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23 March 2012

Free for All Friday No. 175

This weekend, Europe joins the US and Canada in moving to Summer Time (one hour ahead of Standard Time). But as in the case of, say, Arizona in the US, there are always exceptions. For example, Iceland doesn't move their clocks ahead, and Belarus and the Russian Federation will stop observing Summer Time for the first time this year.

I've always been fascinated by the information pages that come at the start of Filofax diary refills, like The World and Time. Sometimes, I leave them where they are; in some cases, I remove them to make space.

In the 2012 Personal Cotton Cream diary I bought recently, I noticed that the Clothing Size Equivalents page has been removed. I'm just as glad to see it gone -- it was really inaccurate when it came to the American sizes for woman's clothing.

Do you keep the info pages in your Filofax? If so, how often do you refer to them?

44 comments:

  1. People may or may not already know: the Purple Malden is FOR SALE on the City Organiser website ^_^

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    1. Hi Rabbit - Yes, they became available on Monday but are not yet on the Filofax websites. See this week's "Free for All Tuesday" (below) for more views.

      I would be interested to know whether folk are opting for the "creased" or "more creased" version? (or just deciding that thay don't really need yet another organiser and saving their money?!!)

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    2. When I bought mine, very shorly after they were added to the online shop, I can't remember seeing the 'creased or more creased' option, but then it did all happen very fast ...:) I didn't ask for one or the other, and the one I got is very smooth and looks quite dry, even though it isn't - I covered it in leather balm and it still looks dry and cracked. It does give it that vintage look, but I think I secretly prefer the leather in my vintage pink one - purely a personal thing, I like grainy and textured leather. The leather in the purple seems to be more like the ochre, and I assume the 'more cracked' will be softer, maybe - mine won't lie flat yet. But the dark purple colour is lovely!

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    3. I didn't know the purple Malden was for sale... thank you! I almost, very, very nearly got the A5 one. I have been looking / thinking / wondering about getting an A5 filo for a while and think the purple Malden might be it.

      Before I clicked the button and added it to my shopping cart I finally updated my accounts for this month so far... its a great deterrent from spending more money. But I am really, really tempted, even now...

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    4. I would love to see some reviews (picture heavy, of course) of the new Malden. I don't plan on buying one myself...The purple doesn't do a lot for me, and I already have an A5 in Ochre (it's so beautiful that it intimidates me and I'm not quite sure what to do with it, so I'm using a new 50% A5 Chameleon instead. How daft is that?! ;)
      Anyway, that doesn't dampen my curiousity in the slightest. I want to see the internet flooded by pictures of this new cult icon!!

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  2. There was a post a week or so ago about the joys of brown ink on cotton cream paper. I have discovered the joy of using a violet coloured pen for my diary, a uniball fine 'eye' pen which I've bought in WH Smith. Lovely colours in the range-pale blue, pink and orange also available. The pen lasts much longer than some other gel pens I have tried.The violet colour I think is lovely against cotton cream.

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    1. This week I've carried out my intention to convert to cotton cream,as I was in London with time to spare and able to visit the Conduit Street shop. So the whole interior of the Personal Malden is now cotton cream. I've also reverted back to the standard index pages, as I'm trying to simplify my system just a little.

      I also bought a FF own-brand pencil, which, if a little over-priced, is very nice indeed and fits the Malden's one) pen loop, thus solving an ongoing problem. Pen-wise I was interested in looking at the Lamy range, but got 'timed out' so was unable to complete the task. Your Uniball idea sounds interesting....I'll go and check them out (although the whole idea of having to visit WHS for *anything* gives me the twitches - presumably the cotton cream takes the Uniball without bleed-through?...

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    2. Hi David,
      Yes the uni ball does not bleed through my paper, but as it is 100 thickness and I have printed my own cotton cream diary,Ray and Steve's version, I honestly don't know about bleed through on the Filofax paper. You will have to try on a spare piece of your cotton cream, to see if bleed through occurs. I bought myself some blotting paper in Smiths too, and trimmed to A5 size, to avoid any smudgeleys. The colours of the eye uniball pens are quite bright and jazzy, but I like them that way, as it is easy to colour code appointments. The violet one is just lovely on cotton cream I think. My nearest Staples is a little bit far just to 'nip' for something like a pen. WHS convenient for me in terms of being nearby.... a time saver.

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    3. David, have you tried WHS on-line? Everything is cheaper than the actual stores, and they will either deliver free of charge to your nearest store or ship post free via Royal Mail if your order is more than £15. I use them all the time and haven't had any problems.

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    4. A great tip Neil! Thanks for that.

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    5. Good idea Neil, I'll definitely try that out. Maybe they're concentrating more on online now - they're certainly not giving any of their stores any love.....

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  3. I'd be interested to hear from anyone using the two-FF system as standard, with their larger (usually A5)binder staying on their desk and their 'satellite' Pocket/Personal going out with them. I've always been a staunch proponent of the 'one life' one organiser' approach, but I'm wondering if it might be worth taking a look at the 'split system' option again. Specifically, how do you keep your diary together? But anything else which you think is relevant would be of interest.....

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    1. Puts hand up... me sir... I'm using an A5 and a Personal Malden...

      The A5 stays on the desk, open at the TM Enhanced Week View (Ray and Steve variety) I note appointments and tasks in that one all the time.

      My personal sits just to the side of it. In it I also note appointments but on a Week Per Page FF diary. I add any notes I will need away from the desk, shopping lists etc. A lot of my tasks are things I will be doing at the desk so I don't need to have a copy of those in the personal.

      Also in the personal is another copy of my addresses and contacts, passwords etc etc. I use it when I'm out and about for making notes of things like opening hours of shops to add to our master list at home. They all vary here!

      If you need more detailed info on how the two work together email me..

      Steve

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    2. Steve did you get my emailed reply? My email is doing weird things today, since I was apparently hacked yesterday.....

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    3. Hi David,
      I'm a two filo girl. My personal Malden is my main one, which has all my lists, projects etc. I also have an A4 which is used for project support material, reading, GTD tickler file & any other papers too large for my personal. I use Google calendar on my iTouch, so don't need to keep diaries in my filofaxes.
      I bought the A4 for the space as I can find it hard to plan things on the personal size paper & it's really a back up filo, as my Malden is my main one.

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    4. Hello David - you're a TMI (Time Manager) guy. They always advocated keeping a full organiser on your desk/ in your briefcase and a pocket planner wallet for when out-and-about.

      I've gone back to this with great success. I keep my A5 (Filofax Holborn modified with a narrower 17mm ex TMI ring) for desk and bag. I then have a Flex slim wallet (supplemented by iPhone for core data) for when I'm out and don't need my full organiser.

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    5. hi Tim

      Good connection, well made - thank you.

      What precisely do you keep in the Flex to take out, and what processes do you have in place to 'reunite' stuff gathered/updated while out and about with the 'mother-ship' system?

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    6. I have only just entered the Filofax world, but I am doing almost exactly the same as Tim. For my birthday recently I received an A5 Finsbury which has everything in it, and a pocket sized Filofax Flex. In the latter I have a notebook (to capture any ideas or things I've remembered I need to do - I'm a GTD man) and a vertical year planner which gives me just enough space to put essential (non-work) appointments, so that I can check when I'm free.

      This works for me, but probably only because I'm at my desk for most of my working day, so don't need to carry around any work stuff in my Flex...

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    7. David and Daniel - here's a list of my core Flex Slim contents:-

      Flex slim wallet in grey (ghastly plastic but I'm waiting for the promised leather version)

      2 pen holder cards - front and back. One "upside down". These act as wallet closure when the pen (Frixion) is passed between them.

      Jot Pad - I write everything that crops up onto the sheets for transfer to A5 later. Kind of GTD!

      Year Planner - this is the only item that is in both my Flex and A5 - so I regularly check that the contents are the same!

      Credit cards/ driving licence card, stamps and business cards go in vertical slots.

      Banknotes (right) and receipts (left) go in the vertical inner pockets

      Rail tickets go in one of the outer vertical pockets. They can then be reached without opening the wallet up.

      Plus, also in the outer pockets, because I have too many cards to go in the card slots, I have made two cut down card holders that will take 4 cards each.

      Sounds a lot, but when closed the whole thing is 16-18mm thick.

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    8. Wow, I like your idea of using two pen loops to close the Flex! What a fab idea!

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    9. David, I too use a two ff system, based on the logic that I'd probably be continually agonising over what size of filofax to use, and also because I'd probably have to compromise my system if I tried to cram everything into just one binder, even if it was an A4.

      On my desk I fill as many filofaxes as I need, all in a row on a bookshelf, a bit like a set of encylopaedias. I've stuck to personal size because I prefer the quality of vintage ff's, and their smaller size makes them much easier to juggle at speed on the desk when you've got the phone in one hand and a pen in the other. Also, not stuffing them too much means that you can turn the pages faster without tearing the punched holes. I just have one set of a-z dividers and file everything alphabetically, using a simple gtd based system that connects with the folders in my filing cabinet.

      When I'm out I take my Moleskine/Filofax hybrid, which contains my diary, contextual based action lists (ie just the stuff I need to do or know about when I'm out), some contacts, personal data protected with a basic cypher (in case I lose my ff when I'm out), and an "inbox".

      I keep money and cards separately in my wallet (I can't imagine anyone waiting for me to separate my ff from my cards and cash if I'm robbed).

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  4. Hi, My first time posting, though I have been an avid lurker. Thought I would introduce myself. I am a stay at home Mum of two toddlers and am fully consumed by the Filo bug. This week I have bought the Purple Malden in pocket and personal as well as an A5 Finsbury - I think I need help?! Anyway I would also be interested in how people keep two filos running at the same time. Jen

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Jen,
      Welcome -I am also a newbie here! (my 2nd post)
      What do you think of the purple malden? I ordered it in A5 size and got it yesterday in the post (I asked for the 'smooth' version - which is just lovely and soft - exactly like my Ochre Malden personal).
      My personal I use as my everyday (in my bag with me whereever I go) and my A5 I'm now going to use as my "everything" diary/ notebook, lists/ journal (including project work etc) which sits happily on my desk in my study. Boz.

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    2. Hi, I love them. The colour is so rich and the leather seems thicker than my pink and ochre( which I must now sell!) - I picked the smooth option which I am very happy with. It's good of city org to offer a choice. I am going to trial using my A5 Finsbury for home and having all of my life in it with my pocket Malden as my handbag Filo. My personal will go into storage unless I can't get on with the above set up.

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  5. Not exactly sure how this has happened but in a few weeks time, I am going from the owner of an ancient filo, to three- I've added two maldens in- I looked high and low for a crimson, so bought an ochre but then an Australian sale came up (In the spirit of enabling Australians, buyinvite has some FF on sale until Tues 9am)

    PS I think Philofaxy made me do it ;)

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  6. It is interesting that you mention clothing sizes being “inaccurate”, but isn’t it more accurate to state that they were increasing useless because the manufacturers and designers in different countries don’t keep to any one standard set of sizes? I suspect that is the reason why FF withdrew the clothing sizes.

    For me personally, consistent clothing sizes aren’t a problem because apart from the odd special suit or shoes I’m principally a Marks and Spencer shopper and they have quite consistent sizes. But I have a client who has continuously attempted to “fiddle” her clothing expenses from a trust fund, often paying for the clothes of her friends and in return they would pay for her jewellery/restaurant bills/airline tickets etc or just give her cash in exchange, but the only way to identify an irregularity with expenses is when unusual clothing/shoe sizes appeared on the invoices supplied. But the obvious question is what is an unusual size? Sizes in Northern Italy aren’t necessarily the same as Paris, Madrid, London or New York, and even within any city in any country there are different retailers with their own (sometimes radical) interpretation of any size. When I met the young lady I would try and match the clothing I saw to retail invoices and over the years I managed to build a picture of matching each retailers sizes, in all the countries she normally visits, which extended to 3 sides of A4 paper for just her narrow band of sizes. I couldn’t make chart on one sheet because there were so many exceptions, seemingly designed to flatter a person into thinking they were still a certain size. In the end I gave up because various retailers changed their sizes in an effort to conform, but it didn’t work so all they ended up doing was creating more confusion.

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  7. Does anyone have any tips for setting up a project file or book? I have a number of meaty projects that I need to progress all with a significant number of tasks. My idea is to list them all, along with their tasks which I can add to as I think of them, and them transfer tasks across to my planner each day to try and progress them. Is this what others do? Otherwise I just hide from these projects and don't get anything done!!! Can't decide to do this in a FF or a very attractive notebook that I would enjoy using!

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    1. Alison,
      Here in the States we can get punched index cards which fit into a small index card ring binder, probably about the size of a pocket or mini filofax. I used to use these to manage projects with huge numbers of tasks, as you could easily add new tasks and shuffle the order. You could use the same sort of system in a filofax, although it may be wasteful to write only one task onto a full sheet. Another option would be a rolodex.

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    2. Alison I've created some month project activity pages for A4/A5 that might help you. Monthly Activity Planner (A5)

      Steve

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  8. I try to avoid setting up such project/work files because I end up with what is basically yet another personal organiser, rather than just a basic storage file of data.

    I keep my main points, and therefore the functions of management (being planning/leadership/organisation/control), within the Organiser along with the focus being the problem/objective. I look at what questions and answers I need to resolve the problem/achieve the task, which involves some sort of mind map with “to do” points, and keep to it otherwise I lose my focus and waste time.

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  9. I have 2 'working' filos -- a pocket Baroque for everything EXCEPT long-term to dos, media (books/movies), and shopping lists, which are in a mini Malden also used as a wallet. This way, I have no duplications. I don't think I can handle having to sync everything all the time. I'm even contemplating moving the to-dos and media lists in the Baroque just so that I really reach for only one Filo.

    I've only ever needed the Clothing Size sheet once while at M&S and didn't have it with me. It's now the back page of the January tabbed MO2P which is why it's in my filo, otherwise, I would still have left it out. When I was working a 9-5 job, I had all the Int'l Travel Info pages since I had global contacts and was traveling all the time.

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  10. Is anyone thinking of buying BOTH the smooth and 'more creased' versions of the purple Malden (from City Organiser) to see which you prefer and then return the other one? I really don't know which one I'd like (when they come back in stock next week!)

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    1. TPS, I only have the smooth and I love it. I would say in time the smooth would go more creased with regular usage. Jen

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    2. I don't think they would be too happy about sending out both to everyone that ordered them... imagine if everyone did that.

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  11. I think there is something wrong with me - after receiving my fabulous new filos this week I have just gone onto the UK website to see that the 2013 diaries are available. First reaction - quick, must look, start planning my set-up for next year... :o)

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  12. Before any one asks... the Ray and Steve inserts for 2013 will be available in the next few days. I've started creating them this evening.

    I will announce when the are available. And a little hint we have pocket size coming out this weekend... for 2012

    Steve

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    1. Yay for pocket size! I've been on tenterhooks waiting for them to come out. Thanks in advance!

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    2. 2013 inserts - fantastic. So clearly thinking about my set up for next year even though it is only March does not make me crazy - that's a relief :o)

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  13. 2013 already?? Wow, that is super organised Steve!! I have only just finished finalising my 2012 set up.... after several failed diary formats. Now on cotton cream paper, with the Ray and Steve amended TM diary..... and loving it, so far.... so good!! Iam now a 1 diary 1 life person. My personal slimline was my carry about diary, but I got fed up of synching 2 diaries and the fear of missing something from one to the other. Now my slimline personal is my address book, which travels in my handbag. Much more useful with that one function.

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  14. Has anyone ever used a Filofax as a Diary/Journal? I'm undecided on whether a filo or a bound book would be better. If anyone does use a filo, how do you find it, and how do you archive your past years?

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    1. Doris98, I have set up one of my FFs as my Happiness Project binder. In it I have a 2012 diary in cotton cream that I am using as a journal. I write 2-4 sentences in it each day (my version of an expanded 1-sentence diary). It's working really well!

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    2. DEM, thanks for the input. I do want to keep a Journal, and I do want to use one of my filos for that. What size are you using for your journal? I may just try to do what you do and limit my 'thoughts' to 2-4 sentences. (:

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    3. Doris and DEM, I am using a pocket red Adelphi as a dream journal. I use lined paper, rather than a dated journal.Interesting to look back and see what your sub- conscious is trying to tell you!!

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    4. I think what type of diary and what size is a very personal choice. Personally, I use and love my filofax (personal sized metropol) as my diary/journal. For my needs it is just about perfect, save the inconvenience of the the rings being in the way when writing on the left page.

      Why I like my personal filofax over a bound notebook:
      1. The pages are protected by the filofax. No more dog eared, dirty notebooks!
      2. Because it has my calendar, it goes with my everywhere. Which means that when my mood strikes me the journal is right there.
      3. I don't have to carry my entire journal with me everywhere. I can take 100 plain pages or just 10 with me, it is my choice. With a bound notebook, you don't have that choice.
      4. I like that I can switch up the kind of paper I use and experiment with different sorts. In a bound notebook, you are stuck with the paper in the notebook. When I'm in a watercolour phase, I can add paper that can take that. When I'm just using lead pencil, then I can use cheap copy paper.
      5. Finally, I love how cute the journal bundles look with the "brass trumpets"* and finally, when the year is out (or you have to start a new stack), a red ribbon around. I store mine in a journal box in my wardrobe.

      *I don't know the name in English of these wonderful little things. They are almost like a two-legged brass nail with a very wide head. You simply stick them through the perforated holes in your papers, and then stack up your journal until half the nail(s) is filled. Then you bend the legs, to lock the pages down.

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