31 January 2013

Day-Timer Garden Path Portable Review - May

Thank you to May for this Guest Post about a Daytimer Organiser.

If, like me, you are a fan of green binders, you will be having a hard time finding a Filofax you like at the moment. There is the rather lurid green Apex, and the easily-damaged green canvas Songbird. The green Chameleon was available until recently, but the blackened two-tone finish makes it less – well, green. There just is not a nice green leather organiser in any of the main Filofax ranges. So when I saw the Day-Timer Garden Path binder [[http://www.daytimer.co.uk/Binders-Covers/Portable-Size-25mm-Garden-Path-Leather-Binder/49136/View_Front/MoreInfo.aspx]] I was really interested – this might be the green fix I was after! Although it was listed as ‘blue’ a quick search on Google images showed it was certainly a very green kind of blue, so I decided to give it a try.

I’ve never ordered from Day-Timer UK before, and was a bit thrown by the fact they only add VAT to your order at the end – and that they add VAT to the delivery charge, making standard delivery a rather steep £5.40. The website says orders will arrive in 4 working days and they’ll let you know about any delays. My binder finally arrived after 4 WEEKS and 5 emails to customer services – all contact was initiated by me, they did not keep me updated about my order status. They did refund my delivery charge in the end, because of the long delivery time.
The Day-Timer portable size is the same as Filofax personal.  The Garden Path binder has a big ring size – 25mm – meaning it comfortably accommodated the contents of my blue personal Domino when I transferred them over. But the zip and that ring size means the binder is BIG. Here it is compared to my personal Domino and A5 Finsbury

After the size, then next thing I noticed was the leather. It feels more like fabric, or possibly suede – the texture reminded me of the inside of a Domino. It does have a nice leather smell, but I was a bit concerned – it felt like it would mark very, very quickly. The colour is very similar to the soft jade Finchley that Filofax made a couple of years ago. The Garden Path also has a little charm attached to a loop at the top (easy to remove if it’s not your style) with leather leaves and a silver locket which you could put a tiny photo in.

The embossed flower on the front is probably my favourite aspect of this binder – I wish Filofax would release more embossed leather binders (I always liked the butterfly binder they did a few years ago!). What I don’t like is the ‘puffiness’ of the covers, which just needlessly adds to the bulk. It feels like a solid plastic or board frame, with a thin layer of foam covered in thin leather.

The zip on the binder is sturdy and strong, if a little cheap looking. It has a leather zip pull.  I’ve never been that fussy about the interior pockets of my binders, but I know it matters a lot to some of you, On the left side there are 2 full length vertical pockets, 5 horizontal card slots, and clear window slot for a photo or ID. On the right side there is a slot of a notepad. You can see in the photos that the binder is lined in a green synthetic material, but the pockets and area around the rings are leather.

I was interested to see that unlike Filofax, Day-Timer to not have their own branded rings. They are using ones stamped ‘World Wide’. They line up perfectly, but the metal of the end tabs feels a bit weak / cheap. I don’t know how they would stand up to long term use. The rings on my old Personal Cross feel a LOT sturdier, but I would say the Day-Timer rings are comparable to those on my Domino.

After 3 weeks of gentle use, my Garden Path is not standing up well. The stitching on one corner is coming loose:

One of the leaves on the charm has fallen off. And as I suspected, the leather fabric shows every tiny mark – even though I’ve been handling it carefully. I am returning it to Daytime – they wanted to give me a replacement, but I have requested a refund.  I need a binder I can toss in my bag, leave on my kitchen counter, and can survive being grabbed at by my toddlers! So for now I will keep stalking eBay for my dream filo – a personal Finchley in emerald or personal Finsbury in soft jade.

Thank you May for an excellent review. 

30 January 2013


So Christmas is well out of the way, and I see that a lot of you (on Twitter) are doing Weight Watchers and other healthy and diet type things.

We all try to lose a few pounds after filling ourselves over Christmas with mince pies, Christmas cakes, Christmas pudding and custard... all those roast potatoes... that lovely stuffing and bacon wrapped sausages around the turkey...... And then there is the boxes of chocolates that seem to hang on that bit longer in to the new year... and they all become a memory when you put the boxes out in the recycling along with other discarded boxes from Christmas.

January arrives... new diary... new goals and all that stuff and it's 'Oh I must go on a diet' 'I can't get in any of my clothes' ..... where did I put my waist band extender...

But what else do you do at New Year.....???

Yes, you suddenly grab those nice new 2013 diary inserts that you have had since August. Click open your Filofax rings.... using both the tabs of course (yes Steve...always!!) and then you slot in the whole 12 months in one go.

Then you try and close the rings... using both hands (yes Steve is there any other way!!) and then there's a problem... your Filofax has now 'bulked up' like a Michelin Man....

Time to put your Filofax on a diet too.... here are some tips...
  1. Don't put in all of your diary insert, only put in as much as you need.. 3, 4, 6 months at a time. 
  2. Supplement your diary insert with a Year Planner for the more distant events and appointments. 
  3. Archive previous months as they pass.
  4. Don't carry lots and lots of spare pages, only enough for the time you will be away from your stash of inserts and goodies.
  5. How many sheets of stickers and sticky notes do you really need to carry? 
  6. Do you really need to carry maps and tube maps when you have no intention of going on the tube for several weeks?
  7. Do an annual or bi-annual review of all the pages you are carrying, check the names and addresses pages too. 
So, you have done all of that (nodding.... yes Steve...) But how much is too much in a Filofax? 

Good question... I don't have a definitive answer on this one.

If you open your Filofax with all the pages to one side and you can just see the join in the rings, then you are most probably ok.

Any more than that and you will start to have problems turning pages. If you are seeing the inside edge of the paper getting folded and creased that is another sign that you have too much paper in your Filofax.

If you are using Personal size, then remember you have quite a range of ring sizes from 11 mm in a Slimline to 30 mm in a Personal Zip to choose from for however many pages you want to carry.

I personally use a compact for most of the year, with a reduced set of pages I can just about manage with the 15 mm ring size. But if I'm travelling back to UK or for a few days if I am doing something different to the ordinary and I need to add in other pages etc to the set up I often go up a size to a normal 23mm Personal or to the extreme of the 30 mm Cuban Zip...

So don't be afraid about those 'other' unused Personal size organisers in the cupboard you can use them at other times of the year as you need to expand and contract your set up....

Oh and Mr Malden above has been relieved of all those excess pounds... sorry pages after the photo was taken!

29 January 2013

Web Finds - 29 January 2013

So here we are again with the latest Filofax Blog Posts from the Internet:
  1. If Filofax appointed me Overlord for a day - This Bugs Life 
  2. My Personal Malden in Grey - Filofax Fantasies
  3. Download and print notepaper (3 types) for your Pocket Filofax - My Life in One Place
  4. Filofaxiness / Garden Plans - Marigold's Loft 
  5. Creating Tabs for a Paper Planner - Renew Your Space
  6. Budget planner… - A Bowl Full of Lemons
  7. Filofax Photo-A-Day Challenge (4) - Filomaniac
  8. Update - Franklin Covey 2ppd Diary - Thoughts and Exploration
  9. FOTD #3 – A5 Cinnamon Siena - This Bugs Life
  10. 2013 Filofax Setup Part One - Lady Tamlynn
  11. I skipped a beat! - Lime Tree 
  12. Photo-a-Day Challenge #22-28 - The Wonderful Life of Alice  
  13. FOTD #4 – Personal Brown Belmont - This Bugs Life
  14. My Weekly Grocery Shopping Routine - Homemakers Daily
  15. February's 365/30 Filo Lists!! - The Life of The Perpetual Student
  16. Smythson diary refills - Paper Lovestory
  17. Filofax Personal Inserts by Hallmark - Rapunzel's World
  18. Filo On Location: Tampa, Florida - Well Planned Life
  19. Time-boxing - Paper Pens Ink 
  20. Using a Filofax To Balance Life - Renew Your Space
  21. How I Keep Organised! - Anna Sccone
  22. Filofax Mini Amazona Review: Living with an even Smaller Format - Cats Corner
  23. Der Kubaner - Filomaniac
  24. Filofax brass name plate - This Bugs Life
  25. My rough & ready filofax food diary! - Filofaximile
  26. FOTD #2 – A5 Orange Finchley - This Bugs Life
  27. How To : Get Organized - Filofax Planner - Lost in Reverie
  28. Gorgeous Binder on Etsy this week - This Bugs Life 
  29. OTD #5 – A5 Brown Amazona - This Bugs Life
  30. my week round-up #4 - Paper Lovestory 
  31. Filofax Flex Planner - My May Sunshine
  32. All In One Filofax Journal - It's My Life
  • 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 not 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. Do not forget to give your posts a title...  

'This is a'....Video Web Finds - 29 January 2013

Here are the latest 'this is a video' Filofax videos from around the internet:


Free For All Tuesday No. 104

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.

28 January 2013

Reader Under the Spotlight - Puddytatpurr

So today I would like to introduce you to 'Puddytatpurr' a new comer to the Philofaxy Community, but one that has jumped in with both feet or should that be on all fours?!

Hi *waves madly* I'm Puddytatpurr and I'm a stay at home mum to four teens, two chinchillas and Isis The Fluffy Puppy!

I spend most of my time knitting or spinning and I'm learning how to master the sewing machine!

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

Um, I think it was my old Personal Identity and I must've bought it about 15 years ago. It has a bright red sticker on the front that says 'Do Not Meddle In The Affairs of Dragons For You Are Crunchy And Good With Ketchup'

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

There are other brands?!? ;)

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

My Personal Malden in Ochre - I'd love a purple one though

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

At the moment, I own four. My Personal Identity, a Personal Malden, an A5 Identity and an A5 Flex which was an unwanted gift and is for sale.

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

The Personal Identity

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

My daughter has just started using the a Personal Identity - I was using it to hold spare pages, the A5 Identity is my journal, the A5 Flex isn't used as I'm trying to sell it and the Malden holds my life

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

The ability to personalise it!

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

Bigger rings!

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

Usually in my bag

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

I'd like to try a Holborn, but I can't really afford one.

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

Probably an A5 I bought years ago, but I don't remember how much I paid for it

12. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?

Being able to print my own inserts....well, when I have ink in the printer!

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

The different people who feature on the blog and I have 'met' via the Facebook page

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I wish there was some other way we could all communicate other than Facebook - I hate Facebook and was just going to leave when I discovered the group

15. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?

Um.......I don't remember, I'm kinda stuck in the 80's when it comes to music - it might have been the Fallen album by Evanescence.

16.  Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?  

Colin Firth! (Mark Darcy)

Thank you very much for volunteering to go under our spotlight and for answering all the new questions too... If anyone else would like to appear under the spotlight please get in touch.

27 January 2013

2013 Year Books

The Philofaxy Year Books are now available on the Files Page in pdf and Epub formats.

Philofaxy posts in electronic book format for you to download, print out, put on your portable device and carry around or on your eReader for late night reading.

PDF Format
ePub Format
As you can see some of the files are still quite big, so please be patient downloading them.

If there are any problems reading the files please let me know.

Creative Commons License
This work by Philofaxy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Please download, adapt, use, share, but don't charge or use commercially.

A date for your diary - 3 February 2013

New York




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 3 February from 10am (US East Coast time), 3pm London time, 4 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. Come and listen if you don't want to chat.

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, so you can listen to the voice chat and type if you wish.

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 3 February 2013

26 January 2013

Web Finds - 26 January 2013

Here are the latest Filofax blog posts from around the Internet:
  1. Franklin Covey Veronica binder! - Plannerisms
  2. Organized planners… - A Bowl Full of Lemons
  3. Smythson bond street organiser - Paper Lovestory
  4. Party at the Disc…oh - The Zeitgeist of Zoe 
  5. Blick in Nachbars Garten... - Filo Manie
  6. What I wanna know Wednesday - Deligted
  7. Lessons in Filofax Fidelity - The Crazy Life of J
  8. Introducing Beauford, the Travel Filo - Well Planned Life
  9. My File of Facts - Cloudberry Musings  
  10. My Filofax Obsession - Amber Amelia
  11. Filofax Chameleon Compact un-boxing - Lilu, Actually
  12. Filofax Help (?) - Lady Elizabeth's Life
  13. ❤❤Cute Kokeshi Doll: Set of 3 Pagemarkers ❤❤ - Filofax Love
  14. Find the Right Filofax For You - Renew Your Space
  15. How to sell filofaxes, and other binders, on Ebay. - Filofax Filosophy
  16. Filofax of the Day (FOTD) series starts today - This Bugs Life
  17. FOTD #1 – Mini Teal Baroque - This Bugs Life
  18. The (Un)Friendship Cake - Typecast
  19. Going through changes. - Filofaximile
  20. Update Personal Malden :o) - Chrissie's Universe
  21. Twin Ascots - Cloudberry Musings
  22. Garden of Wishes - Cloudberry Musings
  23. Why Bother Planning? 5 Reasons You Should - Homemakers Daily
  24. Want 35% discount on your next Filofax purchase? - My Filo World
  25. Filofax Arrival; Mini Chameleon in Black - My Filo World
  26. Goals Accountability: budgeting things, clothing, studio and the like - Lime Tree
  27. Stickers - Paper Pens Ink 
  28. a Kate Spade agenda - Paper Lovestory
  29. Filomaniac fragt... Jenny - Filomaniac 
  30. Filofax and Dim Sum - Lineday's Boring Life
  31. (Un)tragbarer Locher? - Filomaniac
  32. Find the Right Filofax For You - Renew Your Space
  33. Customizing A Filofax - Renew Your Space
  34. Free Filofax Templates for Indie Authors - Liberty's Yarns
  35. Love my Filofax - Love for Creativity
  36. Filofax Inserts? - Quo Vadis Blog
  37. 10 Planning Shortcuts to Light a Fire Under Your Goals - Day Timer
  • 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 not 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. Do not forget to give your posts a title...  

Video WebFinds 26 January 2013

Here are the latest Filofax Videos from around the web:


25 January 2013

Free For All Friday No 219

January the 25th marks the annual celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns. I was wondering if any of our Scottish readers will be celebrating Burns Night? Maybe you could have some of the poems ready for a recital at supper printed in your Filofax...

And as it's Friday, please feel free to discuss anything Filofax or ring bound organiser related.

24 January 2013

Buying Filofax or Organisers on Ebay

Ebay and other auction sites are obvious places to look if you are looking to buy a new organiser of any brand.

However, if you aren't very experienced at buying on Ebay it is very easy to get caught out, especially with organiser products.

Firstly understand how the auction process works. Refer to the on-line help on the site for this, they do differ depending on which site you are using. On Ebay there is also a 'Buy It Now' button on some items.

Be careful to study the advert in great detail. Look at the description and the photos. Do the photos tie up with the description. Does the internal view look right?

I've seen a few 'Personal' Organisers that were in fact Pocket size, more recently an 'A6 Filofax' Filofax don't make A6 size organisers... again this was a Pocket.

And here is a classic example spotted by one of our keen readers!

A5..... no... look at the rings... that is a pocket. And if it was A5 then the price of £80 is a bit of a stretch for an A5 Finsbury... but for a Pocket?

Why are there so many mistakes when all Filofax organisers have their details stamped in the inside of the cover? Well I suspect in most cases the seller is not an expert in Filofax or any other organisers. Take a look at the other items they are selling or have sold, this often gives you a clue. You are most probably more of an expert because you are reading Philofaxy.

Also be careful with other makers size conventions. Aspinal of London have a 'Compact A5 size' which in fact is Personal size paper in Filofax terms, but they call it 'Compact A5' because the organiser it self is just slightly smaller than A5 paper.

The word 'Vintage' is often attached to many Filofax Organisers on Ebay if they don't appear to be from the current range... now in car terms a Vintage Car is one built between 1919 and 1930. Filofax came out in 1921.... should Vintage Filofax be only applied up to say 1999? You decide, but don't think you are getting something that is old just because the seller has added the word 'Vintage' to the description!.

Then you get oddities, the same company selling on Amazon and Ebay, but different prices! You might recall the A5 punch I discovered on Amazon as an alternative to the KW Trio. Well the same company that is selling on Amazon also sells it on Ebay for a cheaper price. 

'They want how much for that Filofax organiser????!!!!' Yes another issue with inexperienced Ebay sellers is they get some rather grand ideas about prices.

How about an A5 Siena for £450.00.... on Buy It Now. When it was pointed out to them that their price was way far 'North' of the retail price they reduced it to £399.00 I didn't bother to send them another email... clearly they never understood where the decimal point should go!  In the end it disappeared and reappeared at a little more sensible price... still too high in my book, but they will find that out soon enough... when it doesn't sell....it didn't and it has disappeared before the end of the auction.

So how much should you pay? Do your research and see what the current price is from all sources: Filofax website, City Organiser, Philofaxy Ad-spot, and past completed prices on Ebay. Don't forget to allow for the cost of postage and some of the sellers will inflate that amount too....

Once you have decided on how much you should pay for your target organiser,  stick to your maximum price and don't go over the top of that price.

We sometimes see bid prices higher than the retail price... A5 Osterley for £205 plus postage... when the same item can be got for £175 from City Organiser... I know where I would be spending my money... not on Ebay.

Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion on an item you see for sale on Ebay or another auction site.

That is the big advantage of the Philofaxy community on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter etc. We can all pool our experience and help each other. Share a link and ask for opinions, people will give you honest answers too. Is it what the seller says it is, is the price right etc.

Good luck!

Thanks and acknowledgements to Tracy for spotting several of the items mentioned in this post. 

23 January 2013

New vs. vintage Ascot

I purchased my beautiful Ascot from the Adspot page, and before I swapped it for my Malden the lovely seller realised that she was feeling a bit sad about selling it! She then found a company still offering them in blue but they only deliver in the UK, so she asked if it could be sent to me and then forwarded onto. I was more than happy to help and was delighted when she gave me permission to open the package to photograph the Ascots together. Opening any filofax is an exciting prospect for me, even if it's not mine!

Here's a little Ascot eye-candy for you :)

After taking some photographs and showing it to my hubby, I quickly popped it back in the box ready for posting as I definitely prefer the blue to the black and didn't want to be tempted to buy one... Having a nose on the company's website, it seems that they sell a range of binders not normally available new such as the Kensington or the Belgravia, which I thought I'd share for the vintage fans out there.

22 January 2013

Web Finds - 22 January 2013

And so to the latest Filofax blog posts from around the Internet:
  1. Filofax Inserts? - Quo Vadis Blog
  2. Cute Stationery for Your Filofax! - Live. Love. Organize
  3. BB - Balmorals Baby :o) - Chrissie's Universe
  4. New Filofax set up! - Vintage Giraffe
  5. Parade of weekly to-do sheets - January 20 2013 - The Crazy Suburban Mom
  6. Dream Team - Filo Manie
  7. Filofax Mini haul! New arrivals! - My Filo World
  8. Journalling School now available for the Kindle - My Life All in One Place
  9. ❤❤Cute Kokeshi Doll Pagemarkers ❤❤ - Filofax Love
  10. The Challenge Ahead - JarFM
  11. Filofax bling - Cloudberry Musings
  12. Colourful divider tabs - Cloudberry Musings
  13. New Filofax Personal Finsbury in Antique Rose (and a small rant) - Coffee & Literature 
  14. Filofax Holborn Wallet - Carolyn Shares
  15. Filofaxiness - Marigolds' Loft
  16. Quick, beautiful dividers - Paper Pens Ink 
  17. Sharpies For My Filofax - The Storage Studio
  18. Filofaxes Are at Kirkcaldie's - Reflections by Cruz
  19. Size matters... -  The Crazy Suburban Mom
  20. Filofax Photo-A-Day Challenge (3) - Filomaniac
  21. Photo-a-Day Challenge #15-21 - The Wonderful Life of Alice
  22. South Western Philofaxy Meet Up! - Imysworld
  23. Philofaxy Exeter meet-up - The Life of The Perpetual Student
  24. Filofax dividers Poll: Results! - The Life of The Perpetual Student
  25. Filofax decoration; Cute Personal Kawaii Dividers - My Filo World
  26. I keep forgetting about this Filofax stockist - Pride, It Leaves You Hollow 
  27. my week round-up #3 - Paper Lovestory 
  28. New personal (mostly) Filofax Video -  The Crazy Suburban Mom
  29. To Do Lists - Onigiri and her 21 Kittens
  30. Masking Paper Stickers in my Filofax! - The Wonderful Life of Alice 
  31. This is my #Filofax - Your Angel Guide
  • 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 not 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. Do not forget to give your posts a title...  

Video Web Finds - 22 January 2013

Here are the latest Filofax videos from around the internet..lots of them!:


Free For All Tuesday No. 103

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.

21 January 2013


What Tabs or Sections you divide your Filofax or organiser up in to are frequent questions I see on Philofaxy and elsewhere.

Some time ago I discovered a document about organising a paper planner as if you were starting from nothing. It was written by David Allen of Getting Things Done fame.

David Allen free PDF ORGANIZING A PAPER PLANNER is available on his website.

He recommends for Getting Things Done:
    • Notes/In... is a trusted place to freely capture input as it occurs, without having to analyse or organize it. It is the first section, because it can come into play instantly, anywhere.

    • The next most frequently accessed information will be the actions you need or want to take at any time. They are best organized in three sections (and most likely viewed in this order):

    • Calendar... is the first place you’ll look to know what has to be handled today, and how much time you’ll have otherwise to deal with all the other things you have to do, which you’ll see on your Action Lists.

    • Actions Lists... which let you know all the single actions and next steps on your projects, to be done as soon as you can get to them.

    • Agendas... hold all the reminders for items to discuss with people and in meetings.

    • When you are in control of all of the above, you will next want to connect and update all your actions by reviewing:

    • Projects/Goals... which will remind you of the final outcomes you want to accomplish. For some of these, you will want more detailed...

    • Project Plans/Notes... which will ensure greater comfort that you have all the right action steps needed to move things forward effectively.

    I adapted the above to my own requirements and I went with:
    • Notes In - Basically the same function as recommended above.

    • Planner - This is my Enhanced TM Week per View for all my future and daily planning requirements.

    • Journal - For this I use my Week on per View Journal insert which records all or most of the things I have been doing in the last day or so throughout the year. I don't keep all 12 months of this insert in the organiser though.

    • To-Do - I use these sheets for long term goals, so I have a 'House' sheet, 'Personal' sheet etc, on those I just list the headings and some details of things I hope to get done in the coming year.

    • Notes - Stuff I jot down for projects, Philofaxy posts, random websites to record them somewhere before I file them some where more appropriate.

    • Information - This is where I store my maps and reference information.

    • Address A-Z- All of my contact sheets printed off from the Filofax Address Book Software which I've been using successfully this last couple of years.

    Whilst most Filofax organisers come with pre-named tabbed dividers (Diary, Notes, Projects, Information, Financial and Addresses) are these the right titles and are they in the order you should have?

    20 January 2013

    Reader Under the Spotlight - Gavin

    So today I would like to introduce you to Gavin. Unusually in this series... I've actually met Gavin face to face! It was in Edinburgh in November last year......

    Hello I'm Gavin and my online persona sits within the Fegrig blog.

    The Fegrig blog is what I see, do and think. It's a sporadic posting exercise but good things come to those who wait, it does however pale in comparison to "Philofaxy" with all it's regularity and focus.

    I am the husband of Natalie and the Dad of two increasingly hairy young men, nay adults - oh god, I'm getting old!

    Then there's the 2 dogs and the chickens, my love of keeping active and moving before I have no say in the matter and I permanently seize up, the photos, travelling, movies and other interests - most of which will be contained somewhere in my A5 Holborn.

    I'm fortunate to have had a varied and interesting career within nursing, with my present post as a Professional Officer within the health sector of the largest trade union in the United Kingdom. This post is the next enjoyable entry on my CV and it keeps my professional juices flowing, my specialist interest as they say on "Mastermind" - is  Community Nursing.

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

    I'm very fortunate as I've never actually bought a Filofax, they've always been gifts from others. My first ring binder organiser however wasn't a Filofax but a black pocket sized organiser made by a company called Factotum. This was given to me when I started my nurse training in 1986 and gave faithful service until the spine broke and it was retired with it's scuffed edges to the shelf. The first proper Filofax was a zipped personal brown Hamilton that I thought had a broken spine with mismatched rings. I found this recently at the back of the same shelf and I was wrong it works perfectly but presently sits unused but awaiting a call to action. A bit like King Arthur I suppose.

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

    Ring binder wise I've had an Italian made personal size binder (a Christmas present) before the gift of my first true Filofax (anniversary gift) this was a zipped Hamilton and I'm now back in the "Filey" groove with a Holborn A5 zipped - the nerve centre of my organising operation and the one ring bider to rule them all, and a mini Finsbury as my wallet and mobile paper organiser. Before the Hamilton and the Holborn/Finsbury combo I was using an electronic diary and organiser through the form of a work blackberry and my personal iPhone with it's apps. They are still there but the paper is back!

    Other than this I use A5 Moleskine notebooks for planning, note taking and general work scribbles. Before I ventured back into the land of the "Filey" I used Leuchtturm A5 blank notebooks for my personal bits and bobs. I still use my iphone for contacts and some of the available apps are invaluable but the planning, calendar and diary functions now sit back "Filey" land.

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

    Well it has to be the two I'm using now (A5 zipped brown Holborn & brown mini Finsbury) and for the future as long as I can see anyway. Chopping from one size/style/colour/organiser/ notebook is beyond me and my wallet. Brown has been the staple colour for my organisers and yet I only have 2 brown pairs of shoes, oh and a Crumpler bag and then there’s the wardrobe choices..... Brown is me it seems.

    4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

    There's the black factotum, the brown Italian, a blue vinyl pocket organiser acquired when I was working on the wards, the brown Hamilton zipped, the mini Finsbury and the A5 zipped Holborn - both brown, did you know that I like the colour brown?

    So a very small hill compared to some of the Filofax mountain ranges found in these parts. Three pure and three copies there then. Only the Holborn and Finsbury are in daily use now though.

    5. What do you use your Filofax for?

    The mini Finsbury is my wallet as well as my "on the move" pocketable organiser as I don't always carry a rucsack or other bag. It contains my bank cards, todo list, some note paper, yearly planner and a week to a page diary. I will put appointments in short hand in here for when I am unable to carry the A5.

    The meatier zipped A5 Holborn documents all my plans, travel details, to do lists, appointments relating to my work / personal life, exercise, what I've seen (movies), read (books), appointments and the organising stuff of life primarily on my filofax day to a page planner/diary pages. Add in some colour coding, planning and goal setting, reminders and the like and the pages fill up nicely.

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

    The organising function obviously stands out but I could do that on my iPhone. It’s the perceived permanence, the feel and smell, adaptability, individuality, the basic 3D aspect of it all and the pencil (as opposed to a pen) on paper thing works for me too.

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

    Leather soft and stout, strong and large rings - so a good skin and skeleton as basics ready to stand up to any punishment that I could through at it would be the starting points.

    More specifically the card carrying capacity is a tad weak in the mini so some design solution to that would be a benefit please.

    From when I used my personal Hamilton as my work diary and note book as a Health Visitor I have a thing about safety of contents so it would need to be zipped. I still worry that bits of paper will fall out and be read by whoever, even though I nowadays hardly carry loose pieces of paper or indeed anything confidential. Everything today gets noted on a page sitting safely on the rings.

    I like the mini Finsbury but a larger zipped pocket would help, zips again! and I wasn't even a punk.

    8. How do you carry your Filofax?

    The A5 Holborn is usually carried in my rucsack or whatever bag is being used that day, when stationary it sits on my desk at work or home. The mini Finsbury has the ability to be in any pocket that I have and carries cash, coin and cards as well as the initial jotting or checking of appointments, the writing down of todo's and other notes, my immediate paper thought dumping point. It all depends on the what, where, when and how of my daily life.

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

    I know the models that I like and I'm fortunate enough to now have them in my possession, so no need to buy anymore. As I said earlier I neither have the wallet , (although ebay is a great place for "filey" bargains) or the butterfly tendency that some of my fellow "Filey" users have. I suppose I'm a "Filey" sloth in comparison to some, but I'm quite happy to sit using what I have.

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

    Nothing, as they've all been gifts, the Holborn A5 zipped was a late birthday gift once I had decided to return to the paper side from the dark electronic side of the force and the mini Finsbury was an early Christmas present.

    11. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?
    The ideas and suggestions of what and how to use your organiser, really it's a black art to non users, so the site is a great place to start. On the surface it's a ring binder with paper inside but once you step into the "Filey" world, it's like the magic circle where you are able to read other users tricks and magic solutions. The nosey-ness factor however should not be ignored, what people do with their organisers. Human nature is a wonderful thing.

    12. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

    Content wise, you can't argue with the readership and comment stats, simply it's a quality blog and a great community. There is one thing though of an aesthetic nature, the background beige is a bit too cotton cream for me as I am a white note paper kind of guy, sorry.

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

    The last bought? That was in 19 oatcake, although I've turned my back on the electronic world as far as organisation goes and not being an audiophile the ability to buy the track you've just heard on the radio, captured by Shazam, bought and downloaded within the following minutes doesn't bother me and it is great. It takes me back to my early teen years with pocket money in hand buying a "single" in the local record shop "Ards". I last downloading some individual tracks this week and then danced around the kitchen as I washed the stone floor to the accompaniment of the downloaded dance tracks. Gav's Disco experience!

    Thank you Gavin nice to meet a fellow Trade Unionist too. If you would like to be our featured Reader Under the Spotlight please contact us philofaxy at gmail dot com

    19 January 2013

    Web Finds - 19 January 2013

    Here are the latest Filofax blog posts from around the internet:
    1. Lessons in Filofax Fidelity: A Call for Questions - The Crazy Life of J
    2. My Filofax Week: Introduction - Well Planned Life
    3. Weird Filofax/Planner discovery - Janet Carr
    4. My Organizer flickr home - I'm a Filo Freak
    5. New Sticky Notes for Pocket Filofax! - The Wonderful Life of Alice
    6. My Dilemna - The Nest Not Exactly Empty
    7. Der Filofax Ranger - Filomaniac
    8. Filomaniac fragt... Jana - Filomaniac
    9. my week #2 round up! - Paper Lovestory
    10. Lessons in Filofax Fidelity: Finding Your Own "Perfect" - The Crazy Life of J
    11. Guest Post: Georgecm’s Filofax Journey: Part 1: Introduction to Filofax - Well Planned Life
    12. Sydney Philofaxy Meetup March 2013 – Yippee! - Life is Crafted
    13. 9 More Ways to Use a Planner Page - HomeMakers Daily
    14. How to make a Franklin Covey Like Page Finder - From down the well 
    15. Kaweco calligraphy pen set review - Anita Lim
    16. Just sayin'.... - The Crazy Suburban Mom
    17. Guess I'm Just Fickle - Thoughts & Exploration
    18. Updates - Paper Pens Ink 
    19. Part 1 | 2013 Filofax Setup: Integrating my Flex - Filofancy 
    20. Part 2 | 2013 Filofax Setup: My 'Notebook' Section... - Filofancy
    21. Let me introduce you to : The BALMORAL A5!! - Chrissie's Universe
    22. Blessings and a Giveaway! - Nautilus Queen
    23. My Filofax Collection - Janet Carr
    24. Five-minute productivity - Paper Pens Ink 
    25. Filofax arrival; Expanding my Baroque family! - My Filo World 
    26. Filofax Friday - The Yarn Yard
    27. Feeling Vintage-y - Friday, I'm in Love 
    28. Filofax For Fiber Fiends (and Creative Masterminds) - Liberty's Yarns
    • 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 not 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. Do not forget to give your posts a title...  

    Video Web Finds - 19 January 2013

    Here are the latest Filofax videos from the internet:


    18 January 2013

    Free For All Friday No 218

    How far ahead do you plan things in your Filofax organiser?

    However, as this is a Friday, you can of course discuss anything Filofax or Ring bound organiser related.

    17 January 2013

    Left Handed Filofax

    What would a left handed Filofax look like? Or one designed with left handed writers in mind? Or one that could be used with either hand?

    I have heard of people using them upside down, not very convenient I would think. Although I quite often forget which is the front or back or top and bottom of my Malden Compact Zip!

    Would one designed for both hands have say vertical card slots so it could be used either way up without the risk of the cards falling out.

    The Slimline Finsbury pictured above would seem an ideal candidate in design terms. No clasp to worry about, vertical card slots and you could use it either way around. Small rings so they won't get in the way of your hands when writing.

    Or have I missed something?  What would you design in to an alternative form of Filofax for left handed people? 

    16 January 2013

    Flex-ing some creative muscle! - Guest Post

    I love Filofax. I really do. I only (re-)discovered them a few years ago and naturally developed a collection in a very short time – as you do. I love the leathers, the weight of the binder in my hands, the look of a paper stuffed gold mine of information. It just doesn’t seem to … well, love me back. I have read up on models, systems, sizes, printable templates (thank you, Philofaxy!). I have tried to make one Personal Filofax do everything (it doesn’t). I have had combinations of A5 notebook and Pocket diary (un-coordinated). I have had large rings (too stuffed, too heavy), small rings (too small), compacts (easy to carry, not enough room) and slimline (okay for bedside notes to be transferred, which most of the time they’re not). I really have tried. It’s not them, it’s me.

    The problem is I want to use it for everything. Like so:
    • Diary: I translate novels for a living and work from home, so I don’t go to meetings or need lots of space to jot down appointments and tasks. I don’t need more than Week per page to organise my personal and work life, interleaved with lined note paper for quick jots. Add a horizontal planner for work progress and deadline overview, and I’m sorted.
    • Work: I’m obviously working on my PC and make notes on a separate document which can be edited, added to and shared while I work. In the Filofax work section I keep notepaper for jotting down ideas when I’m away from my desk, a Month to view planner with daily goals and a list of autocorrect codes. Not a lot there either.
    • Travel: I travel a lot for business and for pleasure. Before I go I stuff my passport and printed travel documents into my Personal Malden and insert a card holder with relevant travel cards, job done. I could use any old folder or wallet really. But I would like to keep the planning notes and lists, info, research etc for my Camino trips in one place. Printing my own maps and itineraries would be great – not so great in a Personal, though.
    • Info: Sometimes when I travel I have to (or like to) read up on things and make notes en route, to make sure I make the most of (and a good impression at) meetings, seminars and even social but still work related events. This means either formatting docs to print out in Personal size but not being able to scribble in margins, or taking A4 printouts that just don’t fit in and look really unprofessional if I fold them and stick them in. Or of course taking another file or folder, which defeats the all-in-one object.
    • Projects: I’m struggling to find a system of organising my (copious) writing notes on paper so I can work offline and off-PC, typing on an Alphasmart Neo. I am Municipal Liaison for our local Nanowrimo group and we have all day Write-ins throughout the year, which really works for me. I prefer making notes on paper rather than on a laptop and normally carry notes for several projects, some first drafts, some in the planning or ideas stage, some needing editing and reworking. Ideas from conversations at Write-ins. Notes on characters, on plot, progress, goals. Ideally I want a combined notebook and a place to keep printouts. What I need is something that works with the way I work.

    The perfect size is A5. Great writing space, easy to print your own stuff. Enough room to make notes in the margins or even on the left hand page, which I never write on anyway because of the rings. So far, so good. But as we all know, a well fed A5 is murder to carry around. I might as well bring the laptop.

    So the perfect size must be Personal, then. Smaller, lighter, handbag friendly. But not as nice to write in, my hand knocks into the rings, so I tend to only write on the right; and even if I write on the notepad and then insert them into the rings later … well, it’s not always so easy to ‘just insert’ something if the binder is too stuffed – the leaves come loose, the dividers fall out, you have to rearrange it all outside the binder and then try to get everything back in; it is all too fragmented. And what about the stuff you have to take out to make room for something else? It would have to go into a storage binder – in which case I can promise you I will leave it there and forget it. I can also forget about printing my own pages. It just involves too much cutting and mess and is never really done.

    But then surely the perfect set-up is double Filofaxage, right? A Personal or Pocket for my diary, work and planning stuff, to be taken out and about, and a nicely three-quarters full A5 with projects only. Oh, I know, and I really have tried, but then I make notes when out and about and forget to transfer them to the A5 and because the sheets are smaller they sort of disappear and need rewriting into the bigger size … No. The double Filo set-up doesn’t work for me either.

    Also after a few years of rings I realise I miss having a diary which I can save in its entirety for the future, not just loose leaves which tend to get thrown away month by month to make room for more notes. I am starting to think about keeping diaries and notebooks in self-contained volumes – I miss the chronology and the scribbled out stuff, the doodles and notes in the margins.

    So … what about the Flex? Plasticky, cheapo looking Flex with its boring grey notebook covers and rubbish cardboard pen holder. A5 size … but hardly bigger than a Personal. Slimmer … lighter! Infinitely flexible …

    Let’s see what I can do with it: 
    • Print my own notes, chapter lists, timelines and add, edit and change as the story changes! *like*
    • Print a Philofaxy © diary instead of buying a big diary book, then just fold and insert.
    • Fold my travel docs just once and they’ll fit in the outside pocket, easily accessible – and they have inside slots which are (presumably) passport sized.
    • Scribble to-dos on to-do-list pad (even if it’s ridiculously expensive for what it is).
    • Add a notebook – or add two, in fact add one for each project! Or one ruled and one unruly! And never mind the boring grey – use Moleskine Volants in bright and happy colours!
    • Invest in (hello, stationary!) more stickies to mark pages and add notes as I go!
    • Print out relevant meeting/seminar notes and read on the plane, scribbling to heart’s content in the margins!
    • Take some of the notebooks out before elegantly laying it on the meeting table – it’s not as if the leaves are going to end up in a chaotic heap as soon as you open the rings, after all!
    • Adjust the footprint (or rather, desk print) of the set-up depending on the situation and room available (think plane) – again without opening rings.
    • Slide my Kindle into one of the slots when I want to work on translations during flights, waiting times etc.

    So I ordered a first edition A5 Flex. I will be trying it for capture, storage and reference throughout February, when we are having a 30,000 word writing month, followed in March by two three-day work seminars. I will be reviewing it again afterwards to see how it compares to a ringed binder. Positive first impressions are:
    • The black cheapo plastic cover actually doesn’t look – or feel – that cheap! I am pleasantly surprised. Will probably upgrade to leather if this works well.
    • The vertical pocket on the left hand side does indeed fit a passport. Even printouts folded to A6, if you trim them ever so slightly. I assume the vertical ones in the leather updates also take the same size.
    • I can write on both sides of the paper!
    • The Flex notebook has very nice paper in it. I don’t use fountain pens, so don’t know how it stands up to ink.
    • Moleskine large Volant books fit perfectly and leave room for a pen loop because they are 18mms narrower.

    The supplied Flex notebook fits snugly into the back of the cover so you have to leave the pen in one of the outside slots.

    • When I have two Volants in the inside slots – I like a small desk print – there is still room for a true A5 notebook to slot in behind them = 3 notebooks in one!
    • I got a Moleskine diary as well to slot in – I know they will be available year by year and I want to keep them for the future, to track my long term goals, books translated etc.
    • Wire bound A5 soft cover notebooks will also fit, as long as the spiral isn’t too wide.

    • The size is perfect – smaller than an A5, slimmer than a Personal, as light or heavy as I make it. 

    • You can buy an additional pen loop if you prefer to have two. Put them in the outside slots and thread the pen though both to keep the cover closed!
    • The Slimline notebooks and diaries fit into the horizontal slot on the first edition A5s! A pocket size Moleskine Cahier also fits, or any A6 jot pad, I suppose. 

    • I can – and will – colour code projects by notebook cover colour, and replace them when needed.
    • You can make it look fun and colourful or businesslike just by choosing your notebooks.

    Negatives and solutions:

    • The card with the pen loop is great when you keep it in one of the outside slots, but I want my pen on the inside, in the gap conveniently left by the Volants. The loop points straight forward, so the pen ends up scrunched into the fold and makes the cover really tight, so I trimmed it by maybe just less than 1cm and it’s perfect! And it will still do the job in any outside slot.
    • A4 folded printouts go all the way to the back of the cover too. Unfortunately you can’t put many sheets of folded A4 into any of the slots before they buckle and make the cover quite bulky. 

    They would have to be trimmed down – or fastened to a notebook cover with paperclips, maybe? Or some lengths of thin elastic string wound around the middle of the cover, allowing me to slip the crease of the folded papers into the elastic, keeping them safely in place. I might even make it a permanent solution with a needle!

    Bound books don’t fit. I have a big, thick but flexible notebook from Paperchase I thought would slide into the inside slots but it’s too thick. I’d have to trim both cover edges, which defeats the object of using a big, bound and beautiful notebook which I can remove and keep as is. But then again it would be very heavy, and that’s what I am trying to avoid. Unfortunately this means that Laurie’s Plannerisms planner wouldn’t fit either.

    Er … well, it’s a Filofax product, so it would be rude to have just the one. I have decided to keep my Camino travel planning and notes, maps and itineraries in one, one writing project which is almost finished in another, and keep a third for my everyday all-in-one; diary, two notebooks and some printouts paperclipped into the relevant notebook. Rearranging content is so easy I can be ready for a seminar or a Write-in in a minute carrying only the essentials! And yes, I have treated myself to a leather one …

    Possible improvements:

    I do think these should be made with say three elastic strings vertically along the middle of the inside of the cover, to keep folded printouts in place. Or maybe even make a horizontal A4 pocket along the cover, like the notes section in a Pocket size ringed Filofax. Being able to store A4 papers without folding them would be great.

    Speaking of outside pockets – I’d like one secretarial pocket on the outside too, for folded A4 papers, not quite as tight as the ones meant to hold the notebook covers.

    Or how about selling a flexible card, like the one with the pen loop, with a set of 13mm Personal size rings on it, as an accessory? That would be the best of both worlds!

    Oh, and please make some notebooks in more cheerful colours – even black would be an improvement!

    Anyone else tempted to try it? I’d love to see more reviews of the Flex and how people use it!


    Thank you Linda for your Guest Post

    15 January 2013

    Web Finds - 15 January 2013

    Here a the latest Filofax blog posts from around the internet:
    1. A late Christmas gift - Filofax Compact Regency - Monica Luis
    2. On a Binder Binge - Friday, I'm in Love
    3. ❤Making Kokeshi Stickers with Silhouette Cameo❤ - Filofax Love
    4. My college filofax! - Live. Love. Organize. 
    5. Planners don't fail - My Life All in One Place 
    6. Schwarze Witwe - Filo-Manie 
    7. Filofax Arrival; Pocket Amazona in Black! - My Filo World
    8. Filofax Photo-A-Day Challenge (2) - Filomaniac
    9. Call Me Crazy! - Thoughts and Exploration
    10. my week round up #1 - Paper Lovestory
    11. Filofax Update: Moving into Malden A5 and a New Cross Pen! - Cat's Corner
    12. Archiving 2012 - Well Planned Life
    13. Homemade diaries for the Mulberry(s) - Paper Pens Ink 
    14. Miss Malden dresses in style. - From down the well 
    15. Filofaxiness - Petal Pocket - Marigolds' Loft 
    16. 2. Meet up in München - Filomaniac
    17. Franklin Covey 2PPD: Third time's a charm - Plannerisms
    18. A fresh start... - The Crazy Suburban Mom
    19. a review of the aspinal of london inserts - Paper Lovestory
    20. Printing tips – MORE! - Lime Tree
    21. Planner Pergatory – What Do I Really NEED In My Planner - The Zeitgeist of Zoe
    22. Photo-a-Day Challenge #8-14 - The Wonderful Life of Alice
    23. How I'm Using 8 Filo's - I'm a Filo Freak
    24. A PERFECT CALENDAR FOR ME - I'm a Filo Freak
    25. The Sleeping Filofax (Belzira's Blog Competition) - Lady Elizabeth's Life
    26. Loneliest Filofax In The World - Rufus Sayings
    27. Advice for a new journo: get a filofax - Katie Pavid 
    28. Ihre Majestät - die Prinzessin - Filo - Manie
    • 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 not 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. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
    Paper Lovestory My Week Posts
    1. My Filofax Week #2 - My Purpley Life
    2. A Week in The Life Of... | #002 - Friday, I'm in Love 
    3. My Filofax Week # 02 - Lady Elizabeth's Life 
    4. My Week #2: Diary Entries and Goal Planning… - Planning With Printed Portal
    5. Filofax Week #2 - Monica Luis
    6. Week 2 - PuddyTat Purr
    7. My Week: Week 2 - And there she goes
    8. Weekly peek #2 - Lynzy's Whimsies
    9. My week #2 - Your never fully dressed without pearls and red lips
    10. My Week #2 - Rainbyxoxo
    11. My Week #2 - Filofaximile
    12. my filofax weeks #1 & #2 - Even artichokes have hearts
    13. Filofax week in photos - Cider with Sophie
    14. My Filofax Week - Weeks 1 and 2 - Pony Town