31 October 2010

Guest Post - Philofaxer

Most people think I have two children.  There's little Maya, just six months old.  You may have heard of her, because you may have looked up "perfect" in a dictionary.  She's there.  Or you may have looked up “baby-shaped geyser of partly-digested milk.”  She’s there too.  She also may be behind you, right now, pooping all over your expensive leather sofa.
(Yes, that is a spherical globule of milk that has fallen from her mouth and is about to strike our carpet.)

Also, there's Charlie, now four years old.  You may have heard of him, because you may have looked up “rascal.”  Or, more likely, you might have looked up “unholy destroyer of all of god’s works of beauty and grace.”  He might be on your expensive couch too, carving his initials into its armrest with a machete.  Or stealing your wallet.
(Yes, that is a baseball that he is about to deliver into your solar plexus in T-minus four, three, two …)

Few people in my life know about my third child.  She’s the oldest of the three; born on the 31st of October, 2005, my Halloween baby.  I named her Philofaxy.

She may be my firstborn, but I cannot say I've been a good parent to her.  I doted on her in the beginning, lavishing her with attention and introducing her to new friends.  She grew; people told me she was beautiful.  Her potential to grow into a beautiful woman was apparent.  All she needed was care and nurturing.

Those were things I did not give her.

As in so many other arenas of my life, laziness and delinquency set in.  The attention I had lavished on her as a baby waned; I let her lie in disuse.  Her friends became concerned.  I told myself, "No!  She's fine!  I am an excellent parent, and she will grow into a beautiful woman!"   Blinded by my own denial, I let Philofaxy decay.  One by one, her friends left.  Soon, she was a mere shell of what she could have been.

Then, along came Nan.  She saw Philofaxy's promise and said she didn't want to see it squandered.  Given that I was very busy squandering it, I brought Nan on board quickly.  And Philofaxy's path changed.  She grew up!

I'm tired of the child metaphor.  Let me try some other ones.

- Imagine a car driving along the only road across a great salt flat.  Now imagine that the car veers slightly off the road, fails to correct its path, and is soon so far off the road that the road can't even be seen.  That was Philofaxy under me.  Now imagine that a huge helicopter comes and grabs the car, lifts it, and drops it back on the road.  And puts a new turbocharged engine in it.  And mag wheels.  That was Philofaxy after Nan joined.
- Imagine a tree growing in a lush garden.  Now imagine that a cruel gardener deprives the tree of all water and nutrition, and the tree wilts.  That was Philofaxy under me.  Now imagine that another gardener comes to nurse the tree back to life.  And also the new gardener punches the cruel gardener in the gut.  That was Philofaxy after Nan joined.
- Imagine a great nation that promises to be a beacon of freedom, equality, and hope, but instead squanders this promise by pursuing a hegemonic foreign policy and turning its back on the noble principles that defined its national character.  Wait, that's not a metaphor at all.  Forget that.
- Imagine a crazy, decrepit old man.  That is me.  Now imagine a non-crazy, non-decrepit woman.  That is Nan.

Anyway, you all have seen what Philofaxy has become since my autocratic reign of terror ended.  It is far bigger and far better than I ever could have dreamed.  While Nan deserves much of the credit, much also belongs to her colleagues, Steve and Laurie, whose prolific pontificating has kept the blog rolling along.  And let's not forget the invaluable contributions of the numerous commenters and guest posters who have helped make Philofaxy a true community.

At this point, all I can lay claim to is having come up with a cool name for the blog (and, come on, it IS a cool name) and littering the archives with a few rants and non-sequiturs.  Since making those scant contributions, I've stepped away from the blogging world and worked on raising my children.  (By "raising" I mean "praying to whatever sacred force that may exist in the universe that my children turn out more like their mother than their father.")  I'm also taking classes toward a master's degree in writing, working at a new and considerably more demanding job, and dealing all of the other events that life throws in one's face (like a house fire, and a house flood, and other things that fit within the "house ____" template).

So how do I keep myself organized these days?  I am sure you are all dying to know.  Indeed, I wonder how you've been able to sleep or get anything at all done without knowing the answer to this important question.  Well, the answer is: It depends.  For all the struggles I had with The Device (as memorialized in my early doodlings on the blog), I have found a place for a new thing -- the iDevice -- in my life.  Yet I have never wavered from my conviction that no device can, or should, replace paper.  The tactility of it; the general feeling of doing something productive with one's hands.  The craftsmanship of low technology.  The ability to use one's eyes and the tips of one's fingers as the ultimate contextual search engine.  These are invaluable characteristics of paper.  Filofax remains a part of my scheme, though some of its core functions now reside elsewhere.  Other kinds of paper -- I've become a fan of Levenger's Circa system for general note-taking -- also play important roles for me.

After all this time, I still can't get myself to use a Moleskine.  There's still a part of me that wants to use them, and a different part of me that hates the part that wants to use them.  Every once in a while, I crack and buy one.  Then I don't use it.

And I still think the Franklin Covey people are crazy.  I'm waiting for the inevitable showdown between ATF agents and incredibly punctual Franklin Covey adherents at some remote mountain hideaway.  (Though the showdown will NOT occur on a Sunday, thank you very much.)

Thanks to all of you for picking up the ball that I dropped, and running with it -- to places I never imagined.

Happy 5th birthday, Philofaxy!

Well on behalf of all three of us... and all of our readers we would like to thank you for starting such a great blog.  And your children just look so sweet and cute!

Avon selling Filofax Gift Boxes

It was pointed out to me this morning on Twitter that Avon (the cosmetics people) are selling Filofax Giftboxes... thanks to @team78adc for the heads-up on this.

The ladies one I suspect is a 'Heart'? I'm not sure what model/style the mens organiser is, may be you can identify it:

Ladies Filofax Gift Set

Mens Filofax Gift Set

Filofax Keyring, now that's quite smart compared to mine!

30 October 2010

Posts to read on Halloween...

Not sure if Halloween is celebrated all over the world or not?

Anyway, if you have a few moments this evening, you might want to relax and have a read of these some of these posts...

Date for your Filofax - Sunday 7th Nov 2010

We are going to run another conference roundtable voice chat using Skype.  Although Group Video Calling is now available in Beta on Skype it only works on the Windows Client, so for this forthcoming chat I would prefer to stick to a known voice format...'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' as they say!

I'm sure we are gradually getting to know each other's voices, but I will make a point of going 'around the table' to get everyone to introduce themselves this time.

So...When, Where, What, Who and How?

When? - Sunday 7th November 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.... 

I'm looking forward to this chat as it will be just before the London meet later in November. Hope to be chatting with you next Sunday. 

29 October 2010

Free for All Friday No. 102

To paraphrase Andy Williams, it's the Most Confusing Time Of The Year!

One of the most wonderful things our Filofaxes do for us is remind us when to turn oury clocks forward or back. And I don't just mean the old "spring forward, fall back" mnemonic. All Filofax diaries have the reminder printed on the exact date the change takes place.

In Europe, Summer Time ends on October 31. In the USA and Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north, Daylight Saving Time ends on Nov 7, one week later. You can set your clock back the night before or first thing the following morning. For radio and TV stations that operate all night, the change usually takes place at 2 a.m. The hour between 2 and 3 a.m. simply goes away.

The seasonal time change idea is variously credited to Benjamin Franklin and George Vernon Hudson, both of whom had reasons for making the most of the early morning hours.

Right now, I dislike the darkness of night at 7 a.m. more than I dislike it at 5 p.m., so I'm looking forward to my local DST.

How about you?

28 October 2010

Filofax Designer Challenge?

So I know we have quite a few 'creative' people amongst our ranks. Filofax USA have just announced a competition to design a future Filofax Organiser, which will go in to production in 2011.

The prizes are very generous. Sadly entries are only open for folks in USA and Canada, but if you qualify take a look on their site for details. There are also downloadable templates and rules etc.

It has to be worth an entry if there is a particular design you would love to see again or an updated version of some thing you really liked that is no longer available. Or of course some magic new design

Alternative Refills... yet another update!

OK we have discussed these alternatives may be a little too much for some people's liking. But in case you are still interested... or curious.

Sara as in @DIYSara discovered some refills in the Barnes and Noble on line store and although they don't say Filofax anywhere, she has checked out the Personal Size and they are a perfect fit and only $7 (USD), like how cheap is that. May be Sara can comment on the quality of the paper..

There is also Pocket size for $5.35 and Mini size for $4.45, I couldn't see an A5 size in the on-line store, pity really.

And if you are interested in the Quo Vadis range of planners and loose leaf refills then Amazon France stocks them, being Amazon the delivery costs are quite sensible.

To do hints and tips

I know we have covered To-Do lists before. But seeing a post over at Plannerisms prompted me to give you a little update on various ideas on how to use To-Do lists.

I'm a big user of To-Do lists, it's the most frequent page I have to buy or print out depending on the size, I have pre-printed ones for various tasks like 'going away' so I remember all the things to take (power adapters, leads) tasks such as turning of the water, heating etc.

So I was naturally interested in the 'Collection of To-Do Tips' over on Plannerisms. Some of them confirmed my own thoughts on how many things you should have in a to-do list. And to review and update your lists regularly... I must post a calendar reminder to do it at least once a week... sort of a nag alarm!!!

And then this morning Lauren posted a blog entry 'Lists - Oh how I love you so!'  Another big list person! Take a read...

Just off to consolidate my to-do lists.......

26 October 2010

Two Pages Per Week

I've been happily using my Quo Vadis Timer 21(aka Trinote) for a few weeks now, pictured below. It does more or less everything I want for an A5 planner. The only niggle I have with the design is that Sunday is pushed in to a small box down in the corner where it is easy to miss.

Click on the picture to view it full size.

So the other day I started to 'sketch' how I would improve on the design. The one thing I wanted was to see all of the days across the page, but also retain an area for notes and to-do lists. What could be simpler!

It proved harder than I thought. But in the end I managed to come up with a compromise in the design that I think would work reasonably well. Again click on the picture to see it full size.

This is the prototype shown in undated format, but with space for you to be able to write the dates in next to the days, and the days next to the days of the month on the right hand edge. Does anyone know a Excel genius that could write a suitable macro to date the pages in a suitable way, so that a complete year could be created on double sided pages?

From the experience of the QV Timer 21, I've learnt that if I have more than 5 things on my to-do list then a lot of them don't get done! So I've limited it to just five, and if I have more than five I will use a separate list for that particular project.

After struggling with the design in various word-processing applications I resorted to doing the design in a spreadsheet, which is far easier to control the placing and sizing of columns and getting it to fit the page etc.

I will give this design a try for a couple of weeks to see how it works out.

You can download the page yourself it is in our files area. As it's intended for an A5, print out the page, cut it in half and punch in the middle of the page as shown above, not at the edges.  I will also make the Excel file available if people would like to modify the design at all for their own non-commercial use.

Which diary format do you use - Poll Result

We asked the question 'Which diary format do you use in your main Filofax?' and thank you for everyone that entered the poll.

The result was not too much of a surprise with a large percentage of people using a Week on Two Pages as their preferred format. Of course there are variations within that format, but I think in general terms that format works for most people.

Here is a graph of the results, click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Again many thanks to everyone that took part.

25 October 2010

Family Tree

I'm sure some of you have at some time wondered who your ancestors are. I've not made a big effort myself to plot my own family tree but I'm managed to gather some of the information together from surviving relatives.

There are lots of on-line sites to help you put together your family tree. However talking to some of the people that do this seriously as a hobby, at some point you are going to have to visit a library or research archive and you will need to take down some notes etc. Carrying a small computer might not be the easiest way to do this and sometimes might not be allowed.

Which is where the Filofax will come in. As I mentioned a week or so ago a Filofax doesn't have to contain a diary, without it, it can be an excellent notebook.

So if you want to use a Filofax as your Family Tree notebook I've created a few sheets recommended to me by Tim one of our readers.

You will find the sheets in the files area of Philofaxy. They are in A4 format at present but I've also included the .doc or .xls files so you can download the files and modify them to your own requirements. If you booklet print the pages they will of course fit an A5 organiser.

I hope you find the new pages of help.

24 October 2010

Newsround up.

A few small news items and topics to cover today..

Firstly over on our friends in Germany Filomanic blog, they are holding a poll asking how many years have you been a Filofax user. Go over there and vote. But also with the aid of Google Chrome or Google Translate take a read of some of their excellent articles if you can't understand German.

Katie tells us that WH Smiths in UK seem to be having a continual up to 50% off sale on Filofax Organisers and accessories at the moment, check out what is on offer on the WHS website or pop in to one of the stores.

Our friend Giovani in Brazil pointed out a Japanese blog post (in English thank goodness!) about using Index Cards to organise information. Might be a worth a look, punched they will fit in to your Filofax.

I also saw Donna Young's site mentioned on Twitter, whilst it's not Filofax specific, anything with planners and calendars is of course adaptable to fit a Filofax so it's included here for good measure!!

If you are in to interior design... you have to have a matching Filofax! It's in the first picture of this post

As I mentioned yesterday, our friends in USA, Susan and Yvotchka where meeting up in New Hampshire. Susan has blogged about their great meeting and so has Yvotchka. It's great to read about these meet ups even if there are only a couple of people.

And finally, since introducing the 'you might also like' links at the bottom of each post three weeks ago, our page views have increased by 42% compared to the previous 3 weeks. In this last month we have exceeded the 40,000 page views in the month for the first time.

That's about it from me, have a great week.

23 October 2010

Filofax integration

Here is an interesting article about how Filofax as a brand is using social media along with emails to market to their customers.  The article also mentions Filofax users' blogs and how the company values customers' input:


News on a damp autumn/fall Saturday

Well I say damp, that is obviously just here in France!!!  But let's bring some sunshine in to your day... I hope you like the sunset that erupted through our window yesterday evening. Click on the picture to see it full size...

So we hear today that Yvotchka and Susan (Kanalt17) are meeting up for the first time in NE USA.

I'm not sure which town they are meeting in, but they didn't want to be out done by the London meet-up next month, so they are having their own mini-meet up today.

Susan is on holiday so she and her dear husband are that bit closer to Yvotchka than normal... some big distances in the US! They have promised to blog about their meet up and we are all looking forward to seeing the pictures of their smiling faces and which ever Filofax organisers then chose to take with them....

Also on the web today Millie, describes how she is using her Malden personal... and very nice it looks too, the brown leather looks just gorgeous.

I also heard today via Dan (@tean78adc) that his local Tesco Superstore are selling off discontinued Filofax organisers quite cheap, he picked up a Personal Strata for £12 and they also had Personal Cherry organisers for £4.50... there are sometimes when I wish I was still in UK!

Our contribution towards Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign has stalled a little, no purchases this week. So I'm going to do a Bob Geldof (Live Aid 1985....yes it was that long ago!) on you... but without uttering F swear words.... Come on folks buy some Filofax things via the links on the site and all the commission this month and next month will be going towards and excellent cause. The purchases no matter how small will all earn some commission which will be donated to BCC by me.

I hope you are having a great weekend. 

Take care where ever you are.

22 October 2010

Song Quiz...

As far as I'm aware there aren't any songs with Filofax in their title? So how about 'Calendar', 'Planner', 'Diary'

To get you started....
  • The Diary of Horace Wimp - ELO
  • Nobody's Diary - Alison Moyet
  • Diary - Bread
So what other songs can you come up with with Filofax/Planner terms in their titles. 

To save you some time... you can cheat if you have your music collection in iTunes, just type the words in to the search box!!

Free For All Friday No. 101

Oooo I get the honour of introducing Free For All Friday (FFAF) number 101, they haven't been every week from the first one. It's only in the last couple of years that they have become a weekly thing. Yet they are a great source of information from all of our readers over the last few years.

They started back in June 2008, you can of course access all the previous ones, the easiest way it to click on FFAF in the label cloud.

But enough from me.... the floor is yours to discuss anything Filofax related.

18 October 2010

Filofax Chameleon

I came across Caribbean Princess's latest post about her new Filofax Chameleon this morning. It is a model I've not looked that closely before, not sure why, but I think it deserves a more detailed look.

The Chameleon was introduced this year at about the same time as the Malden, but in a larger range of sizes (A5, Personal, Pocket and Mini), were as the Malden is currently only available in Personal and Pocket sizes, but we hear it's coming out in mini size next year..... watch this space.

The Chameleon sits at a price point in the range between the Finsbury and the Malden and I think it represents very good value for money, it has some interesting design features that sits itself apart from the rest of the current range.

The main improvement on the Finsbury is the interior, it is in full leather, which in the long term I would think is money well spent. It only comes in four colours: black, red, raspberry and spring green. Personally I like the black, but I know a lot of you will like the raspberry and spring green, but I think the range of colours is wide enough to appeal to most peoples likes across the spectrum of tastes.

I'm not sure why, but the pen loop is on the left hand side (front cover) rather than the traditional right hand side (back cover) on all sizes, except the A5 which has two pen loops front and back as usual. May be this model was designed by a left handed person?

However, the placing of the pen loop on the front cover has it's advantages, if you take the pocket and mini sizes and you were using them as wallet/purses, then the pen no longer gets in the way of the zip pocket which is inside of the back cover, a plus point I think.

Thinking of that use again, if you look at the number of credit card slots on the inside of the front cover, there are a grand total of five on the pocket and three on the mini, that is another plus point compared to the Finsbury which only has two card slots and an id card pocket. The Malden has two vertical pockets and a small zip pocket.

Ring size on the Chameleon is very similar to the other models at it's price point. In some cases the Finsbury is a size bigger, but this might not be a deal breaker for some people.

I have to say it's a nicely appointed model with a lot of plus points going for it. I've not had the chance to 'hold one' or look at it in detail, so folks tell me your thoughts on this model.

17 October 2010

Guest Post: Jess's Personal Finsbury Filofax

Here is another excellent guest post from Jess!  You may remember her post this spring about how she was using her A5 Snake Domino.  Now she has downsized to a Personal size (gorgeous pink Finsbury!) Filofax for her final, and very hectic, year at university.

Many thanks to Jess for this post!  I know I speak for us all when I say, I love reading about how you use your Filofax!  :)

The last guest post I wrote for Philofaxy was a gushing, passionate account about my new found love: the A5 snake Domino in Bronze. I loved the space, the ease with which I could create my own pages, and the ability to carry around EVERYTHING I might possibly need. Anyway, as happens with most tales of planner bliss, it didn’t last. I’ve always wanted a ‘proper’ Filofax, one of the classic and understated models made from leather, so when a pink personal Finsbury appeared on ebay I decided to take the plunge. I eventually won it for around £25, which I was delighted with – but how would I go about making the switch from A5 to Personal?

Luckily, my more diminutive Finsbury came into my life during my summer off university. As you can imagine, university life is much more hectic than normality, so the A5 was perfect, but when I had nothing to remember beyond gym classes and shifts at my part-time job it quickly seemed redundant. It was the perfect time to make the switch and get used to the Personal’s smaller page size before in the busy, bustling few weeks of term began. My set-up has been simplified enormously, and it is working out wonderfully. Let me take you through it.

Upon opening the Finsbury, I have lots of things stuffed into the credit card slots on the inside front cover – appointment cards, vouchers, cards from good pubs I’ve visited – and inside the full-length pocket I keep a couple of spare envelopes. Next comes the top opening plastic wallet insert, again filled with bits and bobs – a card from my mother, a London Tube map, some stickers to make my Filo look pretty. After that I have the plastic credit card holder insert, containing stamps, passport photos, mini-post it notes and my newly created business cards for my website!

Next, my paper inserts begin. I have a really simple set up that will probably seem heinous and impractical to so many Philofaxy readers! I have my information sheet (always a necessity in case of loss and emergencies!), then a couple of blank lined yellow sheets, a couple of spare To Do pages in Cotton Cream, then a few days’ worth of Day Planner sheets. Apart from my diary, that’s everything I carry. I find that I don’t make use of the lined notepaper that much, since I tend to write reminders down directly onto my diary pages (which I will explain...) or just remember them.

I don’t even have the usual tabbed dividers anymore. Instead, I have two clear dividers that insert like a ‘Today’ marker, with a single small tab at the top with an ‘F’ printed on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these on the Filofax site, so I’m not sure where they are from – my mother bought them for me about a year ago. They are stamped with Filofax, and make the whole set up look less bulky. Behind the first of these tabs, I have a pull-out year planner for 2010 and then my main diary – Cotton Cream Week on Two Pages, with a clear ‘Today’ marker – with a pull-out year planner for 2011 inserted at the end of December. Its a 2010-2011 diary, so I carry the weeks until my final week at university around with me since I frequently have dates to make a note of as far away as next April or May. I get around the smaller space for each day by writing my weekly-recurrent things, such as lectures and classes, on a post-it note which gets moved to the next page every week. I also keep a single ‘To Do’ list in between the two pages for the week – this means I can always see what needs to be done at a glance, and keeps my day spaces freer from reminders.

After this, I have a Day Per Page insert. I don’t have a divider between these – instead, I use my other clear divider as a ‘Today’ marker, since it is so easy to move around. On these daily pages, I write specific reminders such as ‘Renew library books’, or plan out a day’s schedule if I have a lot of different things to do and places to be. I rarely use these far in advance; I’m more likely to fill the next few days’ pages in during the evening’s review of the day. At the back, I have another plastic credit card holder insert to protect the back pages.

That’s it – two diary formats, minimal tabs, no piles of spare paper colour-coded for projects or ‘To Do’ lists. I keep all my spare inserts at home, since I’ll never be out and about for more than a day at a time so I won’t run out. It’s working out excellently for me, and I’m not plagued with anxiety about how to tweak my set-up since there’s not much to be tweaked! I also love the pink Finsbury Filo itself – the colour is beautiful, and I adore the soft-yet-hardy leather. The only thing that my newly-simple set up has got me wondering is whether it would be possible to downsize even further, to a Pocket – this would never have crossed my mind if I hadn’t won the Pocket Classic Rose in a recent Filofax giveaway on Facebook. It’s just sat there, looking gorgeous, complete with 2010-2011 diary. I might transfer all my stuff from the Finsbury to the Classic and trial it for a day...

And so planner anxiety strikes again!

Read more from Jess at her excellent blog From Here, With Love!

Malden around the web

Now that the Filofax Malden is available at all of the main Filofax on-line stores including at long last on the US site. It's been interesting (for me anyway) to see the different reviews in blogs around the web.

Here's a list of the ones I found:
I wonder how popular the crimson red model is?  The Ochre and the Black certainly look excellent to me.

As I've hinted on here and on Twitter I'm very tempted with both sizes that are available Personal and Pocket, but which colour?

So if you have bought a Malden but you don't blog, I'm sure there are plenty of others that will be interested in your views.

The Ipcress Filofax


To: M
From: DJ
RE: The Ipcress Filofax

Subject: Deighton, Len.
Born: Central London, 2/18/29.
Mother’s name: Fitzgerald

Description: Dark complexion, 14 stone, 6 feet tall. Cruel, sardonic sense of humor. Large hands, stubby fingers used to punctuate rapid, neurotic speech. Bayonet scar palm right hand. Drinks warily, seldom smokes.

Skills—Extensive knowledge military history, modern control systems, aircraft (especially helicopters), vehicles, weapons, tactics, Marksman; never hunts animals. Good cook.

Experience—Railway man, Piccadilly waiter, Madison Avenue adman, Vogue fashion artist, photographer R.A.F. Mosquitoes, manager Aldgate gown factory. Seen Vista-Vision blue films in pre-Castro Cuba, typhoon in Tokyo, hurricane passing New York. Given talk over Soviet radio. Once fell into Hong Kong Harbor, fatty tissue saved him.

(above summary from subject’s second novel “Horse Under Water.”)

Well organised, efficient, hard worker, meticulous researcher. Admits to admiring German culture and Germans. Well-informed on current political situation in Germany, compulsively reads as much as he can in the press on Germany. Observed subject using German fountain pen (Pelikan).

Realized without an Oxbridge pedigree (or any university), he had to “fight above his weight,” and extensive research, work ethic was chosen method to do that. Now, still working at age 81, he’s proven he can go the distance as well.

Books: Highly regarded novels (primarily but not exclusively espionage genre), military history (WWII), cookery books (primarily French cuisine).

Filofax: High probability primary research organiser is Personal Sandhurst. Request M review to confirm starting at 38:23 of referenced video “The Truth About Len Deighton”—BBC4 programme. In event Filo ID is unclear, recommend consultation with specialist Bernhard in Mannheim.

In addition, subject carries what appears to be a small Finsbury pocket purse at all times, which holds a small notepad, and a pencil. In the inner pocket, subject carries a small digital camera, appears to be from Casio Exilim line. Subject actually calls the wallet “a Filofax.” Request M view video to confirm Filofax model at 46:27 of same programme.

(above summary from video at this link:

Good luck,
DJ California

Can you help Field Agent DJ identify the Ipcress Filofax, please drop a message in the dead letter box, sorry I mean comments!

16 October 2010

Saturday web finds for the weekend

So what has the magic machine found today...

15 October 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Month and as you no doubt know Filofax sell products that include a donation towards fighting this killer.

As an additional boost towards the cause, I will be donating all of the commission earned on Filofax UK sales via Philofaxy, no matter what the items purchased are in October and November.

Together lets all help in the fight for a way of preventing and curing breast cancer.

Those of you who wish to donate directly please go to the campaigns website.

Thank you for your help and support.


Skype Introduce Group Video Calling

Not strictly Filofax... but Philofaxy related for sure...

When we do our round-table chats, so far we have been limited to audio only or keyboard to keyboard instant messaging.

As from yesterday Skype introduced their new Windows version 5.0, it includes a free 28 day group video trial. I've just tried this out around the house... two people, three PC's on different Skype accounts and it worked... I will let you visualise me dashing around between two different machines in different rooms trying this out!!!

I'm not sure what will happen once my 28 day trial is finished, I suspect they might want some money for me to be able to continue to use that facility, but what ever. I did the trial on my own account not the Philofaxy one, so I guess I can delay starting the 28 day trial on that account until we need to... cunning me or what!!!

Anyway, if we want to try this out on our next round-table you will need to do the following:

1. Update your Windows version of Skype to the latest version. Sadly they haven't updated the Mac version yet.
2. You will obviously need a webcam if you don't have one built in to your PC or Netbook.

If you don't have a camera we will still get your audio, but you will still see everyone else.

I'm sure 'seeing' each other will help in terms of the conversation, and not having to remember the sounds of different voices etc.

Please give an indication in the comments about giving the group video a test on our next round-table.


Free For All Friday No. 100

Do you decorate your Filofax, inside or out?

I am not at all creative, so I don't decorate my Filofax.  I don't even put in pictures.  Pretty lame.

But I admire those creative people who decorate their Filofaxes!

Here are some Filofaxes I find particularly inspiring:

Gala Darling's Metropol

Cateaclysmic's Metropol

The Glamorous Grad Student's Domino

Do you decorate your Filofax?

And as always on Fridays, the floor is yours for anything Filofax related!

14 October 2010

Poll - Which diary format do you use in your main Filofax?

Following an informal poll on Twitter we thought it best to be a little more scientific or democratic if you like.

There's no prizes or catches, just a simple anonymous poll. We will of course publish the results of the poll once it closes.

Thanks for taking part.

Web finds for Thursday

Thursday mornings is my French class, where I attempt to be able to speak the local language better... I have enough difficulty with English! But I look forward to getting home so I can see what Google has uncovered in the last day or so.

So enjoy these selection of posts:

Filofax as a cook/recipe book

We received this question from Izzie today:
I want to use one of my personal size Filofax as a cookbook/collection of recipes. But now there is the dilemma concerning the tabs. I don't know how to organize the recipes. Should I take the A-Z Tabs? Or better six blank or numbered tabs? I am really not sure which works best. Maybe there is somebody out there who also uses a Filofax as a cookbook and can give me some advice?

Thanks, Izzie
I think another of our readers (possibly Sharon) was also looking in to using a Filofax as a recipe book?

I think it's a great idea, and a suitable organiser I guess would be one you can wipe clean.... flour and leather... hmm I'm not sure what they do to each other!

So if you can help with some suggestions, please add a comment.

Thank you...

12 October 2010

Philofaxy London Meet - 20 November 2010

Philofaxy have been given access to the Neal Street shop by Filofax for an invitation only event on 20 November between 4 pm and 6pm to explore and see the full range of Filofax products.

There will also be an opportunity to meet and chat with Steve and Laurie from Philofaxy, as well as other Philofaxy readers.

We are also considering an early evening drink/meal after the shop visit to continue our discussions.

In order to not miss out on this opportunity, please apply for one of the limited number of invites to: Philofaxy at gmail dot com

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th hopefully.

Web finds for the start of the week.

Sorry some of these are from the last couple of days, I was too shattered to sit down last night and put them all together after an early morning and then five hours of driving!

So you get a treat today with some great finds, so make it a large coffee when you sit down to take a look at these wonderful posts.
Enjoy all of them and take a moment to look at some of their other posts, I'm sure they will appreciate your visit and leave them a comment too.

10 October 2010

Skype Roundtable - Proposal for a regular date.

Given the continued success of our Skype Conference Round-table events, I would like to propose that we make them a once a month regular event.

It would mean that if you missed one, you wouldn't have quite as long to wait for the next one. Therefore, I would like to suggest that we hold them on say the first Sunday of every month.

If we find that that is too often we could change it to say every other month. The only other obstacles that I can see upsetting the schedule would be things like holidays (New Year, clocks changing, Easter etc).

Although, it would be great to have our own Philofaxy New Years 'On-line' Party! Also I might not be able to make every single monthly event, although I'm sure I can give someone else the details about hosting the conference call, it is not too difficult.

Unless anyone has any alternative proposals, the next event would be held on Sunday 7th November, I will put out a detailed announcement towards the end of the preceding months so even new 'Philofaxers' will not miss out.

Filofax as a Notebook.

If you don't have a diary refill in your Filofax, does it cease to be an 'organiser'?  Could it become a very versatile notebook?

How did I arrive at this idea or notion? Well looking at the Filofax I recently refurbished, I started to think about what I could use it for? Then I thought... notebook... put in some lined paper, some plain paper and bingo it would work I'm sure.

So then I started to refine the idea about how you could make it better than a 'bound' notebook. In a previous life as a project manager I was forced in to using bound notebooks with numbered pages.

They work ok if you can dedicate a notebook for each project you are controlling. But it becomes a headache at meetings when you turn up with five or six A4 notebooks and you have to go ferreting through them looking for the answer to a question or for some information.

So a Filofax 'Notebook' has the advantage of being loose leafed, so if you are doing more than one project you can use section dividers to separate out the different projects, and move pages in to their respective sections.

One technique I used when we moved house was to use different coloured pages for different topics, it reduces the number of section dividers you need and you can quickly get to the relevant section if you know the colour code you have used.

So if you have a spare organiser it wouldn't cost a lot to turn it in to a Filofax notebook. Just buy some more pages, some of which you might already have. The other great thing is you can transfer notes in to your main Filofax organiser very easily too.

If it doesn't work out for you, you can of course use the pages in your main organiser so nothing will go to waste. I think this represents quite good value for money, minimum initial outlay, if it works for you great, if not just use the pages in your other organiser... result!

I'm going to try this out with a Personal size organiser, but I think it would work with most of the popular sizes.

Would this work for you? Do you have any thoughts on how to improve on this idea? Lets hear your thoughts in the comments.

09 October 2010

Filofax Mini?

Is the Mini too small? Opps sorry wrong sort of Mini... but I'm sure some of you like Mini Coopers as much as I do......

Anyway serious question... is the Filofax Mini too small for everyday use? Who buys them? Have you got one? How do you find it?

I've always thought that they were too small.... that was until I read a blog post that Judith sent me a link to.

Whilst Fi the author is just telling the reader about her Filofax Mini, what it does show is how you might be able to use the smallest of Filofax Organisers in your everyday life.

One thing I spotted in the post is that Filofax Pocket pages fit... but a little bit of folding is required to make them fit, but the hole spacing is correct.

I'm prepared to reconsider my opinion on this tiny Filofax, they start at quite low prices too.

Will I go from Pocket to Mini for my wallet? Well if I do, you will be the first to hear about it.....

Let the discussion about Filofax Mini's start here.....

08 October 2010

Filofax Champagne Launch Event - 7th October

Last night saw the official launch of the new Filofax Gourmet Giftbox set which I posted information about yesterday morning. Sadly I wasn't able to attend myself and I even got another invite specifically requesting that 'Philofaxy' was in attendance!

So rather than let the chance to have some champagne, food and a goodie bag which would include a 'leather Filofax of your choice' go to waste. I asked the event organisers if I could send someone else along in my place. Filofax UK said yes, so I asked our own Oni who was over the moon at being asked (understatement!) and importantly Oni was free on that date....

So armed with her Filofax for note taking she headed off for Conduit Street in the heart of London to attend this special event.

Jess Stephens (Filofax Group eMarketing Manager) introduced the new box set. Her presentation will be on YouTube at some point (we will post a link when it appears). Jess did indicate that there are some new designs and colours coming in the New Year, but no amount of persuasion would prise the details from her.... so Filofax fans will just have to be patient and wait until all is revealed in the New Year. 

About 25 people were in the store for the launch and Oni did a great job of working the crowd and circulating and getting to talk to as many people as possible and spreading the word about Philofaxy. Who we were and what we write about without making it sound too geekie. There was a lot of interest in Philofaxy from the other companies and organisations there. So we might get some more enquiries in the next few weeks.

Here are some pictures from the event.

Onigiri poses with the new gift box set!
Aleasha(Affilate Window) and Oni with their organiser free gifts

Oni and Victoria (buy.at) showing off their Scanda organisers

But the best bit of the evening was meeting the Filofax team, they had travelled up from their office in Burgess Hill in Sussex. Oni got to talk to them for quite a while and found out what organisers they themselves use and got them to agree to pose for the 'team' photo below.

L to R Jon Morse (Mr FF Facebook!), Dee Yau (FF Store Supervisor), Oni,
Matt Watson (FF Marketing), Jessica Stephens (FF)
And for those of your who are keen 'Filofax spotters' Jon uses a Cuban A5 in saddle brown, Dee uses a Personal Amazona in Red, Matt: Personal Scanda in Brown, Jess: Mini Amazona in Almond

After such a great event I've already told Jess that I'm keeping my calendar free for all of October 2011 and may be Oni might like to accompany me next time. 

Thank you Oni for covering the event for us and we look forward to seeing more pictures of your new Filofax soon.

There was also another report on the evening here.

Free for All Friday No. 99

Have you ever lost it? ...your Filofax, I mean.

Usually, losing a Filofax isn't as dramatic as in the movies or as artistic as this. Most of the time, once something's lost, it's just gone.

I've only lost a Filofax once...and it was promptly returned to me. Actually, it was a Personal-size red vinyl Day Runner. I carried it to a restaurant, where I was going to see my musician brother playing. The place was crowded, and the best place to rest it during the performance seemed to be beside my chair leg.

Of course, I got up and left it when I went home. Everything else I needed was in my jacket pockets, so I didn't notice it missing.

Someone in the cleanup crew found it, looked at the name inside it, and gave it to my brother as he was leaving. "I think this belongs to your sister."

By that time, I was asleep back at my apartment, which wasn't too far from the restaurant. My car window was open a crack, so rather than wake me up, my brother slipped the organizer into my car, where I found it on the driver's seat when I went to work the next morning. It took me a while to figure out how it got there.

I was lucky.

Have you ever lost your Filo...or been scared thinking you'd lost it?

07 October 2010

Web Exclusive - Filofax Gourmet Gift Box Set

Following on from the Beauty Gift Box this time last year... yes a year ago! Filofax UK have just launched a new gourmet gift box set that includes a years membership of the Gourmet Society. I'm sure this will be an even bigger hit than the Beauty Gift Box set, it could even appeal to the other 50% of the population... blokes!

The box set comes with:
  • Filofax personal organiser
  • Lifestyle diary
  • Mini organiser pen
  • Gift Box
  • Gourmet Society membership card valid for 12 months' savings on restaurant bills
The set is available in 'Grape' and 'Slate

Filofax Organiser – date, dinner, done
  • contemporary personal organiser with a smooth leather-look cover and cream suede-effect lining
  • special ‘lifestyle’ diary and papers, everything you need to balance work and play including party and outfit planners, top takeaways, shopping lists and even a little black book to rate those dates
Mini Organiser Pen
  • chrome and acrylic mini pen, designed to fit into your organiser
Gourmet Society Dining Card
  • 12 months membership to the Gourmet Society (normally costs over £50), saving you £££s on restaurant bills
  • fantastic discounts at over 3,500 leading restaurants across the country. Enjoy 2-for-1 meals, 50% off food, or 25% off food AND drink at a wide variety of participating establishments, from Michelin starred establishments to award-winning independents and famous names like Café Rouge, Loch Fyne, The Living Room and Prezzo
  • restaurants from famous names like 'Marco' from Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes' 'W1 Brasserie' and Atul Kochhar's 'Benares'.
  • see www.gourmetsociety.co.uk for a full list of restaurants, offers and terms and conditions.
Diary Year
Supplied with a Jul 10 - Dec 11 diary.

Our very own Oni will be attending the Champagne launch event on 7th October and we look forward to hearing all about the new gift set as well as other Filofax news.

06 October 2010

Mid Week Web Finds

Quite a few turning up this week...
And in case you missed it, Filofax UK are offering free delivery on all Personal size diary refills until the end of the week. Buy through our Philofaxy links and you will be helping support the next Philofaxy competition. Use the code DEL3 at the checkout.

Filofax, and Separate Diary Book

Today was Open House at the school, and while I was milling around in my child's classroom I noticed a personal size Mode Filofax sitting on top of an academic-year weekly diary book (which I guessed because of 2010-2011 printed on the spine, and the thinness of the book indicated weekly not daily).  Taking a break from discussing my child's academic achievements, I took the opportunity to chat up the teacher about her Filofax usage.

Turns out she is relatively new to the Filofax world, having recently received her Mode as a birthday gift. However she said already she doesn't know what she would do without her Filofax. She did say that the day spaces on the weekly diary pages are too small for her, so she keeps a separate diary book (the page size of her dairy book looked to be A5 or slightly larger) so she has enough room to write. Also, as a teacher she needs her diary to follow the academic year, so her diary book is the school year format.

This is the second person I've met in Scotland who keeps a Filofax for information and lists, but a separate diary book for the larger day spaces.  (You can read about the first such encounter here.)  Is this a Scotland thing?  I think I've met my Filofax kindred here, who love their Filofaxes but just need more space to write each day darnit.

Of course I told her about Philofaxy, and she seemed somewhat intrigued that there could be an entire blog all about Filofaxes.

So, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who likes my Filofaxes but has to use a different book for my diary to have larger day spaces. Does anyone else do this?

All change!

Those of you that have seen my (growing) collection of personal size organisers in photos on the blog and on Flickr. I'm starting to find a use for them.

I've recently started going to French conversation classes again here in France. The classes are good, only 9 people in the class including myself so we get lots of practice and it's very light hearted and a great way of learning. When I lived in UK, I attended evening classes and dedicated my old Winchester Filofax for my French learning notes.

I also have a fairly new Finsbury that I bought on Ebay at a bargain price, but until now has remained unused, still in it's box. I am thinking of using this organiser as my journal next year, but it's also good for trying out different ideas as well.

Yesterday, I bought a Quo Vadis Timer 17 refill for the Finsbury. I quite like the format of these refills and they fit the Filofax organiser perfectly and of course I can buy them in my local newsagent here in France.

Here is a scan of the pages (click on the picture to see a full size version):

As you can see it's a week on two pages with a notes column on the right. They also do a slightly different format with boxes for phone calls to be made, things to do, emails to write etc, I have this format in my A5. But the notes format suits the personal size better I think.

I noticed another bonus with this particular QV Timer 17 refill, it's in French and English!....were as the Timer 14 (Pocket) size in only in French. 

As the QV refill is a 16 month format, I've transferred the last four months of the Finsbury diary fill to my Winchester, so I have a calendar I can refer to in my French classes.... result.

The French QV refills are available on the UK website which took a bit of digging to find as well as the European website.

Just to recap on the sizing of the QV range.
  • Timer 14 - fits Filofax Pocket size, hole spacing correct
  • Timer 17 - fits Filofax Personal size, hole spacing correct
  • Timer 21 - fits Filofax A5, but pages need to be re-punched to fit. 
I did a post for Laurie on Plannerisms about my previous QV purchases, which you might find of interest, it's similar to the post I did here on Philofaxy

The main Quo Vadis line I think is in bound planners rather than loose leaf, this is born out by my local stockist devotes more shelf space to the their bound range and the loose leaf refills need to be searched for!

There are some real interesting finds if you look around the shelves. At this time of year it is all about new calendars for next year. Their range of other inserts covers address pages, notes pages, and quite a range of other indexes. The paper is excellent quality and it is lovely to write on with a fountain or gel pen, the paper is so smooth.

I have seen some pages in their bound planners and notebooks that I might turn in to Filofax suitable templates or my variation on them that is....

As you can see on their website the binders include leather and faux leather and plastic binders. The two shops I've visited in this area haven't had any of the leather binders in stock so I can't comment on their quality compared to Filofax, but I wasn't that impressed with the ones I saw in faux leather and cheap plastic.. which I suspect are aimed at school children and students.