24 October 2013

Filofaxes spotted in the wild

My husband and I went out to lunch the other day to a local cafe, where I'd previously spotted a Filofax peeking out from under their counter. This time it was sat on top, looking well loved, fat and full of paper work. I had a sneaky look (as you do) whilst paying and it was a black A5 Metropol.

It got me to thinking that I've actually had quite a few sightings of Filofaxes 'in the wild' that I'd forgotten about:
  • Whilst away in Iceland last year, I saw a man at the hospital pharmacy clutching his black personal binder under his arm. I wasn't sure what the model was, but it looked like he was using it as a wallet and for storing his prescription form and other papers 
  • At a networking event, I met a lady that had the fattest purple A5 Domino I've ever seen. It was full of lots of loose papers and looked like it was about to burst! I did talk to her a little about it, and she said it was very useful in helping her to run her business
  • At the same event above, there was another man with a black personal binder, which he was keeping his leaflets and business cards in. Again, I wasn't too sure what is was, but it definitely looked vintage
  • I also had a Mulberry sighting at a calligraphy workshop I was attending. It was sat on the side in the kitchen, and I couldn't help asking the owner as she is such a lovely lady. She'd bought it a long time ago (possibly in the 80's) and had used it every day for many years. Sadly it wasn't really being used now, but she couldn't imagine getting rid of it. We had quite a long chat, and she thanked me for inspiring her to put it back into service again.  
I have spoken to other people in the past (trying to come across as sane and not too excited), and generally had a nice chat. I always put in a plug for this site and its community, and I sometimes wonder if they visit afterwards or if they're just humouring me!

Have you had any recent 'in the wild' sightings? And do you talk to the owners?


  1. As you've brought this up I'll take your cue to re-tell my story from the London train (apologies to those who will have read it before).

    I commonly travel to and from London on business a couple of times a month. One morning I was on the train with my Personal Hampstead on the table in front of me, when another man took a seat across the aisle from me and pulled out - a vintage Personal Hampstead! Since the Hampstead was withdrawn over a decade ago, and since I've never seen another since I've had mine (2000) until that point, I was pretty surprised. However, being both chaps, and train travellers as well, we didn't speak (that's not how it's generally done in the UK).

    After a couple of stops a third man got on and took a seat opposite me, and proceeded to pull out a black Personal. I couldn't spot the model, or even if it was a 'true' Filofax, but it looked very smart inside - white throughout, grey dividers (I think).

    So there we were - three men, obviously all on business, all with our Filofaxes. And they say analogue is dead......

    I also attend quite a few business events, and it's quite common to see other Filofaxes in the room. Strangely, this seems to be more women with them in their bags than men with them in their hands - I don't know if that's because men are more concerned about projecting a 'right up with the digital edge' image, because men generally don't have bags (not always the case), or what, but I've seen a good number of Filofaxes at these events. To repeat a conversation had elsewhere (I think and hope!), when someone pulls out their Filofax, or *any* type of analogue capture tool, it tells me they are a person who cares about their organisation, and that they're probably going to keep their commitments. When someone pulls out their phone and spends five minutes picking away at the screen with one finger, while I've already opened my Filofax, made the note and moved on, I just don't know......

    Shouldn't we have a permanent 'running post' or a separate page, where we can all record our spottings-in-the-wild as we go? That would be a great addition to the site.......

  2. David, love your idea of a permanent section for Filofax spotting!

    I know two mothers at the school my kids attend that are avid organiser users. Once had a superfat black personal sized leather Succes binder. It's totally beaten up and she told me she had it for many many years and calls it her "brain". She uses 1DPP inserts from Succes, both for appointments and as a journal.
    Another mom has an equally old, tan coloured Succes binder in Senior size (equivalent to the Mulberry Agenda size). Also superstuffed with 1PPD AND WO2P. Used both for work (she is a manager at a cancer care facility) and personal.
    I still see - mostly men aged 50 or above - who carry a black or brown Filofax. Usually personal size, sometimes A5 size. I stare at those peeps, but don't dare to stop someone on the street and talk them up about their organiser. In a train travelling setting I would start a conversation though. It's quite normal in Holland to chatter away with strangers anyway LOL

    1. I had to laugh because I call mine "Brain" and while tearing out a couple pages my youngest exclaimed, ( with hands in his hair), "oh, no! Mom's ripping out neurons!!" Yeah, I live with a bunch of comedians.

  3. I had a discussion with a counsellor yesterday and was quite surprised to see her pink filofax-type binder on the table. It turned out not to be a real Filofax but instead a Collins binder, personal filo sized, in pink leather. Given her profession, I wouldn't be surprised if it's deliberately used to avoid data security issues in the electronic realm!

  4. I just had another sighting today of a pink personal Finsbury on the dashboard of a car at the garden centre. I would've missed it if my husband hadn't have pointed it out to me. I couldn't imagine leaving mine in the car like that on full display, could you??

  5. I see lots of bound planners but very few looseleaf systems; recently at work I saw a student sitting at a table with a pink personal Classic; off the top of my head I can't think of any other filofax sightings.

    Like David, I tend to take paper planners more seriously than folks who are pecking at their phones. Worse are iPads, which people seem to feel are appropriate to use in meetings where it always appears that they are very busy doing anything other than paying attention to the meeting.

    1. I'm constantly amazed at the way people feel its acceptable (in business and socially) to look at their phones rather than concentrate on the person/meeting in front of them. Even in networking events, people are checking their emails, LinkedIn, (presumably) Facebook, and the rest.

      When I'm in a meeting of any kind, my phone is always off, and usually in the car. If someone's paying for my time, they should be getting my time, not the time I have left over after all my phone contacts have had their share. And if I didn't want to be with the social group I was with, maybe I should stay home and play with my phone rather than go out. But not when I'm out with people.

  6. Here in the US (or maybe just Long Island, New York), I don't come across too many planners out in the wild. On the rare occasion that I do though, it is almost never a Filofax. We are an exclusive club here and spread across the country. Big brands here are franklin covey, day runner, and day timer.

    Just this morning I was at the doctors office and the woman next to me took out her tiny day runner planner to access contact information for her primary care physician. I wanted to ask about it but it was not the time--I was leaving and she was giving the information to the receptionist.

    More often than not, when I see someone with a planner, it's usually at work (I'm a public librarian) and it's almost always someone older than me by several years. It's very rare here to find "young people" who prefer analog systems for anything.

  7. Btw - I LOVE the idea of a separate page for sightings. I keep a tally of my sightings on my blog, but again, they are few and far between.

    1. I used to be a regular visitor to Scoobynet (a forum for owners of Subaru cars, mostly the insanely quick turbocharged variants) and they had a 'Was it You?' subforum where people could post sightings. Good fun! :)

  8. There are two other keen filofaxers as work (other than me) - both have black pocket-size filofaxes on their desks (and used for diaries and notes) - one looks like a Portland (or similar) - smooth leather, but I've not seen the interior to find out exactly which kind; the other is a Classic/cross. There's also a woman who is away at the moment but she has THE fattest A5 red Domino and says she would be lost without it. Oh and of course (though he's now retired) I converted my hubby into using a pocket Portland!

  9. I was at a restaurant a while back and saw a lady pull out a classic size (A5) planner. It was all I could do not to go say something but I was with a friend and she was with someone, too.

  10. My son´s occupational therapist uses non-Filofax ring binder. Yesterday I read from "the happiness project" by Gretchen Ruben that she uses Filofax. She wrote how her Filofax used to keep her contacts in her Filofax.

  11. Quite a few of my colleague have got into using Filofaxes since I started at the company and introduced myself with my finsbury. Most of them feel lost without theirs now and have their mobile phones are now used for their intended purpose, to phone people!

    I have in the past couple of days gone high tech with my FILO and invested in a Pennybridge iPad case with diary etc in it.

    I have a renewed love for my Filofax now!


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