02 December 2012
Reader Under the Spotlight - Wendy
My name is Wendy Van Camp and I blog about writing, writing tools, and novels at No Wasted Ink. I'm 47 years old and have been married to the same wonderful guy for seventeen years. We make our home in Southern California. I'm a self-employed artisan jeweller and certified gemologist with a sideline of writing novels, short stories and articles. My life is full of travel on off-beaten paths to beautiful parks, mountain top forests, and resort hotels in the American Southwest. This is balanced by time creating jewellery or writing in my office studio.
Often times I live without electricity or cell phone service while I'm attending concerts, festivals, or conventions for my work. I've grown tired of experiencing tech fail while on the road.
This has been the reason behind my new love for the Filofax. Paper never runs out of batteries, the information doesn't get accidentally deleted, and using paper along with a fountain pen makes me feel happy. So I'm now journal binding, filling composition notebooks with research notes, re-learning penmanship/calligraphy, and happily using Filofax to organize all my creative pursuits in wonderful analog style. Paper is a good thing.
1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?
I received my first Filofax in January of 2012. A fellow Nanowrimo writer from England owned a Filofax that she used as a writing journal. She was a true enabler! I fell in love with the quality leather and all the pockets and thought that it would be the perfect organizer for my own writer's journal. My husband bought me a Personal Crimson Malden as a late Christmas present. I use it everyday for novel research notes and to track the posts and marketing of my writing blog.
2. What other brands have you used or considered using?
I had always used Day-Timer in the past when I have used paper organizers. I had one when I was in college during the late 1980s, but lost it as I switched over to electronic PDAs or online calendars as I started my career. A few years ago, I bought a Day-Timer with a puffy plastic cover to use as a Flylady control journal, but due to its cheap construction I found that I did not like using it and eventually it found a home in a lower closet drawer. I tried to use this cheap binder for my writing journal briefly, but in the end I couldn't see myself using it.
3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
My favorite is the Personal Crimson Malden. I love the color and the feel of the leather. It has more pockets than I need, but I don't view this as bad.
4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?
I own two Filofax organizers currently. The above mentioned Personal Crimson Malden and a new Slimline Brown Holborn.
5. What do you use your Filofax for?
I am surprised at how well the Slimline Holborn is working as a wallet. The leather is very soft, but durable. The brown color is rich, but subdued enough to carry everyday. The size and thinness of the binder has turned out to be a good fit for my purse. I do not keep a diary in the Holborn as I prefer to use a pocket Moleskine for this task. The lack of diary pages helps to keep the binder slim enough to be useful. The Holborn holds my credit cards, cash, and a section for ToDos and Lists. I am compiling a travel directory in the back for hotels, resorts, restaurants that are color coded as to region so that I have that information when I travel. I eventually want to put in driving guides to some of the work locations that I re-visit each year to make finding parking or less known routes easier for me to remember. I don't like to store this information on my smartphone because I need to leave my phone off as I travel to conserve power. This allows me access to the information without worry about batteries, if my phone's apps are working or not, and everything is easy to find unlike the jumble that is my smartphone directory.
My Personal Crimson Malden is my writing journal. The diary is where I track what is being posted on my writing blog, I keep lists of blog ideas or other notes in a center section, and the back section is reserved for research notes, character sketches and other related information for my current novel project. The research notes are printed onto filofax paper via my Scrivener writing program. I keep the program and the printed notes in sync on a regular basis. I use the Malden to take notes at writing seminars as well, although lately I am thinking of developing another binder for that use alone. I might consider an A5 or a Filofax Flex combined with a notebook for this task next year.
6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
I love the feel of the leather and the classic good looks of the binders. I don't go for fashion and flash, I want something that feels good in my hand and is durable. A Filofax should last for years and keep looking stylish in an understated, conservative way.
7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
First, it would have a soft and good quality leather like my Malden or Holborn. Being touchable is a big selling point with me. I also like a good selection of color beyond basic black. My favorite colors are red, purple, brown, or blue. Second, I like to have plenty of pockets and fewer zipped pockets in the binder. The notebook pocket in the back is a big selling point to me. Finally, a pen loop that is a combination of leather on the top for looks and elastic in the back so I can fit a wide variety of pens in the binder.
8. How do you carry your Filofax?
My Malden is on my desk near my computer or in my laptop tote bag when I am writing on the go. My Holborn remains in my purse.
9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
I am in love with the brown Regency in compact. The ostrich printed leather is beautiful and the pocket layout seems ideal for a wallet. However, due to its high price tag I decided to try the less expensive Slimline Holborn instead. As much as I would like to buy the Regency, unless it is gifted to me, I will pass on it due to the price. The Slimline Holborn has turned out better than my expectations and has fit the role I've chosen for it well.
10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?
The Crimson Malden was the most expensive. My husband paid full retail for it at Pens&Leather. I paid below retail for my Holborn from a vendor on eBay, but it was not a deep discount. The Slimline Holborn was in pristine condition and I have no complaints using eBay to purchase a Filofax as apposed to a retail vendor.
11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
I love the sense of community here. I enjoy viewing all the links to other people's blogs that also enjoy binders, stationary and Filofax. I have participated in the Skype chat a few times and like talking in real time with fellow Filofax lovers from all over the world. All the tips on the blog have helped me learn to use my binders more effectively and have given me new ideas on how to customize mine to make them more pleasing to use. I end up visiting this blog quite often.
12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?
To be honest, there is nothing that I dislike about the Philofaxy blog. It has great content and is updated often. What is there not to love?
13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?
I'm still old-fashioned enough that I prefer to buy physical CDs. My last CD was purchased directly from the musicians at a local Highland Games where the band was performing live. It is "Ready for the Storm" by The Brown Sisters and George Cavanaugh.
Thank you Wendy for agreeing to go under our spotlight. As always if you would like to feature in a future Reader Under the Spotlight, please contact us at Philofaxy.