30 June 2010

Guest Post: Still Alive And Well

Here is an excellent guest post from Bernhard about his very first Filofax! Thanks Bernhard!!

The first Filofax binder I ever bought was a Personal Buckingham in 1987. I had traveled to London where my sister started her academic career and I could stay at her house to discover the Lewisham surroundings in the south east.

As I wrote in an other article, I met locals who were convinced that the legendary Wembley goal of 1966 was regular. Since June 27, 2010 the English national team had a similar goal - but it was not accepted and the Brits had to leave the championship.

Nevermind: In Lewisham Highstreet I bought my Buckingham Personal. It still has a golden "Made in England" and "Real Calf" stamp and its leather and mechanical quality has never let me down - although I've used this Filo for over 20 years by now.

The old Filo is back in heavy use now because paper organisers are unbeatable in easy handling, reliability and independence of electrical energy - last being the reason why my Filo offers no GPS and MP3.

The Buckingham is or was "simply styled with a full length pocket at the front and back of the wallet" as quoted from a Filofax catalogue of the same year.

The pockets don't have a flap so one can see if there are documents or small items stored in it. Pockets even take papers in A6 format whis is quite common in Germany where I live. (If you cut a sheet of A5 paper on the longer side you get two A6.)

Now let me explain my personal sections.

Section 1 is for free notes such as ideas, to-do's and smaller calculations.

Section 2 is a week on 2 pages diary in the horizontal version. It is more convenient to write the papers on the left side. With the Filofax ruler attached to the up-to-date week, the daily calender is easily and fast to find after opening the binder.

Section 3 is structured by a register from A to Z. Here I store notes, information and data which will not change suddenly. For instance, a city map of Munich is archived at "M", my birthday list under "G" for the German word "Geburtstag" and phone numbers are under "T" for "Telefon".

Section 4 is for transparent envelopes and credit card holders where I carry my business and credit cards, some photos and personal memories.

It's a quite simple system - but that's what an daily organiser should be. I hope some of you get inspired by this simplicity - as I was inspired by Philofaxy to use sticky notes in the calendar for certain tasks and deadlines.

Anybody interested in stories about my entire collection of Filofax binders and some vintage stuff from the late 1980-s and early 1990-s?


  1. Great Filofax. I am very interested in the history of the binders, so I for one would be very interested in any information you have to share. The older ones are so much better than the new ones, mainly in materials, and to a lesser extent the workmanship.

    Thank you.


  2. Oh yes! Stories please....

  3. Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant.

    Bernard’s method underscores the greatest advantage of the loose-leaf Filo when compared to Moleskine, Letts and other “bound” diaries: maximum flexibility. Since I use a Pocket Executive Slimline as my vade mecum planner/wallet, the address tabs had been relegated to a drawer, primarily because all my really important phone numbers fit on one 2-sided leaf—no need. (I have a Personal Italian calfskin Epping at home with full name, address, phone info.) But now a new use for the Pocket alphabetical index that is both logical and intuitive!

    My only changes? Since I use a week on a page diary, I put my TO DO list directly opposite the current week, rather than up front. I also manage to get by on four cards, including my Driver’s Licence—and those fit in the four slots on the inside front cover--no need for a plastic credit card holder. Other leaves that I had semi-arbitrarily assigned to numbered tabs (that took the place of Finance, Projects, Information, etc.) can now be filed alphabetically. I can already tell the alpha method of organizing “list” leaves (books, music, movies, specific names of projects, etc.) is superior—both to the standard Filo issue (Diary, Notes, Information, Projects, Financial, Addresses) and the numeric (1-6). The Diary tab always seemed redundant for those using the “Today” ruler; and the Addresses tab seemed redundant for those using the alphabetical index in the traditional manner.

    Nette Arbeit, Bernard!

  4. Hurst's Wembley goal is still hotly debated 44 years on, from Liverpool to Hamburg (like the Beatles). The goal the English scored at Bloemfontein? Even Stevie Wonder could see it was in (by a meter). I noted this at the time--in my Filofax.

  5. The Buckingham was the model that got me hooked. I love the pocket design. I never use credit card slots and I am wary of zippers as potential points of failure.

  6. Sweete love the calf skin.....I would love to see pictures of your Filofax collection. I love the craftmanship of the older ones. I have one now and its 2 years old falling apart.

  7. More filofax stories please:)


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