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


  1. Hi Yvonne
    you are a close second to me in number of planners! Can you tell me if you purchased your black swaravski planner from the US or UK site? Thanks!

  2. Hi Yvotchka!

    Thanks for all your helpful comments. However, you've got that album title wrong - its 'Talking Timbuktu', not 'Taking Timbuktu'. Only took me a minute to find it though (God bless you Spotify) and its a great album, so thanks!

  3. Another Ry Cooder fan over here!!!! Love him with Bueno Vista Social Club obviously (who doesn't?), but also find his soundtrack of the movie "Paris, Texas" terrific (yes, I'm THAT old ...!).

  4. Erin: I bought the swarovski planner from the US site when it was a holiday promotion about a year or so ago. It is very beautiful but too delicate to use...I take it out and look at it a lot though : )

    davidpopely: Ooops, typo! Thanks for catching that! Too good an album to misspell.

    Jotje: Right there with ya...right there with ya ; D

  5. I've corrected the typo ;-)


  6. Thanks, Yvonne. Enjoyed reading more of your writings!


  7. Wow!! Of all the spotlight posts, I think this one was the one I was waiting for the most!
    I was wondering, if you're also using a Pocket, is it the Malden as well, or are you still sporting the Piazza in Lime Green? (I think of all your stories, the search for the Personal Piazza was the best!)
    It's such a pity you don't remember what you did with your first Filos...maybe gave them away??

  8. Yvonne isn't crazy - She's a "collector" and if it's of planners - that's a good thing! Like fine wine! ;-)

  9. It's so nice to read a bit more about Yvontchka.

    Also, I love reading about the first Filofax. It's something that, I'm sure, leaves an indelible mark on how we think about planning and planners.

  10. Great interview! And nice pic. I thought you were using the other one. It's great to have a (full) face to go with the name and comments. =)


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