19 September 2010

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.


  1. Yay Steve : )

    LOVING that first picture by the way!

  2. great picture. I LOVE philofaxy and thanks to all of you for this blog. Sorry I cant join the chat and meet everyone later.

  3. Love that photo!!

    And I can testify that Steve's camera bag is indeed stuffed to the gills. A slimline is about the only thing that can be squeezed into it! :)

    I love this Spot Light series!

  4. "Since I retired I have great difficulty knowing what day of the week it is!"

    I have the exact same problem being a student. It's awful!

    This Spot Light idea was a great one, I love reading all the answers.


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