03 September 2011

Reader Under The Spotlight - Amanda

I was surprised and delighted when Steve asked me if I would like to be a Reader Under the Spotlight (although isn’t it also external recognition that you have an addiction to filofaxes??). So, here goes.

My name is Amanda and I very uninspiring post as Amanda! I have worked as a university teacher in physiology for 15 years, after doing my undergraduate degree and then a PhD in the subject.

Outside of work I have a whole heap of things occupying my time! I helped to set up and now continue to fundraise for a Malawian charity – Chimwemwe Children’s Centre. We are about to start building-work on a major project and it is lovely to see that finally come to fruition after quite a long time of one frustration after another. I also write (though am yet to have any full-length novels published), I am a Rotarian in the Howe of Fife Rotary club, I enjoy walking and gardening, I run to relax (and this is a hobby that also allows me to eat as much as I do!) and I am a keen reader. If and when I get time after all of those things, I also enjoy cross-stitch and patchwork.

My filofax addiction started fairly recently (but then made up for lost time!!) but I have always had a love of stationery, proper pens and ink, hence me starting my blog called Paper, Pens Ink. The filofax addiction has somewhat taken over some of the postings there – something I’m hoping to rectify soon!

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

I bought my first ‘proper’ filofax in 2010. It was a red A5 domino (originally for work, but I use a different one there now).

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

Back in the 80s and 90s I did possess non-filofax brand organisers (personal size), but I never really used them much, other than a fabric-covered one that I used as an address book for many years. I don’t know the brands but knowing how poor I was then, they will have been the cheapy ones you can buy from discount bookstores!

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

Ooh. Tough one. I like all of them for different reasons! The one I use the most is my pink personal Baroque, but I think I like the colour of the turquoise Baroque better.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Ah. Is DH reading this??



Non-filofax brands (from the 80s and 90s): I have four personal size, and a pocket. All of these just store spare paper at the moment. I really should get rid of them.

Real filofaxes:
  • 2x A5 domino (one red, one ultraviolet)
  • 2x A5 Finchley (one red, one jade green)
  • 2x personal Baroque (one pink, one turquoise)
  • 1x personal Portland (green)
  • 1x personal domino (grape)
  • 1x pocket Cavendish (black)
  • 1x mini Baroque (pink)
(Gulp. Oh. I do have a problem, don’t I???)

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

I had better come up with some good uses hadn’t I? Just in case DH reads this!!
  • Red A5 domino – writing filofax
  • Ultraviolet A5 domino – this is for organising some retraining I’m intending to do.
  • Red A5 Finchley – book-o-fax (previously housed in red domino until writing stuff expanded too much)
  • Green A5 Finchley – work filofax
  • Pink personal Baroque – this is my every day filofax that goes everywhere with me! It carries diary, project plans, contacts, money, credit cards, etc etc.
  • Turquoise personal Baroque – this will be the ‘autumn-winter’ version of the pink Baroque! I’m intending to swap the contents on the autumnal equinox. In all honesty, I bought it because I loved it and it was being discontinued!
  • Green personal Portland – this carries all my Chimwemwe notes and work
  • Grape personal domino – this came ‘free’ with the Gourmet card (well, that’s the story I told DH!). I don’t really like it as a filofax and am just using it to store diary inserts in.
  • Pocket Cavendish – currently not used but I might be doing a trial downsize into it (maybe for 2013?). It has the best layout (for me) for a pocket so I’m tempted to downsize, but I also know how hard it was for me to downsize from an A5 to a personal, and the cost of buying new inserts for it is putting me off at the moment (as I have loads of personal-sized stuff to get through still).
  • Pink mini Baroque – this was my wallet but is currently not used.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
The ability to organise the insides however you like (and change your mind as often as you want). I’m always intrigued by how others have set up their filofaxes and every one is completely different.

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

To be honest, the Baroque has what I want! Sad but true. An A5 Baroque would be good! (For all you Malden-owners – the interior of the Baroque is nearly identical to the Malden, but the Malden has a vertical pocket in the back cover that the Baroque doesn’t. Oh, and the Baroque has all that glorious embossing.) So, either an A5 Baroque in a jewel-colour or a crimson A5 Malden.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

Personal Baroque: in my handbag. The rest stay on desks/shelves either at work or home, because they don’t need to travel.

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

Hmm. I don’t really want any of them. The Malden is nice, but it’s the same layout etc as the Baroque. I won’t be buying any of the new range.

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

I’ve never bought a filofax full-price. The most I spent was on the red Finchley I think, which was about £65.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
The community spirit! It’s a really great place. If people ever have any questions, someone always manages to help and the articles and resources are fabulous.

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Trick question, right? The fact that my productivity plummets when there’s a great list of web-finds or an interesting discussion starts.

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

All You Need is Now by Duran Duran. That was the first thing I’ve bought in I don’t know how many years. Oh what an 80s girl!

Thank you Amanda for agreeing to go under the spotlight... we won't be alerting your DH... honest!


  1. I love the Baroque too - esp the turquoise one!

  2. Another great interview. I do like this series! The baroques look lovely. I particularly like the aqua / turquoise one. Looks a similar colour to my aqua finsbury which I love!!

    Nice to "meet" you Amanda!

  3. I, too, would be seriously tempted if they brought the A5 Malden out in crimson. I just love my personal one so much! Thanks for the tip about the interior of the baroque being very similar to the Malden. Oh, and nice to "meet" you!

  4. I LOVE this interview but then I love philofaxy and the reader under the spotlight series. Amanda you have a really beautiful collection :-)

  5. Really enjoyed this interview - thanks! Would also love an A5 Baroque - would probably come close to my dream binder!

  6. Lovely to read about you.

    Great to put a face to a name / blogger. An A5 Baroque would be heaven.

  7. I just loved reading about your interests and your Filofaxes Amanda.Great to hear that other folks have a Filofax stash which they use for so many things.I don't feel quite so guilty about my little stash when I read that others love their filos just as much!! Congratulations with the success of your charity work.xx

  8. Great to find out even more about you, Amanda, & you have a lovely smile!
    I'll be putting your article on my blog shortly :)

  9. Thanks everyone! This is always one of my favourite places to be!

  10. Hi Amanda,

    I'm a bit late arriving, but very interested to read your post, thanks. I see you've also been busy posting about your pocket Cavendish - looks and sounds very nice, but Personal is as small as I can go!

    Regards, Gerard


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