01 October 2015

Experienced User - Jacqueline

Hello ... I'm Jacqueline, from "across the pond". I am a lifelong lover of reading (books made of paper), and gratefully "old school" in some ways ~ which explains my longstanding, gentle passion for Filofax organisers and paper planning.

1. When did you start using an organiser?

I started using a generic organizer many moons ago. I purchased it at my local drugstore, after entering the World of Work at age 33. That little spiral-bound, dated agenda was just right as a place to begin my paper planning and organizing. Sometime thereafter, I discovered Filofax organisers, and purchased my first: a Personal Kensington (burgundy). It has since been gently repurposed as my husband's address book. (He is rather dearly "old school", as well!)

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

My Filofax use has changed over time. Initially, it served as my personal and professional 'go-to' diary, resource, etc. Its use not only facilitated maintaining the integrity of my plans, but those of my young daughter and son back then, as well. Those were page-a-day days.

Because I preferred/used the Personal size for so long, it was also doable as my wallet/book. (Fellow Personal Kensington owners may understand my use of the word book in describing the Kensington ~ very comfortable and softcover book-like to handle and hold.)

When I left the full-time World of Work (the first time) to enter my doctoral program, I transitioned to an A5 for my studies. I found that it served that purpose nicely, but was sub-optimal as my daily 'go-to' wallet/book.

Eventually, downsizing to "less"--from A5 to Personal again--became "more". Throughout my professional career as a psychologist, the Personal size suited my planning needs quite well, until I retired from practicing full-time in 2010.

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

Week on two pages has always worked best for me, especially as my personal diary. However, prior to the advent of computerized client scheduling, my weekday client appointments were kept using a page-a-day format, adding and removing/archiving the dated diary pages, as needed; e.g., seasonally.

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

Since choosing to downsize again (7., below), I've discovered that I don't actually need to carry some of the cards and items that I once did. Examples of information I currently carry include:

  • week on two pages Diary, July thru December (cotton cream is my treat);
  • minimal sheets for Notes;
  • Information inserts, also kept to a minimum;
  • Pocket credit/gift card holder + a single transparent (receipts) envelope behind the standard Financial tab;
  • select business cards affixed to some Addresses pages with colorful Avery labels. However, I intend to borrow Steve's idea and hole-punch select business cards that I carry. During the recent North American tour, he shared his philofaxy cards during "meet-ups". One narrow slice using my paper trimmer, and it fits perfectly in my Pocket organiser!

5. Do you use a 'system' of organisation, and how does it work in your Filofax?

Some years ago, I read a little article about a very user-friendly 'system' of organization: "The Tao of Getting Organized". As a longtime Hatha Yoga practitioner, and part-time Yoga instructor (since retiring from my psychology practice), this "...resource pool of easy-to-follow guidelines for organizing our physical and mental space...", speaks good, common, natural, and organic sense to me. In essence, to paraphrase singer, John Mayer: "Do what you need to do", in the way that is optimal for you.

6. What routines and structures do you use?

I feel that Ray Blake expressed it well in his Experienced Filofax User post: "There really is only one. Open the book. Read the contents and take action if needed." Less is more. Which, I believe, can lead to "planner peace". (Thanks, again, Helen!)

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

I now use one small binder ~ a smooth-grained purple Charleston Pocket ~ as my wallet/book. I happily moved into the Pocket size this summer, after having enjoyed using my purple, larger-grained Charleston Compact since its introduction. Again: less is more. I use the book-like Compact these days at the close of the weekly Yoga class(es) that I teach, when I will share a meditation or reflection with students. The Compact has become a sweet place to gather/archive readings for possible future sharing, or inspiring, personal rereading. (Again, a Filofax gently repurposed!)

"Thanks for listening."

Thank you Jacqueline.

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


  1. Very interesting read. Thank you.

  2. Great post, it's very nice to meet you! Your ideas for change are of great interest to me. Its very possible that the book you mentioned willl be helpful as I contnue to reevaluate my own changing planner needs.
    Thanks so much for sharing, Jacqueline!

  3. From just your opening words, I knew we met in Pasadena. It's so nice to run into you again. Wonderful read. :)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Carla. Autumn Blessings!

  4. Thank you for a great post! As a fellow Kensington fan, it's lovely to hear about your one & I wish that it had been my first binder. I definitely agree with the less is more approach :)

  5. So pleased you enjoyed the post, Anita! I so enjoyed using my 1st Kensington that I eventually purchased a 2nd brown, then a 3rd green, to change along with the seasons. They are boxed away, and will, no doubt, be gently repurposed someday ; )