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.


  1. Hi Samantha - Have you found anywhere in the UK where you can purchase Van Der Spek?

    I can only seem to find them on their website in the Netherlands and it looks quite an expensive place to get them when you add on shipping costs etc.

    I've got filofaxes but the rings aren't the best and really fancy a Van Der Spek. Thanks.

    1. Hi Lyn

      I did get three of them in the UK but only from another user who had ordered direct from VDS. My A5 Manager I also ordered direct from VDS, the shipping wasn't too bad and even the time for delivery wasn't that bad either. They really are beautiful planners, you wont be disappointed!!


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