01 February 2015
Reader Under The Spotlight - Nicole
I’m a Mom to two boys under two as well as working from home as a Project Manager. I’m interested in lots of things, so I lose focus easily unless I have a plan to follow. I plan everything! Thus, I love spreadsheets, lists, Gantt charts, stationery, cute storage bins, stinky cheeses, and all things British.
1. When did you buy your first organizer and what was it?
I bought my first organizer in 2000 to celebrate my first job on Wall Street. It was a black, pocket Hamilton. I loved everything about it: the oiled leather, the petite size, the contrast stitching, the satisfaction of hand recording, and the convenience of having important information in my handbag.
I was working on an Internet team, and at the time we felt that paper planners sent the wrong message, so I sadly stashed Wee Hamish in a box someplace as the team moved onto PDAs (which I hated!). Years passed, and though I really missed my planner, I guess I internalized the message that it was unseemly to be a techie and use paper, so I continued to plan in Outlook or on my phone.
Last year I wandered into my Mom’s attic and saw my old pocket Hamilton sitting on top of a box with my 2001 inserts still in it. It must have been sitting there for YEARS, just waiting for me to notice it. One look at the dear, sweet thing and I was hooked on Filofax again. Funnily enough, I went back to paper planning expecting to be an anomaly, only to find it’s more popular than ever!
2. What other brands have you used or considered using?
I am beginning 2015 with an A5 Van der Spek that I bought off a nice lady on one of the boards. I wasn’t in the market for an A5 or a VDS, but the price was right and I loved the floppiness. So far, I love it – though it is a BEAST in my handbag.
I also have a sturdy black leather Franklin Covey Compact with contrast stitching that I got second-hand on eBay. It’s very Hamilton-y, and the rings are a gargantuan 1.5”.
Lastly, I have a gorgeous caramel leather planner from Bloomingdales circa 1991, into which I want to move if this A5 VDS overwhelms me with its beastliness.
3. Out of the organisers you own, which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
That’s such a hard question. Like children, I love them all! I will hedge a little and say that right now, my A5 VDS is my favorite, because the leather is scrumptious, the covers are floppy and I have so much room. But if I could only take one planner with me to a desert island, I’d bring a personal Hamilton.
4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?
Let me describe my happy little planner family. I now own:
2 Pockets: a black Hamilton and a green/tan Chester
9 Personals: black Cavendish, black Kensington, red Portland, black Hamilton, brown Hamilton zip, purple Original, brown Connaught and a mushroom Aston
1 A5 Navy Original
3 Franklin Covey Compacts
1 Franklin Covey Classic
1 vintage “personal” from Bloomingdales
1 green nubuck Daytimer, and
1 A5 brown VDS
5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?
The oldest that has been with me since purchase is my 15 year old pocket Hamilton. But I own one planner that I know is older: the 1991 Bloomindale’s planner. It’s been with other owners before me, though.
6. What do you use your organisers for?
I have a GTD setup in my A5 VDS that is also my everyday carry. I use my A5 Original as a tickler file (an idea I got from Alexis at Strange & Charmed). I use my red Portland as a budget binder and my Cavendish for receipt storage. My green nubuck Daytimer is my Christmas planner, and I use a vinyl Franklin Covey as a travel planner, because it needs no special care and is easily cleaned.
The other planners I rotate as everyday carries. Every planner needs to be used to feel loved!
7. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
Well, the straightforward answer is that the rings made my planner customizable. The more nuanced answer is that I liked the refinement and British-ness of the Filofax. If I may liken our planners to cars, I imagine that Filofaxes are like Jaguars and Franklin Coveys are like Volvos. They are both high-quality, but you buy one for its panache, and the other for its stability.
8. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
Here is the Filofax of my dreams: rich brown oiled leather, contrast stitching, a zippered change purse, lots of card pockets, a floppy cover for maximum stuffability, and bigger rings in the Personal size.
9. How do you carry your Filofax?
I have a Lily Pulitzer neoprene case for my A5 sizes and a fabric pocket for my personals that I bought from a shop on Etsy. I only use those if the planner is going somewhere particularly treacherous. Otherwise, it just gets tossed in my bag along with everything else. Scratches build character!
10. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
If I was going to buy a new Filofax, the only one that currently appeals to me is the Ochre Malden (though I'm a bit curious about the Lockwood). However, since I like my Filofaxes a little broken-in, I prefer to buy older models. (I would use the term “vintage” but I know it’s a controversial adjective ‘round these parts.)
11. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?
My Van der Spek A5 is my most expensive planner, which is why I am forcing myself to use the lovely beast! However, I take comfort in knowing that I bought it secondhand, and I like to remind my husband that it still cost less than a new Malden.
12. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?
I would tell a planner newbie to relax and embrace the ugly planner! (hat tip to Giftie Etcetera for the concept) There are some truly talented people in the planner community, and their pages are labors of love and mini-works of art. But if you don’t have those talents and inclinations, don’t worry! I love planners that are held together with duct tape and rubber bands and which have pages that are stuffed with old recipe cards and magazine cutouts. Is it Patty Gardner at Homemaker’s Daily who has those busted up Franklin Covey contacts pages that she keeps migrating from planner to planner? I love that! And Sophia at My Great Challenge has a cleaning list in her planner with holes all over it from all the times it’s been repunched during a planner migration. I have so much affection for old planners and busted inserts.
13. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
Definitely the community. People are so helpful with information and advice and gifts! It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before in the virtual world. I also love the Web Finds, Reader Under the Spotlight, and the free printables. There’s so much goodness here.
14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?
There’s nothing I don’t like, but there are a few things on my Philofaxy wishlist. David Popely’s GTD posts are among my favorites. I’ll bet there are a lot of non-bloggers out there with great planner set ups, and I’d love to see some of them featured on Philofaxy.
15. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?
A Kids Classical Christmas – fun for the whole family!
16. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?
I’ve never attended a meet-up before, but I really want to. Do they have them often in New York City? How do I find out about them?
17. What was the last movie you watched?
I wish I could write that it was something intellectually challenging or artistically risky, but I have a toddler, so it was Finding Nemo.
18. What was the last book you read?
The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers. I love a good English stately house mystery. (Or in this case, stately church mystery)
19. George Clooney or Brad Pitt?
The better question is: Mark Wahlberg or Benedict Cumberbatch? And the answer is: both.
Thank you Nicole. As you know we are constantly looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, you don't have to be 'well known' or a long term user to be considered to appear in this 'spot'. So please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com today. Thank you.