26 August 2011

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?


  1. After spending a decade of my life living in countries that are sometimes less than stable politically and geologically I try to always be prepared for emergencies of any kind.

    My Medical Filofax is always in my bag and contains medical and vaccine info for all of us as well as contacts, important numbers, and anything else we might need if we have to leave the country in a hurry. A Filofax is ideal to hold this type of information in a portable binder.

    I keep our passports and important papers like birth certificates etc in a grab-and-go folder in the safe.

    We have several days' worth of food and water at all times.

    It sounds paranoid but we have several friends who have had to be evacuated from their post and often there are only a few minutes to grab important things and get on the helicopter! I try to be as prepared as I can.

  2. Best wishes to all our Philofaxy friends in these parts of the US. I keep my fingers crossed for you and wish you all the best on your way "through the storm"!


  3. I am a newbie and currently collecting inserts for a new A5 Filofax - deciding between a Finsbury Aqua, Malden Vintage Pink, and a Finchley Imperial Purple (I think they are the right colour names).... Anyway, I am curious to know how to use a Flyleaf. I cannot find any examples 'out there' and thought you guys would be the best ones to ask. So if you don't mind I would love to know how you use your flyleaf (if you have one) :)

  4. Hi Dee
    Welcome to Philofaxy.

    I think the 'Flyleaf' is the clear plastic page often put at the front of the organiser insert. It's designed to protect the first page from damage from cards or things that are in the pockets of your organiser.

    I've actually made these myself with a sheet of Over Head Projector(OHP) film the stuff no one uses any more! Cut it to size and then punch it with a metal punch to suit your Filofax.


  5. Happy Friday everyone.
    I'm looking for a pen for my filofax.something like the bic 4 colour pen, but ink not biro. Does anyone know of anything like this?

  6. @laurla how about the Pilot Frixion pens?

    This post is a good starting point:


    Or click on to 'Pen' in the label cloud

  7. Filo emergency! I've just bought an A5 on ebay and it has arrived today. However, the rings don't close properly :( I remember reading on this blog that there is a way to get them repaired by Filofax but I can't find the post. Could anyone clarify this, please?

  8. Look at the FAQ page, A. It has the returns address etc.
    Hope you can get it mended!

  9. Thank you Amanda, I thought it was on a post and not on the FAQs, silly me. I'm disappointed, the seller never mentioned that there was an issue with the rings. I've sent him a message, so we'll see what he says.

  10. A., this happened to me too when I bought an older model A5 Finsbury; no mention of broken rings. :( Thankfully it was cheap.

    I squeezed mine together with needle nose pliers, but they still don't close all the way.

    Being from Appalachia, I never experienced an earthquake before Tuesday. I thought I was just dizzy and was going to pass out, but my coworkers were saying their files were moving so we evacuated. Most people in town went back to work, but our boss said go home. He didn't want to risk it in our 100 year old building.

    Hopefully the mountains will keep us safe from the hurricane, but I suspect it will be rainy and windy for a while. :( Keep those on the coast in your thoughts and prayers.

  11. @Philofaxers. If you have medical conditions this site is fabulous......Big Huge Labs.com. and the identity card section.I've got several medical conditions and have done a medical emergency card with details of my medication, doses etc and bloods etc, in case I ever need an op or I am in an accident. I have put my GP and my dad's phone no at the bottom. Like a business card and slips in my wallet. You make it yourself and add your own photo and details. So handy for heaven forbid for A and E etc and hospital admissions, as all info is on 1 card and you can do 1 for each family member. If you're stuck about using it, do mail me, but it is pretty straight forward. The site is free and no sign up password required. I know from when my mother passed away suddenly, that at the height of an emergency, one does not think straight and can barely remember your own name, let alone medications, dosages, blood groups past illnesses, etc etc.

  12. @Mrs. Grievous. So sorry to hear of the earthquake affecting you. It must have been pretty scary. Will be thinking of you all in the USA and send prayers and love. xx

  13. Does anyone use a pocket Urban as a wallet???? If so, how does the fabric wear???? Does it get grubby, or is that not an issue??? Have set mine up as a wallet today.
    Love the setting up stage.

  14. @Butanben - I use the pocket urban as a wallet & I love it. I can't really help with your question though as I've only been using it for a few weeks.

    What have you put in yours? I've got credit card holders, a few sheets of notepaper, a month on 2 pages diary and a Moleskine Cahier clipped into the back ala Nan's post here http://www.plannerisms.com/2011/02/nancys-filofax-moleskine-cahier.html

  15. Hi All,

    I hope everyone will make it safely through this hurricane threat.

    On the issue of contingency planning, does anyone "back up" their Filofax by scanning or even just photographing pages at intervals? Since switching back to paper planners some years ago, this is the only issue that has given me pause for thought. I'd really appreciate some views on this.


  16. @Laurla:
    I'm fond of the Pilot Coleto gel-ink multipens:
    Jetpens also has a great general selection of multi-pens, many of which use gel ink, not biro ink.

    I'm curious about which ebay seller you bought it from, because I had the same problem with an Eton I bought last year on ebay from a well-known online Filofax retailer. I'm now suspicious of all ebay filofax listings from stores, not individuals, because I suspect they may be ditching the defective ones they can't sell from their regular storefronts.
    I wound up sending the binder to Filofax US for repairs, it was free and pretty quick, I recommend it to anybody with ring problems.

  17. @A and @Stirwise, I have the same problem with my Raspberry A5 Finsbury. The rings are slightly separated at the bottom and there are various marks and scratches with it- I am disappointed. But I got it for £30, so it wasn't too bad. I think I might send it off to Filofax to get fixed.

  18. @Karen, I've started using my just today so may need tweaks yet!! I've set it up with my bus pass and medical ID at the front in a clear wallet- taped round the edges, so they don't fall out. Important plastic cards in the front card slots, library etc etc, a 12month dates section to list my spending each month- labelled with my labeller and tabs, on the 1-6 labels, Jan Feb etc, coffee shop and restaurant loyalty cards in a plastic card wallet inside the open top wallet, the same with shop loyalty cards, and finally vouchers at the back in an open top wallet. My loose change goes in the outside zip purse, and notes in the back slot. Fingers crossed this will work out as a purse and finance tracker. Have kept the notepad for now as a jotter, but may use Moleskine once it has run out. Let me know how your Urban wears as a purse. Would be interested to compare notes. xx

  19. @Gerard,
    I do! I scan my diary pages when the month is done, and compile them into a pdf for reference later. I also scan my "information" section, and update them periodically, so that i have a backup in case my dear film gets lost.

    I prefer writing and these digital copies are just back ups!

  20. @Butanben - I use a Pocket Urban, not as my wallet but my carry-around Filo. It's had about 6 months' use in my bag and is holding up fine. The dark material doesn't show up dirt, and the only obvious wear is some scuffing on the press stud.

    It's a great binder. For anyone that wants one, it's also on offer at Filofax UK at the moment.

  21. @app1eg thanks for your reply. I've added monthly backups to my list!

  22. @Howard- Thank you!! Fingers crossed my Urban will wear well too!! Enjoying it as a wallet/purse and finance (spendies!) record keeping Filo so far. Trying to minimise those spendies by keeping logs.

  23. @Stirwise: I bought it from a private seller, not a store. Very annoying since they haven't got another one for sale they could replace it with. It's as good as new otherwise, it still smells of new leather. I have contacted Filofax Uk customer service hoping they can fix it for free.

  24. @Butanben - Great idea (!!!) about the medical card, but how did you get it to print in credit-card size. I've fiddled with it a bit and manage either huge or tiny. Any tips?