14 November 2008

Free for All Friday No. 20

We've got a request for today's topic!

What do you write with in your Filofax? Pen? Fountain Pen? Pencil?


P.S. Check out the comments on this post for some great pen/pencil carrying ideas. Why not cut your pen loop in half and carry 2 pens?


  1. For anything suggested and not yet confirmed, I use pencil.
    When it is confirmed, I change it to pen, using the color designated for a particular subject. Anything work related goes in red; personal items go in purple; due dates (for library materials and bills and such) gets green; notes (such as any reminders for my husband's whereabouts and birthdays/anniversaries/arrival and departure dates for family) go in orange. All tasks and to-dos are in my "normal" everyday blue or black ink, depending on what's available to me, although truth be told, I don't like switching from one to the other - I prefer to use either black or blue but not both, however I have more blue pens at work and more black at home.
    The colored pens are gel ink, which sometimes bleeds through the regular Filofax paper, but not so much that it's a problem for me.

  2. Well, Kanalt, you've almost answered my question, which is -- is there a gel pen that fits in the Filofax pen holders? Do yours? And do you carry them about with you? I'd like to get a couple of nice but thin gel pens that will fit in the pen holders for lists, etc. I like the G2 pens but they are so fat that they don't fit. Am wondering about taking the ink cartridges out and using them in another pen.

    But my schedule changes so frequently that I never write in an appointment with any kind of pen, unless it's erasable. Which I've just started thinking about trying--maybe an Erasermate. I use 2B mechanical pencils for appointments.

    And I like to color in monthly view day blocks in red for special occasions and holidays and draw in Christmas trees and pumpkins, etc on the monthly pages, too, just to liven them up a bit. I use colored pencils for that, and keep them at home next to the sofa and do that doodling while I watch tv at night.


  3. GG I like your idea of drawing seasonal doodles on your calendar pages. I might have to do that, since I miss all the seasonal cues that we don't have here (like Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.)

    I use a Bic 4 color pen. The pen is too fat to put into the pen holder, so I slide the clip into it and it stays attached just fine. Black ink is for most things, blue is for my kids' activities or my husband's travel. Green is for money in and red is for money out/ bills due. Red is also important items. I use a mechanical pencil in my Financial section for numbers that I am likely to mess up and need to erase. I also use pencil in my Goals section to change/ revise as needed. I use an A5 Finsbury which has 2 pen loops, so I can carry my 4 color pen and mechanical pencil around at all times.

  4. Dear Kanalt:
    >>> For anything suggested and not yet confirmed, I use pencil. When it is confirmed, I change it to pen, using the color designated for a particular subject.
    Does this mean that you erase your pencil notes after confirmation? And do you carry all that colors with you all the time?

    Dear Laurie:
    I am a little bit jealous of your two loops. In my older Filofax, a Personal Cavendish, there have been two loops, too, but now I have a Bromley with only one.

    My problem with pencil notes is that they are so pale, especially when you write things down with pens, too. Generally, I like diversity, but in my Filofax, unity looks better.

  5. God I wish I had an organised system with colours and pens and pencils - but I don't AT ALL!!
    I literally use whatever i have to hand. occasionally i'll search out a different colour just to ring the changes, but it's all a big shambles of colours, pens and pencil!!
    I do draw holly on christmas day, and use stars to highlight important stuff...

    it's my new year's resolution to be more organised in terms of pens in my filofax!!

  6. tur tur, I feel your pain with the one pen loop. Back when I used my Personal size, it also had only one pen loop. I found a multi-purpose Bic pen with black ink, red ink, and mechanical pencil all built in. At the time that one writing instrument fulfilled all my needs. When the ink ran out I went in search of a new one, and never did find one again!! I was very disappointed.

  7. Pencils don't work for me. I'd prefer softer lead that writes darker, but anything that soft thinner than 1mm cracks too easily - and erasing just makes a smudge.

    So instead I carry a fountain pen with low viscosity fast flowing colourful ink - and a sharp <0.5mm black waterproof rollerball. I regularly change the fountain pen ink so that my journal entries change colour ever few weeks.

    It helps that my calendar and list of committed outcomes are electronic so most of the things I write on my Filofaxes just gather more information until they expire. It's rather rare that I decide to completely rephrase (=rewrite) a task in the Pocket Filofax.
    I backup my Filofax with digital camera on (bi)weekly basis.

  8. I alternate between a Pilot Birdie fountain pen with a fine nib and blue Noodlers Ink or a Stainless Steel Parker jotter with a fine blue ink ballpoint.
    The Birdie is a great pen that writes really smoothly & fits in the filofax pen loop, but has been discontinued by Pilot.
    I've tried various gel pens, like the legendary Pilot G2, but I really don't like the feel of them.

  9. I use a pen/highlighter hybrid. I use the highlighter on those list items that pertain to my goals-- a way to show them at a glance as a higher priority. It took me a while to find this type of pen when my last one ran out of ink, but when I did find them, I stocked up so I should be set for at least the remainder of the decade...

  10. I use a uniball deluxe micro pen in black for most entries. It is waterproof so I use this pen for sketching and watercolours as well. I keep sketch paper and watercolour paper in my filofax so it helps to have all my tools together. I use a blue uniball onyx pen (it is not waterproof)for my work schedule and for important things. I use pencil on my monthly calendar to mark down which days I'd be available to work if they called me and to note how many shifts/pay I'm scheduled so I know how many shifts I want to pick up. I use a green uniball onyx for important things that I really must see.I only have the one green pen and I don't know where I'll get another one when it runs out.

  11. vidya, where DID you find the pen/ highlighter hybrid?? I bought some Papermate ones a year or so ago and have been unable to find them ever since. Why do my favorite pens keep getting discontinued??

  12. There was some recent discussion about writing implements on the associated Flickr site.
    I generally use biro to write in my filo - usually black, but also red for special purposes.

  13. I just use a Bic blue ink round barrel pen. My personal Filo has 2 pen loops so I can carry another pen if I have to. I use Staedtler Triplus Fineliners to 'decorate' my pages or to write with. These pens don't bleed thru but you can see them on the other side of the Filo pages given how thin they are.
    I also use stickers to denote re-occuring things - little round circles of different colours to note when to pay bills or staff meeting at work etc. I also use stickers to highlight birthdays and special events or anything I need to. Next yeat I am thinking of looking around for a nice pen to use - something with blue ink, heavy but not too thick in the barrel.

  14. GG - In my planner (in the pen loop) I carry a small Zebra pen that expands - so it's a short stubby pen when pushed together, but expands to a normal, comfortable writing size. I use this mostly as an on-the-go pen. When home, I use a different pen simply because the Zebra isn't my favorite, but it fits into the pen loop and so carry it with me.

    As for the colored pens - I have a pencil bag that I carry with me in my work bag that contains everything I need - colored pens, pencils, a small white out stick. (Plus, I have all the colors I need at work and at home on my desk.) So when I need a color, it's there. If in the event I need a color at a time when I don't have it (which isn't often), I will write the information on a post-it, which I have a small supply of in my Filo. Then, I will rewrite it in the appropriate color later.

    My favorite pen, which is blue or black, is the Uniball Jetstream - it's gel but writes like a ball point, it's smooth and has good, solid color, doesn't smudge or bleed through the Filo papers. They also make a red, but sorry to say, no other colors. I wish they did. I use these pens (the blue and black) for task lists, to-do lists, any other list, and all of my daily work and writing.

    Tur Tur - Yeah, I will erase the pencil notations and change them to the specific color when something is confirmed. I plan as I go, but also go through my entire planner every week for this purpose - to update anything that might need it. So this is also a time I might switch from pencil to pen. I like the flexibility of pencil, but don't like that it's hard to read.

    1. I use the uni jetstream 4 + 1 mult pen. This comes with black, blue, green and red. All are really good solid colors and write very smoothly.

  15. Not to post off-topic, but the timing seems appropriate. I live in the Central Coast of California and yesterday many of my colleagues were either evacuated or preparing to evacuate because of the wildfires. People were trying to figure out what they should take in a very short time.

    Earlier this year, I started a list in my Filofax of what I would want most in case I ever need to evacuate. My Filo is almost always with me, both at home and out, so I know it will be close at hand if/when the situation arises. I know that if I didn't have a list handy, I would stand in the middle of my house, in a panic, grabbing nonsensical items. It gave me a sense of peace knowing that I am prepared in one small way. In this part of the world, evacuation isn't a theory, it's an eventual likelihood.

    So far, friends and colleagues are all safe, although my beloved Mt. Calvary Monastery/Retreat House was burned to the ground. The Montecito fire seems to be contained, but now there is another fire, to the east, in Los Angeles County and I am hoping it gets contained quickly.

  16. 20% Off Coupon from the Container Store!

    Paste this into your browser's address bar and you'll get a page with a link for a coupon fo in-store use and a code for use on internet orders etc.

    Good only through November 19.


    Looks like they don't carry A5 Filofax inserts or binders any more, but I'm going to get some Personal calendars, etc.


  17. I use a Faber-Castell propelling pencil, with 0.7 HB lead. It's beautiful as an object, it looks very classy for the price (£5), and has a satisfying chunky barrel. I like the flexibility of pencils, combined with the precision of propelling leads.

    I keep a vintage Parker ballpen in the pen loop, and the pencil tucks in nicely behind the fastener. If/when I upgrade to A5, I may rethink this, and maybe even move to using colours, but for now that cute fat little pencil does the job!