08 July 2013

Guest Post - What does Filofax mean to you? - Zoe

Thank you to Zoe for this thought provoking post.  

I’ve spent much of the last week watching Filofax videos and poring over ‘My Week’ photos on the Internet. It’s made me wonder just what is that magical quality that makes a Filofax so compelling to use. Here are a few of my ideas, but I’d love to hear from you…

A product you buy off-the-shelf, but make completely your own

Unlike an electronic calendar, a Filofax is a truly customisable planning device. You can mix and match the Filofax brand inserts, download others from the internet, or make your own unique ones. No two organisers are the same; they’re an expression of the owner. The new Doodle range allows you to design your own cover too.

Analogue planning in a digital world

Filofax users are hardly technophobes. You only need to look at their blogs to see how clever they all are. Rather, I think the resurgence of paper-based planning shows that people feel all this technology is controlling us and not the other way around. Certainly for me, seeing my day planned out on paper makes me feel more in control of my time. And unlike when I play with my smartphone, with my planner I don’t have to worry about the example I’m setting for my children. They’ll learn how important it is to be organised, plan ahead and be on-time for appointments.

Order in a chaotic world

Perhaps it’s a symptom of how complicated our lives have become that we need to put so much thought into what planner and inserts we’ll use. And the frustration with the small spaces given to Saturday and Sunday in most diaries shows that we all have such busy schedules these days. As soon as I open my planner in the morning I can see at-a-glance what’s happening and what my priorities are for the day.

An online community of like-minded users

I don’t know many Filofax users or stationary fans in real life, but through Philofaxy, YouTube, and the blogosphere I’ve seen a whole network of people who connect through how they use the same planning device as me. The set-up videos and My Week photos are like a cute, washi tape-embellished window onto other people’s lives.

Tactile qualities

A Filofax is a luxury item you can use every day. These days, they’re now being made in the UK too. Opening your real leather organizer (or PU if you prefer) and writing with your favourite pen can be your little moment of happiness in your busy day.

Life companion

My Filofax is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing at night. It’s always by my side: on my desk, the kitchen bench top or in my bag. If its rings ever came apart, then so would my life. It has a special place in my handbag and in my heart!

So how about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you Zoe, I will thinking through this myself. Be sure to visit Zoe's great blog over at Zoe At Home


  1. I agree about the "first thing in the morning, last thing at night" observation.
    This is definitely the case now that I have moved from A5 to Personal. With A5 it tended to stay on my desk, but the smaller size I am using now means its beside me when I sit watching TV, noting down a place to visit, a name or a news item to read up on. It goes to the kitchen to do the meal plan for the week, held in one hand as I prop open the freezer door with my foot and scribble down the contents. And whereas before I would do a last email check at night, now I turn to the list for the day just passed and make sure that anything not done is moved to tomorrow, and sleep better with everything "downloaded", ready for the next day.

  2. I love your description of a filofax as a "luxury item you can use every day" -- it feels just like that to me - and I think that's one of the things that makes it worth the purchase price. Many other 'luxuries' tend to be brought out only for special occasions. Reaching for my filofax several times a day, I get a feeling of solidity and contentment. Plus it keeps me organized!

    1. I spent less on my Filofax than my wedding dress, and I got much more use out of the Filofax! (PS my wedding dress was pink too)

  3. Zoe, this is by far one of the best posts I have read in a very long time. It's been explained before, with accuracy and details---but the note you've struck in your guest post, is spot on! Now i know what to tell my husband, when he asks me why my Filos are so darned important to me. I think this explanation is one he may actually understand!
    Great post!

    1. Thank you Austinlinda, and everyone for your great responses! Recently I had to explain to a non-Filofax user friend what the terms 'enabling' 'planner fail' and 'moving in' meant. So this post is a bit of an explanation of what the whole Filo thing is about. I hope I've got it right!

  4. I can really relate to so much of what you've said. The fact that it can be an expression of me...sometimes I surprise myself with what I come up with, and it's so nice to see so many different aspects of my personality from one extreme to another, week to week. Love the idea of it being a practical luxury item because so many things aren't. Great read! Thanks for this post, Zoe!

  5. We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly - spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.
    ---Susan L. Taylor

    Wonderful analysis, Zoe. Lynda N.

  6. Super Post! This post was perfect for me! It all hit home with me!

    I'm new to Filofax, kinda, I tried the pocket Domino and Flex a few years ago but felt like I was betraying my Franklin Covey (which I've been using unsuccessfully, I might add, for over two decades). I decided to try getting a nicer one that was more my style so I ordered 3...still on the prowl for the Personal Amazona Almond. ;) The reason for my switch is mostly the online community, it's Amazing!!

    Anyway, I've love my FF and it's always by my side...cuz, it's pretty and my style! :)

    Great Post! Thank you!


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