11 January 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Nicola

This week I would like to introduce you to Nicola. 

Hi I am Nicola and I am currently in my final year at university. I live in Yorkshire with my 3 young children, so life is pretty crazy right now.

As a child I loved notebooks, pencils and stickers so nothing has changed much- except I need more pocket money to fund this addiction! Planning is a part of my daily life and that includes the people within the planner community; I have met some of the nicest people and love all the creativity, fun and generosity that accompany it.

You can find me here in many of the planner groups or on Instagram (@plannerdreams)

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

I bought my first planner at 17 but all I remember is that it was black and smelt amazing. I traded notebooks and spiral bound diaries for planners around April 2012 and I bought a raspberry Finsbury in A5. Then a quick Google search led me to a whole new planning world.

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

I have used Filofax, Gillio, Van der Spek, Midori and Hobonichi- so nearly all of them then!

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

My favourite is my Gillio medium Compagna in purple; to me the Compagna is THE perfect planner, it feels luxurious and the pocket configuration is just right. It also looks and feels better with use.

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

I try not to have a huge collection, as I don’t like planners being unused but I am beginning to find I am becoming attached to some of them. Currently in my collection I have: 3 Filofax, 5 Gillio, 1 Van der Spek, 3 Midori Traveler’s Notebooks and 3 Hobonichi (wow more than I thought).

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

It is probably my pocket blue Ascot as that is a model no longer available.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

I have a home binder for all the random information I feel obliged to keep, a few for on-going projects in the house, my everyday carry and then my Midori and Hobonichi planners are used just for journaling purposes. Ironically I think I am the only student without a study planner, I just cannot sync calendars ect and need all of my important information in one place.

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

Initially I was attracted to the colours and styles, also as I can be a little OCD I got tired of buying a new diary everytime I made a mistake, it got quite costly. In hindsight however it was still a cheaper alternative!

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

I never know the answer to this question as planner needs change but perhaps the style of the Gillio Compagna but with a more ‘young and fashionable’ finish you see on a Filofax. I like some of the bolder colours from the Finsbury and Original line….oh and it would definitely have 2 pen loops.

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

I have it with me most places; I carry it around the house protecting it from small children who like to ‘draw’ and when I am out it just goes into my bag. I don’t use a planner sleeve, but on the days my keys have been near it I think I should, but I try not to be too precious about it.

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

Right now I am very happy with what I have, but that could change by the time this is published!

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

Erm………can I avoid this question? I actually find constant buying and selling can be more costly than perhaps buying a more expensive planner and using it everyday. Have I got away with this question?

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

This is not a hack, but I think my best advice is to figure out what works for you, what you like and what you need from a planner. I think it is all too easy to think someone else has a better idea and change your whole set up based on someone else’s needs. I find using others for inspiration is great and I LOVE drooling over other people’s set-ups, but it has been a long (and expensive) journey to get to this place.

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

I love the information, the regular updates, the printables, the web finds oh and of course reader under the spotlight! Philofaxy is the go-to place ;)

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

This question!

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

Taylor Swift- Blank Space

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

No, but I have been to a Gillio meet up which was great fun, I will definitely attend one soon.

17. What was the last movie you watched?

I really do not seem to find the time for films, but it was probably something like Shrek as it is shown every Christmas is it not?

18. What was the last book you read?

I am not too sure but I will have taken a quote from it for an essay. I can’t wait to read for personal interest once I graduate in the summer.

19. George Clooney or Brad Pitt? 

This is the hardest question….but perhaps Brad would like to pop to Yorkshire for a brew.

Thank you Nicola. As you know we are always looking for new people to appear in our 'Reader Under Spotlight feature, please contact Steve philofaxy at gmail dot com


  1. Hi, happy to read about you here!

  2. Yorkshire is a great place to live - I'm on the side of Ilkley Moor on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

  3. Lovely to 'meet' you, Nicola :)


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