18 October 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Abby

Today I would like to introduce you to Abby. 

Hello, I'm Abby, and I'm a doctor training in public health and addiction medicine. I live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, who is also a doctor and training to be a surgeon. I started using a bullet journal to keep me organised at work but found that a planner, with the ability to add/remove/reorder/design inserts as you like, was way more flexible, and pandered to my liking for stationery and craft-y things. It also helps me manage our slightly crazy life with us working two rosters in two different hospitals in two cities!

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

I bought my first organiser about a year ago. It was a red Filofax Pocket Metropol.

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

I thought about a custom Van der Spek but in the end went for something from Gillio.

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

Definitely my Gillio Pocket Compagna in epoca red. It has everything I need and nothing I don't, and is my favourite shade of red.

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

Only one other, a Filofax Pocket Classic also in red (do you see a pattern here?!) which holds pages that have my on-call notes on them. To be honest I would have sold it but it had such terrible peeling problems I don't think anyone would buy it! I sold the Pocket Metropol so I only have two in total.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?

The Filofax Classic.

6. What do you use your organisers for?

The Filofax just holds on-call notes. The Gillio goes with me every day and I use it to plan out my to-dos for the day mostly. It also has lists and info that I find useful to have with me day to day.

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

I have five sections: 
  1. Calendar, 
  2. Diary, 
  3. Lists, 
  4. Notes
  5. Info. 
In the Calendar section I keep a month on one page calendar (printed from Philofaxy) - I'm still trying to figure out how to make best use of this (anyone got any tips?). 
The Diary section has about a month's worth of day on one page inserts (currently from Filofax, but I'll start using Philofaxy 2 days per page from January) which I write my daily appointments, on call shifts and to-dos on each day. At the back of the section I have my Monthly Goals list, which I try to finish each month (sort of like resolutions). 
The Lists section contains my Wishlist of things I might like to buy, a list of the opening hours of some of my favourite stores, the prompt list for Mrs Brimbles' October Instagram challenge, which I'm doing as my first ever Instagram photo challenge, the calorie counts for my favourite drinks from Starbucks and Gloria Jeans, and a tracker for taking the stairs (I'm trying to choose the stairs 125 times before the end of the year...) 
The Notes section is mainly for scribbling and notes on the go. 
The Info section has a list of bus, train and plane times (my husband is working in Albury-Wodonga for six months so I fly there every weekend), a list of the assessments that I have to complete for specialist training, some other training related information like revision topics for the final exam, a list of birthdays and some health information.

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

That I can take the pages out if I change my mind, don't need them anymore, or mess them up!

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

Definitely at least one secretarial pocket, and a zip pocket.

10. How do you carry your Filofax?

I shouldn't do this, but I just chuck it in my handbag. That would account for the battle scar that it's already got!

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

Not from Filofax, but I am intrigued by the new A6 Compagna from Gillio. I'm not sure if it's too big for my needs though.

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

I spent the most on my Gillio, not sure how much it was... around the 165 Euro mark?

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

If you want to store Post-Its or page flags but don't have room on a flyleaf, get a piece of thin card that will fit in a card slot, fold it in half and stick one half to the back of your Post-Its/page flags. Stick the other half in the card slot, voila!

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

I love the free printable inserts, now that I've got the hang of using a set square and craft knife to cut them out accurately!

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?


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

Come With Me (Ricky Martin)

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

No, but I would love to!

18. What was the last movie you watched?

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (on TV)

19. What was the last book you read?

Nine Dragons (Michael Connelly)

Thank you Abby.

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. Good tip with the post-it notes.

    I like your set-up. It seems simple but effective. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, Abby! Enjoyed reading about your set-up. You are about a thousand times busier than I am and can manage it all in a pocket Filo! Very impressive!

  3. Lovely to meet you, Abby. It does sound like you fit lots into the pocket size :)


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