05 February 2012

Guest Post - Retired Filofax - Michael

Today it is great to host a post from Mike, who also writes on his Phillytyper.com blog.

Below my beloved Slimline in pigskin, Made in England--complete with gold "Harrods" stamp, where I bought it on my first visit to London in the '80s. I was never without it and burned through all sorts of inserts, which a local Philadelphia stationer would order for me. I was my first. So, here's the 1980s, early 90s….

The odd drawing inside, "Evil Paper" was done by mischievous son when he was about 11 or so. After a while (like 8 years!) it got a bit beat-up, but also couldn't handle all the pages. Sometimes you can be too thin...

So it was supplanted by a chunkier Personal in black Morocco Grain Leather, with no model name, just stamped "2MLG 7/8" -- that went out of service around 1997, victim of my infatuation with the first U.S. Robotics Palm Pilot electronic organizers, the scion of a series of disposable and ultimately infuriating little gadgets!

Also tried a few Dayrunners, but their cheapish vinyl and insets with bold type declaring, "ACTION-GOALS" and such were a bit too strivey for me! The simple "To Do" and Tels. seemed more proper, and so the Personal worked hard from early '90s to A.D. (After Digital) The last months of 1997 are sadly blank--my affairs were being tracked with a device that I dutifully plugged into a plastic cradle each day to "sync" it. It all seemed so modern… for a while, at least.

The cryptic scribble, "Spend 1 Day Week on C. Ad." i.e, Career Advancement, was advice given me by photographer friend, who wisely noted that yes, do your job, but also spend time seeking people who want you to do your job or who can show you how to do it better, so you don't end up with 20 years of experience that turns our to be all the same year!

Then, about a year ago, I made the leap--more of a stroll, really, back into the analog world of daily Filofaxing. Sure, I have an iPhone now, but I also have a Filofax Luxe Compact--which has rings that are a bit bigger than the slimline, but smaller than the Personal--like Goldilocks, I feel the Compact ring capacity is "juuuust rightttt" and hope they make more in that size.

And today, the Compact carries on--here, overlooking my son's old schoolyard. He likes notebooks, but at 15--no Filofax yet!

Both veterans--the battered Slimline and the still-crisp Personal--are wedged onto a shelf with the refills; the Slimline is empty, so I can't recall so much of what I was doing that, er, decade!… paging through the Personal, though--wow, old work phone numbers; one for a nanny named Lem-Lem--she had a tiny blue cross tattooed on her forehead right at the hairline, and a huge smile and big strong forearms… a receipt for a bass amp, tels for half-a-dozen camera shops--all closed in the wake of the digital tsunami…. can't say that looking at a bunch of blank-screened Palm Organizers brings back any such feelings whatsoever. They're not obsolete--they're just taking a break.

Well, I've certainly drunk deeply of the Filofax Kool-Aid this time 'round… so much so that I've started selling them in Philadelphia (inside a bike shop, oddly enough), and am mulling a Filofax meet up at a local pub in early February. But I'll leave it up to Steve, Nan and Laurie if they'd like to have more details on that here at Philofaxy.

---Michael McGettigan , Philadelphia USA / phillytyper.com

Thank you Michael, it was great to see those older Filofax organisers and if anyone would like the details of the Meet Up that Michael is planning in Philadelphia, then contact Philofaxy and we will forward on your emails.  


  1. Hi Steve,
    I saw your previous post about the London meetup and now I see that footnote about Philadelphia. Is there a link where we can see all the upcoming meetups?

  2. Hi LT
    I did have a calendar on the site, but with less than say 10 meet ups a year at best it was mainly empty pages! I will try and put together a list and post it on the site somewhere. But just look out for announcement posts. These all go with 'Meet up' in the labels cloud.

  3. Perfect! I will keep an eye on those. Thanks!
    Hopefully one of them will be in my area :)

  4. Michael,
    Thanks for the interesting write-up. The Hosoi skate sticker rounded off the nostalgic feel nicely.


  5. wow. that was great. i love that pigskin one. it looks like the one i wanted when i worked at kate's paperie waaay back. but even with an employee discount i thought money for beer was more important than organizing myself heh heh

  6. Wow!! When I get that job of my dreams, an international meet up, coupled with a holiday would be a big wowzer!!!

  7. Michael, looks like the slim version of the personal I had until it was unfortunately stolen in about 1989 in a London pub. If you ever decide to get rid of it, please let me know. I miss my pigskin Filofax so much :(


Related Posts with Thumbnails