Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Robyn and I’m NOT obsessed with my Filofax. How is this possible, you ask? Does this woman even own a Filofax? Well, yes in fact, I own two. But the subject of this post is my Collins Debden Personal Dayplanner. I received it as a gift in 2009 after eying it off many times at the stationery store, and since then it has never been too far from my side. Those of you who appreciate the leather Filofaxes probably won’t like my binder, but anyone who likes to pimp their ‘fax might be interested in what’s inside. Let me take you on a tour.
This is my planner from the outside. It’s made of some sort of polyurethane plastic / vinyl and it wears really well but unfortunately gets filthy and is virtually impossible to clean.
But, it’s not the outside that I like, it’s what’s inside that counts. Follow me…
Pockets! Yes, many pockets. Six card slots and two full length pockets. In the top card slot is a bunch of small pieces of scrap paper, in case I need to scribble down a small note to give to someone, or to put somewhere other than in my planner. Next slot down is my mechanic’s business card (I have no idea why as his number is virtually on speed dial in my phone and I really don’t need the card), next slot with something in it contains my business cards, and at the bottom is a small piece of material from something important to me. Normally I also have a USB stick in one of the slots but I had taken it out when I was taking these photos.
The first full length pocket contains a small notebook in which I write various thoughts that I don’t want to keep in looseleaf form in my planner. In the back pocket are some diary stickers.
The missing one is a cinema ticket, it’s the only one I’ve had cause to use. After I bought these stickers (I have about 30 sheets of them) I realised I probably won’t use most of them, but I couldn’t help it, they were so nice and colourful.
I might be interested in swapping or selling these stickers. If you like them and want some, email me at robynlouisejeanthomas AT hotmail DOT com.
The front page of my planner is a plastic pocket. Collins Debden ones don’t have a “zip”, the edges are just pressed back together and they clip shut. There are three in my planner and this one contains some notes that are personal to me. Next I have a business card holder which has some of my favourite photos in it.
The rings are about 27mm. I had been using a Waterman ballpoint since I got the planner but I recently bought a Frixion to try. I like it but I think I’ll go back to the Waterman when the Frixion runs out. The Waterman’s barrel is red and matches the planner much better.
One of the more recent things I made for my planner was this ice-cream themed pocket. It’s a great spot to put little pieces of paper, receipts, etc. that are floating around loose. At the moment it contains a receipt for my library books, a booking confirmation for a course I have to attend, and last week’s payslip. I made the pocket from cardboard, wrapping paper and a lot of sticky tape.
This is the back of the pocket.
Behind the ice-cream pocket I have some pages of lists and to-do notes. Generally I just keep the one or two most important lists here, and the other lists are in the next section.
This is the first divider I made and it’s the one I like the best. I used the original cardstock front page from the planner and covered it in wrapping paper. Again, a lot of sticky tape.
This is what is on the back.
The original front page had space for all of this information and a bit more but I didn’t need to fill in all the spaces and I didn’t like how my handwriting looked all squished up in the little boxes so I made my own information sheet instead.
This is another divider I made (more cardboard, wrapping paper and sticky tape). It’s got birthday cakes on it because it marks the start of the birthdays calendar in my planner.
To record birthdays I use a month on two pages that came with the planner. Since I don’t need to know what day of the week the birthdays are on, only the date, I retained the 2009 calendar that came with the planner and never bother to replace it each year. There aren’t any birthdays on these pages because it’s December from the year before, the calendar has two Decembers.
Another divider I made for myself. This one is at the start of my yearly diary.
I use a week on two pages diary. Collins Debden doesn’t make a wide range – for the personal size there is only this one that I use, day per page and month on two pages like I use for my birthday calendar. I have looked at all the Filofax layouts and also the layouts other people have prepared, and I’ve found, in the end, the one I have works for me. Also it’s convenient and fairly cheap, at least a lot cheaper than the Filofax inserts.
I prettied up my ‘Today’ marker a bit.
At the back of my diary I have another plastic pocket. This one contains stamps and currently a Kit Kat wrapper which had a competition on it (I have to keep the wrapper until the competition finishes in case I win).
Then there’s another divider that I made.
Behind this divider I have spare notes pages. Some of them are actual “Things to do” pages that came with the planner, but recently I also bought 2011 day per page refills when they were on sale for 50 cents because they were perfect for notepaper, to do lists, etc.
One of the things that Collins Debden does better than Filofax is this great heavy duty plastic divider at the back of every planner. It’s really sturdy and stops your back pages getting banged up.
Behind this black plastic is another plastic pocket with some banknotes in it. I don’t use this planner as my wallet (it’s far too big) but I like to have some cash on hand anyway.
Inside the back cover is a notepad that came with the planner.
I don’t particularly like it so I don’t really use it, and I won’t replace it when it runs out. But if it’s not replaced, there will be an ugly empty space at the back. The opening looks like this:
I discovered that one of the plastic pockets will slide right in there, but that seems pointless. If anyone has an idea for a use for this pocket, let me know in the comments.
If anyone is wondering why I would choose a Collins Debden over a Filofax, here’s just a couple of reasons:
• Full retail price is only about AUD $58.00
• It lays flat brand new
• Refills are cheaper than Filofax
• Lots of pockets
If you have any questions leave a comment! Thanks for reading.