16 July 2015

Philofaxy readers meet up - Yorkshire, England - June 2015

With summer now here (even in the UK!) many of us will be travelling and visting new places in the coming weeks. We've been following Steve and Alison on tour in the USA and they've been attending organised "meet ups". 

However, there's also the opportunity for more informal get togethers. I run a small holiday cottage complex in Yorkshire UK (www.ilkleymoorcottages.co.uk) and a few weeks ago was surprised to receive an on-line booking from a Mr Laporte. 

Sure enough - it was THE Josh Laporte from Hartford, Connecticut! Naturally, we had to find a slot in his holiday schedule to discuss organisers/ planners and one cloudy morning Josh, partner Juan Guzman and I sat round the large farmhouse table with a huge cafetiere of coffee and did just that!


Josh brought along his red Winchester that he has produced several videos about. You can view his current (or at least recent!) set-up on his You Tube channel

The red is not as garish as on the binders they produce these days. It was very classy and understated. A lovely, quality product. Juan had his bown Personal Kendal that he recently purchased. This had that oiled leather smell that I remember from one I owned in A5. It's a sturdy binder and will last for years! 

 I carried in a heavy box of different organisers (I confess - not even my full collection!) including my current Slimline Holborn with homemade elasticated closure. We spent ages comparing Josh's British-made Winchester with a modern Chinese-manufactured grey Personal Holborn - even down to the "clunkiness" of the ring mechanisms being closed!

Josh was interested in my Pocket Flex converted into a traveller's notebook using parts from a canibalised MTN and also my A5 Zip Logic, now altered to make an iPad case. I was keen to learn how Josh uses his green Federal Supply Memoranda Notebook as a daily "catch-all". (There's a good review of the Memoranda here on Philofaxy. We each spent sometime discussing the merits of paper-systems versus digital and our very different balance between the two. I'm far more into digital than Josh or Juan, but all our systems seem to work!

We concluded by taking a photo of the items we currently use.


Finally we made the traditional pile of organisers, before Josh and Juan left for a train journey into York for some sight-seeing!


Josh and Juan also met other folk from Philofaxy during their stay in the UK including the famous Lord Dodo.

A great morning spent with like-minded, kindred spirits. So - over to you! Obviously take sensible precautions - by meeting in a public place (such as a cafe), if you're meeting folk you've not met before. But, do get together this summer, if the opportunity arises! Don't forget to take a few photos and help Steve by writing a short Guest post. Have a great summer!

Thank you Tim for a great guest post, great to see Josh and Juan in England, pity I was in the US at the same time!

21 comments:

  1. Question, and not sure if this should be to Tim or Joshua or Juan, but here goes:
    On the very first picture, what is the brown binder situated IN FRONT of the Kendal, on top of the grey binder?
    That thing looks amazing! And I want to know more :)

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  2. I agree. It does look intriguing. I hope to meet Josh sometime in the near future as well. I haven't told him yet, but I'm a secret admirer of his mad Planner skills! Great post!

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  3. I'm often found tinkering with binders - adding or replacing rings - or even removing them, adding closures or adapting standard wallets to make pocket planners. The brown leather item in the first photo is a Graffiti wallet I picked up to which I drilled a small hole and made an elasticated closure. I then added a Midori leather pen holder and inserted Flex Pocket and Midori notebooks. It's great in that it has two full width pockets at the back, a coin holder and no less than 17 other pockets (I love lots of pockets!). However, when loaded as a pocket planner/wallet full of cards, cash, pads and a pen, it proved to be a bit too cumbersome for me and not something to sit comfortably in a pair of jeans! I may try again but currently prefer to keep cards and cash in a small wallet and my organiser pages, pen and less used cards in my Holborn Slimline (to which I added an elasticated - Domino style - closure to slot in my iPhone and keep things together.

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  4. Nice to read about this happy, coincidental meet-up.
    A half serious thought comes to mind - have you ever thought of running Filofax-themed holiday stays Tim? Ilkley could become a Mecca for ring-based planner enthusiasts!

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    1. Lovely idea! I think if Steve, Josh or one of our other organiser gurus lived nearby that would be worth exploring, but folk wouldn't want to listen to me droning on about Filofax issues!

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  5. I'm intrigued by your modified Holborn Slimline. Could give some more details or even pictures?

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    1. This is a very easy modification to make. Because the Holborn is two pieces of leather joined on the spine there isn't even a need to drill a hole. Firstly, even though not strictly necessary, I removed the ring mechanism from the base plate. It is just held by small lugs (not riveted on this model). From the outside, using a small bradawl (a screwdriver would do) I then GENTLY prised a gap where the two pieces of leather join in the centre of the binder where the elastic was to go through. I took great care not to break or damage the stitching. I then simply made a discreet tiny hole in the liner right next to the baseplate and threaded the elastic through, tied a knot and trimmed the excess. Originally I was going to drill the baseplate and hide the knot between the plate and the ring mechanism. However this would have put pressure on the delicate lugs that hold the mech in place with the risk of them snapping. In day-to-day use I don't see the knot and I can also pull the elastic through and retie the knot from time to time when the elasticity deteriorates through daily use.

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    2. Thanks for the info Tim! Looks like my Holborn is riveted. It's also a compact, so I would have a clasp to remove (which is quite short, hence my interest).

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    3. Yes they are all riveted except the Slimline. You could still do it with a compact - just use thin elastic and feed it through the gap between the mech and the baseplate.

      Removing the clasp closer would of course leave small hole marks on the back cover plus the redundant popper on the front. My aim was to be able to slot my iPhone under the elastic rather than cause the organiser to bulge with it in a pocket. In your situation, you might be better trading up to a Personal if your problem is one of capacity.

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  6. Very cool! I was wondering why Josh and Juan were not at the NY meet up!

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  7. I decided to read today's post along with my morning coffee--and what a wonderful way to start the day :) Tim, your holiday cottages look beautiful--you've given me ideas for our next vacation. Gorgeous. And Josh, I've followed your videos on YouTube; I'm always so interested in what your latest set-up is. I think it's so cool that you and Juan were able to build a Philofaxy meet-up on your vacation. Thanks for sharing this post.

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  8. Fabulous! Lots of cool details to absorb and I'll definitely keep your cottages in mind if we ever get around to our second honeymoon.

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  9. Aargh------you heaped scorn on my sweet gray personal Holborn! I whacked several pictures of you smack in the face--take that. ��

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    1. Sorry to upset your grey Personal Holborn. Lovely as they are (and I'm keeping mine) the leather and ring mechanism on Josh's Winchester were found to be of infinitely superior quality!

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  10. Great post! I'm intrigued that so many binders seem to have stuff in them - do you/Josh/Juan use several binders at once or are the others holding spare paper and such?
    Brilliant to have had a mini-meet up!

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  11. No question that earlier Filofaxes were vastly superior to what is made today. Same can be said for what seems to be the prevailing attititude for customer service and management.
    I had to defend my Holborn though!
    It is painful to look back at what used to be.

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  12. What a lovely post! I am so glad you had a nice natter.

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  13. I agree with the quality of the Filofax models from long ago. Even the names of them were classy and elegant. Tim, I showed my Wakefield-born boyfriend the site for the cottages. He wants me to send him the link. Hopefully I will get to go there!

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    1. When you come - bring a box of Filofaxes and we'll try for a bigger reunion!

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  14. Late to the party yet again. But wonderful pictures! Tim, with whom I can ever yap about Filofax issues (I am spoilt by the original quality and will never be happy with recent deterioration), Josh, who could read telephone directory and I would listen and watch that video forever, and what a pleasure it was to "meet" Juan, who is not trusting that pile.

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