25 January 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Jane

Today I would like to introduce you to Jane.

Hi, I’m Jane and I live in Gloucestershire with my husband, Stuart, two of my three grown-up children, my boxer Gaby and two cats William and Millie.

By day I am an Administrator with the local authority for a service working with early years children with special educational needs and [or] disabilities.  By night I am a planner and stationery addict.

I have had a love of all things paper and stationery since an early age.  I remember being so disappointed at being given a toy till that I wrote letters above the keys as I really wanted a typewriter; also the best thing about a new school year was new exercise books for EVERY subject!

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

My first organizer was a Microfile.  I purchased this over twenty years ago; it was an A5 zipped style in green canvas with tan leather effect trim.  I used this for a while but didn’t really bond with its looks and so eventually bought a Filofax A5 Lyndhurst in black leather which was also a zipped style.

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

I currently use a mixture of Filofax, Gillio and Van Der Spek organizers.  Before discovering Gillio and Van Der Spek I thought about trying Franklin Covey, but despite deliberating over the catalogue I was never genuinely tempted.

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

Sorry, I am going to have to choose two!  My personal size Gillio Mia Cara and my Van Der Spek A5 custom.  They are very different from each other and I also use them very differently.

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

I see, confession time is it?  I have nine Filofax, two Gillio and one Van Der Spek.  I do also have various Maldens that I have put to one side to sell so am no longer classing these as mine – can I get away with that excuse?

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

That would be the A5 Lyndhurst I mentioned earlier.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

My Gillio Mia Cara is my everyday planner – calendar, reminders, notes, shopping lists, tasks – my brain dumping place basically.  My Van Der Spek A5 is what I call my “ME” planner; I’m trying to be more healthy so use this to record diet and lifestyle stuff, there’s a bit of journaling in there although not everyday.  I have also recently started keeping a record of my dreams so that’s included too.  I also have sections for learning the piano and Italian.  I also use a Gillio pocket Compagna as a wallet, it’s actually one of the older Giliodoro styles. Finally, I use a trio of Apex at work – personal, A5 and A4 folio.

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

With all the planners I use it has to be the flexibility of the ring system.  Moving sections around, removing or adding as needed is so useful.  Also, being a bit of a perfectionist, the ability to tear out a page when a mistake occurs!

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

My perfect planner would be A5 with generous rings, beautiful leather which smells wonderful which is soft to handle but tough enough for life’s little knocks too.  It would have just the right layout inside without the numerous card slots some planners seem to have.  It would be neutral in colour on the outside concealing a beautiful array of colour on the inside – wait a minute, I’ve just described my custom Van Der Spek!

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

My A5 stays at home so is only carried around by hand.  The two Gillios just go inside whatever bag I am using at the time; other than keeping keys and liquids away from them I am not too precious – they are meant to be used.

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

To be honest I am a little disappointed with the Filofax range of late.  I do have plans for another custom A5 Van Der Spek later this year but for now I have planner peace with those I am currently using.

11. What is the most you have ever spent on a Filofax or other brand of organiser? Which model?

It is my Gillio Mia Cara.  My lips are sealed as to how much it cost, but it was preloved and I bought it from someone in the States so not only was it an expensive purchase I had customs charges to pay as well.

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

I think the best tip I could offer would be to live with something for a while before deciding it’s not right for you.

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

The wealth of information is amazing, whether you need to find the answer to a planner question or are just browsing it is so interesting.  The community of people I have grown to know – who don’t look at me as though I have two heads because I still use a paper planner.

But I think the one thing about Philofaxy that I would be lost without has to be the inserts.  I have to say a major “thank you” to both Steve Morton and Ray Blake for the exceptional collection of inserts.  I have tweaked the source documents provided and now have unique and perfect inserts.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

The easiest question to answer – nothing!

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

It was so long ago I cannot remember!  I use Spotify to create playlists so don’t tend to download anymore.

16. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?

Yes, I’ve been to a Philofaxy meet-up in London and also the Gillio “Think Tank” event that took place last year.  Looking forward to hopefully attending more this year too.

17. What was the last movie you watched?

As I am currently suffering with the ‘flu and a chest infection I have become a bit of a couch potato so I’m afraid it was a chick-flick – “New Year’s Eve”.

18. What was the last book you read?

I am currently reading Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying”; a book that I expect will be familiar to a lot of Philofaxy readers.

19. George Clooney or Brad Pitt?

Definitely George Clooney – so long as he brings coffee!

Thank you Jane. As you know we are constantly looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, you don't have to be 'well known' or a long term user to be considered to appear in this 'spot'. So please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com today. Thank you.


  1. Thank you for the title of the book , I do not know , It Is not released by us in French. After you good and proper recovery.

  2. Nice to meet you Jane. I hope you recover quickly.