07 January 2010

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.



  1. Hello,

    Sorry for the off-topic.

    I have been searching the internet for the better part of the last three hours. I am thinking of updating my current A5 Filofax to an A4 sized planner, presumably from the same aforementioned company.

    However, I would like to use the Franklin Covey daily refill papers. Do the FC refills fit into the corresponding Filofax binders?

    Also, has anyone had the experience of ordering FC papers and/or products to Europe? I already found their European web-shop but I find their P&P rates to be unashamedly exorbitant.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has already used the FC system. I realize that their products are tied to the entire Covey time-management philosophy; has that helped you in streamlining your workload?

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Kanalt, I have this very same map and I love it! I bought it when I first had to drive out to the Hamptons about 10 years ago. In my new A5's clear envelope I keep a vintage Filofax (80's) map of England. I took "ownership" of it after my boyfiend found it AFTER we did what seemed a cross-country tour. London-West Yorkshire-Whitby-London. I couldn't just leave this gem in a archive box! Steve, I hope you and your family & friends are ok with this historic snowfall in the UK?!!! I'm getting daily updates from West Yorkshire - a funeral for a dear aunt scheduled for today is up in the air as well as a bus trip to Scarborough! ;-( Happy Friday to All!

  3. Cool article! I never knew Filofax made so many maps. Whenever I see one in a store, I buy it, even if it's for a city I don't need, just because it's so rare to find them.

    There are a lot on the Filofax USA website. Here's a direct link to the maps page: http://tinyurl.com/yelfqcd

  4. I still wish they made a Toronto map. The biggest, most populated city in Canada and there is no map for it! Not even the nations captial has that honour. Only Vancover and Montreal maps can be found.

  5. I love the Filo maps! I think they are made by a company called streetwisemaps.com -- where you will find LOTS more to drool over (including Toronto). The only difference is they aren't holepunched, but they will fit easily into your Filo.

    PS Judy:
    The FC classic pages will NOT fit Filofax A5 (different size paper and wrong hole). The FC compact pages will fit the rings of a Filo personal, but the FC pages are slightly wider.

  6. I tend not to go for the official maps - but what I will do is use Google Maps to see the area I am visiting or staying at(eg for a Conference). Take the screen dump into photoshop and then print it out either for a single personal page, or as an A4 width (but personal height) fold-out.

    And of course I can annotate it in Photoshop with hotels, numbers, good coffee shops, etc...

  7. Hi guys, for Maps, laminated, pre punched for the Filofax 6 rings, I've used Streetwise for years, mainly for US and particularly NY maps, excellent detail, very useable, they are at;