29 January 2010

Free for All Friday No. 63

Resolution review! About a month ago, we were talking about our 2010 Filofax configurations.

How's yours working for you?

I'm using a new format this year, the City Dweller, which has a week on the left page, notes on the right. It took a little adjusting, but I've grown to love it.

26 January 2010

Filofax litany

I was thinking about all the Filofax planner/ diary inserts I have tried and/ or used over the years. It's quite a list.

Personal size:

Month on two pages

Fold-out year overview with months as columns

Week on 2 pages

Week on 2 pages Cotton Cream

Week + Notes

Family Organizer (available from Filofax UK), with boxes for each family member each day

Day per page

A5 size:

Month on two pages

Fold-out year overview

Week on 2 pages Horizontal

Week on 2 pages Vertical (days as columns)

Week + Notes

Family Organizer (week view with days as columns)

Dodo Pad diary insert

Having it all written out like that makes it look like sheer insanity!

What formats have you tried in the past, and what are you currently using?

25 January 2010

Would you class your Filofax as a collectable - Update

Well further to the post on Saturday... Mark has posted an apology it sounds like his post caused quite a stir!

It seems he is also a Filofax user too! So we will let him off lightly this time ;-)


Continuing the theme

Seems like a popular theme this week: calling Filofax and other paper organizers "retro" or "old-fashioned." I prefer to think of them as reliable, classic, personable and archival myself.

Here is another article about "old-fashioned" paper planners, featuring Filofax:

Old-fashioned organizers haven't disappeared

23 January 2010

Would you class your Filofax as a 'Collectable'?

Caught by one of our readers on Twitter was a 'tweet' by Mark Hill

Is the Filofax making a comeback? Seen more trendy young things carrying them, and prices for lovely vintage ones seem to be on the up.
So I checked out Mark Hill a bit more and then found his latest posting on his blog about Vintage Filofax & Mulberry organisers.

As you will see he states that 'the PDA and smartphone have completely replaced the Filofax' .... you will have seen I've commented on the post already... !!!

But it was nice of Mark to link to us 'Filofax fans'

We will not be classed as antiques from a bygone era just yet, paper is alive and well in this age of electronic wireless always on communication social networked up to the minute Twitterings. It's the iPhones and other electronics that are the passing phase.

Come back in five years time and you will look at a 1st generation iPhone and think, oh I remember those. But in five years time your iPhone will be a paperweight, things will have moved on, it's expensive battery will have expired. The protocols it uses will have been upgraded, the radio spectrum it uses will have been sold on to the next highest bidder, I was on the team that sold the 3G spectrum in UK for £22.4 billion! And whilst you might be able to turn on your iPhone Mk I, you won't be able to do a lot with it, will iTunes still support such an old model?

Then again your Filofax will be alive and well, pop in a few new pages and you are ready to go. May be an antique to some people, but still working as well as the day you bought it.

OK they don't do the same job... but can you capture your thoughts so instantly on an iPhone? They don't have that same attraction and desire to want to hold it.

I proves I suppose that one person's everyday object (of desire in our case) is another person's 'collectable or antique' I'm not about to sell any of mine to the highest bidder...


22 January 2010

Free For All Friday No. 62

I'm forever coming across sites and articles on sites that mention the word Filofax, but only as a comparison to something else. For instance 'The iPhone is to smartphones what the Filofax was to diaries'

These keep popping up in my Google Alerts and it's so annoying!!! I think I've discovered some great articles on other sites only to be disappointed!

What would you compare your Filofax to??  Oh and tell us about anything else Filofax related.....

19 January 2010

It's the perfect way to organise your life....

Searching around on the internet as one does... you occasionally come across a few 'gems' that you just can't resist sharing with others. Now you might do this via one of the social networks... Twitter or Facebook.. But when it comes to things Filofax I prefer to share them with you.....

I came across this brief but to the point blog post by The Debonair Gentleman on my Filofax is the perfect way to organise your life... and I don't think you will disagree with them either.. Worth reading the other posts in this blog too. A shame this refined gentleman has stopped adding posts to his blog.

Filofax has an interesting dictionary entry at 'Ask A Word' I also keep finding links to Philofaxy! Here is another on VisWiki

Did any of you ever use a 'Pregfax' back in the 1990's, what will they think of next!!

What about this article in 'Marxism Today' from December 1988 'Filofaxions', the link is to the pdf of the article.


Filofax holidays

Are you wondering which countries around the world are celebrating today as a holiday? Do you want to know all the national holidays all year of any and every country in the world?

Then you're in luck--Filofax has it covered.

On either Filofax USA or Filofax UK, just log into your account (or create an account, which is free), and on your account page look at the left sidebar. Choose National Holidays Worldwide. It shows which countries in the world have today and tomorrow as holidays, and a pull-down menu to see all the national holidays of every country for the entire year!

I think this is a really cool feature, and a great service by Filofax.

This is a great way for travelers to check the holiday schedule for their countries of destination. The last thing you want to do is spend all your time and money getting somewhere, only to discover you've landed right in the middle of their festival season and everything's closed!

It's also a great feature for kids in school who are learning about different countries and their holidays.

Or, for those of us who are just interested, it's fun to see which countries celebrate what holidays.

Thank you Filofax!

15 January 2010

Free For All Friday No. 61

2010 will be a very busy year for me and my family with major changes coming up. This summer we will move internationally (again, and our destination is still unknown). We'll spend 6 weeks or so traveling around the US visiting friends and family before we head off to our next destination. This fall my oldest child will start school (for real this time. She won't be able to drop out after a week like she did with preschool, it's real school now!). This fall will be spent settling into our new place, meeting new people, and getting to know our new surroundings. It will be a busy year with lots of transitions, and as you can imagine I am planning and preparing as much as possible already.

What does 2010 have in store for you? Do you have plans for changes or events coming up this year? How are you using your Filofax(es) to plan and organize the upcoming year?

14 January 2010

Where to buy vintage Filofaxes?

I received an email from Philofaxy reader Alon, who has been collecting Filofaxes for more than 20 years, asking where he can buy vintage Filofaxes. I suggested ebay but beyond that I have no clue.

Does anyone know of a good source for buying vintage Filofaxes?

13 January 2010

Filofax Compatible Page Inserts?

It is quite interesting to see the 'Dodo' calendar inserts that Laurie wrote about. It got me wondering about other Filofax compatible inserts.

You will know I 'grow' a lot of my own pages for my A5 Filofax, but the other sizes aren't so easy to do without either special paper or a lot of messing around!

Myself and a few other people remember the days of the huge variety of Filofax inserts from a by gone era, Nan found quite a few for sale as 'end of line' bargains. I've recreated some of these for A5 sizes and they are available on DiY Planner. The list is here. But I'm sure a lot of us would love personal size pages already printed. 

So have you come across any other makes of Filofax compatible refills or inserts? May be ones that aren't duplicate of ones supplied by Filofax themselves even?

Please post your discoveries or thoughts in the comments.


50% off Dodo Pad inserts for A5 Filofax

Dodo Pad is selling their new A5 Filofax inserts for 50% off! This is a new product this year, and they want to get these diary inserts into the hands of A5 Filofax users to try them out. This week + notes format with the weekly grid has plenty of room to keep track of your schedule and everyone else's, with a mostly-empty page opposite to jot lists, make notes, scribble numbers, or doodle while you're waiting on the phone. You can learn more and purchase them at the deeply discounted rate here.

As you all know, I love the Dodo's fun and quirky humor with new interesting facts each week. Last year when Dodo Pad announced the new A5 Filofax-compatible diary insert, I was so excited I immediately ordered one up! I have to say, it looks great in my purple A5 Finsbury. Now I can be "Filo on the outside and Dodo on the inside!"

Dodo products are very organizational while being witty and fun at the same time. Highly recommended!

10 January 2010

Calling All Downsizers!!

Hi everybody! I managed to make it back to Albania from snowy, sub-zero Scotland. The UK is having its most severe winter weather in half a century, and I felt very lucky to fly out on a day when the airports were open and functioning! And here in the Balkans we are having heavy rains with flooding in low-lying areas: bridges are washing away, people are being evacuated from their homes, and we are advised not to travel in the region. Crazy winter weather this year.

Now on to Philofaxy business. I've been largely absent from Philofaxy during my vacation (except for one quick post banged out while at an internet cafe, and the Christmas FFAF that I pre-wrote and scheduled to auto-post). I've missed Philofaxy!

Today's order of business: a support group for downsizers! I've noticed that there are several people who are downsizing, whether from A5 to Personal, or Personal to Pocket. I know it's not easy to move to less space, so let's discuss.

For those of you who have successfully downsized in the past, let's hear from you. How did you do it? What worked for you? What changes did you have to make in how you do things when working with a smaller page size?

For those of you currently downsizing: How's it going? Are you enjoying the freedom of a smaller, lighter book? Or are you still trying to figure out how to make the smaller book work for you?

I know it's not always easy to do more with less, but we are here to support you!

08 January 2010

The value of keeping a diary

I never realised the value of keeping a diary/journal until this last Christmas when my son Philip was home.

I pulled out my old Filofax diary from 1986 and 1987, he made some joky remark at first. But then I turned to January 1987 and showed him what was happening in the days before and after his birth (20 Jan 1987...23 years ago) and he went very quiet and was absorbed by what I had written...

20 January 1987 as well as being the day Philip was born... 00:05 to be precise, was also the day that Terry Waite was being reported as being taken hostage in Beirut. Terry Waite was a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury who was in Beirut trying to negotiate with the hostage takers to free other hostages when he was also taken hostage. He remained in captivity for 1763 days, he was released in November 1991.

When ever the story was reported in the newspapers giving the number of days he had been held also equated to the age of Philip.

Like now, this area of Kent was blanketed in snow back in January 1987... all of this was recorded in my diary from back then....

So do try to make the effort to record what is happening in the world, in your life, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time. When you or your relatives look back on it in future years I'm sure it will keep them spell bound for a few hours.

A paper diary I'm sure will outlive the modern equivalents... Twitter, Facebook... and will be more private as well of course. Not that I'm suggesting you give up either of these, they have their place.

I'm just regretting not keeping a diary after I went over to electronic diaries in the 1990's to only rediscover Filofax back in 2005. I'm just so pleased I captured Philips first years, the memories come flooding back even with the briefest of entries.


Free for All Friday No. 60

Subtitle: Better Late Than Never

One thing I wish I did more of is record weather conditions. It's really nice to look back and see when it snowed, or unexpectedly warm. Seeing what the weather was like helps bring back memories of the day.

If you live in North America or Europe, you can probably guess why I'm thinking about weather today. You're probably also wrapped up in a blanket or wearing an extra layer of clothing!

Do you track weather in your Filo? If so, how? I can imagine all of our creative readers doing beautiful things with colored pencils and pens.


07 January 2010

Exclusive Offer for Philofaxy Readers from Filofax UK

Exclusive to Philofaxy readers only, a 15% off at Filofax UK on line store.

It is valid for 15% off all full priced items at Filofax UK from Friday 8 January 2010 to  Tuesday 12 January 2010. Make a note of those dates in your Filofax now.

To get the 15% discount you must click on the Filofax logo below, and enter the code pfx15 at the checkout to redeem the discount. Please note that the code is only valid for one use per customer.

Thank you to Filofax UK for their continued support.


Guest Blog: Mapping and Planning

This is a return of a feature were we get a readers own thoughts and ideas in the form of an article. We are therefore very pleased to present this article by 'Kanalt' who as you know is one of our regular readers/commenter's.
Maps and Planning

My friend bought these two maps at a stationery store in New York City. I’d been there and suggested she go to look at their selection when she was first contemplating buying a Filofax to decide which size would be good for her needs. They carry a variety of inserts, maps included. But because I’d never needed maps in the past (or never used them, to be more accurate), I hadn’t paid much attention to the specifics of these maps. I’m guessing that many major cities carry maps for their own area, so this may not be a surprise to many of you. I was quite excited to learn that this stationery store carries not only maps, but also specific maps that I could actually use (although now having looked at them on the US Filofax website, you can buy them for many major cities online). When I go back to the store in the near future, I will be looking more closely at their entire selection.

The Long Island Road Map is a colorful map of the entire island – (roughly) the first third of it is on the front and the last third, referred to as the east end, is on the back. There is a grid around the entire map: on the front, letters A–I on the vertical side and numbers 1–25 on the horizontal. On the back, the numbers continue, 26–54, but the letters stay the same. Some of the areas surrounding Long Island (parts of each of New York’s five boroughs and parts of New Jersey) are included in the map, illustrating their major roads, bridges and tunnels, and airports. But the detailed information is, of course, for Long Island. All major highways are illustrated as well as other bigger roads. The map does not include many smaller and residential roads for obvious reasons – it would need to be much, much bigger. What I like about this map is that it shows the exit numbers for the major highways. For example, when looking at the Long Island Expressway (For those not familiar with this location, the LIE is a US interstate that runs the length of most of the island from Manhattan to just before the island forks) I can see that the exit for the Cross Island Expressway is number 30. Many of us living on Long Island speak in terms of the town where we live or grew up in relation to what exit it is on the LIE, so this may come in handy at some point when looking for certain areas. This map also shows ferry lines, state and county divisions and by using different colors on the map, government buildings and schools, hotels, parks, places of interest, shopping centers, and wineries - a big industry on Long Island. Also shown is the Long Island Rail Road, a necessity to many people who commute to New York for work. In addition, the back of the map lists the airports, bridges and tunnels, communities (Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties), government buildings and schools, hospitals, Long Island Rail Road stations, parks and beaches, places of interest, shopping malls, and wineries.

The NYC Commuter Rail Map shows the entirety of the Manhattan subway lines as well as all train lines to and from the city (LIRR, Metro-North, which goes north into New York’s Westchester County and Connecticut, and New Jersey Transit). Ferry lines are also included on this map. Each subway line is color-coded and shows were all of the stops are located. It also provides contact information for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) who governs this type of public transportation. Contact information for the John F. Kennedy Airport air train, the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak, and Metro-North trains are included as well. I don’t commute to NYC for work and thought I’d never have a need for subway information – when I visit NYC I usually walk to my destination. But I was recently in the city with this same friend (who does work in NYC) and she had to be my subway tour guide since I didn’t know anything about the subway lines. This map is sure to come in handy during my next trip!

I was unsure that I’d use the Long Island Road Map all that much. I generally know where most places are. However, it would have come in handy a few days ago. My husband and I were travelling back from out of state. As anyone who has visited this area or has driven here would know, traffic can be just awful. We were crawling along a parkway and thought it might be better to take an alternate route. The map in my car is for my county only and so wouldn’t cover the parkway we were on. I thought to pull out this new Filofax map. I say it “would have come in handy” because having not taken everything with me on vacation, I left this particular item at home. Guaranteed it will travel with us next time.

I look forward to using both of these maps in my future plans.


06 January 2010

An Alternative Beauty Box Review

Our blogger Steve reviewed Filofax's new Beauty Gift Box back in September when it was first released.

I just found another review, on a UK news-and-commentary website called The Daily Dust. I was expecting the article to be a spoof, because the Daily Dust does have some funny articles, but it's actually a straightforward review, just less thorough than Steve's.

The reviewer, Ewan, does raise an interesting point: If Filofax intends to market more boxed sets and lifestyle packs targeted at specific audiences, where's the one for the men?

Guys, what special features (and I'm not talking about perfume pens) would you like to see in your ideal Filofax?


02 January 2010

Did the Blackberry kill off the Filofax? Not yet....

Thanks for the tip off from one of our readers.

An excellent article/interview in last weekends Sunday Times:

'Did the Blackberry kill off the Filofax? Not yet'

Some interesting snippets in the article about the sales and the balance between male and female buyers.

I loved this statement;
'Don Williams, chief executive of Pi Global, the branding consultancy, said: “The only difference between a designer handbag and a Filofax is straps. The joy of a Filofax lies in its ability to develop a strong emotional bond with its owner. It’s full of deeply personal ‘stuff’.'

I know several of you will agree with that!!

And I wonder what they are about to reveal later this month...


01 January 2010

Free For All No 59 - Happy New Year 2010

I would like to wish you all the best for 2010, may all your problems be small ones and we hope your Filofax helps you solve all your problems.

There's no excuse at all now for not putting in your new diary refill and starting your New Year off with a nice new blank diary.

So do any of you set your self New Year's resolutions?