08 February 2015

Reader Under the Spotlight Nicole

Today I would like to introduce you to Nicole

I am Nicole, I live with my wife in the Munich area and work as a kind of air traffic controller at the Munich Airport. I am 43 years old. I am a paper & planner nerd, a music enthusiast and movie lover. For a year now I am doing some scrapbooking and project life, too. Oh, and I love taking photos and making collages with them or work with them in an artistic way. Weird fact on the side: tidying up relaxes me.
Although I am a technology lover (mobile phone, digital camera, TV, iMac, iPad) I always stick to paper when it comes to planning.

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

My planner story: To be honest - my very first organiser wasn’t bought - my dad owned a driving school and got multiple bound calendars each year for free. I was around 16/17 when I started using a calendar. Later I bought a ring bound planner (early to mid 1990s) by a german company (terminofax) - I changed to Filofax end 1990s when I discovered the Knightsbridge at the Filofax shop in Berlin; I stayed with it for about 5-6 years. I wasn’t comfortable with there layout any longer so I changed back to bound planners: Moleskine just had started to become big again, some years later I changed to Mark’s jp. In 2013, for nearly a year I used the filofax flex in A5. Somewhere on the journey to planner peace I discovered philofaxy and learned about printables … there I found the perfect layout to use in a ring-bound planner again - I restarted with my personal Knightsbridge - had a short affair with an Van der Spek, just to turn my my newest jewel: the Eton!

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

I  own 3 van der Speks. that’s all there is to me: Filofax and Van der Spek.

I was thinking about trying the midori travellers book - on the other hand: I do not like the narrow format. so maybe not.

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

Black personal sized Filofax Eton; closely followed by The Journey und Knightsbrige.

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

About 10 (may favourite gems are mentioned throughout the questionnaire).

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

1999 black personal Knightsbridge

6. What do you use your organisers for?

I have one personal organiser with me at nearly all times - I have a week on 2 pages with notes for one year inside; all appointments and some extra stuff is in there, mainly lists (to do, wish-list, movies, music, books, TV Shows).

Below is my first answer: I re-read the question and saw I got it wrong because I wanted to understand: how must the inserts be designed and why?

Mainly I need a weekly layout to plan - so I can see at a glance how busy my week is. additionally, as I am a shift-worker all days need to be equally sized - so no tiny sat/sun for me - sat/sun need to have a weekdays size as they are ‘normal’ days to me. I put as much (or little) into them as any other day of the week; depending on my work-schedule. there also needs to be space for notes; not necessarily on the same page as the week  but preferably I like to have space in the weekly layout to jot things down.

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

I love the quality of the leather. and the quality of the rings. Additionally I love that it is a British brand as I am quite anglophile.

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

Emerald green super soft nappa leather (not pebbly), layout like the Knightsbridge, with ring/binder protectors.

9. How do you carry your Filofax?

It is in my bag, in my backpack, just tossed in. taken out. tossed in again. needs to be sturdy, not too sensitive.

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

I am not the so happy with the current range: no fan of the original nor the malden, not the domino either. Maybe the Holborn appeals the most to me. I am often tempted by the Temperley, but a little too stiff for me;  I like the Boston leather and colours (pink and purple) but not the ring sizes … I don’t like the touch of the fabric filos either, so no saffiano for me … I am hoping for something new to arrive - on the other hand: I am so happy with my little collection that I am glad with what I got. I might try to get hold of some older ones I like: eg a personal Finchley.

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

Personal size —> Knightsbridge: 550 DM, so about 280 Euros; about the same I paid for my customised Van der Spek in A5.

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

I think I don’t have anything to offer in that department. wait, maybe, yes, self made dividers. yes, I love the dividers I created!!

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

I mostly like the fact that I am no longer alone with my passion. I often felt weird when I told others I can spend hours with my calendar/Filofax - changing it, using it, liking it … now I know: everything is fine.

14. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I have no idea - I like it. period. what’s not to like??

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

I am a music junkie - too many - I go with the current Belle & Sebastian album - girls in peacetime want to dance

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

No, I have not. Maybe I manage some day. I like London. So maybe I might be able to manage that in the future. Though I started going to regional Filofax meetings in Munich.

17. What was the last movie you watched?

After paper/planner-nerd and music lover I am so into films; I am really going to the movies a lot right now: I like to see everything that is oscar-nominated before the awards-ceremony takes place. My January/February ‘sport' each year. I guess the last one I saw was "the imitation game"; and I did not like it that much.

18. What was the last book you read?

I am about to finish Ben Aaronovitchs 5th Peter Grant novel: Foxglove Summer

19. George Clooney or Brad Pitt?

I have a pass on this one. I’d go for Keira Knightly instead; for a guy: Sean Penn or Robert Downey jr.

Thank you Nicole. 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. Lovely to meet you, Nicole!
    I'd love to see some pictures & hear more about your Knightsbridge & Eton :)

  2. Hello Nicole! I love the sound of your VDS binders!