31 August 2011

Web Finds - 31 August 2011

A mid week blog search and the end of August:
Please note the above links should open in a new tab or window


    30 August 2011

    Free For All Tuesday No. 30

    Fire away with any Filofax questions you might have us this week...

    28 August 2011

    Monthly View Calendars

    I needed to do some future planning the other day of the next few months on several fronts. I thought a monthly calendar page would be helpful for this to go at the start of each month in my A5 Malden which I am using the page per day diary insert.

    I started playing around with iCal, but I found it quite slow inputting things, then I realised... why are you attempting to use an electronic calendar... so I closed the application went for a walk, watered the sun flowers, said good evening to my neighbours, walked the length of the garden, let my brain work through what to do to create a monthly calendar.

    OK I thought, I could do my old trick of using MS Outlook to generate a calendar, but none of my existing appointments are on Outlook any more. No that won't do.. how about Google Calendar? I've used it for some time it mainly holds all my birthday reminders, I also tend to put things on there, so the rest of the family know were we are going to be etc.

    So Google Calendar, it's free, all you need is a Google account or a Gmail account and there you have a calendar with Day, Week and Month views... ok if you have used Google Calendar you know what it can do... yes? The one button I had over looked... the print button!

    What does this do... it offers different layouts and options for the current view (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) and it gives you a preview. When you click on 'Print' it sends you a PDF file, which you can then review before you print it. I tried this out with a couple of monthly layouts.

    Both are quite a nice simple clean un-cluttered layout. I tried punching the sheets after printing them on A5 paper and found that the margins were not quite right but a small adjustment in the scaling setting on the printer to reduce the grid by a couple of percent did the trick.

    So then I revisited iCal again, but this time with only a blank calendar and tried a similar trick with that.

    Again quite a nice clean layout, but this one offers the mini calendar as a option for the previous month, this month and next month. If you turn off that option it expands the month grid in to that space. When you go to print, it will let you print to a printer or to pdf. Again with a little bit of adjustment to the scaling I managed to get it to fit an A5 sheet of paper without the punched holes causing problems with the printed text. I quite like the way they grey out the days of the previous month and the next month, so it concentrates your eye on the current month.

    iCal of course is only available on the Apple Mac, but with Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Hotmail Calendar all offering similar free on-line calendars, that you can print out, then there are quite a few options available for people interested in having a diary insert customised to their own requirements be it printed on high quality paper, or with different timings during the day etc.

    I'm finding having a monthly calendar at the start of each month is a great boost to my ability to plan each month up to the end of this year. It is particularly useful for holidays and events that extend over several days.  Give it a try.

    27 August 2011

    A Date for your Diary/Planner - Sunday 4th September

    New York




    We are going to run another conference round-table voice chat using Skype. The last one was a great success a marathon 4 hours!!

    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 4th September from 10am (US East Coast time), 3pm London time, 4 pm Paris time 9pm Jakarta etc.  See the clocks at the top of this post to see roughly what time you should be on line.

    Where? - an on-line chat using Skype.

    What do I need? - just a micro-phone and some head phones(in ear phones work fine) and a free Skype account. Using headphones reduces 'echo' on the call.

    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...

    As with previous round-tables there will also be a parallel text chat room going at the same time as the voice conference.

    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....

    Here is my post on how to improve your Skype audio with headphones or a headset.

    Hope to be chatting with you on Sunday 4th September.

    26 August 2011

    Philofaxy Meet Up - London - 19 Nov 2011

    I'm planning another Philofaxy Meet Up in London on Saturday 19th November.  I will be in UK for about 10 days or so and I'm looking forward to meeting up with people again.

    Numbers are likely to be limited again, so please only apply for a place if you are sure you can attend on the 19th November 2011.

    The actual arrangements for the day are in their very early stages, but it is likely that we will meet up at a convenient meeting place, have lunch at Tate Modern,  discuss our organisers a lot! Then to finish off the day visit to the Neal Street or Conduit Street Filofax store more or less as we did back in March.

    So if you are interested can you please email philofaxy at gmail dot com and make the subject of the message 'London Meet Up - November'  I will make sure you are kept informed of the arrangements.

    Please note this is as well as the meet up in September not instead of. The September meet up is already over subscribed.   

    Free for All Friday No. 145

    Earlier this week, the eastern United States felt something unusual—a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. The quake was centered in Virginia, and caused a nuclear power plant to shut down, damage to landmarks such as the Washington Monument and National Cathedral, and office buildings to be evacuated as far north as Boston.

    Meanwhile, the East Coast is also bracing for Hurricane Irene—the largest in years—to arrive this weekend. Evacuations have begun in some coastal towns.

    Even if you're not currently in harm's way, hearing about events like this does make you think about how prepared you are for an emergency. Do you have extra water in case you lose plumbing? Food that you can prepare without electricity? Do you know what to take with you if you had to evacuate on short notice?

    If you don't have such plans in place, maybe a Filofax (or a tabbed section of one) can help you take control of your emergency plans and information.

    What else is on your mind this weekend?

    25 August 2011

    Filofax Organiser Weigh In

    I've been asked what the weight is of different organisers, whilst I have a 'few' in my collection I don't have one of every single model or size.

    So we need your help to fill in some of the gaps. I've created a simple Google Doc which lists all of the models and sizes. All we need you to do is to weigh your organiser without the inserts in it. Use some kitchen scales. And again with your normal fill of inserts. The second weight will vary a little I realise, but it will give us some idea of the typical weight.

    Go to the Google Doc and add the details to the file.

    Many thanks for your help.

    Web Finds 25th August 2011

    Thank you for the links you have shared with me this week. We seem to do better ourselves at finding posts than Google does for some reason these days. Odd!

      24 August 2011

      Pocket - it's where it is happening! - 2011

      So back in August last year I stated that 'Pocket - it's where it is happening' and on Saturday Sharon made the observation on Twitter 'Are we creating a trend?' and I had to agree, putting together the Webfinds in the last 2-3 weeks there has been quite a few 'Pocket' posts.

      Why? It could be a summer thing.. people swapping over to smaller bags, not wearing coats and jackets, so the Pocket is much more convenient to carry compared to the Personal. Or could it be the 'Malden Factor' ? They have become very popular in the last 6-9 months...

      I noticed one person had blogged only a few weeks ago about changing from A5 to Personal, and then a few weeks on there was a conversion post to Pocket...

      So here are a round up of the various Pocket posts from the last few weeks. Quite a collection I think you will agree!
      So have you tried a pocket yet? 

        23 August 2011

        Free For All Tuesday No. 29

        So are we really solving your Filofax problems? Is there something more we could do to help you out?

        Don't be afraid to ask via email and we can pose your question or problem for you, without saying who is asking.

        22 August 2011

        Charity Donations Update

        Hello Everyone.
        Thank you for continuing to support our Cancer Charity Donation, which is continuing to grow, it went over the £42 mark today.

        With view to which charity to donate to in December, I think we should wait until we get to the final total, because if we reach quite a high total we might want to choose to split our donation between a couple of Cancer Charities, but thank you for your suggestions so far.

        In addition to Filofax UK, I'm pleased to announce from today that we can also benefit from commission when buying at Ryman UK, who as you know have some good offers on Filofax organisers from time to time.  Commission earned from Ryman will also be added to the charity donation in December.  I'm also enquiring with WH Smiths to add them to the commission stream as well.

        Again thank you for your continued support.


        Pen Loop Compatible Pens

        I wrote recently about finding a suitable pen for my Maldens and I bought the Pilot Slim Frixion, which is a nice slim pen, but it isn't the cheapest of pens.

        I think it was Jotje that mentioned on Twitter that the 0.5mm Frixions fit the pen loop. Looking at the 'Back to School' stationary I came across a pack of 4 0.5mm Frixions in black, blue and red for €4 bargain I thought.

        They fit the pen loop quite snugly, but at first I wasn't keen on the 0.5 mm size, a little thin for my style of writing. But all is not lost, by unscrewing the pen I was able to swap the refill for a standard 0.7mm size and they fit perfectly.

        I have found I prefer these modified 0.5 mm Frixions to my original Frixion slim, because there is a rubberised grip which is easier to hold.

        Having found a great solution to pen in Malden pen loop problem! I went back in to the store the next day and bought another pack of 4 0.5mm Frixions and some 0.7mm black refills. That should keep me going for a while.

        21 August 2011

        Reader Under The Spotlight - Jane

        It is a pleasure to introduce you to Jane, a very pleasant and kind lady from Southern England. 

        It is such an honour and great fun to be the reader under the spotlight this week. My name is Jane and I post as Butanben. It’s an odd blog post name, so let me explain. Although I have been brought up in England, my family are Scottish.

        The Scots call a traditional small countryside home a Butt and Ben. Traditionally the home has two rooms, a butt, the kitchen end and a ben, the sleeping and living area. So, when I move into a small house, as opposed to a flat, I have often thought that Butanben, my shortened version, could be its name.  A cosy wee Butt and Ben home.

        I adore Philofaxy and my Filofaxes and spend hours of my spare time designing my own pages. I love playing the piano, reading and being creative with digital scrapbooking. Workwise, I have been a teacher of general subjects, to pupils aged from 5-11 and Head of Music Departments, totally loving my career to date. Due to school merger, I am looking for work; so, if anyone hears of a teaching or related vacancy, do let me know…… (cough,cough, hope that  Steve allows a small job hunt plug there!!) 

        Hope you enjoy reading and sharing my Filofax spotlight. It somehow feels like that old TV show Through the Keyhole. So……. “Who would own a Filofax like this? Join me as we go into the spotlight!”

        1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

        I bought my first Filofax a couple of years into my first teaching job, so in the late 1980s. It was a brown personal leather Filofax. A plain and simple dark chocolate colour. I cannot recall the name type I am afraid, but I loved and used it for years.

        2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

        I once tried a spiral bound Collins diary, because it looked similar to a Filofax, with a spiral bound insert. Handily it was an academic year planner too; but as my diaries get such heavy usage, the pages fell off the spirals after a short while and kept having to be re hooked back on. So, it was back to my trusty Filofax and WH Smith academic year inserts. This time a red Domino personal.

        3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

        My favourite Filofax is my mini baby pink zipped Finsbury. I bought it at a bargain price of £18 in TK Maxx last Christmas, and it travels just everywhere with me in my handbag. It is a bit like the mini Tardis and holds a week on two pages diary, an address book, some lilac notepaper and my favourite photo of my dad, as well as my Filofax registration code page, in case of loss. The pockets front and back are lovely, and hold stamps, a jot pad, two passport photos of my gorgeous God- Daughter and her sister, both adorable (not that I am biased!!), two small arrow book markers, a home made medical info card, made free on www.Big Huge Labs.com  and highlighter tab strips. A lot to hold for such a little and useful mini. My red pocket Adelphi comes a close second, as it is plain luxurious.

        4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

        I blush to say that I now own 8 Filofaxes of different sizes, plus a zipped one for storage. Gasps in horror!!! However, each bar one has been bought at a huge bargain knock down price, and each is fully used.

        5. What do you use your Filofax for?

        I use my Filofaxes in so many ways:
        a) My black A5 Finsbury is my day to day Filofax which contains everything: diary, information, lists, contacts, 2 Clip Art CDs, a zipped wallet with postcards and address labels, motivational cards, Filofax diary stickers, stamps and jot pads. I hook my Frixion pens and a highlighter pencil into the loops. I use blue for diary and pink for social events, and the highlighter to cross off my next actions completed in my weekly GTD overview. My jot pads are used as my “little tickler” reminders clipped in the diary, for vital appointments to arrange ahead for that week.
        b) A raspberry pink A5 Finsbury for my GTD stuff and as my GTD folder.
        c) My handbag sized mini zipped baby pink Finsbury, synched weekly with my A5 black.
        d) An aqua A5 Finsbury for my longer term vision and goals folder; really my me folder and relaxation folder too. This contains: magazine articles, vision boards, meditation websites, holiday ideas, etc. It is my happiness, hobbies and fun Filofax rolled into one. Ideas to follow through can then transfer into my GTD Filofax, to become a concrete project.
        e) My A5 Cuban ink, my writing/ writing and editing Filofax.
        f) My new pocket Urban, a bargain £8. Yet to be used, but bought for financial notes, including any dates worked, for taxation and planning. Trying to be fabulously frugal here and start to watch my weekly budgets. Zipped pocket useful for weekly receipts and coupons.
        g) A pink and mint pocket Mode I use as a notebook. Just holds notepaper and probably the least used of my Filofaxes. At work, it may well become my on the go/classroom assessment notebook, and will get more use.
        h) My gorgeous red pocket Adelphi for my reflections on the day, and dream work book. This Filofax lives on my bedside table. I do seem to dream a lot and have decided to write them down to look back at. Recently I have had several repetitive dreams about sunflowers of all things.

        6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

        I love the flexibility of a Filofax, the sheer variety of planners, the fact that you can organise it your own way, and be so creative in designing your own pages and content. Bliss!

        7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

        My perfect Filofax would have gold rings, 30mm in size A5 and contain cream coloured stationery, which has the feel of vellum. It would be hard wearing, stain proof, and ooze luxury and quality. Ideally I would be utterly spoilt for choice over the variety of diary and tabbed page inserts too, to choose from. I would love to see more buckles, as on the Deco, but maybe interchangeable ones, so that a Filofax can be personalised through a buckle feature. An A5 Crimson Malden would be just marvellous, or and mini zipped Finsbury prototype made in Crimson Malden leather. Sigh!!

        8. How do you carry your Filofax?

        The small mini travels everywhere with me in my handbag. The A5 stays at home, but when I am working will travel to meetings and will probably live in my huge school pannier basket. I do so love the French basket markets! I have a gorgeous little red A5 felt bag to protect my Filofaxes from wear and tear and coffee spills!!

        9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

        I love the Decos and the Maldens. I can’t see myself buying either, as I really have all the Filofaxes I need. But if an A5 Crimson were introduced I’d be sorely tempted to snap one up! It wouldn’t take much “enabling” at all! The Deco pocket Filofax looks utterly luxurious, and adorable, but I am not sure that a cream interior would stay cream for very long given the amount of use I give to my Filofaxes!!

        10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

        The most I have spent is £70 on my raspberry A5 Finsbury, for my birthday, using my  birthday money from my aunties and family. A lovely gift.

        11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

        I love everything, but perhaps look forward to the web finds slot the most. It’s a great read, and as good as any weekly magazine. I usually sit down to read it after my housework chores, with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and that is a real weekly treat. I love the community spirit on Philofaxy, the people, the sharing of ideas, and the fact that others are as daft as a brush about Filofaxes, stationery and all round creativity as I am.

        12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

        Dislike…… hummmm……… still thinking…………..nope………. you’ve got me on that one……..I’ll have to phone a friend, or ask the Philofaxy audience or something.

        13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded? 

        Not advertising or endorsing here, but I personally use the We7 site a lot to listen to albums and new tracks. I love jazz, “classical” and opera. The last track I downloaded was just yesterday; Celine Dion singing The First Time Ever I saw Your Face. A lovely smooth jazz version.

        Thank you Jane for a very detailed response to all our questions. I'm sure we will all wish you luck in your job search. 

        20 August 2011

        Web Finds 20 August 2011

        So another week ends and here are some great blog posts for you to read:
        And finally... my dear wife is running a competition on her own blog to win a copy of the book 'Light of the Moon' by Elizabeth Buchan. You can find out more here.

        Oh and don't forget to keep up to date with 'All Stars' posts here

        And a new video to watch too....

        As usual... enjoy

        19 August 2011

        Free For All Friday No. 144

        It's Back To School time! For many of us, the school year is in full swing already. (Those of you who are lucky enough to have some summer remaining, enjoy it!)  Students, teachers and parents, how are you using your Filofax to help you plan this school year?

        On another note, there's only slightly more than 4 months left in 2011. How will you use your Filofax to shape the next several months to complete your 2011 goals and keep up on all the upcoming events?  Autumn is such a busy time, are you making preparations yet?

        And as always on Fridays, please feel free to discuss anything Filofax-related!

        18 August 2011

        Photographing Your Filofax Collection

        I know that pictures of different organisers are always popular and I know people love sharing pictures of their latest set up or new purchases.

        I've been a keen photographer for a number of years and since I started blogging on Philofaxy I've been trying to improve my own techniques to take better pictures of my organisers.   So here are some tips on how to take better pictures.

        Firstly Filofax organisers aren't the easiest subjects to take photographs of, sure they stay still when you tell them to, but they are relatively small, so in normal circumstances you will be quite close to your subject.

        So my first tip, try to use natural light were possible, either next to a sunny window or like I often do, on a table outside. What ever camera you use the more natural the light, then there will be quite an improvement in your pictures. With indoor lighting or with flash your camera has to try to make up for the lack of light and so on digital pictures they will look noisy and also they will look quite flat and lack sharpness.

        Try to take pictures from different angles, or zoom in on a particular feature or part of the design like I did with this shot:

        I often crop my photos afterwards on the computer, but I don't change many settings just crop and save with most of them. It gets rid of wasted space in the photograph and concentrate on the Filofax not the surroundings.

        By taking your pictures in sunlight you have better control of the 'depth of field', this is the range of distance between your camera and the background that is fully in focus.

        Here is a classic example of very 'shallow' or narrow depth of field, the rings are in focus, but the pen in the foreground is totally out of focus and the address card in the clear envelope gets progressively out of focus the further away it is. 

        This technique can be used to your advantage if you are trying to get rid of a distracting background.  By taking your pictures on a plain background and in good light you can avoid these problems of things being out of focus like in the following picture of the Aston:

        If your camera lens can take filters, try fitting a polarising filter to your lens, I've found this can reduce the 'glare' you get off the shiny surface of the leather organiser and it then brings out the natural colour of the leather.

        When you are taking photographs of the interior of your Filofax to show off your inserts, try to show them with some content on the pages, even if you have to create some 'dummy' entries, which I will hold my hand up to doing before now!!

        In fact, the plan is of our house here, but you didn't know that until now!

        Even if you only need two or three pictures for your blog post, take plenty of pictures, it's far easier to discard them at a later date after you have written your post than to have to set it all up again, like I had to do once. I took a series of pictures, took all the organisers inside and then noticed another one sat on the table.... 'Doh' back outside again start again!

        The more pictures you take the better your technique becomes anyway, so try varying the camera position and angle, stand back a little and zoom in. Small changes can make quite a difference some time.

        In full sunlight be careful where you stand as you don't cast a shadow across the subject.

        So it is now time to take the lens cap off and try taking some more pictures... enjoy.

        17 August 2011

        News Update - August 2011

        Just a quick news update today. The weather is back to being hot and sunny here, as we would normally expect in August, so I've been outside most of today.

        Filofax UK have set another challenge for Fashion Photography bloggers on Facebook. You will be able to see the submissions on their Facebook page, it will be interesting to see what sort of pictures they submit... might learn something myself even!

        I would also take this moment to thank one of our readers Gerard who has been slaving away recreating Filofax templates for our Files page.  Here is a full list of them:

        Personal Pages using Pre-punched A4 Filofax Computer Paper (all in pdf format)

        As new files are added they will appear on the files page, with a brief update in the side bar as to what is new. Once again thank you Gerard.

        Also new on the files page are some Personal Size Weight Watchers pages sent to us by Natalie, thank you also:

        • Weight Watchers 1 - .doc
        • Weight Watchers 2 - .doc
        • Weight Watchers Notes - .doc 
        Hope you are enjoying some sunshine, where ever you are. 

        15 August 2011

        All Stars Blogging Tour

        We have had an excellent response to the All Stars Blogging Team and guest posts are already starting to appear:

        Here is a full list of the people and blogs involved in the tour so far:
        If you would like to join the tour just email philofaxy at gmail dot com , you aren't committing yourself to write on every single blog! Even I would find that hard work. You can pick out which blogs you would like to guest post on and contact the owner.

        And even if you aren't on the list I would urge you all to take a read of the posts, there's something for everyone, something different, a different viewpoint may be, other things to enjoy.

        Go on... find time to venture out a little further, it is ok to visit other blogs other than Philofaxy... you have our permission!


        Web Finds - 15 August 2011

        So we have found some more posts for your to read and enjoy.

          14 August 2011

          Reader Under The Spotlight - Susannah

          Susannah kindly contacted us before I got a  chance to contact her after seeing her pictures on her blog. 

          Susannah Conway is a photographer, writer and the creator of the Unravelling e-courses. A Polaroid addict and very proud aunt, her first book, This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart, will be published by Globe Pequot Press in spring 2012. You can read more about her shenanigans on her blog at SusannahConway.com

          1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

          I used all sorts of Filofax-style organisers when I was a kid in the 80s. In 1995 I had a gorgeous brown leather organiser made for me while in Italy (still looks new), but it wasn’t until 2000 that I made my first actual Filofax purchase—a black pocket Kensington.

          2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

          For a while I used some Franklin Covey diary inserts but we didn’t get along too well. Ditto the Dodo diary pages (too cluttered for me). Every so often I flirt with the idea of splashing out on a Mulberry organiser, but for now it remains just that—an idea.

          3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

          My A5 Malden.

          4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

          Six. An aqua A5 Finsbury and ochre A5 Malden. A raspberry personal Finsbury. A red pocket Amazona. A black pocket Kensington. A mustard mini Finchley. Plus the handmade Italian binder. Oh, and I did have a black A5 Finsbury but I gave it to my sister when I bought the aqua.

          5. What do you use your Filofaxes for?
          I use both A5s for work—the Malden holds my diary (week per page with notes) and current projects I’m working on, while the Finsbury is for biz admin. The Kensington is my standalone address book. The Amazona is for general notes and plans. The mini Finchley I keep in my bag for notes-on-the-go. The personal Finsbury and Italian are currently without purpose and feeling rather dejected.

          6. What was the feature about Filofax you liked most?

          I like being able to create sections for different projects and have them all together in one binder. I like that I can switch them around as I need to, and add more paper—it’s the never-ending notebook. I’ve been a stationery addict ever since I learned how to write and Filofaxes scratch a very particular stationery itch for me!

          7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

          I’d like a size between the A5 and the personal with slightly wider pages. In terms of styling, the Malden is pretty close to perfect—I’ve put some stiff cardboard in the largest front pocket of my A5 to give the binder more structure, one of the few quibbles I have with the design. I wish Filofax would be more adventurous with their colour choices—I noticed on the French site they have a better selection (yellow! jade! orchid!), so no doubt my next purchase will be from there :)

          8. How do you carry your Filofax?

          My A5s stay at home on my desk (I work from home) and my mini is always in my bag. The pockets come with me if I have a need for them. The personals are sobbing quietly on a bookshelf.

          9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?
          Like everyone else, I love the Malden, but I have my eye on the A5 Osterley in brown. I’m also loving the yellow personal Piazza and the jade and mustard A5 Finchleys on the French site.

          10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

          £100 on the A5 Malden

          11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

          I visit Philofaxy to be among “my people”—the planner obsessives and stationery addicts. It helps me feel less alone ;-)

          12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

          How you guys enable my Filofax addiction. Damn you!

          13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

          A gorgeous EP by local singer-songwrter Rebecca Cant.

          Thank you Susannah

          13 August 2011

          A4 Filofax punch?

          A4 Filofax users, what hole punch do you use to put pages into your Filofax?

          There has been a lot of discussion here on Philofaxy about hole punches for the A5 size pages, but what about A4? On Filofax UK's website I see a portable hole punch, but surely this isn't the only way to get A4 pages into your Filofax?

          It would be very useful to punch work documents and other pages to insert into your Filo, but I know regular binders are for 2-hole punched paper. Surely there is a good quality punch out there to put pages into your A4 Filofax?

          Making Your Filofax Your Own - Domino Cover Decoration

          The Domino is a very popular Filofax, it comes in a huge variety of colours and it is priced at the lower end of the price range and therefore it represents excellent value for money.

          Now before I go further with today's feature, I don't own a Domino myself, but I have seen them and I'm sure the idea I am about to outline will work and it will make your Domino very different from the Domino of that other person in your office.

          This idea came out of a discussion with Laurie, who was keen when I outlined the Olympic Games 2012 range and I mentioned the Union Jack edition, but it wasn't full colour much to Laurie's disappointment.

          My initial idea was to use say a blue Domino and then use red and white tape to make the rest of the flag, or a red Domino and blue and white tape to make the flag. Getting all the angles right and the thickness of the lines right could prove difficult though.

          Then I had a brain wave!!! Why not use a vinyl sticker normally sold as car stickers. To my surprise there are loads of these that you can buy from Amazon or other sites that would be the right size. Vistaprint even do quite a large range, including the option to upload your own design.

          You don't have to restrict yourself to flags, there are quite a range of sticker designs, sizes and colours available on this site for instance. And looking in their 'Sticker Book' you can even specify the width and colour of some of their stickers. See also this site

          Now I realise these are UK sites, but I'm sure there is a just as big a range in your country.  The designs are only limited by your imagination, check out your local car accessories store, although you might get a few odd looks trying different stickers against your Filofax!

          If you try this idea out, share a picture or two in the Philofaxy Flickr Group.

          If you want to remove this type of sticker at some point in the future, a little gentle heat from a hair dryer will soften the adhesive, then peel it off. If it leaves behind any adhesive residue, use a little white spirit on a paper towel to remove it.

          Please note I wouldn't recommend doing this on a leather Filofax I'm not sure what the glue would do to the leather, or if it would stick that well. 

          Have Fun.

          12 August 2011

          Free For All Friday No 143

          So the end of another week and the weekend is nearly here.

          I would like to thank everyone who took part in our longest ever Skype chat last Sunday, which lasted over 4 hours. Not everyone was there for the whole four hours apart from me! But as usual it was very interesting and varied in the topics we discussed.I hope more a few more people can join in the next one in September..

          As it is Friday feel free to discuss anything Filofax related.

          11 August 2011

          A tale of two Filofax afficionados - Guest Post - David Popely

          Alison Reeves (a frequent Philofaxy contributor) and I had been exchanging emails about time and task management, and about GTD implementation in particular, over the past few weeks, so when we discovered that we were both going to be in London on the same day (Tuesday 9th August) on business trips, she being from the West Midlands and I from the South West, that we just had to take the opportunity to meet up around a shared ‘interest’ (a slight understatement!) in Filofaxes, GTD, and time and task management generally.

          So it was that I found myself heading for central London on the afternoon of the 9th, my very oversized and rather overstuffed A5 Finsbury under my arm, ready for an afternoon of Filofax-talk.

          Arriving at 3.31 p.m. for a 3.30 p.m. start, I was unsurprised to find Alison already in the Conduit Street shop, browsing the refills. For quite a few minutes we exchanged ideas and discussed the relative merits of refill layouts (the generalised criticism of Filofax paper quality was to come later), in particular the A5 Time Management diary inserts for 2012 vs. the standard day-per-page layout (we both agreed that for our purposes either would do the job perfectly well). General browsing of the binder stock, and in particular of the sale stock, ensued, with Alison buying what is apparently the only slimline A5 ever produced (Adelphi) and a handful of inserts, while I finally and inevitably (I now realise) fell prey to the lure of the Personal Malden, in this case in ochre. I never realised until I handled the Malden just how much it sells itself to you wordlessly as you hold it, regardless of how many good reasons you may have why you don’t need another binder! What a beautiful piece of craftsmanship…

          Neither Alison nor myself live within easy distance of anything like a ‘proper’ Filofax stockist, so it was a real treat to be able to get everything we need under one roof, with the help of obliging and knowledgeable staff – a big thank you, you know who you are!

          Filofax ‘habits’ having been sated, it was a short walk to Starbucks at the Regent Street end of Conduit Street, where over tea and hot chocolate I demonstrated my current A5 GTD-oriented setup (but using the Filofax Time Management index dividers), while Alison had brought with her, her lovely A5 Amazona, which normally never leaves her desk (thank you for lugging it all the way from the West Midlands just to show me). Alison does a great line in really attractive ‘contents’ sheets (aided and abetted by the fact that she has very attractive ‘ladies’ handwriting, in contrast to my ‘sixth former gone bad’ scrawl), and also showed me her wrap-around pocket Filofax Special Edition. It’s much too small for me personally, but her ideal ‘carry around’ organiser.

          Then we got onto the subject of pens. Having bought into the Malden at last (really, it was inevitable), I now realise how important the right pen is to match. I’ve always said I would never settle for less than two pen loops, as I always keep my diary in pencil, for reasons which anyone who has a busy life (surely that’s all of us?!) will readily understand. However, I’m now down to one loop, so a new solution is called for. The options are simple: Pen only, pencil only, or some kind of bizarre yet-to-be-invented pen-pencil hybrid (Tom Pellerau, are you reading this?). Alison showed me her very nice collection of Mont Blanc pens and pencils, including a very nice fountain pen – my ideal writing instrument, although it did lead directly to wholesale condemnation of the general quality of Filofax paper refills, and much hankering after a decent paper stock which doesn’t bleed through when a ‘proper’ pen is applied to it. Sadly, given Filofax’s current indifference to anything refill-related, this seems to be a pipe-dream rather than even being worth seriously proposing. But there is good money to be made out there by anyone prepared to invest in the project.

          Also in Alison’s armoury of writing implements is a range of coloured Frixion pens – very cheap to buy, write like a rollerball, available in a wide range of colours, and…..eraseable! I tried this for myself and it really does work! I’m not sure if this is the solution for me (Alison does a lot of colour-coding, enough to justify carrying around a number of different pens), or whether I’m just looking for a single, really elegant looking writing implement, but I do recommend you check them out for functionality alone.

          Soon it was time for parting – myself back to South London en route back to Somerset by car, Alison by taxi to her North London overnight business hotel, and I was left to reflect just what a lot of common ground there is between us, purely on the basis of our mutual interest in Filofax, and in all things organisational. Thank you, Alison, for being so willing to share your knowledge and progress towards organisation (which is, like my own, work in progress), and I look forward to meeting up again if the dates ever fall right once more.

          Now, about that pen……any suggestions, anyone?......

          10 August 2011

          Making Your Filofax Your Own - Dividers

          You might have bought a Malden or a Finsbury or a Domino, and externally they look just the same to someone else’s similar Filofax organiser. However, open your Filofax and that is where the differences start to tell.

          You can change the contents of your Filofax to suit your needs and demands in organising your life.

          Whilst you can buy dividers or your Filofax might have come with a set of dividers or tabs. A lot of people make their own. They can really make the inside of your Filofax colourful and very different.

          So today I'm going to give you links to some of the posts we have highlighted in the past:
          These are just a few examples to give you some ideas. But you could also use post cards or old greetings cards or birthday cards trimmed to size and punched to use as dividers. 

          09 August 2011

          Free For All Tuesday No. 27

          I have a question.... What else would you like us to write about on Philofaxy? Are there any topics you would like covered again in more detail? Or something we have over looked... the thread they use in the stitching or some other small detail? Let us know in the comments and we will see what we can come up with....

          But as it is Tuesday you can of course ask any other Filofax related questions.

          08 August 2011

          Reader Under the Spotlight - Roanne

          So this week I would like to introduce Ro, she describes herself as a minimalist, reader, cook, songwriter, exercise fanatic, but may be not all at the same time?

          1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?

          My first actual Filofax was purchased in ... early 2005, I think. It was a Personal in Lizard.

          2. What other brands have you used or considered using?

          I used a Franklin Covey for almost a decade. I think Moleskin is my choice if my current Filofax dies. My first pseudo-Filofax was something from a Walden'sl bookstore; it was close in size to a personal Filofax, and obviously meant to copy one, but cheaply done. My very first planner/agenda ever was one by Virginia Slims cigarettes. My mom was a smoker and I wanted the planner badly, so she switched to Virginia Slims long enough to get me the proof-of-purchases I needed to get my free planner from them. My only electronic pda was the Handspring Visor Edge, which I wanted to like, and actually did like, but I prefer the immediacy of writing over typing.

          3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?

          I only own one, and it is my beloved vintage Personal sized Filofax in Ostrich. It is used and abused and probably only beautiful to me, but I adore it.

          4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

          I know this qualifies me as a bit of a freak around here, but really just the one. I had two others (the Lizard, plus a personal sized Topaz), but since I only use one at a time, the minimalist in me drove me to find new homes for the other two.

          5. What do you use your Filofax for?

          Pretty much everything. Date book, to-do list, address book, password keeper, lists of all sorts. I've just started keeping my shopping list and menu planning in there. I want everything all in one place.

          6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

          So many luxe models to choose from! I like the actual size of the Personal, too ... not too big and not to small. Plus, it is the granddaddy of all planners, and to me, the marquee name in agendas. I've always coveted one but never thought that I'd own one ... and then I did!

          7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?

          The paper quality of the inserts leaves a bit to be desired. Double pen loops on every binder, at least from Personal sized and up. And pen loops that accommodate many more pens than the Filofax's I've experienced deign to accommodate. The pen conundrum has been rather maddening for me. If/when I ever move away from Filofax, this will be a main factor in the decision

          8. How do you carry your Filofax?

          I carry it in hand or in my bag, depending on where I am or what I'm doing. If I'm out and about, it is in my handbag ... I carry large bags, so they can accommodate the Filo easily.

          9. Which Filofax in the current range do you like the most? Are you going to buy it?

          I love the Malden, personal, on Ochre. But buying? No.

          10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model?

          I bought the personal Lizard when they were having a sale, spending just over $300 USD for it. It was gorgeous and worth every penny.

          11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

          I didn't know there were other people out there as geeked about Filofaxes as I am. And there are a whole lot of us, and we all LOVE to yap about Filofaxes. Who knew?

          12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

          You people are terrific enablers. I have to fight the urge to shop every single day. But that is my problem, not yours. Heh.

          13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?

          Lady Gaga's Born This Way.

          Thank you Ro for agreeing to go under the spotlight and if anyone else would like to take part in this series please get in touch with Philofaxy

          07 August 2011

          A Pocket Full of Life - Guest Post - Jotje

          Jotje's previous guest post is one of most popular posts on the site (watch it reappear in the popular posts list within a day or two of this post being published!), but when I heard that she had transferred from Personal size to Pocket size... I just had to go in to 'pester mode' "pretty please Jotje.... please up date us on your latest creation."

          And it worked, I know it will cost me when we see each other in September, but I think you will agree with me, that it was worth the wait. Just sitting here inserting each photo, is like turning the pages and thinking 'how does Jotje manage to fit so much in to such a small organiser.... it is a tardis (bigger on the inside than it is on the outside)!

          So enough of me rabbiting on.... over to Jotje....

          Following Steve's repeated requests, here is my blogpost on the use of my Pocket Malden, which is currently my ONLY planner … plus wallet! I've been using the pocket since about May (which typically turns out to be my planner format changing months ;-)). The first spark of Pocket envy was kindled by Zoe, then Snarling and Oni, until Stirwise's post finally pushed me over the edge!

          So, without further ado, please see and read for yourself what it's all about:

          First here's a picture of the closed Pocket Malden in Vintage Pink. The colour in this picture resembles the real colour the best. You will have to ignore all the other pictures in this post as far as the colour is concerned. My iPod Touch is a great toy, but not so much a decent camera …

          One note on the colour: If I were asked to name the colour I would describe it as meat colour. More specifically: the colour of a medium cooked steak. Okay, I see how this sounds less appealing than “vintage pink”, but at least it's the truth! I do love this colour (then again, I do love medium cooked steaks as well … LOL).

          Next, the opened binder. I added tabs of a Dutch making, because they were so cheerful, and because they have an inner pocket (shown in another picture) for storing receipts or paper. As you can see I am using the purple FriXion point (0.5) which is a necessity with this binder: First of all this is the only FriXion that fits the Malden's penloop (the slimline is too thin, the Frixion Ball is too fat).

          And this is why the Pocket Malden makes such a great purse: in the zipper I keep coins, in the card slots my cards, plus my drivers license and in the huge wallet pocket my money bills. Simple as that …

          Here's a picture with some of the tabs I am using. I will explain them in further detail in a minute.

          The first tab “Shops” contains A) my ongoing shopping list. I trim unused Daytimer Flavia pages for this purpose. Note the super handy pocket on the backside of the tabs!

          And B) a list per shop of what I need or want to buy when I am there next time.

          Next is the tab “Lists”. This contains various lists.

          Lists like gift idea's (see picture below), books to read, movies to watch etc etc

          In the back of this Lists section I have added To-do pages, sorted by category. I find these pages with the red Avery sticky tab (kindly sent to me by Nancy!). The brand of these pages are of the Dutch “Succes” planners. I like these because they have two lines per item.

          Next is the Tab “Maand” (= Month), again from the Succes brand.

          Behind this tab I have the month-on-2-pages inserts from Succes (for circ. 8 months), where I record my DH's working and appointment schedule. I love that the days have two lines. I use the lower line for day appointments/jobs and the top line for appointments at night. I have added a baby-blue Avery tab to immediately access the current month (again, courtesy of Nancy!).

          Behind the monthly pages I have the weekly pages (circ. 6 months), the German Cotton Cream with lines. I use the pink BCC ruler as a page finder. I use my lime green BIC pen to colour code my entries:

          Pink: reminders/events

          Purple: appointments (this way I can also record them with my purple Frixion)

          Babyblue for birthdays

          Lime green for TV programs I don't want to miss.

          As you can see I have added self adhesive monthly tabs to the weekly pages. I got these from Plannerpad.com. You will also notice that I attached them quite randomly and that they are not neatly aligned. But who cares, at least it works to find my month … ;-)

          Now to the heart of my planner: the daily pages (about 1 month worth of pages). I am using the Day-per-page inserts from Succes. The lines are really tiny, but I need to have half-hour intervals. And as it turns out I can write very small as long as I use my Frixion Point!

          In fact I can record all information that I previously had in my Personal sized 2-pages-per day inserts. The reason is quite simple: apart from writing smaller, I figured I don't need to write novels, when all I need is a quick reminder. For example, on my old ToDo pages I would write:

          “Call GP for appointment for N.”

          Now I simply write: “GP” under the PHONE section.

          Another example:

          “Mail quotation to (name customer)” can be abbreviated to “(name customer)” under the header EMAIL. Without any loss of vital information, I might add!

          I used the preprinted thicker lines of the succes pages and added (in babyblue BIC pen ink) the headers EMAIL, TO DO and PHONE. An idea that I stole from Oni btw! I add small tick boxes, because I dislike crossed out lines on my calendar pages. The idea for the boxes are from Snarling and Stirwise!

          As you can see I still assign time slots to my To do's, which is why I need the half-hour-intervals in my time line.

          At the top of the page (hardly legible in this picture) I added my Flylady Routine reminders with boxes to tick off. A simplified version of the Woman's Success Planner principle that you need to track your routines.

          The next picture is just for giggles and laughs. I trimmed the Personal sized 2PPD pages from Filofax and punched them for the Pocket binder. As you can see, all vital information and room is preserved. However, I decided I didn't need two pages per day, and that I'm way to lazy to do this for an entire year – thank you very much!

          Next is the “Notes” tab, which – surprise! – contains nothing but a handful of lines notes pages.

          Behind this section I have the address pages from Succes. Each address page is tabbed, and I use the front page for the first letter, and the back page for the last letter. I record all my login details and important phone numbers or insurance numbers here. Anything that I might need to refer to during a day, especially when I'm from home. No phone numbers from contacts, because those are all in my phone anyway ...

          Next is the “Family” tab. This contains lists per family member with clothing sizes, and of clothing or other supplies that need to be bought. Also a list of birthday party ideas or websites.

          A clear plastic envelope with bits and pieces and and a financial sheet (Succes again) with date and amount of the car fillups.

          In the back I have the plastic card slot holder (with room for four cards).

          The note pad pocket in the back finally holds some stamps

          I love the pocket format! It is so easy to toss it in your handbag, or to just carry it in your hand during shopping (after all, it does contain all my shopping lists!).

          Finally, here are a few more pics of my fat little life companion: a true Allrounder!

          Once again thank you Jotje, that is quite a set up!