01 September 2013

Reader Under The Spotlight - Josh

I'm so excited to go "under the spotlight" after reading these profiles for a couple of years now.  To introduce myself, I'm Josh; I live in Hartford, Connecticut which is about 90 miles north of New York City.  I work as a law library assistant at a local law school and live with my partner Juan, two corgis, and several cats in a big 1892 Victorian home which we are slowly restoring.

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

I bought my first filofax, a personal size red Domino, in July of 2011, which means I've been using a filofax for just about exactly two years now.  I was assigned several new responsibilities at work during the summer of 2011 and realized quickly that I needed to find a way to manage all these details; after trying out the electronic calendar I did some research and went with a filofax.  My filofax really changed my life!

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

I've used Daytimer, which has excellent planner layouts but not so wonderful paper, Franklin Covey, and I used a Success Choice planner binder for several months.  Early in my working life I used At-A-Glance and Mead planners.  I'm currently esconced in an an older FranklinQuest binder with FranklinCovey compact inserts which is working brilliantly, but lacks the style of Filofax products.

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

My red personal Winchester.  It's the perfect filofax!  I would say the runner-up would be a tossup between the Domino and my navy Cavendish.  Both of these have been sold to new owners as I was no longer using them.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own? 

Two; besides the red Winchester I also have a 1980's black slimline.

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?  

Probably the slimline, which I assume is from the mid-1980s.  The Winchester was supplied with all its original inserts and sleeve all dating to 1989.

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

Everything.  I would estimate that my planner is used 70% for work and 30% for personal.  I've just completed an experiment of maintaining a separate work planner and personal planner but found the bifurcated system inefficient and unnatural for me so have transitioned back to one book.  I keep my contacts, personal and work reference information, diary, all my accounts, etc. in one book.

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

Really honestly the fact that I can maintain one book with all this disparate information inside.  I am a very disorganized person and being able to maintain all the important stuff in one easily portable book allows me to function like a responsible adult.

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

BIG RINGS! Why the heck does Filofax think that busy people can fit everything into 23mm rings?  They are too small.  I find even 30mm rings somewhat lacking for my needs, but much better than the smaller 23mm size.  Every binder should have a secretarial pocket, and covers built like a book (with a spine, hinge, and cover) so they will both lie flat AND be rigid (why is this so difficult for the modern Filofax to achieve? The Winchester pulls it off without a hitch.)

9. How do you carry your Filofax?  

I carry it in my hand or in my messenger bag.  I always stick with personal size or FC compact as I need the planner to be very easy to tote in one hand while running around at work.

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

Orange Osterley.  I don't think I'll buy one, but I keep admiring them!  I love the color!

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

Certainly my Winchester, which was in brand-new-in-box condition and for which I paid about $150.

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

Use a set of A-Z index dividers to organize the content of the planner.  Twitter user @aspire_to_be was using this setup in her Cuban and I thought it was a great idea.  I tried it and have used it continuously ever since.  I saw too that Philofaxer had written a post about this method of organizing the planner.

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

I love the set-up or "how I use my filofax to manage my very busy life" posts; my favorites are Judith's posts about her personal and pocket malden setups, which taught me so much and really are great examples of "all-in-one" planners.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?  

Sometimes I wish that there was a better topical organizing system (a taxonomy) for the various topics discussed.  Some posts I want to find take a while to locate (such as the ones from a couple of years ago outlining the various diary insert options for the personal size).

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

Loretta Lynn "We've come a long way baby" on vinyl.

16.  Kate Middleton or Katie Perry?  

Neither; Patsy Stone.  I love AbFab.

Thank you Josh, you can catch up with Josh on his You Tube channel and his blog.   If you would like to feature as a 'Reader Under The Spotlight', please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. Great guest post but I am intrigued by your mention of using A - Z dividers to organize content. Can you elaborate on this please?

    1. I was looking for this as well. I tweeted "aspire_to_be" and she said she didn't have a blog to think of it as a filing cabinet. I assume that means use the tab D for.. daughter, dog, etc.???

  2. Great post, Josh, and what an adorable dog! If you ever get tired of being a librarian, you should try and get hired on in Filofax's design department!

  3. The famous red Winchester :-)

  4. Replies
    1. I was racking my brains trying to come up with a reply for that one. Excellent response!

  5. Finally! I love Josh's videos and I am so happy to see him go under the spotlight!

  6. Glad to see you featured here! I need to reduce my binder collection as you so smartly do.

  7. Yeah! Glad to see you featured too, your best tip I took away was the 'note page' between the day on two pages in my Filofax. This was the single best thing and I have followed your videos ever since :-)

  8. There are videos?! Could you post a link please? :)

  9. Everyone loves your red Winchester...lol. Glad you did the Spotlight. Always thought you had a cool career...am a library geek at heart. My first job at 16 was working in our local library for 2 years and sometimes wished I had pursued that career. Have enjoyed watching your planner experiments!

  10. Great to learn more about you Josh. I've watched all your videos over the years. You always seem to face the same kind of organiser challenges that I (and many others) do! !t was you that caused me to buy a Slimline Holborn with tiny rings. So I have to smile when you write that 23mm runs are just too small!

    I too live in a Victorian house. We've been restoring a massive mill owners country retreat for the past 15 years (dating from 1875). It's a Grade II Listed Historical Building, which we let as holiday apartments and cottages. It takes a lot of work to sympathetically restore these buildings whilst introducing modern levels of comfort and facilities. Definitely a need for a Filofax as a project management tool!

  11. Always enjoyed your videos Josh, love the way your organiser decisions (indecisions?) match my own.

  12. I can't believe you haven't been on here already. Very fun to learn a little more about you.

    1. Me too! When I first saw this post, I thought surely he had been under the spotlight before. Great interview!

  13. Love Josh's videos. I was very curious about Josh's profession. I thought he was a manager at a grocery store. God only knows why.

  14. Yay, this is very overdue, Josh! :)
    Love your videos & great to find out more about you.