21 June 2009

Whatever Happened To...

Felice Willat

Ms. Willat invented the Day Runner along with her husband Boyd in 1980. They created the organizer to stay on top of their high-stress Hollywood jobs and family lives. In 1992, the company (Harper House) went public, and the same year they pioneered a software companion to their paper system (yep, in the DOS days!) Although I'm a Filofax user, I'm a big fan of Day Runner and its pioneering creators.

What's the Filofax connection? In 1998, Harper House purchased Filofax Group, LLC. That was the same year that paper organizer sales hit an all-time peak. Unfortunately, the peak was followed by a decline. People were spending more time onscreen and less time on paper. Ultimately, Day Runner was acquired by Mead (an American mainstream office supply company), and Filofax was acquired by Letts of London (a British leather house).

These days, Boyd Willat is still pursuing his careers as a movie producer, real estate developer, and the inventor of the Sensa pen. A professional photographer, Felice Willat has continued to create paper organization and self-development tools.

You can find her work on her Web site, Tools With Heart.

Felice sells beautiful bound journals, handmade binders, and journaling tools (such as "journaling cards" that offer writing prompts) along with notecards and other products based on her photography. Her central product (and most interesting to female Philofaxers) is the 8.5" x 5.5" loose-leaf journal called the Woman's Book of Changes.

The Woman's Book of Changes doesn't duplicate any standard Day Runner or Filofax sections like a calendar or business forms. Its pages are journaling and life-exploring tools, including "assorted journal pages, dream sheets, warm-up tools, and accessories. Journal topics include: LifeStory TimeLine, Seasonal Changes Log, BodyScape, building relationships, career change, motherhood, mid-life changes, dream journal and more." The pages and tabs are subtly colored and beautifully illustrated.

Of interest to American Philofaxers is the fact that the refills are standard 3-hole punched, so you can use them in any 8.5" x 5.5" binder. You can use the current Day Runner Classic size calendar, tabs, address pages, etc. in the same binder. (With the help of a Filofax punch, you can also place Woman's Book of Changes pages in an A5 Filofax, with the understanding that the pages will be slightly taller and narrower than your A5s.)

I'm sorry to say that Felice has created no such product for men. What do you think, Philofaxy guys? Would you like to have a Man's Book of Changes? What would it contain (aside from football scores and cigar records)?


  1. Records of women scored?

  2. I think I might include boring things like clothes sizes, collar, chest size etc.

    I'm forever forgetting what size I currently am And it's a bit difficult to look on the label if you are wearing it!