23 June 2013

No Jacket Required...

With apologies to the singer Phil Collins... No Jacket Required was his album from January 1985... but enough of the history lesson in this post modernist world of popular music, when compact discs were the new rage and no one had seen or heard of an MP3/iPod and such like!

So I bought my Winchester at about this time in the 1980's, give or take a year, accuracy isn't important right now. You get a Filofax organiser and you use it... or I did back then... but being a tech sort of guy. I got diverted and tempted by modern (then) personal electronic organisers.

The first I bought in about 1995 was a Casio SF4600 (on the left in the photo above) and then a few years later a Psion 5Mx, both still work, once you have put some fresh batteries in them and away you go.... or rather it isn't..

Figuring out the Casio after many years of not using it took a bit of head scratching and a browse of the poorly copied pdf manual I have for it. The Psion was less of a problem, I'm still familiar with that because it does get occasional use still and it sits on my desk most of the time.

These two pieces of technology are of course only any good whilst they have battery power and are a little prone as is any electronic memory device to losing the contents of its electronic memory as soon as you remove the power, then they become rather inelegant plastic and silicon paperweights.

So I'm sure we all know the phrase:

Filofax - No Batteries Required

but as of today I would also like to add:

Filofax - No User Manual Required

You just pick it up, open it and you know exactly what to do, no one needs to tell you where the on-off button is located, how to move to a different day of the week/month/year... it's simple, intuitive. 

Four years since I became a contributor to Philofaxy... four years today in fact. A Filofax organiser still represents the best organisational tool I've ever owned or ever will own. There's no compromise, no hang ups about monthly operating system updates, having the right lead or the USB RS232 Thunberbird Bluetooth Wifi socket this or that.

Filofax is simple, pen, pencil, paper with some holes in it! 


  1. Ah, Phil Collins, bless him. You might be interested that his son, Simon, has followed in his footsteps. You can see his new band here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8TGFsLXoRo. He looks, sounds and (at 3:00) gurns like his dad. Uncanny.

  2. I love the photo!! I had just the same Casio - NO idea where it is today (on the bottom of some box somewhere I guess) and it´s so nice to see at least a picture of one again. I still like the design of the Casio and as far as I remember it was very slim and light - easy to carry.
    Then everyone called me crazy for using an electronic device for organising my appointments and addresses (...it will NEVER be ´normal` to do such a thing! What will you do if you loose the data or if the battery goes off?? ...) - today the same people call me crazy for using a Filofax again (...what will you do if you loose it and have no backup on a computer or in a cloud?...) - Times are changing.......

    1. Yes I used the Casio for quite a few years before I swapped to the Psion. The Casio has two batteries which last about 2 years before you need to change them. When you slide the cover off the battery compartment it switches to just one battery, And then you can change each battery one at a time and then slide the cover back on again and hopefully you won't lose your data.
      But it also has a PC connection kit too, I have the software and the lead somewhere but it meant you could back up the data a little slow but it worked!
      We have two of these Casio's my wife had one too. I only powered one up through! I also have two Psions a spare one!

  3. 4 years of Filofax related fun & frolics!!! Congratulations x

  4. For a while I used one of the old Psion Organiser II thingies. That was back in the days when pcs were not yet ubiquitous, and the concept of syncing data to a host machine hadn't really registered even if you had such a box.

    The end for me - with that and with all electronic devices really - was the day it ran out of juice and wiped its memory. A flirtation years later with a PalmPilot ended the same way. Paper rules as far as I am concerned!

  5. I, too, hopped on the electronic organizer trend. I had been using a Franklin Covey paper planner, became a Palm Pilot user, moved back to Franklin Covey, then my iPhone, and finally I discovered Filofax. I lost data a few times on my Palm. Have never lost information on/in my paper planner. I love my planner too much to leave it somewhere (knock on wood) so I'm pretty confident that I'll never lose my information.

    1. A friend of mine did a round the world trip with her boyfriend. Her filofax survived twenty countries, all sorts of weather, humidity etc.

      When she came home she went for lunch in a cafe with her mum, and tucked her bag under her chair from where it was stolen. A whole year of addresses, contacts, memories, everything was gone. She was distraught. And of course, there was no back-up, she had only been home for 24 hours.

      I agree that a FF won't run out of batteries and the software will never become obsolete but bags are lost and get stolen. I was pickpocketed in Nice, France and my wallet and journal taken while I was walking along the street in the sunshine. None of us are immune, sadly.

  6. Happy 4 year Philofaxiversary!!!

  7. Wow 4 years already! Raise a glass! :)

  8. If my bag and Filofax were stolen, the day of the week would determine how much information I would lose. Each Sunday, I sit down in my office at my PC Desktop (this is a Mac) and type all the information for the week and any new future events into my computer - Outlook. That is then synced to my smartphone - Galaxy S3. All of my information is backed up every week. Although having said that I would really, really hate to lose my Filofax.

  9. I still have my Psion too. Used it a lot and it also still works. Was the first real organiser gadget that I bougth for work. I did find that it swallowed up battereis lik mad and they are the flat cell ones which did prove to be quite hard to find.

    Can not bring myself to throw ti out just yet. But get this....I have also seen one in a museum on Seaford sea front as well!! Plus many items had growing up including a my school casio calculator. Do I feel old? Oh yes!

  10. Even after all these years my heart still skips a beat when I see a Psion PDA.