19 July 2009

Filo Adventures in Scotland

Hi everybody! I am back from my wonderful vacation in Scotland, my favorite place on earth. If you have never been there, you must go immediately.

I am pleased to report that my Filofax UK Guidebook worked fabulously throughout the trip. On our way up we stopped over in London for a day, where I used my London city maps and rail network maps, which are available on Filofax.co.uk. Very useful.

While in Scotland I used the Scotland pages of my British Isles maps, also from Filofax UK, extensively. My self-made guidebook gets better and better with every trip. This time I added the things I did, as well as things I didn’t get to do but would like to in the future. I sketched in small detailed maps of areas I visited. I wrote down contact information (like the CalMac ferry bookings phone number). The book is turning into an excellent reference and record of my trips.

Our weather in Scotland was really good, with only a couple of days of rain. But rain is always a possibility there and some days were mostly clear except for some mist or sprinkles. I had to be careful with my leather Filo when using it outside. I had the idea that Filofax should make a waterproof binder with waterproof pages to be used in damp situations such as doing oceanography field research, traveling in Scotland, or while taking a bath. I’d buy it. Are you listening Filofax?

While I was there I had lunch with a friend, and a woman who is a friend of her family. During the course of the meal the family friend pulled out her diary/planner to reference a date. I didn’t want to be too nosy and eye her book too much, but it looked like a Letts of London weekly diary, hard bound book. Later when she went to pay for her lunch she pulled out a tiny pink Filofax Piazza that was stuffed full of cards and cash, and on the rings were address pages. I couldn’t keep silent in the presence of a Filofax so I piped up and said, “I like your little Filofax, you use it as a wallet?” She said yes, and that she also uses it to hold her addresses and permanent reference information. Then I couldn’t hold myself back and asked, “And you have a separate diary book?” And she said, “Yes, I suppose it’s silly to carry two books with me everywhere, but the Filofax pages are just not big enough for me to write everything I need to do every day.” Then we had a lively discussion about the Classic Filofax Dilemma: the page size to book size ratio. I told her my saga of how I have used a Personal size Filo for many years, but the weekly planner page size was just too small during busy times. I tried using day per page diary pages for more room to write, but this failed because I absolutely must see my whole week in one view. So last year I upgraded to the A5 size, and while I enjoyed the larger page size, the book was too big and bulky for me to want to carry around with me everywhere, especially when traveling. So now I am back to the Personal size and trying to make it work with the smaller pages.

During my trip I removed my weekly pages, which I didn’t think I would need since I have month view pages also. I also removed my address and reference pages, in the interest of security. But while I was on my trip I felt adrift without all those pages in the book. Lesson learned: keep everything in the book.

Now that I am back home I have moved the Scotland pages into a ring-bound storage binder (more details on this in my next post) and have turned my Filo back into my planner. Then the next time I take a trip, I can just pop in the UK pages, and off I go!

I’m already excited to plan my next trip!


  1. Hi Laurie - Wow, what a ringing endorsement of Scotland, and what a great Filofax story.

    Maybe you can use some leather conditioner on your Filo to help it recover from the rainwater and perhaps protect it from future damage.

    I also have a tale of leaving my Filo at home even for one evening, and regretting it. I'll tell about it in an upcoming post. I use a Personal for personal matters and as my wallet...but decided it was too bulky for a stadium concert. But then I had a couple of occasions when I had a use for it. What to do?

  2. Oh yes, whenever I don't bring my Filo with me, I inevitably need it. My husband says I need to "detach" from it sometimes. But, he needs me to retrieve information from it almost as often as I need it myself!

  3. My husband finds my filo use humorous yet he also relies on it a great deal. It is commonplace for him to ask me to "go get your book" or to say to friends when making plans "I'll call you back when I've checked my wife's book". Strange that he won't keep a filofax himself.