08 February 2011

Free For All Tuesday... No 1

OK I've titled it Free For All Tuesday, but I'm sure there will be a few questions thrown in for good measure.. Thanks for all the feedback on this initial idea last Wednesday.

The floor is yours.......


  1. Does any-one carry photos around in their Filofax? I have some in the clear Filofax envelopes but the plastic seem to be frosted (which dulls the look of the photos). Does any-one have envelopes that are actually transparent (I use a personal size). Thanks... Alison.

    1. I carry four photographs, two at the front and two at the back. The two at the front are 1) my wife 2) our Wedding. The two at the back are my dogs a) the Foxy Lady and a) the Maltese Terrorist and yes I have transparent envelopes which I got from Pens and Leather in the US.

  2. Alison I use a transparent top opening envelope which isn't frosted. I think I got it off eBay but that was years ago.
    I carry around my MSC research grad picture and one of hubby and his old uni friend in my Adelphi.

  3. I also have transparent top-opening envelopes in my Personal Filofax that are not frosted. I wonder if they are available only in the UK and the US version is frosted?

  4. I have photos in my filofax, but I have holes punched in them. I hate that I have to cut off some bits when I want to put them in the envelopes.

  5. @Alison
    I have also a few photos in my filofax. They are self-printed (10x15cm) and i punched holes in them.

  6. Maybe it is certain Filofaxes? Mine have been purchased in US and have the transparent top opening envelopes which are very nice.

    About once per year I print a collage of pics using MS Word tables and then print out. Then I just fold and slip into binder pocket. (many times at work people ask to see pics of my kids and then I have current ones to show)

  7. @caribbean princess & @laurie thanks for your thoughts. My pockets are from the UK store but don't seem as transparent as the ones I used in my pocket a few years back. I wonder if they have altered them recently.

    @femke & @marcus genius idea! Can not believe that I had not thought of that solution.... off to print and punch now. I have photos on my iPhone but prefer carrying a few real photos with me. Perfect! Thanks.

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  9. i bought a ton of these transparent envelopes lately for both personal and pocket (i gave my nieces and my mom filofaxes for christmas - 5 pocket dominoes, 1 personal metropol, 1 pocket slimline topaz). i also prefer the transparent ones - it seems, though, that they may be getting phased out and replaced by these frosted ones. i ordered 6 pocket and 4 were transparent banded together; 2 were loose and frosted. i looked at all the filos i had bought and noticed that the newer colours like the electric blue and slate had the frosted ones. the old red and pink had transparent. the old topaz of course also had transparent. in the personal - the metropol had frosted. there is a year embedded on the far middle left of the insert. the transparent say 2006. the frosted i think are 2009. bummer if they switch. the only reason i could think of why they would change would be cost. if the plastics cost them the same - surely they would offer both, wouldn't you think?

  10. I'd been wondering about the transparent envelopes too - I'll have to have a hunt for some now that I know they have at least existed at some point!

    OK, I have another question. If you register your filofax on the filofax website, then apparently anyone who finds and returns it will get a 'free gift'. Does anyone know what that free gift actually is?

    No, I'm not planning on pretending to lose and find my own filofax! Just been curious about if for a while.

  11. The clear envelops appear to be made from sturdier plastic, whereas the frosted ones seem to rip easily in the corners. So it might be a cost-issue after all (such a shame!).
    I only carry bits of papers in them, but still prefer the clear ones, because they "feel" nicer!

  12. In our store, the personal envelopes used to be slightly frosted, but any that I order in now are completely clear, the frosted ones have been phased out for a while now. (In the UK anyway)

  13. Not a question but an observation.....

    I decided to try cotton cream paper in my Personal Filo, to see if it will take fountain pen better than the 'ordinary' grade of paper. So I went to WH Smith. My oh my....what a sad and sorry place WHS has become, not only for the FF user, but generally. It was like a bazaar in there....stuff piled up on the floor, no order to the shelving layout, necessitating huge effort in finding what turned out to be the saddest, most pathetic 'display' of refills I have ever seen. No doubt US users and readers will not understand how awful this is, but those of us 'of a certain age' can remember when WHS was the flagship stationery outfit in the UK, and you could pretty much get anything stationery-wise from their ordered shelves. Now it's a shadow of it's former self.

    I'll be visiting either Conduit or Neal St next time I'm in London (which thankfully in my case is pretty often, and certainly often enough). meanwhile, WHS, R.I.P......

  14. David
    And I thought it was just me!! Yes WHS is not like it used to be when I was a kid.

    The two or three stores I've been in recently seem to be crammed full, very narrow aisles and the stuff was piled quite high too, so it felt very very cramped.

    One store in Birkenhead had moved from quite a large store to a much smaller one yet they seemed still stock as much as before but it was a bit pathetic when it came to their stock of Filofax refills and this was just before Christmas.

    Yes I think we will all say Yes go to Neal Street, friendly staff, experts in the product and you can get what you want there.


  15. Wow David and Steve, I am sorry to hear that what sounds like a wonderful store has gone to pot. I have seen this happen to quite a few places over in the US- it truly is a shame.

    But be happy that you all have plenty of stores that value stationary, planners and of course the Filofax! It is so rare to find a good selection in any store here in the US- I have found only two stores that I can drive to, and neither sell a good supply of binders or refills, just a measly selection of to-do sheets and the like.

    I would LOVE to have a proper stationary store, or a Filofax store near me... although my bank account is probably happy that we in the US are stationary store deprived!

  16. the WHSmith near me (central Oxford) is like a shrine to consumerism and the buy-me-cheap-get-me-cheaper mindset that is everywhere nowadays - everything is half price if you buy something else, and at the counter you are accosted by the salesperson asking if you want half-price chocolate, stamps, phone topups... argh! no no no i don't want anything! i just want a filofax refill. leave me alone!

  17. WH Smiths is indeed a sad place to be. I can remember going in there as a kid to spend my pocket money on books. I used to love it.

  18. You could call this 'Fax Tuesday, after "Fat Tuesday" (Mardi Gras) AKA Shrove Tuesday (U.K.)

  19. I also used to be an avid fan of WHS.I've loved stationary as long as I can remember and used to love going to WHS and spending my pocket money. How times have changed, these days it's the kind of shop I only go to if I know I can't get what I need anywhere else. It's such a shame.

  20. Well, before I started working for the pen shop in 2004, I worked in WH Smith for 8 years, and worked in the Stationery department. The Filofax selection used to be amazing. Last week I went into a WH Smith store for the first time since leaving 7 years ago, and I was utterly shocked and disgusted by the state of the place. There were no filofax organisers at all and they only had about 4 different filofax refills on a silly little stand. I will not even get started on what the rest of the store looked like. Every Luxury pen they had on display, was discontinued years ago. Sadly, I think WHS will be the next Woolworths.

  21. so sorry about the wh smiths. sounds like a re-organization in the making.

    i can't help but look at the filofaxusa site at least once a day just to see if anything's changed. they have a valentine page now. it's soooo pretty with the reds and pinks and purples. it makes me want the ALLIGATOR one...wow can you imagine?? what does alligator even smell like? (in the form of a filofax, that is)

  22. Shepcraig, I'm afraid I agree....and it will be a sad loss. All the signs are that the business has let itself go, or been let go by the brand owners. Now the only decent high street stationery outlet is Ryman, who also don't have a decent Filofax range. The only options left are mail order, or a trip to Staples (not really recommended and often impossible for non-drivers).

    Does anyone have a really *good* stationery store in their (UK) town? (I know you US folks have them, and France seems pretty well served for papeteries.....I bought my first Quo Vadis diary in Paris years and years ago....

  23. I totally agree about WHS, exactly the same in our local town (I pop in to buy an American magazine that I can not purchase any-where else now that Borders UK has gone). I also remember spending my pocket money there as a child...

    No-one has mentioned Paperchase... LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Wonderful Filofax display, helpful staff and other gorgeous stationary supplies. Really recommend if you have not ventured in there.

    Thanks for the responses on the transparent envelopes. My personal ones have 2007 dated on them but at least I know that I am not crazy remembering ones without the frosting effect.

  24. Paperchase is amazing, I fell in love with the shop when I lived in the UK. Now very happy they have a (very small) selection in a Dutch shop too.

  25. Have seen a pen holder called a Quiver designed for Moleskins. Anyone tried one on a Filofax?? Does it fit??? And if so what sizes??? Does it stop the filo from laying flat??? Just wondered. If you search engine Quiver pen holders, they have a site!!

  26. Paperchase in Tunbridge Wells is where I managed to get a Butterfly Pewter for Yvotchka, the very pleasant sales assistant in there asked me if I needed help in choosing a Filofax?

    I of course declined her offer, I did chuckle to myself afterwards though!! Do you know who I am?????!!!!!

    But they had a great range of stock and lots of inserts too. And there is a Paperchase on Waterloo station where we will be meeting in March....

    I do miss having local shops that stock Filofax products here in France. Sure I get to browse through QV stuff, but their binders are all plastic or artificial leather ones.

  27. Hi All

    I am a newbie here.

    Would just like to comment re Paperchase. We are lucky enough to have a store in our local town yay, but also are you aware there is a 3 storey Paperchase in Tottenham Court Road - heaven for me.

    Perfect day - Filofax store in Neal street then a wander down Tottenham Court..........

  28. Hi Ronnie, and welcome....

    Now THAT sounds like a day out!

    I've always found the staff in Neal Street unfailingly helpful and incredibly knowledgeable.

  29. We have an excellent stationery department in our local department store. Jarrold in Norwich has a stationery department in the store with an amazing selection of Filos and pens (even a good selection of inks compared to most high street shops). It is an even bigger Aladin's cave in the adjacent 'Office' department. Well worth a visit if you are ever in Norwich.

    ps - I recently bought a clear envelope for my revived personal Filo from the FF UK site and it was frosted - this surprised me because I have only ever seen the fully transparent versions in the past.

    pps - I agree that WHS is a sad place to be now. The Pen Shop is good but there aren't many (any?) in East Anglia.


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