30 April 2010

Filofax Print to File Software

I was re-reading my post about the Filofax address book software today and decided to download the full version, as I'm no longer using Outlook 2007.  So I needed to move my old address file in to something independent of Outlook 2007 and in to something that I could create new address pages for my A5, something I do about once every 12 months I guess. I've just cranked up my old PC to get at Outlook to export the list, which I will do once it's stopped doing updates of so many types... how I miss them!

I've loaded the software on to my Samsung Netbook as that runs XP, where as my desktop (iMac) is Apple only and the software is Windows only.

I happened to be looking on the Filofax US site and I spotted some other software they do as well as the address book software.

It's called Filofax Print to File software, I don't know why this isn't available on the UK site.

Reading through the description on the site it seems to act as a printer driver so any thing you print can be reformatted and resized to suit the Filofax Computer paper, or normal A4/A5 as well I guess.

The only reason I can think of that it's not available in UK is it might not be able to cope with European sizes in the document, but that's just a guess.

I will speak to our friends at Filofax UK to see if they can enlighten me as to why it's only available in the US.


Free For All Friday No 76

6There's a lot happening here at Philofaxy these days! Now let's hear from you.

What's new in your Filofax world? Do you have any questions or issues? Suggestions or comments? Let's hear it!

28 April 2010

Guest Post - Alternative Filofax

As always we welcome guest posts on Philofaxy and in our in-box today came an article from Francesca, who you might recall was the lucky person to win our Filofax Beauty Box last year. So here is an interesting new article from Francesca.

Filofaxing is an expensive pursuit, and one that threatens a life time of dissatisfaction, reduced expendable income and a hunchback from carrying round that Zipped Guildford with 4 inches of 'necessary' information bursting from its heaving rings. It's the perfect organisation system on so many levels - other than it will never be perfect. Just as you think you have the ideal system running ("It hasn't changed in almost 3 months, so I must be nearing Filo-Nirvana, surely?"), some pesky, petty lifestyle change, new job, smaller hand bag, birth of your first child etc- arrives to throw your system into disarray again.

I'm guilty of this. I change my folder/ size/ diary layout/ dividers/ content/ biros/ *insert expensive Filofax accessory here* on a constant basis, and never quite hit on what I want. This becomes a tiresome and bankrupting pursuit (and don't wave your pre-cut Filo printer paper in my face like that- I spend more money on wasted sheets of this stuff as I desperately try to line up the margins than I do on miniature post it notes), and after 10 years of struggling valiantly with it, I have lately begun to despair.

Until April 3rd 2010.

Did I hear a sharp intake of breath out there? Do I sense a quickening of the heartbeat, a sudden heightening of concentration on this page? Then it is likely that the Philo readership harbours others for whom the acronym APL means a lot more than just a kindergarten attempt at spelling a popular fruit-based snack. For this date saw the launch of the Apple iPad, the Apple Fanboy's equivalent of the introduction to the Filofax range of a new super-slimline A5 organiser with multiple pockets, in soft brown calf- leather with next weeks winning lottery numbers printed inside on the coin purse.

I confess to an interest in gadgets as deep as that of my interest in Filofaxes. The bookmark bar of my MacBook Pro lists the following web pages in this order: Philofaxy, MacRumors, Apple, Filofax UK, HSBC (to check on the available balance for purchases from the previous two bookmarked pages), but it's not so easy reconciling these two passions. They seem to overlap one another in many ways and haven't - until now- fit comfortably together. How do I decide on which system I prefer to use? A gorgeous A5, two page to a week column lay out, written on in different colours for different areas of my life in my neatest handwriting, peppered with pastel coloured Post its? Or the solid convenience and back up capabilities of the iPhone-MacBook Pro synchronicity available via iCal? I don't need to detail the pros and cons of analogue vs. digital life- that's been done many times in the Philofaxy archives, but after having my iPad for a week (courtesy of a Florida based parent), I begin to feel change in the air.

You might be familiar with the process of downloading apps onto Mac gadgets- iPods, iPhones and now iPads- wherein you are able to create an entirely customisable system of different applications. I've been busy throwing more money in Apple's direction the last few days, 'pimping my pad', and this morning sat down to take stock of what I have so far. And it struck me. I've built myself a fully electronic version of my Filofax. I have a note taking app for writing and drawing, a sophisticated To Do manager, a project manager, file storing area, calendar, address book, word-processing programme, sticky notes and expense manager. Heck, I can even use the damn thing as a mirror; the screen's so shiny. I think I might be unconsciously replacing my trusty old Finsbury of many years service with this shiny new friend. It even takes up about the same size in my handbag, just lighter, prettier and less likely to threaten the existence of a small South American rainforest when I next need a system revamp.

I'm not sure how I really feel about this yet as the novelty factor of the iPad hasn't yet waned, and after all- there have been plenty of gadgets embraced over the last 10 years as 'most definitely the system I'm going to use from now on' - Palms, Psions, netbooks, smart phones- and I always end up shuffling back towards the Filofax cabinet when I've lost my entire phone book again after a stream of electronic failures. I'll have to check back to this article in a few weeks time to see how things have progressed. But I'm quietly excited. Don't shoot me down yet, fellow Philos. Perhaps I'm just a few steps down the path to enlightenment to a world where digital and analogue reside peacefully together. One, which if I discover it, I'll happily share with you. Watch this space....

Thank you Francesca. Remember if you wish to contribute a guest article please send it to our email address which you will find in the 'About' page.

27 April 2010

Brigitte at London Filofax shop

Last week while I was in London, I had the opportunity to meet with Brigitte, the manager of the flagship Filofax shop on Conduit Street in London. She was very kind to spend more than an hour talking to me about Filofax! Thank you very much Brigitte!

As you might imagine she and I had tons to talk about, and I’ll try to remember it all for you here.

We talked a lot about the new Filofax binder styles and colors. Brigitte confirmed that there is a core selection of standard binder products that are made year after year, but most of the colorful styles are for one year only. Colors change frequently then are gone, to try to keep up with trends and customers’ wants. So if there is a particular color or style you want, you should buy it soon! They are limited edition.

The new Songbird style binders are beautiful. They are meant to replace the Eden binders. Brigitte said Edens were very popular, but they wanted to move on to a different style. The Songbird pattern is similar to the Eden, but updated. I didn’t notice before on the website photo, the closure button on the Songbird binder has a musical note pattern on it, which is a very nice touch. Side note: if you are looking for an Eden binder, she said they have a few left in stock in the shop! Give them a call if you are interested (0207 499 0457).

There is a beautiful new saturated-aqua color Finsbury this year. Finsbury binders are intended to be a user’s introduction to the leather binders. It’s the least-expensive leather binder, and to keep the price down they have made the interior fabric, which does not wear as long as leather. Brigitte said some Finsbury users have found after using their binder for a long time that the cloth where the rings rub starts to wear out.

The Chameleon range of binders is intended as a step-up from Finsbury, with a full-leather interior for longer wear. The leather is buffalo, sourced from India. It’s incredibly soft! I was expecting a stiff leather like Finsbury but it’s very supple. These binders are incredibly beautiful, and I have to admit I was extremely tempted! The Chameleon style is not yet available on the website.

Malden binders are already there in the Filofax shop, they are wonderfully soft and supple. They are also buffalo leather sourced from India. These are very good-looking binders.

She showed me the Kendal binders, which I had never seen in person before. The leather is waxed, so that if it gets scratched you can just buff it out. Great option for people who want a leather binder but are tough on their Filofax.

Guildford binders come in the widest range of sizes and styles: slimline, personal, and several sizes of extra slim. The extra slim binders have 11mm rings like the Slimline, but the cover is even narrower so it can fit into a man’s pocket. This means that any tabs would protrude out the side of the book. She also showed me a new Guildford called “Compact” that is between the Slimline and Personal sizes. It has larger rings than the Slimline, but is narrower than the Personal with no strap closure. This was available in the shop but is not online yet.

She showed me the Adelphi “slimline” A5. It’s slimline in the sense that the rings are smaller and there is no strap closure. But there are gusseted pockets inside the front and back covers. These pockets are nice, but they add bulk to the book so I wouldn’t call this truly slimline. Brigitte said her male customers find the diamond pattern on the Adelphi too feminine-looking, even in the black color. I hope Filofax will come out with a truly slimline A5, for men and women, soon.

She showed me some binders that they carry in the Conduit Street shop but are otherwise available only in other countries, such as Classic with contrast stitching only for the Japanese market. Also she showed me some items not seen in the catalog, like the blue Domino binders. She said these items were added to the collection after the catalog was published.

Brigitte told me about some of their customer base at the Conduit Street shop and how it differs from the customer base at their shop in Covent Garden. The Conduit Street shop is in a very upscale area, and as you would expect most of their customers buy Filofaxes in the upper price ranges. She said the shop's selection of bags reflects the higher price ranges as well. She said they also get a fair number of university and medical students who tend to get more expensive products if they come in with their parents who want to treat them.

Their Covent Garden shop is in a more tourist-centered location and because of this they tend to get more impulse purchasers of the lower price range products.

Brigitte said in their Conduit Street shop they also get tourists from Europe who are in the area to shop at the higher-end shops. She said she was surprised recently when tourists from Sweden came in and the women wanted the Mode binders (in pink and aqua). These were women who obviously could have afforded a much more expensive binder but went for the lower-end ones. I said I completely understand: first of all, the binders are colorful, feminine and fun. And as a mother, especially when your children are small, you need a binder that doesn’t get ruined when it gets messy. It needs to be able to handle the occasional spill, drip, or blob of jelly and wipe off easily with a baby wipe. So I can understand why the colorful, less-expensive binders are popular with women from every demographic.

The Conduit Street shop gives customers the option of buying the Filofax binders empty (without any of the inserts that normally come with it) for a lower price. Brigitte said there are several people who prefer to buy just the empty binder. She said she has customers who work for the fashion magazines who already use a Filofax and want to change the binder with the seasons.

We talked about other uses for the binders beyond the diary-and-addresses uses. One idea was for people who collect a lot of business cards to buy an empty binder, especially an A5 size, and use the Business Card Holder inserts to have a very classy-looking book full of business cards. You could even use the A-Z tabs to alphabetize your cards.

We talked about a Filofax binder with a pocket for a smart phone. She said actually they had one awhile back but it didn’t work out very well. The pocket was inside the binder cover, so when the binder was closed the phone was smooshed against the pages, which pushed the On button so the battery got drained quickly. It didn’t sell well and was discontinued. I asked about possibly making one with the phone pocket on the outside, and she said at this time there are no plans for it. Part of the issue is that Filofax designs begin about 18 months before they are available to sell, and as we all know 18 months is an eternity in technology-time. So by the time the design actually became available to buy, the phones could be a completely different size and not fit into the pockets.

The Filofax folios caught my eye. I noticed in particular that the Domino folios come in colors like purple and pink that are not available in the A5 size binder. Brigitte showed me inside the back of the folios where the notepads are: they have notepad slots top and bottom so you can turn the folio over and use your notepad on left or right side, which is convenient for left-handers.

She also showed me the Bond and Sketch zipped portfolios which have slide-out removable rings. That way you can have pages on rings, or remove the rings to use just a notepad in the folio. It’s also great if you have a standard presentation on papers tucked into clear plastic sleeves that you keep on the rings: when you need the presentation, you just slide the rings into your folio and off you go.

She asked if I have used any of the Lifestyle Packs and I said that I have tried the Family Organizer in the A5 and Personal sizes and I like them. I told her about some other brands of family organizers I’ve used, and things I liked and disliked about them, and compared them to the Filofax family pack. I suggested they add forms for Medical information for each member of the family to keep track of things like when they are due for vaccines, dental exams, lists of prescriptions and allergies, and other medical information.

She said several users of the Lifestyle Packs have asked for additional forms to be sold separately, so that if they run out of a particular form they don’t have to buy an entire new pack. She said something they are working on is to have these forms available on the Filofax website as a download, which you can then print out on your Filofax computer paper.

We talked about how I travel often, and she asked if I’ve ever used the Travel Journal lifestyle pack. I said no and she very generously gave me one as a sample, which I will review soon here on Philofaxy. I also looked at the Receipts Envelopes that fit on the binder rings with a chart on the outside of the envelope to fill in date, expense, amount etc. I said they would be perfect for business travelers who have to do an expense report when they get back to the office. She gave me a pack of those too, which I will also review.

We talked a bit about the diary and paper inserts. There is a weekly diary insert in the personal size that has the days as vertical columns, but it’s available in French only, not English. She said they get a fair number of French customers in the shop, so they carry some of the French-only diary inserts. She also said so many people want the personal size diary insert with the days as vertical columns, that even English-only speakers are buying it even though it is in French. I hope they will come out with this format in English. I told her a little bit about the Franklin Covey format where you can put the tabbed months between the weeks. She showed me the Filofax tabbed monthly inserts, but like all Filofax calendars they are printed back to back, so it wouldn’t work to put them between the weeks because then the months would be split.

We talked a little about the Filofax maps. Something I didn’t realize before is that each individual country requests their own maps. So Germany can request which maps they want in German, same for France etc. I told her how I’ve been asking Filofax for an updated Europe map for years! She suggested I check the Filofax websites of some of the other countries to see if maybe they have a new Europe map.

Brigitte gave me her card and when I pulled out my over-stuffed Deco to put the card into, her eyes got wide and she said, “Oh my! That is abuse.” And unfortunately she is right, it was stuffed way too full. She pointed out that filling it so full that the pages go all the way around the rings will eventually cause the ring mechanism to break. So as soon as I got home I took out about half the pages and I’m happy to report that my Deco breathed a sigh of relief!

While I was there I bought my new A5 Domino in red, which you can read all about in my post below, and some accessories to go along with it including the portable hole punch and calculator. I am very happy with my new Filofax, and I’ll be sure to give you updates as my usage evolves!

It was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn about Filofax behind-the-scenes, to see the beautiful new products out this year, and to make comments and suggestions in person on behalf of Philofaxy readers.

Many thanks again to Brigitte!

Philofaxy Roundtable

So I held court on Skype yesterday for the first time. As I said in my announcement about this idea, I wasn't sure how it would work out or how many people would call in.

Well I was fully prepared for a huge crowd of people, drinks laid on, Filofax at the ready, family warned, netbook for the Skype connection, iMac with various websites open ready for reference etc.

The big crowd didn't turn up, but it wasn't a failure. I enjoyed a few chats with our readers and 'admirers' from other websites, who had heard about the round-table and wanted to join in. Laurie also popped up too, so we caught up with things since last week.

My time wasn't wasted, far from it, through talking to people, I added some more valuable content and links to the site.

Topics covered included: Prices of things on Ebay, the differences between Filofax and other planner formats, my own method of creating templates (a post will be coming soon on this one), Dodo Pad (I got to speak to Lord Dodo! touches forelock M'lord), Old versus New Filofax organisers and inserts. That's just the major headlines, but there was a lot more than that. Rather capture everything I just wanted to enjoy chatting with our readers etc. 

Not everyone is set up for voice via Skype, or find it a mode they prefer to use. Skype works well if you use a headset rather than just the built in mic and speakers. But you can log in and then just listen if you wish.

However, we did discover that you can do a form of instant messaging using Skype that I hadn't realised existed before. Thank you Sharon for helping me prove that mode works ok.  Although I have to admit that chatting to several people whilst typing to others at the same time might be a bit too much for me... remember I'm a guy... and we don't multi-task that well, or so I'm told!

So will we do it again... yes I think we should, but may be only once a month. At the time of typing I will not declare the date of the next event, but watch the blog and we will announce it with a bit more notice this time. I will also add it as an event on our Facebook page. I think I need to spread the timing of the sessions a little bit wider to cater for people in the US better.

You might see Philofaxy on Skype from time to time, it could be anyone of the three of us. But I will suggest altering the 'mood message' to say who it is on line.

So if you have any thoughts or comments on how we could improve on this idea, please add your comments. And again thank you to all of you who logged in and took part.


26 April 2010

Filofax Beauty Box now available in the US

I see that the Filofax Beauty Box that we reviewed in October last year is now available in the US... sorry if this is old news?

And it's in Domino Snake Skin Personal... that ever popular style...


Tip of the Day

If the interior of your Filofax organiser is cloth or part of it is cloth and it's starting to look a little 'grubby', mainly from paper dust, try this.

Open your organiser and lay it flat. Take a length of sticky tape or packing tape and press the sticky side down on to the cloth and then lift the tape off. Repeat this with a new length of tape until you have done both front and back of the organiser.

The dust will stick to the tape and leave the cloth looking like new again. The tape shouldn't leave any residue behind as it is only on the cloth for a few seconds.

For the leather covers, I use an ordinary household silicon based spray polish. However, before you try this, I would recommend using a small amount on a small area of your organiser to ensure it will not alter the colour of the leather too much. My organisers are mainly dark colours so any colour change is not noticeable.


24 April 2010

Guest Post: Jess's A5 snake Domino!!


Here is a guest post from Jess, about her brand-new snake A5 Domino Filofax! Jess, thank you for sharing so much about how you are using it! Great photos!

I’m a newcomer to the Filofax fold. I received a beautiful Anya Hindmarch agenda for the Christmas just passed, which happened to fit Filofax personal inserts. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect planner since, as I quickly realised that Anya (as I like to call my first agenda) is gorgeous and elegant, but the soft silver patent leather cover just isn’t sturdy enough for everyday use. Its a luxury planner, not one that will stand up to my student life, where I need a planner to be able to handle constant use and being thrown around into numerous bags with uncapped pens, lipstick, the whole messy girl deal. So I moved onto a personal Fresco – alright, but nothing special. Then I ‘borrowed’ my Mum’s old personal black Pimlico – great sturdy leather, but a bit boring looking. My budget didn’t stretch to a glamorous Amazona or any of the high end Filofaxes – what to do?

Turns out that my dissatisfaction with these Filos wasn’t simply the design, material, or anything like that – it was the size. I bought an A5 red Domino from WHSmiths a couple of weeks ago, purely on a whim because it was reduced to a very purse-friendly £18, complete with an 18-month diary, index tabs (numbered and alphabetical), to-do sheets and coloured note paper. The A5 portable hole-punch was also reduced in price, so I slung that in my basket too, admittedly not giving much thought to how this Filo would fit into my life.

Quite simply, moving to A5 size has been a revelation. The ring size of the Domino is large enough to stuff full of everything I need, which I can easily do now I can simply fold and punch A4 sheets – something I get through plenty of in the course of my days as a student. I find that I’m using my Filo even more effectively, and relying on it completely, than before now I have moved to a bigger size. Luckily the portability issue doesn’t crop up for me because of the light cover material of the Domino and my penchant for huge handbags!

I liked the red cover, too, but it could have been better. I was more than happy to tolerate it, though, because of the benefits of everything else about the Domino. When I spotted the new snake effect A5s, though, I didn’t think twice and promptly ordered one in bronze. Finally I have size, space, glamour, everything I want in a planner! I’m in heaven, and it’s perfectly suited to my student life too; as Laurie said in her post about the A5 Domino, the cover can withstand all sorts of stuff being spilt and dropped on it, and it’s not so expensive that I feel guilty every time I chuck it in my bag!


Being able to just transfer my pages from my red to the new Domino has made the whole process very easy indeed. My set-up is as follows:

When I first open my Filo, I keep a transparent pocket with a top opening containing a photograph of me and the boyfriend, stamps, passport photos and some Post-it notes. Then I have my personal information pages, and all the reference pages that come with Filofax diaries such as the international holidays.

I then have six tabbed sections, one of which has a further six tabs contained within it.

Behind the first is all my main reference material – main phone numbers (I like to keep a paper copy of phone numbers as well as in my phone, as I’ve lost too many phones to count!), addresses of family for birthday cards, passwords, booking references, etc.

The second tab is my Health section, which is probably where I’ve felt the benefits of the A5 hole punch the most. I have calendars detailing appointments and check-ups, fitness class timetables from my local gym, food diaries that I designed myself and printed onto A5 paper, a record of my weight, exercise plans, and so on. I refer to this section constantly, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I was still using a Personal and couldn’t put all this information together as easily.

Fitness timetable

Food diary

Behind the third tab is my lists section, where I have running to-do lists and shopping lists.

The fourth section is my diary. The snake Domino came loaded with a week-on-two-pages in the column format, which I’ve never used before, so I’m taking the opportunity to try that out for a week or two. I put important to-dos in the space at the bottom, and birthdays etc in the space at the top. So far I’m really liking the appointment times running down the side, split into half hours – although I’m not sure whether this format would work for me outside of university term time, when my life is much less structured. Seeing as I’m only in university for 24 weeks of the year, I’m going to keep hold of my standard week-on-two-page format diary for now as well. In my diary I also use my own version of the Jot Pads, which I made myself from the perforated pages at the back of a pocket Moleskine and my A5 hole punch. On these I record any extra details about meetings, times, etc, that I can’t fit on the daily space.

The fifth section, which contains six further tabs, is my Projects – each project has its own sub-tab. Again, being able to create my own pages, and hole-punch A4 sheets, has been an amazing benefit for this section.

This photo
shows the sub-section dedicated to my work on the fashion section of my university’s student newspaper – I have an article here from Vogue which I want to use for reference in a future edition, and I made my own pages with body outlines printed on them to draw inspiring outfits I see on the street, ideas for photoshoots, etc.

The last section is all my spare address pages, note paper, to-do lists etc. The last thing in my Filo is a card holder which came with the snake Domino; I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, yet, so for now it’s protecting the back pages.

For the first time since I started using the Filofax system, I feel like my planner is an extension brain. I’m sure this is totally down to the A5 size! I’m so glad Filofax have offered a budget option which is both sexy, fashionable and grown-up for those of us on a budget who can’t quite afford the Amazona(!). Just divine – thank you!

My new A5 Domino Filofax with Dodo Pad diary insert!

Here is my new A5 Domino Filofax that I bought at the Filofax store in London! It is great!! I felt like I was meant to get one because I saw so many A5 Dominos while I was at the London Book Fair, and after Jess's comment on my post about it I knew it was just what I've been looking for. And it is!!

I have two other A5 Filofaxes, both Finsbury, one purple and one green. In the past when I've tried to use one as my planner, I quickly abandoned it because the binder is too big and heavy to carry everywhere. I love them, they are beautiful and now they serve me well at home. But I don't like to carry them around.

The Domino solves the portability issues of the A5 binders. The cover weighs almost nothing, unlike a leather binder which significantly adds to the weight of the book. Also, the Domino cover is narrower side to side than other A5 Filofaxes: by 1 to 1.5 cm, depending on the model. And having an elastic band instead of the snap closure contributes to the slimness of the book too.

The rings are huge, which is great for those of us (guilty) who like to cram as many pages and accessories into the book as possible. Again, because the cover itself is so lightweight, I can put in as many pages as I want and the overall weight of the book is still bearable.

The inside cover has a full-length pocket and several smaller pockets. There is no zip pocket in the Domino, so I added a zip pouch accessory onto the rings to hold those little things that might get lost.

There is a note pad inside the back cover. The bottom of the notepad pocket is slotted too, so you can slide the notepad into the bottom of it--that way if you are a lefty you can use the binder upside down and have the note pad inside the left cover for easy writing, and the pockets on the right. Those folks at Filofax know what they're doing!

Another thing I love about the Domino (that I also love about my personal size Domino which I use as my Scotland guidebook) is that the cover can handle my messy life. I am not a tidy person, and I have problems if my planner is too precious. It needs to be able to handle abuse, rain, sticky table surfaces and my not-always-very-clean hands. I'm not afraid to take my Domino into the kitchen with me for fear of setting it down into a blob of jelly.

Another thing about the A5 Domino: it lays flat, immediately. No flapping, no fighting. It's flat.

The first time I ever saw a Domino I thought I wouldn't like the elastic band. But I do, for lots of reasons. As I noted above, it helps make the book more streamlined. Also, it's very handy for tucking papers on the outside of my book for easy access and reference while I'm out and about.

I'm using my Dodo Pad A5 Filofax-compatible diary insert in my Domino, and I love it! I had recently hit a wall with my planner usage--I had gone too far into overly-structured planners that seemed too impersonal and business-like. I'd gotten to the point where I didn't even want to use my planners anymore (*gasp!*) because they seemed so strict, like they were wagging their finger at me about all the things I should be doing. I wanted some color and something fun. So this was perfect timing for me for the Dodo-Domino combination.

Here you can see the inside cover of my Domino, and the front of the Dodo Pad diary insert. You can also see my Dodo Reminder Stickers tucked into the pocket inside the front cover. I really like the light-colored faux suede interior of the Domino, it looks and feels really nice.

Here is my Dodo Pad diary insert in action! You can click on the photos for a larger view.
I love that the page opposite the weekly schedule has plenty of room for all my lists and notes. In general, I use the daily boxes as: first box, important thing to highlight that day. Next 2 boxes, morning activities. Last 2 boxes, afternoon/ evening. I'm not strict about it though. I write across the boxes, in the margins, at the top and bottoms of the page, on the other page, wherever. There's plenty of room for all my little notes to myself.

Here's a closer look at the weekly page. This particular week has a couple of sticker-worthy events, so you can see how I use my stickers.
Also you can see how I've set up my tabs. I forced myself to use only 6 tabs, because I tend to get too tab-crazy. Directories has emergency info, contact numbers, whatever else I need to quick-reference.

Here is a look behind my Financial tab, with the Filofax calculator I splurged on. I have a calculator that I use in my Personal size Filofaxes but it doesn't fit on the A5 rings. I figured, I use it all the time in my Personal size, I better have one in my A5! I'm glad I got it.

The Dodo Pad diary insert has Annual Planning calendars for this year:

And next year, which is really nice:

I didn't take a picture, but right before my Addresses section I have my maps. Behind the addresses I have two top-opening pouches, the zip pouch I mentioned above, and a business card holder. With all of these I can collect whatever bits I need throughout the day, then when I get home I can put them wherever they belong.

I'm sure my tabs usage will evolve over time, which is why I use the colored tape flags from the Filofax Sticky Notes accessory to label my tabs. That way I can move them around whenever I need to.

When I was at the Filofax store the only color choices for the A5 Domino were black, brown or red. I wanted a cheery color so I went for the red, which I don't normally use. Now on the website they have the A5 Dominos in faux snakeskin, and they look really cool! While I was at the store I saw Domino folios in pink and purple, and personal size binders in a cobalt blue that I like too, so I'm hoping they'll come out with these colors in the A5. If they come out with a purple one you can bet I'll get it!!

23 April 2010

If you like it... buy it..

During our epic Sunday meet up, both Laurie and I agreed that whilst Filofax of old was about buying your organiser and then every year just buying a new diary refill and may be some additional pages, it is very different these days.

As you have frequently commented on, a Filofax can be considered to be a 'fashion accessory'. A different organiser for each season, or to match your different handbags.

They want you to buy more than one of their organisers, even if you have that size already. It is repeat sales. They feed this habit by bringing out new organisers in different styles and in different colours.

However, there are only certain models that seem to stay in the catalogue for many years none stop and we often see requests for a particular model/colour that has disappeared from the catalogue...

So the motto is if you like it... and you really need another Filofax... buy it whilst it is available...

I'm going to tempt you to go and look to see what is new over at Filofax UK....

Free For All Friday No 75

As you might have guessed it's been a crazy week for us here at Philofaxy, so let's hear from you for a change... anything about Filofax of course...

And if you are free on Sunday do pop up on Skype to say hello...


Loads to talk about! Coming soon...

I made it back home from London. I had a great time!! And, it was VERY planner-intensive. I have so much to tell you!!!

Each of these will get their own post in the coming days. Here is what I'll be telling you all about:

I DID get to meet with Brigitte at the Filofax shop in London, and she talked to me for about an hour about all sorts of things: new Filofax products, product development, materials sourcing, design trends, etc. She was very generous with her time, thank you Brigitte!! She said she really wants feedback from Filofax users, which she then passes on to Filofax UK, so she was very interested in my input on Filofax products. I passed on to her lots of comments and requests Philofaxy readers have posted here, and she was very interested to know what we all here want and need from our Filofaxes! It was an awesome opportunity for me to learn more about Filofax and get a behind-the-scenes look at the brand. This one will be a very long post!

While I was at the Filofax shop I DID buy a Filofax!! A red A5 Domino, to be precise. While I was at the London Book Fair (which you can read about in my Plannerisms post) I got to see several A5 Dominos in action. And Jess's comment on my post about it clinched it for me--I decided I had to have one! Last night despite being exhausted from my journey (after getting up at 2:30 am to get to Heathrow in time for my 6am flight!) I had to stay up to set up my new Domino. I am happy to report it is now fully operational, and I couldn't be more pleased with it! (Well, maybe I'd be slightly more pleased if the cover were purple, but they didn't have purple so I chose red. Anyway...). I loaded my A5 Filofax-compatible Dodo Pad diary insert into it, and I am absolutely thrilled with it. It's colorful and fun. Rebecca from Dodo Pad showed me how she's using hers (while we were at the LBF) and it inspired me. I really like my result. I will do a full review of the A5 Domino, with photos of how I'm using my Dodo Pad diary insert in it, soon!

A new product from Dodo Pad this year is the Personal size Filofax-compatible Acad-Pad diary insert (which is their academic-year diary). Last night I loaded it into my (purple Personal size Finsbury) blogging Filofax, and it looks great. I'll do a review of this product with photos soon too!

While I was talking to Brigitte at the Filofax shop about Philofaxy, Plannerisms, travel etc. she very generously gave me as samples two Filofax products that are especially useful for travelers: the Travel Journal (in Personal size) and Receipts Envelopes (in A5 size). I will do a full review of each of these products here on Philofaxy too.

That's a lot of fun Filofax news coming soon here on Philofaxy!! I also got some non-Filofax samples while I was in London: more new Dodo Pad products, and the new Extra Small Moleskine planners (daily and weekly). I will be reviewing those products soon on Plannerisms, so stay tuned there too!

Meanwhile my family is very happy to see me, and I'm thrilled to be back home with them. I had a wonderful time in London, but I'm very happy to be home! Thanks to everyone who wished me well on my journey!


21 April 2010

Philofaxy - Online Roundtable Discussion

One of the ideas to come out of my meet up with Laurie last weekend was to try out using Skype to have discussions amongst the three contributors (Nan, Laurie and myself).

Well as an extension of that idea, why not have something similar for our loyal readers? So as an experiment, I will be on-line this coming Sunday 25th April, between 11:00 - 13:00 UK local time (10:00-12:00 GMT) and 16:00-18:00 local time that afternoon. Hopefully these timings will give you all a chance to call in, if you are able to, where ever you might be in the world.

I've registered the Skype name of philofaxy naturally for the purpose of this round-table. So search for that user name and hopefully we can get connected. Send a request to be added to the contact list before Sunday if you wish it might save me some time in mid conversation...

I have video available too, but that only works when you are in just a two way conference call, but it will be fun if there's more than two of us on audio only at any one time.

I haven't thought of any topics for discussion yet, let's see if the technology works first!!! But I will try to take notes of things we discuss and then post these on the blog later that day or on Monday. So if you ask any questions and we can't answer them instantly then there will be an opportunity to get some response back later.

I will be interested in your comments on this idea and any feedback you have will also be very valuable. If it is a success which I hope it will be, I'm not sure at this stage how often we will repeat the round-table, again your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Looking forward to hearing from you... in the true sense of the words!


19 April 2010

Filofax/Lefax items on Ebay

I've been contacted by Theresa the seller of the old Filofax/Lefax items on Ebay:

I'm the ebay seller morganmum - I'd received your message about the change holder and thought I'd email to let you now that I'm now getting round to listing the packs of paper and other inserts which I've got.
I've got plane and ruled paper - some in the old Lefax double width. I've also got graph paper, isometric paper, slide holders, plastic section dividers which you can write on yourself, plastic fly leaves and subject inserts.
Most are Lefax but there are some Filofax. Almost all are still sealed in the plastic packaging so are brand new.
I'd been clearing out boxes in anticipation of moving house and discovered all of the items then - I'd obtained the items when a shop in London closed down in the early 90's. I've got old catalogues from the late 80's and early 90's - do these hold interest for a collector?
best regards,
So watch out for these items on EBay, I've also replied to say that yes I am sure there might be some interest in the catalogues too.

Here's a link to the sellers page: http://tinyurl.com/y4u2cvf

At least we now know the story behind these old but as new items, fascinating.

Please note that we do not have any connection with the sale of these goods, any contract is with the seller via Ebay, we are just making you aware of the items on sale. 


18 April 2010

Philofaxy London Meet

Well with skies over Europe a no go area for aeroplanes this weekend, Laurie found herself stranded in London this weekend. So Laurie and I hastily arranged to meet up in London on Sunday. In a traditional sort of cliché way, we met under the clock at Waterloo Station. Well it seemed an obvious place. This is the first time we had met, so it was great to put a true face and a voice to the many written messages we have exchanged in the last year or so.

Laurie had been in London all week so I updated her on what had been going on on Philofaxy during the week. Over coffee in Tate Modern we sat for a good half hour or more discussing lots of stuff about the blog and Filofax and planners. I'm not quite sure what anyone might have made of us sat their in animated conversation, especially when we got our Filofax organisers out. Laurie was especially keen to see my Filofax Slimline Finsbury, including the latest addition of the change holder. Laurie had her Deco with her, which is a lovely organiser, and today it was full to the limit!

Laurie was telling me about her visit to the Filofax store, sadly they don't open on Sundays otherwise I'm sure we would have walked there too, although I'm not sure if either of us could have resisted the temptation to buy another organiser or at least some inserts.

Laurie also had two different size Dodopads with her which was interesting to see. You can read about them on the site. I was interested to hear about the
change in the formatting of the individual pages to accommodate the different shape and smaller size to fit a personal size Filofax. So I explained to Laurie how I go about creating pages for A5 Filofax organisers. If you want to know how, you should read my post on this over on the German Filofax Blog, I will post something on Philofaxy soon

The sun was quite warm so we carried on our discussions during a long walk around the South Bank area of London, crossing over the Millennium Bridge to view St Paul's cathedral. I did my tourist guide bit pointing out several buildings and landmarks. We saw Shakespeare's Globe Theatre which had huge crowds outside of it... I later found out that there was an event on their to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday.

Whilst strolling along the south bank to walk off lunch, we continued to discuss lots of ideas for the blog and Filofax in general. I'm sure some of these ideas will eventually become future posts on the blog I'm sure.

It was great to meet up and may be we might consider planning future meet ups with our readers as well.

I hope Laurie has a safe journey back to her family in Europe soon. 


16 April 2010

Duplex Binders - Guest Post

Continuing our 'historic' theme this week, we would like to thank GMax for their article on Duplex Binders. 

Rarely sighted, even while they were still being offered for sale twenty odd years ago, the Duplex models have acquired a special place in my Filofax affection. Essentially a double version of a conventional, personal Filofax, with two separate sets of rings, they offered some unique advantages in respect of capacity, and in the number of pages available to view at one time.

The Duplex was “particularly favoured by military personnel”, and “originally designed by the army to fit inside the large trouser side pocket”. I can remember these pockets from my short time in the Combined Cadet Force at school, and this is certainly plausible.

Duplex binders were made in two different widths, although, strangely, this fact seems to be something that Filofax themselves never publicised - maybe the marketing department just didn’t know? An illustration of the narrower form can be seen at the “Filofax Collection” website. Catalogues at the time explained that the leaves in the Duplex binders overlap slightly (citing the “trouser pocket” reason already mentioned), and that the open Duplex allows three pages to be viewed simultaneously. This is true for the narrower form, and the overlap does sadly rather compromise the design.

In the wider form of Duplex, four single leaves can be viewed at one time without overlap, which is a far more practical arrangement. When the binder is closed, however, the two stacks of leaves on each set of rings do still need to overlap, because the spines push the pages towards the centre as you close each side – obvious really, but not something I’d appreciated until I actually got hold of one.

Some months ago I was lucky enough to find a vinyl Duplex (DVF7/8) in good condition, and just recently I was even more fortunate to acquire a “new, old stock” calf leather Duplex (D2CLF7/8) on eBay.

As well as Calf Leather and Vinyl, Duplex binders were also offered in:
  • Hide Leather
  • Pigskin
  • Morocco Grain Leather
  • Canvas
  • Leathercloth
Both of mine have 7/8 inch rings, but smaller, half inch rings were also available in all of these materials.

By 1988 the Duplex range had narrowed to Calf or Morocco Grain. The latter would have been a very sturdy beast. The Duplexes were discontinued early in the 1990s as part of the unfortunate, total revamp of the product range.

So how do Duplex binders work out in practice?

  • A particular benefit is if you need to compare information side-by-side, or do work while making reference to other leaves.
  • I would recommend the wider form, to avoid issues of overlapping pages.
  • The use of side tab dividers in a wider form Duplex is not really viable, because they impinge on the opposite paper stack, so top-tab dividers are definitely better if you can find them (or make some yourself).
  • The fact that the two stacks of paper must overlap when the binder is closed mean that it’s best to have something robust like a plastic flyleaf at the front and back of each stack of pages.
  • The other main usage tip is to keep read-only leaves mainly on the side opposite to the handedness of the user. For example, being right-handed, I keep my set of maps on the left in my vinyl Duplex.

I did have some doubts beforehand about the practicality of the Duplex, but when experienced at first-hand they actually seem quite usable, and not that bulky compared to a normal personal model. Overall, I think they can be counted amongst the highlights of the Filofax.

GMax - April 2010

Printing your own calendars

I'm always on the look out for sites like this. I found this one today. It not only features a few different formats, but more importantly different sizes of calendars. Give it a try.



How long have you been a Filofax User - Poll Result

So no big surprises in our latest poll. Many thanks for everyone who took part.

Free for All Friday No. 74

Well it's been quite a 'historic' week, what with an updated History of Filofax document and my new change holder that appears to be at least 20+ years old.

My thought for this weeks FFAF is what accessories would you like to see available for your Filofax? Not just ones from yesterday year... don't forget to include any pages you would like to see that you haven't found available.

But as always, the blog is yours to discuss and comment about anything Filofax related....


13 April 2010

The History of Filofax

You might recall back in February we mentioned a file written by Kevin Hall, that was still available via the Web Archive.

I've since been in touch with Kevin and he has sent me an updated version of the file. He has also kindly given us permission to host the file in our files area in pdf format.

It goes in to a lot more detail than the original file and brings the history of the company fully up to date.

We would like to thank Kevin for his hard work in putting this document together and for letting us share it with you.

A Chronology of Filofax by Kevin Hall, April 2010


Filofax Change Holder

Following a tip off from one of our readers (Simon) I was able to buy a 'new' Filofax Change holder off eBay. It arrived today and I've added it to my Slimline wallet/Filofax organiser.

The seller on Ebay had obviously found some old stock from somewhere because she was selling change holders in leather and credit card holders in leather. I'm not sure when these were last available from Filofax? But mine is new and no sign of any use at all, it will need a little bit of the special leather treatment polish to loosen it up a little I suspect.

In order to get it to fit in to my slimline I had to take out about 8 blank pages, but I still have enough paper in there for my immediate needs, I will go through the contents a little later to see if I can refine it further.

The pockets on the change holder are nicely gusseted  so it stays flat and only adds a little bulk with coins in it. As you will see from the photograph there are two pockets, large and small. 

Previously I've been keeping change in an old wallet in my backpack, but the addition of the change holder is the perfect addition to my slimline.

For information it's embossed with fILOFAX  MADE IN ENGLAND REAL CALF 'CH' and the finish is very similar to the leather of Finsbury, so they go together very well.

I'm sure there are a few of us that would love Filofax to offer these sort of accessories once again. 


12 April 2010

Acad-Pad Filofax inserts 15% off!

The Dodo Acad-Pads (which are just like the Dodo Pad diaries but on the academic year) are now available for the 2010-2011 academic year! And from now until the end of this month, you can get them for 15% off. Read Miss Peabody's post on the Dodo Pad blog (www.dodopadblog.com) to get the code to use at checkout.

Acad-Pads come in various shapes and sizes: the original Desk size, the Wall calendar, and the very portable Mini size.

And now for the first time, in response to popular demand, there is an Acad-Pad diary insert for the Personal size Filofax! I can hardly wait to get my hands on this!

11 April 2010

Zip covers

With thanks to 'Lyon' for pointing out the 'Rite in the Rain' covers. They seem a great way of converting your slimline Filofax in to a zipped Filofax.

They have US and UK websites so they are quite widely available. See the following links:

They also do a belt pouch, sadly not in the right size, also it would look a little too geeky!


Misplaced pages

A huge advantage that Filofax binders have over bound books is the ability to add, remove and move around pages. But sometimes this advantage becomes a detriment, for me at least.

While preparing for my trip to London, I've been moving my Filofax pages around a lot: adding in my London maps and info, removing things I only need at home. And, I've been looking for information pages that I only need a couple of times per year.

But where the heck did I put them? They aren't in my Deco. They're not in my Buckingham, which is where I usually put important but not currently in use pages. Did I archive them in last year's storage binder by mistake? I know I didn't throw them away, because I never do that. (Or did I??)

Even within my Deco I'm not sure where some things are. Did I put that list under Actions? Or Reference? Maybe it's still in my Notes section and I forgot to file it under its proper category. Maybe I need to streamline my tab system!

Do you ever misplace pages?

10 April 2010

Spring Clean Time?

Yes, it is sunny outside, so yes what am I doing sat in-doors in front of my Mac....

Spring has definitely sprung in UK these last couple of days, matching the weather we enjoyed in France over Easter. I find the weather influences my mood and motivation for doing things more than anything else. I'm not feeling too bad about sitting in-doors for a few minutes sharing something with you, because I have a planned out task list for the rest of today..

I saw this post on Lifehacker this morning about Clean Out Your To-Do List for Guilty Free Productivity. It has a lot of good tips in it. I'm not very good at these things, so it was a useful post to prod me in to sorting out my To-Do lists, something I have got down to-do this evening whilst I'm looking after my friends two young children.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that needs a prod to get things sorted out and to take some time out to do a task review every once in a while.

Here are some slightly different To-Do lists to try out

Enjoy your weekend...


09 April 2010

Free For All Friday No 73

Hi everybody! Tell us your latest Filofax news, ask questions, make suggestions. It's free! For all! :D

08 April 2010

Filofax shopping in London

In answer to Dasha's comment about shopping for Filofax organisers in London soon, here are some of the main stockists in Central London:

City Organiser
40 Bow Lane
T: 0207 248 8326
F: 0207 248 1641
E: sales@cityorg.co.uk http://www.cityorg-pdq.co.uk/

Filofax Centre
21 Conduit Street
T: 0207 499 0457

Filofax Store
68 Neal Street
Covent Garden
T: 0207 836 1977

But for a full list of stockists including their address and telephone numbers incase you are looking for something very specific, go to the Filofax link here: http://www.filofax.co.uk/stockists/

Happy shopping..


04 April 2010

How long have you been a Filofax User - Poll

It naturally follows on I suppose from how old are you, to how long you have been a Filofax user?

If you have come back to Filofax after a break of a few years like I did, I will let you decide which period to use. This isn't a serious market research type poll, it's just for interest only.

Thanks as always for your votes and support.


03 April 2010

Poll Results - How old are you?

I asked two questions a couple of weeks ago to work out what our demographics are of our readership.

I don't think you will be surprised with the results shown below. It is however encouraging to see we have some younger readers too.

Click on the images to see them full size

Thank you all for your votes, the best turn out yet for a poll we have held on the site. 

02 April 2010

Free for All Friday No 72

My region has had heavy rains and flooding. Luckily, all my Filofaxes are stored in high, dry places! I think of all the things I could lose, along with photographs, losing Filos would make me the saddest.

Filofaxes are great places to track home maintenance and repair. Care to share any tips?

Or, as always, any subject you wish!

It is free for all, after all.

Spring offers from Filofax UK

Well Spring is here, although you might doubt that statement if you were in Scotland this week with snow and bad weather...

Filofax have sent me some links and a promocode for some exclusive offers on selected organisers, so use the following links and the promocode SS11 to get your self some bargains at Filofax UK:

Thank you Filofax UK for their continued support and offers...