21 June 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Bonnie

Today I would like to introduce you to Bonnie. 

Hi, I'm Bonnie, and I live with my family in Newfoundland. I'm originally from Texas, but my husband's work has had us moving around for more than a decade. We've been on The Rock for about a year, after spending several years in Calgary where our daughter was born. In addition to taking care of a very active toddler, I'm an academic editor and writing teacher/tutor, and I do freelance writing as well.

My personal (book review) blog is https://inpossibility.wordpress.com.

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

Back when I was in college (which feels like a very long time ago now!). I was balancing classes, work, and a ballet schedule, so I decided to try out a planner. I don't remember it being anything special; maybe a Mead Day Runner? But I did develop an addiction for getting my ducks in a row. So I've been an organizer person, in some form or another, since then.

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

I loved the Moleskine Week-on-2-Pages planner and used it faithfully for a few years. But once I moved to Canada, I found that getting my hands on it was more difficult than I expected, and I started researching alternatives. That was when Filofax came along and surprised me. Apart from Filofax, the new line of organizers from Webster's Pages looks really nice, but I think they're a little smaller than I like to use.

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

Honestly, I love the Domino A5. I know it's not the most popular, but I like the size, and I actually like that it's not leather. I tend to tear things up, and I hate the idea of abusing a beautiful leather journal. The Domino has the stamina to withstand me.

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

Four Filofax organizers at present. Three are Domino A5 (black, red, and a really pretty polka dot one I couldn't resist). I also have the Personal Woodland. And if you count the key chain with the teeny-tiny Original, I guess that's five. But I can barely get a short shopping list on the sticky pages, so I doubt it counts.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

The Personal Woodland. I never completely trust my long-term commitment to something new, so I wanted to give Filofax a try with a reasonably inexpensive organizer to see how this type of planner worked for me. I realized almost immediately that it was too small for what I needed, but it was a good enough start to get me hooked on trying out the larger Filofax organizers.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

The Black Domino is my everyday organizer that contains pretty much everything that's going on in my life. It's the one I keep sitting open on my desk constantly. I use the Red Domino to organize my daughter's education. (She's still quite young, so that's more of a long-term project.) The polka dot Domino, which is my most recent purchase, is for me to organize my writing projects in more detail. And I use the Personal Woodland as a "to-done" notebook, instead of a "to-do" notebook, so I can at least acknowledge what I accomplished each day. That one sits on my nightstand.

7. How many sections do you have in your organiser and what is each section used for?

I organize my everyday planner into five fairly basic sections: just to-do lists, notes I make when I video conference with students, personal goals, home and family stuff, and a catch-all personal section. My daughter's education planner came with extra sections, so I organize that by both subject and grade level. The writing planner, not surprisingly, is organized by type of writing project (education, blogging, fiction, and so forth).

8. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

Like most Filofax users, I suspect, I like the flexibility of being able to move things around and re-purpose as I go along. For instance, when I decided to expand my writing projects into the new organizer, I simply pulled out the pages in the everyday organizer and gave those sections new labels. The convenience of shifting things around and allowing the organizers to evolve with use and needs is what keeps me committed to Filofax.

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

At the moment, I'm completely happy with how the Domino A5 works for me, so I haven't developed a list of what I'd change. I consider myself fairly new to Filofax in general, though, so I'm sure my preferences will evolve with time and use.

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

Not at all, as it turns out. All of my organizers sit at home, most of them open, in various locations: one on my desk, one on the window sill above my desk, and another with my daughter's educational stuff. I like them sitting open, so I can see exactly what I want right away. Because I work from home, I almost never take the organizers out of the house. When we travel, which isn't all that often, I tend to put most planning on hold. Anything I really need to keep track of, I just schedule electronically into my tablet. It's the only time I really use the electronic calendar feature.

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

I'd love to buy a Malden, but I can't justify the expense (particularly with my track record). I also feel pretty happy with my current collection of organizers, so I don't feel like I need another one just yet.

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

The first two Domino organizers cost me $55 each. That's about my cut-off for what I'm willing to spend.

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

This isn't necessarily a Filofax tip/hack, but I did recently come across a tip for downloadable planner pages. I never realized you could resize a PDF to fit a Filofax organizer, and when I saw a blog post about it the world of available planner pages opened up for me.

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

Web Finds. I get almost absurdly excited each time a new post goes up, and I've actually scheduled "read Philofaxy Web Finds" in my organizer.

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Nothing, really. It's an extremely well-thought-out and well-presented blog.

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

Downloading music is more my husband's thing, and I haven't downloaded anything in years. If I found myself tempted to download a track, though, it would probably be "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon.

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

No, due to location. If one ever ended up in St. John's, though, I might consider it!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

City of Life, which is set in Dubai.

19. What was the last book you read?

For some reason, I've been on a reading hiatus, so I actually had to check Goodreads. It was In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, by Alexander McCall Smith.

Thank you Bonnie.

As you know we are always 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.

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