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


  1. Thanks for posting Susannah. Oh how I wish you could offer a course for men - it sounds great!

  2. Hi Susannah - really good to read about you! I'm interested in how you use your Aqua Finsbury for work admin? What sorts of things do you keep in there?

  3. Thanks for the interview. Your website looks great and I love the idea of the Unravelling course. Maybe one day I'll sign up :)

  4. Hi Susannah,

    thank you for this great interview! I really envy you for having a leather binder made for you!

    And I agree on your website. It's a great read, and I love your photos!

    Kind regards,

  5. nice to meet you, Susannah! I saw your photo on the Philofaxy pool. That A5 Malden caught my eye! I've been toying with the idea of getting an A5 for work purposes (I work from home as well) but haven't figured it out completely as to layout and use.

  6. Loved reading your interview Susannah. Been a fan of your blog/site for a few years now. Would also love an insight on using A5 as an admin device (what are the tabs etc)?

  7. great to meet you Susannah and I love your blog!

  8. hello Filofax friends! thank you for your lovely comments!

    Gerard -- i know, it's something i'd love to do, but i'm not sure if many men would do it :)

    Babs - look forward to maybe meeting you in class one day!

    Thomas - thank you! and yeah, the binder is something i really treasure -- i'm so glad i had the foresight to get it made when i had the chance :)

    Teri - A5s are SO useful - it's my favourite size

    Alison & Ms Cacti -- here's how I use the A5 (both of which i adore :)

    The Malden has my diary and all my current and up-coming work projects - i use blank index dividers and lots of classic coloured paper

    Tab 1. Retreat -- for upcoming workshops and retreats i'm leading
    2. Book Promo - ideas for my book tour etc next year
    3.Ebook - notes for the guide to blogging i'm currently writing
    4. Ideas - general catch-all for ideas
    5. Polaroid - notes on Polaroid retreat i'm leading next year
    6. Members - notes on membership site im working on

    the Finsbury has my address book and work admin with same divder/paper layout:

    1. Blog - ideas for my blog
    2. Promo - promotion ideas for my business and courses
    3. Ecourses - notes & ideas for my ecourses
    4. Collabs - notes on up-coming collaborations I'm doing
    5. Site - notes on design work and other odds & ends for my website
    6. Business - biz ideas, marketing tips, general biz stuff i want to remember

    SNARLing -- hello! i loved your videos :)

  9. Excellent - thank you Susannah!

  10. Susannah - Thanks for sharing how you use you A5. Reviewing my set-up for the start of the academic year (& the Philofaxy visit to the store!). Much appreciated!


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