31 July 2012

All Stars 2011

The Philofaxy All Star Tour 2011 has started, check out the posts so far on this page.
Please visit and support these blogs. [External sites will open in a new tab/window]

Free For All Tuesday No. 78

Tuesday's are your chance to ask any Filofax related questions you might have.

So fire away... and we will collectively try to answer your questions or offer opinions.

30 July 2012

Reader Under The Spotlight - Helen

Today I would like to introduce you to Helen, I am sure you will enjoy reading about how Helen uses her very mixed collection of Filofax organisers. 

My name is Helen and I have long said that my epitaph will be "She died in an organised manner".

By day I am a lawyer, the irony being that my current job provides me with staff whose sole job is to organise my diary and present me with a list of appointments every day, a fact I see as a distinct downside of the job as it deprives me of the joy of planning!

By night and weekend I am an emerging textile artist and am a member of the Twelve by Twelve quilt art group. I live in the North West of England.

I love to plan travel, probably, even more than I love the actual travel and accordingly have a freakish knowledge of airline routings. Whenever I arrive at a European train station I want  to get on a train to another country just because you can.

I design quilt kits for The African Fabric Shop (www.africanfabricshop.co.uk) and am the author or co-author of six books. I love all things African. Nothing makes me much happier than sitting in a well appointed cafe with cake, tea, my iPad, a Filofax and a good novel. 

I can be found all over the web... My blogs are at downthewell.blogspot.com and teaandtalkfortwo.blogspot.com (which I write with fellow Philofaxy reader Diane Hock). My art websites are www.twelveby12.org and www.helenconwaydesign.com

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

I know I bought a couple of organisers from Selfridges in around 1999 when I was doing a lot of travelling for work, the perk of which was some London shopping time.I would have said  from recollection that I had a Personal Cherry Classic and a Personal Brown Cuban. However, recently I found one of them in a memory box and... Shock! ... It was not a Cuban, it was a knock off! So it is possible that my first genuine Filofax was an A5 Pink Classic I bought when I wanted a more creative colour for my art organiser.

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

The knock off was a Microfile and it has simply disintegrated. Horrible! I have tried to understand the allure of the Dodo pad but I am afraid it passes me by totally. So I am pretty loyal to Filofax now.

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

My A5 Cherry Classic. It feels really solid and business like in my hands and the colour is neither garish nor boring.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Ah well that depends on the outcome of the Ebay Auction on going at the moment! As I write I have eleven. None of which I have paid full price for, I hasten to add! The hunt for a good price is part of the fun. And part of reassuring my husband I will not remortage the house behind his back to fund my passion. *

5. What do you use your Filofax for?

Short question, long answer necessary I am afraid...

(a)  Personal Mushroom Aston : this is my every day planner. It has a monthly, weekly and daily diary. I have the Olympic inserts as my weekly diary and a personalised version of Ray and Steve's two pages to a day diary. I use finance sheets to note my spending on and have a few sheets of notes. To-dos go on the daily pages. This is carried with me.

(b) A5 Cherry. This is my 'studio' journal and  organises my textile art practice which I take quite seriously. Sections include time recording, project sheets for in progress works, calls for entry, ideas for Articles, income/ expenditure, year planners, personal leaning plans (where I sort out what I want to learn in terms of new skills ) inspiration and evaluation of works completed.

(c) A5 Pink. I have come to dislike the pepto - bismal colour of this and may sell it to someone who is a pink girl in due course to justify a new purchase. Brown and green is more me. I use this at work to make notes on new statutes and case law. Homemade dividers separate topics like Road Traffic Accidents and Domestic Violence from Child Law and Court of Protection.

(d) A4 Black Classic. Very serious looking! This contains notepaper (I LOATHE the scratchy quality of the recycled paper we have to use at work so I buy my own!) ,proformas, referral sheets etc. it keeps my desk tidy. before I had it no matter how hard I tried paper would spread everywhere.

(e) Saddle brown Cuban A5. Sketchbook. Not nice drawings but notes and inspirational clippings and scribbles that all relate to ongoing art projects. So dividers at the moment include diverse topics such as kuba cloth, transitions, Soweto riots and urban myths. A bound sketchbook never worked for me as I do not work sequentially and I hated never being able to find an idea from months ago that was now coming to fruition.

(f) Mustard Finchley. This was a gift and is the perfect colour for my research notes on contemporary African art and artists. This has just two sections. The first is a series of reading lists because every book Or website I read seems to throw up twenty more names to research so I just list as I read and then follow up whenever I have time. Then there is an A to Z set of dividers containing notes on individual artists and exhibitions.

(g) Olympic lineburst personal blue. I bought this for the inserts but actually it has proved wonderful for a health filo and setting this up has been key to me maintaining a good exercise habit which I never managed before. I use a week with notes diary and use stickers to show that I did exercise that day (red for cardio, blue for strength, green for yoga) and note where I did it. The notes pages I use as a journal. i have sections for health info, workout suggestions, goals and records of achievements, planned treats when my stickers show I met a goal (yes, the Supernanny system works for adults too!)  and yoga classes online to try. Because it is cheap, both in price (£7 from staples) and in construction I don't mind it being in my gym bag with sweaty clothes on the way home! my dividers have pictures of athletes who inspire me with space to add some from London 2012.

(h)  A5 Jade Finchley - due to a rejig this is awaiting new dividers. It is now a combo life planning filo with monthly tabs for goals and a review journal and a home filo with sections for recipes to try, planning the garden redesign and the conversion of a garage to a dyeing studio, joint finances etc.

(i) A5 Chocolate Classic - this is the one I am also still setting up. It is to accompany my very full cherry classic and will be what I am calling my Prepared for Success Filo. As my at personal develops and as the exhibiting group I have newly helped form also develops i know I will need to know more about marketing, exhibitions spaces, social media, photography etc. if the cherry is about my work now, this is to be where I note what I learn in preparation for the future so I am ready when opportunities come.

(j) A5 Cuban chilli - using so many A5's works for me but it does mean that sometimes I head for a cafe with an African basket full to the brim with filos and my ipad. That's OK but less practical when I might get odd moments here and there at work. I have just started to use this as the centre of a hub and spoke system. Or a transit A5 if you like. All it has is sheets of all the type soft paper I use in my various A5's and a next step sheets on which I have listed a few things I need to do from each of the other A5s. So right now I am in a cafe with that and ipad and when this is done I see I plan to check out the price of garden sheds, the Dak'art festival in Senegal and to read an art business kindle sample. I make whatever notes I need to and every now and again transfer them to the appropriate A5. 

(k) Personal Aston Orchid.  Don't laugh but I bought this because it matches my bedroom decor and looks great on my dresser next to the bed and a real orchid plant. It is a little underused as a gratitude journal and repository of 'i'll do that one day' dream plans. But it looks great sitting there all elegant!

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

The flexibility to move pages around as things change. And the tactilty.  I am wedded to my iPad but I like the feel of writing notes on ipad content on paper. Its a good practice too. Otherwise I surf and the information washes by me and links get lost. Making notes keeps it in my working memory and ensures I use and retain what I read.

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

An electronic chip linkable to an iPad app so that I can send the Filo a signal and the iPad will tell me which room of the house I left the Filo in.

8. How do you carry your Filofax?
Most days I have a leather tote bag and the aston and the transit one go in there with a bound journal and large amounts of other random rubbish. I have  a parking space at my work building so lugging it is not an issue. Sometimes when I want to review the content of all my A5s (say on my monthly reflection morning when I review my life goals) I put them all in a woven African basket from Ghana and take them all for a day out.

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

No I am not. No.No.No.No.NO.
I have all the classic colours so there is no temptation there , but I love the colour of the Cuban chestnut.. I meant to buy that on ebay but the vendor messed up and sent the saddle brown instead. I did a deal for such a big compensatory discount off what was already a hugely reduced price that it was worth keeping it but I still eye the chestnut. The Pennybridge looks intriguing for travel.  And I am wondering if I ought to try one of these Maldens people rave over. Maybe some floppiness in my life would be a good thing?! *

10. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax? Which model? 
£75 for the pink A5 classic. The one I love least and have least used!

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

The Community. The ability to join in and belong. I confess that I stumbled on Philofaxy when surfing on an entirely different topic and took it to my husband to show him ," this crazy woman who has 28 Filofaxes".  I am now educated and know that  either (a) you are not crazy at all and I wholly apologise or (b) you are crazy as a coot but I am right there with you and cannot throw any stones

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

No one ever puts on adspot the discontinued model I really want to buy. I am not telling you which it is because that will only encourage you to hike the price if you do sell one!

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded? 
Lupercalia by Patrick Wolf. I am glad that was my last one otherwise I would have had to confess to the one before that which was Better Day by Dolly Parton.


* Darn it. I need to work on my willpower. Correction. I own Twelve. My bid at 45 seconds to go for an A5 ochre malden was successful. Sorry if you were the other bidder! I'll let you know how I get on with it.

Thank you Helen, I think that must be a first, in the length of time it took to conduct your interview your ownership of Filofax organisers increased... must have been those enabling vibes travelling down the wires...

29 July 2012

A Date For Your Filofax - 5 August 2012

New York

Sao Paulo



We are going to run another conference round-table voice chat using Skype.

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 5 August from 10am (US East Coast time), 4pm London time, 5 pm Paris time 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 5 August 2012.  If those that turn up for the Round Table are in agreement we might try Google+ so we can do a video hangout!

28 July 2012

Web Finds - 28 July 2012

An Olympic WebFinds today... after sitting until early this morning watching the opening ceremony from London on TV
  1. My version of a SMASHfax - My Once Upon the Moon
  2. OTF: Many True Filofaxes, and Call for Guest Posts - The Life of The Perpetual Student
  3. My Filofax Set-Up (Inaugural Blog Post!!) - Thoughts and Exploration
  4. My horse-themed Filofax! - Krista's Filo
  5. Pocket Refills Sale/Swap - The Wonderful Life of Alice
  6. Filofax Fortnight #2 - Pride, It Leaves You Hollow
  7. Happy Families!! - Filo Obsessed
  8. Monster Rexel 420 Adjustable Punch - The Purple Pen of Doom 
  9. fit pocket dodo pad into pocket filofax! wola - Simple notes to me
  10. waxing and waning - Filofax Fixation 
  11. Welcome to Journalling School - My Life All in One Place
  12. my filofax week #14 - Paper Lovestory 
  13. My lovely Filofax Songbird in Green - Lauren Loves
  14. How I'm using my Filofax Luxe - My so called organised life 
  15. Journalling School Session 1: Recording Your Life - My Life All in One Place 
  16. Sie haben Post - Filomaniac  
  17. I may have found it... - Angel Jem's City Cottage 
  18. Flying in my Filofax - Thoughts & Exploration
  19. Poll -- Your Filo & a job interview -- RESULTS! - Honey and Filofaxes
  20. I couldn’t live without…my faithful filofax - Get Up and Go
  21. Handy Task Tabs: now for the Pocket - My Life All in One Place
  22. Putting the “F” Back in Filofax - The Zeitgeist of Zoe
  23. My Filofax Blog Planner - Another Goldfish
  24. Spontanes Filofax Meet-up in Amerang - Chaotic Perfectionist
  25. Filofax Paper Alternative - Within Dreams We Live
  26. Personal Zipped Holborn - It's My Life
  27. Tossing a Filofax Lunch Monkey - The Crazy Suburban Mom
  28. My Everyday Carry Bag - Love Those Words
  29. New Arrival!!! - LJ's Blog of Stuff
  30. filofax spot: supernatural - Paper Lovestory
  31. Retail Recommendations: City Organiser - The Life of The Perpetual Student
  32. Day 4 #Happiness - The Zeitgeist of Zoe
  33. Filofax Kendal - Imysworld
  34. Really!!! I Did That?!!! - LJ's Blog of Stuff
  35. Making Filofax Pages - Imysworld
  36. New ideas for new Tracyley - Rapunzel's World
  37. Birthday Planner pages - We really didn't need another Filofax blog 
  38. Filofax Holborn Set Up! - Pride, It leaves You Hollow
  39. Arthur C. Clark: On Pen Loop Unpredictability  - The Crazy Suburban Mom
  40. Thinning my Filofax & Avery Tabs - The Obsession - Imysworld 
  41. Filofax Blog of the Week: Crazy Suburban Mom -  My Life All in One Place
  42. An idea.... - My Once Upon The Moon.  
  43. Another Mulberry - Paper Pens Ink
  44. Filofax Pennybridge on travels - Heather Holistics
  45. Filofax Sale-O-Rama - The Zeitgeist of Zoe
  46. Philofaxy Manchester (North West) Meet Up!!! - Filo Obsessed 
  • Your blog post could appear here next week if we missed you this time around. Email us the details and we will include it if we can. 
  • We can't guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Don't forget to give your posts a title...
And here is this weeks Video Finds


27 July 2012

Free for All Friday No. 193

Hard to believe, but this is our last FFAF in July! Where is the summer going?

Are you using your Filofax to plan a late vacation?

Or, if you were offered the chance to travel on the spur of the moment, what would you carry in your Filofax? What about your passport -- does it need to be renewed?

26 July 2012

Compact Holborn - Guest Post - Marcia

A big thank you to Marcia for her Guest Post showing us around her Compact Holborn.

The Compact Holborn has 15mm rings, in comparison with 23mm in most personal Filofax. It has a nice, slim profile. The brown is a nice chocolate color; there is some shadowing in the photos.

Inside front has six slots for credit cards

Standard business cards don't fit

 There is a deep pocket that opens from the left

 There is one that opens from the right.

The right-opening pocket is harder to access, but one is less likely to lose things out of it. Inside the pockets is fabric, but note the rest of the interior is leather, which will wear better especially under the rings.

I use three top tabs (lists, diary, plans), with lined sheets in the first and last sections. In the diary section I have a fold-in yearly overview with this diary.

Shipping from Filofax France adds to the cost, but this is the format that works for me. The compact holds everything I need as I have a separate work planner that stays on my desk.

The back has the same left- and right-opening pockets as the front and nothing else. You can see the smooth leather between them

Note that there is no zipped pocket as in the personal Holborn. The pen loop is elasticated on the side showing in the photo and you note is sewed to the outside of the planner edge so it doesn't interfere with the pages-though I don't have side tabs. A Sigma Micron fits nicely in the loop, which was tight the first couple of times I used it but is fine now. A Lamy Safari could be forced in but would be a struggle. (And not healthy for the pen loop.)

Ummm. . .boring, but this is the back so the tour is complete.

Thank you Marcia the Compact Holborn is available from Filofax UK

25 July 2012

Spliceable Filofax Month on Two Pages

One of the main complaints many of us have about Filofax inserts (besides the paper quality) is the lack of month-on-two-pages inserts that allow you to splice weekly, daily or notes pages between the months.

The Filofax month on two pages inserts are printed back to back, which means when you turn the page the following month is printed on the backside of the page. Contrast this to some other brands such as Franklin Covey which has notes space on the backside of the monthly pages. This allows you to embed the months in the weekly pages or add Financial pages, notes, goals, or anything else you want between the months. This is not possible with months printed back to back.

I decided not to buy Franklin Covey monthly inserts because the pages are slightly wider than Filofax inserts, and would obscure my tabs behind. So, like so many Filofax users (see Tim's extreme example here), I decided to hack my own Filofax solution.

I bought two Filofax Month On Two Pages inserts for 2013, and spliced them together.  Here's the result:

The first page looks normal, January across two pages.

Then turn the page and you see February on the back side of the January page at the left, and January on the back side of the February page on the right:
Then turn the page again and there's February across two pages:
Then turn the page again and it's March on the backside of the February page and February on the backside of the March page coming up.  I'll white out the month names on the back sides of the pages to reduce confusion as to which pages are actually the months and which are the back sides of the pages.
 Turn the page again and it's March across two pages:
And so on for the rest of the year.

As you can see, it's not an ideal solution. But it does allow me to insert pages between the months which is what I was going for.

Filofax, please take note! We are desperately trying to adapt your system to our needs, but could really use more inserts options!

24 July 2012

Free For All Tuesday No. 77

Tuesday's are your chance to ask any Filofax related questions you might have.

So fire away... and we will collectively try to answer your questions or offer opinions.

23 July 2012

Reader Under The Spotlight - Alice

We had to get a new 'low energy bulb' for our 'spotlight', but Gromit found one on the interwebs, whilst I was persuading some willing victims, sorry I mean volunteers to stand under it.... and this week I would like to introduce you to Alice. 

I'm Alice and I have just turned 21. I study Aquatic Zoology at University and I live in the UK. I have a menagerie of pets including snakes, spiders and insects and I am very family and friends orientated.

I have a passion for....stationery, Filofaxes, organic make-up etc as well as animals. My hobbies are reading and studying and spending time with my multi-species family!

1. When did you buy your first Filofax and what was it?
It was an organiser from Paperchase - not strictly a Filofax but the are just an unbranded version, it was in 'Spring Scene' and had fruit, flowers and animals all over it, very colourful! It is the equivalent of pocket size but had quite small 14mm rings. I got loads of inserts for it....kraft paper, dividers and stickers and soon filled it with a lot of Filofax bits and bobs too!!

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

I use anything which will fit in it, from Paperchase inserts to Filofax and with a lot of custom dividers etc which I added. The motto is; 'if it fits and I like it, its going in the Filofax!'. My boyfriend thinks I'm obsessed, maybe I am a little.

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
My favourite is my Pink Pocket Baroque which was given(!) to me by a lovely lady called Andrea. I donated some money to the Philofaxy charity in acknowledgement of the gift she gave me.
It has such lovely big rings - 19mm I believe. I can fit so much in her, and she is so soft and squidgy and supple. And her pattern is gorgeous!!

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?
I am ashamed to admit I have only got (and have only ever had) the 2 Filofaxes in Pocket. I have had school planners for most of my life or just simple 'week to a page' diary's from WH Smith for 6th form etc.

5. What do you use your Filofax for?
Everything!! For things to do, appointments, birthdays, University, to record my life generally. I don't write anything personal in it like feeling etc - just bits and bobs i need to remember to get on in life.

6. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
If you do something wrong you can just rip out the page and start again! I was always the person who would write perfectly to the end of a page and then make a massive mistake on the last line and then have to rip it out and do it again. I hate things looking messy so the changeability of Filofax really appeals to me.

7. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
Soft leather, big rings and most of all COLOUR!! I have found that Filofax colours are just so...plain/boring. There is no pattern, no colours just muted, understated chic leather Filofaxes and the odd 'special' ones they bring out like Swift - which do appeal to me but feel so......hard and fake!
It would also have a sort of thread through fastening - like the Baroque appears to have - instead of a popper/magnetic one which so many feature. I quite like the idea of an elastic one like the Domino but made a bit better perhaps (if that is possible) and on a leather diary or just something a bit less...plastic?

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

She goes in my handbag with all my other junk - she gets bashed around a fair bit and gets bits of crap in her pages when i don't clean my bag out for a couple of days :(

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

Hmmmmm....let me look at Filofax UK. The Pocket Zip Pennybridge in purple was one of my 'ones to consider' before my Baroque came along....but she is so...plain, even in the purple. I like the material of the Osterley but at that price I have no chance - more chance that little piggies start to fly than me possessing that one!! It has the wrong fastening for me too.

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

Erm...nothing I suppose. My first was a gift from my boyfriend and the second cost me a donation to charity of £20 - so I guess its the Baroque at 20! But the amount I've spent customizing them is a lot more than the actual diary's ever cost!

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

That there are geeks like me who love stationery!! And lots of lovely people who are really helpful and generous with their time. And so much information is available!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I have noticed no-one ever puts anything here!! Maybe more posts would be good - but then you don't all want to be tied to your computer/Filofax blog!

13. What was the last music album CD you bought or downloaded?
Dear lord....Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday Reloaded. Cringe.

Please visit my blog if you want to see my lovely little colourful Baroque!!

Thank you Alice for standing under our new 'cool' spotlight.

22 July 2012

Filofax UK Summer Sale

A short sale by Filofax UK, please note there are some exclusions.

Use the promo code 'JULYTREAT' to get 20% off your purchase.

Go on treat yourself today.

Guest Posting on Philofaxy

We love receiving Guest Posts, but they have to be about Filofax obviously... we do get guest posts sent in that are only looking to advertise some unrelated service on our blog... naturally these don't get on to the site, nor do we bother to reply to the emails these days.

However, don't let us put you off writing for Philofaxy it really is very easy. All you need to do is put the text of your post in to an email, you don't even need to use Word.

If you have some photos to go with your post, attach them separately to the email and put an indicator in to the text where you would like the photos to appear [photo1 or IMG2342]  and we will do the rest.

Your post doesn't need to be long with lots of words, pictures can save a lot of words.

Please send your guest posts to philofaxy [at] gmail [dot] com

Since publishing this post we have had several budding writers contact us but none of them have offered posts about Filofax.... hence this update. Let's be clear.

Philofaxy will only publish guest posts about Filofax Organisers and other brands of ring bound organisers

Please don't contact us if your post is about life assurance, education, summer fashion, weddings and any other non-Filofax related topic.

21 July 2012

Metropol Quiz Winner

So the answers to the final quiz in this series. It seems a few of you got caught out by question number 2...

So here are the answers.

1. The only lake in Scotland is Lake of Menteith, the others are all Lochs.

2. Nan was originally known as Inky, Philofaxer was the original founder and Nan then came along to help him out.

3. Denise Barnes is the author of From Bad to Wurst

And the winner of the Filofax Metropol is Gail from Gloucester, congratulations.

And if you missed out, sorry, but I only had the one organiser to give away, they are available from Filofax UK.

Web Finds - 21 July 2012

So another week and some more great web finds
  1. A few peeks!! - Filo Obsessed
  2. What colour would you like? - Maudie Made
  3. I'm back! - Musings of a Caribbean Princess
  4. my filofax week #13 - Paper Lovestory 
  5. What's A Filofax?- My Version - Chain X Stationery 
  6. OMG....Market Nirvana....Filofax Style....!! - Shabby Vintage Junk
  7. Gute Frage (8) - Filomaniac
  8. Handy Task Tabs for your Filofax - My Life All in One Place
  9. Filofax Labels Part 2 - It's My Life
  10. Mini NYC Meet Up - Well Planned Life
  11. What's In My Bag? - Paper Pens Ink
  12. Albert Einstein: On Dodo Pad usage - The Crazy Suburban Mom 
  13. So i tweaked my filofax set up a little bit - Pride, It Leaves You Hollow 
  14. Free Filofax - Pentorium 
  15. Death of Dr Stephen Covey - Franklin Covey 
  16. Cross to Bear - Living with Liisa
  17. A quick Stationery Spy #2 - All Things Stationery
  18. Holiday Essentials Blogger Challenge - Imysworld
  19. Introducing 'My Life All In One Pod', the Filofax podcast - My Life All In One Place 
  20. Episode 1: Welcome to the Podcast - My Life All In One Pod
  21. How can I get my kid to do GTD? - GTD Times
  22. Filofax Swap 3 - The "Chamomile" Attempt! - Lime Tree
  23. Stationary Haul.. Filofax Perfect!!! - The Wonderful Life of Alice 
  24. Wenn ich ein Vöglein wär... - Filomaniac
  25. Filofax Kendal Filofax Kendal Filofax Kendal - Imysworld 
  26. Filofax Blog of the Week: My Once Upon the Moon - My Life All in One Place
  27. the me binder: vintage rose Finchley - Paper Lovestory
  28. My last 2 Filofax weeks... - The Wonderful Life of Alice 
  29. London 2012 Filofaxes - Pride, It Leaves You Hollow
  30. Introducing Ms. Plum - Well Planned Life
  31. Scruffy Personal Classic.....Sorted! - It's My Life
  32. 2013 Dodo Pad personal size Filofax-compatible diary inserts - Plannerisms
And this weeks video finds, starting with one of my own!

That's a wrap for this week.. until next week... Enjoy

20 July 2012

Quiz - Win a Filofax Metropol

Would you like to win a Filofax Metropol personal organiser?

To win this prize please answer the following questions:
  1. Which is the only lake in Scotland to be actually called a lake?
  2. What nickname did Nan originally use on Philofaxy when she first joined?
  3. Which author used her Filofax notes to help her write her book 'From Bad to Wurst'? 
Send your answers in to philofaxy at gmail dot com  with the Subject 'Metropol' Please include your name and mailing address as well as your answer.

Closing date is 21 July at 15:00 UK British Summer Time. The winner will be announced shortly afterwards.

And the winner of the Filofax Domino was Jo Rogers.....and the correct answers to the questions were:
  1.  Exeter
  2. 168
  3. 23rd June 2009 although my first post was the 25 June 2009

Free For All Friday No 192

This "summer" in the UK has been cool and wet, while in many places in the US it's been even hotter than usual for this time of year. For those of us who note temperatures and weather in our diary pages, this year will be interesting to look back on later!

In addition to temperatures, some people also write things like when they see the first migrating birds arrive in the spring and last departing ones in the autumn, then look back through the years to notice trends (when some species arrive earlier than usual, for example). Other people note when the leaves turn color and fall in the autumn, which years have good or not-good colors (due to drought or other factors) and then look back through the years to notice if the leaves come down earlier or later in the year than usual.

Do you note weather and temperatures in your Filofax to look back on later? Do you note any annually occurring events to track trends?

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

19 July 2012

Guest Review: Deborah's new Ostrich Filofax!

Many thanks to Deborah for this fantastic review of her new Ostrich Filofax! 

The “Roadrunner” of Filofaxes: The Ostrich

Philofaxy’s Laurie graciously offered to feature my review of my latest purchase. I have to admit that I was a little nervous (and very excited) about doing it for two reasons: 1) I searched endlessly for a review of this binder and could not find one single review, and 2) I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own blog, but have no idea if I can pull it off so this will be practice.

Thank you, Laurie and Philofaxy for featuring this. I hope that you all enjoy!

Please meet my biggest splurge ever…my Personal Ostrich in Buttercup! My obsession with this binder began when I saw Ro’s spotlight interview on Philofaxy and saw a picture of her ostrich binder. I hadn’t known that Filofax offered an ostrich leather binder. After months of obsessing I did it! I bought the binder at a very “reasonable” price from Pens & Leather. And here is my review:

Packaging It arrived in a black Filofax box and was wrapped in a thick, soft felt-like black cloth. Nice!

The Outside The leather is unlike any other leather I’ve seen or felt. It is incredibly soft, all of it, including the quill bumps. I was afraid that the “bumps” would be hard but they are soft as well. The binder has some type of cardboard-like material between the leather that gives it structure but doesn’t take away from the supple and soft leather. According to my research, ostrich leather is full of natural oils – so it resists drying and cracking - and also has collagen qualities that make it very strong, supple, and pliable. I love the way that the binder feels in my hand. I’ve been holding and “petting” it every chance I get.

The quill bumps give it a very nice and interesting texture that is just plain fun to touch. The leather between the quills has a very subtle wrinkle pattern…nothing overpowering.

I chose the Buttercup color hoping that it would be more of a tan color (and not a yellow/butter color). Fortunately I was right. It is a nice rich tan/beige color.

It has a snap closure on the clasp and no other outward detailing (besides the quill bumps). Interestingly enough, it does not have the embossed “F” on the outside spine.

The Inside The binder laid flat right out of the box! It is all ostrich leather on the inside except for the lining in the pockets and slots that is a nice cream-colored satin material. It compliments the color of the leather very well. The inside leather is slightly more wrinkled than the outside. The ring size, according to Filofax, is 7/8” (23mm) and the binder has a ring protector flap on either side of the rings. Okay, onto the layout details!

The left side has “Filofax, Made in USA, Genuine Ostrich” embossed in the leather. The ring protector flap partially covers the 8 credit card slots and the inside full-length pocket. There is also a full-length pocket on the outer edge. It reminds me a lot of the Holborn layout – plenty of pockets and slots! This was a pleasant surprise. One downside about the credit card slots is that they are very tight and it takes some finessing to get cards in and out of there. Hopefully with time it will stretch a little bit.

The right side has two full-length pockets similar to the left side. It also has a zippered flat pocket that has a protective “flap” over the zipper. I really like this feature since the zipper won’t damage the last page that is in the binder. There is one non-elasticized pen loop that fits a “regular-sized” pen/pencil; thicker writing instruments probably won’t fit.

Moving In/Space Once I had the binder in my happy little hands, I had to immediately move everything over from my Personal Holborn (which, according to Filofax, has 15/16” rings - (23mm)). As you can see from the picture, my Holborn was packed, and yes, I could still snap it closed!

Because of the perspective, it looks like the Holborn is smaller than the ostrich; it isn’t. Well, I wasn’t able to fit everything into my ostrich binder and had to leave out the pictured stack. The bulkiest item was my envelope full of stickers that I now carry separately in my purse. A concession I’m happy to make because….

Overall Impression I really love this binder! It was definitely a splurge but so worth it. I’m worried that my other 13 or so binders won’t be used now because I can’t see myself moving out of this binder any time soon (if ever!). I may have found my “one true Filofax”.

I think the binder has a very classic and unique look about it. The leather is very soft and supple and a pleasure to touch and hold - I find that I’m choosing to hold it when going from place to place rather than carrying it in my purse - a first for me. I’m very pleased with my investment and in my opinion, the challenges to the binder (tight credit card slots and the smaller rings) are something that I can happily live with because it is, to me, just so beautiful.

And lastly, here is my Ostrich open and ready for action!

Hope you enjoyed and please feel free to ask any questions!

18 July 2012

Quiz - Win a Filofax Domino

Would you like to win a Filofax Domino personal organiser?

To win this prize answer all of the following questions:
  1. St Davids, St Thomas and St James Park are all railway stations in which English city?
  2. In a normal 'Double Six set of Dominos there are 28 tiles, how many pips are there in total? 
  3. On what date did Steve join Philofaxy as a contributor?
Send your answers to all questions in to philofaxy at gmail dot com  with the Subject 'Domino' Please include your name and mailing address as well as your answer. 

Please do not post the answer in the comments.....

Closing date is 19 July at 18:00 UK British Summer Time. The winner will be announced on Friday 20th July.

This quiz is open to all Philofaxy readers, where ever you are in the world. 

And the winning entry pulled out of the hat for the Swift in Sage was...Sally.   and the answer was of course Anglesey in North Wales, thank you for all your entries, over 100 entries were received before the closing time.

Laurie's personal Aston as Financial Filofax

Now that I'm trying to become homeowner, I have to stick to a strict budget. I know Personal Finances 101: the first step to sticking to a budget is to track all expenditures.

Last fall I used Expenses pages in my Filofax to track my expenditures, and it was really good except I never did anything with the information. This time it's for real: I have to calculate how much I'm spending each month on groceries, gas, and other expenses so I know if I'm sticking to the budget or if I'm overspending and need to cut back. So I write everything I spend into the Expenses pages in my Filofax, then at the end of each month I'll break down the totals by category.

For a few days I used my Aston as my wallet too. I used the full-length pocket inside the front cover for cash and the zip pocket in the back for coins.  My cards went in the slots inside the front cover. But I discovered this was harder to deal with than my wallet. Maybe I'm just used to my wallet, but I found the Filofax-as-wallet was too fiddly. I had the cards and cash in the front, but had to flip to the back to fish out coins. I had to flip to the expenditures pages to write in the amount while waiting for my change or for my card to process. It just didn't work well for me so I went back to my wallet, and now I usually put my receipts in my wallet to write in later when I have more time.

In addition to tracking expenses, I'm tracking gas (petrol) usage to get an idea of how much my car uses. I have a sheet of paper where I write the Date, Place I filled up, Price per Liter, Number of Liters I bought, and Total cost. That way I can see how often I fill up, and see price trends so I know which places usually have the cheapest prices.

Recently I became a member of one of those bulk-buying stores. I keep a list in my Aston of things to buy there, because I plan to only go once per month or less so I need to keep a running list.

I'm also making a list of items I buy periodically (like printer ink cartridges) with price comparisons at different stores. Whenever I happen to be in each store, I'll write the price of each thing so the next time I need to buy, I'll know which store to buy at.

I'm compiling a list of one-time purchase items we'll need for the house. There are some big-ticket items, like a lawnmower and electric hedge trimmer, all the way down to more mundane things like a mop and bucket. I'll note prices at different stores so when it's time to buy these I'll know where to get them.

And, I'm making a wish list and gift list for myself and family members, so when something we want goes on sale I can remember to buy it.

Because this Filofax goes everywhere in my bag with me, I also write things down that I want to do in the local area or elsewhere in Scotland. I'm always seeing notices for cool events that are coming to the castles near me, concerts, cultural events and other fun stuff. Now with my Aston handy I can capture all this information before I forget.

Also, in the front of my Filofax I keep Emergency information and numbers, car insurance info, and the Home Sweet Home form from the Family Lifestyle Pack for quick-reference numbers for utility companies, phone/ internet and mobile providers, etc.

I don't use this Filo as my planner, but I do use a monthly calendar in it to record coupon expiration dates so I can use them before they expire.  I also write in bills' due dates, and I keep a list of recurring annual expenses (car insurance x 2, MOT inspections and car tax x 2, Life and Accident insurance, Home insurance, etc.). Keeping a list of these dates and amounts due reminds me to save a little each month for these to avoid being surprised with a big outlay when they are due.

I have a Sticky Notes accessory because I use sticky flags to mark my lists. I refill the accessory with tape flags from Tesco.

I also have my Filofax calculator on the rings for quick calculations.

And, I keep my contacts in the A-Z tabs for easy reference.

I use Business Card holders in the back of the Aston to hold business cards and my library card.

Sorry no photos but since this is all personal/ financial info there's nothing I can really show you!  If you want more specifics just let me know. :)

17 July 2012

Current Filofax Sales...

You might have spotted some of these already, but just in case you haven't....
Happy hunting....

Free For All Tuesday No. 76

Tuesday's are your chance to ask any Filofax related questions you might have.

So fire away... and we will collectively try to answer your questions or offer opinions.

16 July 2012

Quiz - Win the Filofax Swift

Would you like to win a Filofax Swift personal organiser?

To win this prize answer the following question:
Which island is separated from the British mainland by the Menai Straits?
Send your answers in to philofaxy at gmail dot com  with the Subject 'Swift' Please include your name and mailing address as well as your answer.

Closing date is 17 July at 15:00 UK British Summer Time. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 18th July. 

One Life One Filofax? An Argument Against.

A common theme here on Philofaxy is whether one should use only one Filofax. After all, the argument goes, I am only one person, I have only one life, therefore I should use only one Filofax.

Let me be quick to point out the difference between "One Life One Filofax" vs. "One Life One Planner."

I do understand using only one planner to plan your life. Sometimes people feel scattered using a planner for work and a different one for their personal life. Many time management experts recommend using only one planner for scheduling your days, to avoid things slipping through the cracks. After all, there is only one of you, and you occupy each day in its entirety, so it makes sense to use only one planner to schedule your time. (I don't do this, but it is a very streamlined way to live.)

Contrast this to Filofax. Keep in mind that a Filofax is a binder which has the potential to be used in endless ways beyond just a planner, or even not at all as a planner.

Early in my Filofax usage I felt like I should be able to fit my entire life into one Personal size Filofax, and I was very frustrated when I couldn't make it work. Then I realized it was unrealistic to expect one binder to hold every aspect of my life and my entire schedule.

Awhile back on Plannerisms I posted How many notebooks/ planners do you need to use?  In that post I itemized the different types of places you need to capture your schedule, work notes, personal projects, lists etc. Some of these items can be combined, and some items can be stored electronically. For example, some people keep their contacts electronically but their schedule on paper. Others keep their schedule electronically but write their lists on paper.  The combinations are endless.

Of course Filofax binders can be ideal for categorizing by topic. I liken it to how I used a different notebook for each class at university. Using Filofax binders for different aspects of your life works really well. Some uses for a Filofax include crafting, garden planning, recipes, work projects, blog post planning, tracking finances, household chores and maintenance, and any other way you can think of really.

So if you are feeling frustrated trying to use only one Filofax to contain your entire life, cut yourself some slack and consider branching out into multiple Filofaxes.

(Not to enable any Filofax purchasing, of course!)  ;)

15 July 2012

USA vs UK/European Ring Sizes

I'm often see people questioning the ring sizes of different Filofax personal organisers for sale on Filofax USA.  I sometimes end up 'throwing my toys out of my pram' in frustration that someone somewhere can't do the maths or math correctly to convert Metric millimetres in to old Imperial Inch fractions...

I've actually written to Filofax USA more than a few times pointing out the errors on their website.

So in a lazy afternoon moment I constructed a table to show how and why they get the measurements wrong:

Fraction Imp  mm  mm     Filofax Ring Sizes
1 / 16 0.0625 1.5875 1.6
1 / 8 0.1250 3.1750 3.2
3 / 16 0.1875 4.7625 4.8
1 / 4 0.2500 6.3500 6.4
5 / 16 0.3125 7.9375 7.9
3 / 8 0.3750 9.5250 9.5
7 / 16 0.4375 11.1125 11.1 11 mm
1 / 2 0.5000 12.7000 12.7 13 mm
9 / 16 0.5625 14.2875 14.3
19 / 32 0.5938 15.0813 15.1 15 mm
5 / 8 0.6250 15.8750 15.9
11 / 16 0.6875 17.4625 17.5
3 / 4 0.7500 19.0500 19.1 19 mm
13 / 16 0.8125 20.6375 20.6
7 / 8 0.8750 22.2250 22.2
29 / 32 0.9063 23.0188 23.0 23 mm
15 / 16 0.9375 23.8125 23.8
63 / 64 0.9844 25.0031 25.0 25 mm
1 / 1 1.0000 25.4000 25.4
17 / 16 1.0625 26.9875 27.0
9 / 8 1.1250 28.5750 28.6
19 / 16 1.1875 30.1625 30.2 30 mm
10 / 8 1.2500 31.7500 31.8

So as you can see there is plenty of scope for who ever fills in the details in Imperial Factions of an Inch on which ever side of the Atlantic they happen to be to get it wrong...

Lets look at the standard size Personal ring size of 23 mm, you will often see this expressed as 7/8" or 15/16" neither of which is correct you have to go to 29/32nds of an inch to get reasonably close to 23 mm.  Similarly 25 mm rings are sometimes described as 15/16ths or 1 inch rather than 63/64ths... I think 1 inch is the accepted 'practice'

Because Filofax (generic) don't go below an 1/16th of an inch in their Imperial measurements you will see that they can easily over or under estimate a ring size.

I wonder when the USA will move to metric measurement.... Steve runs for cover!