10 September 2008

Where's Inky?

Dear readers,

I'm sorry for making you worry about me. I'm fine! I've just been thinking about what I want to do with this blog. I didn't want to come back without a plan. I find that the fall is a better time for me to make fresh starts and resolutions than January. I think it's a combination of the academic year that I grew up with, and the fact that the change of weather from the humid dog days of August to crisp, sunny September feels more like a new year than January's nondescript dead of winter.

Let me start by thanking all of you for your recent great posts on Free for All Friday No. 10. It's much more activity than I deserve with my recent absence. Your systems and ideas are truly inspirational!! I mean that to every single one of you.

One commenter, Joffrey CA, raised the issue of my real identity. Yes, you've figured it out. I work for O'Reilly Media, and my name is Nan Barber. I didn't go to any great lengths to hide my identity, since I have no compelling reason to. I was mainly concerned about what my family and coworkers would think, and it turns out that none of them have any interest in the fact that I'm doing this blog.

However, I want this blog to be about Filofaxes, not about me, so I created the pseudonym. As some of you may know, I inherited this blog from its original creator, a person who went by the pseudonym "Philofaxer" and who really did want to remain anonymous. In gratitude for his kind decision to add me to the blog, there are certain principles that he set up that I will always honor:

- The blog will not be personality-based; hence, my use of a pseudonym.

- The blog will not attempt to generate revenue via Google AdSense or other advertisements. (Although I'm not opposed to doing product reviews ... unfortunately I haven't had to deal with that issue yet!)

- Good writing and constructive comments will be top priority. I'm proud to say during my tenure (going back to 2006) I've only had to delete one nasty comment.

So, here's the plan. I will do one "Free for All Friday" post and two other posts per week; usually on Sunday and Wednesday. I'll report all the news in my own Filofax life, including the following:

- I'm up to a 4 Filo life: An A5 for work, another A5 for the kitchen counter, a Personal, and a Pocket for fitness records. I bought a 2008-09 academic year week-per-2-pages for this Filo.

- The A5 for work is working better than ever (finally, after 2 years!). So I've bought a metal A5 punch, and plan to get a ream of A5 paper and create my own pages.

- I'm loving the Pocket size again, and considering eliminating the Personal. Something about those 3 x 5 inch pages feels so good.

- My "Ideas" section always seems to be the canary in the coal mine. It's currently stuffed with Post-Its and confusion even worse than here. (But thank you, Onigiri-sama, for the compliment on my handwriting! I like to, and often have to, write fast. It looks better when I can write more slowly.)

- But I am loving the illustrations in the Kate Spade Personal week-per-2-pages and would like to use it next year if I stay with this size. (Ur-hrm ... as I said ... product reviews??)

Thanks again for all your support, and for drawing me back!

— Inky


  1. Good to see you, Inky! I hear you about feeling a fresh start in September-- it must harken back to getting those nice fresh pencils and clean, crisp notebooks back in grade school!

    I really geeked out and got a copy of "The Advanced Day Planner User's Guide" on Amazon Marketplace. It's out of print, but there are a zillion used copies available.

    I can't say I got any huge new insights into using my beloved Filofax, but there were some good tips and it was just fun to wallow in planner-love.

  2. Vidya - Great title (Advanced Day Planner User's Guide). I checked it out on Amazon and can't wait to get one! I'm also going to get one for a friend for Christmas.

    Inky - glad you're back - I always look forward to new posts - I have the blog marked as a favorite in Google Reader and always check that one first to see if there's a new post (but no pressure!). ;) Also, I see you're thinking about moving from a personal to a pocket planner - is there a great deal of difference as far as writing room?

  3. Thank you for the warm welcome back, everyone.

    Would one of you like to write a book review of "The Advanced Day Planner User's Guide" for Philofaxy? Let me know.

    Kanalt, I know what you mean about Google Reader. I use it, too, and the bloggers I love to read the most seem to write least often!

    The pages on the Pocket Organizer are significantly smaller than the Personal. I'll post a picture on Flickr. But for information that you want to carry with you everywhere, they're perfect. They're also easier to turn than the tall, narrow Personal pages.

  4. Hi,

    Good to see you're back. I also enjoyed the comments on the last thread. I also have something new to share with you: a new filofax, a brown personal classic!
    I had the piazza personal, and loved the size but not the dirty suede and the misaligned rings, and I had a classic pocket one which was nice but too small. So now I have it all in one.
    I still feel a bit bad about leaving the other two covers lying in a drawer. I use my new one for both personal and work, so I don't have a good purpose for them. Maybe I can sell one of them on ebay or something. Any other ideas for what to do with them are welcome.

  5. OK, here's the picture comparing the Personal and Pocket pages:: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gonanb/2848608352/

  6. Pauw13 - I too have the personal classic in brown - I LOVE it! Enjoy!

    Inky - thanks for posting the photo of the personal vs. pocket. In theory, I'd like to use the pocket (probably easier to carry around) but don't think it would be practical for all of the information I deem "necessary." Although, I probably do carry more than I actually need to. =)

  7. I would be delighted to write a review on "The Advanced Day Planner User's Guide"-- I'll put it on my to do list for the weekend! :-)

  8. Nice to see you back, Inky!

    The user's guide sounds interesting. A review would be great. And a sampling of tips.

    BTW, I've already succumbed to the planner displays at Borders and bought an appointment book, but...does anyone use a pocket Filo for appointments? I have one but use it only for notes and lists. It would be great to also use it for my appointments, but it seems so cramped. And it wouldn't hold letter-size miscellaneous sheets of paper I carry about. Or so it seems. I'd love to get everything into that little format but it seems impractical. Does anyone use the Pocket for everything? Do you carry page-per-day pages? Do you miss having a view of the week at a glance when setting up an appointment? Or do you get used to just flipping through the pages to look for an open spot? How does that feel? The week to a page seems so practical, but in the pocket size it wouldn't give me enough space for my notes about the appointment, plus phone number, address, and tasks completed for later reference. Or maybe there's a work-around I haven't thought of. I need to carry about a month's pages around at all times, so I can refer back for invoicing, and really need about another month of future pages, so I don't really see how the little rings would hold enough pages for me. But would love for it to be possible.

    Thx, GG

  9. Hi gg
    I use a pocket pimlico for everyday personal use. It goes everywhere with me. I use a week to two pages as i don't have many appointments. Any that I do have, I write the time to the left followed by the info. The only gripe I do have, is that the space for weekends is a lot less and I do a lot at weekends! I have a full year in there but might try 6 months as it is bit of a tight fit with everything else. I also have a notes section for...notes, a to do list, an information section for important info to keep including birthday pages (which i transfer to the diary at the beginning of each month) and finally an address section. At the front i have a clear pocket with photos of the family and a number of jot pads for extra notes in the diary or to do's with a deadline. In the back of the filo i have a zipped pocket for stamps and small things. Theres is also a pocket right across the back of the filo for small envelopes, receipts and loose papers etc. I prefer the pocket as it is more portable than the personal (which I also own), it takes up less room in my pannier or shoulder bag. It even fits in my jeans back pocket.

  10. Thanks,geew67--
    It sounds like your Filofax rings are bigger than mine--I guess mine are about half an inch. I got my pocket sterling at a garage sale, and haven't been able to find it listed on the Filofax site, so don't know what the official description is. I couldn't find the pimlico on the website, either, so don't know exactly what the difference is. And the rings don't seem to be the same dimension wide as they are tall--mine seem to be about three quarters of an inch wide but about half an inch tall. Seems pretty weird, and I don't know how they would be listed. I wonder if I'd be able to get that much in there. But I think I'll try--Filofax paper is pretty thin. This one makes a nice wallet as it has a zipper pocket on the outside and several vertical pockets plus horizontal pockets for cards, etc, so I really want to make it work. And it's a bit bulky for my medium-large purse, but it works, but no way would it fit in a pocket. It's handy to carry around without a purse, tho.

    They sure have all the bases covered, with so many sizes and materials for us to covet and collect. It's probably unreasonable to hope to find another garage sale like the one where I got this one!

    Does anyone know if there's a list somewhere of all the various versions of Filofaxes that have been produced in the last ten or twenty years? My garage sale find seems pretty recent -- microfiber, never used, but haven't been able to find it listed anywhere. But it has the Filofax rings with Filofax engraved on them, and a leather badge on the outside with the script "F" and on the inside there's a leather badge that says "Filofax Pocket Sterling." I'd like to know how old it is, etc.


  11. Hi gg,
    I also have a pocket, and I must say that for the time being, it works perfectly handling appointments and other info.
    I use the week per two pages format, where I write down all possible appointments. I must say that I do not have too many appointments, but am considering getting a day per page format in order to have more space.
    The Notes section is the second one I use the most: I write down thoughts, jot down new stuff I want to check out later, i.e. a certain writer I read about in a mag, etc. I make my own pages, simply using a scissor, a ruler and a mini one-hole punch. A A4 page will give you 5 pocket-size pages ;)
    Then comes the To Do list, which keeps reminding me that I still must go get my driver's license reissued or finish sewing those darn curtains!! I want to make new pages where to keep track of regular to do tasks, such as paying the rent, cleaning the kittybox, doing the laundry, eating...
    But that task is currently sitting on my to do list..
    Anyway, what i'm trying to say is that i don't find it to be too crammed up, but then again, I'm only carrying 2008 from may to december. Oh, I also have the address/phone sheets, but have simplified them to just carry maybe 8 sheets of them. I'll tell you more about it later if you wish.
    oh, and if there's something very important, i just jot it down on the post-its I carry inside and stick it on the corresponding day.
    I normally try to check it a few times a day, but these past two weeks which have been a bit busy for me, I've just been looking at it before bedtime. That's also when I've been writing all the upcoming appointments, editing my to do list, keeping track of my exercises, etc.
    I hope this is useful for you and that you finally succumb to using your Filo ;)

  12. Inky,
    it's great to have you back. And if you need any inspiration in order to keep this blog updated, please let us know. I'm sure we can come up with different Filo related topics.

  13. Hi Vidya -- Thanks for deciding to do the review! Please email the text to me at nanbarber at gmail dot com.

  14. Glad you are back Inky! As you can see, we missed you a lot!

    Looking forward to the upcoming posts!

  15. gg- the pimlico is a discontinued Filofax but can still be picked up at some stores including the www. Google will find it. The rings are 3/4" and do hold a fair amount. I am trying a rolling 6 month diary instead of a full year to create space - this is the previous month (in case I need to look back) and the following 5 months. Hope you have fun finding the right system and are inspired to continue to use the Pocket.


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