02 November 2012

Free For All Friday No. 207

I've been experiencing some Filofax changes recently and it occurred to me that my ideal fantasy solution could be one of the following:
  • To have a local Filofax friend with a large and varied collection that I could visit to get my 'fix'
  • To be able to rent a binder by signing up to a scheme (I'm sure I've heard of this for designer handbags) which means I could try out a much wider range and it appeals to my fickle side!
That at all said, I think I've finally decided on my dream team, and after a bit of tinkering and selling I will be there with simplicity being the main focus (more to come). How are you getting on? (as there seems to be a fair amount of people discussing Filofax fail recently) 

And as it's Friday, please feel free to discuss anything Filofax or ring-bound planner related. Have a lovely weekend.   

51 comments:

  1. Hi Anita, previously a couple of people have pondered on the idea of having people sign up to a group where members could exchange planners on a trial basis. I think that's a great idea and there are enough enthusiasts here to make it both worthwhile and workable. Alas, I'd be unable to take part as Dubai doesn't have what Europeans would consider a reliable and functioning postal system. As an example, it cost me more than $50 to send an A4 piece of paper from Dubai to London. But I think it definitely could be done as an internal Philofaxy group.

    And while it's Friday, do any of you fountain pen using Philofaxers have any recommendations on any week on one page diary which is fountain pen friendly?

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    1. What on EARTH? And I thought American postal rates were over the top!

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  2. Both options sound good to me, if I had a friend whom I can exchange filos with, or, I lived close enough to most people in this group. Postage to me here might be prohibitive.

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  3. Hello, I think this is a great idea. I live in Holland, but would love to participate in the exchange. And the cost for sending I would gladly pay it my self. Or split the cost. But great idea.

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  4. I'd have a problem with this idea, because if I found one I loved, I wouldn't be able to part with it! However it would be wonderful to visit a Filofax museum (I wonder if FF have kept a sample of each one they made?) much like the glass factories here in the Midlands. The used to be a Stuart Crystal museum with lots of old glass (sometimes only one of each design) and it is fascinating!

    I think there is such a healthy market for second hand binders because we all change our minds from time to time about what we want to use.

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    1. I am with Alison on the not giving back problem.. its why I buy books rather than use libraries! that and I hate the plastic coverings they put on books. But I can see that it would be very useful to be able to trial a particular size out for those thinking of up and downsizing.

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    2. I'd certainly pay a visit to a Filofax museum.
      With my fondness of accumulating vintage items, I sometimes wonder whether I'll soon end up with something similar at home.

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    3. I would LOVE to visit a Filofax museum! Unfortunately, since the company can't seem to remember which models they've produced and when (I remember reading a post by a Philofaxer who'd been told, by someone at Filofax, that a common model, like the Winchester or City, had never existed), it would HAVE to be a Philofaxy-run museum. I volunteer to be curator!

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  5. I am a new FF user. I'm in the States and would love to do this stateside. I only have one FF as of now and one on order stuck in transit from hurricane Sandy. I have a feeling I will be adding to my collection and would love to "try" different sizes out.

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  6. Hi all , am a long time reader who is just settling into my first filofax, a personal zip metropol. In my local stationary shop in Scotland I found some great repositional self adhesive filing tabs made by Stick'N for £0.99 which don't damage the paper when moving the tabs from sheet to sheet. You get 30 of the tabs in a pack which should last a good while!
    http://www.parinenterprises.com/stickn/filing-tabs.htm
    I couldn't find them online but worth checking you local stationary shop for.
    Regards SMW

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    Replies
    1. SMW are you coming to Edinburgh on the 17th for the Philofaxy meetup? Steve and I will be there along with several other Philofaxers. We'll have lunch and check out some Filofax retailers there!

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    2. I didn't know one was coming up! Oh I really wish I could as I am only about 3 hours drive away, but finances and lack of childcare means I can't this time. Next time I will definitely save up and get there though, I am sure you will have a great time.

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  7. Hello everyone!

    Just wondering if the Compact Malden is still being sold as I cannot find any on the Filofax site or City Organiser. I don't mind a used one either but not seeing them anywhere! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. You can find the Personal sized compacts (not pockets) on the Swedish site (filofax.se) which also posts internationally.

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    2. Heads up also: filofax.dk are also selling it at a cheaper price than .se, and the pockets are also available. .dk has the most economic international post option as it bases costs on weight not value.

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  8. The Philofaxy Scotland meetup is only two weeks from tomorrow!! I'm so excited!!

    If you haven't signed up for it yet and want to come to Edinburgh on the 17th, email us for details!

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  9. OK, slightly off-topic, but only just......

    For some time I've favoured using Staedler pencils with a rubber on the tip for my daily Filofax maintenance - I bought a pack of these from Ryman months back for a silly (low) price, and I've been converted - mechanical pencils just don't match up to a really sharp 'old-fashioned' pencil.

    However, I'm having real trouble finding a decent pencil sharpener for general use. The small, silver (or even worse, plastic - yuk) sharpeners just seem to shred the pencil and tear off the exposed graphite in the process. What I *really* hanker for is an old-fashioned, retro, rotary sharpener. Anyone over a certain age will have had these at school, and if you were *really* lucky (like me) would have got to be 'pencil monitor' and to sharpen all the pencils in the classroom.

    I'm sure the rotary sharpener has long ago been outlawed by a bureaucrat with a pencil moustache and clipboard from health and safety, if not under EU Regulation 2,102,459(e), but I'd like to know if anyone has one, where they got it from, or if anyone has a 'clever alternative' to the rotary (including purchase source and rough price, please).

    Happy Friday!

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    1. Oh David - I now have a mental image of you in short trousers as pencil monitor!

      I feel your pain - especially as I use them to sharpen my eye pencils as well. I recently resorted to a cheap staples plastic one that sharpens two sizes of pencil (so it also sharpens my fat faber-castell highlighter pencils (which are also a triangle shape which is awkward). It's working fine at the moment - I think what happens is the blade gets blunt after a while so you have to buy them more frequently. If you find a better quality one that has longevity, I'd be interested!

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    2. Here is one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Faber-Castell-Green-Sharpening-Machine/dp/B000WL4WBK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351856716&sr=8-2 - in fact if you search on Amazon there are some others as well and you can read the reviews.

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    3. I've been doing some reading-up. Apparently the small silver-type hand held ones are fine until they get blunt, which is generally about 5-6 uses. I've seen it written that it's almost worth buying a box-full, using them half a dozen times and throwing them away, using them as a working overhead. Obviously if you have 'fat' eye pencils or writing pencils, you need to get one of the ones with the larger hole alongside the standard one.

      A Jakar rotary pencil sharpener from Staples will set you back about £28, but the good news is that you can buy replacement cutters for them at £3.99 a throw.

      Battery operated and even mains operated models are available, but the thought of the potential damage to the pencils puts me off.

      The Best Pencil Sharpener Ever Made is widely reckoned to be the Apsco Giant, but seems to be only available from the US, at greatly inflated shipping costs.....

      Thanks for the Faber-Castell link, looks interesting. I might have a good look over the weekend. meanwhile, I expect I'll buy a couple of small hand held ones to tide me over....but half a dozen uses doesn't take long.

      Yep. I was a great pencil monitor........:)

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    4. Another pencil user here.
      The trouble though is that a pencil sharpener would not fit easily into a FF unless it's a zipped version. Back to a penknife and carefully shaved pencils, perhaps.

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    5. Of course you're right - a penknife or a craft knife with a retractable (or disposable) blade.

      As ever, the most low-tech solution is potentially the most effective.....

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    6. Hi David, whilse on holiday in Italy, I looked in the window of a beautiful pen and paper shop close to the Duomo. In the window was a Caran D'Ache pencil which was both curious, beautiful and practical. It seemed to be a standard Caran D'Ache pencil, which fitted inside a silver top, modelled onm a pen top. The owner told me that insde the lid was a built-in sharpener, so the pencil looks like an expensive fountain pen, with a pocket clip, but still having the functionality of everyday use. I seem to remember it cost somewhere around £35. Might be worth a look for you.

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    7. David, try a small modeller's plane. I find it very theraputic to have a wine glass full of sharpened pencils. Once a week, I spend about five minutes sharpening the lot over the kitchen sink, rather than create mess at my writing desk. The advantage of using a plane is that you can set the "angle" to your own preference.

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    8. Hi Paul - I love Florence......sounds like a great pencil you saw, do you have a link to a web image at all?

      Neil - sounds really interesting! I know just what you mean about the therapeutic effect of sharpening pencils...tidying the desk...the GTD weekly review has very much the same effect on me. Can you send me a link to a modeller's plane please? I'm unfamiliar, but sounds interesting....

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    9. David - here are some examples.
      http://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/files_planes.html
      And here's a guide for plane geeks.
      http://www.handplane.com/

      Set the blade to shave extremely close, hold the plane upside down and, with care and with a gloved hand, draw the pencil backwards across the blade. The resulting "flat spots" have aethstetic appeal, in my opinion. I prefer just three sides, but you could have as many as you wish.

      All completely against health and safety, of course, but so was climbing trees and swimming in canals when I were a wee lad.

      There's a certain something to be gained from the pencil selection process, when choosing a particular pencil from the wine glass - you can see all the points and it is your own skill and judgement that determines the resulting line on the page.

      All very satifying, in a geeky sort of way, and cost effective both in terms of time (if you sharpen all your pencils at once) and pencil lead (you remove less material than a traditional rotary sharpener).

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    10. Wow!! The Caran D'Ache pencil sounds just utterly mind blowingly wonderful!! A huge expense for a pencil.... but it sounds like the pencil of all pencils to yearn for!!! Oooh, please don't enable me on that one....I just adore Caran D'Ache things. David... when I was a teacher I could have done with you as my pencil monitor to sharpen my pencils!!! Hee Heee!! The electric sharpeners were useless... blades blunted quickly. The best sharpener I had was indeed one of those old fashioned rotary ones from Lidl's at £1.20,which I kept to sharpen pencils at home...didn't look safe enough for the children to use to me.... and I was really miffed when it eventually broke.... I never did find another which was as good !!!! Sounds like the more expensive one from Staples with replacement blades is the best option. We need to put a good inventor onto that one I think!!! Dragons' Den anyone???

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    11. You should look at Cult Pens - I get my lead pointers from them (nice word for 'sharpener for 2mm leads) and they always have a brilliant selection of cheap to mid-price office products that actually work.

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  10. What's the difference in size from the personal and the compact?
    Thanks!

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    1. Usually it's just the ring size. The personal size planners are great if you want to carry around a lot with you. The compact is great if you only want to carry what you need.

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    2. Alondra,
      Hey, thanks! I think in the US it's slimline, not compact. Why can't it all be universal?
      Thanks again=)

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    3. Here in the US, there is the personal, the compact, and the slimline. The compact ring sizes fall somewhere between the personal and slimline. I have used all three, and the compact is perfect. I found the perso nal too big and the slimline too small. I have been using the compact for about a year now. I don't think I'll ever go back to personal (unless I have a al need to).

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  11. Following my request last week for suggestions for a slimline or compact Filofax in a pocket size, I am now the proud owner of the smallest Filofax I've ever seen: the Guildford Extra Slim, not in pocket, but in MINI size! I am so pleased with it, and as it fits so easily into any pocket (it's about the same height as an iPhone, and just slightly wider) it may well become the most-used Filofax in my collection.
    Does anyone know if this is the smallest Filofax ever produced?

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    1. And I thought the Pocket Guildford Extra Slim *was* the smallest I ever saw IRL, I never realized there could even be a smaller (and usable) model :)

      (I've just checked on filofax.fr, and found the reply to my own question : your mini and the pocket both have 11mm rings.)

      Would you care to explain a little bit how you use it ? Which diary refills (if any...) you are using ? Or do you just have notes, and addresses, perhaps ?

      I sometimes think that I'd better get a functional mini/pocket, very sleek and slim, instead of the awful little (but functional) notebook that's always in my pocket/purse...

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    2. Hello Frederique

      Interesting to see that this model is still available on filofax.fr. I didn't know of its existence until I saw the one I purchased on eBay.

      Well, I only received it yesterday, so it is not yet in use, but I am planning on using it as a general notebook rather than a diary. (It arrived with a WO2P diary, which fits in comfortably, although you couldn't really add much else.)

      I am going to be travelling a lot in the next few months, so I plan to use it to keep track of flight details, hotel reservations etc. No doubt I will also use it to temporarily record some other appointments which I can later record in the diary in my main Filofax (compact Holborn) which I don't carry with me all the time.

      I think it will be so useful to have it in a pocket at all times, because I do like to go out without carrying bags and briefcases as much as I can.

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    3. I have two or three personal sized binders with 11mm rings. One is a "Cambridge" brand cheapie with a stiff cover that I don't use. The ring mechanism seems good, so maybe I should try removing it to make an ultimate slim organizer. I have two apparently unbranded simple black binders that I picked up in a bargain bin 15 years ago or so. One is the family phone and address book by the main phone in our kitchen eating area and the other is in my car holding my car papers. I had thought that these had the filofax name in them, but when I checked, I was wrong.

      My problem with 11mm rings is that you really can't put much in these binders. Even the 2mm difference of a 13mm ring seems enormous.

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    4. I very recently got a vintage slimline personal that has 11mm rings. It's definitely the Filofax make but bears no marking, and is otherwise identical to the old 3CL (3 pocket, calf leather) model, which has 13mm rings.
      Not started using it yet, but it lends itself to a jacket pocket.

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  12. I love the idea of a Filofax swap group, but personally I don't think I would trust Royal Mail for this. Postage costs are so high, especially if you are sending the filo in the box- and without the box, I think the poor filo would get so damaged! Not to mention the possibility that the packages would get lost! But I think if Filofax did this properly with their own stock, maybe with p+p included in the price of hiring the filo for a few weeks, I would take part!

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  13. I know that a lot of you use those "hard" tabs s. Does anyone know where to get them online or something? Since I live in Spain and I haven't seen those here and I'd love to try them!

    Thanks x

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  14. I seem to have gone from idly thinking that maybe I should start using a Filofax again, and digging out my 20 year old black leather one, to owning 2 A5s and three Personals - in a month.

    Is this a record?

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    1. That's either proactivity or carelessness....you'll need to decide which!

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    2. If you have been reading Philofaxy for that time, you are obviously suffering from enablitus. Unfortunately we haven't found a cure yet - some readers have been found under a mountain of Filofaxes and suffocated.

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    3. PS - if you are lucky things will settle down when you find your perfect binder, then you will spend all your time on ebay.

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    4. Natalie-I know exactly what you mean. I found an old Filofax in the garage about three months ago and now have the Osterley in pocket, compact, personal, and A5 and I have a Holborn on order. :0

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  15. Well I've had FC fail for the last year, but think I have found a viable solution. I bought a red pocket chameleon a month ago. Red smells absolutely divine and my kids laugh when they see me sniffing :) he is my wallet, shopping list keeper. I left the A-Z dividers and then use a jot pad sheet or sheet depending in the list. Place the name at top (Walmart, Albertson's, Home Depot,etc) at top and then list. Has been great. 2 weeks later I bought a A5 finsbury to replace my classic FC. I am still playing, but for now I have monthly dividers, I stuck a post it with items that occur in that month on a yearly basis, I have a MOOP, health tracker, monthly goals, separate planning sheets for each special event. Then I have the WO2P columns, use Avery restickables for my weekly chores across top and small post it's for menu across bottom. 6 dividers--to dos (the odd jobs like paint the closet, sharpen lawn mower blades, this section might not stay). Shopping lists, I am keeping it here since my menus are in the A5 vs pocket. Goal tab. Christmas/birthday tab. Reference tab, I keep track of each family members important info.--ss#, birthdate, blood type, allergies, clothing size, a page for each dentist, doctor, eyes. I made column for date, a column for name, and the the rest is where I describe what the appointment was for. A page for each vehicle, pertinent info at top so when I get parts I know the answers:). Then a colum for date and then I write what was done with the vehicle, ie tires rotated + mileage, oil change + mileage, new tires, new battery, etc. etc.
    the notepad in the back I use for my daily list of what needs done. When something hits my brain I write it down and I check them off as I do them. When everything on page is check off I toss it in garbage.
    Sorry so long!

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    1. Curious how you are finding the switch up. As I've used FC for the past 20+ years and now using Filofax, I'm finding the transition a wee bit challenging with inserts. For example, with my FC classic size I can find all kinds of tabbed dividers, paper, page protectors (which I hoard) and other accessories so readily available at Office Depot or Staples. And I like the Martha Stewart binder products that also have the right hole alignment. Of course, not so with the Personal size, but for the A5 size I find I am either making things or ordering expensive inserts from Filofax and have to wait for delivery. As with the FC I can just go to any office supply and find what I need. I love my Filofax A5 but I do not like printing or hole punching my own inserts or having to order everything online. That's just my one issue with switching from FC to Filofax but I do love my A5 Malden, Finchley and Chameleon.

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  16. Filofax have just posted a sale on their website.

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    1. I have my eye on the Optic Zipped Female Briefcase and some of the Courier bags but with conversion from British to US dollars and shipping from UK to US on top of that, its not really in my budget. But its fun to look!

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  17. I just received an email from Filofax USA that there will be shipping delays due to the hurricane on the East coast. So if anyone, like me, placed an order in the past 4 days they hope to have caught up and everything shipped by Monday. Was looking forward to getting my Holborn this weekend :( but its totally understandable. Wilton, CT is one of the areas without power.

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  18. Some time past, I scored a vintage black colored Personal off of EBay, old enough that it didn't have an obvious name, only labeled "The British FILOFAX System / Real Calf. The only clue is an inner flap stamp: No. 127444. Does this style have a name?

    FYI it's a gorgeous thick black leather, with a matching black ring mechanism. Its only drawback is that the button doesn't snap securely.

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    1. Sounds like an American version. Does the interior match the Winchester layout perhaps? (You can find photos if you search Philofaxy for Winchester and pick Steve's "Design Comparison" post from March.)

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