16 February 2014

Reader Under The Spotlight - Nikki

Hi! I’m Nikki and I’m an author. I write and live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with my husband, two sons, two corgis, and an angry guinea pig. I write horror and mystery, maintain a writing and horror-centric blog, and when time allows I blog about organization and planners. When I’m not writing, teaching, or attending horror writer conventions, you can find me reading, riding my motorcycle, or whipping up something fantastic in the kitchen. My blog is called 'Wit's End'

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

I purchased my first Filofax in the mid-nineties, I believe. I traded cafeteria credit for it. I’m pretty sure it was personal or compact sized and had no strap. I have no idea what model it was, or even if I could have read the model name, it was so worn. The other student's father used it before him, and it showed. It’s been lost over time and I would love to find it again.

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

My obsession with planners and notebooks goes back to childhood when I made journals from folded pieces of paper and cardboard. My mother once told me I was more dangerous in an office supply store than a toy store as a child. I’ve written and journaled since I could write, and I still have most of those journals. I have used the little free calendars from Hallmark stores, Mead, Day-Timer, store brands, Erin Condren, Gillio, Midori, and Circa.

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

My fondest love is my A5 Malden in gray. I used a purple Malden for a long time, but recently purchased the gray as a tribute to a longtime feline companion who passed away in July of 2013.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

Probably 25 or so. Many of them are in use. While my Malden is my constant companion, a couple are used to store extra pages, two store work notes, my husband and I share two as our home finance binders, one is used to keep necessary family medical records in a central location, I use a personal sized Malden as a wallet, my husband has a pocket Malden, and my 10-year old son uses one for school assignments. There are a few I keep tucked away because I just love looking at them. 

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

I really have no idea. Many of my Filofaxes were purchased used, so it’s tough to say. There are a few with names that I don’t see thrown around much, including a Miami and a Bloomsbury.

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

Storing information, as I mentioned above, organizing my day-to-day, and as my wallet. My A5 Malden is the workhorse, and carries my daily work and home schedules, meal planning, financial and medical information, and important paperwork about my children or upcoming appointments. I store business cards from companies we use for home maintenance and cards for doctors, hairdressers, insurance agents, lawyers, and more. If someone in my house needs to find info, they head for the Malden.

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

My Filofax is customizable and sturdy. I don’t work well with spiral bound planners because I add and remove and shift things too much. I have not been thrilled with how disc bound planners hold up over time, and since I archive my pages, this is important to me. 

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

Large rings! Definitely large rings. That’s top priority. After the rings, I’d like fewer small pockets on the sides, and some larger, slanted pockets for papers. A longer strap and two or three elasticized pen holders. And while I’m designing here, I’d like soft, flexible leather in British racing green. Please and thank you!

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

I do not generally carry my A5 with me. It stays at home most of the time. Sometimes it’s necessary, and I have a large tote bag for those occasions. Otherwise, I do carry a personal Malden as my wallet and I have a month-on-two-page calendar in which I record time commitments, so if I’m out and have to make an appointment or check to see if I’m available, I have that information. I sync the personal calendar with my main calendar as needed or at least once a week.

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

I like Filofaxes for different reasons. I like the Maldens the best for functionality, and I’ve already purchased a few of those. I would love to have a beautiful green lizard for the aesthetics. I have no plans to purchase it for myself, but I keep hoping my family might take mercy on me. 

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

I probably spent the most on one of the hard-to-get A5 Malden colors, either the vintage pink or gray. I’ll just say it was worth it.

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

I love using a Filofax as my wallet. Until I started doing this, I could never find an insurance card (I carry my children’s cards as well as mine), gift card or store card when I wanted it, because it was either shoved into the recesses of my bag or I decided I couldn’t fit it in my wallet. Now I can add card holders to my wallet and I can see everything quickly just by flipping through the card holders. I never have to dig out a stack of cards to find the one I’m looking for. 
13. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

I love the Web Finds posts and the Reader Under the Spotlight. My Bloglovin’ feed is filled with blogs about planners. I love reading everyone’s tips and hacks and have come away with some of my best ideas from other readers.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

What’s not to like? 

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

I listen to movie soundtracks while I write, and the darker the better. The last thing I downloaded was the soundtrack for You’re Next.

16.  Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver?  

As I have never seen Bridget Jones Diary, I’ll wing it and go with Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I am a horror writer. :)

Thank you Nikki. If anyone else would like to be featured on Philofaxy as a Reader Under The Spotlight, please contact philofaxy at gmail dot com thank you. 


  1. I think we should try to plan a philofaxy corgi owner meetup... there seem to be several of us!

  2. I was just thinking the same thing... Nikki, what kind of Corgis do you have? BTW, this was a great post - truly inspired me!

    1. Hi Claudia! I have Cardigans. Kirby is 7 and his half-sister Betty is 5.

    2. I have a male Cardigan (our second) named Scout who's 1-1/2 and a female Pembroke, Mira (short for Mirabella) who's 2-1/2. Cardigans are the best!

  3. How do you archive your A5 sheets.


    1. Hi Crofter! I cut thin plastic sheets to size, punch them, and put my archived sheets between them on large rings. I use belt straps to keepthem closed. It's not perfect, but it's cheaper than using FFs!

    2. I cut a heavy file folder to size, punch it, then go to the hardware store, get 2 machine screws, 4 flat washers, and 2 self-locking nuts, just trim any excess length off the screws at the end if the year and you have a very economical post binder for pennies. Sounds screwed up, but works for me.