27 September 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Emma

Today I would like to introduce you to Emma.

Hello My name is Emma, I am the author of A random English life. I’m very new to the Filofax world/community. I have only really been a ‘serious’ Filofax user since June…I’ve dabbled before that but just to the very boring Filofax inserts and never stuck it out to fill a full year. Since June I’ve been making my own inserts –  I’ve changed the design about three times and have finally found an insert I like and it will keep me going for the rest of the year. I’m looking forward to 2016 when I can finally stick to using a paper planner for the whole year – Sorry Note 3, I still love you but you’re fired as my personal assistant!

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

I honestly have no idea when I bought my first Filofax. I didn’t even know what Filofax it was until I looked it up for this question. It was an A5 Metropol Zip. At the time it had to be zip because I hated the idea of the pages getting crinkled and damaged whilst in my bag (a clear sign I didn’t baby my planners back then!). I think I must have been around 14 or 15 at the time so we’ll say 2002-3.

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

I’ve never used another brand, I’ve always bought Filofaxes. I was given two Louis Vuitton planners that were rescued from a close encounter with the bin – I don’t know anything about them though and I’ve not used them yet. That’s not to say I wouldn’t be tempted by another brand and maybe in the future I will, right not thought I am trying to restrain myself.

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

This is a difficult question. I currently have three planners on the go – An A5 Original and a Personal Original, both in dark Aqua and a Mini Malden in Grey...can I have three favourites?!

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


  • A5 Metropol Zip in Black,
  • A5 Original in Dark Aqua,
  • Personal Metropol Zip in Black,
  • Personal Original in Dark Aqua,
  • Personal in Vintage Jack,
  • Personal Original in Jack (it’s on it’s way!)
  • Compact Patent in Lemon,
  • Mini Malden in Grey.
  • Two Louis Vuittons I know nothing about.

I also have a very beautiful vintage planner which was made by an independent company on Amazon. It’s brown leather and it’s like a tri-fold flap, it comes together and is sealed by a clasp which is called a vintage vase – it looks kinda like a vase but that description does not do it justice. I will get round to reviewing it on my blog at some point so you can truly see how beautiful it is.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

A5 Metropol in Black
6. What do you use your organisers for?

The Metropols and the Louis Vuittons are not in use. The Compact in Lemon I regret buying and I just use that to store spare pages in. The vintage tri-fold I use to store my DIY beauty recipes (I’m a hippie who believes commercial shampoo and skincare are bad for you so I’ve started to switch to making my own!).

Vintage Jack has been used for a while and whilst it’s in great condition I’ve currently retired it for a bit. My Personal Original is my main planner and my A5 Original is used for my historical research and learning German – as they are closely related. Finally my mini is used as a wallet. Original Jack I have no idea what I am going to use that for…maybe an ornament on my bookshelf so I can stare at its beauty and avoid doing work!

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

I’ll just talk about my main planner which is my original personal. If you’re interested about my other ones I have a blog on my wallet and I’ll get round at some point to the others. There are six sections in my planner (I just use the standard Filofax inserts I would love to get a set of my own dividers, I’m currently designing some).
  1. General Filofax stuff you get – useful information and my personal information
  2. Addresses – Penpals and important people
  3. Week on two pages – left side a bullet journal and right side a week on one page. This is a great setup for a leftie!
  4. A- Z fold monthly calendar (has a month of each side and I move it from behind to in front of my weeklies when I go to the back month).
  5. Finance tracker – I like to track what I’m spending on planners so I can shame myself and tell myself I have an addiction that needs to be controlled and buy a new planner I don’t need any way!
  6. Shopping lists – mostly done by a topic – some as a website.
  7. Blog ideas
  8. Freezer Inventory
  9. I have a Fly lady section – I’ve not gotten round to starting it yet though
  10. Telegraph top 100 books and a books I’d like to read
  11. Films I’d like to watch
  12. Ideas for my history group to go and do.
  13. Notes
  14. Map of the world
  15. Blank paper.
  16. A clear plastic pouch that holds random stuff like plasters.
8. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?

I like the rings – I like the ability to take stuff out and move it. I like that if I make a rough note I can take it out- write it up neatly and throw the rough note away. I like how I can move everything if I want too. It’s completely flexible. I also love the notepad feature in Originals.

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

I’d start with an Original. I’ve probably put a back pocket on it (like for notes in the mini). I’d make the elastic bigger in the a5 so it could hold a bigger pack of post it notes. I’d include a zip compartment to hold pens in. I’d like the original to have pockets rather than just slits but to retain the same format.

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

Personal just goes in my bag. The A5 Original have a little pouch – that pouch also keeps my German textbook and my Dictaphone – so it’s less about protection and more about a compartment that goes in and out as and when I need it.

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

Original in Jack – yes I bought it L

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

£44.84 – that was for my Mini Malden. Funny how my smallest planner was the most expensive, even Original Jack didn’t cost as much!

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

I am still a newbie – forgive me that I don’t have a tip or hack. I guess it would be that you can make and print your own inserts really easily and you don’t have to be a computer wizard or a creative individual – I have a blog post on it.

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

Honestly. It’s the community. I love being able to ask questions and get answers. Filofax now has gone so underground it is difficult to go and see a Filofax in person before you buy it. So getting advice from people is fantastic. On the blog I’ve read so many things…so I guess it is the variety, but my favourite post if I had to pick would the getting big sheets of paper into at a5 with the magic of folding.

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

That I found it too late and you have so many blog posts for me to read.

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

It was probably Adel Tawil’s album Lieder (Songs), he’s a German singer, famous for being in Ich und Ich. I really like this album and it’s helping me with my German.

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

No I have never attended one – I only discovered Philofaxy in May. I think there has only been one event during that time in London and I was too much of a newbie to go. I may go to a future one.

18. What was the last movie you watched?

Everest – there’s a review of it on my blog. It’s amazing I recommend you all go and watch it!

19. What was the last book you read?

Since August I had this big plan to read the Telegraph’s top 100 books – I decided to do it in reserve (as a die hard Brummie (a person born and bred in Birmingham, England) I had to save our local treasure J.R.R. Tolkien for last). So that means my current read is George Eliot’s Middlemarch – I’ve been on it since August and I really do not like this book – I’m trying to force myself through it. I have a tracker to encourage me to read at least one chapter everyday.

Thank you Emma.

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 Emma! Welcome to the community of Philofaxy! I too use a mini, personal and A5. The mini size has only been un use for the last two weeks so any "hacks" I can find is really appreciative so I will definitely check out your blog today!

    1. https://arandomenglishlife.wordpress.com/2015/10/01/my-filofaxes-mini-grey-malden/ My piece on my Mini is now live :)

  2. Dear Michele,

    Please check my blog on the 1st October - I have a special post all about my Mini coming out and tell you all about how I use it. I will at some point write about my Personal and A5. Thank you for taking the time to comment and check out my blog.

    Thank you,

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. That's bostin! (fellow Brummies will understand)...

  5. It's nice to see you here, Emma! I feel like we are friends since it was you that put up the post on FB about the Original Jack as you remembered that someone had been looking for the elusive Limited Edition Jack...and that someone was me! So thank you again for that! :)


    1. I didn't put that post up. I commented on it though. I got mine on a preorder from speedy hen.