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.


  1. I can't believe I read that entire article about something I know absolutely nothing about to get to the last paragraph to see your reference to Sara Groves who I do know something about. Sara was 3months old when her parents brought her into a prison Christmas Eve service in '72, her great-grandmother first told me God had a plan for my life, and her grandparents visited the same prison for 40 years every week. Her songs are amazing to a lot of people.

  2. Great interview. I can't wait to hear more from you and the other guys "lurking in the shadows." =)

  3. You should definitely leave the shadows and join in the fun!! It was great to read your answers, especially because like you said, most of the men are too shy to speak up.
    Maybe if we can get more men here, Filofax will start designing less female-oriented binders, and if I can dream, make the Scanda in the pocket version...

  4. Well, this guy (and new Filofax user), really enjoyed the interview with Dean!

    I found the info about how Dean uses/organizes his filofax including GTD very helpful!


  5. Since writing this, I have switched to an A5 Malden Ochre as I needed more room for the full and interesting life I lead. Filofax makes it so much easier to get things done.

    On a sad note, my Mac died a terrible death last night. How glad I am that I have my calendar, Projects and Next Actions safe in my FF!

  6. Thanks for posting, Dean. maybe my hubby will now se that a Filofax would help him. He always thought they were a "women's thing". He thought Steve's lifestyle was way too different to his, he's a mechanical whizz and a fixer of cars and motorbikes. Strangely he thought Dean's life was more like his. I think he thought a pastor would be juggling lots of appointments like he does.

    1. My lifestyle... hmm there's an interesting thought... well if it helps I was unblocking our drains yesterday... not a pleasant job, but someone has to do it!


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