28 October 2015

Guest Post - 10 Years of Planner Bliss! - Susan


Today we continue our 10th anniversary celebrations with the a by Susan. I thought I would dig out the previous header picture for a bit of a 'retro' feel!

Happy birthday Philofaxy!!! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since this blog started. Since finding it, Philofaxy and the planner community that surrounds it, has been a huge part of my life. Never in a million years did I think I would find so many like-minded people as crazy about planners and time management as I am, much less make life-long friends from such a community.

But let’s start at the beginning…

Since high school, I have used a planner. It started with the spiral-bound notebook-types that students are given. It started as a practical tool, one to keep track of my assignments, nothing more. In college, my use of planners grew, keeping track not only of my assignments, but also my work schedule and social events. By the time I graduated and moved into the adult, grown-up world of jobs and housekeeping, I was dependent on them to keep me sane.

I had always stayed with the spiral-bound planners, as they worked well for me. I also thought of the ringed binders as too big and bulky. I looked at them in awe of their use, but never did I buy one. However, around 2007, a friend turned me on to Filofax, pointing out how great they are, how flexible. I did a Google search for Filofax, found an array of options just for the binder alone. And then…

And then.

And then I found Philofaxy.

Needless to say, I have never turned back. Not only did I find a product I liked, with many options of sizes and colors and textures and inserts, but I also found an entire blog devoted to the brand’s use. I mean, my gosh, there are planner people out there! I felt like I had found my home.

In the beginning, I spent hours (and I do mean hours) reading all of the back posts. It took precedence over anything else I read. I had to know about this Philofaxer person, this blog that was full of juicy planner, time management, and task management goodness.

Once I caught up on all of the back posts, I waited oh so impatiently for new posts to appear, gasping and getting that flutter of excitement in my stomach when one did. A new Philofaxy post absolutely made my day!

At the time, the Philofaxy Flickr pool was at the top of its game. It’s still active today, but Instagram has overshadowed the wonder of this planner photo collection, and today there are only a few additions every few days. Back then, there were several contributions a day, and I would spend hours looking at all of the hot planner porn. I especially loved (and still love) the early photos. Some of my favorites are this, this, this, this, and especially this. I really could go on and on, but I won’t bore you. If you have never looked at the Philofaxy Flickr pool, I urge you to head over and start at the beginning. You won’t find much in the way of sticker- or washi tape-decorated or themed pages way one sees today, but I promise, you will not be disappointed. Looking back at the original photos today, I feel that same sense of sophistication that I felt when I first viewed the photos—everyone’s planner(s) looked so beautiful and so classy, I could not wait to get one of my own.

Finally, I did—it was a brown Personal Domino, given to me as a gift by the friend who first mentioned Filofax to me. I still have it and use it for storing extra inserts. The band is stretched and dirty and the inside isn’t great, but I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it, for nostalgic reasons.

I can remember when Nan first came on the scene, followed by Laurie and Steve. (You can read about each of them, as well as Anita here.) It was shortly after Laurie started Plannerisms that I started my own blog, Well Planned Life. (Actually, it started out as Life Well Planned, which I loved, but which I changed after finding out that an American company used it as their tagline/slogan. I probably didn’t have to but just in case, I did. PS. The company no longer uses it. Oh well.) In any event, I started my blog in 2009, and most of my readers found me via Philofaxy. The major (blog) players of the time were (and some still are) Crazy Life of J, Crazy Suburban Mom, Oni, Zoe (though she was something else in the beginning), Imy, and Kyla, among others.

Since then, numerous planner blogs have popped up, as well as YouTube Channels, Instagram accounts, and Facebook pages. Who knew how it would take off? Nan and Steve and Laurie and Anita have all made that happen, all with meet-ups and Skype chats and Facebook groups (oh, the Facebook groups—too many to keep track of!). I remember when the first meet-up happened in London—I was so jealous! I wanted one here in the US. Never did I think I’d be the one to organize the first New York City meet-up. Never did I think that I’d put my planner into strange and amusing situations. Never did I think that my planner would be banned from New York City for trysting in a public park (read the other side of the story here).

And now, Philofaxy isn’t just about Filofaxes. Other planner and notebook and general office supply products are covered as well.

But what really sets this blog apart from any other I have followed (and I follow a lot) is the community that surrounds it. I have met so many wonderful, supportive, and friendly people from this community. Some friendships I’m sure will last a lifetime, and it’s Philofaxy that I have to thank for that. Back in 2012, I wrote a Philofaxy Culture Tribute post, but it still holds true today, though perhaps a few more practices and traditions can be added to the list.

So, thank you, Philofaxy for all you have done for the planner community at large and for me specifically. Without you I never would have met some amazing people, nor would I have been writing for the last (almost) 6 six years.

Happy 10th birthday! Here’s to another 10—and beyond!

Thank you Susan for a lovely trip down memory lane.  Now before you all rush to comment on this post... you will won't you... Susan has been very generous to offer a free Filofax iPad Air case, as pictured below. 

We will pick a person at random from the comments on this post on the blog to receive this gift. The closing date/time will be 12:35 on 31st October 2015... blog time (East Coast USA) this was the time of the very first post 10 years ago on that day. 

This is open to anyone world-wide as long as you have a postal address. 

Usual rules will apply... No cash alternative, Judges decision will be final, etc. 




Thank you everyone for all your support. 

29 comments:

  1. It is not often I have the opportunity to be the first to comment on a post. Well done Susan!!! From what you describe, I think we both started following this about the same time. Also congrats on your blog, I think I have read the vast majority of your posts there. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Crofter! Yes, I consider you one of my "originals," meaning we started commenting/being active on Philofaxy around the same time. :)

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  2. Very interesting post! My journey started later, but is almost identical. I'm still reading back posts of philofaxy!
    I have been very happy to find so many like minded people. I had thought I was one of the only people to still use a Filofax (or two/several) - how wrong I was!
    Thanks,to this post, I now have some more blogs to read too! Thank you :-)

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    1. There are oh so many blogs out there! I try to keep up on them all. I add any news ones from the Web Finds post to my Feedly list. I don't get to read every post by every blog, but I subscribe to all of them. (And this is why I "don't have time," lol.)

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    2. It could easily be a full time position!

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  3. I can't believe it has been 10 years! I stumbled across Philofaxy in the very early days but many of the posts by Philofaxer weren't always about organisers/ planners! It was still great to follow, although it was a long time before I felt able to post any comments or contribute a guest post. The dedication and longevity of the current team, ably led by Steve, has been the reason Philofaxy has grown to be such a success - something enjoyed for many years. Well done to you all!

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    1. Agreed! The start of this blog was great. But in recent years it has just blown up! And that's a great thing. :)

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  4. As a relative newcomer reading (and enjoying!) Philofaxy posts, it's always even more fun when I can make connections among the network of Philofaxy authors, blog posts, instagram/flickr photos--and that's what happened this morning. While I was drinking my first cup of coffee and reading your post here, I realized that I've read your blog post, too. Such great content. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Cathleen! And welcome to the community!

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  5. Susan, thank you for that post... I've started this road just last year but arriving here at Philofaxy is something like coming home for plannerds.
    I downloaded the all the yearbooks when I'd realized what great information and tips could be found here, followed the Filofax Tips and even found other sites about self management and even more input to get and stay organized.
    I'm still work-in-progress though :-)
    But just in that one year I've been following here I've become something as the "You did write it down, didn't you?" person for my surroundings. And I used to be the person who always forgot every birthday, even her own (except for the birthdays of my parents and my sister, that is)

    So, this is a big thank you to you, Susan, for reminding me and all other people here, for managing Philofaxy and contributing to this blog.

    Christine

    P.S: please take me out since I do not own an IPad

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    1. Thanks! Yes, without this blog I wouldn't have found my online home. But it's more than that because I've "met" (and actually met) so many wonderful people who share my great obsession of planners. In a world where most people "don't get it," that's something wonderful!

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    2. I haven't met many persons who still use planners but I'd like to, I guess. Most people look at me with some fascination "You still use paper?"
      Everything I write (writing with a pen I mean, not typing or whatever input into some electronic device) I keep better in mind as well.
      And even though lot of people make an entry in their electronic whatever it seems to me, that they do not keep their appointments more often. It's just too late, when your smartphone beeps reminding you to get to the place in time or write down the report ;-)

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    3. I get that look a lot, too. I love technology and use both my iPhone and iPad in conjunction with my planner. But my planner is my hub -- it's where all of the action happens. It's just easier for me and, like you, helps me retain my information. Just because something is new and shiny doesn't mean it's for everyone or even better than the "old way."

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  6. Susan, I love your trip down memory lane. It inspires me...

    Filofax, Filofax. You are my savior.
    Your leather's divine, you manage behavior.
    You keep me on task, which is no easy feat.
    You're always around, and a fabulous treat.

    Hah! Can't believe I just did that!!

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    1. Ha ha! That's awesome. Now we just need to set it to music. ;)

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  7. Susan--is it really 10 years? I officially became a Philofaxy fan in 2006, and I was shocked at the number of Philofaxy fans even back then. I had just quit MySpace, and joined Facebook-one year later, I was a Philofaxy fan - but never thought I would spend $50 on a leather planner. Prior to the Filofax, I used the wire-bound Franklin Covey planner, Classc Size. But the leather Finsbury was stunning - I never imagined that I would ever spend over $50 for a calendar!
    Times have changed!
    Thanks for a wonderful post, your years of hard work---and a happy walk down the proverbial "memory lane"

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    1. Lol, MySpace. Now THAT's a trip down memory lane. ;) It's amazing to me -- what was once considered an expensive planner ($50) is now on the cheaper side. It's definitely an obsessive hobby, the collecting, and an expensive one, too.

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  8. What an inspiring post. I just found Philofaxy a year ago (credit goes to a friend and veteran "plannerd" - thank you, dear friend!). I recognize my journey in your story and only hope to become as adept at organizing with my planner as you have. And I enthusiastically second your appreciation for the Philofaxy gang! Thanks all!

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  9. Great tribute to a great blog! Thanks for taking me down memory and my journey on learning there's nothing wrong with being a plannernerd. ;-) Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary and looking forward to 10 more!!!

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    1. You're right, there's nothing wrong with being a plannerd. Thankfully, Philofaxy is the place we can always come to when we need that plannerd support.

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  10. Hi Susan, many thanks to both you snd Steve for all of your cintributions to the planner community!

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  11. Thanks for your excellent post Susan. I can certainly relate to your comment "I spent hours (and I do mean hours) reading all of the back posts. It took precedence over anything else I read". Also, a huge thanks to all the people who have contributed to Philofaxy over the past 10 years...long may it continue!

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    1. It took over my life in the beginning! Lol. But the early posts are so worth the read. I'm glad I started a few years ago though -- starting now, and having to read a ton more back posts, would take waaaay too much time. ;)

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  12. Oh my gosh, so many memories! I'm so grateful for every one of them, and for every friend I've made here. The "outsiders" might think I'm crazy, but I'm so very grateful for an extended group of friends who "get it." Though I'll never forget the looks we were getting in Bryant Park that day!

    Oh, and take me out of the running for the case - I'd need to get an iPad first!

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    1. I feel exactly the same way! We did get some looks in Bryant Park, but it sure was fun!

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