05 July 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Mia

Today I would like to introduce you to Mia. 

Hello! My name is Mia and I am a psychotherapist and doctoral student living in the great Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.  I live with my amazing wife Jenn and our two quadruped children: a Bernese Mountain dog and Exotic Shorthair cat.  My passions include cooking, food growing, paddleboarding, concerts, and social justice issues.

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

I remember as a child going into JK Gill (a now-defunct stationery store here in the US) and salivating over the Filofaxes, but not understanding the prices and feeling they were far out of range for me. So my first few decades of formal organization were using spiral-bound, cheap MO2P planners. I kept them over the years, it is funny to look back and see what I was doing/studying on a particular day long ago.

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

I have been eyeing Gillio and Mulberry, but have not yet taken the plunge!  I am particularly drawn to the new Acid Green Mia Cara that Gillio has been showing.

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

Definitely the Akiko, but I wish she made them in more realistic sizes. I would get a personal or A5 size from her in a heartbeat. My life has a lot of sections that need space to be represented.  My go-to is an A5 Original as it is large enough to handle wear and stuffing.

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

I recently found the Osterleys, and was able to track down the grey in all four sizes. I am not sure that I will keep them, but it is great to see the different sizes in person and see how they fit with different organizational needs. The compact and personal seem ideally suited for budgeting, checks/cash and cards.  I love the color but am skeptical about the sturdiness of the finish…and for that reason, they may find other homes at some point.  I have about 8 Filofaxes and 1 Akiko at this time.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Probably the Osterleys, sadly. I am on the hunt for the perfect worn-out vintage model, I like things with histories of their own and proven staying power.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

The Akiko is my wallet, with space for cash, cards, and my iPhone 6 which fits perfectly inside. I use two A5 Originals, one for my daily carry and one for keeping track of the nonprofit organization I am starting (membership/stakeholders, mission statement,  workflow, status of applications, website, donors, etc).  I am still perfecting my budget system, which will likely be housed in a personal grey Osterley.

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

The main carry has MO2P, budget (tracking bills assigned to different pay periods, how I break up my dissertation payments, and a place to double check when an expected electronic payment has been completed). I also have a section for tracking gardening issues, travel plans, notes from my work meetings,  and a section in which I frankened a sheet of stiff plastic to hold a notepad for to-do lists. That section also has a pocket feature to house torn-out lists that are still relevant.

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

The endless options for customization!

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

Probably more non-cloth, vegan cover options. There are a lot of great non-animal, well-wearing materials out there that I think Filofax should be exploring.

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

My daily carry is in my regular bag, a 10-year old Coach black leather shopper. I do not use a sleeve or other protector. I do carry my keys clipped to my bag and my pens in a pocket, so there is not too much scratchy stuff floating about.

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

I am not exquisitely enthused about the current lineup. I do carry an A5 Pillarbox Red Original as my everyday/everywhere planner.  It is a great workhorse of a planner and the red is an oft-underrated classic blue toned red. I don’t baby it at all and it still looks exactly the same.

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

Probably my Akiko. It was specially made of gothic-style embossed pewter-toned leather and is my daily carry as a wallet.  It was…expensive.

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

I love pockets in my sections, and have never found the right ones pre-made. I take file folders and cut them down into size, using washi to secure, punching them and using for receipts, tear-out pages, lists, etc.  When I make them myself, I can adjust the side the envelope/pocket opens to and the necessary capacity.

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

I enjoy the profiles, seeing the varied people who also enjoy planning. And the scans of old Filofax catalogs, and previews of new items coming up!

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

The adspot is a bit outdated.

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

Interpol, Evil and Slow Hands

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

I would like to, if they ever come to my area! The summer tour this year doesn’t come to my neck of the woods.

18. What was the last movie you watched?

Ex Machina

19. What was the last book you read?

Current read: Gender Trouble, by Judith Butler. The most recent completed book is The life changing magic of tidying up, by Marie Kondo.

Thank you Mia.

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. I have not seen the planner made by Akiko--what's it like? Where do they come from?

    It's great to meet you, Mia!

  2. Hi Mia. Thank you for such an interesting post. The Akiko is new to me as well, and I'd be interested to know more....

  3. Hi Mia. Thank you for such an interesting post. The Akiko is new to me as well, and I'd be interested to know more....

  4. There is a great post on This Bugs Life about the Akiko planner - http://thisbugslife.com/2014/01/10/new-filofax-compatible-binders-from-akiko-and-kikosattic/