11 May 2012

Free For All Friday No 182

It doesn't matter how many times I reorganise my Filofax organisers, making 'improvements' adding new sections or new pages. It is not until I've used them for a few weeks that I discover or confirm if they really are improvements or not.

I've been using my 'Work' A5 Finsbury during a property search for a client these last few weeks, so far it has been working well, but I'm considering some improvements and additions to help record all the details we need to note for our client. During a house viewing time is of the essence, so I'm developing a new check list so I can just tick boxes and save some scribbling time whilst looking around a house!

So have you made any changes to your main Filofax recently? But as always as it's Friday you are of course welcome to discuss anything Filofax related...

Have a great weekend.

62 comments:

  1. Yes, I switched from DPP to W2P (columns) for better overview and for my monthly planner from M2P to folding year planners for the same reason.

    As a benefit, my Filo has slimmed down quite a bit. Paper is cream coloured from Succes as I like their Layout and paper quality better than Filofax. And it's easier to get here in the Netherlands.

    The change was inspired by the X47 planning system that I tried for a while, but which failed because it did not have room for my work-related print-outs.

    Have a great Friday, folks!

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    1. Which one is that success paper you mentioned? Does it fit Filofaxes or you adapted?

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    2. @Rene Raggl - could you please post a URL for the paper you mentioned? Is it Personal or A5 size?

      Many thanks!

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    3. Mine is A5 format and fits the Filofax without any adjustments being necessary. They do have Personal too, which is called "Standard" by Succes.

      Here's a pic I made: http://pic.twitter.com/2ovj0lfy

      You can find it on their corporate website: http://www.succes.com
      (Their site is auto-detecting the language based on the IP, so unfortunately I can't forward the link from the site directly.)

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  2. I have made some changes recently and really like them. The Time management week per view that Ray developed is definitely working wonders for work. I was using the regular week per view that came with my A5 - lined columns for each day - and not much luck there.
    My big change for the month right now is trying to go back to personal. My work A5 is getting heavy and I decided to separate personal and work. My only problem is the month calendar that I record things for both (work&personal) and most of the times one depends on the other. I decided to give it a try and split them anyway. I will be double-entrying the month per view pages on both of organizers. Will see how that goes.

    Soooo, a few questions for Filofax experts out there.
    1- Is Filofax releasing a different collection for fall or what we saw in March/ April is all we will get for the year?
    2- Tying to previous question, will there be new colors for chameleon?
    I just got a spring green and was looking at the available colors printed on the box for that style and the acqua is not there. So were they released on two different sets? red, raspberry and black as the core ones and spring green and acqua depending on the season? (BTW they came in different boxes too! Meaning different dates released? acqua came in the black box, the spring green came in one of those "side-open" boxes). I have been obviously in love with chameleons since I got my first one (acqua) and am nervous they will be discontinued. Any thoughts, insights or comments of relief on that?

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    1. @Lime Tree - It's *exactly* this which prevents me from splitting between work and home (even though I work *from* home) - if I stick with the A5 it weighs 1.1kg (as of yesterday) which makes it a bind to carry around, especially when I'm in London on business for two days with a laptop as well, plus I look like a planning inspector when I go to the gym, or to a restaurant! However, I'd *love* the extra space and flexibility for work if the A5 never left my desk.

      My Personal is working pretty well for list keeping and as a GTD 'capture tool' (I'm a pretty hardcore GTD aspirant this year), but the A5's size and space is definitely attractive for work. It's the diary which is the sticking point - like you, my personal and work diaries are inter-related, hence my common use of the 'one life, one organiser' mantra.

      I'd be interested to see how you get on with your experiment. How often are you going to reconcile the two diaries? I can see this fitting into the general heading of 'weekly review' (per GTD, but that week's gap makes me nervous.....

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    2. @ Lime Tree - re splitting work and home.
      If you're going back to personal sized, why not have one fax for work data, one for home data, and a slimeline fax for your combined work and home diary. Carry your slimeline with you at all times, together with the the data from each of your data faxes that you need for that particular day.

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    3. That's a fabulous idea Neil. I'd love a slimline but until they start making them in feminine colours, I'll just have to be patient and make do with my compact!

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    4. @LIme Tree: the Chameleon range is entirely discontiued! That's why they are on sale currently.
      They started with raspberry, black, red and spring green, then added brown and aqua to the game.
      I don't know where you ordered your Chameleon from? Usually, UK delivers most binders in side-slip boxes, while the rest of Europe uses the nice black boxes (except for the Mini-size btw).

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    5. Yes, it's so sad! T^T The Chameleon really is the perfect "luxury filofax, neither too up-scale or down-scale and is also easily cleaned" (<-- what a friend said just yesterday)! I have to hurry up and get a brown one and another aqua before they disappear completely!

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    6. @David Popely "I look like a planning inspector" lol that is how I feel sometimes. I get excited about something want to write down and pull out that humongous + heavy A5 out of my purse at the restaurant on a friday night. yeah, don't feel really comfortable.
      I am not sure yet how long I will keep my sync system going on. I started using one single reminder to-do sheet that I write down everything that comes to mind that I need to do in any "category". All together in that one sheet. At night when getting ready for the next day I read that list and allocate the task to the category it belongs. That way I write myself a reminder that some new appointment came up and I need to sync both organizers. It's a lot of work. I am having fun so far as I try to find my way but will see. It may not be as fun after a month!
      I am still carrying both of them around because I am scared I may miss something thou :D I will keep you posted.

      @Neil - that sounds good but I take tons of notes on my work diary so I can't squeeze in well on personal size.

      @Jotje and @Yu oh.my.gosh! {Rush to pens&leather to save one raspberry}

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    8. Don't forget that filofax.dk has a 50% sale on all Chameleons! *places her order*

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    9. @Yu they don't ship to US :(

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    10. Whaaat?! That sucks! =( If it weren't for the uncertain cost of the shipping price, I could buy one for you. (Might not be worth it money-wise that way.) They are still on a 50% sale in the stores over here (but when I buy filofaxes in the store, they don't come in boxes).

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    11. no worries! Thanks for helping! :) Although there are no more Spring Green Personal available here in US, I found a raspberry that I also wanted. That will do for now. I think...;)

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  3. I have a question about making it easier to turn pages on the rings...my personal is comfortably full but I'm noticing that the pages are starting to snag (nothing to do with the ring openings - they're perfect). For instance, when I close my FF, about 20 pages are getting 'caught up' at the bottom of the rings rather than sliding up like the rest of the content, so that it feels difficult to close it. Hard to describe it so I apologise if I've lost you ;)

    I think it was Scoot who mentioned a few weeks ago using a wax on the rings to make page turning super easy...what kind of wax would be appropriate?

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    1. @Whispering Rabbit - I have the same issue with my Personal Malden, only it's definitely due to the fact that i have plastic credit card holder towards the back of the binder (like most people i have a lot of plastic of various kinds), and I use my Filofax as my wallet, among other things. Sadly I don;t really know the answer to this. I know the problem *seems worse when i use a notepad in the Malden's back cover (I've almost stopped doing this now), but otherwise I just have to either a) make do or b) varry less plastic cards - and I know that's not going to work long-term.

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    2. White candle wax will fill in odd pitting which catch paper. Just rub wax candle with a piece of cloth or kitchen tissue towel, then just rub cloth on rings. It is just like waxing your curtain rails so that they draw easily and smoother.

      Alternatively, just clean and polish your rings with a metal cleaner...the combination being enough to create a slippy surface.

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    3. @ Whispering Rabbit - Before you complete close your fax, hold it with the rings uppermost and give it a little shake. The sheets at the back will drop down to join the others.

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    4. @ Whispering Rabbit - Neils tip above works. I do it every time I close my filo as I hate it when my pages slip behind the rings too :o)

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    5. Thanks everyone for your advice - I have some metal cleaner in the house (...somewhere) so I'll give that a go as well. ^_^

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  4. I few weeks ago I thought I was reaching FAIL with my pocket Aston but when I sat down and thought about it, some of the "fail" was because I was itching to use my new Holborn and partly because the diary set-up wasn't right in the Aston.
    I changed from a week on 2 pages plus a 2 pages per day combination to a modified Pocket TM from Steve and Ray. The modification I made was to merge the task lines so that there are 14 rather than 28 (as they were too small for me to write comfortably in and so it didn't look realy crowded) and to add in "Coming Up" to the bottom of the task list side so I have a heads-up. It's working at the moment, but only because work is quiet and I don't have many fixed appointments in a week. But, when things get busy I will move to the Holborn though I'll probably keep the same set-up style.

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  5. I've been fiddling with my system soooo much in the last few weeks.
    As my A5 Domino was new at Christmas, I had the usual W2P layout, which is what I was accustomed to with the Organised Mum diaries I'd been using for the last three years.
    I wanted to make more of a record of what we'd done each day, notes on childrens naps, what we'd eaten etc. so bought a PPD I put at the back as a log. But I found I wasn't using either section effectively and this week I took out the W2P and promoted the PPD. Yesterday I added in a blank sheet between the days to record what we eat each day. I also have a mini sheet punched on both sides as a 'hotlist' of more urgent things to do and a mini plastic envelope which contains a sheet for the current 'Flylady' Zone, which I move from day to day.

    I'm trying to fit as much as I can into one 'spread' so I don't have to flip back and forth too much between sections during the day.

    I also bought the Jan-Dec dividers and month on one sheet with notes in personal size (sold out in a5) to have a quick overview of the month.
    Nothing pocket sized in there yet, but I've got a pocket filo I use for something else. :-D

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  6. I have a couple questions and would really appreciate your answers:
    1. Will a pocket size plastic envelope fit a personal size Filo?
    2. How soft is the leather on the Finsbury?
    3. When you buy from the FF site or from P&L, what does that "and more!" mean on the contents listing? It is driving me a bit crazy...

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Romina

      In answer to your questions . . .

      1. No. I just tried it and it definitely doesn't.
      2. It's not soft, more smooth and shiny. I have one and I've just stroked it!!
      3. Don't have a clue I'm afraid!

      Hope this helps!
      Lucy x
      http://www.allthingsstationery.blogspot.co.uk/

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    2. Thanks Lucy :) i really like the blue finsbury that came out for Spring.

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    3. The Finsbury is, as Lucy said, more smooth and shiny (although pleasantly 'texturised' by the leather's detailing). It seems to have a very very thin sheet of card stitched between the fabric and the leather, so it's not a floppy binder (like a Malden, for example). It may or may not lie flat, depending on the training you want to give it. It definitely has a very soliid, satisfying feel to it.

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    4. @Romina - From memory (it's been a while since I've ordered a Filofax), the contents of a personal usually includes the 6 standard tabs (Diary, Information, Financial, Notes, Projects, Addresses), a week on two pages diary, note paper (usually three different colors), to-do sheets, some other specialty papers (maybe financial or web addresses), some form of A-Z tabs for addresses, Today marker, and maybe a clear envelope of some kind. The contents may change a bit depending on the binder you're looking at, but this is the general contents that I've seen with most of my binders. From what I understand (and have experienced), you can email both P&L and Filofax and should get an answer specific to the binder you're looking at.

      Hope this helps!

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    5. @Rabbit thanks! I've read great things about the Domini but i really want my first Filo to be leather and the Fins seems like a good (pocket friendly) start.

      @Kanalt thanks for the deets! Before i purchase, i will probably email CS and ask. I just want to make sure i purchase any extras i need without ending with doubles.

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  7. For the last month I've consolidated my life to one filo - my vintage (circa 1986) personal Tejus filo. After 15 years my position as a Project Manager at a Fortune 500 company was eliminated due to corporate restructuring. So as a sad reminder, I don't like looking at my A5 these days as that was my sidekick all day at work. I do plan on redeisigning the sections and posting on my new blog (as soon as I get more experienced in using the camera to capture photos). What I'm doing with the Tejus is moving more to a project section about me and my job search. I'm also playing with the idea of restructing the Financial section. I used to keep budgets by the month but I'm now thinking about putting together a snapshop that I can use for a quarterly view. As a result, my full time personal filo and I are bonding and I actually prefer the one filofax useage as I'm not running from room to room looking for the appropriate filofax!! Susan and Nan, I cannot wait to show you this vintage filo at our New York meet up next month!!

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    1. So jealous that I'm missing the NYC Meet-up this year and the chance to see such an awesome vintage Filo!

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    2. I can't wait Michele - I'm looking forward to it!

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  8. As for changes: I'm very happy with my TimeManagement 2PPD inserts. They work brilliantly for recording work and personal Todo's. I'm still not happy with my columned WO2P, though. I need the columns, because my brain plays tricks on me if I have a horizontal weekly layout. But I also want room to record weekly todo's. For this I'm using the Daytimer Hotlists, but I'm just not happy with it.

    I'm contemplating buying the Family Life Book from OrganisedMum once it is released (should be in June). I would need to dismantle the wirebound book and punch all pages, but size-wise it would be a perfect fit. The columned layout is what I'm used to in my wall calendar (also from OrganisedMum), and I would have room to record all the different activities of my kids that all seem to happen at the exact same time. Plus: a columns for Todo's!
    The best thing though: the paper quality! Heavy thick paper that loves all pens and inks.

    Anyway, we'll see if that's a solution to my weekly layout problems ...

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    1. I'd never thought about hacking the Organised Mum diaries. Hmm...

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    2. Me neither, and a 'Pocket Life Book' from Organised Mum landed on my doormat today! Oh the fun I will have playing with that now you've put that wonderful idea in my head! I feel another blog post coming on!

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    3. @Jotje the TimeManagement 2PPD inserts is the one you showed on your A5 Adelphi video? where did you get it? I tried finding that ebay seller you mentioned but no luck. Would you mind sharing a link?

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    4. Search eBay.UK for Themalvernbookcase. They don't have the inserts listed at the moment, but you could always email them!

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    5. Thank you!!! I emailed them. Will see.
      Do they have the manufacture's name written on the side like Filofax has on their inserts? Maybe I can google that brand and find other sellers...

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  9. I now have a number of filos. Several have perfectly valid uses that help me in day to day life. However there are a couple that are just hanging around in the wings. So why oh why do I still find myself shopping for more? I have just bought 2 more. One pocket as a back up in case mine breaks(!)and another A5.....because it is pretty.

    Luckily I think I now have all the filos that 'do it for me' (except a personal ochre Malden). Will that stop me?

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  10. Fairly new to Philofaxy - but have been using my A5 Finsbury for 3 years. I recently changed my "Notes" section from lined pages to blank pages. I like it better - as my note taking is fast and haphazard. I use the section a lot as I spend most of my work day on the phone. A blank page is the perfect place to scribble a few notes, or to dos that arise from my conversations. The blank pages also accommodate my decorative scribbles and doodles better.

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    1. But do you keep the pages with doodles? For me they would just remind me that I was being inefficient. Certainly I can see that unlined paper is better for creativity. What happens when you try squared paper?

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    2. Scoot,

      My doodles are mostly just mindless drawings that occur while I am listening to others on the phone. I am usually not even conscious of what I am drawing. I generally pull the pages out every evening and dump them into my Inbox. (I am a GTD follower). Once I process the pages, I toss the them in the recycle bin.

      I have used the squared pages in the past, but I feel like the square lines get in the way. On the Filofax pages the lines are particularly thick and black. Also, I write a lot of notes, about 5 - 10 pages per day. The lined pages are just too expensive at that rate. I found that I would not write stuff down because I didn't want to run out of paper. Now I just get a ream of paper from Staples and have them chop it in half for me. 1,000 pages for $11 (with the chop) means that my pages now cost just 1.1 cent per sheet, so I don't mind burning through 10 pages per day. Also - because I just use these pages for notes - not any sort of eloquent discourse - I don't feel like I need "nice" paper.

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  11. I literally read Philofaxy yesterday and revamped my organiser using this site as inspiration!
    I wrote my very first blog post about it!
    www.the-wonderful-life-of-alice.blogspot.co.uk
    I need some transfers though for my tabs - off to hunt for them at The Range tomorrow!
    Does anyone have any other ideas to spice it up for me?

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    1. Congratulations, you seem to have covered all options within one fax.

      Nice fax, like the others by Paperchase as per your link, which I am sure women and younger people will find have more appeal than Filofax's.

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    2. To be honest i went into Paperchase again today to have a look at the filofax ones and i wasn't really impressed at all! I imagined soft leather or fabric - well finished interiors etc and this was not what i found - everything is hard and cheap with fraying bits etc - i actually prefer the design and colour options of Paperchase ones!
      I also prefer the Paperchase accessories - much more colourful, no annoying logos etc - Filofax is good for some things like the clip in rulers and world maps etc but not for the basics - the paper is thin and cheaper too!
      Im on to stage 2 of customising mine today though :)

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  12. I just 'made' my mother a filo using an A5 Domino in Red, I then hand-cut and punched (with a one hole puncher I might add) 250 pages of BLANK paper, because she doesn't use lined paper. I also put in the 2PPW because the spaces are blank there. She loves it.

    As for my own filofaxes, I added some blog mind mapping type pages from mikesmind.co.uk and they are working out really well.

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    1. Hah! As a member of the one-hole-puncher club I know what you've gone through with those 250 pages...if that doesn't tell someone you love them, what will? ;)

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  13. The "ideas" template on the mikesmind site is in fact almost identical to the one I gave to Philofaxy which you can find on the files page.
    Just sayin'

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    1. I couldn't find it at the time, I will go and look right now. Thanks for letting me know about it.

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  14. Hi there, I've been wondering about getting a Topaz or Luxe (crimson), and they look very similar on the ff web site. The Luxe seems to be a bit more upmarket, but I wondered if anyone out there has seen them both and could describe the differences to me. Thanks!

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    1. baggirl, which size are you planning on buying? I have a red Topaz and a Luxe crimson (compact) and like them both for different reasons.
      The Luxe is a stiffer binder but a lovely shade of (blue) red. To me it is the perfect red and the best thing about the binder. I don't however like the inside card spacing and pockets, I think it lets the binder down. The inside of the binder has a darker smooth leather.

      The Topaz is much softer and bendier (is that a word?) and I love the secretarial pocket in the font. The inside pockets are the same as the Amazona but the lizard pattern is carried through to the inside.
      I think they are comparable in their 'upmarket' status. If you have a look on the Danish FF website it shows both but you can get an idea of the inside of the Topaz by looking at the Amazona. Also Flickr has some great shots of the Topaz.
      Hope this helps.

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    2. Thanks Saffy. I'm actually thinking of getting a mini. I hate bulk, and I like flexibility, so I think the Topaz sounds much better for me. I got a pocket slimline Topaz on ebay recently because I thought I might re-expand back to pocket size but found I actually didn't like the bigger pages! But I am craving a new filofax....!

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  15. Hmm, I am one of the newest followers of the site and for quite time I just read the blog. :) However, I think I am already obsessed by my Filo and just like many of you I reorganize mine.
    My first Filo was bought in December 2010, when I just by accident and thanks to a sale I bought it - personal graphic in red. Around mid April I couldn't resist to the A5 zipped graphic in red, so I changed to this one. (Here Filofax are not famous brand, so there is no big choice, but enough to start my passion).
    After buying the second one, I began thinking how to organize my everyday life in a way so that I can write down my personal, working and studying life in one place. I had to remember so many details (although I have great memory capacity), but somehow the head became too small for all thoughts I had to rmemeber. :D
    And I started just with 1-2 youtube clips, they forwarded me to 1-2 websites and to be honest from all of them I came to Philofaxy, which was a great treasure. I found soooo many ways and even templates for my Filo. The only thing was to buy A5 paper package. Although many of the templates was not very useful for my type of work, they were great inspiration what and how to creat my own.
    So one night at the end of April I sat down and began cutting, punching and inscribing. After a new set of self-made dividers a la Filofax, I began preparing my new inserts - checklists for document submission with note fields. (My type of work includes collection of documents, which are submitted to an agency for obtaining approval for conduct of clinical trial.) Step by step, my new Filo became a Filo, which I cannot separate from it, even if I go to a restaurant in the evening. Although it is heavy it is priceless for me. I am sure he will show even more in the future.(The word gender in my mother tongue is masculine, so I began calling it "he".)
    I am very glad I found other passionate people about (as many of my colleagues say)my "bunch of papers". :) :) :)

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  16. I would REALLY like to see this format in English. I could happily cope with the French... It's not on the UK site though and the P+P seems daft for just this. :-(
    http://www.filofax.fr/store/diaryrefillsdetails.asp?productId=2455

    I know Filofax would probably say it's too expensive to make all the different inserts in all the languages, but, surely, there would be enough English-speakers between the UK and US to make this worthwhile (since there would appear to be enough to make it worthwhile in France!).

    Grrrrr!!!

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    1. Last September, I found this format lying around in a small business office/stationary shop, and I asked for a discount as it was a 2011 refill and I argued noone else would buy it so close to the end of the year. It worked and I was delighted to have bought it for half price !

      But it took me a month to admit that, though I thought it would be perfect for me, this format was a huge fail : the space between the lines is incredibly tiny, you don't really realize it until you have to write on it "for real", on the go, as opposed to when I was at home rewriting the last three month of appointments for 2011...

      Perhaps the exact same layout scaled up to fit in an A5 format would work better, but in Personal, I really like my week spaces unlined.

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    2. @Frederique
      Thanks! That's helpful! If you still have any of the inserts, could you measure the space between the lines please?? I quite like lined but not if the spacing is too tiny...

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    3. I'm sorry Amanda, but I don't have the inserts anymore ! But I quickly tried to "guestimate" the height of the lines.

      According to the refill "WPP+notes" layout (http://www.filofax.fr/images/products/refills/line/68437x.jpg), there are 6 lines and they make 5 "line-spaces", for each day. That's 30 line-spaces.

      If you take a regular Filofax-ruled paper, there are 31 lines and 30 "line-spaces". Each line-space is 4,75mm (4 line-spaces measure 19mm, I've just checked with the Filofax-ruler).

      So, for your refill, let's assume that each day-title is 1 cm, and add another cm for the page title; that leaves us with (17,1cm-7cm)/30 equals 3,3mm per linespace, vs 4,75mm for filofax-ruled paper.

      That's a guesstimate, again, but I feel it's not that far-off.

      (Note to self, always keep a sheet of a used diary ! I threw away the remaining of partially used diarys, thinking I would never use them again, but I find that I would have had alternate uses for them - even to prove a point in a philofaxy-comment :)

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    4. Unfortunately, I don't have the inserts anymore !

      But I've made a quick quesstimate as to the height of the lines :

      - personal filofax ruled-paper has 31 lines, that makes 30 line-spaces, and as 4 line-spaces are 19mm (thank you filofax ruler), each line-space is 4.75mm.

      - the "WPP+notes" refill has 6 lines (5 line-spaces) per day so that's 30 line-spaces per page; let's assume that each day "title" and the page title are 1cm each, that leaves us with line-spaces of (17,1cm-7cm)/30 = 3.3mm.

      And when you look at the insert image (http://www.filofax.fr/images/products/refills/line/68437x.jpg), you'll note that the notes section line-height (the same as ruled paper, if I recall correctly) is quite bigger than the day line-heights.

      So, sure, that's only a guesstimate, but I feel it's not that far off :)

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    5. Thank you!!!
      I may have to make a mock-up and see if I could cope...
      Thank you for all the help!

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