30 September 2015

New 2015 Van der Spek Touch Me Colours

As promised by Petra Van der Spek earlier this year, Van der Spek have now got two additional colours in their Touch Me range with Light Brown and Purple supplementing the Black and Brown in all sizes in the Touch Me range.

The Touch Me range is their lower priced range which are mass produced for Van der Spek and sold through their own web-shop. The organisers are very well designed and have lots of pockets. There is no stiffener used in their design, so the leather is very supple and soft. The organisers come fitted with Krause rings, just like their Custom range of organisers.

In addition to the two new colours there has been a small adjustment to the Senior model (A6) Petra sent me a couple of Seniors to look at this new design to let me cast my detailed eye over them.

Part of the redesign of the Senior model was to allow for 25mm rings, the previous model only had 20mm rings. So the organiser design needed to be made wider.

You might recall my review earlier this year of the Standard and Senior Touch Me organisers. This was the old design Senior size. To use A6 size inserts I have had to use top tabs to avoid issues with the tabs and the pen loop and pen being too close together. The old design was based on slightly narrower inserts (not true A6)

I'm pleased to say that with the redesign of the Senior size this issue has been addressed and the Touch Me Senior with 25 mm rings will now accept true A6 inserts with side tabs and there are no issues at all with the tabs and the pen/pen loop.

New Senior size fitted with true A6 inserts and dividers with side tabs, and pen, with no issues.

When closed the width of the organiser is now 150mm (not including the clasp) where as the old design is 135mm, those extra 15mm are needed to allow for the 5 mm increase in the ring size and the different page width. There is no difference in the height of the Senior it remains the same at 176mm.

The other models in the Touch Me range are as before, but with the addition of the two new colours. They come in:
  • Junior (the same as Filofax Pocket) with 16 mm rings
  • Standard (the same as Filofax Personal) with 30 mm rings, 25 mm rings also available. 
  • Senior (A6) there is no equivalent Filofax size to A6, with 25 mm rings 20mm also available
  • Manger A5 (the same as Filofax A5) with 35 mm rings
So what do they look like....

Light Brown Senior size

The old design Senior in front of the new design Senior note the width increase.

New and Old, slightly thicker to allow for the bigger rings. 

Purple Senior size


Interior design is unchanged. 

Light brown with a 'Janet Leather' 104 sample for comparison

Purple with samples of Viola(top left), 6216 (top right), 15 (bottom centre)

All four colours. Photo by Petra Van der Spek
All four colours. Photo by Petra Van der Spek

The current prices for the Touch Me range are:
  • Junior - €72  
  • Senior - €85
  • Standard - €95 
  • Manager - €115
All prices are subject to VAT if applicable and shipping will in addition.  The Touch Me range is available on the Van der Spek website along with their fully custom range too.

There is a very active and friendly Van der Spek community on Facebook, come and join us

Thank you to Petra Van der Spek for supplying the samples used in this review. 

28 September 2015

A Date For Your Diary - Sunday 4th October 2015

We are going to run another conference round-table voice/video/text chat using Skype.

I'm sure we are gradually getting to know each other's voices, but I will make a point of going 'around the table' to get everyone to introduce themselves this time.

So...When, Where, What, Who and How?

When? - Sunday 4 October from  London 10am, Paris 11am, Brisbane 7pm time.

Additionally I will be on line at San Francisco 10am Chicago, 12noon Toronto 1pm, New York 1pm, London 6pm Paris 7pm etc.  See the World Clock to make sure you have the right time.

The timing of these two sessions have been chosen to hopefully allow as many people to join in compared to previous round-tables. This is the same timing as last month The timing of future ones will be varied to suit everyone if need be.

Where? - an on-line chat using Skype. with voice and video (if you wish)

What do I need? - just a micro-phone and some head phones(in ear phones work fine) and a free Skype account. Using headphones or earphone reduces 'echo' on the call. Video is optional, but a few of us will be on video as well.

Who - All of you... connect up with Philofaxy and we will attempt to get as many of us linked in to the audio conference as possible. Come and listen if you don't want to chat.  What do we talk about? Filofax stuff... but anything else as well. It's like long lost friends meeting up for coffee and a catch up.. but don't worry if you have never joined in before... you are an old friend too!

If you have any questions you want to ask then please let us know in the group or before we start.

How -
  1. Connect to Philofaxy by firstly searching for Philofaxy in Skype, I will then add you as a contact.
  2. Then  'Send Contact Request',  I will then add you in to the chat room. 
  3. Then if you request it, I can add you to the audio conference as well. But if you just want to chat via keyboard that's fine. That way it's slightly less hectic for me! 
Come and join in the fun, even if you only pop in to say hello... but don't be afraid to join in the discussion.

As with previous round-tables there will also be a parallel text chat room going at the same time as the voice conference, so you can listen to the voice chat and type if you wish.

If you need any assistance setting up Skype, please pop a comment in this post and I will try and help you get one line. Skype is free for computer to computer calls....

Here is my post on how to improve your Skype audio with headphones or a headset.

Hope to be chatting with you on Sunday 4 October 2015.

Managing Multiple Diary Inserts


Do you use more than one diary insert in your organiser?

There are various reasons why you might use more than one diary insert in the same organiser, but without adding additional bulk to your organiser.

In my A5 'stay at home' organiser I use a Week per View insert (the Philofaxy Enhanced TM .docx .pdf)  for all of my weekly tasks and appointments. I like this insert because I can clearly see what is going on during the week and what I should be doing at any time during the week or on specific days of the week.

I also use a Month per Page insert (again from the Philofaxy collection .docx .pdf) to plan and record the blog posts here on Philofaxy. I find that type of visual presentation of a month easier to spot days when we don't have a blog post written for, or if I am planning two or three posts about a similar topic and I want them to run in the same week, then it is easier to spot where there is a gap and more importantly what the dates are so I can then schedule the posts accordingly. I've had a couple of instances of nearly having two posts published on the same day at the same time! So hence this insert to avoid that!

There are other ways of using multiple inserts. In some ways using more than one insert can reduce the number of pages you are carrying. Let me explain.

We all have appointments and events in our lives, these can be within the next few days, weeks, months or even years ahead of 'today'

So in this example I will assume you use a day per page insert as your main detailed planning tool, you are a busy person and you want to get the maximum out of every hour in the day.

Carrying a years worth of day per page inserts is quite a lot of paper what ever size you use, but do you need to carry a full 12 months worth at one time?

Given the flexibility of a ring bound organiser, it allows you to mix pages so easily.  So in this example I am going to say that you only keep in your organiser the last two weeks of daily pages and say the next two months worth of daily pages. So as each week passes you archive a week and add another week.

We all have events beyond two months though... what about those? This is where you can bring a monthly insert in to play and add monthly inserts for the period beyond two months to a year ahead. That far ahead you might not need the detail of an event or know the detail of a particular event other than a date and time.

If you have lots of details for an event say 6 months from now, then use an undated daily planning page to record all of those details and keep that between your daily and monthly pages. (Personal  - .doc .pdf or A5 - .doc .pdf)

Going beyond 12 months from now you can use a year planner or again undated diary pages to detail events, cross referencing them on a year planner insert to keep everything in check.

To explain this method in a slightly different way let me work through an example of planning a get together with friends that only takes place once or twice a year.

You have all decided to meet up, that's a good starting point! But when, you all work through possible months. 'What days are good for you?' "Well Saturdays really"  So you look at all the Saturdays looking for ones that are clear in all of your calendars.

Some people respond quicker than others. so you notionally pencil in a holding event on 4 or 5 Saturdays to keep them clear. You might do this on a monthly insert because we are talking say 6 months from now.

Finally you all find a suitable date to meet up on. So you ink in that date to keep it clear. It's still six months from now so there's no big rush to get in to the details.

As the date of your meet up gets closer you all start to talk about where you should meet up and what sort of place (restaurant, pub, museum etc) if this is happening say 3 months from the current time then you might not be in your 2 month daily window that you are storing in your organiser.

If you need to record more details about the event you could use an undated page, or take the page you have printed for the date of the event and record the details on that, this will save you from having to rewrite the information later.

As the date gets closer and it is now say 2 weeks from now, the page will now be in your planner, you might want to put a flag sticker on the edge of that page to make it easier to find. You might start to add information to the page with details of the address you are meeting at. Where is the nearest car park, the details of your restaurant phone number and reservation number.

So as the day gets closer so there is an increase in the information you record. Now I've only given an example of one event that you planned ahead of time, but imagine several events at various time intervals in the future. Your organiser would certainly help you plan multiple events without having to remember lots of details in your head.

The more you write down the less you have to remember, therefore the more relaxed you will be?

Would this work for you? Try it... of course if it doesn't work you can easily revert back to carrying all of the pages of just one insert... that is of course the great thing about a ring bound organiser. Flexibility.

Don't forget Philofaxy has a large range of diary inserts you can download and customise as well as a large number of other templates which you can also download/customise/use.

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?

Eleven:

  • 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.

26 September 2015

Web Finds - 26 September 2015

So I hope you have had a good week.

We start this weeks Web Finds with a promotion code for readers in UK for WH Smiths.
Offer: Extra 10% off Stationery, Cards and Art & Craft
Promo code: AFFSTAT10
Start Date: 10.00am Friday 25th September 2015
End Date: 11.59pm Monday 28th September 2015
Click on the banner here and use the Promo code on your order at the check out to get the extra 10% off your order


So now it is time to enjoy a great collection of blog posts and videos from around the internet, so grab a drink and make yourself for our weekly round-up.

Here are some Philofaxy posts you might have missed this week:
  1. Reader Under The Spotlight - Dana
  2. Van der Spek Video Competition - Entries So Far
  3. Free For All Tuesday No. 242
  4. Another Gillio Compagna - Review
  5. Experienced User - Lois
  6. Free For All Friday No. 358 by Anita
So here are the latest Filofax and other brand blog posts from around the Internet. Don't forget to leave a comment on the posts you enjoyed reading, all bloggers enjoy getting comments.
  1. Filofax and The Modern World. - A random English life
  2. Vintage Norman & Hill Ltd Filofax – pre-1980s - This Bug's Life
  3. Van der Spek – leather samples - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  4. How to Plan Pending Tasks - Giftie Etcetera
  5. Making A Daily To-Do List Isn’t Necessarily Once & Done - Homemakers Daily
  6. Month-out Meal Planning – {Filofax Friday} - Renew Your Space
  7. Beginner’s Guide to Planners - A random English life
  8. Van Der Spek undyed binder update – heading for a year! - This Bug's Life
  9. Circling back almost to where I started... - Paper Pens Ink
  10. Time management Monday: Using your planner in specific life situations - Quo Vadis Blog
  11. Organize Your Day with a Planner - Giftie Etcetera
  12. Filofax: Make your own Inserts - A random English life
  13. Selling my Planners… - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  14. Overwhelmed by my to-do list - Paper Pens Ink
  15. Science has proven why it's enjoyable to write in our planners - Plannerisms
  16. VDS Senior for Autumn - It's Bluetiger
  17. Filofax Union Jack Original - This Bug's Life
  18. Filofax: Printing your own Inserts. - A random English life
  19. My Personal Original set ups - Polkadotparadiso
  20. October Fold Out Calendar [printable] - Planner Fun
  21. How to build your perfect planner system? Week 16:  - Chaos to Order
  22. Using the 3×5 inch Index Card Calendar - My GTD System
  23. Navigating the online store of Van der Spek (video) - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  24. DIYFish tamanho PERSONAL - Como ganhar mais espa├žo! - Filofax da Depr├¬
  25. Unboxing my pink/gold planner from kikosattic- Love All Planners
  26. 10 Tips to Make a Powerful To-Do List - Time Management Ninja
  27. Getting Started with a Planner Focused Blog - Live Love Planners
  28. Pimp My Planner, Quiet Bluegreen Edition - Dianne Sylvan
  29. My Planner Journey // How I use Multiple Planners - Five sixteenths blog
  30. Quick Post: OMG… I think I just got a pocket Mulberry for free!!!! - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  31. What to do, if you didn't planned correctly and your plan is crashed? - Chaos to Order
  • We monitor over 400 blogs and sites, your Filofax/Organiser blog posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • We can not guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • For some general tips on Filofax Blogging, please see this post
We are on the look out for more people to take part in Reader Under the Spotlight. If you would like to appear in this feature then please contact Steve : philofaxy at gmail dot com  Thank you.

And here are a selection of the latest Filofax videos for your enjoyment.
  1. SETUP | Filofax-Clipbook - Sina Eliza
  2. My Van der Spek Touch Me Senior with Comparisons feat. DIY fish Inserts - PacificOcean17
  3. Filofax Original Dark Aqua Setup Fall / Herbst 2015 (german/deutsch) - kaffeeliebelei
  4. 2015 Christmas Setup Part 2. My Filofax Original - art mingle
  5. Van der Spek Custom Planner (A6) - Helen Cooper
  6. La mia Agenda Filofax A5 - Paola Style
  7. Warning! Beginner - Filofax Personal Part 3: DIYFish Inserts - Stephanie Ensinger
  8. Menu planning in personal size Filofax - From Chaos to Order
  9. DIY Filofax Dividers - Planner chicky
  10. VdS planner - leather samples - Random Pastimes
  11. A Rambling Filofax Malden Setup Up September 2015 - Honest Threrapy
  12. filofax monochrome unboxing - Celina Jackson
  13. Filofax Set Up (Deutsch) - Anni_FiloFaxing
  14. VdS planner - online store - Random Pastimes
  • For tips on how to improve your videos, please see this post.  Also this video too Webfinds 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser Videos could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
My Week Posts
  1. My week #39 - Polkadotparadiso
  2. Week 38 - The CC Collection
  3. My week #179 - Paper Lovestory
  4. My week 38/52 - twenty5seven
  5. My Week #38 (2015) - Joanny White
  6. My week #37 - She's Eclectic
  7. Weekly Post #128 - Miss Mae's Adventures
  8. Week planner 110# - Lucy Wonderland
Enjoy

25 September 2015

Free For All Friday No. 358 by Anita

From time to time, I hear people asking questions about how to remove unpleasant smells from their binder, like cigarette smoke or mustiness from storage. It occurred to me that from time to time, it's nice to have a fragrant Filofax in a pleasant way instead!

I go through stages of wearing perfume and sometimes fancy a bit of a change. For some reason, it takes me a while to figure out if a new one is right for me, so I will spray some on one of those cardboard tester strips they provide and take it home with me. I found that they're quite a handy size to hole punch and it's quite nice as I smell the perfume each time I open my binder. I have also dabbed some geranium or lavender essential oil on the strips and it makes for a nicely fragrant binder, as long as you don't put too much on. I drink lots of herbal tea and sometimes they smell much nicer than they taste, so I had a liquorice tea bag tucked in one of the front pockets for a while.

Just wondering if anyone else does this as well? 

And as always as it's a Friday, please feel free to discuss anything Filofax or ring bound planner related. Have a great weekend. 

24 September 2015

Experienced User - Lois

Thank you to Lois for sharing the details of her set up with us today. Lois blogs over at Thoughts Along Life's Highway.

1. When did you start using an organiser?
I've been using an organizer for as long as I remember. Probably started really using one in high school or college in the 80's, as I was working while going to school and had to keep my schedule and tasks pretty organized to make sure I didn't forget anything.  My absolute favorite time of year growing up was back to school. Not just because I was going back to school - more importantly, all the supplies that were suddenly available on the shelves. I've been a stationary/pen addict most of my life and that remains true to this day.

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

It's pretty much always been my go-to for my life organization. When I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years when the kids were little I didn't use any type of planner. It drove me nuts, although I didn't realize it at the time. It wasn't until I started back working and I felt this "ahhhh" moment that I realized I had been feeling somewhat out of control without a planner to keep me straight.  I'd been using a little month at a glance calendar back then but I obviously need more to feel like I know what's going on in my life.

In the last four years, I've tried coil bound planners (a very popular colorful one) and a few lookalike coil bound planners, but I found that I was trying to make-do with something that really didn't fit.  Like wearing someone else's shoes. Even if they're the right size, they just don't quite feel right.

In one of my jobs as a corporate training manager I had the opportunity to evaluate several time management programs to determine what would work best in our culture for management training.  I took classes from Franklin Covey and from Time/Design.  While Franklin Covey was more popular here in the States, I liked the Time/Design system the best. I liked the idea of a master task list that you didn't re-write every day and kept separate from your schedule.

Both classes emphasized keeping one book for everything - personal and professional. I lived by that for years, but have moved away from that in the past seven or eight years. My professional calendar/diary is all online and it seemed silly to rewrite it in a planner every week as it would change so frequently. Consequently, I've migrated to having my planner be purely personal and my work-related tasks are kept in a notebook or bullet journal with the calendar online.  This seems to work well for my life right now.

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

I need a week at a glance these days. I am managing a household schedule, my own appointments and commitments for volunteering, etc. and my children's schedules.  I find that daily pages don't work for me as the overall rhythm of the week gets lost in them. I like to see what is coming in the week to balance out commitments and ensure I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off every single day. I find that one or two days out of the house for errands and appointments work well and I try to keep the others clear as much as possible so that I'm not overcommitted.  Working from home full time makes it easier to manage this as well.

I use my monthly pages to give me an even bigger picture of commitments and scheduled events into the future. That's where I do most of my forward planning.



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

Right now, I have a calendar section, finance section (monthly bills), family section (kids' schedules, vaction plans, meal planning, etc) and a "me" section (crafty ideas, books I want to read, wish lists, Christmas planning, prayer lists, etc) I also have a section for business cards of doctors, etc. and that's the closest to a "contacts" section I have nowadays. Most of my contacts are kept on my phone.  the final section (in my Personal size) is Shopping. I have really loved having an ongoing shopping list. I keep pages for each store I frequent and just jot down things as I think of them. I've even trained the kids to use these pages and it's really helped me to be more productive when I do go out to shop - less items forgotten and less return trips required.


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

In my personal, I use DIYFish v3 pages. These are a weekly view on the left side with a notes/habits section on the right side. In my A5 I use a Plum Paper Planner set that I punched to fit. It's a weekly vertical view across two pages and I've sectioned each day into appointments, to do, menu planning and habits.

I've tried so many things  but so far these seem to work the best for where I'm at right now in my life.

6. What routines and structures do you use?

Routines - I am sure I have them - I am very much a creature of habit. However, I've never really written them down anywhere. I just DO them.  For example, Saturdays are usually my forward planning days - looking at the past week and sorting out menus and commitments for the next week.

But I'm not one to develop and document a detailed routine for housecleaning, etc and track it in my planner. Those type of things I just do as I have the time and see the need.

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

Earlier this year, I invested in a Filofax Finsbury (Raspberry- A5) and a Day Timer Malibu (grey - personal). I've been switching back and forth between the two depending on how busy life is.  Right now I am transitioning out of the Malibu and into the Finsbury because the kids have started school and I need the extra space for tracking their activities and commitments. I am sad about moving out of the Malibu, though, because I love the buttery leather and portability. Seriously considering managing the two simultaneously  but the duplication seems such a waste.




I also have a few other binders that are waiting in the wings for their time to shine. I'm not a huge collector (not like I'd like to be) but I do have the full set of Kikki.k gold planners (all three sizes) and a few other Franklin Covey planners in both Desk and Compact sizes. As I used to use the Franklin Covey inserts religiously, I developed a pretty good collection of those binders. I keep looking at them thinking I should find them new homes now that I've moved into the Filofax six-ring system but I haven't done anything about that yet.


My other favorite binder is a Kenneth Cole personal sized zip binder. I thought I'd lost it earlier this year when we were in a wreck and it disappeared for a few months. I was so happy to find it wedged in between furniture this summer.  I love the leather and the setup - lots of pockets and a zippered closure. It makes the perfect shopping binder to keep coupons and lists handy.



Thank you Lois.

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

23 September 2015

Another Gillio Compagna - Review

The door bell rang yesterday and there stood our post lady with a box in her hands and her smart phone for me to sign for the parcel...


What could this be I thought......



It is of course the long awaited Gillio A6 Compagna in Epoca Rust.


20 September 2015

Reader Under The Spotlight - Dana

Today I would like to introduce you to Dana

Intro: I am the Accounting and Human Resources Manager for a mid-size manufacture. I am also working on my MBA as well as (barely) managing my household. Luckily, my children are both young adults, so they are somewhat self-sufficient.

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

I have always had a fascination with office supplies. My parents owned a printing and office supply shop when I was around 8, and I loved to play with all the paper. I probably seriously started using a Franklin Covey planner in 8th or 9th grade.

2. What other brands have you used or considered using?
I used Franklin Covey for years. When my children were little I actually just used an At-a-Glance spiral vertical week along with a 4 color pen to keep track of everything.

3. Out of the organisers you own which is your current favourite (Style and Size)?
Such a painful question! Probably my Ochre A5 Malden. I just moved out of a VDS Touch Me and back into the Malden. It just feels comfortable. I use it as my work planner.

4. How many Filofax or other brands of organisers do you own?
(First, I seriously started to write 0 in size A4….) Currently, I have 12. Ooops, I also have 2 Travelers Notebooks that I use for journals.

5. What is the oldest organiser in your collection?
I have a personal size red Windsor that may or may not be older than the Classic FC Zip Binder I am holding on to purely for its giant rings.

6. What do you use your organisers for?
I use an A5 for everything work related, and a different A5 for school. I use a VDS Senior as a combined wallet and personal planner—this was a personal Malden until a few weeks ago. I am also adding in a letter size Day-Timer as my home management binder. There is really nothing to schedule in there—just a place to hold information. I use my two TNs for various journaling and pretending to be artsy.

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

I’ll use my work binder for this.
  1. Brain Dump Section
  2. HR ideas and future projects 
  3. Accounting ideas and future projects (both of these sections are made up from organizing my brain dump which I do weekly)
  4. Monthly Calendar with Do2p behind each month. I use Franklin Covey inserts for this. I keep trying others, and always find myself back with good ole’ FC. 
  5. Active project list and project plan sheets
  6. Meeting Notes
  7. Blank writing paper
I don’t decorate at all. It’s just not my thing.

8. What was the feature about Filofax you like most?
What I love most about Filofax is that to me, they are just the classic name in planners. I spent most of my early teenage years pretending to be British (and married to Simon le Bon), and I always wanted a Filo and my parents wouldn’t buy one.

9. If you could design your own Filofax what would it feature?
Well, VDS has pretty much made this a reality, but for personal use, I would want the A6 size with a big back pocket and 2 secretarial pockets. And LOTS of credit card slots

10. How do you carry your Filofax?
I carry my A5s with me in a big city bag by UrbanJunket. It’s big enough to hold my purse as well, and my A6/Personal goes into my purse. I like that I can use my Malden personal and Senior VDS without even a purse for quick trips. They both easily hold my phone.

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

I just love the Maldens. Floppy goodness.

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

I spent $250 on an A5 Mustard Finchley right when I was bitten by the Filo bug. I don’t even really like it that much.

13. What's your favourite Filofax tip or hack?
USE IT! It’s all good and well to draw pretty pictures and plan, but if you aren’t working the plan then you really aren’t planning at all now are you?

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

The inserts!! I love that they are all customizable and I can start with the bare bones of pretty much anything I need and turn it into my own.

15. And what do you not like about Philofaxy?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I miss old school message boards like before Facebook was popular, and that would be fun on Philofaxy, but no one really uses them anymore, even when available.

16. What was the last music track you downloaded or bought?
Medicine which is the newish album by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. If you like the Americana genre, they are amazing.

17. Have you ever attended a Philofaxy meet-up? if not do you intend to one day?
 
I missed the most recent SoCal meetup. I’d love to, but honestly, once I get home from working 12 hours and school…I tend to not go far from home!

18. What was the last movie you watched?
I just watched part of Self/less with Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds, but I fell asleep.

19. What was the last book you read?
Operations Management, Twelfth Edition I don’t have time to read for pleasure right now, and it kills me. I am a book every few days kinda girl.

Thank you Dana.

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.

19 September 2015

Web Finds - 19 September 2015

So I hope you have had a good week.

So now it is time to enjoy a great collection of blog posts and videos from around the internet, so grab a drink and make yourself for our weekly round-up.

Here are some Philofaxy posts you might have missed this week:
  1. Reader Under The Spotlight - Priscilla
  2. Gillio Competition Result
  3. Free For All Tuesday No. 241
  4. To A6 or not A6 that is the question....
  5. Experienced User - Susan
  6. Free for All Friday No. 357 by Nan
So here are the latest Filofax and other brand blog posts from around the Internet:
  1. Using a Filofax as a wallet - This Bug's Life
  2. Quick Post: I WAS FEATURED IN PHILOFAXY!!!! - Random Pasttimes of a Restless Mind
  3. Glamour Shopping Week - auch in diesem Jahr wieder mit Filofax - Filomaniac
  4. Filofax photography 2015 - James Pike Photography
  5. Compact Planner by Burberry- It's Bluetiger
  6. Time management Monday: estimating time - Quo Vadis Blog
  7. How to Finish Everything on Your To Do List - Organizing Junkie
  8. My Van der Spek video - Random Pasttimes of a Restless Mind
  9. Spring cleaning your Filofax in September - Planning Your Life Out on Paper
  10. August Planner Review - The Weekend Wife
  11. How to build your perfect planner system? Week 15: Summary - From Chaos to Order
  12. Wirebound Planner Vs Filofax - Stationery Starlet
  13. Comparison: Guildford vs Dark Mint Kikki K - Random Pasttimes of a Restless Mind
  14. Lost History, Found - Quo Vadis Blog
  15. More Fun with My Filofax - Making your own Dividers and Calendar - Claudine's Art Corner
  16. New Day-Timer with Kathy Davis - Day-Timer
  17. How to make your own ring bound planner – Part VII (end) - The House of Lotte
  18. Pimp My Planner, Timey Wimey Edition - Dianne Sylvan
  19. My new Filofax Original Personal Nude and poor customer service from Speedyhen… - Polkadotparadiso
  20. What "planner peace" means to me? And why talking about it so much? - From Chaos to Order
  21. To A6 or not to A6… - Random Pastimes of a Restless Mind
  22. Planner Experiment Results: Not What I Expected! - Homemakers Daily
  23. Filofax A-Z Tabs Refurbished - It's My Life!
  24. GTD is not an overnight little time-management tip - Getting Things Done
  25. My Autumnal Planner Set Up - Mrs Brimbles
  26. Planning Today's Schedule - Giftie Etcetera
  27. Day to Day Planning with Studio L2E Stickers - Studio L2E
  28. Review: Filofax PENNYBRIDGE IPAD AIR CASE - OxGadgets
  • We monitor over 400 blogs and sites, your Filofax/Organiser blog posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • We can not guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • For some general tips on Filofax Blogging, please see this post
We are on the look out for more people to take part in Reader Under the Spotlight. If you would like to appear in this feature then please contact Steve : philofaxy at gmail dot com  Thank you.

And here are a selection of the latest Filofax videos for your enjoyment.
  1. Plan with Me Black and Gold Theme Happy Planner in My Filofax - Housefulofgrls
  2. Filofax original nude Set up -  nani
  3. How to take care of your FILOFAX! - MsSamanthaX
  4. Filofax Holborn iPad Air Case : Full Review - TechFly
  5. HOW I STAY ORGANIZED || INSIDE MY FILOFAX - Kallani Ridenour
  6. Filofax Original personal patant nude set up - Tiffybutter
  7. Purple A5 Filofax Malden flip through - From Chaos to Order
  8. Filofax Setup Aqua Malden - Manchal Sonne
  9. Happy Planner in My Filofax Part 2 - Housefulofgrls
  10. My First Filofax Set Up/All in one Planner - Mrs. Mom Next Door
  11. My Autumnal Planner Set Up / Filofax Malden Tour - Anna Brim
  12. Pocket DIYFish inserts for business use in a junior VDS custom with Janet leather - One Fantastic Find
  13. My Van der Spek Touch Me Senior with Comparisons feat. DIY fish Inserts - PacificOcean17
  14. A quick intro to my custom Van der Spek planner - Random Pastimes
  15. la mia agenda filofax - Viloa Luce
  16. Project Planning in a Personal Filofax - Rachel Dunaway
  • For tips on how to improve your videos, please see this post.  Also this video too Webfinds 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser Videos could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
My Week Posts
  1. My week #178 - Paper Lovestory
  2. SPRINGIN' - Letters in November
  3. My week #36 - She's Eclectic
  4. Weekly Post #127 - Miss Mae's Adventures
  5. My week 37/52 - Twenty5seven
  6. My Week #37 (2015) - Joanny White
  7. WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN IN MY MTN - Letters in November
  8. Week in the Life 2015 │ Monday - Little Lamm & Co
  9. Week 37 - The CC collection
  10. Filofax Planner Pages Aug 16 - Sept 12 - Ink'd Paper by Mae
  11. Week Thirty Nine - Stationery Starlet
  12. My Week #38 - Polkadotparadiso
Enjoy

18 September 2015

Free for All Friday No. 357 by Nan

Welcome to the end of another week and a round of open discussion! It's good, at the end of a week, or any time, really, to have your work and efforts appreciated. But sometimes it feels like you're getting no encouragement, at least not from the outside.

Do you keep anything to encourage you inside your Filofax? A photo of a victorious moment? A copy of an award or certificate? A favorite quote?

17 September 2015

Experienced User - Susan

My name is Susan, otherwise known as Kanalt around the Philofaxy community. I am from Long Island, New York and have been known to organize a New York City meet up or two. I have been a member of the planning community for many years and have been blogging at wellplannedlife.blogspot.com going on 6 years.

1. When did you start using an organiser?

Like many others, I started with a planner in high school – we were given a spiral-bound notebook, weekly layout, for tracking assignments. The book itself wasn’t spectacular, but I used it and saw the value in using it right away. I used it only for school assignments, no personal activities, as far as I can remember.

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

From that spiral-bound notebook in school, I continued to use a spiral bound weekly planner in college, mostly whatever I could find in the campus bookstore. After graduation, I moved on to “official” spiral-bound weekly planners, gravitating towards DayMinder’s Weekly/Monthly Executive planner (similar to this planner). I stayed with that for many years – I liked the spiral-bound type and didn’t want to try a ring-bound because I didn’t like their bulk. A friend, however, urged me to try a Filofax due to its flexibility. I did a little research, found Philofaxy, and the rest is history! I haven’t gone back to a spiral-bound planner since.

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

I originally started with monthly and weekly, which worked fine for a long time. Then I got a full-time job and switched to monthly and daily. I have since moved my work tasks to an online task manager (see why and how I use it here). With that, I no longer needed a full personal sized planner, moved to the compact, and have stayed there ever since.

I use the monthly pages for forward planning. My work schedule is done on a monthly basis, so I need that view to see which weekends I’m working and when I can schedule personal activities without over-planning. Since the monthly boxes are so small, I only indicate where I need to be on those; the details are kept on the daily pages. In addition to details of appointments and events, my daily pages also keep track of exercise, food, water, medications, personal tasks, and various notes.

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

Aside from the above, I use my planner for keeping track of blog topic ideas, journal topics, random notes like tracking any health symptoms, as well as my husband’s medications and allergies, any projects I have going on, a master to do list, and lists of items to buy.

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

If by “system” you mean GTD or FlyLady or the like, then no. I think those systems are a great place to start, especially if you’re a beginner – they give you structure and offer tips and tricks that you might otherwise not be familiar with. If you love them and they work for you, great! Keep using them.

However, I think they can be a little limiting. Once you start down your own path, you will see what works for you, what doesn’t, what you need, and what you don’t. It’s all about you – how you think and work and organize. If you’re not happy or comfortable with a system, or if it’s too complicated to follow, you won’t use it and will end up frustrated. Everyone is different; everyone thinks differently; everyone works differently. Your own system and method will develop organically, and it takes time, so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come naturally or quickly.

I have a very organized mind by nature, so I pretty much know what I want and how to get there before I ever start. That’s not to say that I don’t tweak my system along the way – life changes, and your system should change as well to reflect the life you’re living now. A predetermined system might not allow for those changes. Pick and choose what works for you and make your own system.

6. What routines and structures do you use?

My structure basically consists of adding appointments and tasks as they come up. If I don’t write things down right away, I forget about them. I have several systems in place to help me get there, whether that’s using my email as a to do list of items to transfer to my planner or jotting down a note on my phone and adding it to my planner when I can. I love technology and believe it has a lot to offer. It’s especially helpful for keeping track of items on the go. But my planner is my hub, the place from which all tasks are completed and all activities attended. So everything eventually ends up there, and it’s from there that I work.
As for routines, I make time for daily, weekly, and monthly planning sessions. A planner will only take you so far; you have to do the rest. I can keep everything listed in my planner, but if I don’t actually look at it and use it, it does me no good.

Each week, I sit down and plan out the week ahead – I look at my work schedule and personal activities and add in various exercises and errands where they fit. I actually need a weekly view for this, and since I don’t carry that in my planner, I turn to Google Calendar for my weekly planning. You can read more about that here. Once I’ve planned out the week, I transfer all of my information to my planner.

Because I use a compact binder, and because it can hold only so much, I can carry only so much. Therefore I have to switch out my daily inserts each month, and that’s where the monthly planning comes in. I take out the new daily inserts, transfer anything from my monthly inserts to the dailies, remove the old daily sheets, and pop in the new.

My daily planning is a quick review at night for the following day to make sure I haven’t forgotten to do anything that day. It also helps me check to see what’s coming up the next day.

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

Again, because I carry a compact binder, I can’t keep everything in one place. I use a personal Filofax Malden for all of my “household” information, which basically means anything I want to keep track of but don’t need with me when I leave the house. You can read more about that binder here.

I also have other binders and notebooks for various purposes. You can read about those here.

Thank you Susan.

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

16 September 2015

To A6 or not A6 that is the question....

The A6 I'm talking about is the paper size, not the trunk road that runs from Luton to Carlisle!!  I've been differing around between Personal and A6 now for nearly 6 months.

Since April I've been using a Van der Spek Standard and a Van der Spek Senior, both of them black 'Touch Me' models which I detailed in a previous post.

This last weekend I thought to myself 'Come on make a decision, stop flitting from one to the other'!!!


Van der Spek Senior size Touch Me

Van der Spek Senior size Touch Me

I love them both, the leather is very soft and supple and smells delightful. Plenty of pockets and slots. There are obvious differences between them.

My particular Senior has 20mm rings (they will be available with 25mm soon) Whilst this early model of Senior isn't officially the right size for A6 paper (slightly too narrow) I've not had any issues  and I got around the width problem by using top tabs. Sorted!

The Standard (personal) on the other hand has big 30mm rings, and given the extra pages I've been lugging around on my North American trip this year it proved it self very well. But it is like lugging a brick around when full.

Now I could have just lightened the Standard by changing to a week on one page and slimming down the contents overall.

However, I love the A6 page size and proportions and to me they feel a much more natural height and width. A6 is shorter than personal (148mm v 171mm) but wider (105mm v 95mm). Given that A6 is half the size of A5 pages, it is extremely easy to create and print pages for A6, not that printing personal size pages is difficult.

Having been a Filofax personal size user for nearly 30 years, breaking rank and using a new size is not a decision that is an easy one!

So I sat down and went through the Standard size organiser page by page or section by section. And listed the information I actually needed to carry in the Senior that I didn't have at the moment, or the pages I would need to create to make the switch complete.

I ended up with a list of pages/sections that looks something like this:
Now some of the pages already exist, the diary inserts specifically. Some are peculiar to me which I doubt if other people will need.

The remainder of the pages I would need to create for A6 although that wouldn't be too difficult and I'm going to share them with you as well.

I created the missing pages as A5 pages, because I already had some of them as A5, but with a few tweaks to allow for them being resized in the printing process they would be reduced by 70% so I reduced the number of entries and increased the font sizes on some.

And here are my stack of pages.


The London Tube Map was easy to do. You can pick up London Tube maps from underground stations in London free of charge. They are A6 height already, but they fold out. So I pinched a tip from Ray Blake and put some clear plastic on the back of the folded map and punched some holes in the plastic with my hole punch. They bring out new maps each year so that one will be easy to keep up to date.

I was also able to find a Paris Metro map on line in pdf format so that was easy to download and print on to A5 paper then 'Z fold' down to A6 so it is easy to ready and not too small or hard on the eyes.

Because I don't have any A-Z tabs for the address pages I came up with a simple and elegant solution of including the A-Z index in to the page itself. All I do is circle the letter in the list and that will be fine. I'm going to consider only having essential addresses anyway rather than the full list I have in my A5 at home as I also have the full list on my iPhone as well... (dangerous I know!)

I'm really pleased with the end result and as you can see there is quite a reduction in the bulk of the organiser I will be carrying around and using more and more I think.


You might like to consider joining a new Facebook group about 'Using A6 planners:Info and Resources'

The middle setting between 'Pocket' and 'Personal' on the Rapseco Punch is the setting for A6 organisers.

14 September 2015

Gillio Competition Result

Thank you for everyone's entries to the competition that ended last night.

We have a winner!!!

So we asked:

1. How many colour/leather variations are there in the medium size Compagna range?

The answer is 44



2. Which city did Tom, Mella and Steve visit to see the new Mia Cara colours in March 2014

The answer of course is Florence


3. If you worked for Gillio Firenze at their office in Brussels you would quickly learn all the numbers for the different colours, it would become like a second language! So what number is the colour Yale Blue?

The answer is 822


And the winner was randomly selected from the correct entries is........
LORRETA COLES
We have been in touch with Loretta and forwarded her details to Ben at Gillio so she can receive her prize.

Once again thank you for all your entries and thank you to Gillio Firenze for offering the prize. 

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.
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