09 January 2009

Free for All Friday No. 25

First one of the New Year! Enjoy!



  1. hi!

    i wanted to let you know that i didn't buy a new binder. i decided to stick with the metropol. but i spoiled myself with a portable holepunch, plain white paper, a 2010 vertcal yearplanner, ruled paper and new to do sheets. i want to order some adresssheets and a plastic envelope.

    and i do want to write down all my happy thoughts in my filo. Strating tomorrow on my sons second birthday.

    love Rose

  2. Aw, thanks for sharing this.

    Happy birthday to your son!

  3. I have been the proud owner of a mini-Filofax for several years - the smell of the Italian leather is still strong. Unfortunately, its small size, while nicely portable, was limiting but I resolved to put it to better use this coming year.

    While in my local bookstore buying my 2009 refills, I eyed a personal Finsbury - 'the perfect size,' I thought. 'No, I'll be good' - part of being organized is being self-disciplined, right? I did notice there was a drawing to win the Finsbury - as a lark, I put my name in...and promptly forgot about it, since I am truly the one who never wins anything.

    At work on December 23rd, I answered the phone - a nice gentleman was calling to speak to me, stating that he was from my local bookstore. I squealed in delight before he even told me that I won. I won! I won the personal Finsbury!

    I had the choice between orange and brown - I generally choose brighter colors but sided with the brown because it seemed more in keeping with my new-found self-discipline - I was a little sad at not having the orange until I saw your brand new brown Filo. Now I love my brown, too.

    I'm happy to have discovered phellow philofaxies - this is a lovely blog. I've loved my brown - it has become a trusted companion in these short weeks. I can't wait to see what grand adventures lie ahead for both of us.

  4. A couple of blatant plugs for a group I run

    The Yahoo Filofax Group (very low key) is here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/filofax/ please join and contribute

    And there are also groups on Facebook:

  5. I usually spend New Year's Eve getting my Filo and my Lizell all cleaned up and ready for the New Year. I'm using my Finchley to track my progress on my goals and am working on a new form to track my progress on a weekly basis.

    Here's a question for my fellow Filo-fans (nice alliteration, no?)-- do your Filos ever appear in your dreams? I had a dream last week in which I went into a very cool store with the intention of buying a new Filofax. I woke up before I actually made a purchase, but it was such fun to browse in a dream store!

  6. Vidya - I can't say that I've had dreams about Filos but I also LOVE bags and I have had dreams about shopping in a very large store with endless amounts of money and that was very exciting. I'm sure one of these days I'll get to the Filos. =)

    On another note, a friend of mine bought a personal size red domino a few years back, which she ended up never using so I bought it from her. My goal is to have seasonal Filos - one color for each season. The reason for this is that I tend to move from planner to planner and while I've stuck with Filofax since I started with it (almost two years now and a big step for me, sticking with the same brand), I still feel the need to change it up once in a while so that I don't get bored. So now I have the red domino, the blue Finsbury and the chocolate Cross, all personal size. I'm also going to get the soft jade Finchly soon and I should have a complete set.

  7. Hi Rose, congrats on the little fellow's birthday! I write down happy stuff in my Ffx as well, it's a very nice way of keeping my focus on the positive.

    And congrats to Debbie, too - I never seem to win anything either, so I can imagine how thrilled you must have been! :)

    I do dream about my Filofax, but then again I also have dreams whereby - not sure if I can explain this! - I'm seeing the dream through a browser window, and have the whole toolbar thing... yes, I really DO need to get out more... :)

    The custom-designed pages in A5 are working brilliantly, I really feel that they've made a contribution to my day: I kind of dump everything in there that needs to be done, from work, shopping, and exercise to thoughts to bear in mind that day, then all I have to do is refer to it periodically, and not keep racking my brain for things that have got left out.

    After viewing the Philofaxy pool on Flickr, I got inspired and added some artwork - girly hearts, I know, shoot me LOL! - to the pages, and if I decide at the end of the trial to upgrade to A5, I'll try and post a photo of the custom layout.

    The only thing now stopping my from leaping into this ahead of the end of the trial, is that I absolutely LOVE the look and feel of my blue Finsbury personal - and since I couldn't find a blue A5 for love or money (well, money, anyway) I'm going to miss its compact, smart look.

    Not to mention all my lovingly hand-made dividers... oh well, life moves on!

    And while I'm in typey-fingers mode, has anyone else used the Bloomsbury A5, and have any comments or opinions about it - it's probably the one I'm getting from eBay, and that model isn't in the shops anymore afaik.

    Yikes - sorry for the novella there folks!

  8. New Filo owner reporting.
    I've recently purchased a personal Pak from an Ebay seller.
    I decided to go with something cheaper to begin with in case it would end up gathering dust in a closet somewhere. If I still use it a year from now I'll begin to look into getting one of the lovely leather Filos.

  9. I recently saw my fantasy Filofax in person, in all its glory--it's the Personal size Deco in Ivory, currently sold out on Filofax.co.uk and not available in the US. It. Is. Gorgeous. Wow!! In my fantasy world I use this as my planner and wallet in one, since it has space for cards, bills, and a popper pocket for coins. But, it definitely doesn't fit in with my lifestyle, where I spend most of my time on the playground in muddy jeans. And, at around 170 pounds sterling, this will remain firmly in the "fantasy" category! But, a girl can dream.

  10. Laurie,

    I saw the same Deco and probably had the same fantasy...perhaps it is a good thing this is not offered in the US.

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. It is great fun to have an 'everything' book - I always know where to put those 'hard to organize' incidentals [receipts, to do lists, business cards]. Here's hoping I clean it out every so often.

    Cheers ---

  11. Hey, Laurie--
    The Personal Deco in Ivory is available on Ebay for $240, from a seller in Missouri. That is still rather rich, but you can at least look. And you can make an offer -- maybe you'll be lucky. I bought a Filo from the same seller and offered about 50% of the asking price and we went back and forth a bit and eventually I got it for 80%. You might be lucky. Maybe you could keep it tucked away at home and use it as a journal!

    Is your birthday or anniversary coming up?

  12. On Personal Deco Filofax:

    A few months ago, I requested a catalogue from www.filofaxusa.com. I actually live in Canada but selecting "Canada" from the Filofax.com home page redirects me to the US site. The catalogue shows the Deco, Ikon and Panama organisers in US dollars and with the product codes. So I really think they are available in the US & Canada.

    Another interesting thing I noticed is that catalogue is packaged in a manila envelope with my name and address written by hand. Either there's not a lot of request for catalogues or Filofax wants to add some personal/human touch.

  13. joffreyca, that's interesting. Maybe they just haven't gotten them up onto the website yet. And that is a nice touch that they wrote on the envelope by hand. Always nice to have a personal touch in this digital age!

  14. A few years ago now I needed a new clear flyleaf for my Pocket sized Finsbury - but I couldn't find one in the shops, despite searching high and low... and I'm in London, so generally lucky for Ffx accessories.

    I e-mailed Filofax through their UK site, and they sent me, free of charge, a new flyleaf, also in a hand-written envelope.

    Impressive or what?! :)

    I don't know if these are exceptions to the rule, but that new flyleaf won me over for life!

  15. I just recently started a vigorous fit routine and was interested in how your record yours... any tips? I want to track my workouts and my progress.

  16. Full disclosure: Sandy is my sister! I am happy to report that I turned her onto Filofax (and also Moleskine).

    Welcome, Sis!

  17. Hi,

    recently I have bought a Filofax (slimline, size: personal), but unfortunately I have reasons to suspect that it might be not a genuine Filofax, because it differs largely from the other Filofax models I own.

    (6 photos)

    What is your opinion - is this Filofax genuine ??

    Thank you very much for your help!


  18. Eh, the prominent Made in China tag and the upside down logo "f"s make me think it's a fake. Also, normally in a Filofax on the inside cover they have embossed the name of that style, such as Finsbury or Finchley, and I don't see that on yours.

    Did you buy this at a retail store? They should be able to tell you where they got it.

  19. @ Volker,
    Did you buy it as a new model filofax?
    - Current filofaxs have their name embossed inside the cover. Older ones differ with the logo stamped on the inside cover.
    - Filofax haven't used the "Filofax of England" line for many years, early 90s I think. And I fairly sure they were made in England back then too.
    - I've never seen a filofax with a "Made in [Country]" anywhere.
    - I have a slimline & personal size filo. The slimline is not as long on the short side, it is the same length on the long side.
    On the whole I think it's a fake.

  20. Thank you for your replies!

    I'bought it used over ebay...

    Filofax UK suggested (via email) that this might be Slimline Windsor manufactured 1994 - 1996.

    But I still can't believe that Filofax could produce an organizer with such a poor leather quality.

    I have an Ascot of 1994 - it's much much better quality!

    I would be very grateful if you have a Slimline Windsor and could post some photos!

    Thank you.


  21. Hello, everyone.

    Just wanted to share this: I bought a new Filofax. Its a black mini Topaz. I plan to use it as my mobile paper-based capture/list/reference device. I bought it on sale for CDN$49.99 :-)

    My primary/master Filofax is a brown personal size Bromley. But now I'm also thinking (or tempted) to buy a black personal Amazona. I found one on sale for only CDN$69.99.

    Tempting, isn't it?

  22. Anonymous, you can see several photos of a Windsor A5 binder on this EBay page--


    The first photo, with the name of the binder, is most telling for me, but you could also do a search on Flickr for "vintage Filofax binders" or maybe even for "Windsor Filofax" and you might see more photos.

  23. I've uploaded some shots of my Windsor binder from around 1994. This is a full size "personal" model rather than a slimline one.

    I think Filofax UK were about right regarding Volker's binder. The name in the range was Slimline rather than Slimline Windsor, but it looks pretty much as I'd expect apart from the "Made in China" tag.

  24. Just got some additional information from Filofax (USA):

    "I am pleased to inform you that your organizer is a genuine Filofax. This item was called Windsor,introduced in 1994 and was available through 1997.

    Windsor was one of our first items produced in China, and due to US Customs regulations, a sewn in label of the country of origin was required. At the time "Filofax of England", was embossed on all leather organizers, because we could not emboss "Filofax, Made in England" as previously done on products that were made in England. Windsor was made of a thick durable leather, so it wore very well."

    Thank you everybody for your feedback and suggestions.


  25. Volker, it's good to know that your Filo is the genuine article. I didn't know they were made in China. Especially that long ago--I thought that was really early for outsourcing.

    I suspect that Filofaxes just aren't the sort of collectors' items with a wide market like Louis Vuitton bags are, and therefore counterfeiting isn't as attractive to scam artists. I've bought several Filofax items off EBay and have been very happy with all of them.

    I wonder when Filofax started having their binders manufactured in China, and are all of them made there nowadays?

  26. One of my sister's friends recently ordered a Personal Deco in Ebony from a retailer in the US. She received it and it was not black as shown on the website, but a dark chocolate brown. She called the retailer and said, I was expecting black. He said no, that ebony is actually a dark brown. Since when?

    Last week I saw an ebony Deco at a retailer in the UK, and it was unmistakably black. I am wondering if maybe the Decos in the US are brown? Or, if maybe this retailer got some factory seconds for cheap where the dye didn't take properly, and he's now selling them for full price.

    Luckily, she really likes the dark brown, so she will keep it.

  27. According to Kevin Hall, who has wrote a Chronology of Filofax in 2006 (apparently not available on-line now), all Filofax products were made in the UK until 1990. It seems that the move of manufacturing for Filofax products elsewhere really took hold between 1992 and 1994, although a small number of items continued to be made in England until 1999.

  28. I remember reading the Chronology of Filofax and I think I saved a copy. I think it would be great if we can get Kevin Hall's permission to reproduce his original article and post it in this blog.

    Does anyone know how to contact him? Can we get him to write a guest post? Does anyone else think that Kevin Hall is the mysterious "Philofaxer"? :-)

  29. Sandy, I use the graph-paper inserts to record the names of the various exercises I do (like crunches, sideways crunches, hand weights etc) as initials along the horizontal, then have the dates vertically on the left (I fill it in as I go since I don't workout every day) and then put the daily number of reps I do in the boxes beneath.

    So say on the 15th of Dec, I can see I did X more crunches/sets than I was capable of on the 15th of October.

    I imagine that this could be adapted for runners, cyclists etc, by changing the number of reps for time run/mileage?

    Hope that makes sense!

  30. Miss Charlie,
    That does make sense. Thank you for the ideas! Graph paper would be perfect, since it is basically a spreadsheet and keeping the columns aligned is important.

  31. The Advanced Day Planner User Guide describes a very useful, general purpose page design - a 13 column spreadsheet (with the first column wider than the rest) with column headings + 31 numbered rows. Pages like that would make an ideal exercise log.
    I've printed some of my own on similar lines.

  32. I am developing a mild case of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) in my hands which is probably mainly due to my typing at work but I suspect also due to the heavy bag
    I lug around each day.

    To give my hands a break, I'll now have to leave my pocket personal filofax at home in order to lighten the weight of my bag.

    I admit that it HAS made a huge different (I should proably weight the filo huh?) but I feel so lost without my filofax with me. ;((

  33. Anonymous - I carry my Filo to work with me, but other places where I don't need it (but in the past worried that I would), I leave it at home. However, I do carry a portable version of my calendar. I recently bought an iPod Touch, which comes with its own calendar application. Every week I manually synch (because I don't have a Mac at home and therefore cannot synch my Google Calendar directly with the Touch) my Touch calendar and my Filo, inputting only the events I have coming up which leaves me free of various other lists and the heavy load of a full Filo that I don't really need with me all of the time. There is also a notes application on the Touch, so should I need to take notes for any reason, I can do this on the Touch and then transfer them to my Filo when I "synch" the rest (which happens on a weekly basis). This seems to be working for me, at least at this point. So you might be able to something along the lines of a portable (and light-weight) version of your main Filo.

  34. Some more info and an archive link for Kevin Hall's excellent Chronology of Filofax can be found in the thread here.

  35. Can someone tell me which A5 binder will hold the most? Same question for the Personal size?

  36. Re Binder capacity -- Check the ring size of the binder you're considering. Most of them are 1 inch. I think there were some binders made years ago with larger ring sizes, and you might find one on EBay.

    For the Personal sizes, the same would apply. The Slimlines have the smallest ring size and hold the least, but the others are about one inch.

  37. Re: Binder Size

    For the current A5's, Finsbury has the biggest ring size: approx. 1.25in.

    For Personal, yes, I believe most of them are 1.0in while some are 0.75in.

  38. I'm a new owner of a Finchley Personal in Vintage Rose (I luuurve pink!). Oh, it's just beautiful . . . from its lovely smell, through to its Cotton Cream papers.

    Like Norway, I started out with a cheapie one (Eden) and said that if I was still using it after a year, I would upgrade to a leather one. And just as I wanted to upgrade, they had them half price on the Filofax UK site! Woohoo!


  39. Kanalt - I have been thinking of getting an Ipod Touch for the longest time. Your advice might be just the push/justification I need. ;) I am really a pen and paper person but I might just have to give this a try. I didn't know you could take note on a Ipod Touch, that is great to know, since I always jot down random things (another reason why I'm so attached to my filo)…and I suppose having to transfer my notes from the Touch to the Filo would give me some time to think about where to place it in the Filo and might result in a neater Filo..ideally.

    Thanks for your advice!

  40. Anonymous - I love my iPod Touch...the only thing that is a pain (which I didn't think of before buying it) is that in order to connect to the Internet, you have to be on a WiFi system, which is doable, as many places offer it. However, places like Starbucks and Borders (here in the US, East Coast) offer AT&T or T-Mobile, which if you don't have an account with them, you have to pay to use the WiFi. Here on Long Island, I can sometimes connect through Optimum Online but that's only because I have an account with them for my home Internet connection - they offer WiFi in random areas, so it's hit or miss. So if you're thinking about getting one for the WiFi, it's touch and go depending on where you live and how accessible WiFi is (some cities/counties offer it for free). As far as the notes application - it is set up like a small legal pad - you can have multiple "pages" at once. It's good for short, random notes to then transfer to the Filo when you have a moment.

    On another note - I don't know how many of you receive emails from Filofax, but as of Feb. 1 (here in the US), they are raising their prices. So if there's something you want, you might want to consider getting it before then. I just bought the personal Finchley in soft jade from Pens and Leather. They're an authorized reseller of Filos (you can also find them on eBay, but I bought directly from them) at a discount. The one I got was about 20% off. Plus, I got free shipping with a promo they have going on - you have to "pledge" (basically, just agree to do it) to recycle the shipping materials once you receive the item (I do this anyway), but it's only good on items over $75. I don't know if this is something they have all of the time, or just for a certain amount of time. You can check their website for details - they have a link specifically for shipping promos. I ordered my Filo around 6:30 eastern time and it has already shipped as of 10 pm! I've never uploaded pictures of my Filo, but maybe when I get the new one, I'll be inspired. =)

  41. On hi-tech vs. low-tech note taking:

    - It's been my observation that paper still beats digital devices when it comes to quickly capturing information or taking down notes
    - Digital devices are good as reference devices or for storing archival information. But I personally find that I'm more focused and can think better about current projects when I use paper.

    * Gladwell has written an interesting article on the role of paper in today's computer age. Its called "The Social Life of Paper" (http://www.gladwell.com/2002/2002_03_25_a_paper.htm).

    On Filofax Prices:

    Congratulations to those of you who were able to buy new Filofaxes on sale. Its always good to get something you want for less.

    In my case, I was able to get a new personal size black Amazona and it was on super sale. You probably wouldn't believe me but I was able to buy it for CDN$25.20. Yes. It's true. A personal Amazona for less than $30!

    They're also selling other Filo's at insane prices: personal Finsbury for $17.50 or $35 (the $35 is for the pink one), A5 Topaz for $120 and A5 Filofax classic for $67.

  42. Thank you for the kind comments about my original Filofax Chronology that I wrote some time ago. I have went back through and updated the entire document and is fully referenced so you can be assured that what I've written can be verified. I wouldn't repost the old one, it does have some minor errors in it and some of the references I couldn't re-verify (I couldn't trace the sources) so I removed them completely.

    It's almost finished - I'm not sure when I'll make it available as I'm still fact-checking a few things to make it as accurate as possible. I'll post on this blog when it's ready. Sorry I don't have a specific date in mind :-(

  43. For all you Filofax lovers, you can buy them direct from the company at http://www.filofaxusa.com

    I just love my pink Filofax classic

  44. Well, I did it... took the plunge and splashed out £80 on an A5 Kendal in the brown leather! Kendal at Filofax's UK site

    This was well over twice my original budget, but my parents gave me some money as an EXTREMELY unexpected gift, and I'd been yearning for one of these since I saw it in a stationers...

    And, no point in buying something you end up replacing because it didn't quite hit the spot - RIGHT?! :)

    I've been tinkering with it all day, finally got the right proportion of pages and sections, and made up a big load of my customised daily pages (which were the driver behind upgrading to A5).

    My navy Finsbury Personal has been pared down to an appointments diary, phone numbers, and loads of notepaper, meaning I can take it out and about without fearing losing all my to-do lists, projects etc (or a client catching sight of my musings on the relative merits of chocolate or broccoli for lunch!)...

    I'm really thrilled with it, and glad I invested the money this way - it lies open beautifully flat, looks classy, and the display model I fell in love with before was pretty battered, which only improved its look, so I know it should age gracefully.

    I just wanted to share the joy: it's already fitting into my life perfectly, and I'm wondering how I managed without it!

    On another topic - where's Inky?!

  45. Hello All

    You may be interested to know what we're up to at Filofax in the UK - we have asked a range of celebrities to customise one of our Breast Cancer Campaign organisers which are then being auctioned off for charity - http://www.filofax.co.uk/aboutus/news.asp?newsId=85

  46. Wow thanks for that Matt!! Those are gorgeous, and what a great cause.

  47. Where's Inky?
    - I have a feeling Inky is ok but she's just very busy these past few weeks. We can keep this blog alive til she gets back.

    Filofax UK:
    - I agree with Laurie. Great concept.

    Filofax Myths & Pop Culture:
    - Just curious, would anyone know which type of Filofax was shown in the movie "Filofax"? And was that story about a WWII soldier being saved by his bullet-proof Filofax real?

  48. Inky I hope you are okay!!

  49. Does ANYONE have a clue what happened to Inky?

    I'm not a frequent commenter, but I'm a frequent visitor and I find her disappearance alarming and odd.


  50. An update on my new Filofax:

    Sunday's my pottering day, when I do all the little chores that I don't have time for in the week, and I've just made myself a big load of inserts for the new A5 I bought recently - a book that's already proven WELL worth the money!

    I'm tracking everything in it, from meal plans for the week (I like to be organised for shopping etc) to exercise, household tasks like laundry etc, work chores, all those other little things to bear in mind (like birthdays and reminders) and so on.

    It's literally become an annexe of my own memory, because I can "download" stuff into it, and then I'm free to focus on other stuff.

    I've always liked to make my own printed pages, and it's so easy of course in A5...

    The A5 metal hole punch I bought is also proving totally worthwhile, it's probably already recouped half its cost price as I've created a huge diary insert, and being able to re-use paper (like junk mail etc)inside the folder has saved me from having to buy scribble pads for shopping lists etc.

    It's a huge success and has made a massive contribution to my daily life, everything from productivity because I'm being mega-organised, though to having a safe place to jot down those bright ideas you get just before falling asleep...

    Oh I'm just in LOVE! lol

  51. joffreyca, there's some info about the Filofax in the movie of that name in a comment on this blog here, which I'll quote:

    "Huper Arnion said...
    I just obtained a copy of the DVD and the Filofax appears to be a dark, coffee brown "one-off" equipped with a clear plastic window over the entire interior of the front cover. There appears to be at least two different props, although both have stitched on covers, and leather page lifters. In a scene at an airport payphone, the prop appears to show a complete second cover. Neither prop appears to display a Filofax logo on the exterior spine or on the chrome ring assembly, although the interior of the front cover has a Filofax "reward if found" certificate displayed in the plastic window.
    May 17, 2007 3:59 PM

    And there's a (rather uninformative) image of the original movie poster here.

    I've never seen the movie: is it any good? The reviews I found tend to indicate the poor old Ffx gets all the scorn that was heaped on yuppies at the time, and the protagonist only gets his life back once he dumps the book for good... something in rather pointed opposition to my own recent experiences, as posted above! :o)

  52. I am also alarmed and concerned about the lack of posts from Inky. Is there anything else that she uses online that we could check perhaps?

  53. Miss Charlie, thanks for the info. And no, I haven't seen the movie. I was just curious which Filofax they used.

    The most recent movie I saw a Filofax featured was "27 Dresses" and I think it was a personal Topaz.

    As for Inky, I also hope she's ok. I'm sure everyone here is concerned about her.

    I did an online search for her about 2 weeks ago and I found her most recent activity on a work-related support blog. But I won't say what that site is. I'm not sure if its proper to put that here and she did mention she doesn't want this site to be a personal site, if I remember correctly.

  54. The Filofax movie that everyone has mentioned looks to me from the poster link in Miss Charlie's Comment like the movie 'Taking Care of Business' with James Belushi (I think) and Charles Grodin. If it is that one I thought it was pretty good and have been trying to get a copy of it for ages without success.

  55. I saw this movie not too long ago (I was able to borrow it through my library system). Looking at it from a movie-goer's perspective, it wasn't the best movie, although not terrible. From a Filo perspective, it was interesting to see the stereotype associated with those who use Filos and the extent to which they were (and maybe are still) used. For anyone reading this blog, I'd say it's worth seeing. =)

  56. Thanks Kanalt!

    I may have to check it out, if only for a laugh - I remember the way people used to rant about yuppies and their Filofaxes... dearie me, those WERE the days! lol


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