31 August 2012

FFAF No. 198

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our Guest Posters, they have contributed some great posts in the last couple of months. I had to check back and the last real post I did was about 6 weeks ago! I don't count FFAT, Web Finds as 'real posts', they are sort of mechanical in a way... I mean a post that has a lot of thought and feeling put in to it, some photos, some mock ups etc

The 'time off' (if you can call it that) has not been wasted, it's given me time to look at other things on the site. I've had time to update some of the templates, which is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. They require continual checks and updates as there are so many now on the Files page and I've also been adding some new ones as well.

Thank you to Gerard and Ray for their help on this task too. It's good to see people making reference to our templates or 'Ray and Steve' diary inserts in many places, great to know the long hours are being put to good use. 

With September arriving tomorrow I hope you have enjoyed your Summer (Winter) break and you are mentally prepared for the last 4 months of the year.

So have you made any changes to set up of your Filofax organiser recently? But as this is Friday you can of course discuss anything Filofax related.

30 August 2012

How Flexible Is The Leather Flex?

Thank you to Helen Fennell for her review of the new Leather Flex cover. 

The Delightful Mr F has had a Flex to use at work pretty much since they first came out. He is not a user of a traditional Filofax, but really liked the Flex and it works really well for him. I had been wondering about one for work too. For me it is best to use a bound notebook rather than a binder for meeting notes etc, but I also have some loose lead bits and pieces I need to carry with me, which fall out if tucked inside a normal notebook.

Then I saw that City organiser had the A5 leather Flex covers in stock, and I thought it would be rude not to buy one!

I chose the blackcurrant leather cover. The cover is lovely, the colour is a very regal looking purple, and the leather is nice, and has that lovely leather smell. It is quite floppy, which I guess it needs to be for this purpose.

The layout inside is slightly different from the First Edition covers. The pockets on the left hand side are horizontal instead of vertical.

It still has the large slots on either side of the folder, and a small slot for a jotter pad.

One of the pockets on the left hand side expands so you can slip your iPhone, or in my case my Blackberry into it. It fits well, and I can see this being very useful around the office as I need to carry
my phone with me.

The folder comes with a pen loop, a jotter pad and a notebook. The pen loop is mounted on a piece of gray card, and I can’t help feeling that this is a bit of a disappointment compared to the lovely leather binder. Although I am not sure what other design solution there is. When the loop is slotted into the opening on the left hand side, it sticks put a long way and looks awful. However, when slotted into the outside pockets, it goes in much further and looks much better.

I had always thought that the Jotter pad looked a bit pointless, but now I have one I find myself using it for “things I must do today without fail” lists. I’ll see how it goes, but I may well adopt that permanently.

The notebooks I don’t like at all, and neither does The Delightful Mr F. They aren’t very good quality, especially compared to the Moleskines I normally use.  Mr F uses hardback Moleskines in his first edition version. They are a tight fit, but they do go in the slots. I tried to get a hardback Moleskine in my leather one, and again it will fit in the outside slots, but it is very tight and I would be worried about damaging the leather. Instead I am going to use Moleskine Volants which fit easily.

When everything is in place it is very thin and neat. I haven’t’ yet quite worked out my system, so when I have, hopefully Steve will let me share it with you.

On the whole I am very impressed with the cover. It feels nice to use and I think it will stand up to the wear and tear of the office. I’d love to see how other Flexers use their Flexes.

Thank you Helen for your detailed review, some interesting changes they have made. 

29 August 2012

Guest Post - Helen - Health Filofax

Thank you to Helen for the third in a series of guest posts.

This was a cheap purchase. At £7 from Staples it had to be bought just for the ruler and inserts alone. They quickly found their way to my personal Aston. But then I decided that cheap in cost and construction though this was, the Lineburst was not at all that nasty. And so it was drafted into use as my health filo less than a month ago. So it is still a little bit a work in progress.

In the front pocket are stickers and a spare £1 for the gym locker. Anyone who knew me at school (where I got my only detention for forging a note to get out of hockey) will roll about on the floor at the idea of me having an exercise filofax. But that the point. I need to stay healthy and I need motivation and much to my surprise, this Filofax is doing it for me. Of course, it’s not really the cheap and nasty filofax that’s doing it… it’s the promise of a very, very expensive one to come if I am a good girl…..

Because my first section is my exercise log. It works on the same system as a child’s reward chart. Exercise equals stickers and accumulated stickers equal rewards. The minimum recommended exercise for health ( as opposed to weight loss) is five sessions of thirty minutes moderate cardio activity a week plus two sessions of strength training.

So, using Ivy 8mm round stickers from Amazon, I get one red sticker per 30 mins cardio ( be that in the gym or a neighbourhood walk) , one blue sticker per strength session and a green for yoga ( which some say counts as strength but I count separately). I have been noting how I felt, what I did, what my heart rate monitor said etc. ( if you think using a filofax makes you feel professional just try the illusion of fitness the very wearing of a heart monitor gives you!) This is a new systems and so my notes are all about habit establishment at the moment but as you can see , it is going well. I never thought that I would be eager to go to the gym just because I don’t want to break my run of red sticker accumulation!

Then I have a section for logs. That is empty at the moment because it relates to future goals. Indeed the next section is for those goals but that includes sensitive info like my weight and though I generally spill my life online I do have some limits about what I will share with you! So no photos.

The first months goal (which is almost over that the time of writing) was simply to establish the habit of exercise. Nothing more. I will now add new goals, but I have yet to sit down and decide those specifically. It will be things like cycling a certain distance in a set time (which is when I will start to log my times) or to add in more online yoga classes, meditation and other health goals. It’s about a holistically well lifestyle bit by bit not about just fitness training. This section also has a list of potential treats. But not food ones. I am thinking that three months of keeping to this exercise routine ought to equal a new filofax say. And that when I add in a yoga goal after a while I can have a pretty new yoga top.

Incidentally, my filofaxes do overlap. So when I wrote about my personal Aston you also saw how my exercise routine appeared on my ideal week sheet and my daily pages.

The binders in this filo are decorated with pictures of athletes I admire and find inspirational. I left some pages to add in 2012 photos in due course.

I then have a workout section, which is a work in progress. For an intelligent woman with a great memory (if I say so myself!) I have a dreadful habit of arriving at the sym, looking at the free weight floor area and thinking, ‘Um sit ups and, um, sit ups and um, sit ups with a twist….” There is loads you can do for variety! So I am in the early stages of putting together a Bible of ideas.

These pictures and instructions came from a book I had on Bums and Tums that fell to bits from rolling around unread at the bottom of my gym bag.

And these little icons are from the American Institute of Exercise website and are just enough to remind me what to do. Obviously I choose one each trip, I don’t have to do them all – there are pages of them for each part of the body!! And it’s fun sitting on the coach watching Olympians do real exercise, whilst I cut up little icons and glue them down. Got to be good for the finger muscles, that.

I have a yoga section listing the online classes I want to do in the future and a walks section which is blank because my parents who are fell walkers persuaded me to buy a load of gear and ever since I wore it on my first walk it has rained every trip I have been to see them and I haven’t go to to anymore yet! Originally I had a section in an A5 for this and my plan was do little journal record of where we walked.

This is for the first walk we did and I need to reduce it to personal page size and then add in a list of routes to do in the future. (And yes I know you can get waterproof trousers but no, I am not fell walking in storms! That is why God invented indoor gyms).

I have an information section where I note things I read online or often in Oprah magazine! Information that motivates me from fear of bad things that will happen to me if I am a couch potato. Or information I am too stupid to do in my head like translate my weight from stones to kilos for the gym machines.

At the time of writing I also have the info pages from the Olympic inserts but they will go when the games is over.

The Olympic filo is serving me well for this purpose because I don’t mind tossing it in my gym bag or on the floor by the treadmill while I work out. And hopefully as it gets fatter I will get thinner!

28 August 2012

Web Finds - 28 August 2012

And here is the Tuesday edition of Web Finds
  1. Getting Slim - aham - Filofax Slim! - Lime Tree Fruits
  2. My Summer - Belzira's Corner
  3. Filofax Classic Compact Botanics - Belzira's Corner
  4. My Malden at Work - I'm a Filo Freak
  5. Martha Stewart for Avery for Filofax - The Storage Studio
  6. All Stars Guest Post - Femke: A Review of HHhH by Laurent Binet - Fennell Books
  7. Rediscovering my Filofax - Maudie Made
  8. First month in Filofax. - Katie Louise Halsall 
  9. My very first Filofax - Megan Brodie Rogers 
  10. Filofax. The nerdiest blog ever. - Grakky F
  11. AllStars Guest Post: Fit-o-fax by Zoe - Lime Tree Fruits 
  12. my filofax week #19 - Paper Lovestory
  13. Guest Post: DEM gets mind-mapping in her Filofax! - Cloudberry Musings
  14. PIMP YOUR FILOFAX - That's All Me
  15. DIY tabs for my Portobello Filofax - I'll tell you in another life....
  16. Stickers on the cover of your Filofax? - Notes in a book
  17. OK - I Am a Filo-Freak, But I'm Also Organizer Crazy - I'm a Filo Freak
  18. Journalling School (6) - Filomaniac
  19. Journalling School Session 6: Personal Goals - My Life All in One Place
  20. I converted my sister to a Filofax diary! - Paper Lovestory
  21. Papier gagnant ! - Le Temps Maitrise by Filofax
  22. The Planning Process - Well Planned Life
  23. Inside my A5 Imperial Purple Finchley - Mish Mash Muddle
  24. Filofax/ Day Runner Week #2 - Glossette
  25. Day Per Page Agenda Layout - Glossette
  26. Philofaxy All Stars 2012 // Guest Post by Angela - Wandrrlust
  27. My Filofax is here !!! - Just Stefanie 
  28. Min skjønne A5 Finsbury Aqua - The absolutely fabulous Ingvill Susann
  29. Ways of a Filofax - Enjoyette 
  30. Just an insight into my Filo background - Filofax Fetish
  31. Exciting news!!! well for me anyway……….. - Filofax Fetish
  32. Question of the Week - How Do You Use Dividers? - Bryan Sherwood
  33. Wunschzettel - Filomaniac 
  34. Advance Planning Prevents Unpleasant Surprises - Homemaker Daily
  • 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 this weeks Video Finds


Free For All Tuesday No. 82

Tuesdays 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.

27 August 2012

Reader Under The Spotlight - Millie

Today I would like to introduce you to Millie. How Millie has managed to escape being under our spotlight before now I really don't know...

Hello!  My name is Millie, and I'm a conservationist.  I work for a national UK charity, and I run a blog called Planet Millie, where I talk about everything I love.  This mostly includes gardening, notebooks, fountain pens, crochet and reading!

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

I bought my first Filofax in 2010.  I'm relatively new to this community, I guess!  It was an ochre Malden in the personal size.  I had been watching Philofaxy and the Filofax website for a while, and then I fell in love with the Malden range and decided to take the plunge.

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

I've never used any other binder-style brands.  However, diary-wise, I've used a diary every year since I started secondary school (in 1998).  Back in those early days of planner use, I used the ones we got free from school.  I think I only started buying my own diary when I was 14 and becoming an "independent teenager"!  Up until I finished school, I bought a WH Smith diary every year.  They have some brilliant ranges for school with fun designs.  At university, I switched to using Moleskine planners.  I've always used week-to-view pages.  I used these until I got my first Filofax.

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

I only have two Filofaxes - a personal ochre Malden and an A5 vintage pink Malden.  I also have a red Moleskine planner that I keep a daily journal in.  My favourite is the personal Malden.  It's the perfect size and is lovely to touch.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?


5. What do you use your Filofax for?

I use the personal Malden as my planner.  Unlike a lot of readers (I think, based on Laurie's survey), I keep personal and work appointments all in the same planner.  I use the A5 Malden as a recipe book.

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

The best bit about Filofax organisers is that you can rearrange the pages and add/remove pages as you need.  I love this flexibility, and now that I've used a Filofax I don't think I'd go back to a bound planner.

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

I'm not sure I have anything to write here!

8. How do you carry your Filofax?

My Filofax goes in my handbag most the time, or in my study bag (which is a big bag with my MSc notebooks in it) sometimes.  When I'm at home, or work, I leave it out on a table.

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

I love the Malden range (you probably guessed!), but I've also had my eye on a Finsbury for aaaaaaaages.  The trouble is, I'd like a vintage rose Finsbury in the personal size, and they're not available any more.  So, I keep looking at them on the Internet and sighing!

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

Gosh, I can't remember, but it would be the A5 Malden.  I think it was £90+?  I've probably deliberately wiped it from my mind as it's so much to spend on one item of stationery!

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

The community!  I've met lots of lovely readers through Twitter and I like chatting to them.  We're all awesome!

12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy? 

I'm going to ignore this question as it is a silly question!  I like everything.

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

I'm a member of Spotify, so I download lots of random albums because they're free (I have to say this, so you understand that I wouldn't necessarily pay for what I download!).  The last album I downloaded was a The Runaways greatest hits album.  I saw the film a few months ago and I wanted to see what they were like in real life!

Thank you for letting me take part! Thank you for taking part Millie......

26 August 2012

A Date For Your Diary - Sunday 2 September

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 2 September from 11am (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 2 September 2012

New York City Meet Up - September 22

As promised, there will be an (early) autumn meet up in New York City!  This will be our fifth meet up -- all have been very successful and very fun!

When:  Saturday, September 22

Time:  1:00 p.m.

Where:  We will meet at Sam Flax (900 Third Ave., between 54th & 55th) for shopping.  We will then proceed to Le Pain Quotidien (937 Second Ave., between 49th and 50th) for a late lunch/early dinner and Filo conversation.  This has worked well for us in the past, so we will continue in the same manner.

Contact:  If you would like to attend the meet-up please email Kanalt (kanalt17 at Gmail DOT com).  We'd like to keep the list to about 10 people in order to keep the group manageable and intimate -- the Filofax shopping space is quite tight at Sam Flax.

We hope to see you there!

25 August 2012

Web Finds 25 August 2012

And some more posts for your delight, these half week lists are almost as big as the full week ones from a few months ago! Fantastic really. 
  1. A few more Printable A5 Inserts - The Crazy Suburban Mom
  3. AllStars Guest Post - Ray - Things I carry with me - Deligted
  4. The Filofaxtour2012 - Rapunzel's World
  5. Trying to make the week on two pages attractive…! - Filofax Love
  6. A quick update... - My Once Upon the Moon
  7. filofax week #33 - It's Just Hazel
  8. What's In My Filofax: A5 Purple Domino. - Organise With Lauren
  9. Rapesco Adjustable Diary Punch 66-P - I'm a Filo Freak
  10. Sneak Peek Of My New Agenda! - Glossette
  11. All in the Family - The Storage Studio
  12. Penny-in-Training - Wandrrlust
  13. My new Malden - Notes in a Book
  14. Notizzettel [Filofax] - Janas Book Look
  15. Soll ich's käff? - Filomaniac
  16. Question of the Week - Fountain Pens and Your Filofax - Bryan Sherwood
  17. My filofax is still fatter than i thought - Pride, It Leaves You Hollow 
  18. Filofax spotted in the wild - This Bugs Life
  19. How do I know what Washi Tape I already own??... - Imysworld 
  20. The Best Way to Combine Outlook with Your Paper Planner - Day Timer Blog 
  21. Jack Vintage bei Filofax Deutschland - Filomaniac
  22. All Stars Guest Post by Femke: The Things We Carry... - My Life All in One Place
  23. simplicity is the key for GTD? - Paper Lovestory
  24. Filofax Weight Loss Plan Part 3 - This Bugs Life
  25. What's in My Filofax? - Bryan Sherwood
  26. Filofax and the Japanese Poundland - The Musings of Max
  27. Bamboo - Sweetpea
  28. My Chameleon - Sweetpea 
  29. Filofax Blog of the Week: FIlofax Love - My Life All in One Place
  30. Desert Island Blogs: Plannerisms - Planet Millie
  31. All Stars Guest Post by Ray Blake - How to overcome procrastination - We didn't need another Filofax Blog
  32. Introducing my filofaxes - Practically Pretty
  33. Waiting patiently- Filofax Fantasies
  34. A5 System - Wandrrlust
  35. Philofaxers' 365/30 Lists - Mish Mash Muddle
  36. What's in your filofax Friday? #2 - Hand Made by Rianna
  37. It´s time for my first real Filofax - Just Stefanie
  38. Get It Done, Girl! Lessons Learned From Daddy Darling - Gala Darling
  39. Randomness and my Filofax -  The Crazy Suburban Mom
  40. Filofax Accessories - It's My Life
  41. Filofax Paper Holders - It's My Life
  42. My Malden is here yay!!! - Filofax Fantasies
  • 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 this weeks Video Finds

Spot the Filofax in this next one!


24 August 2012

Free for All Friday No. 197

On recent Fridays, Laurie and Anita wrote about chance meetings with a Filofax connection. But have you ever had a chance meeting with a Philofaxy connection? This week, a friend at work told me he was reading an article on MacPsych that linked to Philofaxy. While checking out our blog, he realized that this Nan was "that Nan" — the Nan who always has the organizer open on her desk at work. Have you had any chance encounters of the Philofaxy kind?

23 August 2012

Guest Post - Paul - Lefax Radio Log

Some weeks ago, I bought a vintage Lefax from Ebay. It is a 1928 Lefax Radio Log, in what would now be a slimline-sized binder.

The actual condition looks worse than it did on eBay, but we’ll see what some restoration and patience will do. It will be difficult to restore to proper use as the inside is lined with a what seems like a vinyl-type layer which as gone completely hard. The covers feel brittle and would probably snap if bent. Leather cleaner then leather restorer, followed by a long soak in some leather polish may bring back some of the flexibility but I think it may remain a museum piece, not one to be used, sadly.

It is embossed on the front cover with RADIO LOG in gold leaf, and the owner’s name on the bottom, G.F. Arndt. From the 1928 catalogue inside, it looks like these subject-specific Lefax binders all came with the titles embossed in gold, even the “Family Budgets Made Easy”. Looking inside, you can see the mechanism is quite badly rusted and I’m not going to attempt to open the rings until the leather is more supple, in case it damages the covers.

The first page shows the “Lefax Radio Log” for December 1928. It even has the Dewey Classification system number for it: R531.2

The inserts seem to be monthly, and cost a whole 25 cents each, or a whopping $2 for a year’s subscription.

Or if you paid $3.50, you got the “Genuine Morocco Leather “binder included., with “your name in gold”. If only they were that cheap today.

The 1928 Calendar is also included at the back.

As personal telecommunications were not as sophisticated as today, it even came with a pre-formatted, blank Western Union Telegram, just in case you were out of radio contact or were away from home, and desperately needed to send an urgent message.

An explanation of the Lefax system is included, together with a very comprehensive catalogue of every insert available in 1928.

Inside the rear cover, there is a clearly legible imprint of the Binder Code number, and the fact that it was made in Philadelphia.

I managed to gently open the rings, which use a completely different mechanism to modern binders. There are no levers to press, and you have to open each set of three rings individually. I will scan the inserts and post them on Flickr. The seller told me some of the radio stations are still operating, so they may be of interest to the Radio Hams on the website. The 1928 catalogue is also of historical interest, as it shows just what a rich and varied selection of inserts was available, 85 years ago. Filofax, take note.

The binder itself was bone dry and very brittle, and it was crying out for the Nivea treatment. I bought a large tin of the original hand crème in the blue tin, and applied an amount that would make most people cringe. Bearing in mind this binder was over 80 years old, it was in desperate need of being moisturised. Here is a photo of the new tin, after I finished applying the coating.

And here is what it looked like immediately after the application of copious amounts of Nivea.

I placed the binder, covered in Nivea, into a Ziploc sealed plastic bag and left it in there for 5 days, sitting on the windowsill soaking up the warmth of the Dubai sun. After 5 days, I opened the bag and removed the binder. Notice how much less Nivea there is on the leather now and hardly any of it was transferred to the bag. Most of it has already soaked in.

Time to get the lint-free polishing cloth out. It took 20 minutes to remove the excess Nivea, and then to gently rub in the remaining coating. Before the Nivea treatment, it was brittle, and would have snapped in two if I had tried flexing the covers. After 5 days of a Nivea bath, the covers were once more flexible, and pliable. Here is the finished result.

The Nivea bath did reveal some damage to the spine, and made it more noticeable, but at least now the binder can be handled without fear of it snapping in two.

Next job is to clean the metal ring mechanisms and to remove the worst of the rust.  This binder was sold on eBay around the same time as a 1930s Mathematics binder which was also bought by another Philofaxer,  so hopefully we will see a guest post on that one too.


22 August 2012

Guest Post - Helen - A5 Ochre Malden ‘Studio planner’

This week Helen shows us her A5 Malden 'Studio planner, this follows on from her guest post last week about her Personal Aston

This is my A5 Ochre Malden ‘Studio planner’.

I am a lawyer by day but I also am an emerging textile artist. (That is what creativity life coaches tell you to call yourself when you are not yet as good as you hope to be but you want people to take you seriously nonetheless!) . This is the Studio where it lives although it makes frequent trips out to one of the downstairs lounges or to coffee shops to keep me company in thinking times.

I am making good use of the 30mm rings (love them!) so prepare for a long post! Throughout I have made it African themed. I had bought a very cheap and battered copy of Passages by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher on Amazon marketplace which was an edited version of the two volume book African Ceremonies which I then also bought. So I desecrated the cheap book and cut it up in service of giving me daily filo inspiration. I have just ‘glue-sticked’ (glue-stuck?!) the photos onto the official Filofax dividers. The black card sticking out of the pockets are two pieces of L shaped card I sometimes use as a viewfinder to isolate a design. As you can see I clip a green pen behind the rings. All pens are Pilot Hi-Techpoint.

The Filofax has the following sections:

Time recording (not behind a divider) and Quilts ( second divider) sections

These two sections work in tandem and I flip back and forth.

First the time recording session. Amongst textile artists I am considered a little freakish unusual (albeit not unique) I think for being so right brained about left brained creative work. But it works for me. I like to know what time I spend for two reasons. First so that I can cost the value of a work for sale purposes. But as my main focus is participation and exhibition, rather than sales at the moment I also need to know how long it is realistically going to take to do a particular type of project so I can plan to take on only what is reasonable for the limited time I have over my day job.

The time recording goes on in several ways.

First let me show you a few pages in. As the week goes on I note down what activities I do in the studio. I aim for 10 – 15 hours a week. I note what type of activity I do. Then every week I summarise that on a monthly page.

I found this template elsewhere on the internet but I forget where now [Steve:Philofaxy!!], which is a pain as I need it for next year as this works very well for me. [Steve: Don't panic we have created one!] I started this first and the information it gave me informed my other planner pages in this section. Then I have a four-page section for each piece of art I am currently working on. This stemmed from a course I did about working in a series.

The main bit of it is a project planner where I set out the next actions and the time I want them done by and then also keep a track of what I do and who much it takes. That means that I can costs a quilt but also compare the reality with my estimate to be more accurate next time. I really enjoy using my filo at the end of every studio session like this. I use a free stopwatch on my iPad to record the time.

Then, my newest page is this: I am working mentally in two semesters a year. This is a planner for mid August to Easter. I had a lot of options open to me about what projects to take on in terms of competitions, calls for entry to juried show and group activities I was committed to. So I picked the ones I wanted to do, using my previous planner estimated how much time it would take for each one and added a safety margin of a good few hours. Then I worked on the number of weeks times just 10 hours a week average for safety and established that much to my surprise I had time to attempt them all. But then they all have different deadlines and so I have to do them in a certain order whilst at the same time allowing myself the fun of working on what inspires me on a given date. The result is this planner for how I should allocate my 40 hours per week. It is intended that it will alter a little as I go along as some projects will be quicker, some longer than anticipated. Or I might have a lazy week!!


In between these two sections I have a finance section where I note what I have spent on art and the budget I allowed. There is no logic to the finance being in between the other two sections save that it evolved that way!

Calls for entry

The rules for each show or competition I may decide to participate in can be several pages long. I do a quick summary sheet and print out the details on A4 with the entry forms.


With so much going on a simple clear overview is often a good head clearing things to have. A simple table on A4 with some text boxes for the months does the trick. Here I can add in potential projects with deadlines falling in the next ‘semester’.

Website, Patterns and Articles

There is not much here at the moment as I have completed projects and have not yet started new ones. I will soon fill it with note son revamping my website and with notes of measurements and instructions I take as a develop patterns either for the African Fabric Shop ( www.africanfabricshop.co.uk) or magazines. I keep a list of possible magazine articles. I have always done a bit of freelance journalism on and off since I was 16.

Personal learning plans

There is so much I want to learn! I am constantly tempted by degree programmes (Because they are there….!) but that is (a) a bad use of money and (b) not even tailored to my needs. So I am auto-didacting. This section has various syllabuses I have set myself – skills I know I need to do the work I envisage in my head. I set out my goals and the steps I need to get there. Syllabuses on yellow, notes on blue.


List of what I need to buy at the next trade show.


Empty!! Its not that I am not inspired rather that everything there was in here has been refilled elsewhere in another Filofax (yes, it will become another post!!) no doubt this will fill up again. It is just a temporary holding section really


Entry forms and stocks of my own pro-forma sheets


Currently holding the four page records but for completed quilts

Plastic envelopes

One for receipts, one for quilt related travel things. Currently it has my tickets for lectures and entry at the Festival of The Quits a four-day jamboree at the NEC, Birmingham in August. Can’t wait.

I use the swing pad at the back a lot too

This is the Filofax I love the most because it is the most full of self made templates and purpose. I am working on my others to get them like this. It takes time but I think that is the real hobby of filofaxing in a way. Buying is the short-term buzz but the constant customisation is the long-term pleasure.