25 May 2014

Reader Under The Spotlight - Sophie

Today I would like to introduce you all to Sophie

Hi! I'm Sophie, an almost-30 year old living in Oxfordshire, UK. I work for the oldest English-speaking University in the world (according to wikipedia) and love skiing, eating good food, going on adventures with my husband and, of course, all types of stationery. I blog at aboutasnowflake.blogspot.co.uk and you can also find me on YouTube.

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

I've been using paper diaries and planners since secondary school (apart from a dabble with digital for a few years after graduation) and I bought my first Filofax in May 2013 with a John Lewis voucher from my birthday. It was a compact aqua Saffiano.

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

I've used generic diaries and planners from WHSmith and Paperchase but the only ring organisers so far have been filofax. I do however have a Van der Spek custom A5 Manager winging its way to me right now for my birthday in May!

I do also use a Midori Traveler's Notebook and two 'Raydoris' made by Ray Blake. I had been using this style as my planner since late 2013 but I've recently changed my set up to go back to rings (all due to the VdS).

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

This does change all the time, and I'm assuming will change again with the arrival of the VdS, but I do love my black leather Deskfax at the moment.

4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?

I own 4 filofax organisers: two A5s (Cuban in Chilli and Holborn Zip in Wine), one compact (teal Calipso) and a black Deskfax. With the VdS that'll be five ring bound organisers. I also own a Midori Traveler's Notebook in brown and two notebook covers by Ray Blake, a green regular size which fits up to 6 notebooks and the limited edition Spitfire field notes size.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

The Deskfax. I have no idea how old it is as it was bought preloved (in fact from the Preloved website!) from a retired teacher in Dorset. It's battered and not in the best condition but I wouldn't part with it.

6. What do you use your organisers for?
  • Cuban: main planner which lives at home/projects/trip planner/blog/YouTube planner/cleaning and household/family finances. This will be split when the VdS arrives.
  • Holborn Zip: Brownies (the Girl guiding section, not the cake!). I'm a Brown Owl and all my planning for meetings, budgeting and tracking goes in this. The zip is invaluable for keeping everything together.
  • Calipso: wallet and satellite planner. This is a new thing I'm trying out. I'm sure I'll blog/vlog about it soon!
  • Deskfax: family tree research. I started researching this for my father's 50th birthday 6 years ago and absolutely love it. I'm really nosey and this is a great outlet for that!
  • Green traveler's notebook cover: 'happy book' containing four books for my journal, quotes, lists and art/doodles
  • Midori Traveler's notebook: spare inserts. I buy a stack of notebooks every so often from pencils.jp to save money (take care with import VAT if you use them in Europe) and keep them in here.
  • Spitfire: this hasn't got a use at the moment so suggestions are welcome!
7. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

The flexibility. It all starts as just a diary and some notes and then it grows. I love how I only use one as a true planner and the rest have different uses.

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

It would be A5 with some structure, full width wallet pocket, a secretarial pocket with credit card slots at the front and a gusseted zip pocket at the back. Colour wise I'd have British racing green nappa on the exterior and cream on the interior (to match the vintage Jaguars). 28mm rings would be big enough. I'm waiting on Petra Van der Spek to design this for me (as is most of the facebook group)!

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

Compact in my bag, Holborn in my Brownies bag, others on my desk.

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

The Temperley Violet Organiser. I know the Temperleys are a love/hate collection for many people but I'd love one as a wallet. Don't know if I'll buy it as the other option is a new VdS!

The others I really like the look of are the plum Osterley, the green Original and the red Charleston (although I hate the pocket configurations on all of them). 

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

On Filofax - £39.99 (I love TKMaxx in the UK, I got both A5s in there). My VdS cost my husband (birthday present) over £200 so it's a big leap!

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

Deskfax rings are spaced the same as personal (thanks Steve) so if I'm only carrying my compact when I come across some family tree stuff I can make a note in there then transfer the sheet into the deskfax for writing up later.

I also love the hack to use the Rapesco punch for A5 sheets, found that on YouTube!

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

The variety. I love Readers under the Spotlight to find out how others use their planners, web finds for the same reason, tip and hacks for new ideas and product reviews to see the new must-have!

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

There's not enough on Adspot??

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

Little Me by Little Mix, really uplifting track.

16. George Clooney or Brad Pitt?

George - he's the Sean Connery of his generation, gets better with age.  



Thank you Sophie. And if you would like to appear in this regular on Philofaxy, then please contact Steve at philofaxy at gmail dot com thank you. 


  1. Famous true story in our family. My granny McCourt was not into tv or films, only Newsnight, as my uncle worked on the news desk. She went to her local post office in Edinburgh once and the man in front of her in the queue turned round to exit, saying to my granny as he passed by, "Yes it's me, Sean Connery!!" and she said "Who?? Do I know you??" Priceless!!! Dad explained he was the James Bond film star when she asked who Sean Connery was!!

  2. Another true story apparently, but via a friend. Could have been Granny though.... The Prime Minister of the time was visiting an old folks home, and sat next to a frail and elderly lady. In his best prime ministerial and patronising I'll speak slowly and clearly to the elderly and deaf voice, he said " Do you know who I AM?" and the reply " No, but I'm sure if you ask matron she'll tell you!!!" Again pricelessly funny!!!