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31 July 2006

R.I.P.

It's true. My favorite Filofax form -- the Project Planner -- is discontinued. I exchanged email with a really nice man at Madison Signatures, who contacted Filofax in England and confirmed that they have none left in their warehouse. He has one packet left (A5) and is holding it for me. I obtained a packet from a place in Florida earlier this year. They, too, sent me the last one they had.

The Project Planner form is so stone-cold dead that I can't even find a picture of it online to post here. Since I haven't found any project forms in the DIY Planner that I like as well, I'm going to try to print my own on plain A5 paper, probably from Word or Excel. (Now that's DIY!) Luckily, it's a very simple form, which is exactly why I like it.

I also think I've found out the reason for the discontinuance. Filofax has developed some new forms, and a time-management training program to go with them. The replacement form appears to be called Project/Mind. I actually like the looks of this new set of forms, called Professional System, but I don't think these forms are available in the States yet.

Another alternative is this project form developed by a company called DeVilliers. Again, they seem to be available only from U.K. Web sites, so if you're not in the U.K., shipping charges can be a drawback.

12 comments:

  1. Filofax have messed about with Project Planning for years going back at least as far as "Free Form" in 1986. The problem is I'd be inclined to think most paper-based Project Planning is dying out because of the popularity of software like Microsoft Project. I think they're trying to push water uphill because paper-based Project Planning aids really aren't very good in a large team setting or with very complex projects. Filofax would be better off in making their products much more useful at the individual level - just look at how few different leaves there are compared to the 1980s...

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  2. Interesting point, Kevin. I found the recently deceased Project Planner perfect for my own home and personal projects. Simple and flexible enough to adapt to different kinds of projects. If I were in charge of team projects, I'd definitely turn to software for communicating project-related information -- probably something Web-based like Basecamp or Intuit's new QuickBase.

    Day Runner, and I think even Franklin Covey have stopped making Project forms as well, and I think you're exactly right about the reason why.

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  3. Now that's the funny thing: Filofax keep forgetting the "personal" side of their products and that for personal projects, paper-based documentation ifs more than sufficient. I do worry that the more Filofax reduce their range of papers the less useful it becomes, for many years now Filofax haven't produced much more than diary, note and address papers. I'm surprised some enterprising soul hasn't took advantage in the gap in Filofax's range...

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  4. I use my Filofax for both personal and business use, and I was quite saddened to learn at the beginning of this year that Filofax has stppoed making their receipt envelopes.

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  5. Exactly my point - Filofax are printing too few different leaves thereby undermining the whole point of a loose leaf system. It's a rough guess but today Filofax probably print less than 10% of the total range they've produced over the last 20 years. Why Filofax think hopeless gimmicks like printing pink-coloured diaries is a good idea is beyond me. They need to make Filofax the indispendible professional and social aid it always was.

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  6. Well, I think the DeVilliers company that I mentioned in my last post is starting to step in to fill the gap...make Project forms that Filofax no longer makes. In fact, the Meeting Planner on www.filofaxusa.com appears to made of the DeVilliers ivory-colored paper. The DeVilliers forms are 10-hole punched to fit on a variety of rings.

    I can't, however, say I'm against colorful binders. Studies show that women are, well, stepping into the gap and making the majority of household buying decisions. They do a lot of research before they open their purse strings, and design is just as important as quality. For example, women are the ones buying the household washing machines, and they don't just want one that does a good job cleaning clothes and saving water. They want one that does all that AND looks beautiful. And if your machine doesn't do that, they'll keep looking.

    That said, I do wish Filofax would return to making an assortment of leaves, on high-quality paper, AND binders that meet a variety of design tastes. And I wish with all my heart that British people were making them if they want to.

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  7. Kevin -- Where do you get your collectible Filofaxes? Do you find them at auctions?

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  8. You have to look all over for old Filofaxes, auctions, house clearances, bankrupt stock. A chap I know who deals in bankrupt stock got a case of 10 brand new pigskin Filofaxes that are from 1987. I bought two from him. And when I say new I mean new, they were still in the paper wrappers Filofax used to pack them in!

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  9. I'm with Kevin. A lot of the new planner designs are just plain tacky. I started using Filofax in 1985, when the binders were elegant and classic, and there was a large variety of inserts to choose from. I, too, use mine for business and personal purposes, and wish there was a way to bring back all those discontinued items, including receipt envelopes, project planning forms, and pigskin binders from the 80s.

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  10. Hi Teri, and welcome!

    Well, I can see I'm outnumbered. But I loved my pigskin Filo in the '80s. I really did!

    Maybe that's why I buy up all the different leaves I can find. If they're selling, maybe Filofax will start making more of them again.

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  11. I just bought a package of Project Planning leaves on Ebay. If you'd like a blank to play around with, let me know.

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  12. Huper -- thanks for the offer, but I was able to get some Project Planner leaves for myself! Good to hear that they're still popping up on eBay, though!

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