16 April 2014
Then and Now....
Back in 1986 I used to commute in to London on the 8:03 from Tunbridge Wells every morning, smartly dressed in my pin stripe suit, carrying a brief case and a copy of The Times.
I had seen an article in The Times about Filofax organisers and how they had become a popular 'must have'. Straight away I wanted one!
There was no internet back in 1986 to go on line and search around on, only local shops. I didn't find any in the local shops in Tunbridge Wells at the time. So I put the idea of this new organiser thing to the back of my mind.
Every month I had to pay a visit to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) office in Kingsway, London. It was a short walk across Waterloo Bridge and it was always a pleasant walk if it wasn't raining! At the time there was a shop called Chisolm's Office Supplies, it wasn't a very big shop, but the front part of the shop was dominated by an island display of various Filofax organisers and inserts. I had found somewhere at last!
I collected a catalogue and took it home on the train to study and to try and work out which Filofax organiser to buy. The list of inserts was baffling, no pictures to show you what 'Week per view, Monday start' actually looked like. It was a bit hit and miss as I recall. I had made a list of what to look at next time I was over there.
Eventually I bought my Winchester in Personal size and started adding many different types of inserts to it and started using it.
Of course there was no internet or Facebook to share pictures of my latest purchase with.. in fact I don't think I would have thought to take a photograph of it, remember this was in the days of 35mm film.
Come forward 25 or more years and we now have access to the internet (on our phones too if we wish). We can search from a huge range of sources for things, ask questions in specialist groups or on Philofaxy even. Everything seems to have speeded up or has it?
We have all got used to placing an order on line and expecting it to arrive within a few days and the item is exactly as it was shown on the website, there's no surprises about how you visualised the layout from the description or what shade of purple did they mean!
We can shop around so much easier too without wearing down countless pairs of shoes. With a few mouse clicks you can compare prices and the cost of delivery from a variety of sources.
There's one problem with high speed shopping, the time it takes for goods to reach you in another country hasn't got that much faster unless you pay for air freight shipping.
I can order something off the Filofax UK website and if it comes by courier then it normally arrives within 48 hours. But that is just one package. Scale this up to large shipments say to the USA from UK and things will still be sent by ship in a container. And unless someone can tell me differently... ships haven't increased in speed in the last 25 years? Increased in size and efficiency most definitely...
Filofax USA I hear you say.... is there any news? Yes there is... I had an interesting exchange of emails with our friends over in Filofax USA on your behalf. I know some of you have been getting quite frustrated at the low stock levels on the Filofax USA website, I think the staff possibly share your frustration too!
The low levels of stock at present have been mainly down to the move of stock from one warehouse to a new one in Texas, they put a message up on the front page of their website a few weeks ago.
The good news is that they are hoping to return to normal stock levels by the middle of June with shipments arriving at intervals over the next few weeks until they get back to the full range again.
Even better news is that they will be stocking the new 2014 range of organisers and new colours in the 2014 range much earlier than in previous years.
This page seems a lot more 'colourful' than it did a few weeks ago, with new items appearing each week on the site.
Obviously it will take a week or two for the USA stockists to get their stock on the shelves, but I'm sure you will all be pleased to be able to buy 'locally' again rather than having to pay for shipping from UK or Europe.
Thank you to our friends at Filofax USA for sharing this information with us here at Philofaxy.