07 September 2012

FFAF No. 199

I recently took my filofax abroad with me (more details in another post) and I found that my simple set up really worked well. Since returning to the UK, I've been working on actually using my filo, rather than spending too much time trying to find the perfect dividers or layout. I enjoy thinking up different ways to use my Malden, but to be honest this is sometimes me just procrastinating on actually getting stuff done! So, for the time being I'm not going to change anything, and I have a sheet of lined paper in my projects section where I will note down any ideas or tweaks for later consideration.

I'm curious, how long do you normally stick to a certain layout before deciding to bring in any changes?

And as it's a Friday, please feel free to discuss anything filofax related or ask any questions that you might have.

54 comments:

  1. Not directly filo related, but does anyone have any suggestions for a printer that takes custom filo sized paper & does double sided printing for a mac? I just bought an epson and am so annoyed because it said it did both but then i found out these features only work on windows computers! So annoying. I just want to print out some inserts for my filofax!!! lol.

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    1. Anyone who is on my FB will know the problems I've been having with my HP printer, but when it decides to work it *does* do automatic duplex and prints on filofax paper too (but not duplex on filofax paper IIRC as I think it's too small). It's an HP Photosmart Premium C309g and it's also an airprint printer. I have been tearing my hair out with it though. Despite it having a direct USB-USB connection from printer to Mac it has been somewhat temperamental. But the features are good as I say.

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    2. I've had nothing but good experiences with several HP printers, I have to say. I have an OfficeJet Pro 8600, and it's brilliant. Like Babs says, it won't duplex A5, but it's easy enough to do manually, or just print double on A4. It prints wirelessly from my Mac with aplomb. The ink lasts for ages too. I've made the mistake of buying other cheaper printers, and really regretted it - my last mistake was a Kodak that is a total nightmare. The software crashes my computer, the ink carts don't last five minutes...

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    3. I have a Canon printer (don't remember the model though, sorry) and it does duplex printing and I was able to create a custom size for personal paper manually. I also have a Mac and those features work just fine! It doesn't do booklet printing though, at least not with my Mac.

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    4. Thanks babs! Super helpful.

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  2. I have made set up changes three times this month but that is all this year and it is mainly because I want to use a compact but I like a timed diary for work. I tried a two fax system for about two weeks and now I'm thinking just the compact is for me. I am just trying to get it right so I can order next years diary! I think I might have it but I'll give it a week!

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    1. I feel your pain - I've just changed for the third time in a month as well, and have decided that I'm not letting myself be tempted by a different layout until after Christmas. Hopefully.

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    2. I rarelt change my setup any more...since I settled on my current arrangement at the end of 2011 it's worked pretty well *most* of the time, and I subscribe to the philosophy of not trying to mend anything that isn't broken.

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  3. I rarely tweak it now it has everything i need in it. I recently changed a tab title as i quit my position as a Civilian Instructor at the local air cadets squadron and didn't need that section in my filofax any more... it is now a nameless section that currently has no use but i'm sure one will turn up!

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  4. I have just got a Pocket and A5 Finsbury. The A5 I use for work and managed to setup quite quickly in a way that suits me. I want to use the pocket Finsbury as a way for me to note down ideas for the webcomic that I'm writing and producing along with ideas for blog posts, work to be done on the site, etc. and I can't seem to come up with any ideas for a good setup. Has anyone else every used their Filofax for something similar or could anyone give me any help....

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    1. I use my personal filofax as a writing journal. It tracks my writing blog and serves as research notes for the novel that I'm writing. You can read about it on my blog: http://nowastedink.com. I did a post about my writing journal setup and how I use Scrivner + Filofax to organize my writing blog. I think that some of these ideas would work well for your webcomic organization.

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    2. I'll check that out. Really curious about scrivener, and I've read a lot of reviews on it. People seem to fall into two camps, love it or hate it, but no middle ground. Looking forward to seeing your opinion on it. Not sure how I could tie it in with a Filofax but that would be a bonus.

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    3. Feel free to call me any kind of fan-girl you want, but Scrivener is the one piece of software I would never, ever cope with being without. I love it, I've stuck with it for years, which is unique for me, and I use it pretty much every day, sometimes for hours - and I've not once walked away frustrated. Check it out, and check out the amazing forums too - loads more lovely, helpful people there; Scrivener is a community rather like this is :)

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    4. I'll check that out. Really curious about scrivener, and I've read a lot of reviews on it. People seem to fall into two camps, love it or hate it, but no middle ground. Looking forward to seeing your opinion on it. Not sure how I could tie it in with a Filofax but that would be a bonus.

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    5. Do you really want ideas on that, because I'm capable of talking about Scrivener at great length! My usage isn't what yours would be, but maybe I could help. Again, a post on the forums over there would net you advice from far more knowledgable people than me!

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  5. I don't constantly change my set up all the time, I pick my diary and tend to stick with that for the year but the rest of the Filofax comes with time, I work with it and change things as I go along using temp labels, when i'm certain i've got the set up how I want it then out comes the permanent pen and I stick with it, i've been trying out different way's with to-do's, i'm happy with my system this year but I have TM diaries for next year so there will be some changes then, as for the rest of the set up I don't think that will change!!

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    1. Would love to know how you are handling your to-dos ... this seems to be the biggest area of weakness for me and I have ended up keeping them separately from my filofax as I got tired of them spoiling things!

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  6. I ordered from Filofax UK for the first time (yay for my first Filofax!) on 8/29 and have not received an email saying it was shipped and it only says "order received" in my order status on their site. Do they change the status and send an email when they ship or is this normal not to have any communication? Just thought I'd check here before I call their customer service long distance.

    Thanks! :)

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    1. It's the norm, they never send a shipped email and very rarely update status to shipped!!

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    2. Thank you, Alison! I'm so antsy to get my Filofax and was starting to think my order fell through the cracks! Now to impatiently wait...

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    3. Filofax France, on the other hand, are brilliant! (Of course, it helps if you can read French.)

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  7. Has anyone else seen that Organised Mum are now offering personal sized inserts (as well as a small choice of binders)? (I put a comment up on Jotje's blog....

    http://www.boxhousepublishing.com/Pick-and-Mix.html

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    1. Yes we have a blog post about these coming up on Sunday.

      We are also trying to get some samples to review.

      Steve

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    2. I've just ordered some! I was planning a blog on them.

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    3. Oh wow! I am seriously liking these! I'll wait for your post on Sunday before ordering some I think Steve. They look right up my street!

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    4. Yay - my Organised Mum inserts arrived today. I just had to take some time out of essay writing to examine them. I'm so keen to use the diary that I contacted Boxhouse to ask if a 2012 version was available!

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  8. I changed my diary in August. In some ways it was silly of me to print and write everything out again, but now I am so delighted that I did it. I had Steve and Ray's TM modified A5 diary and was thrilled with it..... but then I saw Gail Wheatley's magnificent labels and just had to have some!!!!! So off I went and printed away. However, white labels on cream paper just jarred with me so much every single day, that I soon had to have a white diary again.... but on good quality paper..... hence the full re- print. I now have a diary which I am not going to tweak or change again. I have printed off 2013 and written in all birthdays etc.... so I am ready to go!! I am noe enjoying the luxury of having the perfect set up for me. Lovely!!

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  9. PS.... was in Paperchase yesterday,getting a special card, and came across the cutest cutsie pie duckling paper clips. Of course they have to be used for a Filofax... right?????!!!!! Essential!!!!

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  10. PPS.. Sorry for the typo above.... noe should read now!!! For some reason my post published straight away, without the usual review and edit.xxxx

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  11. I just want to say Thank you for all the inspiration I have found here on the blog from everyone. I bought a personal Finsbury in rasberry a few weeks ago and love it. Thanks for all the neat Printables as well. I am using the week on a page, the year one,
    and the shopping one. I love them. Thanks again and keep up the great work.
    Karen

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  12. I normally don't change anything during the year, in fact I used the same setup in my personal for about 20 years. I decided to change to a pocket on retirement, and now am running a two filo system. Now is when I am tweaking and adjusting things, and my plan is to go to the pocket as my sole diary/agenda at the first of the year. It is quite an adjustment after all this time, but I think it will work, and once committed, I will use it for at least the year.

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  13. Against my better judgement I ordered a Personal Classic in Camel from ebay and received it yesterday. (I say against my better judgement because I am wary, but in all honestly I did order one other one a few months ago-an A5 Finchley in Chocolate-and it is perfect). So, I am somewhat baffled. It doesn't look, feel (or smell) like leather. But it has all the usual markings, etc. Maybe I was just expecting something else in a Classic made of Italian leather. It's just too slippery. Yes that sounds strange but my hand literally slips off of it and it just has this plastic feel and look. I know there was some discussion about the Classics having problems with peeling. The cover on this one is perfect as of now and I honestly don't see how you could 'peel' any plastic coating off of it. Well, not sure if I'll keep or return. I really like the color, especially with the cotton cream paper and the salmon lined paper looks so elegant in it. There is one wonky ring (the top one as always) but doesn't seem bad enough to catch the paper. But its the 'leather' that has me puzzled. I thought the Classics had a soft leather feel to them but then my closest shop is 20 miles away and I haven't been in in awhile to actually see them in person.

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    1. Well I think I answered my own question. It's going back. I held it up to various lights and I already see the cracking/peeling starting to occur on the spine. I didn't notice this yesterday when inspecting it-could have been the lighting. You can tell this binder has never been used or so it appears. Its stiff as a board and pristine, so with use and 'training' the cover to lay flat I can see I will have a peeling mess in a very short time. Too bad, lovely color.

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    2. Classics are stiff, even though the squares may feel a teeny bit puffy if you push themm. They are hard smooth leather if that helps any. I almost bought a gorgeous beige one once but I realised I was only thinking of buying it because it was on the sale.

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    3. I agree with your description Janet - firm leather with a "puffy" feel. I nearly bought an A4 version but struggled with the thick padded feel.

      I tried to find the one you've purchased Cheryl but could only find a secondhand one on eBay that had not sold at £20 but had when relisted at £15. The photo looked like a normal Classic to me and for that price I'd expect a wonky ring or two!

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  14. I just wanted to thank Steve and Ray for providing us with so many diary and insert options. I've recently discovered the benefit of printing my own. It took a little experimenting to figure it all out but now that I have the my setup-in-progress has so many more options. I've also been able to experiment with all the different filofax sizes as well. It's so nice to be able to print what I want when I want and not have to decide if it's worth the time (waiting for shipping) or money to "try it out". So, again, a big thanks to Steve and Ray for all your hard work on the inserts and also a big thank you to Steve, Anita, Laurie and all the readers who contribute to this wonderful blog.

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  15. I change a lot, because I really struggle to find a system that actually works for me. Mostly it's my unusual lifestyle I think - I study from home, so few scheduled classes, I'm largely nocturnal, so time slots never show times that suit me, the OU week starts on Saturday, and who does that, seriously? So... I've been experimenting a lot with printing out templates and making a few of my own. I have some pages I'm happy with (The A5 month on two pages from this site is just perfect :) ), and a few ideas, but for the diary itself I'm still struggling.

    So forgive me, please, if this is against etiquette, but I'm shamelessly begging for help from someone brighter than me. I just love the week on two pages time management template Steve and Ray have made, but I cannot for the life of me work out how to use the source files to change the template to start the week on Saturday, which is essential for me. I've tried, I really have, but I can't make head-or-tail of excel, and I need 2012 and 2013. Does anyone incredibly kind have time to rescue me from my problem, pretty please?

    Whether anyone has or not, you're all awesome, and thanks so much for all the inspiration, ideas, templates, friendship...

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    1. Mr Wolf... You don't need to change the excel file.. leave that well alone... stand back and keep your hands away from that.....

      All you need to do is rejig the base file so it has a Saturday start and then re-do the merge file.

      Email me/us and I should be able to come up with something for you if it's simple and straight forward...

      Steve

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    2. Thanks so much Steve! I promise I'll take my hands off the excel file and fiddle solely with the Word one. I just tried it out and managed to totally muck up all the dates, so clearly I'm not getting it yet, but I will try before I bother you further. I apologise for my technical inability! By the way, not that it matters at all, but I'm not a 'Mr' I'm a girl :)

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    3. Okay, I admit my *total* technical incompetence when it comes to the Microsoft Office suite, and beg for help. I've worked out how to change the day labels, but now all the dates are wrong, and I can't work out how to get them right. What I want is exactly the same layout and functionality, but just the week starting on a Saturday - with the correct dates! Is that difficult for someone clever to achieve? I'm so sorry!

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    4. Email me and we can sort it out hopefully.

      Steve

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    5. Ok, more confessions of my sudden inability to do anything sensible, but where do I find your address to email you?

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    6. I must be jinxed - when I click on 'About' all I get is 'Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist' :(

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    7. Please try again seems to be working now

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  16. That's a great idea Steve. I shall create a page to park those thoughts and ideas on tweaking my FF. Interestingly, from my 'weekend' page last week I can see I frittered away a lot of time tinkering with my FF and not getting on with my essay!

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  17. I have been using basically the same system for most of this year. I landed on a day on two pages diary (about 6-8 weeks worth) plus tabbed month on two pages for the full year. I've got my notes and reference info sorted with a set of A-Z index tabs, a notes section, and A-Z contacts.

    I'm currently brainstorming ways to thin down my contents to allow me to maintain a full 8-10 weeks of diary. I plan to order a "slimline address book" section, which would allow me to put many of the entries straight onto the tabbed divider thus freeing up several pages in my contacts section. I'm also toying with removing the wallet functions from my Cavendish, consisting primarily of approximately 21 cards (ID cards, credit cards, bank cards, store discount cards, health insurance cards, etc.) plus bills and some coin, which would allow a good number of paper pages to be added. I may also pull out the various sticky notes and flags, which I do not use regularly and take up a good bit of space. We'll see what I can do.

    Ray very kindly made up a version of the Day on Two Pages insert for personal, but I've had some issues with printing/cutting/punching and getting everything lined up evenly. However, I plan to work out the details for 2013 as this will surely fill my needs very nicely and I can use good quality paper and consequently use my fountain pen without fear. Luxury!

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    1. Hi Josh

      I assume your tabbed month on two pages is a Daytimer refill? So far as I know, they're the only people who do such a thing. I'm also currently trying to decide on diary formats for 2013, and that's a possibility for me, as I really like the day on two pages format (which Daytimer also supply). However, I was very disappointed to note your comments re the paper quality of Daytimer, since that's one of my long-time issues with FF themselves. Does anyone out there have a sample of a Daytimer insert (maybe an old diary page?) which they could mail me within the UK, so I could take a look?

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  18. Josh, I have a spare set of A-Z slimline dividers in cotton cream, and I have absolutely no use for it (I already have A-Z colored dividers which I love); it is brand new and unused, as it came with my new Compact Osterley, which I bought two weeks ago.

    I can send them to you free of charge, if you want ?

    Or if not you, perhaps other readers ?

    If interested, please contact me at 702723 at gmail dot com.

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  19. I've just checked the Filofax UK website for dated a5 'Time Management' refills for 2013, and it appears they have been withdrawn. You can check this out at

    http://www.filofax.co.uk/timemanagement/annual_update.asp

    Another master-stroke from the fashion-obsessed, functionality-phobic folks at Slam PR (who seem to advise FF badly whenever they can, but the real responsibility for this shambles lies with FF themselves, shamelessly betraying their loyal customers of 30+ years for a bunch of fickle fashionistas.

    Seriously, these people do not deserve to be in business.

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    1. David
      I recall someone mentioning this before that they would be available in October. May be just give them a call and ask when they will be available.

      Or you could print one of ours....

      Steve

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    2. Thanks Steve - I really appreciate all the effort which has gone into the 'Steve and Ray' version, but I don't have the facility to punch the paper, and I would rather buy them pre-punched and pre-printed. I find it unbelievable and infuriating that FF don't seem to care about their customers of 30-plus years, or *any* customers who value functionality above fashion, and I seriously do not think they deserve to be in business any longer on that basis. If the TM refills are going to be 'available in October' the question arises, 'why is this?' - surely people using the TM refills ought to self-identify as the one sub-group of customers who above all others are interested in the 'function' of their system, and would therefore be interested in getting their 2013 refills in good time. Seriously, I can no longer comprehend FF's mentality, nor their attitude towards their customer base. Things seem to have gone downhill (even) more rapidly since the arrival on the scene of Slam PR, and the outpouring of Management- and PR-speak from the MD-cum-airhead recently interviewed and linked from this site only serves to confirm this.

      I think I'm going to dust off and reboot my TMI system for next year. Their dated refills are already available, as are the full, undiminished range of their custom forms. The page size is somewhere in between FF Personal and A5, and it's just about portable in most situations. Most of all, it has a *philosophy* of use behind it, and functions in accordance with that philosophy while remaining flexible to individual requirements. The binder (mine at least) remains near-perfect after over 20 years, and it looks great - better and more professional than any FF binder I've seen. Finally, it features the detachable wallet which FF 'stole' in concept for their Flex system. I don't know if Slam had a hand in that bit of Intellectual Property hijack, but I'm surprised they haven't heard from TMI's lawyers.

      All in all, it's sad to see the decline and presumably-imminent fall of a company which stubbornly refuses to listen to its customers, preferring the spurious, misleading and downright bad advise of a so-called PR company. They're not getting much good PR here.....

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    3. David, I quite agree. I'm totally put off by the lack of proper "planning" inserts available from filofax. I'm somewhat leery of buying any of their new binders as well, as they seem to be plagued with ring mechanism issues. The mere fact that they no longer offer any personal size binder with the large capacity rings is yet another strike.

      I've spent the past year using DayTimer inserts, which are available in some very practical formats but are printed in a dreary green ink and are printed on the worst paper available, seems like rather thick toilet paper. Horrible.

      I would love to purchase proper inserts straight from Filofax but this seems to be increasingly impossible. I too am very appreciative of the effort that Steve and Ray have gone to to create printable inserts, but I've had some trouble thus far with getting them printed, cut, and punched evenly. Something gets out of alignment and the page sits wrong in the planner or the front and back images don't line up perfectly.

      In the meantime, I plan to see what I can make of what's available. If the fashionistas can help keep business humming along for filofax, I suppose that would be a good thing, but if they are going to completely cut their traditional customer out of their business model, I don't see a bright future for filofax!

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  20. Just to say, I have been surprised and pleasantly so, at how easy it has been to print off and punch Steve and Ray's A5 TM diary for my A5. I so appreciate it, as it means that I can use good quality paper and colour code with a range of gel pens I love, which don't bleed through. Also, if I muck a page up, spill coffee on it, or just want to type in something new, then I don't have to go to the expense, hassle and sheer wastage of ordering a new diary just for an error on 1 page, or have to use Frixions, which can rub out diary entries.In my book, that is utter bliss. Plus the layout is really, truly and utterly working for me. So...... thumbs down to Filofax, as you say David, and three hearty hurrahs to Steve and Ray. Thank you guys for all your hard, hard work, my life is much more manageable and better planned because of you. Also, you have given me a new creative hobby of designing and making planner pages, not to say ahem... the shopping part of enabling..... all of which I love and adore!!!

    My personal view is that Filofax should go the way of bespoke.... ordering a diary package on the internet,with the ability to individualise the layout, which is then able to be printed at home and individual pages re- printed, or sent direct to your address. Similar to the photo diaries they have offered,and address book software, but with a vast range of formats and choices. Similar to those offered on Philofaxy, but maybe with something that little bit Filofax unique.Yes it would take hard work, but your customers are asking for decent quality stationery products. Oooh... and a few stationery accessories, like the lovely London today page markers, available in all sizes, wouldn't go amiss too!!!! Filofax lovers = stationery addiction as a general rule.... and stationery has come on in leaps and bounds retail wise over the last decade.... only look at the success of Paperchase, Moleskine, etc etc, to realise this as a truism.... Filofax needs to keep the competitive edge in that market, and it is not just about the planners themselves!!!!

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