13 September 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Priscilla

Today I would like to introduce you to Priscilla.

Hi everyone, I'm Priscilla. I'm Ghanaian but born in Kenya. I grew up in various boarding schools all over the world and now I live in The Netherlands.

I'm a musician and performance artist, recently graduated with a Masters degree in Jazz music. I'm also a part-time nanny to 4 boys and I sometimes supervise lunchtime at a primary school. Until recently all these activities were full time and I had to juggle 2 jobs, school, gigs, rehearsals, practicing, social life...it has hectic to say the least!

I also started blogging this year which is turning out to be quite fun. I love reading, photography, movies, filofaxing, dancing, good food and good company :) http://www.randompastimes.wordpress.com/

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

I bought my first planner when I first came to the Netherlands in 2009 (a bound planner). After that I used some small spiral bound planners that my parter's mum got a bunch of from work and gave to us. I also used some cheap but nice spiral bound planners from Hema.

My first 6 ringed planner was bought when I was entering my final year of my Bachelor in Jazz (if I remember correctly). So much was going on and the previous year I was just a mess! I was double booking myself, forgetting to do things, missing appointments or deadlines. This just couldn't go on in my final year! I had been intrigued, in the past, by the 6 ringed binders by Succes (a Dutch brand) but they were too expensive for me at that time. I liked the idea of just changing out the inserts each year instead of shopping for another planner. Also, I was getting tired of my planners falling apart before the end of the year. So I went searching and found a shop that had some planners on sale. I don't believe it was a Succes brand (there was no logo on it). I bought the Junior size which is the equivalent to a Filofax pocket size. It started wearing out really fast (it wasn't leather), so within a year I was looking for something else to replace it. That's when I discovered Filofax!

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

Other brands I have are Van der Spek, Pineider, Kikki K, Kate Spade, Webster's Pages, and Gillio Firenze/ Gigliodoro... and a Liebeskind and Pedori TN but I don't know if that counts as a planner.

I have been curious about the Franklin Covey binders, only because of their big rings, and their inserts seem to be wider than the standard filofax inserts. Would also like to get my hands on a Bethge planner...and sometimes I feel like trying out the Erin Condrin planners, but I think that's mostly because I would like to try the layout. I'm hoping that I can find someone who makes that kind of layout for personal sized planners.

I would also like to try an A6 planner. I like the idea of not wasting paper when making/ printing out inserts on A4 paper.

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

I don't have a favourite. I sincerely love them all! However, since my most recent purchase was the Gigliodoro pocket Mia Cara, I have been really enjoying that at the moment. I mostly use personal size planners but the Mia Cara is a game changer! I have an Aqua Lockwood on its way to me currently so that may end up being my current favourite soon. I have found though, that the binders themselves are not the issue for me, but rather my set up or how I use the planner that is the problem. I'm still trying to find the best way for myself. And since major things have been changing in my life, I will need to adjust my planner accordingly.

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

I don't want to know lol. Ok, so at the last count there were about 48. But I have sold and gifted some away so now I have around 35 which includes the Aqua that's on its way, but doesn't include the ones that are up for sale...oh my goodness, how did that happen?! lol For a full list go to my blog. I will try to update it and list all my planners soon.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

Until recently that would have been the first binder I mentioned above. Since I recently threw that one out, the binder that I have had the longest would be...my clipbook? lol Ok, my Brown compact Charleston I believe I've had the longest. Owned others before but have sold them off over time.

The oldest binder in terms of date that it was made, I think, must be my green Portland Personal Filofax.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

Starting with the A5's I use the Charleston for language learning, my Nude Original for Blog planning (although I haven't really been doing much of that :/), and an A5 black Finsbury as a home binder (looking to replace this one for an A5 with bigger rings).

Compact - My brown compact Charleston is being used as a finance tracker. Also haven't been very consistent with this.

Personal - a Blue Buckingham is currently a reference binder. Several other planners hold extra inserts. I have some plans to use different binders for different things but I haven't gotten round to setting them up. My excuse being that I was focussing on my research and finishing school, then I've been away on holiday. Now that I'm back, I hope to get things sorted out. And the rest of my binders I like to switch in between them

Pockets - The pocket Charleston will be used as an address book. The Mia Cara is used when I want to use a planner/ wallet combo in a smaller size. Grey Malden is a spare planner now housing some inserts. The chameleon is used as a wallet when I'm taking a trip. Blue Belgravia and Chocolate Aston are up for sale, but were also used as spare planners

Minis - Red Piccadilly is up for sale, and Grey Malden is still not in use, but also thinking to see if I can use it as a wallet, or a repertoire list book. I always forget what songs I know when someone asks me :p

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

In my pocket planner I have 6 sections: To-do's, Monthly diary (MO2P), Weekly diary (WO2P), Daily diary (PPD), Filofax reference pages, Notes/Lists in A-Z tabs.

In my Personal at the moment I have 9 sections because I was trying out the inserts that came with the Pineider planners. I've rearranged it a bit and now the sections are: Monthly diary (MO2P), Brain dump list, Weekly diary (WO2P), Daily diary (DPP), Contacts, Projects, Goals, Notes (with A-Z tabs), Finances. However, this will change soon as I find that there are sections that I'm not going to need or that I don't use any more.

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

I like that you can take in and out the pages that you don't need anymore. I like that you can customise it as you like, even in the middle of the year. Don't like the layout? Change it! Feel like having a different planner or look today? Exchange the binder for another colour or make new dividers! You don't have to use it as an agenda, but you can use it to track your finances, manage your home, you health and fitness. You can turn it into an inspiration/ happiness binder, journal, or just an address book, a reference binder, a recipe binder, so many options really. There is no "right" way of what to do with it, and I really love that :). It becomes your filofax!

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

Hmmm...I guess it would have the same layout and leather as the Holborn personal size, except that on the right side the zipped pocket would be on the outside instead of hidden inside the pocket (does that make sense?). So basically behind the zipped pocket would be the two vertical pockets.  I would also add a full length back pocket (like the Gillio Compagna's), and another vertical pocket on the front or back cover (like the Lockwood) that could hold your cell phone or anything else you would like. And this would be available in many colours :)

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

In my bag, be it handbag or backpack. I just toss it in. I do want to make a cover slip for my patent nude though. Don't want that one to get messed up so quickly. I'm not so gentle with my planners :).

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

The new Lockwoods have taken my interest and I have already ordered the Aqua Lockwood in personal size. I also would like the Garnet one (I'm thinking the zipped version), but I will restrain myself...for now ;). I want to see it first before I decide to buy one.

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

I want to say my custom Van der Spek is the most expensive, but I think I may have spent more on my Black zipped Wellesley Kate Spade. I won it in an ebay bidding war (my first win!) and I got it at a price lower price than I was willing to pay. I really wanted one and the seller was in Europe which would mean that I didn't have to pay custom fees. Because the Kate Spade ringed planners are discontinued they tend to be pricey, but I'm really happy with mine and don't regret buying it. I like zipped planners :)

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

Using the A-Z tabs as a notes or lists filling system is genius!!! It makes it easier to find things. I also like using a clear divider in between my WO2P to add notes and to-do's for the week. If something doesn't get done, you just move the clear divider into the next week. And the fact that it's clear means that you can still see your weekly view. This is especially helpful in the pocket size as there isn't always enough space to write down all my to-do's. Once it gets done, I can write it down on the date. Until then, it gets moved and I don't waste valuable paper real estate.

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

I like the community feeling. I like that here is a place where I know people understand my planner obsession :). I also like all the interesting posts from reviews of planners, to how people are using their planners. Reading Web finds has become my Saturday morning tradition! And the free files that are generously made available to us is amazing! Everyone is so friendly and helpful. What's not to love?!

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?

Is this a trick question? ;) Well about a year ago (or two) I would have said that the layout/ design of the website could do with a change or update. But I've gotten used to it, so I'm fine.

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

James Moody - I'm In The Mood For Love (aka Moody's Mood For Love)

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

Yes I have (although I didn't realise it at the time - thought it was arranged by VdS but now learn that it was arrange by Philofaxy on the behalf of VdS)!

I went this year to the one in Rotterdam were we got to meet Petra Van der Spek and some other planner fans. However I was unable to attend the whole thing (the factory tour specifically) as I had a gig that I had to perform. I've also attended a Gillio meet-up in Antwerp which was fun! Again I couldn't stay for the whole thing because of another gig! I hope that the next opportunity I have, I will be able to stay for the whole thing!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

The Age of Adeline - I watched it on the flight coming back from my holiday.

19. What was the last book you read?

The Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel. It's the 5th book from the Earth Children's series that I'm re-reading. I will start on the last book today.

Thank you Priscilla.

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. Hello Priscilla, nice to meet you. I've been a Franklin Covey Classic (inserts are 5.5" x 8.5") user for many years. I gave the FF Personal size a good 6 month try before settling into my FC Compact Boston, which is wider than than FF's Personal/Compact size by 1/2 inch (4.25x6.75). The larger rings mean I can have more stuff in it, but it's also heavier. As the year goes on, and calendar pages are removed, I vs downsize into the FF Personal. I also have a Kate Spade, but as its more Personal size, it has to wait for the leaner summer months.

    1. Thank you Anita :)

    2. Oops! The previous reply was for someone else. lol

      Hi Carla. Thanks for sharing :). I can imagine that it can get heavy! A good idea of yours to downsize your planner as you remove the pages. I do like that the pages are a bit bigger so I may try them one day in my personal size planners, if I can get my hands on them. :)

  2. Lovely to meet you, Priscilla!