13 October 2013

Reader Under The Spotlight - Carie

Ever since I saw one of Carie's first videos a few weeks ago I've been mesmerised by what this lady achieves by using her organisers. So it was lovely to get her to agree to appear on our Reader Under The Spotlight stage. 

Hello, Planning People! I'm Carie, a Work-From-Home Mom, Writer, Code Princess, Hockey Widow, and Keeper of The Frat House whose planners serve as her Surrogate Brain. I live near Chicago, Illinois (in the U.S.) with my husband and seven boys. I've loved stationery and pens since I was quite young, and I've used one planner or another for 25 years (yes, I realize that drastically shows my age!). I share my PlannerCrush love on my website, www.carieharling.com.

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

I purchased my first Filofax just over a month ago. And I am deeply in love. This is the planner I've been looking for all of these years! It's a Personal Black Malden that immediately became my On-The-Go planner. There isn't one single thing I don't love about it.

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

Other brands I've used? How much time (and space) do we have?! I used DayTimer, DayRunner, Mead, and off-brand student planners when I first began carrying a planner, and then I became a hardcore Franklin Covey girl for years. I now use my Personal Malden in conjunction with my Desk Size Daytimer Malibu, and both are filled with an assortment of pages from Filofax, Philofaxy, Daytimer, and my own designs.

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

Asking me to choose a favorite organizer is like asking me to choose my favorite kid! While I love my Desk Size Daytimer, I am completely enamored with my Malden right now (so much so that I'm currently bidding on a Personal Ochre Malden on eBay... ahem...). There's just something about the size of the Personal, the way it feels in my hands, that truly appeals to me. However, I would not be able to make the Malden work for me if I didn't have the Desk size working in tandem.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Currently, I only own one Filofax. I've been looking at other Personal and A5 Filofaxes, however, so I don't think my Malden will be lonely for too long.

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

My Malden is my oldest Filofax. However, if we were to talk other brands, my oldest Franklin Covey binder is around 15 years old. I use it to archive past Desk size pages.

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

I use my Filofax for Everything. And I truly do mean Everything. (Ok, everything except for recipes. I don't like to cook -- at all -- so you will not find a single recipe in any of my planners.) I use my Desk size Malibu for detailed Monthly Planning, Goal Setting, and Project Tracking. I find that the Desk Size Month-On-Two-Pages and Week-On-Two-Pages are perfect for tracking all of the boys' events, my husband's work schedule (especially during the hockey season), and all of my own Work and Personal Projects. I use my Personal Malden for finances and daily details. While the Malibu is geared toward The Big Picture, my Malden is geared more toward daily details, tasks accomplished relating to my goals, and my personal things.

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

I fell in love with Filofax the first time I saw a video featuring a Raspberry Finsbury. And then I stumbled upon the Maldens. Swoon! The quality construction -- especially the layout of the pockets -- intrigued me. I quickly came to understand how someone can own so many different Filofaxes.

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

My perfect Filofax would be very similar to a Personal Malden, perhaps in a lovely sage green color. I love the pocket layout already, so I don't think I could improve on that a bit. It would have two pen loops that are slightly larger than the one current loop in a Malden, however, to accommodate a Pilot Coleto in each. Lastly, the rings would be slightly larger as well (I can stuff a planner with the best of them, and larger rings would allow me to stuff it even more!).

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

I carry my Malden as my wallet and planner combined, so if I'm running into a store I just tuck my phone into a clear pocket in the front of my binder, grab my keys and planner, and go! If I'm toting my mobile office with me, I put my Malden into my tote bag with my iPad, wireless keyboard, sometimes my Desk size binder, and any paperwork I'm currently using. If we're attending one of the numerous school or hockey functions that we frequent every year, I put my Malden into the diaper bag or my purse, whichever I happen to have with me.

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

I've been thinking of purchasing an A5 Original in Patent Fuchsia in which to keep the manuscript of the book I'm writing. I find editing much more palatable when done on paper, and keeping the manuscript in a lovely binder will aid in two ways, one completely aesthetic and the other far more productivity-minded. Aesthetically-speaking, keeping my manuscript in a gorgeous binder will make the editing process more enjoyable. Functionally, having my manuscript in a binder allows me to move pieces around without distracting me from the task at hand.

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

My Malden was only $75 US, which is an absolute steal! (Thank you, by the way, for hosting the Philofaxy AdSpot page, you bunch of enablers, you!).

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

Tips and hacks are the heart of my planner set-up, so it's difficult to know where to begin. I've told several people to utilize the Philofaxy Diary Insert pages as they allow you to try any set-up without a financial commitment to something that might not work for you. Changing formats can be a real challenge, but when your process isn't working for you it needs to adapt. When I began working from home and writing the book, I had to change my setup. Quickly. A huge challenge for me until recently was the disparate pages in my planner after a format change. I just had to get over it. Keeping "failed" formats in my planner shows me what didn't work for me, which has been invaluable in discovering what does work for me. Your planner is one of the few areas in life where there just isn't a Right or a Wrong Way. Embrace that freedom and just do what helps you to be more productive.

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

Asking me to choose favorites again! I peruse the AdSpot on a nearly-daily basis, and I direct anyone who asks about my planner to the Diary Inserts page. However, I think I like the community the most. I know I'm in fantastic company and I'm not alone in my Planner Crush!

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I have yet to find one thing I don't like about Philofaxy... except perhaps the constant temptation posed by the AdSpot page!

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

I love this question! The last album I downloaded was a collection of Baby Lullabies, but I'm not counting that as it technically wasn't for me (unless you consider the fact that it got the toddler to sleep so that I could finally sleep!). The last album I downloaded expressly for myself was Lindsey Stirling's self-entitled 2012 album.

16.  Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?

Oh, Mark Darcy. (Pardon me whilst I sigh dreamily just a little bit...)

Thank you Carie for finding time in your busy schedule to answer all our questions. And if you would like to appear in to our Reader Under The Spotlight feature, please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. I love and adore Carie's video's...

  2. I enjoy Carie's videos and am amazed at how well and efficiently she manages things while raising seven boys. Kudos to you, wonder woman! I'm indeed impressed. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Nice to meet you, Carie. I'm enjoying your blog and your sense of calm within the crazy. :)

  4. I absolutely love your blog and videos. Thank you, a thousand times, for sharing. Seven boys...definitely a frat house!

  5. Carie's videos are my current favorite! I love her sense of humor, and having only three kids I cannot imagine how she manages all the members of her frat house!

  6. You are all too sweet! I've been overwhelmed with everyone's kind words. Thank you do much to all of you!