25 February 2013

Reader Under the Spotlight - Babs

Hi! I’m Babs, and I’m a long-time reader of Philofaxy and a long-time filofaxphile. I recently moved from Kent back to my homeland, and now live just outside Glasgow with my husband, our 3 year old son and our two cats – Thursday and Pickwick. I am a full-time mum and part-time MSc student studying Occupational Psychology. With any luck I should finish my masters in September 2013. My Filofax is invaluable in helping keeping my many deadlines and activities organised.

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

I think my very first Filofax was a WH Smith generic one, which was black and non-leather. I bought it sometime around my entry to the world of work, which would be 1998-ish. I soon upgraded to a personal Classic in cherry that I still have.

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

I have used a lot of brands over the years in my quest to find the “perfect” diary layout. Apart from Filofax I’ve used Franklin Covey binders, Moleskine, Paperchase and Paperblanks bound diaries and dallied in the world of online diaries with my iPhone.

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

I can’t choose between my personal Finsbury in aqua and my A5 Finchley in Imperial purple. I like both of them and switch between them regularly (I’m currently using the aqua Finsbury).

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

I think at the last count it was 9 – personal aqua Finsbury, personal cherry Classic, 2 personal pink Line Bursts, personal brown Kensington, A5 black Finsbury, A5 green Finsbury, A5 pink Finsbury, and an A5 imperial purple Finchley.

(ETA – Oops! I forgot the compact yellow Finsbury, which takes the total to 10!)

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

My personal Classic in cherry that I probably bought in the late 1990’s. It’s all cracked and peeling now, which is a shame.

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

My day-to-day filo is currently my personal aqua Finsbury which I use as a diary, address book, note book and expense tracker. My back-up day-to-day filo is the A5 imperial purple Finchley, which I often switch to. The A5 black Finsbury is a recipe book and the personal cherry Classic is a paper storage binder. I’m going to set up either the green or pink Finsbury as a book-o-fax sometime soon and keep meaning to set up a Line Burst as a health and fitness filo. The others are, as yet, unused.

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

I like the flexibility of them and the fact you can set them up how you want to use them. I also think the leather binders look pretty!

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

I like the binders as they are and don’t feel as strongly about pen loops and the like as some readers do. But like many others I would like better quality paper inserts and the ability to design your own diary insert and get it printed to your own specification.

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

My filo generally stays at home as I study from home and refer to it through the day. If I’m using the personal I will also carry it in my handbag, but the A5 usually doesn’t travel outside the house.

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

I adore the plum Osterley – both in personal and A5 sizes. But top of my wishlist is the orange Osterley (personal and A5) both of which I think are stunning! I can’t really justify the purchase though – either in terms of binder usage or pounds!! Maybe one day …

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

Probably my aqua Finsbury which I had to purchase from FF France as they didn’t sell the colour in the UK. It cost €87 brand new. With the exception of the Classic cherry (which I paid about £40 for back in the day), all the other binders have been bought 2nd hand or in sales at vastly reduced prices.

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

I’m not very good at hacks … I think my favourite tip would be to check out Philofaxy and seek out Steve and Ray’s inserts if you’re looking for something you need!

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

I love the sense of community (and enabling!) that you get from Philofaxy. There’s always something new to learn and I love looking inside other people’s Filofaxes!!!

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Er … I can’t think of anything! Trick question ☺

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

iTunes reliably informs me the last track I downloaded was “Drinking from the Bottle” by Calvin Harris feat. Tinie Tempah.

16.  Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?

In my youth I’d have been attracted to the bad boy Daniel Cleaver! But now I’m older and wiser, it’d have to be Mark Darcy every time!

Thank you Babs for appearing under our Spot Light..... and of course if any one else would like to appear in this feature then please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. Thursday and Pickwick? Another Jasper Fforde fan, I see. [grin]

  2. Well spotted Carol! Although having a cat named "Thursday" causes no end of problems when trying to make vet or groomer's appointments!!

  3. Haha I love the last question in these posts. So unexpected and everyone has a completely different answer :)

  4. Great to hear more about you, Babs! :)


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