Filofaxing is an expensive pursuit, and one that threatens a life time of dissatisfaction, reduced expendable income and a hunchback from carrying round that Zipped Guildford with 4 inches of 'necessary' information bursting from its heaving rings. It's the perfect organisation system on so many levels - other than it will never be perfect. Just as you think you have the ideal system running ("It hasn't changed in almost 3 months, so I must be nearing Filo-Nirvana, surely?"), some pesky, petty lifestyle change, new job, smaller hand bag, birth of your first child etc- arrives to throw your system into disarray again.
I'm guilty of this. I change my folder/ size/ diary layout/ dividers/ content/ biros/ *insert expensive Filofax accessory here* on a constant basis, and never quite hit on what I want. This becomes a tiresome and bankrupting pursuit (and don't wave your pre-cut Filo printer paper in my face like that- I spend more money on wasted sheets of this stuff as I desperately try to line up the margins than I do on miniature post it notes), and after 10 years of struggling valiantly with it, I have lately begun to despair.
Until April 3rd 2010.
Did I hear a sharp intake of breath out there? Do I sense a quickening of the heartbeat, a sudden heightening of concentration on this page? Then it is likely that the Philo readership harbours others for whom the acronym APL means a lot more than just a kindergarten attempt at spelling a popular fruit-based snack. For this date saw the launch of the Apple iPad, the Apple Fanboy's equivalent of the introduction to the Filofax range of a new super-slimline A5 organiser with multiple pockets, in soft brown calf- leather with next weeks winning lottery numbers printed inside on the coin purse.
I confess to an interest in gadgets as deep as that of my interest in Filofaxes. The bookmark bar of my MacBook Pro lists the following web pages in this order: Philofaxy, MacRumors, Apple, Filofax UK, HSBC (to check on the available balance for purchases from the previous two bookmarked pages), but it's not so easy reconciling these two passions. They seem to overlap one another in many ways and haven't - until now- fit comfortably together. How do I decide on which system I prefer to use? A gorgeous A5, two page to a week column lay out, written on in different colours for different areas of my life in my neatest handwriting, peppered with pastel coloured Post its? Or the solid convenience and back up capabilities of the iPhone-MacBook Pro synchronicity available via iCal? I don't need to detail the pros and cons of analogue vs. digital life- that's been done many times in the Philofaxy archives, but after having my iPad for a week (courtesy of a Florida based parent), I begin to feel change in the air.
You might be familiar with the process of downloading apps onto Mac gadgets- iPods, iPhones and now iPads- wherein you are able to create an entirely customisable system of different applications. I've been busy throwing more money in Apple's direction the last few days, 'pimping my pad', and this morning sat down to take stock of what I have so far. And it struck me. I've built myself a fully electronic version of my Filofax. I have a note taking app for writing and drawing, a sophisticated To Do manager, a project manager, file storing area, calendar, address book, word-processing programme, sticky notes and expense manager. Heck, I can even use the damn thing as a mirror; the screen's so shiny. I think I might be unconsciously replacing my trusty old Finsbury of many years service with this shiny new friend. It even takes up about the same size in my handbag, just lighter, prettier and less likely to threaten the existence of a small South American rainforest when I next need a system revamp.
I'm not sure how I really feel about this yet as the novelty factor of the iPad hasn't yet waned, and after all- there have been plenty of gadgets embraced over the last 10 years as 'most definitely the system I'm going to use from now on' - Palms, Psions, netbooks, smart phones- and I always end up shuffling back towards the Filofax cabinet when I've lost my entire phone book again after a stream of electronic failures. I'll have to check back to this article in a few weeks time to see how things have progressed. But I'm quietly excited. Don't shoot me down yet, fellow Philos. Perhaps I'm just a few steps down the path to enlightenment to a world where digital and analogue reside peacefully together. One, which if I discover it, I'll happily share with you. Watch this space....
Thank you Francesca. Remember if you wish to contribute a guest article please send it to our email address which you will find in the 'About' page.