Ray is a Filofax returnee, a one-time user who returned to the format to find that an internet community had sprung up in his absence. He recently started a blog, My Life All In Once Place in which he has shared a number of downloadable and printable Filofax projects as well as a few makeable accessories. He has recently worked with Steve to produce a range of printable free diaries for the Filofax. An avowed Excel and VBA geek, he lives with his wife and three sons of 14, 12 and 9.
1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?
It was bought for me. My employer sent me on a course to learn about time management, as part of which I was given a Filofax and taught how to use it. It was a brown leather Buckingham.
2. What other brands have you used or considered using?
In the 90s I followed the herd onto a succession of electronic platforms, but after a number of years realised that none of them worked as well as paper. On my way back to Filofax I spent some time with Moleskine and other bound diaries and notebooks. Interestingly, my wife stuck with Filofax throughout my flirtations with electronica, which she crows about whenever the opportunity arises.
3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
My Personal Malden. It feels just right in my hand and it’s just individual enough to look good, not so wacky or extravagant as to stick out like a sore thumb.
4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?
Half a dozen or so. I only use two at any one time, though.
5. What do you use your Filofax for?
The Personal Malden is what I currently use to organise my life. It tells me what I’m doing, when and where. It holds my lists of things I need to do and buy and helps me track my business expenses. I use a lot of notepaper, too, because anything that’s not written down tends to be forgotten. I use a black A5 Kensington as a business tool. Its contents vary depending on what job I’m doing and for which client, but it generally impresses the hell out of people.
6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
I love that no two people’s Filofaxes will ever be the same. They are infinitely adaptable and configurable and you can add your own content.
7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
Don’t think I haven’t thought about this! For me, it’s all about functionality, so it wouldn’t necessarily be decorative or flashy. It needn’t be leather, either, although there’s a practicality about leather that’s hard to beat. It would have a pen loop that had a little more tolerance for pen size than the Malden’s does. It would have no zips on the internal pockets (am I the only person who dislikes zips inside binders?) nor around the outside. It would have a magnetic press-stud, too; there are lifespan issues with the purely mechanical ones.
8. How do you carry your Filofax?
In a backpack or messenger bag usually.
9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
I still like the Malden. I’m not planning to buy anything else.
10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?
£30 for the Malden in the Filofax UK half price sale. All my others have been eBay bargains.
11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
The enthusiasm. There’s always someone who can answer a question and the advice people offer in the comments is generally excellent. I’m often inspired by seeing and hearing how other people use their systems, so I’ve really enjoyed the recent ‘How do you use’ series and hope it will continue.
12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?
Like everyone, I struggle with this question, because I love the site and wouldn’t change anything. All I can think of (and it’s probably more about me than Philofaxy itself) is that the discussions of different binder styles and colours does little for me. What interests me more is the content and the ways you can use what’s inside the binder. That’s why you won’t generally see much binder talk on my blog.
13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?
I bought two at the same time. One was Pearl Jam’s first album, “Ten”. Pearl Jam are a band that passed me by entirely, but a friend recommended it. It’s a great album and I’ll be buying more of theirs. The other was Steven Wilson’s recent solo album, “Grace For Drowning”, which I can’t recommend highly enough.
Thank you Ray for offering to step under the spot light... and another big thank you for your help with the diary inserts..