30 September 2010

Filofax on TV

If you are in UK, or you can receive UK Channel 4 via satellite TV in Europe. This Sunday 3rd October at 8.00pm UK time is the film 27 Dresses, which is you remember started off Erin's love of Filofax...

It is billed as a romantic comedy so it might have slightly wider appeal than you would think.

So be on the look out for the Filofax and let's see if we can identify the model and size... no prizes though... just a bit of fun.. report back in the comments on this post if you spot it.

29 September 2010

Philofaxy Readers Blogs

It is great writing posts for you all to read and even better seeing your comments. But I'm sure Nan and Laurie will agree it's also nice to read something from our readers about what they have been doing with their Filofax organisers.

So here are some links to what some of our readers have been writing about in the last week or so:
Also be sure to keep a close watch on the Philofaxy Flickr Group, there are a lot of great photos posted on there each week and sometimes discussions in the discussion area too. 

If you don't have your own blog, but you would love to write and tell us about what you have been doing with your own Filofax, you can of course write a guest post for Philofaxy. Please email us: philofaxy at gmail dot com 

28 September 2010

Restoring a leather Filofax

One of the many things to get 'rediscovered' when we moved house recently was my wife Alison's 1980's Filofax. Alison (the hand of Philofaxy!) last used it about three years ago, it still contains her notes from her MA History studies, it travelled around with her to the British Library, Kent University and many other OU tutorials.

When I set eyes on it, it was looking a little tired and worst for wear. It once again got put on the shelf, until today that is.. I decided to use it as a typical model that someone might have been using for some time, or may be you have bought off of Ebay and you want to bring it back to its original condition or as close to that sort of condition.

As has been commented on before, the late 1980's Filofax organisers are well made and quite tough, just take the usual precautions of only using the tabs at the end of the ring to open the rings, don't just pull them apart, otherwise you strain the mechanism and they won't meet properly in the centre. They last for a lifetime almost and should with care continue to provide service for many years. 

Before I started I wanted to take as many photos as possible of the Filofax organiser to show the true state of the wear and tear on this organiser and also to show the 'before' and 'after' otherwise you might think I just got a new one out of a box in true Blue Peter style 'And here's one we prepared earlier' !!! Not that I would cheat!

Taking the photos was a challenge in itself, black small shiny things are quite hard to photograph, but after a few different attempts I think I did a reasonable job, but like all my photography I learn a bit more each time!

So here is the organiser as it came out of the cupboard. Click on the photos to see a larger version.

The outside had suffered normal wear and tear I suppose over a 20 odd year period, the inside is mainly just dusty. So out came all the pages, being careful to keep them in the same order, not wanting to get in to trouble with 'the boss' !

The first thing I did was to clean the inside with just a slightly damp cloth to remove the worse of the dust and soiling. Then I dried off the inside and outside and left it to dry naturally.  Normally I just use a light silicon polish to maintain the leather on my organisers, but I thought this one needed a bit more treatment of the leather to bring it back to life again and to remove some of the scuff marks.

For this I used a wax shoe polish in black. I used an old soft cloth bunched up the cloth to form a soft pad to coat the outside in wax putting a small amount of wax polish on each time, then gently rubbing it in in a circular motion, taking time to make sure it was well worked in to the leather. The surface now looked dull and matt. I then left the polish on for about 5 minutes to let the wax penetrate the surface scuff marks.

Then using a clean soft cloth I then rubbed off the wax and brought the leather back to a full shine, frequently turning the cloth to make sure I wasn't rubbing the wax back on to the leather. Again taking time to go over the whole surface to ensure no wax was left behind which will only attract dust and dirt.

I was unable to find a suitable press stud cap, which is missing. My own 1980's Winchester has suffered a similar loss. I am going to try sowing some leather over the press stud to cover it like current day Filofax organisers have.  But overall I think you will be able to see the difference. Again click on the photos to see the full size version.

I think the pair of photos that show the before and after best are these two:
Now I realise that some of you might like the 'worn' and tired' look, it's a personal taste thing I suppose. But for those of you that like your Filofax looking like new, then as you can see it is possible with a bit of effort and time to get the leather looking like new again.

What next for this organiser... well I think I will have some of the plain ruled paper out of it for starters!

My Urban Filofax Thanks To Oni!!

Here is my new personal size Urban!

Many, MANY thanks to Oni for grabbing this for me!  For more than I year I've been longing for an Urban, gazing forlornly at photos on Flickr and the Filofax website.  I didn't have a decent excuse for buying another Filofax, so I decided to wait.

But then I discovered the Urban is being discontinued!  Cue panic buying!!

This happened soon before I moved, so if I ordered from the US website it wouldn't have time to reach me before I moved to the UK.  But I worried that by the time I got settled in my new place, an Urban would be impossible to find.  Ack!

Oni VERY kindly searched for a personal Urban for me, and to my delight she found one!  She held it for me until I got my bank sorted out (which took an excruciatingly long time!) and then sent it to me.  Thanks so much Oni!!

I love the secretarial pocket inside the front cover, and the zip pocket on the outside back cover.  This will make a perfect travel Filofax!

I love the Slate color.  The interior tab dividers have contrasting colors that look really sharp in this binder.

Also included are a world map (as we all know I love maps in my Filofax!):

A clear ruler divider, open-top clear pocket, and notepad in the back.

Also there are a few pages of colored paper:

I'm so happy with my Urban!  Thanks again Oni!!

26 September 2010

Competition Reminder

Don't forget our slogan competition the closing date is 30th September, so get your suggestions in before this Thursday.

We have had quite a few entries so far and the judges will be looking forward to looking at them all to choose a winner.

And of course have a good week.

The Competition is now closed and the 'judges' are reviewing all the submissions.

Thank you for all your entries the standard of entries is very high so we are taking some time to work through them all.

An announcement will be made soon as to who the winner is.

24 September 2010

Friday Web Finds

Websites with mentions of Filofax are a bit like London Buses... you get nothing worth mentioning for a few days and then along come several nose to tail.... Anyway take a look some good ones to enjoy over a cup of tea/coffee or a soft drink.
Until next week.... have a good weekend.

Sun Rise and Sun Set Times

We have been 'commenting' about this a lot this week because it is the Equinox although it will depend on your location as to the actual day of the Equinox.

Obviously Sun Rise and Sun Set times are dependent on your location on the globe and your height above ground if you happen to live in a high rise building! I looked for a simple site to calculate these times about 6 months ago, quite a lot of sites will display the times on the webpage... but I wanted something I could put in my Filofax for my photography.

Judith (Jotje) reminded me again this morning, so off I went a Googling and I discovered this site:


If you are photographer and I'm a keen amateur one... then the position of the sun is critical, this applies to Film and Digital... so this calculator is excellent. I've just printed off the Sun Rise and Sunset Times for my town here in France for the whole year, booklet printed they fit in to my A5 Filofax nicely.

If I want a particular month then I've managed to print to PDF then rescale it to fit in my photography Filofax (personal slimline).

The photograph is one of mine taken at sun set one evening this week, I love having such a beautiful view to photograph any day I want to, I never tire of standing there watching the scene change at different times of year or day.

Free For All Friday No. 97

Happy Equinox everybody!  Yesterday was the day when all of us had 12 hours of daylight and 12 of night.  Now for those of us in the northern hemisphere our days will get shorter and shorter, until the winter solstice in December.  For those of you Down Under, you are enjoying spring and longer days!

My Filofax diary pages do not have the solstices and equinoxes printed on the day spaces, and I wish they did.  Does anybody else wish this too?

As always on Friday, the floor is yours to discuss anything Filofax-related!

23 September 2010

Australian Filofax

In this mornings mail was an email about a company in Australia that sell their own brand of Filofax refills, but on closer inspection of their website they also sell their own personal binders in local 'leather' including kangaroo (don't tell the children!)

Based in Sydney, they have been in business since 1989 and they have grown despite not really advertising their products that heavily.

Their refills are fairly standard in terms of style and format but they do obviously include the national holidays and school terms for Australia in them. They are all appear to be nicely typeset and produced in Australia.

Poco sell organisers and refills for Personal and Pocket size as well as accessories, note all prices are in Australian Dollars. They can ship internationally but at a cost of course. They also include non-animal skin covers as well. They appear to have quite a loyal following in Australia.

Take a look at their website and their on-line shop

If you fancy on of their refills The Shopping Sherpa have one to give away see their blog post.

Reader Request: Can you help?

We received a message from one of our readers by the name of Helen, she asks:
I have a question I was wondering if you or the blog readers might be able to help with?

I've managed to convert a friend to Filofaxes, yay! She has Type 1 diabetes, and she'd like to use it to record her blood glucose readings. She was going to make her own pages, and I told her about the computer paper, but I was wondering if anyone has done this before. Do you know if anyone has made any templates for this that she might be able to use? She uses a pocket sized filofax.

Thanks for your help!
I had a quick look through the archive on DiY Planner which has a few templates, but nothing I could see for the pocket size Filofax.

Can you help? If you can please comment/email us, particularly if you have a template of your own so we can pass it on and/or share it on the site.

Many thanks

22 September 2010

The Benefits of a Personal Organiser..

I came across this blog post today that I thought it worth sharing with you.

I loved the paragraph at the end of the article:
Your personal organiser won’t go off in a meeting, it won’t run out of battery and it doesn’t take any time to load! For an instantaneous tool to keeping organised you really can’t beat the paper-based personal organiser.
So very true... some of which we have said before on here!

Other articles on the same site also worth reading:

21 September 2010

Filofax Binder ID?

One of our readers contacted us a few weeks ago as they were trying to identify the model of their Filofax, I received the photos this evening. Do you know which model it is and an approximate age?

I have had a quick look at the old Filofax photo archive but I couldn't identify this particular model, but I might have missed it.

Please add to the comments if you can help identify this binder. Thanks.

20 September 2010

Exclusive: Contributor/Reader Under The Spot Light - Laurie

Many thanks to Steve for doing the Reader Under The Spot Light series!  I've been fascinated reading about our readers' Filofax usage, history and collections!  I thought I'd pop in and give my answers too.

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I started using my first Filofax-style binder in 1995, which you can read about here.  I bought my first actual Filofax, a black Personal Buckingham, at T J Maxx for $25 in 2001.  At the time I bought it, I thought to myself, "Will I actually use this enough to spend $25 on it?"  Little did I know it would lead to a Filofax obsession and me being a contributing writer on a blog all about Filofaxes!!

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

In case you don't already know about my enormous planner obsession, check out my own blog Plannerisms. I'm constantly going back and forth between Filofaxes and other brands of planners of various sizes and formats!

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

My favorite of my Filofaxes is my personal Deco in Ivory.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  Also, my black Buckingham has a special place in my heart for being my first Filofax.  I used it exclusively for many years, and it's been around the world with me.  Buckingham and I have quite a history together!

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Let's see.  I have 3 A5 Filofaxes: Finsbury in green, and in purple, and a red Domino.

I have several personal size ones: my Buckingham, Deco, a grape Domino I use as my Scotland guidebook, a purple Finsbury, and soon I'll have the Urban in slate that Oni very thoughtfully procured for me!

So that's 8!  Seems like a very small number compared to some of our readers' collections!

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

My Deco is my current Filofax with information, lists, contacts, maps, and I use it as my diary on and off.

My personal Domino as I said is my Scotland guidebook Filofax.

I use my purple A5 Finsbury as my household binder with Financial info, my full address book, my Christmas card lists etc. 

My A5 Domino is my blogs binder.  I keep a calendar of when I posted on each blog, title lists for easy reference of past topics, sections for topic ideas etc.

My Buckingham is in semi-retirement and houses my important archival information that I need to refer to every now and then.

My purple personal size Finsbury currently houses my Travel Journal insert, ready to go somewhere!

My green A5 Finsbury holds my Family Organizer pages, which are not currently in use.

I'm not sure what I'll use my new Urban for!  I think it would make an ideal travel Filo.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

The combination of permanence and flexibility.  I can use the same binder with the same pages, maps, cards, photos or whatever else in it for years and years.  And, I can also change my diary format as often as I want, add and remove pages, make lists and remove them when they become irrelevant, and update my contacts as often as I want.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

It would be a personal size in a gorgeous royal purple color with smooth (not textured), buttery soft leather.  It would have a secretarial pocket in the BACK (because this is where I put tickets and papers in my Filofax), and a full length zip pocket in the front cover.  It would have huge rings, and two pen loops.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

I carry it in my (large and very heavy) bag.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I love the raspberry Chameleon with that super-soft buffalo leather.  And, I am hotly anticipating the eventual release of the Deco in Amethyst.  A purple Deco!!  I may swoon!  But, I won't buy either one because they are both out of my current price range.

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

That would have to be my A5 Finsbury binders.  I don't remember how much I spent on them (3 years ago), but they are currently $95 on Filofax USA (which is where I ordered them from).

My most expensive Filofax by far is my Deco, but I received it as a (very generous) gift.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

The wonderful community of contributors and readers.  I LOVE reading about how other people use their Filofaxes, it gives me great ideas about how to use mine.  And it's comforting knowing that I'm not the only one out there who obsesses about these things!

I first started reading Philofaxy several years ago, and it was like a whole new world opened up to me.  When Nan asked me to be a contributor, I was so excited and flattered!  Thanks so much to Nan for letting me be a part of Philofaxy!

And many thanks to Steve for bringing his ideas and technical expertise to the blog, I think that has a lot to do with why Philofaxy has taken off so much in this past year!

And of course Philofaxy would not continue if we didn't have such a wonderful group of people reading and commenting on the blog.  Thanks to everyone for your participation!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I wish I were able to post more often!

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Paolo Nutini Sunny Side Up

Around the web this weekend

Whilst we catch our breath a little from a hectic weekend... well for me that is. May be take a moment to look at the following Filofax Blogposts from around the web:
Thanks to Judith for pointing out these two. Also if you use Google Chrome with the Translate add-on extension, it will automatically translate the pages in to your own language. Not perfectly, but good enough for most needs.
  • Filofax inserts - Shazza's Blog - Sharon has been venturing on to the French Filofax site, ce bonne!
  • Planner Permanence - Plannerisms - Interesting article by Laurie on archiving journals and the differences between using a Filofax or a bound planner.
  • Ephenera - World Explorer -  A whole bunch of Filofax blog posts here, which I don't think we spotted before. Some useful tips too. Specifically if you have a Fabric covered Filofax

19 September 2010

Can I fit an A5 page in to my Personal Filofax?

This question was asked in the Philofaxy Round Table on Sunday,  I agreed to look in to it after my success at squeezing A3 and A4 pages in to an A5 Filofax organisers for which I was awarded an honorary degree in origami, gratefully accepted... thank you!

Sadly it is not as straight forward as the A3 > A5 fold, firstly they are related in size A3 being 4 times the size of A5 and also you are only going to punch it to fit in one organiser not two... but I never baulk at a challenge.

So taking an A5 page and a Personal size page and comparing there size and the positioning of the holes it looks like this.


As you can see we have alignment with 5 out of the 6 holes but the A5 page will still be taller than the Personal page. If you repunch all 6 holes so that the two pages align at the top edge, you end up with an A5 page with 12 holes punched in it! This might be ok, but the page might be too weak if it is swapped in and out a lot.

An alternative is to punch one extra hole and then fold down the top 10mm and the bottom 28 mm and 54mm in on the right hand edge.

Another alternative is to fold the A5 page in half and then you are only aligning the 3 holes with the same spaced 3 holes in the Personal Filofax, this works, but you still have a slight over hang of about 10mm at the top of the page, which on my own organisers would be outside of the binder, so it would need to be folded down, and as above folded in on the right hand side to fit.

So yes it is possible to do, but there are potential issues of the folds and the resulting thickness of the folded page.

Roundtable... success

Well I'm still on a high from the two hours or so on line chatting with you all.

I personally thought it was a great success and I will admit to sitting back with a big smile on my face when you all started to get to know each other and in a lot of cases this was the first time you had chatted to each other, although I had chatted to a few of you one to one in the last year. As more people came on they got 'dropped' in to the voice chat.

A few folks didn't have microphones so they were only able to listen in to the chatter and banter!  Hopefully people will be able to get themselves equipped with a microphone or headset for next time.

If anything today's chat was how I imagined it would be when I had the idea for the first one back in April this year. But this one is only the third time we have run it and it has got better each time.

Today we had about eight people in the chat most of the time. A quick count of about 12-13 people over the whole time. Some people had to disappear early for whatever reason. A couple of people had their arms twisted in to joining even though they were not in their peak of health and fitness (and I thank you for joining in).

For those of you that didn't mange to join in or listen in, the topics were quite varied, yes Filofax was discussed extensively, but that wasn't the only topic of conversation, so we might be enthusiastic about the brand and the products... but I wouldn't say we are fanatics and that was the only thing we talked about.. I lost count of the number of times for instance that 'Malden' got mentioned! It was more like a bunch of friends meeting up for coffee and exchanging views and information and getting to know each other a little better.

For me it was very enjoyable, we interact a lot already via the comments, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, but to sit back and listen to you all chatting away like you have 'known' each other for years did bring a smile to my face.

There were several 'firsts' including the first time the three contributors (Nan, Laurie and myself) had all 'met up' to chat.

I managed to jot down a few notes and ideas that will become future posts, things get mentioned and they trigger ideas for posts....brilliant!!

For the techie's amongst you, here is a screen grab of what I was looking at, click on the picture to see it full size.

There is one window that isn't show, which is the voice conference window; this was hiding most of the time behind the Twitter window. And if you are curious as to what my desktop picture is, here it is without the other windows in front of it.. George the cat!!

Like last time I learnt a few things about running the conference and messaging at the same time. There might be a couple of minor tweaks next time, but no major differences. 

I'm not sure yet when we will have hold the next 'round table' chats, hopefully before Christmas. Is the time of the day and day of the week suited to every one? 

I would be interested in your feedback in the comments both positive and negative, I want to make the next one even better than this one and the more we do the more we learn I guess.

Again thank you to everyone who took part no matter how small your contribution was.

Video of Jess from Filofax!

Here is a video about Filofax's customer stories and social media, featuring Jess from Filofax!  Some of you may have communicated with Jess, either indirectly via this blog or directly via email or on Filofax's Facebook page.  It's exciting to see her "in person" and hear her talk about the brand!


Exclusive: Contributor/Reader Under The Spot Light - Steve

Ah that surprised you didn't it! Well why not, after all our splendid readers have been put under the spot light, why not me as well.... As you can see I've disguised myself just a little, the first picture is off a Wanted Dead or Alive poster!

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I was given a Filofax Winchester (organiser not rifle!) at Christmas in 1985, 25 years ago nearly. It is the one that is top right in the second picture! It still looks as good as my others. The leather is still very supple.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I've never used any other brand, although recently I've investigated some of the other systems on the market, especially those marketed and sold in France. You might have read about the Quo Vadis diary refills I'm trying out in my pocket and A5

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

I still like my A5 Finsbury, it's the big daddy in my collection and it can hold a ton of stuff. Go in to a meeting, pull that out and it gets peoples attention! I also like this size because of how easy it is to create my own inserts for it. But I love all of them for different reasons.

My slimline now lives in my camera bag and I use it for keeping notes of the photos I shoot such as location details and details of the buildings or landscape scenes. The main advantage of using that particular organiser for that purpose is it's slimness, my camera bag hardly has a cubic centimetre of space in it, with two camera bodies, three lens, flash gun and other bits of kit already in there! My Slimline slides neatly in to the pocket at the top of the camera bag. 

I have converted to using a Pocket Finsbury as my Filofax/Wallet and that is working out great at the moment.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

I have six I think or seven if you include the one my wife Alison no longer uses. I only had just the one for 20 years and then I got my A5 and in the last couple of years my collection has grown.

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

You might not believe this, but I'm not a very organised person! So I use it to attempt to organise my life and to also remind me of things I need to do. I'm a big To-do list person! Even to the extent of creating pre-printed to-do lists for things like visits to our house in France when it was our second home. When you have a list of things to do each time it makes sense to create a special one.

Despite the number and variety of computers I have on my desk, I still have my Filofax to hand if someone asks me what I'm doing on a particular day. I trust pen and paper more than any computer system. I try to keep my appointments diary as up to date as possible so I know when people are visiting us or I need to do something by a particular date, or when it's my turn to do Free For All Friday. Since I retired I have great difficulty knowing what day of the week it is!

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

From when I first saw a Filofax, the flexibility and its ability to adapt to your life has always been its strongest feature. Now have a larger choice of sizes and ring sizes I believe you have even more flexibility. All of the sizes have a purpose and can be adapted to suit most tasks. I also like the ability to interchange pages between the different sizes too.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

I would like to see a Filofax Pocket that was more of a wallet, with a gusseted coin pocket in the back and more card slots in the front cover.  I would also like to see some updated and more varied diary formats for all sizes.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

My pocket Finsbury which I use as my wallet/appointment and to-do list is carried in my Man Bag... it is a French thing ok..! I hate having anything in my pockets. And it fits my bag perfectly along with my mobile phone, keys, reading glasses, magnifying glass (my near sight is very poor these days). If I need to carry my A5 it would be in a messenger bag or my leather brief case.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
I think the Malden looks very desirable especially as it's all leather. I might treat myself to one in personal size, not sure which colour yet, most probably black, it will go with all the others!

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

I think I spent about £85 on my A5 Finsbury, but I have managed to pick up a couple of bargains on Ebay as well. I like buying them new as well, a bit like having a new car, the moment you open the box for the first time.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

I love the community spirit that has built up amongst our readers in recent months. I hope to be able to meet more of you face to face at some point in the future. It would be great to meet up, have a good chat etc. I love reading the comments and how people interact within the comments. The chats on Skype get better each time we have them. Thank you all for your support of all the things we do on the blog.

The number of visitors there are to the site each day might surprise you; the number has more than doubled in the last year. I am planning a post about this at the end of the month; I hope it might interest some of the people that find statistics of interest!

I can't finish this question without mentioning my other co-contributors (Nan and Laurie) who have given me huge amounts of support in the last year with all the suggestions I have put forward. They have also helped me a lot with my writing, which I hope doesn't have too many grammatical errors in it!! Thank you both, it's great to be part of the team.

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Nothing really, I just wish we could please everyone of you all of the time and hopefully we can keep coming up with new things to write about that will help you make the most out of your Filofax organisers.

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles from Memphis, but I'm a huge Steely Dan fan as well...

Finally, I would like to thank all the readers who took part in this series of posts, it has been great fun seeing the responses to the questions and it's been a lot of fun seeing the pictures you have sent in too. Some of our readers (no names...) actually volunteered to take part, and some just sent in their answers. So once again thank you from all of us, it's been great getting to know you all that bit better.

17 September 2010


A4 as in Filofax A4.. not Audi A4! I realise this isn't a popular or common size for a lot of our users but I thought I would look in to the pros and cons of the size.
  • Big - yes but that might be an advantage if your hand writing is difficult to read on the smaller sizes;
  • Paper commonly available, well in Europe that is;
  • Templates already in this size, I create my templates in A4 format and then reduce them to A5;
  • Limited selection of diaries and inserts, for some people this might be the 'show stopper';
  • Common hole spacing ISO838? The 4 holes are 8cm apart. Four hole punches are quite cheap;
  • Possibly thinner than an A5 so less bulky;
  • Price wise they often come up on offer, so may be about the same price as an A5;
  • Lots of card slots! But I wouldn't suggest using one as a wallet!!
  • Not available in the US, mainly because of the paper size I suspect?
  • A lot of people in business carry A4 folders around, so an A4 Filofax won't look too out of place
Why not check out the A4 Filofax range.

If you have used an A4 already we are of course interested to hear your views in the comments.

Creative Filofax Dividers

Some of you have spotted this one already! But in case you haven't, take a look at this blog post:


Knowing that quite a few of you are very creative... more so than I ever will be... I'm sure this might inspire you to come up with some interesting designs for your section dividers.

Why not share them with us on the Philofaxy Flickr Group.

Free for All Friday No. 96

A lot the time, I use white, lined pages for lists, like shopping lists. For the grocery and pharmacy, I keep a running list and cross off each item as I buy it. I just add new items to the end of the list.

When one side is full, I've discovered I can turn the page over and upside down, and fit it back into the rings. That way, the back of the page becomes the front.

For more long-term tasks or large purchases, I use the To Do pages.

How do you keep lists? Do you wish there were different kinds of list pages?

16 September 2010

Reader Under The Spot Light - Gail

So today Gail has stepped under the spot light and she is very new to the world of Filofax. Gail hasn't started blogging yet, but she does like to post my Filofax pictures on Flickr. You can find them under Gail_W.

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I bought my first Filofax in June this year, it was the black A5 Identity. After the first week with it, I was hooked and wanted more.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I’ve never used another brand...though I did have a huge wall planner that I thought I would never be able to live without till I got a Filofax.

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

My favourite at the moment is my newest, which is the Personal Ochre Malden. It just looks, feels and smells superior.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

I own 13 Filofax organisers so far (15 when the pocket Winchester and Personal Classic arrives from e-bay) and I have a use for nearly all of them now.

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

Oh there are lots of uses....a household one, Book reviews, Notebook, Quotes, Journal, my handbag has one. I am a Teaching Assistant so I have two I use for school, my appointment/planner that I write everything in. Hoping to move house soon so one will be getting used as a Moving Organiser.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

They never look out of date, you can use them for any purpose and then change them to be used for something else.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

I would love bigger rings and maybe bigger pen loops to hold chunkier sized pens and have 2 pen loops on Personal sized Filofax organisers. Lifestyle packs for students and Christmas, maybe lifestyle packs for other professions other than the office worker, for example, teachers, doctors...mobile hairdressers etc, or even to move house lists.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

A red Pocket Metropol is in my handbag, I have one in my School bag, one next to my computer and keep the others in a canvas bag.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I love the Malden, just got the pocket black one to replace the red pocket Metropol I carry in my handbag. Hoping to get the Personal Kendal next.

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

It was the A5 Saddle Cuban, it cost about £82. I have some school stuff in it, but daren’t take into school with me.....not sure I would dare leave it on my desk around pupils.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

A place to come to talk everything Filofax, read about other people’s experiences with theirs and to get ideas.

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Having to wait a full week for Free For All Friday.....can we have another one earlier in the week please?

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

The Eclipse Soundtrack....I’m a huge Twilight Fan and this soundtrack is really very good.

Thank you Gail for going under the Twilight...I mean Spotlight!

15 September 2010

Reminder - Roundtable this Sunday

Just a reminder that this coming Sunday we will be having another Philofaxy Skype Conference Call.

Here are the details again to save you the problem of searching back through the archive.

Looking forward to getting as many of you together to chat together.

We are going to run another conference roundtable chat using Skype. They get better each time we run these. Laurie assures me she has got her microphone unpacked and I've cleared my diary for that day! So...When, Where, What, Who and How?

When? - Sunday 19th September from mid-day (US East Coast time), 5pm London time, 6 pm Paris time etc.

Where? - an on-line chat using Skype.

What do I need? - just a micro-phone and a free Skype account.

Who - All of you... connect up with Philofaxy and we will attempt to get as many of us linked in to the audio conference as possible.

How -
  1. Connect to Philofaxy by firstly searching for Philofaxy in Skype, I will then add you as a contact.
  2. Then  'Start Chat',  I will then add you in to the chat room. 
  3. Then if you request it, I can add you to the audio conference as well. But if you just want to chat via keyboard that's fine. That way it's slightly less hectic for me! 
Come and join in the fun, even if you only pop in to say hello...

If you need any assistance setting up Skype, please pop a comment in this post and I will try and help you get one line. Skype is free for computer to computer calls.... 

14 September 2010

Filofaxing Your Finances

While reading the excellent Reader Under The Spotlight series, I have noticed that several people use their Filofaxes to manage their finances (like Judith and Michele).  This is a topic I blogged about in a very wordy post last year, but since then my financial situation has changed drastically and I'm currently searching for inspiration on ways to wrangle my finances.

I love Yvotchka's photos of her Amazona slimline which she used as her Financial Filofax (and has since absorbed those pages into her new Malden).  But even the photos are tantalizingly vague!

For those of you who use your Filofax for financial organization, can you please give us some details on how you do it?  Do you track daily expenditures?  (If so, on your diary pages or elsewhere?)  Do you have a designated section for financial tracking?  How do you use it?

Any specifics you are comfortable with sharing would be greatly appreciated!

Reader Under The Spot Light - Judith

Judith is as you will see relatively new to the Filofax brand, but obviously found us quite quickly! You will know her as Jotje.
1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I bought my first “real” Filofax this May: an A5 pink Finsbury.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I’ve used Succes and Time/System and other binders for many years.

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

Depends on the function! For my work filo, it’s definitely A5, preferably in the 2 pages per day format. For my on-the-go filo (doubling as wallet), it’s the Mini size.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?


5. What do you use your Filofax for?

A5 pink Finsbury as work filo; A5 snakeskin bronze Domino as school record/meeting binder for my four kids; A5 red Domino for recipes; Personal Cherry as budget planner; Personal lavender Domino as Travel filo; mini raspberry Finsbury as planner on the go/wallet/shopping list/To do satellite; mini lilac Classic as storage binder and one-day-replacement for my mini Finsbury.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

That you can suit it to your own needs! And the binders are of a high quality and have a great design. Just love the look and feel of them!

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

Lots of pockets! I don’t care for the notepad pocket in the A5, it should have been secretarial pockets. The personal size should come with a full width (wallet) pocket. The zip compartment should be bigger (add a bit of leather so you can pull it out).

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

The mini and Travel filo (and at some occasions the school binder) in my shoulder bag, the rest stays at home.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

I like the purple Adelphi and the raspberry A5 Finsbury. Not gonna buy them, because I don’t need another one right now. On the other hand: I can’t stay away from ebay, so when a nice opportunity rises, I’ll probably jump on it and just create a new function for it.

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

47 Euro for the A5 Domino Snakeskin.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

Everything! The pics, the reviews, the speaker’s corner with all personal
experiences and dilemma’s. Very insightful!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

What’s NOT to like?

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Wow, a non-filo question! Last albums were Adele (“19”) and Bill Withers (“Life at Carnegie Hall” – which I had been looking for for ages!).

Thank you Judith for agreeing to go under the 'spot light' 

13 September 2010

Weekend Filofax Blogs

Start of another week folks, but take some time out if you can and have a read of some of these blog posts about Filofax Organisers.

As always it's great to see some great pictures and descriptions of other people's set ups.

And another one this morning!


Awesome new blog

I have just discovered the blog Musings of a Caribbean Princess, which is wonderful.  It's about Filofaxes (hooray!), fashion, work, science (hooray!) and loads of other fun things.  I have added the link to our Hall Of Fame.

Go check out her photos of her Botanic and Adelphi Filofaxes!  Gorgeous!


12 September 2010

Reader Under The Spot Light - Michele

I started using Filofax back in 1992 and it's the only brand I've ever used. As a single mom maintaining balance while working full time for a global company, I count on both my filofaxes as my constant sidekicks.

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?  
I bought my first filo in 1992 and it was a green pocket Kensington which I picked up at a store right next to my office when Filofax was so huge.

After admiring for months, I finally bought my filo. This was the only one I used for close to 12 years.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using? 
No other for me. Filofax is it!

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
I love my Green Panama Pocket because it lies flat and is kind of unique with its gold rings. The pocket is so portable, and since I keep detailed cash flow sheets (archived since 1999) I need my filo within easy reach. I've tried a Personal size twice for my day-to-day personal items, but this size just doesn't work for me.
4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?
I have two - the green Panama Pocket mentioned above, and a A5 Mustard Finchley which I only considered buying afer discusover Philofaxy. The A5 is my work planner and saves me from writing important notes on nearby post-its. My 2011 Filofax One Day On A Page Calendar just arrived today so how many days until 1/1/11???

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

Personal Pocket: Record daily weight (I know "ugh!") and daily $ on meals. Detailed monthly cash flow; cooking log which is supposed to be my adaption of Jule/Julia and diary of books read.

A5 Finchley - Strictly work related - notes on meetings, projects, etc.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

That you can custom design it so it really is something unique to yourself. Is it any wonder that your friends call your filo "your book" ?? And if you feel like changing it around, you can do so in minutes.....

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

Less card slots in front, double pen loop so I can keep a pencil as well, and perhaps in smaller sizes a writing pad in the inside back cover with punch holes - similar to the A5 Finchley.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

My pocket size is always in my handbag. It's a sad day when I accidently leave it at home. The A5 doesn't travel as much as the pocket, and I start my day at work with both filos positioned right in front of me side by side.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
The US site has the exotic animal skins which are absolutely gorgeous, but I would only buy if I used the personal size and it would be the ONLY filofax I would ever use, but I just cannot see myself with a personal. I do like the Eton Pocket, and I believe I will be receiving for Christmas this year.

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

It was a personal Brown Bridle back in 2003 which was slightly over $100 USD.. Shortly after I bought it I returned it due to the cost oh and the Personal size.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

I absolutely love the fact that there are Filofax fans just like me! It's fantastic to find those with similar interests! I love learning about all those who post - getting to know everyone! I love identifying with the other women on the blog - career women or not; moms or not - and seeing how they use their filos....

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

There's nothing not to like, but I feel guilty when other brands are pushed. I can just see our friends at the Filofax company grimace when we talk about other brands.

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Last July I bought Jamie Cullen after I read Sophie Dahl's cookbook. Jazz is always best during the Summer!

Thank you Michele for putting yourself under the spot light, some interesting answers on how you make your organisers work for you.


10 September 2010

Around the web this week...

A few interesting posts I discovered this week...

Free For All Friday No. 95

Well September has seen the end of à la rentrée here in France where all schools and most government offices close for all of August, business's too close for two or three weeks in August.

Schools have restarted in this last week and generally things are now back to normal and Autumn is approaching so we are making the most of the good weather. And it's time to start planning those odd jobs around the house that need doing before winter arrives.

How is your calendar looking in the next few weeks?

But as this is a Friday you can of course discuss anything Filofax related.

09 September 2010

Reader Under The Spot Light - Yvotchka

This week's reader under the spot light is Yvonne, who if you don't  know her already, then I suspect you can't have been reading this blog very long!

Yvonne has had several blogs about her life and planners, her current one is Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time Yvonne is also very active on the Philofaxy Flickr Group

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it? 

It was in the mid to late 1980’s (maybe ’87?) and it was an Ostrich Personal size in brown. I have NO IDEA where I bought it but it was a thing of beauty.  When the snap started to wear, I freaked out & went and bought a red neoprene Personal that I had seen in a magazine.  It was very cool material.  There must have been a retailer around somewhere, as the Internet wasn’t ubiquitous like it is now. I have no idea where either of them are today.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I have used DayRunner (primarily because I could get them at Staples locally at the time), Franklin Covey, At-a-Glance and DayTimer primarily, but always seem to come back to Filofax. I like AAG, but prefer a ring bound system to spiral. DayRunner doesn’t have much to offer these days in my opinion, FC has great inserts but limited choices in binders. I do like DayTimer but they also have limited options for binders. I do prefer their inserts, however, as they will fit a Filofax personal perfectly and can be tabbed by the month, which is a huge selling point for me.

3. Out of the organizers you own, which is your current favorite (Style and Size)?

Although I started with A5, my favorite size now is Personal because I prefer to be able to have my planner with me 24/7 and this size fits my needs and is also portable.  I also run a Pocket with a Day per Page diary for those times I need to carry a smaller handbag. It's kind of a pain in the butt keeping them both up to date, but its so handy just being able to toss the Pocket in a tiny bag without thinking that it's well worth the effort.  Until I got the Malden, I was using the Personal Domino Snake in dark brown with FC WOTP inserts becausee the elastic band on the Domino could handle the wider width of FC pages (and the Swing Pad).  Now that I have my Malden I am loving that (in black) and have switched to DayTimer WOTP Inserts.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

As of 9/1/10, I have 36. I thought that was extreme until the number 75 hit the website! However, I also own 11 Franlin Covey organizers, 2 DayRunner, 2 DayTimer and 1 Oberon Leather planner that will accommodate FF Personal size refills.  Then there are the 2 Louis Vuitton's and 1 Gucci.  The higher end ones I don't really dare use; they are just collectibles.  So my grand, all-inclusive organizer total is right up there I guess.

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

Primarily for my daily & future planning and to do lists. Also as a carry around notebook for ideas, notes, whatever, but I also have Moleskines for that, so the majority of what I use It for on a daily basis is a calendar & To Do's.   I have recently incorporated my financial planner (which used to be in a separate FF Amazona Slimline) into my every day Malden, so now I will use it for financial tracking as well and just carry around the one Filo.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

I think the reason I keep coming back to FF is the style, history and reputation.  FF is elegant and urbane, there are endless options for style, color, material to choose from and I've never had one wear out on me.  Plus, FF is where I started back in the 80’s, so it feels like home to me.  And as I’ve said, it’s fun to say “Let me check my Filofax” : )

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

A stretchy pen loop firstly, a notepad pocket in the back, the secretarial pocket in the front (I sorely miss that in the Malden!),  It would lay flat out of the box and not have a closure at all so I could stuff It to the gills. It would be personal size, have 1 1/2" rings and be made of a durable yet beautiful leather (preferably pebbled.  I have a thing for pebbled leather).  Definitely a wallet pocket (yes, even on a Personal) AND an outside zip pocket on the back. In addition, it would come in any color I wanted.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

Most often in my handbag, but sometimes I just carry it around like a clutch. I stick my phone in wherever it will fit, and transfer the necessary wallet stuff into it when I don’t feel like carting my whole bag around.  When I use the Pocket size I don't tend to do that - I just carry it in my handbag.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

Right now, I am head over heels in love with the Malden. I have it in the Personal size in both Ochre and Black (favoring the Black) but if I could, I’d order it in every size and every color just because the leather is so scrumptious!  I would love another ostrich someday, for sentimental reasons, but  they don’t have it in brown anymore and I don’t recall it having “gilded rings” when I had one (I don’t like gold), so I don’t really see myself ever getting another. Perhaps someday, I will get the Alligator one as an engagement Filo...but I'm not holding my breath!

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

Top prize goes to the Eton.  The pair of Maldens weren’t' cheap either.  As I recall I also dropped some coin on the Special Edition Swarovsky one, but I can't remember the cost at this point.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

Obviously the topics are interesting & helpful.  The people are great – not just the contributors but also the commenter’s as well.  My favorite thing is probably the sense of community I’ve found there and the friendships I’ve built & am building. In addition, knowing there are other FF addicts out there doesn’t hurt either!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Not a thing. I guess I wish there were more posts – like one a day from EACH of you, but I know you guys are only human!!!!

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

I like world music a lot these days.  It was “Talking Timbuktu” by Ali Farka Toure & Ry Cooder.

Thank you for going under the spot light Yvonne

08 September 2010

What to Wish for Wednesday

So what do you wish for when you look on the fILOFAX site... and why?

Tell us in the comments...

07 September 2010

Reader Under The Spot Light - Katka

I`m an organizational freak, who loves all kind of desk accessories. I tried a lot of notebooks, Moleskines, planners, but always got back to my Filofax. I bought first Filofax after I found one on the street and got it back to the owner. The man was so happy when I gave it to him, and I started to wonder what is so special about this small leather thing. I know now and I`m glad I do.

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I bought the first one 5 years ago. It was personal Stratford and I still use it. The leather has become so soft after those years. Love it.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

Two years ago I received very generous gift. Louis Vuitton personal agenda. It was beautiful but not really every day use friendly. So I exchanged it for a bag :o)

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

Guildford slim. The leather is just exquisite, but unfortunately the rings are too small.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

4 : Guildford slim, Stratford personal, Executive A5 and Cavendish pocket

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

I use personal for my daily/personal stuff, A5 lies on my desk at work, slim is for traveling and pocket for quick notes at home.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

Flexibility, quality, design, style.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

As I’ve read so many times before – something between slim and personal, with the external fastening, soft leather as Guildford slim, larger pen loop, and zip pocket.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

In my bag, anywhere I go.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

Finchley. No, I`m not going to buy it, as I don`t have use for it. But still looking for the reason :o)

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

Around 110 USD for Stratford personal.

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

Free for all Friday. And Steve, Laurie and Nan.

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

N/A :o)

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Oren Lavie - The Opposite Side Of The Sea. And please have a look on his music video on youtube - Her morning elegance. It`s just pure perfection.

Thank you Katka for contacting us and putting yourself 'under the spotlight'

06 September 2010

Competition Time

As we all know.... or should know! Filofax use the slogan 'Filofax... It's a way of life.' Can you think of a better slogan?

We are running this as a fairly light hearted competition with a prize for the winner, so please join in.

The prize will be a diary refill for 2011 in a style and size of your choice, this will be posted to you where ever you are in the world.

This prize is funded from the small commission I earn on sales when ever you purchase goods on the Filofax UK site when you click on a Filofax link/banner on this site.

To enter the competition please email your entries to philofaxy at gmail dot com and put 'slogan competition' in the subject of your email. We will allow up to three entries per person, if you enter more than three the most recently received three entries will be considered... so if you think of something better still send it in.

The closing date for entries is 30 September 2010 and 'the judges decision will be final' !!! We will publish some of the best entries. It's just a bit of fun, if you think that Filofax should use your slogan, then we can put you in touch with them if you want....

We look forward to receiving your entries.

05 September 2010

Reader Under The Spot Light - Dean

“Adirondack Explorer” (Dean Brown) is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and lives in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State where he serves as pastor of an exciting local congregation. He is also CEO and Lead Presenter at Corktown Management Services where he has spent the last 30 years researching and implementing proven methodologies designed to help time-starved executives and administrative personnel manage the multi-facetted aspects of their full and productive lives. He is an unapologetic Filofax aficionado and Apple Macintosh user.

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

I purchased my first Filofax – a Finsbury A5 - in 2007. As a Canadian citizen working in the United States, I was familiar with the Filofax brand but had never considered purchasing one for some strange reason. Imagine my surprise finding a Filofax distributer in my region!

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

I purchased my first pocket-sized Day-Timer planner in 1985. Since then, I’ve tried Time Design System, ScanCard System, Franklin Covey and even experimented with a Levenger system.

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

I own two Day-Timer covers, two Franklin Covey binders, a Levenger planner, a Time Design ox- skinned cover and two Filofax organisers - the A5 Finsbury (black) and the Personal Classic (black). While I love the space in the A5, the Personal is by far my favourite as it’s so portable. And as a member of the clergy, it is the exact size of my black Pit Minion Cambridge Bible that I use for meetings, counselling, visitation and hospital chaplaincy work.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Two (for now!).

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

I use the 2PPW Dairy, the Notes section to capture anything and everything while on the go, the Projects tab for project capture (ala GTD), the Information tab for recording things like weight loss progress, meeting notes, church attendances, personal and church goals, etc. I have removed most of the A-Z tabs and use only the A-B tab for my GTD Agendas and the N-O tab for my Next Actions lists. I keep important cards in the front card slots and a plastic zippered pocket for my receipts and family pictures. The back zippered pocket I use for important citizenship information and Canadian money (I never know when I might travel northward!).

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

I love the classic look of the Filofax, the ability to easily but securely move pages within the system, and the portability of the Personal Classic.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

While I know this is not what you’re asking, I would design Filofax planners that remain open when placed on a table or lap (my only dislike!).

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

I carry my Filofax everywhere I go: to appointments, to the supermarket, to the homes of people in my parish and to the hospital. In fact, I never leave home or office without it. It also fits nicely in my laptop case when I need to carry my MacBook Pro to a meeting or to a favourite vacation destination.

9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

It’s a struggle knowing which one to buy next as I see so many great pics on Flickr sites like “Yvotchka’s” and the others contributors at Philofaxy. I suppose I would like to own the Eton but the price is really quite out of my range these days!

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

$110 USD for my Personal Classic. Please don’t ask about how much I’ve spent on accessories!

11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

This site is the greatest! I check it multiple times a day and really enjoy reading about how others use their Filofaxes. We have some great writers among us who really bring life to this penchant we all have for these little leather lovelies!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

There really isn’t anything I don’t like about the site but I do wish more guys would step up and post. The women carry the lion’s share of the load with Steve and I think more guys could post about their Filofaxes, too (I know, I know, I’ve lurked in the shadows, too, but I’m changing that now that I’m be submitting this for review).

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

Many people think that because I’m a pastor that I’m just into church hymnody. Nothing could be further from the truth! My last purchase was from The Celtic Women and “The Celtic Tenor” featuring John McDermott. Before that, it was the Mozart: Requiem. I enjoy Sara Groves and many contemporary artists, too.

Thank you Dean for a very detailed set of answers.

04 September 2010

Alternative refills for your Filofax - Update

If you also read Laurie's Plannerisms blog and you should be if you don't... you will no doubt have noticed some of the other formats available by other planner makers in other countries. Not all of these other formats are available in loose leaf format, so not all are adaptable to the Filofax.

However, looking around a local stationary store/newsagent here in Thouars, I noticed a few diary refills that looked as if they would fit the Filofax ring system. So I noted down the details and when I got home I started looking around on the internet and also emailed Laurie to see what she knew about these alternatives.

In the store where:
  • Oberthur
  • Exatime
  • Quo Vadis
Oberthur have quite a range of organisers and pens and other desk accessories. The best thing to do is to look at their webpages their binders look very swish. The refills page is here which is a pdf file.

Laurie tells me Exatime and Quo Vadis is part of the same group of companies, a bit like Letts Diaries being the main company that Filofax is in.

You will find details of Exatime here with their 'recharges et accessories' also.  I thought this was quite a comprehensive range of organisers and refills.

Finally Quo Vadis themselves, I was even more interested to see what they had on offer especially after such good reviews of their Tri Note by Laurie, who tells me that the range of organisers aren't available in the US? The UK side of Quo Vadis source from France and the US, and the European part of the business from the French parent company I believe.

So today I purchased a couple of Quo Vadis refills, one is pocket size and the other A5 size. Well almost... the pocket is in fact 2 mm narrower and 4 mm taller, but effectively the same size and importantly the ring positions are the same as a Filofax Pocket.

The A5 is also the same size within a mm or two but I was wrong about the hole spacing. The three holes are the correct spacing but the two groups of three are a different spacing between them... more in a moment a picture will explain it better... I need to go back to the shop with my personal slimline to check to see if the hole spacing is different on that size as well or not..

So the pocket refill I bought is their Timer 14 horizontal which is a week on two pages starting on Monday or to be correct Lundi and this is what it looks like (click on the picture to see it full size):

Yes it is in French, not a problem for me! And in some ways very handy because it has all the local bank holidays or Fete Nationales which are of course different to UK ones. It came in cream paper which is very smooth, not tried it with fountain pen yet, but it is ok with ballpoint and pencil.  The refills run from September 2010 through to December 2011 so I have already transferred across to this one for the remainder of the year.  The corners are perforated so you might be able to do away with a 'Today' marker.

Being a week on two pages compared to my previous refill being a week per page has obviously meant that there were more pages to accommodate in my Filofax pocket, but I was able to thin down some of the spare pages and pages I wasn't using out of my organiser and everything is back as it was. Already I'm loving the extra space that a week on two pages gives.

At the back of the refill is a year on two pages year planner for 2012 and other French information pages.

The A5 I went for is the Timer 21 "Planing" and this is what it looks like:

As you can see it's again a week on two pages, but with a smaller entry for Sunday, remembering not a lot happens in France on Sundays (shops are all shut!).

The right hand page has spaces for tasks spilt in to telephone calls, letters, Emails, To-Do with a Notes section for each day and each day has timed appointment slots from 7am through to 9pm There are also small monthly calendars at the top of the right hand page.  There is a week number tab that moves down the edge of the right hand page.

Again the refill runs from September 2010 through to December 2011, but before I can use it I have to re-punch the pages. Here is why:

On the left is an upside down Filofax page, on the right a Quo Vadis page, if you look closely you can see the holes are half a hole spacing different! Fail!  But with an A5 Filofax punch it's easily corrected:

Here's the fly sheet that I've punched and labelled which holes are which! It should be ok.

Again the refill comes with lots of useful 'French' information, like holidays, phone numbers etc. Also the same high quality as the pocket version, but in white with blue lettering.

The stockist in Thouars also stocked quite a selection of other additional pages from the Quo Vadis range too. It's nice to look at things in person and not have to pay postage.

Now I'm not expecting you to all be rushing out to buy these, but if you live in France like I do there are certain advantages to having a local product. I suspect the French Filofax refills also contain the French holidays, but there are limited in formats available.

The French refills are available on the UK site if you dig around a bit!

I went back to the stationary store today with a Personal size Filofax Organiser, my Slimline infact... and looked at the Quo Vadis Timer 17 planners.

They are the same 170 mm high, but they are 5 mm wider at 100 mm, but importantly the punched holes are exactly the same spacing as the ones for Filofax, so both Pocket and Personal size are compatible with QV inserts...  I don't think the extra 5 mm would cause too much of a problem.

I think the lady thought she had another sale, but I disappointed her! More research as what format I'm going to use in my Personal size first...although their Agenda format looks interesting: