11 August 2013

Reader Under The Spotlight - Jude

I'm an author and editor from Lancashire; a Victoriana enthusiast and a tattooed lady in training. I've been drawn to stationery for as long as I remember, to the point of having a separate pencil case that I kept at home as a kid to contain all my favourite stationery as I didn't want to waste it on school. I use a computer to write my own books and edit other people's work, but I simply can't get along with electronic organising in any form – it has to be pen and paper for that task. My website is www.judestarling.com and I tweet @JudeStarling.

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

It was the end of 2011 (I started using it in 2012); a purple personal Songbird.

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

I used to use Mslexia writers' diaries and they are very good, but I wanted the option to add or remove sheets of paper which was what brought me to Filofax. The Mslexia diaries gave me my appreciation of the week-on-one-page-plus-notes format, and it's something I carried over to my Filofax. My Songbird came with a week-on-two-pages 2012 diary and I endured it for that year but it drove me mad. I'd admired Dodo Pads in shops for years but not bought one as the desk diary size is too big for most of my handbags and the mini was too small for my purposes, so by 2013 I was raring to use a Dodo Pad Filofax insert. The combination of the two is what works for me.

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

My Songbird is my only organiser, so that one.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?


5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

Has to be the Songbird, really!

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

I'm self-employed, so it basically keeps everything in order! The column format of the Dodo Pad insert is good for this as it allows me to have separate columns for writing (word count tracking; stuff relating to publication), editing, admin (emails and/or physical mail that needs to be sent etc.), social and miscellaneous tasks. I have note pages for current projects and recording numbers like tax references and ISBNs, as well as the opening times of local libraries. For my own amusement I keep a list each year of all the books I read in that year, and that lives in my Filofax as well. I don't use Filofax's to-do pages as I just write any tasks that need to be done in the relevant space for the day or week they need to be done by, but they are written with tick-boxes beside them as I find the sight of an empty box needles me and gives me an added incentive to get the task done.

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

The ability to customise layout and the number of pages dedicated to any subject. If you don't use address pages (or only need a very small amount of address space, as I and I imagine many others in this digital age do), you can remove most or all of them – in most diaries you're stuck with whatever's in there and it takes up space that could be better used according to your needs. Equally, if you need more space for something it's easily done. The aesthetically inclined like myself can also choose more decorative inserts (another reason I love the Dodo Pad), or you can use plainer ones if preferred; again not a choice you get with most diaries, and certainly not with calendar software which is invariably very plain.

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

No leather (I'm vegan), and I'd coat any fabrics used in some sort of wipe-clean substance to protect them. My poor Songbird is well-loved and used daily, and it shows! I use makeup remover wipes every so often to get rid of the worst of the grubbiness but it is a flaw in the design. A Filofax that looks like an antique hardback book would be nice too.

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

In my handbag if I'm out – my Filofax and my Kindle are the two things that really determine the size of bag I use. At home it sits by my computer as I use it a lot while working.

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

The Flamingo, Swift, Woodlands and Jack Vintage are nice but I have no use for more than one organiser. The Osterley looks nice but I wouldn't buy or use it because of what it's made from. Most of my stationery purchases tend to be pretty sticky notes, pens, stickers, deco tapes etc. (I also enjoy scrapbooking so the latter two are dual purpose for me) rather than multiple organisers. I become rather attached to objects I use a great deal so I don't like to change them unless absolutely necessary. I'll buy a new organiser when my current one breaks, but thankfully the rings are holding up nicely.

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

My Songbird was £20 or so new from an eBay seller, whose communication and dispatch time were excellent but who was evidently a smoker. I had to put the organiser in a box of scented candles for a few days to get rid of the niff!

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

This is one I've developed for my editing work: for each piece I edit I assign a sticky note onto which I jot recurring issues and reminders of things to check. Then when I've gone through the entire piece I go back and check each of the things I flagged for closer attention before the piece is ready to be handed back to its owner. The reason I like to use sticky notes for this is that most edit jobs take longer than a week to do (I edit a lot of books), so it's easier to be able to move the list from week to week rather than flick back in my diary. It also leaves the week's note page free for other things (notes relating to my own writing, to-do lists, personal stuff etc.).

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

The tips you pick up from seeing how other people use their stationery.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Erm... video-heavy posts tend to make my web browser groan a bit, but to be fair that's probably a Firefox issue and not really Philofaxy's fault.

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

Gary Numan – Crazier.

16. Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?

Neither is my type in that sense, so going purely on character and entertainment value, Cleaver. (It's a writer thing – you can do more with 'difficult' characters!)

Thank you Jude for appearing under our spotlight. 

1 comment:

  1. Dodelighted to see you love the combination of the Dodo Pad diary inserts and your Filofax - my sentiments entirely!