02 October 2014

Guest Post - My Summer 2014 Vacation Setup - Alan

My wife and I spent nearly 4 weeks in Greece this summer, and as you might guess, Filofax was there with me.

First, there was the wallet.  I always use a Slimline Personal as a wallet, but so far, I have used only 11mm-ringed models.  I had never used my Slimline Holborn due to the fact that the 13mm rings made it somewhat thicker, such that it did not slip comfortably in a jacket pocket.  However, I knew that whilst traveling, the pockets and layout of the Holborn would probably come in handy and, as I would not be wearing jacket in the heat, the extra slimness was not a factor.  I thought about what the Holborn might look like after nearly 4 weeks in my front trouser pocket, and decided that if it got ruined, so be it!

The other factor was that I knew that the Holborn would nicely take my passport and International Driver Permit:

Of all my slimlines, the Holborn has the deepest back pocket for paper money:

Receipts that I would need for reimbursement had their own pocket:

The last two pictures also showed the fantastic Lamy Multi Pen that came as an add-in with some Filofax I bought a year ago.  It was a great pen, giving me Red, Black, and Blue.  (There is Green as well, but I need to replace the green ink cartridge!)  It was great to have this versatility in such a slim pen!

Other than that, my wallet was loaded with lined and quad ruled paper for notes, to double as a capture device.  I mentioned above being concerned about the wear the Holborn would get.  Frankly the leather seemed to improve as I (ab)used it!

The other consideration was that we had some family matters to deal with that would involve paperwork, and I knew that the papers would be A4,  Therefore, I reasoned that having an A5 binder with me might be useful, as I would be able to fold the A4 papers in half and slip them in a full-length pocket.  I was unsure of the abuse that this would take, so I chose my Finsbury, which already had signs of wear:

The Finsbury has a good full-length pocket in the front for the legal documents we had to bring back:

I set up a daily diary/itinerary/log section – but never used it!

I had a section with printouts of airline and hotel reservations, as well has the travel insurance information.  I also printed on maps from the Michelin website.  (Note for next time:  Get a good map of Athens!  It is easy to get lost driving there!)

I also had an envelope designed for North American letter page, one-fold, that I punched for the A5, but because it was slightly narrower than A5, meant that I could hide it behind the notepad in the back cover, if I wanted to delude myself that I had hidden anything.

The nature of the things in the A5 meant that we didn’t carry it around with us, and it was usually in our room or in the car.  Next time, I might also print out some materials about some of the places we would visit.

Greek Highways are often lined with Oleander.  Note my Holborn on the dash board!

Overall, it was a wonderful vacation.  Greece is a beautiful place and the people are wonderful.  Part of my soul is still there!

Thank you Alan for a great guest post, stunning photographs too, they reminded me a lot of Cyprus. 


  1. Great to read a post from a fellow Canadian. Nice to see how our unique passports fit in the organizer. Thanks for sharing, Alan!

  2. Thank you, Alan, for a great post. That Holborn makes a really fine wallet!

  3. Thanks for a great post, Alan. I think the combination of slimline & A5 sounds perfect like this.
    I also went to Athens last year & fell in love with the country & lovely people.

    1. Anita, I would like to retire in Greece, but my wife - who is Greek - won't hear of it. Summers are about the best I can expect.

  4. My combination is also a Brown Holborn Slimline and an A5 (Flex with fitted 13mm rings). Works well for me!

    1. Tim: While I LOVE your custom A5 Flex with rings - and I am on the lookout for small A5 rings - I probably could not got away with using anything smaller than 19-20mm for this trip. I contemplated using my Cuban, because it's rings are 25mm instead of the Finsbury's 30mm, but the Cuban is in wonderful shape and I was concerned that it might get damaged. The Finsbury has a lot of marks already.

    2. In the side bar is a 'Featured Product' An advert from Amazon for A5 16mm rings...


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