29 June 2015

Philofaxy Denver Meet Up - June 2015

Another week another meet up, this trend continues for yet another week. So we flew from Washington D.C. to Denver on Thursday. Denver is often called the 'Mile High City'. It sits at 5280 feet above sea level, so I was warned about being short of breath, to drink plenty of water and avoid drinking too much alcohol, wise words indeed.

We were here because my wife Alison was speaking at the Historical Novelists Conference in Denver at a hotel south of the city. This was the view from our 11th floor hotel room.

So whilst she was doing her presentations and attending other conference sessions I took a walk to the local light railway station to catch a train/tram in to the city and then jump on a bus to get to 6th Avenue where I was due to meet up with a group of our readers at 'The Stationery Company'

Lin Logan the owner of the shop, very kindly let us sit around a large table so we could get out all of our organisers and sit and chat for an hour or so. We also had a look at their Filofax stock and the inserts they had in stock.

There were seven people at the meet up including me. It was a pleasure to meet everyone of course, it is what I look forward to with all of the meet ups. But Denver was a bit special in a few ways, please excuse me while I mention a few names.

First of all it was lovely to see Theresa Hall again. The last time we saw each other was at the Gillio event in Brussels in March this year.

Theresa and Steve

Waiting for me outside the store for others to arrive, was long standing Philofaxy reader who comments under the name of Crofter  his real life name is Richard. It was an honour to meet Richard as he has been commenting on the blog longer than I have. For some reason I always thought Richard was in UK... clearly I got that wrong!

Richard and I got to chat about several topics so it was a pleasure to fill in some of the gaps in the jigsaw of knowledge.  Having seen the way that Richard uses his Filofax organisers, I've asked him if he would be happy at some time in the future to do one of our 'Experienced Filofax Users' questions and answer sessions. Trust me it will be worth waiting for.

Everyone got a chance to look at all the various organisers that everyone had brought along. Before the next meet up, I will show you the collection I'm carrying around at the moment!

L-R Anna, Theresa, Angel and Richard

L-R Theresa, Angel and Richard

L-R Anna, Theresa, Angel

L-R Brenda, Richard, Bridgette

L-R Bridgette, Anna, Theresa, Angel

L-R Anna, Theresa, Angel

Bridgette and Anna

The large ring Franklin Covey can certainly hold a lot!
Time moved on and it was time to move on to the nearby restaurant for some food. We continued our conversations there over our lunch.

Because we had started relatively early (10am) we finished our meet up by mid-afternoon and we said our goodbyes. Like Washington last week, I'm sure there will be another meet up in the future in Denver.

I would like to thank everyone that came to the meet up, it was great fun as always, and lovely to put faces to names at last!.

Thank you to Lin Logan at 'The Stationery Company' for letting us host the first part of our meet up at her shop.

Thank you to Anna for organising the event on my behalf. Thank you also to Bridgette kindly gave me a lift back to my hotel.

Next stop Los Angeles next weekend.

28 June 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Samantha

Today I would like to introduce you to Samantha

My name is Samantha and I live in the UK with my husband and youngest son.  The eldest is currently living in halls at University and went away with his first Filofax that I made up for him with custom dividers, he’s coming home soon for summer and has already asked me for a new Filofax, my husband also has his own personal Ranger and loves it so my job here is done!  I have my two dogs, a Chow Chow and a mongrel, three cats and I am babysitting a python until eldest son has his own place, although I’m not sure whether I will want to give him back!

I do have a blog and it can be found at http://bluetigersworld.blogspot.co.uk

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

My very first organiser was given to me as a leaving present from my first job, I can’t remember what it was but I don’t think it was the Filofax brand, it was personal size though and I used it for a long time!

The first one I remember buying was a personal leather Collins Stirling pocket organiser with purse in 2002 for £26.99 at Staples.  I used this daily for probably about 10 years until the lining in the purse section started ripping and I was losing my coins in the lining!  It was replaced by a Pocket Deco in ivory (which incidentally I traded with Rebecca for my red Kate Spade Wellesley!).

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

Collins, Filofax, Kate Spade, Franklin Covey and more recently Van Der Spek along with a few other non-brands.

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

Without a doubt it has to be Van Der Spek Touch Me in both Senior and A5 Manager.

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

I have recently culled my collection and don’t have that many left now, these are:

  1. Mini Domino in Pink
  2. Mini Chameleon in Raspberry
  3. Pocket Chameleon in Raspberry
  4. Pocket Finsbury in unique handpainted purple
  5. Company Saffiano in Raspberry
  6. Slimline Regency in Black
  7. Pocket Aston in Black
  8. Pocket Collins Stirling
  9. Personal Aston in Black
  10. Personal Finsbury in Brown
  11. Personal Deco in Ruby
  12. Personal Portland in Black
  13. Personal Kate Spade Wellesley in Garnet Red
  14. Senior Van Der Spek Touch Me in Black
  15. Senior Van Der Spek Touch Me in Brown
  16. A5 Van Der Spek Touch Me in Brown with 35mm rings!
  17. A5 Bronze Domino Snake
  18. A5 Aston in Black
  19. A5 Cuban Zip in Saddle Brown
  20. 2 x A5 Filofax Flex in Magenta and Purple

Oh wow, I didn’t realise there was still that many!!

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

The Collins Stirling since 2002 now looking used and abused!

6. What do you use your organisers for?

At this very moment in time I am using my Pocket Finsbury as I was trying to downsize the weight in my bag!  Although from September last year up to very recently I was in my Senior VDS in Brown and I will probably end up back in that one as I found it to be the best size ever!  I have just printed off some new inserts for it as I am missing it too much so tonight I am moving back in!

The A5 VDS is my ‘me’ binder where I write things only pertaining to me and my hopes, dreams, aspirations or anything else that I feel the need to write!  It also houses my Leonie Dawson Workbook for Amazing Year 2015 along with some other workbooks that are along the same line.

The A5 Cuban is being made into a household binder with all the things my husband and family might need in the even that I am not here – sounds a bit morbid but as I run the entire household including all our bank accounts etc and most of the information is in my head I think I need to be a bit more organised should the unthinkable happen!

The A5 Aston is my health and fitness planner that has a workout calendar and other useful printouts from The Polka Dot Posie on Etsy.  This also has anything that I think would be helpful to have in this kind of planner, dietary advice, exercise routines, etc.

7. How many sections do you have in your organiser and what is each section used for?

In my everyday carry (no matter which one it is!) I only have my calendar and then notepaper.  I don't use dividers with tabs but I do have glittery pages and postcards and photographs dotted throughout just for something nice to look at.

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

I love being able to customise.  I am not a decorator really but I do love having sparkly dividers – all un-tabbed of course – but it adds a touch of glitz to whichever planner I am using at the time.

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

I love the big back pockets, I love having a gusseted zip pocket and a large enough pen loop to accommodate my favourite pens.  It would also feature decent enough paper so I could use my fountain pen without having to source/create my own inserts.

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

Loose in my handbag.

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

I’m not keen on any of them to be honest.  I much prefer the Van Der Spek range and consider those to be the best of the best in quality, value for money and superior service.

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

Probably the A5 Van Der Spek Touch Me with 35mm rings but it was worth every single penny!

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

I love the little stickers that my friend has made for me to indicate occasions such as coffee – shopping – holiday – me time – remember, etc.  And I have fluorescent arrow stickers that I bought from Tesco that I use to highlight important things.  These are the only decorations I use.

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

I love the community spirit, the ideas and the knowledge there are other people out there who are as geeky as me!  The web finds are my favourite!

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Absolutely nothing!

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

All the albums by The Pretty Reckless

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

Not yet, and yes I do!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

Unfortunately it was Postman Pat - The Movie - while babysitting my nephew, I found it to be quite disturbing actually!

19. What was the last book you read?

I am currently reading Kate Mosse's Citadel - or trying to, it's pretty hard going as I'm still trying to get into it!

Thank you Samantha.

As you know we are always 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.

27 June 2015

Web Finds - 27 June 2015

So I hope you have had a good week. I'm currently in Denver.

So now it is time to enjoy a great collection of blog posts and videos from around the internet, so grab a drink and make yourself for our weekly round-up.

So here are the latest Filofax blog posts from around the Internet:
  1. Imy Webfinds #1 - Imysworld
  2. A Filofax Love Affair - Gala Darling << the post that started Webfinds a few years ago!
  3. Filofax Inspired WO2P with Schedule [printable] - Planner Fun
  4. Time management Monday: Actual downtime - Quo Vadis
  5. A day at work for my VDS undyed – heading for 8 months - This Bug's Life
  6. Planner Use: More Ideas for Determining Priorities - Homemakers Daily
  7. Half Size Week on One Page [printable] - Planner Fun
  8. How to build your perfect planner system? Week 3: Create an INBOX! - From Chaos to Order
  9. Filofax Limited Anniversary Edition Union Jack Edition - This Bug's Life
  10. My New Malden A5 in Purple - My Filofax Fixation
  11. New Dividers and Dashboard - Stationery Starlet
  12. A Must See Planner Blog: Philofaxy - Planner Fun
  13. Sneak preview of the next comparison - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  14. Facebook Ring Organiser, Hobonichi, TN and Planner groups - This Bug's Life
  15. Das 8. Meet up in M√ľnchen - Filomaniac 
  16. Planner collection update - It's Blue Tiger
  17. A Peek Inside My A5 - Filioally 
  18. Classic GTD set up in a planner (Filofax) - My Summer Touch
  19. How to Remember Your Reminders {Filofax Friday} - Renew Your Space
  20. Tricks for Planning Projects - Giftie Etcetera
  21. Filofax in the Workplace - PaperCutterz
  22. Color Crush Pages - Bits and Pieces
  23. How I use Multiple Planners - Mrs Brambles
  24. Summer Fun Notes for Personal Size Planners [printable] - Planner Fun
  25. Filofax as a reading journal - Stationery Starlet
  26. Daily Planning with DIY Inserts - Studio L2e
  27. 5 Reasons You Should Keep All Your Notes in One Place - Time Management Ninja
  28. COMPARISON: ORIGINAL VS HOLBORN (personal size) - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  29. My New Color Coding System! - Live Love Planners
  30. Why I got a Filofax - Living Life in Docs
  • We monitor over 400 blogs and sites, your Filofax/Organiser blog posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • We can not guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • For some general tips on Filofax Blogging, please see this post
We are on the look out for more people to take part in Reader Under the Spotlight. If you would like to appear in this feature then please contact Steve : philofaxy at gmail dot com  Thank you.

And here are a selection of the latest Filofax videos for your enjoyment.
  1. Filofax Pocket Windsor Burgundy - Mits T
  2. My FiloFax Summer Setup & Transition - BusyBee Kyla
  3. My very first black leather personal size filofax! - Sweetgelly
  4. Unboxing a Pocket Ochre Filofax Malden Zip - Kent from Oz
  5. Filofax setup June 2015 - GreySkySaturday
  6. Plan With Me 2015 (Week 24) - Filofax Personal - Courtney Reed
  7. Pocket Filofax unboxing - pennybridge and chameleon - Organisedlifestyle
  8. Filofax Apex Pocket in Black Review and Set-Up Video - Horizon1322
  9. Filofax Setup Domino A5 ♥ Deutsch - FilofaxPrinzessin
  10. ✎ Filofax Deko - Sweet Doll | #FilofaxFriday - Angel's Beautywelt
  • For tips on how to improve your videos, please see this post.  Also this video too Webfinds 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser Videos could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
My Week Posts
  1. My week #166 - Paperlove Story
  2. My week #25 - She's Eclectic
  3. My Week #25 (2015) - Joanny White
  4. Week Twenty Seven - Stationery Starlet
  5. This weeks pages - tell your story! - Mrs Brambles
  6. Weekly Decoration #7 - Filophilista
  7. Weekly Post #96 - Miss Mae's Adventures
  8. Week of 6/22: Decorated Pages! - Live Love Planners
  9. Filofax Friday Week 27! - 20 Something Living Life
Here are some Philofaxy posts you might have missed this week:
  1. Reader Under The Spotlight - Bonnie
  2. Philofaxy Washington Meet Up - June 2015
  3. Free For All Tuesday No 229
  4. Guest Post - Looking for the middle way, via Japan...
  5. Media Announcement: Gillio announce the availabili...
  6. Guest Post - Notes in HBxWA5 - Part 2- By gmax
  7. Free for All Friday No. 345

26 June 2015

Free for All Friday No. 345

We have more and more options for tracking our health electronically. There are phones and watches with built-in pedometers, apps for tracking caloric intake and sleep quality. We can even access  information from GPS and augmented reality devices like Google Glass to evermore accurately quantify our activities.

What are the advantages of using paper instead of or in addition to relying on digital data? Maybe paper gives us more time to analyze information on our own rather than just collecting more and more data.

I, along with others, use a blend of electronic and paper recordkeeping. How about you?

25 June 2015

Guest Post - Notes in HBxWA5 - Part 2- By gmax

We saw Part 1 yesterday, Part 2 continues with how Max is using this interesting size format. 

Part 1 of this post introduced the HBxWA5 format, and my binder purchase from Japan.

One of the things that made me like the look of the new format was its similarity to the short-lived original Deskfax, which had double width personal leaves (unlike the longer-lived, nine ring Deskfax that came a bit later). I did wonder whether a double-width leaf might fit the HBxWA5, and it does just fit as you can see here. You could use it with double-width leaves if you kept them folded upon shutting, but, unfolded, they would stick out too far when the binder is closed.

So I decided to go with the format as designed, and make some notepaper in true HBxWA5 size.

I’d heard good things about Rhodia paper, and fancied trying their dot grid style. So I made a trip to Paperchase in Tottenham Court Road, London and bought a stapled A5 pad. The stapling and perforation means that the actual sheets are not full height A5, but this was fine for what I wanted. Only the width needed to be A5.

Judicious use of a rotary trimmer was required to get the sheets down to personal height. In fact only a small amount of the paper went to waste, as you can see from the trimmings on the left.

A standard personal sized punch was then all that was needed to get the note-taking setup completed.

I also managed to refactor the pad’s covers to make some rather nifty fly-leaves.

So now I’m all set for note-taking. If people are interested I will report back later on how the format is working, and what the binder is like to live with.

Thank you Max for sharing this with us. 

24 June 2015

Media Announcement: Gillio announce the availability of new colours to order

A very happy morning at the Gillio offices today: a large delivery has arrived, including the first part of our Pastel Collection!

Our offices have completely been taken over by boxes, boxes and more boxes… It’s all hands on deck: the entire team is unpacking, doing through quality inspections, taking photographs, installing rings and making sure that everything is ready for you to order them!

This is the first part of our order – we are expecting the rest of our order hopefully the end of next week!

When will the new items be available?
We will release all of the available items for sale on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24th – 11 AM CET!

What will be available?

From the Pastel Collection:
  • Compagnas (medium) in Lotus (823), Lila (825), Light Blue (824), Yale Blue (822) and Acid Green (820).
  • Giramondos (275/02) in Lotus (823), Light Blue (824), Yale Blue (822), Acid Green (820) and… AQUA (810)!
Restock of previous colours:

What has been improved in the designs & materials?


After a lot of feedback from our customers, we started to look for a suitable replacement for the black felt that was used for the reverse side of the flyleaves. We sourced and tested different materials, on durability, aesthetics and how they feel to the touch. You’ll be pleased to know that, staying true to our “proud to be leather” creed, the back of the flyleaves has been produced in black soft leather. It is as soft as the old suede flyleaves were, but a much higher quality material. We managed to incorporate this new element without a price increase!


The inside of the Giramondos is susceptible to more wear than the back of the flyleaf, so we went even further in perfecting that design: the Giramondos are now full leather, inside and out. A significant added value to the durability and overall quality of the product! Although almost twice as much leather is now used to produce the Giramondo, we managed to limit the price increase to just €15. An epoca Giramondo, full leather, will now cost €180 (incl. VAT) and a croco Giramondo full leather will cost €195 (incl. VAT).

Organiser model name embossing:

By popular request, we have embossed the name of the organiser (Compagna, Giramondo, …) under the Gillio logo, the way it was done in the old models.

New matching pen colours:

Zinc yellow (complements our Acid Green planners); Aqua (complements our Aqua planners) and Lila (complements our Lila planners).

Don’t forget to also look at our ‘Hello from HQ’ video on our Gillio YouTube channel in which Mella goes a little more into detail on these changes. Have a great day and we look forward to your orders tomorrow!

Time to raid the piggy bank I think!!!

Guest Post - Looking for the middle way, via Japan - Part 1 - By gmax

I'm always interested in different size formats, and I'm sure some of you might remember the double width early Deskfax organisers. Well this is a little different to that even! Thank you Max for sharing this with us. 

One of the long-standing dilemmas facing us is that of which format to use. In particular, I have seen much soul-searching here on Philofaxy about whether to opt for personal or A5. And, having decided one way, it seems a nagging feeling often starts that maybe the other way would be better.

I have always stuck firmly to personal myself, and it would be unthinkable for me to change, if only because the continuity of all my paper records would be broken. For me, personal is the ideal size for keeping a diary, lists, addresses and finances. There is just one thing I’ve found it less than perfect for, and that’s note-taking. The pages are just that bit too small and the rings intrude that bit too much for real comfort when writing at length.

Thus, even I, as a personal format devotee, was intrigued recently to discover a Japanese invention that aims to give the best of both personal and A5 formats in one. A company called Ashford has come up with a new format called HBxWA5. The “H” here refers to the page height, and B stands for Bible, which is the name used to refer to personal size in Japan. The “W” refers to the page width, and A5 is as you would expect (i.e. the ISO A5 standard paper size). So what we end up with is a hybrid – basically a widened personal leaf that extends to the width of A5.

As I’ve implied, A5 has never been a temptation for me, but HBxWA5 was different. The holes are all still in the “right” places, and it might at last let me make notes comfortably. So I felt compelled to give it a try.

Ordering from Japan is more of an adventure than my typical internet shopping. I used Rakuten, which allows you to make the order, including payment details, and then passes it to the particular shop/vendor to be processed. This does take a while to happen, and leaves you wondering for a few days as to what the postage and packing is going to come to, but it all seems to work fine, and my parcel arrived a couple of weeks later.

The leather on the binder I ordered is black, with contrast stitching in an unusual and attractive purple colour. The rings are at the same places that personal format uses, and have a 15mm inside diameter. I’m hoping this will be more portable than a normal A5 would be.

The binder seems very well made and doesn’t appear to use any stiffening within the covers, so it opens flat immediately. There is a large, double-width, top-opening pocket on the outside covers, which effectively makes them doubly thick. There are two pockets inside each cover, and an adjustable pen holder, as well as a simple loop-style fastener. All very nice really.

I hadn’t ordered any leaves, and the binder just came with the one shown. In part 2 of this post I’ll show you how I’ve prepared my note-taking set-up.

22 June 2015

Philofaxy Washington Meet Up - June 2015

After a busy week in New York including a meet up. On Thursday, we took the train (rail road) from New York Penn station to Union station in Washington. It made a pleasant change to travelling by air and overall we got to our destination on Capitol Hill in about the same time I suspect. But the train announcers made us smile 'All Aboard' reminded me of Casey Jones... ok showing my age I know! It was a TV show which was on UK TV in the late 1960's.

On Friday, Alison and I had a pleasant surprise with meeting Karine Tovmassian for the first time, we went out to dinner in Alexandria as Karine wasn't going to be able to make the meet up on the Saturday. 

We had a lovely meal in a period restaurant in the old town. 

Saturday I travelled on the Washington sub-way out to Alexandria again and met with the group in a Italian restaurant in King Street.  

The staff in the restaurant were very patient whilst we waited for everyone to arrive and we sat and chatted and drank iced water, which was saviour as it was a very hot and humid day outside. 

As usual it wasn't long before the organisers and planners started to appear from bags and were being spread over different areas of the table! 

Once again the Gillio and Van der Spek leather samples were popular, I've got a little carry case for them now! 

L-R Tina, Michele, Keisha

Patricia and Jessica

L-R Patricia, Jessica, Tina, Michele, Keisha, Amber, Brandie, Amy, Sharon

We did a horizontal stack of all the organisers and planners we had with us, and then lined up to have our photos taken.

Photo Credit: Brandie Jamerson Sellers.

The waiter took photos of us with our phones which was brilliant.

Back Row L-R - Sharon, Amber, Amy, Steve, Keisha
Front row L-R - Patricia, Tina, Jessica, Brandie and Michele. 
We had a wonderful afternoon together, I really enjoyed it. Sharing thoughts and ideas, sharing how we used our organisers and explaining various things. 

Thank you to Amber for bringing along several Chic Sparrow Travellers Notebook covers, I was impressed with the way they are made. 

I would like to thank every one that came along, it was a great day. I hope you all get to hold some more meet ups in Washington in the future. 

Thank you to Brandie for being my local contact person and helping me organise the whole day. 

Next stop on our magical mystery tour... Denver.