Thank you to Erin T. for this guest post about her Holborn.
I started my Filofax journey with a pocket sized Finchley in mustard in 2010. It worked wonderfully as a datebook, but over this past summer I decided I needed to get more out of my planner; I was looking for a one-stop spot not just to store appointments, but also to keep necessary information and notes from all facets of my life.
Overshooting the mark a bit, I went straight to A5, ordering a raspberry Finsbury. Very nice, but we just never bonded. Next was an A5 Imperial Purple Finchley, a breathtaking binder made even more special by the fact that I purchased it from Filofax celebrity Imy! I happily set it up and carried it around much of the summer only to discover, as many have before me, that A5 was just too large and heavy to be my go-everywhere organizer. Just in the nick of time, the famous Zoe was selling a personal Finchley in teal. The size was perfect, and I'd been lusting after a teal Finchley ever since I was forced to order my very first binder in mustard when teal was discontinued, but something was still missing. It didn't look professional on my desk, and try as I might I couldn't get it to work as a wallet/purse. Enter the Holborn. It may not be as immediately pretty as the Finchley, but it is distinguished, smooth as butter, and has enough pockets to make me drool. Here's my setup, which owes so much to so many Philofaxers!
First, the binder, in gorgeous wine. I was intrigued by Laurie's review and video, and Zoe's high praises for the Holborn sealed the deal.
Inside, I store my business cards and some of the Staples Martha Stewart Avery sticky notes, which fit perfectly into one of Holborn's credit card slots and where I usually write a short list of not-too-time-specific monthly to-do's. I also keep a few slips of scrap paper in case I need to jot something down to give to someone.
As you can see, I carry three Uni Style Fit Meister 3 multi-pens, for a total of 8 colors of .5 mm gel ink and one .5 mm pencil. These are inexplicably called "Mystar" at Jetpens, which is where I got mine, but I couldn't love these pens more. I created one extra pen loop by covering a trimmed-to-fit A5 Flex pen loop with scrapbook paper and sliding it in the outward facing pocket.
I was really feeling OCD about being able to see the grey elastic from the front of the binder, since it's wider than Holborn's closure strap, but luckily, with my silver pen in that loop, it is camouflaged nicely. I'm also able to keep other little things I need in that pocket along with the pen loop. The inward facing pocket holds my stickers.
I made my tabs out of scrapbook paper, and based on Ray's tutorial on printing Post-It Tabs, I used icons from The Noun Project with assistance from The PNG Project to print clear labels to affix to each tab. The circus tent is for home and family--and, yes, my choice of icon is most certainly meant as commentary--where I keep information about my daughter's school, plan family finances, and the like. The yoga figure is for me (books I want to read, stuff I want to buy, and quilting projects in progress or that I'm dreaming about). The tree is for my Quaker meeting, the apple is for work (I teach), and the calendar is for, well, my calendar!
One of the most difficult things for me to give up about A5 was the ability to print on regular paper, make one cut, punch, and then insert into my binder. In particular, I learned that I like to keep copies of my course syllabi in my Filo so that I can refer back to them when needed and I despaired that I would ever find a way to print them on personal sized paper. As soon as I figured out that a little trimming and folding would do the trick--an idea I got from Steve's folding experiments I knew that I could make personal size work.
Voila! It's as simple as turning my binder one click to the right.
Inspired by tutorials from The Perpetual Student and Whispering Rabbit, I made my second extra pen loop by cutting, covering, and punching another A5 Flex loop. As long as I make sure I slide my pen into the loop with the clip facing to the right (which has now become second nature) the pages turn wonderfully, even with the pen inside the rings. As you can see, this pen loop does double duty as a place to store sticky notes, flags, and tabs.
My calendar is the last section of my binder, which helps keeps the rings from getting in the way of writing. I use week-on-two-pages cotton cream inserts, which, as you can see, I divide with a line down the center. (I use a Uni Style Fit gel ink cartridge in brown black for this, as I find it matches the color of ink used to print the pages nicely enough.) On the side closer to the rings, I write my daily to-do's. On the side further from the rings, I write my appointments (purple for work, aqua for me, orange for my daughter, blue for my husband, and green for travel) and I use my Martha Stewart removable color-coding stickers for birthdays.
Using a clear today ruler helps to ensure that not too much is blocked from view. I love looking at Angela's colorful pages, so each evening, I decorate the day based on its events and my mood. This is one of my favorite things to do, and it makes me squeal just a little teeny tiny bit every time I look at a completed week spread.
After my calendar is the business card holder that comes with the Holborn, which I have filled with cards that have non-sensitive information on them. The only failing of my beloved Style Fit pens is
that that the particular model I like doesn't come with an eraser.The Seed Slendy + Super Slim eraser, which I keep clipped to the business card holder, solves this problem very well. I use washi tape that I purchased from one of the Etsy sellers recommended by Tracy throughout my Filo, but you see it here being used to keep the release lever for the eraser closed.
I was very attracted to the idea of being able to use my Filofax as a wallet/purse since it would reduce the number of things I would need to carry with me. My one reservation was that I often leave my binder laying open on my desk in my office, where many random students and others come wandering by, and I was fearful that if it was too obviously a wallet, I might come back one day from the water cooler to find it missing. For that reason, I do not store my credit and debit cards in the card slots at the front of the binder, where they would be ultra-visible. Instead, I use the back pockets of the Holborn as my wallet, with cash and coupons in the inward facing pocket and cards in the outward facing pocket. Without careful examination, it's almost impossible to see that I've got cash and cards in my organizer at all, especially because the pen shields them from view. Notice that I don't have any actual cash in this picture...certainly it's clear from this post where all my money went! I also keep some stickies here in the back for jotting quick notes that I may later want to stick in my calendar.
And here's the device I hacked to keep my cards organized in the back pocket of my Holborn. I took two inexpensive Day Runner business card holders that I purchased at Staples, cut off the strips with the holes punched on them, and used clear packing tape to fasten the two together. There's plenty of room for all my cards, and the holder stays pretty firmly wedged in the pocket once inserted.
And a few more, just because it's so beautiful.
Thank you all so much for reading. It's truly an honor to have this post published on Philofaxy. I'm so grateful for all of the inspiration I've gotten from all of the specific people I've mentioned, as well as many other individuals from this community who have sparked my ideas in ways I can't even pinpoint. You're all the best!