28 December 2014

Reader Under the Spotlight - Matthew

Today I would like to introduce you to Matthew

About Me!
Hello, my name is Matthew and I am currently in my second year of university studying Drama and English Literature in the UK. 'Filofax' has been a big part of my home, but mainly academic life, keeping my organised and on top of my studies  I have been following Philofaxy for many years now and decided it was about time I did a ‘Reader Under the Spot Light’.  I have started my own blog ‘My Filofax Fixation’, in the hope of giving other students and those who lead a hectic lifestyle, some tips and inspiration for staying organised. 

1. When did you buy your first organiser and what was it?

I bought my first Filofax in 2007. It was a Cross (now named the Classic) A5 in the Pistachio colour - I loved the smooth Italian leather.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I have considered using Franklin Covey, however I have always preferred Filofax! In my opinion, they have always done a fantastic selection of organisers and a wide variety of inserts. 

3.  Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

I have had many Filofax’s over the years, however my favourite has to be my Aqua Malden in the Personal size! The leather feels beautiful and the aqua colour is superb! 

4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?

I have recently sold many of my Filofax’s, in which I had 15 Filofax’s, I now own the following: 
  • Aqua Malden in Personal size 
  • Crimson Malden in Personal size 
  • Purple Malden in the Pocket Size 
  • A5 Cross/Classic in Pistachio
5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Filofax Cross A5 in Pistachio, which was only available in 2005/2006

6. What do you use your organisers for?
  • Aqua Malden in Personal size – my current organizer, which I use for both academic and home use.
  • Crimson Malden in Personal size – currently used as a storage binder
  • Purple Malden in the Pocket Size – used for a variety of notes, shopping lists etc. 
  • 5 Cross/Classic in Pistachio – used as a storage binder
7. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

I love the ability to change the layout of the Filofax to suit my needs! For example in the autumn and spring semester I use a week on two pages format. However during exam term, I use a day to a page format to allow in-depth revision planning. 

8. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

If I could design a Filofax, I would take the existing Malden and add two pen loops to the personal size instead of one! I would also make the pen loops larger, as I have great difficulty fitting my pens into the Malden Filofax. I would love to bring out more colour options other than Ochre and Purple, such as something similar to the aqua and crimson! 

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

I sometimes carry my Filofax around university in my laptop bag! My personal Malden fits in there very nice and snug. However, the majority of the time I love walking around and holding my Filofax……it gets a lot of interest and comments from fellow students. 

10. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I like the look of the Charleston in the purple colour, however I still prefer the look of the Malden range. 

11. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?

I have recently purchased a Personal size Malden in Aqua from Germany. It cost £100 – but it was so worth it!

12. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?

I love the Dashboard concept. I have mine at the front of my Filofax, containing to do lists, reminders and important dates.

13. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

I love how everyone is so friendly! Also I really enjoy looking at everyone's Filofax's and their setups! I find it very interesting

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

It would be great to have more opportunities to attend Philofaxy meet ups

15. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?

Santa Clause is Coming to Town by Mariah Carey 

16. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?

I have not yet attended one yet but I would absolutely love to. 

17. What was the last movie you watched?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 

18. What was the last book you read?

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway

Thank you Matthew. As you know we are always looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. Hi Matthew, and thank you for a great post. I'm also a Personal user for home and business (one binder, not two), and I agree with you re the Malden pen loop - that thing is useless! At the very least I need two loops, for pen and pencil - one reason why I've currently moved back into my vintage Hampstead.

    Good luck with your studies. I used a Personal (I forget which model because it was before I had the Hampstead) when I did my degree 1997-2000, and I'm quite sure I would't have finished the course without my planner (and planing habits).

  2. Hello David, thank you for your comment! Since writing this post a few weeks back, I decided to try the A5 size - giving me more space and of course two pen loops :) thank you for wishing me luck with my studies, I don't know where I would be without my Filofax at uni! :D

    1. Hi Matt, which A5 are you using? And how do you find carrying the A5 when you're out doing social/personal stuff rather than just at uni? For me, the page space of A5 is great, but the portability is way down, especially when I'm out just doing social stuff. I'm sure A5 would provide a better planning medium for uni.

      I have a beautiful vintage Bridle in tan leather which is a gift from a friend, but carrying it when I'm in the supermarket or just 'going out' is a pain - it's the size rather than the weight which is the problem. If anyone else has any comments on this also, I'd be interested. Ladies, you have handbags, Steve, I know you have your Lowepro - any other clever ideas from male readers (or on-handbag-carrying A5-friendly ladies)?.....

  3. I am using an A5 Malden :) it's very beautiful. I tend to travel with it in my laptop bag or just end up carrying it around! Portability is certainly very tricky but so far I am having no major troubles! When I go shopping I tend to leave my Filofax in the car and just take in the shopping list page. But the A5 allows a greater depth of planning especially for revision and exam periods! :) the vintage brindle is a lovely organiser especially in tan! :)

    1. My Malden Personal is a beautiful binder, and i know others speak highly of the A5.....interesting to hear that you manage OK with it as an every day carry. I'd be very interested to hear from other male A5 users about this one. I guess the advent of the 'man bag', whether in laptop or messenger bag guise, has made things a bit easier for us. I have a John Rocha messenger bag in brown leather bought a couple of years back when i had my A5 Kendal (since sold), but I just can't abide having to negotiate the top flap every time I want anything!

  4. Hi David,

    My recommendations for MAN-BAGS are either the Crumpler Muli Sling, in large, or Tom Bihn's Large Cafe Bag. Both hold a volume of 8 litres, which is plenty for an every-day carry / manbag. They hold everything you might need to carry, such as....

    Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 tablet (in sleeve)
    1 × Filofax Identity A5 Organiser or 1 × Filofax Clipbook A5 Notebook
    1 × magazine (usually a cycling magazine)
    Glasses case / sunglasses
    Pen case - 2 × Frixion pens, highlighter, Fischer Space Pen, etc.
    Wallet, including cash and cards - I found a gem in the Bellroy Note Sleeve
    Keys, for house / car
    Mobile phone
    Gadget pouch (neoprene) - phone and tablet charger / passport drive / 2 × memory sticks / 2 × usb cables / in-ear headphones
    A small bottle of Purelle hand cleanser

    For days when I also might need to carry.....

    a laptop (and cables)
    my Kryptonite Bicycle U lock (if I am on my bike)
    an umbrella, gloves, scarf and hat (not always)
    Pac-Away waterproof and / or down cycling jackets
    and other bits and bobs.....

    I use a normal messenger bag....a very old and scruffy padded one from Specialized (a cycling brand). This is also the bag that I use if I "scoot" to / from the train station and work, as I can attach my helmet to it.

    Unfortunately, there is always (generally) a flap to negotiate, such is the origin of the Messenger-style of bag.

  5. For fixing the dilemma of needed planning space I have a combination of personal planner and an A5 workplaner, that I can happily leave behind on social occasions. My personal Kensington works as my private planner and purse. I find it allways handy to have the general calendar function in a handy format and more in depts planning in a subject related planner in A5 size that can be work or studies related and needs to be carried in a bigger work backpack, whilst my personal timer can be carried in a smaller bag.

  6. I so agree about the pen loops. TWO and bigger! That would make it perfect.

    1. A Hampstead is definitely what you need (I don't know if its successor, the Kendal, had one or two).....proper leather-and-elastic pen loops.


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