17 February 2016

Reader Under The Spotlight - Lucy

Hi! My name’s Lucy and I’m an American living in a small town in southern Spain and teaching English.

I currently blog at www.theorganizeaholic.com and have been using a paper planner for most of my life. I discovered Philofaxy last February when I was frustrated with my current planning system and looking for solutions, and instantly became obsessed with all of the great content and endless ideas!

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

I have been using some sort of paper planner for as long as I can remember; I remember even in fourth and fifth grade the delight I took in checking off the tasks I had completed.

I bought my first Filofax in ninth grade after seeing them on display in The Container Store - my mother was surprised that I liked something so “old” so much, but agreed to buy me a blue personal-sized Identity. I used it for all of high school, and just recently unearthed it again (the rings are terribly out of alignment and the cover is falling apart, but I still use it to store inserts!).

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

I really love all of the organizers I own, and each serves a different purpose. But if I had to choose, I would pick my personal Ochre Malden.

I drooled over photos of this planner for the better part of last year, then decided to get it for myself as an early Christmas present this year when they went on sale at Colemans.

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

I currently own six:
  • Pocket Filofax Identity (red)
  • Personal Filofax Malden (ochre)
  • Personal Filofax Saffiano (aquamarine)
  • Personal Filofax Identity (blue)
  • Personal “Morning Glory” planner (clear plastic stamped “Blue Bear” - a middle school purchase that I found stored alongside my first Filofax last summer!)
  • A5 Filofax Original (nude)

4. What do you use your organisers for?

Of my four personal planners, I use the Malden for my main planner - it’s with me all day every day and contains almost all of my scheduling and to-dos.

The Saffiano is in the process of being converted in my blog planner. The other two personal planners hold inserts and look pretty on the shelves.

The A5 is my work planner (I teach English and run a small language school) - it holds all my accounting information, important notes, and exam schedules.

The pocket Filofax is my weekend wallet - I use it when I need to use a smaller bag and combine both wallet and planner. It only has a monthly calendar, and lots of card holders for receipts and credit cards.

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

My Malden has four sections: calendar (monthly and weekly), lists, files and projects, and notes. In my calendar I write down all my time sensitive to-dos and appointments.

In the lists section, I keep running master to-do lists and books to read, films to watch, etc. And in the files and notes sections I keep, well, files and notes.

In my A5 planner, I have six sections: exam requirements and information, summer planning (summer is when I have most students and also interns to manage!), my calendar and class schedule, exercise answer keys and grammar reference, contacts and financial information, and notes.

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

This is a hard one! I think I would include on option for bigger rings on personal planners, and (maybe this exists, no idea!) the ability to have a pocket size planner with a zip-closure but also a full back pocket to function as a wallet.

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

Another hard question, because there are so many things I love about ring-bound planners! I do love the mini “jot pads” that Filofax sells with only three holes punched - they’re great for quick lists and notes that can then be put in any sized binder from pocket to A5. They’re also conveniently credit-card sized, so they’re very easy to store in any binder that has credit card slots.

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

I haven’t, but I would love to if the opportunity presents itself!

9. What was the last movie you watched?

The last movie I watched was a Spanish movie, “Palmeras en la nieve” about the former Spanish colony in Equatorial Guinea. Not a movie I expected to like, but it turned out to be quite interesting!

10. What was the last book you read?

The last book I finished was “Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen” by Mary Norris, and I’m currently reading the latest Robert Galbraith book, “Career of Evil”.

Thank you Lucy.

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.


  1. The mini Capri has both a zip closure and a back wallet (it is inside the planner), but I don't think a pocket version exists. I don't know if anyone else but me does this, but it is possible to use pocket printables in a mini, if the size is reduced to between 85% and 88%.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I just looked it up, and it looks like quite a nice binder! :)

  2. Enjoyed your interview. Nice to get to know you, Lucy. Thanks for the tip about the jot pad.

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