16 March 2012

Free For All Friday No. 174

"Beware the Ides of March..."  Did you all make it through unscathed?? I hope so!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day!  Do you or your community do anything to celebrate the wearin' o' the green?

And for those of you in the UK and Ireland, don't forget to call your Mum this Sunday!!

As always on Fridays, the floor is yours to discuss anything Filofax-related.

Have a great weekend everyone!

48 comments:

  1. Good day to everyone! Having reread many times Jotje's post for her pocket Malden I have a question for those who started using the pocket size recently. Do they continue using it or are back to personal size? Just wondering...

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    1. Mary, I have now discovered that my work/personal life evolves in phases during the year. June to August are slow (thus Pocket-months); September-December are manageable (thus Personal) and November to May are crazy-full (thus A5). I always use only ONE binder for both work and personal. Anything else does not work for me.
      At the end of the year I archive all different sizes in one Ikea DVD-box. Needless to say: I don't rewrite stuff once I switch sizes. And I'm no longer bothered that I can't stay with one size for the full year. I actually like it this way, because this means that all my Filofaxes are put to good use at least once a year!

      If you print your own templates, you can switch sizes easily without too much waste of paper!

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    2. Mary, I myself have not used a Personal for years. It's probably because I don't have a 9-5 job, I'm not in school, and have small handwriting. If I did, the Personal would be the size for me.

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    3. Hi Mary! I've just bought an A5 because my pocket wasn't big enough for me (i'm entering a phase which will involve lots of note taking) But i'm keeping my Pocket! I'll use it as a wallet and diary on the go (to have my schedule handy and a place to take notes) while the A5 will mainly stay home. I think Pocket is a great size, Personal is too "in-between" for me (less portable than Pocket, not easy enough to write in ) which is also its main advantage for other people :)

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    4. I tried using A6 paper (105mm wide) in a ff slimline, as opposed to the personal sized paper being 94mm wide, and immediately found myself writing complete sentences and paragraphs. I think this was due to the extra width, although subconsciously I could have been reacting to the differing proportions of A6 paper…which match paper that I normally write on…being A5 & A4. Since "my place/system" for writing sentences and paragraphs was the A5 fax, and that was too useful to lose, I went back to using 94mm wide personal sized paper for notes in the slimline and again just record some facts and figures...which I believe is correct for the size of paper.

      I believe that, as I used to do, technically I could generally get away with a “sort of personal sized” fax that takes A6 paper…but with big rings. The one downside to putting A6 paper in a slimline fax was that 5mm of the edge became slightly crumpled.

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    5. I use my pocket size in my handbag as a notebook. I do have a calendar in there so I can always know what is going on....but I use an A5 for all the time, and a pocket for notes. I love it!

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  2. Got through the Ides OK thanks! Filofax-wise, I have now made a decision to junk all the rubbish quality paper inside my lovely Malden. I *love* the binder and having it with me - but when I open it......urgh! All that horrible *horrible* appalling-quality FF paper staring at me. So I'm going to completely 'spring-clean' the contents, not really changing the setup or sections, but upgrading everything to a proper grade of paper. If anyone has any 'stock' of good quality inserts from other suppliers (in personal size) which they're no longer using, I'd be interested in hearing from you. Otherwise, it's off to London again Monday and Tuesday and I'll sort something out while I'm there.......

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    1. David, while time-consuming, I think the best option would be to buy high-quality paper from e.g. Staples (preferably bring your fountain pen to test the bits of sample paper they usually have) and then choose one of the great Ray/Steve templates and print your own.

      Another option could be the Swedish or Danish inserts. I swear that the quality is much better than the flimsy UK Filofax paper ...

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    2. Hi Jotje! Great idea, but just too time-consuming....all that printing...cutting...punching...for some people this is a hobby - for me it's a business tool and I just don't have the disposable time to devote. I hear that Smythson and Mont Blanc both have refills (at sky-high prices) on decent paper, so I might take a stroll up Bond Street in Monday/Tuesday and see what's there. Agreed about the Swedish/Danish inserts, but the vagaries of internet ordering and the continuing lack of a joined-up worldwide website (don't even get me started on that one) mean it's all just too much trouble. Why can't things be simple, eh? :)The UK inserts have got to go, though, the only in-house option I would even consider are cotton cream - does anyone use cotton cream and can comment on the paper weight and quality?

      Using a fountain pen....ah, I remember that....i *need* paper in my FF which will take a fountain pen *properly* without bleed-through. The set-up has been working fine since December....now all I need is decent pen and paper to go inside those lovely ochre covers and I'm well and truly sorted!

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    3. May contract it out? Donationware may be..

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    4. David - I've been gradually going over to cotton cream. I started last June with a Flex academic year WO2P diary, spliced and punched (Steve did the same thing and wrote a post on the topic). Vast improvement! When this runs out in the summer, I will switch to printing the new Philofaxy Enhanced WO2P on cotton cream.

      My year planner 2011 (and now 2012) has also been the Flex one. This gets used daily and is holding together much better than the Filofax Time Management year page, I used to use.

      I purchased a ream of A4 cream paper and am gradually re-printing all my printed information pages onto this (cut into A5 pages) I'm also now trying a Flex slim ruled notebook - cotton cream again. This is working surprisingly well.

      The cream pages look great in my brown A5 Holborn which has become a sort of "Filoflex combi".

      It's only when you write on better quality paper that you realise how poor the standard Filofax stuff is.

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    5. The Swedish inserts are so much nicer quality then the regular Filofax paper. I had no troubles ordering online, and I think I received items quickly considering I'm in the US(6 business days!).

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    6. Can I suggest using dark brown ink on the cream paper. It was a tip from the fountain pen network website, which I immediately dismissed as boring but on reflection found it perfect… I think it adds a touch of class.

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    7. @Scoot that's a *great* idea....who makes the ink? Is it available in cartridge form? My go-to fountain pen is a Watermans.....can get brown ink for it? Superb idea!

      @Tim indeed, I've just got fed up with having a good looking binder, good setup which does the job (now), and poor quality paper which wont even take a fibre tip let alone a fountain pen. Tempted to try this Swedish inserts idea as well........

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    8. I like Waterman inks too, strong colours, even in my Mont Blanc which has never liked same brand of ink. The store didn’t have Waterman brown so I mixed some red and green to get one version of brown, also red with a little black to get a brown with a hint of purple; which I prefer. I use a syringe to fill a number of cartridges and then use melted hot glue to seal the end.

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    9. I've just looked at the Watermans website and they appear to do a barrel converter - I might go into a Websters Pen Shop when I'm in London next week and see if I can get a converter, then I can just buy any brand of ink. The only issue is that the pen doesn't fit the small FF pen loop (again, don't get me started on this), so I might look at a slimline fountain pen instead.

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    10. I use the Lamy fountain pens with cartridges, and those come in brown as well (and a rainbow of other colours actually). I use the Fine nib and the cotton cream FF paper is very suitable. The nib slides smoothly over the paper ...

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    11. I've heard very good reports of the Lamy fountain pens elsewhere.....I think this is something I might try out - thanks Jotje.

      Anyone got a recommended supplier for the Lamy pens (and full range of cartridges) in London? I'm there Monday/Tuesday, so seems like a good opportunity......

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    12. Try City Organiser: http://www.cityorganiser.co.uk/acatalog/Lamy.html

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    13. Thanks Steve, just visited their website and they seem to have a very good range of Lamy, so I'll trawl up there on Tuesday afternoon and have a good look.

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    14. David, I'm using the Danish WO2P diary , aka "uge per opslag". The paper is creme coloured but is *not* the same as cotton cream. Fountain pen ink doesn't feather on this paper, but there is some bleed-through, likewise with their checklist pages (Ref. 753027).

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    15. David - I have a spare cotton cream insert for Personal you can have if you email me your address.

      I thoroughly recommend Lamy Safaris, but they do have a large barrel which won't fit into your pen loop. You could try a pen loop you stick into your binder I suppose. The Lamy's normally come with a M nib, but you can get everything from EF through Oblique to BB.

      I have a fab Waterman my other half bought me for Xmas (can take cartridge or convertor and I got the convertor thrown in with it) - it writes beautifully in my filofax (TM pages). It's quite slim as well. In my experience Waterman inks are some of the best around despite being one of the most inexpensive and work well in all my pens including Mont Blanc. Having said that one of my absolute favourite inks is the Mont Blanc 'Toffee' - it's a great brown - but of course it depends on your eye and what shade you prefer.

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    16. My Lamy Al-Stars and Safari fit in the elasticized pen loop of my A5 Kendal.

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  3. Good friday all. Has anybody seen Filo Petal in person? Do you know if there are any card slots and pen loop inside?

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    1. One of my readers (on Filomaniac) has seen one and confirmed that there are no card slots/pockets inside.

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  4. Busy morning here with people requesting places for the meet up. There are a few places still available but get your requests in sooner rather than later....

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  5. All places now filled. If anyone would like to go on the reserve list. Please email me

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  6. What a fabulous idea. Brown ink on cotton cream paper. That really does appeal to me. I am having a real pen dilemma here, as I stupidly chose some cheap gel pens, which are not really doing it for me. I love to colour code my diary, so I am kind of back to square one pen wise. I have a lovely slimline fountain pen which I would really like to use. You've got me thinking now about brown ink.Sounds superb.
    On another note. Does anyone spray fixative onto their Ray, Steve, printed diaries? Just wondered if folks set the ink in some way? .... Not that it is a problem at all.... more a question asked out of curiosity, as I am doing more and more print my own inserts. As always some great posts here.

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  7. Just wondering if anyone else thinks Filofax are missing a trick.

    I'd like to see a pocket sized product that is aimed at men, one that would actually fit into a jeans pocket. Pocket sized paper, with decent leather but thin enough to lay flat straight out of the box (none of this rubbish that's bonded to a man made substrate and is never going to lay flat in a million years), that measures the same as the paper (ie no overlap), maybe a choice of ring sizes, and with no girly colours - black will do, and none of those assorted girly coloured inserts (like lavender blue or salmon pink). In fact, they could call it the "Filofax Black", perhaps.

    Does anyone else think that Filofax should be talking to men as well as women in their focus groups?

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    1. Neil - to be fair, Filofax do currently offer Slimline (171mm x 95mm paper size), Pocket (120mm x 81mm) and Mini (105mm x 67mm). I personally use a Flex Slim wallet (150mm x 85mm) in grey. it's manly enough and I take it around with me when my A5 is too big to carry. It holds credit cards, business cards, bank notes, year planner, notepad, pen etc. and fits in a jacket or trouser pocket. It's made of their most awful grey, tacky plastic but a leather version is promised for later in the year.

      See the recent interview with the City Organiser guy to read his view that Filofax are getting less and less interested in the male market.

      Most of us agree with your comments on current Filofax quality, but these days they're built to wear out and be quickly replaced - not last forever like they were twenty five years ago!

      As the majority of folk on this forum are women, I suggest any views on lavender, pink and (especially) purple Maldens, are best kept to yourself!

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    2. Not at all...we love you manly men! Besides, I'm a lady and most of my Filos are various shades of brown. I used a black A5 for business for years!

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    3. Well, actually I have 3 red ones as well...but red is a unisex color, no?

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  8. Scoot, if you want to use A6 paper then why not try 140mm x 90mm paper (the size used in pocket Moleskines and many other notebooks) and use a pocket filofax.

    It works so brilliantly you'd think that the filofax was designed for this size of paper.

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    1. I view the pocket and mini sizes of paper as impractical for a ringed system, the personal width of 94mm being as small as I am prepared to go. Also, I have such an enormous quantity of papers in personal size, A5 and A4 that I just couldn’t bear the idea of spending more money on another size.

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  9. Neil, have you considered the slim pocket Topaz? Or pocket Lyndhurst? Both could match your description...

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  10. Neil--I agree with Jotje, I used a black Slimline Pocket Executive for 12 years, and now I have a brown Pocket Slimline Topax (both with 11mm rings). Another option is the Pocket Guildford Extra Slim, also 11mm. You can still get the Pocket Topaz Slimline (in red) for $50 on ebay.com. For superslim, go "Japanese" with the 8mm DaVinci:

    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/ayumuzo/item/10052/

    Less is more, more or less...

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    1. @DJ, it's not the size of the rings, it's the height and width of the pocket filofax. What I'm suggesting is reducing the overlap so that the leather cover has the same height and width as the actual paper. In fact, you could actually use rings as big as 30mm and still get it into your pocket, if there was no overlap.

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  11. Hi, I have had a look at the pic of the purple Malden (again!!) and it just struck me that it looks like more of an Ochre than Vintage Pink kind of leather, ie that it is not all the same colour and that it will scratch easily but that it will add to its vintagey charm. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Thanks!

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  12. @Jotje, I actually quite like the Lyndhurst (I use an A4 Lyndhurst at work) but I just find that whilst I can just about fit a "pocket" sized filofax in my pocket, I have to take it out when I am driving or sitting down. I do have an old pocket Kensington, filled with 140mm x 90mm paper, which I keep in the garden shed to record what I've planted where, but even with the slimmer rings it's still too big for me.

    @Tim, I've nothing against feminine colours in the Filofax range; I was using a "tongue in cheek" macho persona to help emphasise what may well be the reason why men are far less likely to want to be associated with Filofax than they used to be.

    @Tim, Many thanks for the suggestion about the flex. I hadn't thought of that.

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  13. News from City Organiser...

    Purple Maldens have arrived in all sizes and will be online Monday / Tuesday. See Facebook tomorrow for buying advice!

    Their Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/cityorganiser

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    1. Does that mean they are available in the shop in London, where I happen to be? :)

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    2. I suggest you ring them on Monday morning to check.
      +44 (0) 20 7236 4166 9:30-18:00

      By the way before anyone wonders... no I'm not on commission!!

      Steve

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    3. Wow, very very excited. Will defo be ordering one!!

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  14. sorry if this has been addressed before, but are Franklin Covey inserts fountian pen friendly?
    IF I switch to personal size, I quite fancy the slightly wider page size ;)
    Happy Friday to all
    Nikki X

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  15. @Neil; the Pocket Slimlines (Executive, Topaz, Guildord Extra Slim) are considerably narrower and shorter than the regular Pocket Filofaxes. The DaVinci is narrower yet, barely covering 3 x 5" inserts (regular Pocket inserts are approximately 3 3/16" wide).

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  16. Here in California we usually celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a seven-course Irish dinner: a six-pack of Guinness and a potato.

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  17. Hi everyone! I have put my A5 vintage pink Malden up on ebay, please take a look (and buy it!)
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A5-Malden-Vintage-Pink-Filofax-/320869513661?pt=UK_BOI_Office_Office_Supplies_Stationery_ET&hash=item4ab55039bd#ht_500wt_1287
    Thanks!!

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