take out the rulers and try closing the rings.

Is there still a gap? No…fixed.

It is best to err on the side of lightly squeezing the rings, so a few attempts rather than fixing the gap in a single attempt.

This fix has been used by many people including myself and it is successful in most cases.

6. Replacement rings.

Where the rings are riveted to the organiser and the heads of the rivets are visible on the outside of the organiser for instance on the Original, Domino models then you can buy replacement rings for organisers from Amazon UK. These rings have a screw type fixing so once the old ones are removed they are very easy to fit.

Amazon links for replacement rings.
Top Tips.... how many did you know already?
  • Never ship an organiser with a full set of inserts on the rings... one big drop by a ham fisted Yodel/DHL (Day and Half Late)/Fedex/UPS (delete as applicable) man and your rings will be strained considerable, or even worse will be rattling around in the box. See how to pack an organiser.
  • When selling always take a photo of the rings with coloured paper before you ship it. 
  • When buying a pre-owned organiser, always request a picture of the rings with coloured paper inside them before agreeing a price. 
  • Never rush a repair, if in doubt contact Steve (philofaxy at gmail dot com) 
  • Do not be tempted to paint your rings with glitter or gold paint, it will not adhere and any roughness on the rings will damage the paper. 
  • Check your rings regularly, give them a wipe with a soft cloth. 
  • If the organiser has been stored in damp conditions the rings are prone to going rusty, clean with metal polish, if that doesn't shift it then go for a mild abrasive, then polish with a metal polish to finish off. 
  • The ring mechanism is a very simple mechanism and it is explained in more depth in this earlier post
  • Finally. make sure you only ever use the tabs to open the rings every time.
Got any ring questions, pop them in the comments below. 

24 August 2015

Opening and Closing the rings on our organiser

I'm sure some of us have been watching You Tube videos and seen people pull the rings open with their fingers!

To ensure that you don't damage the ring mechanism on your Filofax personal organiser, always use the tabs at the ends of the ring mechanism to open the rings. Place your organiser on a firm surface and press evenly on both tabs at the same time.

Do not under any circumstances pull the rings open using the rings themselves; this could result in the internal mechanism becoming damaged.

Opening the rings

To close the rings use your rings on either sides of both sets of rings with a light even pressure and the rings should snap shut. Be careful to not trap your fingers in the closing rings.

Closing the rings

The mechanism does not require any routine maintenance or oiling, just an occasional wipe with a soft dry cloth will keep the metal clean and rust free.

If you have problems with the rings of your Filofax organiser watch out for another post on the subject soon.

If you are studying for your 'Philofaxy Ring Masters' degree course, you might like to revise from an earlier lesson on how rings work and are put together here

23 August 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Stacey

Today I would like you to say hello to Stacey. 

Hi! I'm Stacey and I am an elementary school counselor living in Tennessee. 

1. When did you buy your first organiser and what was it?

I've been trying out various types of planners/organizers for as long as I can remember- even back to elementary school. I still remember my first Trapper Keeper, with scratch-n-sniff folders! My very first proper Filofax was purchased just last year- an a5 fluoro pink Original Filo that, when I first saw it on a YouTube video, created such an intense covetousness in me that I just couldn't shake it. I thought about that neon pink for weeks, trying to convince myself that I could never spend that much on a planner and that I didn't need a neon pink leather planner.  Obviously, my resolve didn't last long!  

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I've tried the At-A-Glance planners and other inexpensive bound planners found at office supply stores, and I own two stunning Van der Spek Managers (a5), both with the ridiculous and wonderful 35 mm rings.  I also have a secondhand Mulberry, a no-name planner, and almost a dozen various Filofaxes. I don't see myself going back to spiral-bound planners again, now that I can fully customize my binders with everything I need. 

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

I am utterly in love with my Van der Spek custom-designed Manager (a5).  I went all-out to build my perfect planner and got the giant back wallet pocket, two pen loops, ring protectors, and fancypants gold-plated 35 mm rings, with a glossy black Croco print exterior and a smooth turquoise-blue interior.  Sometimes I just pick it up so I can inhale the incredible leather smell. I, uhm.  Ok, so sometimes I ask other people to sniff it too. *shamefaced*  Hey, if you own a VdS, you know what I'm talking about!  People are amazed by how unbelievably good their leather smells, and it's set a ridiculous bar for comparison with other leathers. 

4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?

Fifteen... My goodness, I didn't realize it was that bad! 

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Although I don't know the exact production date, according to the FiloWiki it would either be my blue pocket Windsor or my black personal Balmoral, both of which I purchased secondhand from the original owners. 

6. What do you use your organisers for?

Currently, I am using a black Van der Spek Touch Me standard for a wallet and on-the-go planner, and my custom Van der Spek for my work binder. I also use a teal Filofax Clipbook for notes from meetings at work. 

7. How many sections do you have in your organiser and what is each section used for?

In my work binder, I have a foldout weekly overview that I designed, along with a 2-page-per-day insert I also designed. I also have a holepunched a5 Midori Color Paper notebook that matches the interior of my binder perfectly, and I use that for my "good things" journal.  I like to write down any good things from my workday that either happened to me or that I accomplished.  It's so easy to focus on the negatives and I really wanted to have something that was a concrete reminder of the kindness of others and my own successes, no matter how small.   

8. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

I love all of the colors that Filofax has used in their organizers over recent years. So many companies will only make red, brown, and black planners and Filofax has boldly stepped out of that box. It's hard to feel motivated if a planner is boring!

9. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

What a fun question! I want a pocket on the inside front cover that is specifically designed to dispense standard Post-It Notes, two pen loops that are part leather and part elastic, a full-length wallet pocket in the back, and a pocket on the inside that is large enough for my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. 

10. How do you carry your Filofax?
Like every teacher everywhere, I am a fan of tote bags! A teacher can never have too many tote bags. 

11. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I think the Aqua Lockwood has a ton of potential. However, the a5 size only has 25 mm rings- I'm utterly spoiled by 35 mm rings in my a5 Van der Spek. 

12. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?

Errrmmm... let's just say that my custom VdS was significantly more than my car payment. However, I spent a very long time putting together exactly what I wanted, knowing that this was meant to be my Ultimate Planner and I wasn't going to  compromise on any of my desired options. 

13. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?

I buy plastic/vinyl folders or portfolios from office supply stores and cut them down to make dividers, "today" page markers, pencil boards, and even folders for my planners. They're thinner than laminated cardstock, incredibly durable, and cost less than $2 each. 

14. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

Philofaxy is my most-visited planner website. It is an absolute treasure trove of information. My two favorite things are the Web Finds and the templates/source files. I make all my own inserts and use those wonderful source files to save myself hours of Excel work. 

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I personally am not a huge fan of that left sidebar. It's cluttered and not easy to quickly find certain things, like reviews of planners. I trust Philofaxy as a resource for planner-related information and it's the first place I visit when I want to know more about a specific planner. 

16. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?

I'm a Spotify user (Sorry, Taylor Swift!) so I stream music rather than purchasing specific albums. However, I recently added George Ezra to my playlist- he's got such a huge voice for such a young guy!

17. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?

I have not, I haven't seen one in my neck of the woods. I think it would be fun to see everyone's unusual binders and talk about different inserts!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

I just saw "Inside Out", and was really struck by how beautiful and serious the core message of the movie was. I feel that adults are really the ones who would benefit most from seeing it, especially those who work with children. 

19. What was the last book you read?

I've been re-reading my Stephen King collection- I just finished "The Dead Zone" and am well into "IT"... I started reading Stephen King when I was 10 years old, and almost 3 decades later I still haven't gotten tired of his "voice" as a writer.

Thank you Stacey.

As you know we are always looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, you don't have to be 'well known' or a long term user to be considered to appear in this 'spot'.

So please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com today. Thank you.
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