23 August 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Stacey

Today I would like you to say hello to Stacey. 

Hi! I'm Stacey and I am an elementary school counselor living in Tennessee. 

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

I've been trying out various types of planners/organizers for as long as I can remember- even back to elementary school. I still remember my first Trapper Keeper, with scratch-n-sniff folders! My very first proper Filofax was purchased just last year- an a5 fluoro pink Original Filo that, when I first saw it on a YouTube video, created such an intense covetousness in me that I just couldn't shake it. I thought about that neon pink for weeks, trying to convince myself that I could never spend that much on a planner and that I didn't need a neon pink leather planner.  Obviously, my resolve didn't last long!  

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

I've tried the At-A-Glance planners and other inexpensive bound planners found at office supply stores, and I own two stunning Van der Spek Managers (a5), both with the ridiculous and wonderful 35 mm rings.  I also have a secondhand Mulberry, a no-name planner, and almost a dozen various Filofaxes. I don't see myself going back to spiral-bound planners again, now that I can fully customize my binders with everything I need. 

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

I am utterly in love with my Van der Spek custom-designed Manager (a5).  I went all-out to build my perfect planner and got the giant back wallet pocket, two pen loops, ring protectors, and fancypants gold-plated 35 mm rings, with a glossy black Croco print exterior and a smooth turquoise-blue interior.  Sometimes I just pick it up so I can inhale the incredible leather smell. I, uhm.  Ok, so sometimes I ask other people to sniff it too. *shamefaced*  Hey, if you own a VdS, you know what I'm talking about!  People are amazed by how unbelievably good their leather smells, and it's set a ridiculous bar for comparison with other leathers. 

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

Fifteen... My goodness, I didn't realize it was that bad! 

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Although I don't know the exact production date, according to the FiloWiki it would either be my blue pocket Windsor or my black personal Balmoral, both of which I purchased secondhand from the original owners. 

6. What do you use your organisers for?

Currently, I am using a black Van der Spek Touch Me standard for a wallet and on-the-go planner, and my custom Van der Spek for my work binder. I also use a teal Filofax Clipbook for notes from meetings at work. 

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

In my work binder, I have a foldout weekly overview that I designed, along with a 2-page-per-day insert I also designed. I also have a holepunched a5 Midori Color Paper notebook that matches the interior of my binder perfectly, and I use that for my "good things" journal.  I like to write down any good things from my workday that either happened to me or that I accomplished.  It's so easy to focus on the negatives and I really wanted to have something that was a concrete reminder of the kindness of others and my own successes, no matter how small.   

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

I love all of the colors that Filofax has used in their organizers over recent years. So many companies will only make red, brown, and black planners and Filofax has boldly stepped out of that box. It's hard to feel motivated if a planner is boring!

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

What a fun question! I want a pocket on the inside front cover that is specifically designed to dispense standard Post-It Notes, two pen loops that are part leather and part elastic, a full-length wallet pocket in the back, and a pocket on the inside that is large enough for my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. 

10. How do you carry your Filofax?
Like every teacher everywhere, I am a fan of tote bags! A teacher can never have too many tote bags. 

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

I think the Aqua Lockwood has a ton of potential. However, the a5 size only has 25 mm rings- I'm utterly spoiled by 35 mm rings in my a5 Van der Spek. 

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

Errrmmm... let's just say that my custom VdS was significantly more than my car payment. However, I spent a very long time putting together exactly what I wanted, knowing that this was meant to be my Ultimate Planner and I wasn't going to  compromise on any of my desired options. 

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

I buy plastic/vinyl folders or portfolios from office supply stores and cut them down to make dividers, "today" page markers, pencil boards, and even folders for my planners. They're thinner than laminated cardstock, incredibly durable, and cost less than $2 each. 

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

Philofaxy is my most-visited planner website. It is an absolute treasure trove of information. My two favorite things are the Web Finds and the templates/source files. I make all my own inserts and use those wonderful source files to save myself hours of Excel work. 

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

I personally am not a huge fan of that left sidebar. It's cluttered and not easy to quickly find certain things, like reviews of planners. I trust Philofaxy as a resource for planner-related information and it's the first place I visit when I want to know more about a specific planner. 

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

I'm a Spotify user (Sorry, Taylor Swift!) so I stream music rather than purchasing specific albums. However, I recently added George Ezra to my playlist- he's got such a huge voice for such a young guy!

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

I have not, I haven't seen one in my neck of the woods. I think it would be fun to see everyone's unusual binders and talk about different inserts!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

I just saw "Inside Out", and was really struck by how beautiful and serious the core message of the movie was. I feel that adults are really the ones who would benefit most from seeing it, especially those who work with children. 

19. What was the last book you read?

I've been re-reading my Stephen King collection- I just finished "The Dead Zone" and am well into "IT"... I started reading Stephen King when I was 10 years old, and almost 3 decades later I still haven't gotten tired of his "voice" as a writer.

Thank you Stacey.

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. Aren't Van der Speks planners amazing? My only regret is that I didn't get my custom with the full back pocket; other than that, it is perfect!

    1. I'm waiting on another set of leather swatches to make my birthday-present-to-me planner! It has to have 30 mm rings this time!