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.



  1. Hi Michele

    Really interesting stuff, I run my own accountancy practice and have considered using my A5 FF for work and keeping my Personal Hampstead for non-work use, BUT I worry about having to reconcile the two diaries, also about having to transport two Filos when I go to London on business 2-3 times a month and when weight-to-be-carried becomes a hot issue. How do you get round these issues in your own FF life?

  2. Hi David. First off, I keep a strict division between work/personal on the diary stuff thus barely any worries about reconciling. My daily calendar for personal stuff is comprised of my expenses at the cafe, $ I give my son for meals out, weight, weather, doctor appointments, tv/movies reminders; social events. For A5 - I jot down my meetings schedule, phone calls, emails, reports I have to do... When I do travel for business (very rare), I'll note the food expense in pocket, but put the receipts in clear envelope up front in the A5. Of course, the A5 executive calendar has a small area at the bottom for personal items - those calls you have no time to do but at the office..... The A5 pretty much stays at the office during the week, and for less baggage, I would just recommend trying to keep the personal at the hotel, or what I sometimes do is just pull out the much needed pages. When we went on vacation earlier this month, I pulled out everything except the calendar for that week and some addresses for postcards. I treat my pocket filo as sort of my own personal coach. Right now I'm working toward taking an exam for a globally recognized certification. I keep a daily diary in the notes section of the pocket filo of what I'm doing that day to prepare; whereas I keep a tab in the A5 for all my note taking from the study guides. And my monthly budget reconciliation in my pocket is addicting. I can tell you how much I spent at the salon for primping each month for the last eleven years ;-(. One last idea on the A5: I highly recommend (courtesy of Laurie)use post-it flags to write the subjects for the clear tabs instead of writing on the tabs themselves. When my daily responsibilities recently changed, I was able to revise all my filofax tabs in a matter of minutes without any markups. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Michele

    Thank you for expanding on your way of using the two planners side by side.....one of the great strengths of the system is that it adapts, and can be adapted, to many different ways of using it, and its clear that you have pretty good delineaton between work and personal usage. I don't think this would work for me.....all the problems I've had with diary management (when I've had them) have come from having two (or more!) parallel diaries. I think this is part of the challenge presented by electronic systems as well, for me......

    I think I'm going to carry on with my Personal Hampstead for now, and just keep everything #under one roof'. I often get called upon to make decisions about non-work stuff when I'm at my desk (and vice versa), so that works for me!

    Thanks for sharing though, and best wishes!

  4. Thanks for this idea. So hoping to manage well my personal endeavors in business and family and my personal needs.

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