31 December 2009

2009 a year in review...

So another year is nearly over. I suggested to Nan and Laurie before Christmas that may be we should do a review of the year. But it would be like repeating the year. What could we leave out?

I have taken a look back over the year and each time I do it with the intention of writing something about the year I get engrossed in the articles and especially the comments you all make. No self discipline!!

The big change for me this year has been your contribution via the comments, which has been huge, and we thank you for your valuable input.

As Nan mentioned over Christmas the addition of Laurie and myself has added breadth/depth to the coverage of Filofax topics. Our coverage in the media and the internet has increased in the last year. We have got Philofaxy noticed that's for sure! And again we thank you for your mentions, which I'm sure have contributed to more visitors to the site.

When I got the invite to be a contributor in June from Nan, I sort of panicked at first, what can I write about often enough to keep you all interested. But my fear was short lived. I just write about more or less what I like on topic... and it seems to spark your interest.  I'm sure the three of us will continue in our own style in 2010, giving you all ideas, making you pause and think 'why don't I give that a try' 'oh I like that idea' I'm sure you have had those moments after reading a post.

I will do the occasional 'One Year Ago on Philofaxy' post in future or some other interval in the last 5 years of  Philofaxy to remind ourselves of earlier posts and ideas contained in them, there are plenty of them as I discovered!

If you would like to contribute an article at any time we welcome your input. Please contact us by email: philofaxy@gmail.com

So once again thank you for everything in 2009 and I wish you all the best for 2010.

30 December 2009

The Life of Ideas

One of favorite uses for my Filofax is idea capture. I keep lists of little ideas like books I want to read and websites I want to visit, to the big ideas: my next career, plans for my house, blogs to create. I have to admit, I obsess about these ideas. I'm afraid of losing any of them. Switching from one planner or format to another is especially traumatic, because I have to decide what to do with the idea lists. Copy them over? Archive them? Toss them out and move on? I almost think of the ideas as living things.

It's strange that I cling so tightly to these ideas, because I don't act upon most of them. But when I go over old idea lists, I find that lots of them do get done, but not at the same time or in the same way I originally envisioned. After I record an idea, it really does seem to have its own lifecycle.

Some year I have tons of ideas. At the end of 2008, when I switched to Cotton Cream paper, I reviewed my existing lists, which were on a slew of colors and sizes of paper, and wrote the ones that seemed most significant onto the new paper. I found that 2009 was not a year of ideas for me. I added very, very few new ideas to the lists. Maybe that's a sign I need to either act upon or get rid of the existing ones.

I've been obsessing about what to do for 2010. Just keep the 2009 lists and put them in my City Dweller? Or do a complete reboot?

I've decided on a complete reboot! Go over all of my existing lists. Rewrite the items I want to keep, and say goodbye to the rest. Just let them go. Stop carrying around thoughts that are no longer right for me.

That's what I'm doing today.


28 December 2009

3D Browsing!

Filofax.co.uk has a new viewing feature that lets you see the exact contents of the City Dweller, Family Organizer, and Travel Journal packs before buying.

For example, go to http://bit.ly/FilofaxCity to see the City Dweller. Click the image, and you'll see an animation of the pages turning in 3D. You can click through and see an example of all of the different leaves that come in the pack. The image is enlarged so you can really see every detail, and some of the pages have been filled in with handwriting so you can get some ideas for using them.

This feature is now part of Filofax.co.uk's online store. For the Personal size, for example, go to this page: http://www.filofax.co.uk/store/paperessentials.asp?tn=1&control=processrequest&SizeId=3. Click the link that says "Flick through the pages in 3D."

For 2010, I'm using the City Dweller as my personal organizer. I ordered it several months ago, when the preview wasn't available, so I had no idea what the pages would look like. I don't regret the purchase, but I'm glad that Filofax added this new feature so future customers can get a wonderful 3D preview of what they're buying!

26 December 2009


I think we all use the A-Z index tabs for addresses and for sorting notes for projects. I've also used the blank tabs for my own section dividers.

Anyone know what you would use the numbered ones for (1-6) ? They appear to be available in Personal and Pocket sizes only.

I noticed them on the Paper and Essentials page


New Years Resolutions?

So the year is drawing to a close... time to think about what new years resolutions you might set yourself in 2010.

I'm normally not very good at setting myself such objectives/targets. Although I did fairly well in 2009 to record more of my life on a weekly/daily basis in my A5 Filofax journal organiser. I feel this coming year I'm better prepared. I was slightly phased last new year when I quickly realised I might have bought the wrong refill for 2009.

This coming year is likely to be a fairly busy one for my wife and I as we are hoping that our house sale is finally concluded and we emigrate from UK to France... there will be another blog! So my Filofax organisers will be more and more important to the smooth running of my life this year.

So share with us your Filofax resolutions for 2010, if you have thought of them yet...

25 December 2009

Free For All Friday No. 58

Merry Christmas everybody!!!!

Did Santa bring you any Filofax goodies?

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all of our readers a merry Christmas (or a happy December 25th if you prefer).

I also wanted to thank Steve and Laurie for joining me on the Philofaxy team, and all of the wonderful things they have done for and brought to this blog. Christmas is about many things...hope...gratitude...and, yes, gifts.

So thank you to everyone for the gifts you give to Philofaxy every day of the year.

24 December 2009

Filofax UK - Christmas 30% Discount Sale

Filofax UK are offering a 30% off discount sale by following the link here Hurry because the offers are only while stocks last.

The sale starts at 5pm on Christmas Eve and runs through until the New Year.

So if Santa didn't bring you what you wanted from the Filofax store... take a look and treat yourself.

They have also dropped the Filofax beauty giftbox to £30 originally £40 

Happy Christmas everyone.


23 December 2009

Dynamic Templates

Over at DiY Planner, they have been providing template packs for some time. More recently they have also provided Dynamic Templates that allow you to generate a variety of pages on your PC or Mac which you can save as pdf's and print out on a variety of different paper sizes.

This week version 2.05 of the Dynamic Template software has been released for a free download. I've downloaded it and installed it on my iMac and it works really well. The main change is that they have merged all the different type of templates in to one package.

The application can cope with US and European paper sizes and you can also use the custom size to create pages for any Filofax page size

The software can generate all types of calendars for yearly, monthly, weekly and daily varieties, all of them can be mixed and matched according to your needs. It can also be used to create notes, check lists and charts

So why not download a copy of the application and give it a try.


Filofax crunch time!

Hello everybody from Snowy Scotland! Just popping into a cafe for emails and a quick post. Christmas is just a few days away and the frenzy is nearing its peak! Thank goodness for my Filofax. I use it (actually them, plural) the most around the holidays I think. My household A5 holds my Christmas card list and the addresses of all the people I send to, and all my stamps so it's a one-stop place for all my card-sending needs. My Scotland Filofax is useful as ever while I'm here on my trip. I left my blogging Filo (purple personal Fins) and Ivory Deco at home. It was hard to choose what to bring and what to leave! But that's the beauty of a Filo: I took out the pages I needed for this trip and stuck them into my Scotland Filo. I do a lot of page-switching around from book to book!

How is your Filofax useage evolving this holiday season? New Year's resolution/ goals changing? New diary format? Branching out into multiple Filofaxes? This is a time of change and Filofaxes are great for that!

18 December 2009


So are Filofax organisers or 'planners' (generic) coming back in fashion?

Have we at Philofaxy inspired enough people to start using a Filofax for the first time or to get that once loved Filofax out of the bottom drawer again, load it with some pages and put it back in to regular use?

Well there seems to be more and more of us talking about 'planners' and of course included in that is Filofax. In the last few months a few new blogs have appeared dedicated to planners, all friends of Philofaxy of course. Take a look at the links in the left hand side bar, we have added those we know about.

Will 2010 be a year when we see more and more people using a Filofax on a regular basis?

I wonder if Filofax will bring out more niche products in 2010 like we saw with the Beauty Gift Box? May be something aimed at guys?


Free For All Friday No. 57

Well we are a bit snowed in here in SE England, nice and sunny though. I've been doing some work at home instead. Thank goodness I carry my work phone directory in my A5.

So one week to go until Christmas......

Over to you...


11 December 2009

Free For All Friday No. 56

Well two weeks to go.... I hope you have got your Filofax orders in in plenty of time to Santa... otherwise you might have a sad time opening your presents on the 25th...

I'm not a big fan of December, not because of Christmas, it's just that in my industry people are dashing around like headless chickens trying to get a months work done in just over 3 weeks. It does lead to some interesting times!

But I'm not one of the headless chickens... ah you see my secret weapon, my Filofax has it all under control. Technically my workplace closes for a few days over the holiday, but in reality some one could get called in, myself included. So it is wise to have everything in hand. Contacts up to date, notes of my teams where abouts over the holiday in case I have to call on someone.

So how are your plans coming together for the festive season?


10 December 2009

Busy Times & Creating Personal Size Pages

You can be forgiven if you think all we are posting about this week is to help you spend money!! I guess like me the others are busy as well.

Last week I had a week in France and I'm not sure where this week has gone to, the days are whizzing by, anyway time to play catch up...

Creating Personal Size Filofax Pages.

As you will know it's easy to create A4/A5 size pages, it's the one reason I graduated to that size a few years ago.

However creating Personal sizes isn't quite so easy. So here is a quick guide. Create a new template in Word or OpenOffice Write and then make an A4 landscape page.

Add a 3 cell table in a single row, and size each cell to the size of a personal page which is 95 mm wide by 171 mm tall..Also make the borders as thin as possible and with a dotted line - - - - - you only need to use these lines as a guide to cut out your pages.

In each cell make the cell margins at least 18mm on the left and say 5 mm on the top, bottom and right hand side. I've found that you need a 18-20 mm left hand margin to allow for punching the holes.

Now you can either create your own details within the template, or resize some of mine to suit. Most of them follow a similar pattern though and shouldn't be difficult to modify to suit. I also use tables so they are easy to resize and then copy and paste in to the template.

Then all you need to do is print off the pages and trim the pages to size and punch them. You might need to experiment with your designs, but that is part of the fun in creating your own and they only cost pennies/cents.

Filofax actually sell computer paper in A4 size that is already perforated in Personal size, this is easier to use in some respects, but you just have to line up your template to print on this paper.


Filofax US big sale

Hey US Filofaxers, you're not left out of the big savings! You can get 30% off select organizers at FilofaxUSA. And as if that weren't savings enough, you can get free shipping on orders over $55! So if you were thinking of giving or getting Filofax, now's the time!

If you need some inspiration, check out the gorgeous Raspberry Pocket Organizer gift set complete with pen, 2010 diary insert and gift box. And maybe get one for someone as a gift, too! ;D

Happy Shopping!

09 December 2009

Magic Monday...

So if you missed out last weekend. This coming Monday is Magic Monday.. 20% off Filofax organisers.

Click on the image below and between 9am and Midnight (UK time) on Monday 14th December you will get 20% off your purchase by entering the code XMASMM at the checkout.

So if you have been putting off that purchase and you are kicking your self for missing out on 20% off last weekend... you have another chance and your order will arrive before Christmas (in UK)

07 December 2009

Filofax maps

Steve and Nicola's exchange re: maps got me thinking about how I use maps in my Filofaxes. My opinion is, the more maps the better! I always seem to find myself needing a map.

In my very first pre-Filofax planner (a personal size Cambridge) I photocopied a map of the big island of Hawaii, where I was about to move, and poked holes along the edge with a sharp pencil to put it onto the rings. This is a technique I still use, actually, for maps that Filofax doesn't carry. In my A5 Finsbury I have a map of Albania that I copied out of my guide book, for general road trips planning. Also in my A5 Fins I have an A5 Filofax world map and the A5 size British Islands maps (which I bought from the Filofax UK website), which are very useful when I grab my Filo to look up a location. My A5 lives by my computer so it's always handy.

In my Scotland Filofax I have as many maps as possible. World map (actually I keep a world map in almost every Filofax I own), British Islands. I also have the Filofax maps of London (which consists of 3 maps that together comprise most of central London, with street names on the back) because I usually spend a day in London on my way up to Scotland. I also have the London rail systems and Underground map, which is very handy. I also have a map that has Edinburgh on one side and Glasgow on the other, that I cut out of the free Letts Scotland diary that came in The Scotsman newspaper in January. I sliced the page out of the diary, put some tape on the edge, poked some holes and into the Filo it went! Very handy.

In my black Buckingham I store my US maps for when I go back to visit family and friends. I have a US road map (which in the personal size is so tiny it couldn't really get you anywhere, it really just gives you an idea of which highway would be better to get you across the state or the country) and a US times zones and area codes map. I also have a Washington DC street map, which I used all the time when I lived in DC. I usually go through DC whenever I go back to the US so it's convenient to have it in my Filo.

In my Deco, which is now my everyday notes/ lists/ addresses/ everything except my planner book, I keep a world map and my ancient Europe map (which is so old it still has Yugoslavia!). The people I know travel a lot, and to places all around the world, so usually during the course of a conversation I need to look at a map to see exactly where they are talking about. I have learned more geography this way than I ever learned in school!

The problem with Filofax maps is, there just aren't enough of them. As Nicola discovered, there aren't enough of the city maps. (And actually I'm shocked that they don't have Toronto! But sure enough, they don't.) I understand that Filofax only carries maps that they believe will sell well. And I know in this day and age it's maybe a little archaic to use paper maps at all (although after hearing some people's GPS navigation stories, I don't trust those things at all!!). But being a paper-person, and a maps-person, I do wish they had more maps available.

Do you use maps in your Filofax(es)? Which maps do you wish Filofax had available?

04 December 2009

Filofoax UK - 20% off this weekend only

Free For All Friday No. 55

December is in full swing and the pace seems to get more and more rapid every day. I am currently swamped with various things, not least of which is getting ready for our trip to Scotland over Christmas and New Year's. I'll be bringing along my Scotland Filofax (personal size Domino, in Grape) containing my tabbed sections of regions and cities, maps, my growing list of contacts, and records of places we have stayed and other details. It becomes more useful with each trip.

Do you have any travel plans for the holidays? How is your Filofax helping you prepare for this busy time of year?

Happy planning!

Price reduction on Filofax Special Edition

Is it too early to treat yourself to a present to yourself for all your hard work this year? Get noticed with this Special Edition Filofax, now with £58 off the normal retail price in UK


02 December 2009

Huge discount on Dodo Pad A5 Filofax 2010 diary inserts!

For all of you users of an A5 Filofax, here is a planner/ diary insert that is different from the same old straight-laced Filofax refill. The Dodo Pad diary is a bit of a cult and is now in its 44th year, available for the first time for 2010 as an A5 Filofax insert! The last few are available at a huge discount, 55% off! Just enter promotional code 09FX at checkout to receive your discount.

You can see more about the Dodo Pad Filofax 2010 insert at http://www.dodopad.com/dodofax/dodofax.html and click on http://www.dodopad.com/acatalog/Diaries_Calendars__.html#aDPFX10 to order.

Supplies at this discounted price are limited and when they're gone, they're gone!

Regular prices and discount prices are listed below. Prices shown here INCLUDE order handling, tax and shipping:

Shipping in the UK regular price: £14.45, discount price only £5.95

Shipping to Europe regular price: £16.69, discount price £8.19

Shipping to USA and Rest of World regular price: £18.85, discount price £9.34

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dodo Pad products, let me initiate you. They have been a fixture in UK households for the last 44 years and counting, and are only just starting to become popular in the US. The original Dodo Pad diary has a weekly grid format for keeping track of each person in the family, or for appointments and tasks, or different types of billable time at work, or endless other uses. Every week on the calendar there is a notable date or anniversary, artwork, and some kind of funny quote, riddle, or something interesting, with plenty of space for notes, lists and doodles. Each week is different and it's fun to see what is coming up next.

The thing I like about Dodo Pad products is that they are funny and clever and keep your life organized, but at the same time remind you not to take it too seriously. So check out their website and get some great discounts!

See more photos on my Flickr set:


30 November 2009

Free shipping Filofax USA

Hey all you Americans, you're in luck! You can get free shipping with any organizer purchase on the Filofax USA website from now until Dec. 4. Just enter CYBER in the discount code space at checkout.

Happy shopping!

The Perfect Size?

Is there such a thing as the perfect size organiser? Or is it always a compromise, too big and it becomes a problem to carry around, too small and it's too small to write in or you can't store as much as you like.

The slimline organisers in personal and pocket size (not available in all markets) are a near perfect solution to the too big/too small compromise.

The A5 as we know is perfect solution for the office/home office. It has ample capacity and acres of space to write in, although the A4 goes even bigger, but I realise that size isn't sold in the US.

The personal is the 'original' size, it is the middle of the road when it comes to size, and it is obviously very popular, but unless you go for a slimline I find it's not so easy to carry in a jacket pocket, so like the A5 it's best suited for your briefcase or hand bag.

The pocket is as its name says suitable for most pockets I've used one quite extensively in the last couple of years. Great for capturing notes, to-do lists, appointments etc.

The mini, I have to be honest I've never tried one of these size organisers, they seem to be too small for my requirements, but I would be interested to hear from Filofax mini users...

Our what size dilemma might be helped if the pages could be interchanged between different size organisers a little easier. As you might have discovered if you try to swap pages between different size organisers some work some don't. I have noticed that some of the pages sold by Filofax have four slotted holes and two circular holes. On a pocket size organiser, this allows a page to be slotted in to an A5 or personal size organisers. personal pages will fit in to an A5 by folding one of the corners or by simply cutting a small diagonal off the corner on the ring side of the page.

So what size would you choose if you had the decision to make a whole new size of organiser?

27 November 2009

Free for All Friday No. 54

Since yesterday was a holiday in the U.S. (Thanksgiving, a.k.a. Turkey Day), I'm enjoying a 4-day weekend. Some folks use this weekend as Christmas shopping kick-off, which is why I avoid shopping this weekend!

Instead, I'll be ordering my 2010 refills and catching up on projects.

I do use my Personal Filo, which doubles as my wallet, as a shopping companion and aid. I have lists of gifts given every Christmas, so I don't make duplicate purchases. I collect gift ideas throughout the year, although I don't make the final decisions until December. I list interesting shops that I want to go back to.

I of course keep my weekly food shopping list in there -- behind the QR tab because the name of my local grocery store begins with R.

Do you take your Filo shopping?

26 November 2009

Expanding Pens

You might have seen these already, but I came across some expanding ball point pens this evening on a Filofax shop site.

They are made by Zebra Pen they look very neat, they will fit a Filofax pen look, and in their smallest size will be short enough to be used in a Mini or Pocket size organiser, but expanded they are a normal size pen.

Quite a reasonable price too.


25 November 2009

Filofax Freecycle/Loan

This idea comes from Nickie on the discussion page off our Facebook Page:

''Do you have a Filofax that maybe needs a new home - one that you haven't used for a while or one that just doesn't suit your needs any more?

Would you be prepared to lend it to another lover of Filofaxes or maybe organise a swap rather than it sit there doing nothing, collecting dust? It would also give other Filofax users the chance to try out new sizes and styles.''
If you aren't familiar with Freecycle, people offer their goods to the rest of the group for free rather than for sale or rather than throwing them in the bin/garbage. Now Freecycle covers everything from books to babies nappies from soil or rubble to rock guitars. A few things are off limits, but not much.

So how would this work with Filofax? Well if you have an organiser or any Filofax related items, that you no longer use, but you would be happy to let it go to a new home, then you could 'Offer' it to the group. Now you can offer it as a permanent loan or just a loan for 1-3 months. If the later then it would be a great 'try before you buy' type service.

The person 'Offering' would be responsible for agreeing the terms of the loan and handling the cost of postage etc. Likewise the 'borrowee' would agree to return the item or pass it on for a further loan at the end of the period previously agreed.

Nickie has deliberately omitted the option of offering items 'For Sale' There are plenty of other outlets for doing that already.

But we don't want to get too tied up in 'red tape' let's try to keep it simple and lets try to make this work for the good of everyone.

Now it's not easy to 'post' offers on here, so I've set up a Philofaxy Google Group for you to Post your Offers or Wanted messages. Please always include OFFERED or WANTED in the subject of your message.

I suspect the traffic levels on the group will not be that high... but who knows!

As always we welcome your ideas and comments.

24 November 2009

Plannerisms blog

Hi everybody, shameless plug here. As much as I love Filofaxes, I'm also fascinated by other planners, notebooks and accessories (as anyone who has seen my Flickr photostream will know).

So in order to keep Philofaxy strictly (mostly) Filofax-related and yet still indulge my obsession for other types of planners, I have started another blog of my own, Plannerisms. My apologies to NHGrrl for copying the same template, it's the prettiest one!

I hope you like Plannerisms, if not as much as Philofaxy (of course!) then enough to check it out:



Philofaxy on BBC Radio 5

I was interviewed by Jamillah Knowles from the BBC Radio 5 live programme 'Pods and Blogs' which was broadcast early this morning. You can catch up with it on-line by downloading the podcast from iTunes or by going to the BBC Pods and Blogs webpage and listening on line there.

You can also listen to the broadcast here


20 November 2009

Free For All Friday No. 53

There was some recent discussion in some of the comments about zipped organisers. Have you got a zipped organiser. I and I'm sure other readers will be interested to hear of your experiences of living with a zipped Filofax. Does the zip get in the way?

And finally a request from the Philofaxy Fan Page... which are your least favourite Filofax Organisers? Which colours would you not buy. What puts you off buying a particular Filofax?


18 November 2009

One year ago on Philofaxy

OK a little bit over a year ago by a day or two... but this post by Nan back in November 2008 'What/Where' is just as valuable today as it was then.

Nan was planning how she was going to be using her Filofax in 2009, deciding what was going in which section, the names for each one etc. Take a read and let us have your thoughts as always in the comments.

It would be interesting to hear from Nan about how her plans back then have worked out?


17 November 2009

Binder cover that folds back?

Hey everybody, I have a quest for you!

I got an email from littlediva12 over at Flickr. She is in search of a Filofax (preferably) or other brand of binder where the cover folds back on itself like a spiral notebook. I don't know of any myself, so I thought I would open the question up to your group wisdom. Here is an excerpt from littlediva12's email to me, with her preferences and what she has already checked out:

"I fell in love w/Filofax a near decade ago when I was searching for the equivalent of a Franklin Covey planner I'd fallen in love with but missed out on purchasing. The binder was a light blue, and divided into quadrants by white stitching--almost the exact replica of a Filofax Classic binder! A couple issues have held me back from making the "big purchase" at the start of each new year, tho.

Besides the issue of paper size (can I manage to downsize to the 5.5" width of an A5 when I've been accustomed to a width of either 9-7/8" or 10-7/8"?), my other major concern and main priority is that my planner fold back onto itself, just like a spiral notebook. While a spiral bound planner would fit the bill, I'm in need of a ring-bound planner. As much as I love Filofaxes (have been poring over them for years upon years, and have come close to making one mine), it would be a waste of money to buy such a lovely (and pricey!) item if it proved cumbersome to use, especially since I'd be using multiple times throughout my day.

Now that I've rambled on about my dilemma...perhaps you know whether Filofax makes a (ring-bound) planner w/a fold-back cover (i.e.-with front & rear covers that fold back to meet each other, like the covers of a spiral notebook)?? If not Filofax, maybe you know of another company that mfrs. a ring-bound planner like this.

Otherwise, I'm familiar w/Levenger's Circa Roll & I've considered trying one as a day planner. (I need a couple, anyway, to use as notebooks.) I've also been scoping out materials w/the possibility of making a DIY planner. I'm hoping, however, that I can enjoy the little luxuriousness of a Filofax. :) It would be much easier if I didn't have prerequisites, I realize! I look forward to hearing whatever info you have to pass along."

I told her if anybody will know the answer to this, it will be the Philofaxers! Can anybody help her out?

16 November 2009

Facebook - Update

There is now an even simpler address to find our Facebook fan page:

Click on the link and become a 'fan' today....



New Product Suggestions

I received an enquiry over the weekend from one of our readers asking if we knew of a particular organiser with specific features. I couldn't think of one with that particular set of features (Zipped and with large rings but in Pocket size). I approached our friends at Filofax HQ and they were unable to help. There is only one Zipped organiser in Pocket size and it has smaller rings than the regular organiser in that model range.

But it started some ideas about 'What if' you were able to specify exactly what you wanted in a particular organiser and it wasn't currently available. Filofax told me they are are always looking for new ideas for new products and I think they value our input highly, as being some of the most qualified and interested bunch of users. We are 'real customers' with a passion for the products. Experts in the field of Filofax..

So what could they do better? What would you like to see in any future products? Let us see if we can influence future or evolutions of current products.

I wonder if anyone has ever used the subject of 'Filofax' as their specialist subject in Mastermind? I think some of us would get quite a high score!!!


13 November 2009

Dreams Do Come True

I have received as a very generous gift my "dream Filofax," a Personal Deco in Ivory!! It is gorgeous and I love it, love it, love it. I have posted a bunch of photos of it on my Flickr page!

It's a beautiful Filo, but the thing is a workhorse too. The closure strap is long so the book can be stuffed full (which I inevitably do with my Filos). It also has a full-length popper pocket inside the back cover, and inside the front cover there's a full-length zip pocket, another full length pocket, and card slots so it can double as a wallet (although I don't think I will use it that way).

One happy discovery is that the pen loop is leather on the front, and the back side is elastic to accommodate a wide range of pen sizes and shapes. Even my Bic 4 color pen fits into it, but I had to take it back out again because it's just not classy enough for this Filo!

It came loaded with all cotton-cream inserts including diary, address pages, and notes pages. Very nice. I'm not certain but the cotton cream pages seem a little thicker than the normal Filofax paper?

The Deco has hardly left my side since I got it and I have already spent some time getting to know it, loading it with my pages, and filling in the diary. Even though I had already filled in my 2010 week on 2 pages diary insert, I decided to do it all over again so I can use the cotton cream week on 2 pages because it looks so nice!

And if you were wondering, yes that clasp is even more beautiful in person!

Very, very happy with my new Deco!!

Free For All Friday No. 52

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! In the US at least, Friday the 13th is considered to be unlucky. But I was born on a Friday the 13th so I like to think of it as a lucky day. I hope it turns out to be lucky for you!

To add a bit to your luck, check out The Daily Planner if you are in the market for a Filofax Urban, they are on sale right now.

How's it going in your Filofax life these days?

12 November 2009

Untidy and Cluttered Life...

I am always trying to not hold on to clutter these days. For the last year or so we have been working our way through this house that we have lived in since 1986 de-cluttering cupboards and rooms. It's all part of our plan to move to our other house in France. In doing so I've come across things I had forgotten I still had, things I had given up looking for.

I've also got rid of a lot of things that were kept 'just in case' well 'just in case' never became 'I'm glad I kept that' or very rarely!

So over this last year or so I've always been looking out for hints and tips on trying to reform my hoarding habits and improve my efficiency when it comes to storing information and things that are needed in future. Storing them in such a way that I will be able to find them when I need them.

The same exercise has also applied to my Filofax, as I said a few weeks ago, I've slimmed down my A5 to reduce the bulk of this organiser. In doing so I now spend less time hunting through the pages/sections for things... so that was a winning idea. But I still go back through it to see if I can take out any more..

This evening I came across another blog called 'Unclutter' naturally I couldn't resist doing a search for Filofax or Planner on there and hey presto up popped some previous articles:
That's just three that caught my eye, but there are lots lots more to browse through... trouble is my A5 is in danger of getting fat again !


10 November 2009

Filofax templates

Creative Commons License
This work by Philofaxy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Please download, adapt, use, share, but don't charge or use commercially.

Our Diary Inserts page has a large selection of files you can download and print yourself.

Reference Files
USA Letter/Half Letter (A5) Templates - Print in booklet mode for Half Letter size
A4/A5 Templates see here for details on printing
Personal Templates
Printing Personal Pages

Personal pages on plain A4 paper NEW

Personal Pages using Pre-punched A4 Filofax Computer Paper (all in pdf format)
A6 Templates

Pocket Templates on A4 plain paper

Pocket Templates on A4 plain paper NEW - With thanks to Mikael for these templates
  • Pocket Expenses .docx
  • Pocket Contacts .docx

Mini Templates on A4 plain paper - With thanks to Steve Y for these Mini templates

M2 Templates on A4 plain paper

Patis own templates
Dynamic Templates on DiY Planner

Genealogy Information Sheets (A4/A5)

The files area is hosted by Webfaction smarter web hosting. 

Files maintained by Steve, please report any broken links to philofaxy at gmail dot com

I've also been contributing to D*i*Y Planner for a while now. It's not exclusive to Filofax, but it's a great site for sharing ideas.

    09 November 2009

    Personalised Filofax Refills

    I came across this press release this evening:

    Letts and Filofax launch personalised diary service

    Both Letts and Filofax brands are to launch a website this month offering customers the ability to create a personalised Letts diary, or Filofax organiser diary refill, including the addition of personal dates and photographs. The site has been created in collaboration with Penwizard, the award winning personalised publishing experts.

    The site, at www.personalisedproduct.com allows the user to create either a Letts spiral bound diary, calendar or notebook; or a Filofax organiser pocket, personal or A5 diary refill. Unique features include the ability to enter an unlimited number of personal dates; the addition of names in silver embossing; and a personalised store of your dates and photos, allowing re-use of your information in the future.

    Both Claire Coughtrie, Marketing Manager at Letts and Sharon Golbey, Marketing Manager at Filofax commented “This is a very exciting launch for us, representing a move into a developing market sector by two trusted brands. The opportunity to provide a product on line which has been completely personalised by the individual consumer is a significant strategic marketing development for Letts and Filofax”.

    The formats available include:

    • slim and A5 diaries
    • wall and desk calendars
    • A5 and A6 notebooks
    • pocket, personal and A5 Filofax diaries

    Customers can select from a variety of cover designs, and then upload their own personal photographs to appear in the diary. The system offers a selection of standard diary dates (such as UK holidays) to be added to the diary, before the user then enters their own personal diary dates.

    Prices start from just £4.99 for an A6 photo notebook. Now there’s no excuse for anyone to forget that important anniversary or birthday!

    For further press information, visuals, or to arrange a Press Product trial please contact Claire Coughtrie on 0131 663 1971 or at ccoughtrie@letts.co.uk

    Remembering that Letts and Filofax are part of the same company, it was an interesting development. I've checked the Filofax UK site and I can't see any mention of this new product available on there.

    However, clicking on to the site mentioned in the press release: www.personalisedproduct.com you will see a Filofax tab there. I guess a lot of us already personalise our 'fill' after our initial purchase and very few pages are discarded.

    I'm note sure how popular this will be. May be give us your thoughts in the comments


    Goals and Tasks

    This is a topic that I like to revisit every now and then, because I love to hear how people use their Filofaxes to accomplish their goals, complete their tasks, run their lives and rule the universe.

    So today the topic is, goals and tasks. When do goals become tasks?

    For example, your goal might be to be healthier. In order to do that, you need to generate some tasks. That might be, keeping a food journal to monitor your eating, or following an exercise plan. I usually have to schedule my exercise, so that I will actually do it instead of another week going by and I realize I haven't worked out at all. I also have to get specific about what I need to do that week, such as 3 strength training sessions and 3 cardio sessions. And I have to write them on my weekly page or again, I will forget to make time for them.

    Another example of a goal that generates tasks is preparing the house for a move. We will be moving next summer, and I need to pare down and organize the household contents before moving. So I have a task list of things I need to go through and get rid of whatever I don't want to take with us: clothes, shoes, kids' toys, books (I never normally get rid of books but we have a lot of nonfiction that is outdated, books from university etc that I don't need to drag around anymore!), etc. It's a huge chore, and the only way I can face it is a little bit at a time.

    In addition to the tasks generated by goals are those millions of little day to day tasks that build up because they aren't terribly urgent, but if I don't do them then I wind up having to write them over and over again from week to week. Before I know it, it's been a month since I promised my friend that I would burn that CD for her and I still haven't done it!

    My problem is, I am terribly "out of sight, out of mind." So if my tasks are behind a tab somewhere, they are forgotten indefinitely. But if I write everything on my weekly pages that I want to do, the low-priority tasks mingle with the more urgent ones, my page fills up with tasks, and I get overwhelmed and don't know what to do next.

    I need a more efficient system! Maybe I need to use a prioritization system to rank urgency of tasks on my weekly page. Maybe I need to write categorized Goals and Tasks lists and look at them every day to schedule tasks so that longer-range things don't get put off too long.

    How do YOU use your Filofax to handle day to day tasks, longer-range/ non-urgent tasks, and tasks related to larger goals?? Do you have categorized lists like Home, Work, School, etc? How do you decide what to do when?

    05 November 2009

    Free for All Friday No. 51

    Hi everybody!

    This week, I've used my Filofax for everything from recording a pasta salad recipe to planning a vacation to Las Vegas. Has your Filofax been involved in any new adventures lately?

    02 November 2009

    What do you write with?

    Another revisit of an old topic. Way back in July 2006 Nan asked the same question What do you write with?

    I wonder if you have changed over time as pens have changed? I like to write with a fountain pen more than I like writing with a ball point pen. I find ball points frustrating when they don't write straight away, especially when you are signing something.

    In my organiser I tend to use a mechanical pencil with a 0.5 mm lead which means I can enter my appointments in pencil and rub them our if an appointment is changed or moved.

    I have a few different fountain pens some more expensive than others, I've even used some disposable ones!

    Filofax themselves sell some very nice fountain pens, but I thought they were a little pricey. Although they do have a good offer on at the moment. (See below)

    Poll Result - What size Filofax Organisers do you own?

    Thank you once again for an excellent response to the poll. 84 votes this time and grand total of 164 organisers, which is no surprise as our previous poll said that most people had at least 2 organisers in their collection.

    No big surprise either that the personal size is the most popular, followed by the A5 (which is always being mentioned here). Then came the pocket size and an then the slimline, which is gaining more of a following I think.

    No M2's and the rest scored only small numbers. It would be interesting to hear from the users of the A4 and Deskfax organisers to hear how they find those bigger sizes.

    Here's a chart of the full results:

    Click on the image to see a full size picture.

    And finally... if all the organisers were laid end to end they would stretch for 28 metres... aren't spreadsheets wonderful things!

    Once again thank you to everyone who took part.


    Diary vs. Planner: What Do You Call It?

    Recently in a conversation with a British friend, we were discussing what Americans call their diary. She had thought that we call it an engagement book. I have heard that term before, but it’s definitely not the term I use.

    In the UK, “diary” seems to be the specific word for your planner calendar, whether it’s a day per page or week to view. (Steve, correct me if I’m wrong!). When someone says they will check their diary, everyone knows what they mean.

    For Americans, when we hear “diary” we tend to think of a 13 year old girl writing in her journal, “Dear Diary, I have a crush on blah blah blah…” Actually the word “diary” isn’t used as frequently now, we use the word “journal” to mean the book we write in to record our thoughts.

    So, what do we Americans say when we talk about the book we use to schedule our appointments, list our To-Dos, and jot our reminders? Some people call it their daily planner (and The Daily Planner website grabbed this title for easy searching of these types of books). Some say “day planner,” some say “planner.” Some call their book their “agenda” although I don’t hear that very often. Some people call their book their organizer, especially when it is a binder style such as Filofax. We don’t seem to have one word that specifically means our daily calendar book.

    Americans, what do you call your diary/ planner/ whatever? I prefer “my Filofax that contains my entire life and functions as my life-reference since I have a terrible memory,” but I usually call it my planner.

    (By the way, if you are in the market for a new Filofax, check HERE on The Daily Planner website (or go to TDP, click on Autumn Specials then choose On Sale Planners) for Filofaxes in various sizes including A5, Personal, Mini and Pocket that are 10 and even 20 dollars off, or more such as a mini Topaz half off!!)

    01 November 2009

    Filofax Address Book Software

    Following on from our discussions on how we maintain address and contact lists, which I think we all agree can get a little tedious and repetitive. I've found it's no different on a computer, with duplicate records slipping in from time to time.

    I decided to download the free demo of the Filofax Address Book software. I wanted to try this out before considering whether to purchase it or not. The software will only work on a Windows PC, no native Mac version is currently available, although I guess the software might work in Parallels or similar simulation software. I haven't been able to confirm this out at this time.

    After loading the demo, I took a look around it, you can import your address files from a variety of sources, I chose to link in to my address book direct which was easy to do.

    You then choose which size of Filofax page you which to print your addresses and contacts on. The software supports the following formats: A5, Personal and Pocket size pages in A4 size paper, and A5 with 8.5 x 11 inch paper. For Personal and Pocket it assumes you are printing on to the computer paper that can be obtained from your Filofax stockist or the on-line store. There are also settings for printing labels or envelopes (useful for Christmas cards!)

    For each size there are a selection of page styles which give you a choice of how detailed to make your printed entries. The print preview mode allows you to see your contacts on a simulated page and switching between styles allows you to see how much detail is included.

    You can also filter your contacts to include or exclude work, personal or a text based filters. This proves quite powerful if you are setting up your contacts exclusively for your work Filofax.

    In the options you can add and control A-Z tabs and the way alphabetical ordering is handled, the number of contacts per page. You can also select which fields to print, which allows you to cram more contacts to as few a pages as possible. You have control over the field headings, font sizes etc.

    Within the main body of the application, you have control over the sorting of your contacts, using the main fields or some of the sub fields.

    You can also edit entries although I'm not 100% sure if the edited version of a contact is passed back to Outlook or not, I need to investigate this. Once you have imported your contacts you can maintain the file from within the application, so you can add and delete contacts, and as I just mentioned edit entries.

    At present I print from within Outlook 2007 on to A4 paper in booklet mode to put in my A5 organiser, but I can see this software would make the job a lot easier, especially for personal size pages. (3 pages per A4 sheet) which are traditionally tricky to line up exactly.

    I've not as yet purchased the full version of the software (the demo is more or less fully functional, except it limits printing to 20 contacts) or some of the Filofax paper. But I will be ordering some personal size paper along with the software this week.


    31 October 2009

    Your Blogs?

    If you have your own blog or website, and you occasionally do a blog post about Filofax, tell us about it.

    Post the address of your blog/website in the comments of this post. I'm sure others would love to read your blogs.


    30 October 2009

    Beauty Gift Box - Price reduction...

    Spotted today on the Filofax Twitter feed. They have reduced the price of the Beauty Gift Box to £35. It's only available on line from the UK site though...  We thought it represented good value at £40 but at £35 it's even better. Available in three styles... Take a look on the site for full details.

    Free For All Friday No. 50

    Over the last week or so we have seen some great tips on organising your diary entries and how to make best use of your chosen format/pages etc.

    I would like to ask, does any one have any hints and tips on organising your contact information in your Filofax?

    Let's hear your ideas, or tell us about anything Filofax related.


    29 October 2009

    Filofax UK Adverts

    You might have noticed the adverts for Filofax in the side bar and in the odd post. (scroll down to the bottom of the front page if you haven't spotted it yet)

    If you click through to the Filofax UK site using this advert and then purchase something on the Filofax UK site, I will be receiving a small commission. This commission will be put towards the small cost of running the site and will be ploughed back in to the development of the site, it will also be used to pay for postage to deliver future prizes etc.

    Whilst the commission is only earned on the UK site, any future prizes will be available to any reader no matter where you are in the world. At present the prizes have been donated to me by Filofax UK purely because I live in UK.

    I am not aiming to make a profit from the commission it will all be used towards giving something back to you the readers in some shape or other. I will also promise not to make the advertising too brazen and 'in your face' so it detracts from your enjoyment of reading and commenting on the blog posts. Additionally you will only ever see adverts for Filofax on this site.

    So if you are thinking of purchasing anything from Filofax UK, please click through to the site using the advert link in the side bar. Wouldn't it be so much easier if we had one currency for the whole world!

    Thank you.


    28 October 2009

    Filofax and Amateur Radio...

    From one minority interest to another... It is only in the last week or so that I've discovered that there are a few other licensed radio amateurs who read the Philofaxy blog, wonderful news for me...

    So some background information if you wonder where this is going... Amateur radio has been around since the late 1800's and today there are approximately 6 million licensed radio amateurs in the world, with about a million of them in the US and at least 70,000 in UK. So it is a true worldwide hobby. Each radio amateur is issued with a unique callsign which is based on the geographic location where they live. In my case I was licensed as G8SFR back in 1979.

    Radio amateurs love to collect information so they have it at their finger tips when they are 'operating on air' and to me a Filofax would seem a great way of keeping that information together in one place, especially if you are travelling around.

    I have already created an amateur radio log book page which you can download and print out .doc .pdf. But I'm sure there is scope for other specialised radio pages.

    I'm planning on putting together a specialist organiser for my radio hobby, some existing Filofax pages can just used as they are such as the world maps, timezone maps, notes pages, contact pages (useful for noting names and locations as well as callsigns etc).

    So this is just a brief insight in to one of my other hobbies (I have too many!) I would love to hear from other radio amateurs, and anyone else who uses their Filofax for their own hobby, however unusual.


    26 October 2009

    Poll - What size Filofax Organisers do you own?

    Running in parallel with Laurie's excellent 'Roll Call' post, I've just added a poll to gather the votes on what sizes of organisers people own. This vote will allow to vote for multiple entries. I will let you decide which ones to leave out if you don't often use a particular size any more.

    If you aren't sure what sizes they are, check out my earlier post on Filofax Sizes. The size is also embossed on the inside cover of your organiser.

    Please carry on commenting on the 'Roll Call' but don't let us stop you adding comments here too.

    The result will be published at the end of the poll as usual.

    Thank you for your participation.


    Roll Call: What's Your Format?

    Hey everybody, we haven’t had a Roll Call for awhile! (And for those of you who follow the Roll Call link you will notice I shamelessly re-used Inky's bugler image!)

    So now's the time to step up and be counted among the ranks. Tell us who you are and answer these:

    1) What’s your current diary/ planner size and format? A5 week on 2 pages horizontal? Personal day per page? We want to know. And:

    2) Are you planning to stay with the same format for 2010?

    Me first! I’m Laurie. After much flitting about and numerous episodes of Calling the Dog, I have finally settled on the original, basic Personal size week on two pages, unlined. After all the millions of planner formats I’ve tried over the last few years, I am absolutely shocked that this basic format is turning out to work the best for me. I guess there is a reason why it’s so popular!

    Do I plan to stick with it for 2010? Well, I have very good intentions. I have filled out all the holidays, birthdays, and other events in my 2010 pages. But I will be the first to admit, if I actually stay with it for the entire year it’ll be a miracle. From January to October 2009, I used 12 different formats/ sizes/ planner books in my search for what works best! And frankly, I’m tired of tweaking so let’s hope I have found my solution.

    Your turn!

    24 October 2009

    How green is your Filofax?

    We hear so much these days about global warming and protecting the environment. Whilst I would never consider myself 100% green, I leave my impact on the planet like any other average person. Something triggered the question in my head about 'How green is using a Filofax?'

    So as usual a quick dive in to Google pulled up a few sites that were relevant to this discussion.

    The first obvious search result was Filofax's own Environmental Policy which mentions all the things you might expect for a large company. I will let you read it for yourself rather than copying it in to this post.

    I also came across a blog post at Green Girls Global who where saying that they had tried to buy recycled Filofax inserts but Filofax no longer supplied this type of paper. However, when you look back at their policy they do obtain their paper from mills that obtain pulp from sustainable sources. Also Filofax is a premium product, I'm not sure off-white paper would have quite the same appeal over time as ordinary paper. I have some inserts from 20 years ago and they are only slightly off-white (aged) now.

    [Update:  On a closer look, Filofax do in fact sell plain pages using recycled paper, may be they didn't at the time of the Green Girls Global blog post.... ]

    You can even buy organisers made from recycled printed circuit boards. I'm an radio engineer but these don't really appeal to me for my organiser. I do prefer more natural materials, circuit boards are made from fibre glass, so they will be a bit 'scratchy' and rough around the edges.

    So they are all the obvious things about being green I suppose. What it's made from and what you put in it... but there's more....

    Your Filofax doesn't as far as I know contain any batteries that need special treatment when it's time to dispose of them. It doesn't require chargers or electricity to run it. It doesn't contain precious metals... precious memories may be!

    Whilst the production of the organiser might involve certain chemical processes to treat and dye the leather. Given the life span of most organisers and averaging out the impact of your organiser on the planet, it's fairly low impact really. How many mobile phones or electronic organisers will still be functioning and still look as good in 20 years time? Also how many products can you still buy 'inserts' or parts for them 20 or more years later?

    Unlike conventional diaries you are also only replacing the pages you actually need to replace each year, this has always been one of the great attractions for me about a Filofax, no need to transfer all my contacts, birthdays, and other reference information across to another new diary each year.You also have the ability to customise the contents to your exact requirements.

    From the posts and comments, a lot of us store pages for later use/reference. I do this with my diary sections. But to-do lists and other consumable pages I recycle or shred, so I'm being fairly green in that respect I suppose.

    So all in all I think you can congratulate yourself in using a fairly green solution to planning and organising your life.