13 January 2011

Mini Filofax in the wild

I chatted up a woman with a Mini Filofax today.  It took everything I had not to be too creepy about it, and I'm not sure I was successful in not creeping her out.  At one point I had to back off my questions a little bit.  I was fascinated and couldn't help myself!

She was in the process of putting in her 2011 diary pages (pink week on two pages) and, being the planner geek I am, I couldn't resist asking her about it.

Her Mini was, I believe, a pink Finsbury. It was that exact color, but I wasn't close enough to see if it was the textured leather of the Fins.  Like I said, I didn't want to ask TOO many questions.

I nearly asked her if it was brand new, and later she mentioned she's had it for 3 years.  So, bonus points to the Filofax for holding up so well.

She doesn't use the Mini as her wallet, as some people do.  She does use the bill pocket to hold receipts from when she uses her credit card (which she does keep in her Filofax) which I thought was pretty smart.

The rings are so small she can only use it to hold address pages or the WO2P diary, but not both.  She had chosen to remove the address pages and use it just as a diary.  I've met someone before who did the opposite thing and kept her address pages in her Mini while using a separate planner book with more space to write each day. (You can read that post here if you are interested.)

It was so cute, small and handbag-friendly it actually got me wondering if I could somehow make a Pocket size Filofax work for me.  (Not a Mini though, it's definitely too small!)  It sure would be nice to have a compact little planner + address book that I could pop into my bag and hardly notice it's in there.  Hmmm.....


  1. You sound like me... a Filofax spotter. Make, model, year and usage!!! Fascinating to see how other people make use of their planners....

    I've just downsized to a personal from A5 but can not imagine going any smaller.

  2. I spotted a lady in the Drs surgery the other day consulting her filo whilst making an appointment. It was all I could do to stop myself rushing up and asking her about it!

  3. What is it with this community...we all seem to have the same ideas around the same time!!

    I just posted about giving the Pocket an honest to goodness try...I vote you try too and we'll compare notes : )

  4. Wow! I feel like I have so much catching up to do! I just bought my first Filo in November (personal Domino in slate) and have promised to not buy any others for at least a year.

    But now I am wondering if a pocket or mini would work as perfect fitness trackers- I have resolved to work out 3x per week this year! Especially since a few filofaxers have mentioned that pockets and minis have been turning up at TJ Maxx I might have to have a look!

    If I buy it on clearance, it doesn't count as a real purchase right? Can I bend my rules?

  5. I get some odd looks in UK with my man bag and my pocket filofax as my wallet, but I can live that!!!

    This evening in B&Q, the girl on the till commented when I got out my Filofax... oh that looks neat. I would have had a longer conversation but there was a bit of a queue... I need some business cards with just the website address on it!

    But the pocket is working very well for me, even the Chameleon with it's smaller rings compared to my Finsbury.

    And 'J' check out our Adspot page, some Pocket's for sale there....


  6. i dread seeing someone with a filofax, or being in a meeting where someone whips one out of their bag. i can't resist asking and always look like a complete nutter. i had a meeting in october where all three girls (who i'd only known a week or so) pulled out pink pocket filos of various makes.

    i don't understand how some people can just 'have' them - surely they want to talk about them too?! or is that just us...

  7. I am the proud owner of a cute mini pink finsbury and I plan on using it as an address book. I will be sure to feature it at some point! I always get excited by people's Filofaxes and talk excitedly about them (or even ask to look at them) but that is ok as my colleagues already accept I am not quite normal ;-)

  8. LOL Jess I agree, how can you own a Filofax and not be obsessed with it? After all, it IS "a way of life!"

    Yv I have to admit, I'd been thinking about your Pocket experiment already, then when I saw her cute little Mini (and her much-smaller-than-mine handbag) I realized the appeal of a smaller Filofax. I don't know if it's a road I dare to go down though, branching out into yet ANOTHER Filofax size!!

    Nellie I've thought before how interesting it would be to be the person at the Dr's who books the appointments. I can imagine seeing everyone's planners all day long!!

  9. I am just fascinated by filofax-using-people encounters (unfortunately, not that many occurred to me yet)... but Laurie, where were you that a woman was organizing her mini filo in public? I mean it takes me ages to organize one and I have to SPREAD out all the papers, indexes (indices?), post-its, plastic do-dads, etc. I can not do that in public - it has to be at a huge breakfast room table! It's almost a (sacred) ritual of sorts!

  10. We were at ballet class waiting for our daughters. I too was astounded, because there was absolutely no spreading out of papers or anything like that. She was sitting upright in a chair with no table. Her Filofax was already empty--I don't know where last year's pages went. She opened up her diary pack and put it on the rings all at once. She had also bought a notes insert but struggled to get it all on the rings.

    Because the rings were so small, the contents were minimal. She had just the diary and notes inserts, and a business card holder page and that was it.

    (For the record, when I re-arrange my Filofax it usually takes all afternoon and fills up the whole dining room table!)

  11. So this ritual that takes place... is that at the altar of the good lord Filofax I wonder!!!

    Sorry in one of my silly moods this evening !!!

    And for the record... yes I like to spread out the complete contents when I do a reshuffle. Far easier to deal with the organiser gets a clean and dust at the same time too...

  12. Steve- Kanalt told me you were all a bunch of enablers- looks like she was right! Unless I find an amazing deal, I am still sticking with the personal domino for the year.

    I can only imagine what my first visit to the alter of the good lord Filofax will look like- I have only added pages to a new filo and that took me forever... how long will it take when I am not only adding, but archiving?

    My my, what have I got myself into!!!

  13. J, you have made a good start with the personal Domino... stick with it and learn from it.

    And Kanalt is a good mentor to follow in the footsteps of...


  14. Thanks Steve! I am loving the domino so far- I think it is the perfect "starter" Filofax.

    Kanalt seems like a perfect "Filo expert"-- really she was just the first to comment on my Filo when I posted it on my blog! Who knew there could be Filo mentors out there?

  15. When Filofax out their special edition (black patent with crystals) on sale I knew I had to have one - I had been lusting after this ever since they came out and was determined to make it work for something! I'd never used a smaller filofax before (the SP is pocket sized). However it's now working very well for me.

    I have my diary in there (week on 2 pages) having decided to use a written one this year. I've had loads of problems this last year with missing appointments and syncing problems with my phone/outlook setup. Having everything in a written diary is bliss! (I also have an A5 that I use as a daily planner).

    Added to this I also have space for notes, shopping lists etc. This means I don't have to carry notepad. Also I could get some cards in there to save carrying a seperate card holder. It also has a proper pocket at the back which I haven't used yet - trying to think of a good use!

    So all in all my experiment with a small pocket filofax is working really well - and it brings a great big smile to my face when I use it! I still use larger filofaxes for other purposes thought - I haven't really found one size that fits all my needs.

  16. Hi there,
    I have a mini and an A5. The mini actually holds loads. Addresses and week to 2 pages diary, plus month at a view, which is no good really, as too small-disappointing for me as I love to view a month at a go in my A5 filo. Iuse the back of my mini for stamps and 2 passport photos of my gorgeous god daughters, and the front for my business cards and medical emergency card. Big Huge Labs have a FANTASTIC site where you can make your own medical emergency type business cards for your wallet/Filo. Worth looking up.
    Got my mini zipped Finsbury in TK Maxx- pink and a steal of a bargain!!!

  17. Wow, I never run into people with Filos. I think if I did, I would be star struck! I am trying out a pocket size and it just seems like an elf's planner. It's so cute and I love it (and it's an Eton which is gorgeous) but I feel like I'm missing something. Maybe I'm just not used to it yet? Help!

  18. Erin- the pocket Filofax isn't for everyone and is not as versatile, easy to write in or expound in as the personal or A5 which may impede the flow of your planning process. There are also problems with access and readability. If your planning needs are simple it's fine: Appointments and reminders on the weekly pages (not much room here for daily to do's unless you use the daily pages or insert a 3x5 card or note page between the week). To do sheets for what you need to do (by category, someday, day, week, whatever), notes-you know those random pieces of information you you need to remember , financial for a record of expenses or as a bank register....

    I hope this helps you in your endeavor to give the beautiful Eton pocket a try. For portability it is a winner. If it doesn't work as a planner you could always try to use it as a wallet, address book, notebook or whatever you fancy.

  19. I have a baroque mini which I use when I travel. I have an A5 for work (which is just perfect so despite efforts to downsize, I have been using it for years). But once a year I travel to South Africa for two months. So I take only the mini baroque with me. It has only meetings for the two weeks after I come back (on WOTP), important addresses and phone numbers (I leave my Swedish phone in Sweden when I leave for SA), travel details and do do lists. When it comes back it is filled with receipts and little journal notes about my trip. The baroque mini is a lovely aqua colour, deceptively smooth and butter soft on the outside with the beautiful raised patterned leather on the inside. It takes no space at all and is featherlight, even stuffed. I bought it on sale for next to nothing and I love it.

  20. I'm so glad that I was able to downsize from A5 to Personal, that I would never dare to downsize even further!
    I do have and use my Mini Finsbury on a daily basis though. It is my wallet, holds my bank cards and driver's licence (which is the credit card-sized here). Coins are in the zipped compartment, money bills in the backside wallet pocket. In the front are empty pages for shopping lists. As soon as I notice I'm running low on anything for groceries, I put it there. No more forgetting the shopping list on the kitchen table! I also have a page per shop (drugstore, retailer, DIY-shop etc) where I put what I need to buy. Unless it's very urgent, it stays here until I get to that shop. I then pull out my list - et voila - get all I need.
    I have coloured note pages for each member of the family, stating the current clothing and shoe sizes, plus items I need to buy (like rain boots, underwear etc). Again, nothing that's urgently needed, but if I do run into a bargain, I can check what I need and it what size.
    I also included a plastic envelop where I tuck in receipts that I have to keep (e.g. if I want to return something back to the store, or for warranty purposes).

    The Finsbury does start to look a bit battered, but the leather got all soft and touchy and I wouldn't miss it for the world!

  21. Guys! (Steve & J) I'm blushing over here. Thank you! I think that's the highest compliment a Filofaxer can get. Though, I think there are others who are better "experts" since they have used more sizes and have more experience.

    I told my husband about the compliment and he said (jokingly), "You're sick. You're all sick." I replied, "Well at least I'm not droning on about it to you. I now have a proper outlet." That made him quiet. ;)

    As for the post, I did try to use a pocket size. I desperately wanted a size that was so portable and would fit into most of my bags. But I just couldn't downsize from the personal, mainly because of the ring size. I would really love to see a binder where the ring size falls between that of the pocket and personal, though my Malden is pretty near perfect, just as she is!

  22. I also never run into anyone with a Filo. Working at a library, I do see my share of people with planners and organizers, but none of them are Filos as far as I can tell. I so want to ask people about their planners but I don't think they'd like it, nor do I think they'd indulge me. Plus which, I'm not getting paid for that conversation. ;)

  23. I witnessed a woman buying a planner the other day. She came into the store, looked briefly at the shelves with planners. Picked out one (very plain: white with black), flipped it open, run her finger along some pages, closed it and headed for the counter! I was totally shocked. Obviously there are people out there who just by any planner to ... ehm .... plan, and put no further thought into it. How different from our little (but growing) community here ...

  24. Haha Kanalt! I am glad that I am not the only one with a significant other who thinks I am crazy! And I don't think it really matters how many Filos you have- I already feel like I have learned so much about mine and I've only had it for two months. I can't count the times that I have removed, added and rearranged pages- and to think I thought it was crazy when I read that it took someone 18 months to perfect their Filo!

    And Jotje, I agree! I don't know how people can be so apathetic when buying their planner- Filo or not. Unfortunately, my sister is one of them! I was with her at Target back in December- she must have picked up one or two planners (and didn't even open them) before putting it in her basket!

  25. People that just buy a planner like that just don't know what they are missing... hours of fun deciding on the right size and format.

    It's nearly as bad as those people I talk to about Philofaxy and Filofax and they say 'But it's just a diary' How can they be so X*X*X*X*X as to call it 'just a diary' it's a source of great enjoyment and friendship...

    Yes I do tell people about Philofaxy and Filofax... they don't fall asleep or roll their eyes and make some excuse to get away quickly!!!!

  26. I must be lucky, since I started with a zip pocket Durham which I still use, even though sometimes I think it's too big for my purse. I have a number of minis, but somehow can't find a way to effectively use them. For work, on the other hand, I've been wanting to go larger and have been "auditioning" planners of various brands in the A5-like sizes. I hope to have a candidate selected soon!

    At a conference a few months ago, I spotted a lady with an enormous Franklin Covey planner (only A5 type size but THICK). I recognized the insert style, so I did start talking inserts/planning styles, etc. She got suitably animated when I raised the topic. But I could never carry a 3" thick planner!

  27. Hi all!
    I'm new to filofax....bought a red,pocket metropol but I'm already in love with it...and the versatility of Filofax itself.so much so that 2 weeks in I went out and bought a personal metropol to try a larger size.But I'm sticking to the pocket at the moment because it's working wonderfully for me.
    I am a Sahm at the moment bit doctor by training and will be starting work soon...so juggling a toddler, home, hubby and job applications I always had a feeling that I was forgetting something.I decided I needed a planner, a plain note book...but then I stumbled upon the Filofax section at my local wh smith....and man I was smitten......
    My pocket so far is workin great for me and my husband is suspecting a serious affair here(heheh)
    It's my wallet, calendar(wo2p), address book, plus the tabs for shopping, job application, medical info for my son, monthly budgeting, clothes and outfit ideas/mini sketches....and more.
    It's so convenient,since my hand bags are huge as I carry stuff for my toddler in them too...so the personal size was too bulky for me....Sorry for the rhapsody but you get the picture...frazzled young mom,finally found peace of mind,and ecstatic to tell the world how a small item of stationery has changed her life:)))))


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