05 December 2008

Free for All Friday No. 23

Don't worry, I'll soon post about my new Chocolate Finchley, of which I'm in awe. I've already taken pictures of it!

For now, hold forth!



  1. Congratulations on your "blessed event"! :->

    I have a red Finchley and I just love it. My boyfriend refers to it as The Brick.

  2. Inky I can hardly wait! Not to be demanding, but there are some things I want to know, like:

    Will you use this instead of, or somehow in addition to, your current Personal size Filo? Do you plan to retire your red one, or switch the binders out occasionally? (Or have you even thought about all that yet?)

    I am very curious about how you will use your new addition!

  3. I have a 'soft jade' personal Finchley, and I LOVE iT!

    It already comes with cotton-cream paper as well which is beautiful.

  4. While we are waiting for Inky's full disclosure of her latest addition, I thought I would share with those interested a new use for my semi-retired Personal Filo.

    The other day while I was doing my Christmas cards, I realized that there are several people on my list who have moved in the last year. So I got out my black Personal Buckingham (which I keep in my grab-and-go emergency bag) to update the addresses. I keep my addresses in my A5 Finsbury, but I like to have all the addresses up to date in my emergency Filo too.

    As I was entering the new addresses and handling the Buckingham, I noticed how soft and smooth the leather is (which is not the case with my bumpy Finsbury). I have a lot of fond memories with my Personal size Filo. I have traveled with it a lot and it has been my lifeline for years. I remember sitting at an outdoor café in Munich drinking a beer and using my Filo to plan my trip around Europe, consulting the fold-out Europe map, calendar for travel dates, and list of contacts in each city. I thought of all the changes in my life since then, and how much my Buckingham and I have been through together. It made me sad that it’s relegated to retirement in my emergency bag.

    I like my A5 for home use, but the Personal size is definitely easier to carry around. We have a trip to Scotland coming up next week—we go every year for Christmas and New Year. I was thinking of bringing my Personal along so I don’t have to lug the A5 in my carry-on bag. Then I had (what I think is) a brilliant idea! I thought of the Moleskine City Books, where you design your own guide book of London, Berlin, New York or whichever city you want. I decided to do that with my Personal Filo for Scotland! We go at least once a year, and this year will be the 4th year in a row we’ve gone. I have notes scattered in various notebooks of places we have stayed, contacts, things to do there (this year or someday), etc. I decided to put it all together in my Personal Filo, and then every year when we go I have all the information together in the book, which I can build on from year to year. Everything from the phone number for the Indian take-out in Fort William, to potential accommodation in the Borders. Every time I come across a bit of information, into the book it goes.

    Yesterday I redid the tabs and started putting in information. I have a section for emergency, medical and insurance. Then there’s a section for our travel information like frequent flier numbers, accommodation contacts and the like. I have a tab for trips we have already taken to have a record of where we stayed, what flights we took, what the exchange rate was that year, etc. There is a section for maps including world, Europe, Scotland, and small city maps for Glasgow and Edinburgh. Then I have tabbed sections for regions such as Borders, Islands, Highlands, East Coast, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I am excited to start adding in information as I acquire it! Over the years the book will build into a very informative guide. I am very happy that I have discovered a way to actively use my Personal Buckingham. Now it can continue to be my loyal travel companion!

  5. Oh My God Laurie!! That sounds absolutely amazing!!!!
    I am really jealous!! I want another filo now so that I can do the same thing! I've been thinking of excuses to get a second filo... I might well get one in the new year for my own travels... i don't return to places year on year, but i do go away round Britain at least twice a year... I'm very excitied by the idea!

  6. Wow, that is a great idea, Laurie.
    Now I'll lay awake all night trying to think of something like that for my extras.

    By the way, where did you get all the maps?

    I got a couple of soft used Filofax binders off Ebay and am trying to think what to do with them--this is great inspiration.

  7. Thanks everybody, I'm glad you are excited about the idea!

    The world and Europe maps are from Filofax (although it seems they aren't making the Europe map anymore, which is too bad because I really want an updated one!). The Scotland map is from the British Isles map package from Filofax.co.uk.

    The Glasgow and Edinburgh maps I cut out of the pocket size Scotland 2008 diary that came free with The Scotsman newspaper early this year. It's a really cool little diary, although I never actually used it as a diary. It has a list of notable Scottish dates for 2008 as well as events happening around the country all year. I hope they do another one for 2009!

    Years and years ago, (okay, 1995), I was turned on to the glory of a Filofax-style planner by a friend/ coworker of mine. She had a Cambridge personal-size zip-around binder, and I was fascinated with it. I asked her, "What do you put in there?" And her answer was, "Oh, EVERYTHING! My whole life!" Up until that point I had been using whatever planner had the prettiest pictures, usually Sierra Club or something like that. So a binder was a whole new thing for me. I ran out and bought myself a Cambridge zip-around and decked it out with all kinds of inserts. I even splurged on the calculator that fits on the rings (which I still use to this day, in my Filofax). She and I both happened to be moving to Hawaii, although to different islands. She had the great idea of photocopying a map of Hawaii and her particular island and sizing them down to fit into her Cambridge. I did the same, and I really got a lot of use out of those maps while I was there. I still do that wherever I am or will travel. In my A5 I have a map of Albania that I copied out of a guidebook, and also a map of Tirana. When I lived in DC I used my fold-out map all the time, because it has such a confusing street layout. There was a time when I visited Paris somewhat regularly, and I always kept a Paris rail map in my Filo. Now with the internet it’s pretty easy to print out maps to put in, although sizing them might be tricky depending on resolution. I love having maps in my Filofax. They are inevitably useful, and they really add to the personality of my book.

  8. Laurie's Filo sounds really fun. I am just starting--bought my first--a personal Lyndhurst--still getting it set up for 09--but the main hurdle is remembering to carry it and write in it! I have never kept a diary or a journal and have used the computer for appts. I hope the Filo turns out to be a better system.

  9. After a couple of years failing to decide whether I prefer paper or electronic, I've resolved to use my red A5 Finchley as my main diary/notebook/goals and ideas book for the whole of 2009. The weight is a bit daunting for everyday, but that should be more motivation to cycle everywhere rather than walk.

    Inky - I saw the pictures of your chocolate Finchley on Flickr and in one it shows the cotton cream diary but it's 2008 and not 2009. Also, I see it came in the older-style black box packaging not the newer colour slipcase. Has the newer style packaging made its way over to the USA yet?

  10. Laurie - I'll address your questions in my next post. Thank you for the wonderful stories and "City Filo" ideas. I'm drooling!

    Pamela - The place I ordered the Finchley from (http://www.dailyplanner.com) seems to have a mixture of old and new product in its inventory. The Finchley came with a 2008 diary inside and an unwrapped 2009 diary tucked into the box. I went to the site recently to get more Cotton Cream paper for it, and found they have some "new" old forms, so of course I ordered some. I'll report back.

    I think you'll like using the A5 for everything. I find having the additional space to write helps me generate more and better ideas.

  11. My answer to a question posted on this blog a *very* long time ago ...

    "How to turn a mini Filo into a wallet."

    *Warning* - severe hacking of innocent filo to make it thin and protrusionless below ...

    1. Basis: Mini Domino - it has a less puffy cover than leather Filos.

    2. Make a billfold: unpeel adhesive tape that secures elastic closure to the Filo's spine. Cut and remove elastic (tape should come off too).

    Slot bills between the metal binder mechanism and the Filo's cover, with one end of the bills tucked into one of the pockets.

    4. Store small pen: undo stiching that secures one side of the pen loop. Cut the other side of the pen loop. This exposes a slit where the pen loop used to be. The slit is in one of the two layers of the fabric laminate that comprises the inside cover. Use a ballpoint pen refill to make a 'pouch', with the top of the pouch being the bottom of the slit. You do this by easing the two layers of fabric apart to create a space to keep your pen refill (your new pen).

    You end up with a thin mini filo with no elastic closure, and no pen loop (instead, you have a small pouch in which to keep your small pen).

    The advantage of this filo is that, like a wallet, it can be carried constantly on one's person.

    My 'filowallet' contains my calendar and diary, next action items by context, project lists, someday/maybe list and a notes section to record 'open loops' at the time they enter my puny brain (which I even put into the next action section at the same time).

    Note: I also carry an a5 in my satchel for more creative work.


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