27 August 2015

Experienced User - Sam

Thank you to Sam for his contribution to this feature. 

Hey There, I'm Sam, 39 male from Cairo, Egypt who's obsessed with anything related to Papers, Pens, Stickers, Colors, Post It Notes, new planners, cats, dogs and Coffee :-)

Working in a Travel Agency on which I do have several tasks with time limits and due dates that must take place, thus usage of a Planner is a Mandatory Item for me to keep track of what's taking place.

Have tried digital for sometime, however they never worked for me. Quoting Jennifer Mcquire-- whom i almost memorize her YouTube Vids " I need to have that paper in front of me " which is 100% true !

1. When did you start using an organiser?

Well, that goes back to Prep school on which an Original Black Filofax was given to me by my mother- who was a teach but never used one herself. At this time I was mainly using it to store contact numbers,  emails and addresses (cell phones were not in function yet, we're talking the 80's ) as well as a brief Journal section.

2. How has your use of an organiser changed over the years?

At first, it was mainly used for storing contact numbers and email addresses. Later on, I started " Actually" using the Calendar pages, writing my " To Do's " and stuff. Later on , more sections were added like " Expenses, Quotes, Bucket lists, etc". Now it's more of a daily used planner for personal and Business use.

3. Which diary format works best for you and why?

Hmmm, I use a system of combining Month, Weekly and daily inserts . Pay days, bills , vacations and long term planning is listed in the Monthly calendar with reference on weekly and daily pages as well. Weekly pages are mainly used to highlight important events during the full week and Daily for to do lists and events.

4. What other information do you keep and maintain in your organiser.

Finances, Lists, Books to read, Music to download, and work related lists and issues.

6. What routines and structures do you use?

Once I report to office, I open my Planner and see how would my day go. Once I finalize a task, I write it off with a highlighter or a marker, keeping only unfinished tasks. In case a task was not cleared within the required day, I move it to next day's task list (Day page). On weekly basis during weekend, I re-check all pendings tasks to see if they are still required and in function, or I should remove them for good.

7. Do you use one binder or several, and if several, how do you use them?

I have several binders (One Personal Coverstory, One Personal Malden , One Compact Pennybridge, One Pocket Malden and a pocket Patent. I also have Three Moleskine's and One ECLP ). I keep on switching between binders according to my mode, however at all times i only use only one Binder, never use separate binders for different purposes.

Thank you Sam.

If you would like to take part in this series please email steve@philofaxy.com and mark your email 'Experienced Filofax User'


  1. Hi Sam. Thanks for a great post. Like you, "I need that paper in front of me"!

    Interesting that you use Personal, Compact and Pocket binders, but no A5....is thee a reason for that? Do you find you can keep everything in order using only Personal? I do.....but I get attracted to the A5 'proposition' quite regularly!

    1. Hi David, glad you like the post :-)

      I have tried a Domino A5 for couple of weeks, but it never worked for me! Was big, lots of unused space and taking much space in my Laptop bag ( can't hold it since I'm always holding a cup of coffee", although I have some dreams for a new peer colored ine now :-)

    2. Of course! And I now realise why I also find A5 so difficult to employ.....it's because of the cup of coffee in my other hand! I never realised that before.........thank you!

  2. Great post! Looking at your pocket size planner makes me want to try that size.

    1. Hi Josh, glad you like the post :-)

      I have been always a Personal Size guy, but I couldn't resist that smooth sexy Pocket Malden and I had to try it ! I absolutely love it. I use the Daily Inserts with it so it can accommodate my endless tasks- with few Post it notes for sure. I also use it as a wallet and it has my cell, so I got everything I need in some tiny place :-)

  3. Great post Sam. I like the fact that you have made Personal and even Pocket size work. I too utilise an interleaved sheet for tasks. What do you do if you need more space for tasks?

  4. Hi Lewis, glad you like the post.

    For a day, one sheet is merely sufficient. In some cases, when I'm overloaded with tasks and need extra space, I gor for a big post it note and I place it on the same page. It goes withiut saying that a fresh leaf goes for everyday :-)

    Do you archive ?

  5. I wish I could work out of a pocket size but it just doesn't give me enough note-taking space. Maybe someday. :)