06 April 2014

Reader Under The Spotlight - Sharon

Hello. My name is Sharon Wheeler and I'm a stationery addict! When I'm not dribbling over planners, notebooks and pens, I am senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Portsmouth. I am also co-editor of Crime Review (www.crimereview.co.uk) and one half of Two Fat Vegetarians (twofatvegetarians.wordpress.com). I'm @lartonmedia on Twitter.

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

I've had planners since the 1980s, but I can't remember which was the first Filofax I bought myself – it might have been the one with the fab cover that looked like deckchair fabric. My brothers bought me a planner for my 21st which was a hefty personal-sized one that came with a matching thinner binder. They were black leather and had a rather smart red stripe down them. And I still have the small planner that my best friend from school bought me for my 18th. Both of these were unbranded.

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

It's mainly been Filofaxes, but I also have a Midori, which I use for writing and sketching, and a Kikki.K mint green compendium (waaaaah, why didn't I buy one of the medium planners at the same time?) I also adore the beautiful hand-made organisers from Guy and Pat at Cordwain Higgler.

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

Probably the red pocket organiser from Cordwain Higgler which I had designed specifically for me and which I carry in my bag all the time. I alternate between a personal orange Original and a personal purple Malden for keeping everything else together.

4. How many Filofax organisers do you own?

I haven't counted, but at least 20. Some of them are far too pretty to use! I'm not a collector, though, as most of them aren't leather and I buy a planner because I like it, not because I think it'll increase in value. I'm a vegetarian who doesn't usually buy leather products (apart from some shoes and one gorgeous hand-made handbag), but can't resist occasionally. Of course, if a teal pocket or personal Baroque turned up, I wouldn't beat it away with a stick!

5. What is the oldest Filofax in your collection?

Probably the deckchair fabric one. Ahem, I appear to have temporarily misplaced it.

6. What do you use your Filofax for?

Oddly enough, not as a diary, although that may change now I've found Qimmis inserts – I have a Moleskine diary with a week to one page and a lined page opposite for notes. The personal Malden is used to pull everything else together – useful contacts, odds and ends of info, birthdays and travel arrangements. I also store business cards, driving licence and Oystercard in there. The pocket one from Cordwain Higgler is for out and about notes. I also have one of the Doodle organisers for arty ideas. The orange personal Original is currently by my bed to scribble down writing ideas when I can't sleep. I've used the pinkish ikat Temperley as an evening clutch bag. And the blink and you've missed it Travel organiser is for when I'm off on my travels – soooooo many pockets!

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

That ability to keep so much vital information in one place.

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

I like the textile-based ones, so definitely bright colours on the outside and lots of pockets on the inside. And I'd move the pen loops so you can actually close the damn organiser properly!

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

The pocket is in my bag. The personal sits on the end of the sofa most of the time.

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

I think I've got everything I like from the current range. Most recently I've bought the new Cover Story planner in personal – it's very pretty. And I've just succumbed to an A5 fluro pink in Coleman's sale.

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

As I only own a handful of leather planners, probably £90 (I think) on the Travel one. I know I didn't pay full price for the Original A5 and personal, or the Malden. I wait for discount offers or sales if the organiser is expensive!

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

Having a fabric zip-up insert for driving licence and Oystercard (I bought one from Laura Geyer, of sloth fame!) And I do like the idea of using the A-Z index cards for useful info, rather than addresses.
13. Turning to Philofaxy, what do you like the most?

Lots of interesting people who share my addiction!

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Can't think of anything.

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

I bought 5 Go Mad on the Other Side by The Men They Couldn't Hang.

16. Mark Darcy or Daniel Cleaver? 

Neither! Can't stand the film and I'm not that enamoured of either actor. I'll get my coat!

Thank you Sharon for taking part in Reader Under The Spotlight. 


  1. Thanks for letting me answer the questions, Steve! And I should add that I am now the proud owner of two of Akiko's gorgeous binders ...

  2. I really liked your spotlight post. What an interesting career you have too. If you ever find that deckchair binder, I'd love to see some pics!!!

    1. Thank you! I am in the midst of a major decluttering project, so I am hoping several older binders will reappear, blinking into the sunlight!