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.