Monday, 28 February 2011

Home sweet home Filofax

This is the last (for the moment at least) post about my filofaxes and how they are set up. I left the home one until last, mostly because it isn’t quite working for me. I think it is trying to be too many things to be honest… It has too much stuff in it, some of it in danger of getting lost and it needs a re-think. But… this is how it’s set up at the moment.

Again, I have personalised a lot of dividers throughout. Same method, same font etc as in the Book-o-fax, but some of the pictures I have snagged from other sites.
I can’t remember where I got the calligraphy animals from but I just love them. I am acutely aware that I am potentially stamping all over another culture than my own, but I look at them and I think they are beautiful. I can’t even pretend to understand any meaning behind them or any of the script, but I adore seeing them. I apologise profusely if I am offending anyone with them.
My Home red A5 Finchley
The bits of card you can see tucked into the pocket are my business cards. But since I rarely carry this thing around with me, I don't know why they are there...

Right at the front of my home FF I have this quote, which I picked up from Caribbean Princess. It’s there to remind me what’s important in life. Immediately behind it is my To Do list for home/non-work stuff (which kind of undoes the effect of the Life quote, but there we go… I said the set-up wasn’t quite right).
Beautiful quote which I found on Caribbean Princess' blog

To Do list which shatters the feeling of the quote page... :-(

Behind that is my diary. This is where I think I am doing too much with this FF. I don’t especially carry it around with me – it stays at home on my desk. My life divides very neatly into work and not-work – some days I am at work and my work FF diary keeps me right as to when and where appointments are. I don’t have many home appointments and I note birthdays and any other non-work dates/appointments etc in my work FF (because I look at it more often than the home one). In fact, I rarely look at the home diary and only use it because I had already filled it in (it’s the diary that came with the domino and which started out as my work diary. Then I bought the Finchley and the vertical diary was better than the horizontal for work). I probably won’t buy another one for the home Finchley next year.
The less-than-brilliantly-used diary section

Behind the diary is where the real ‘work’ begins. I have my writing notes in the FF – info about competitions, notes for short stories, notes for novels (as yet unpublished), blog posts, and a page of financial information relating solely to writing (income – very little, versus outlay – much more!). These are filed in sections using cheap A5 dividers from a local stationery store.
The main point of this filofax!
So good it gets a divider to itself!
Tucked behind all that are personal goals notes, lists of Christmas cards and presents, and work-things relating to the charity I helped to set up and for which I fund-raise (addresses/contact details, financial notes, general notes etc). This is a bit of a jumble and to be honest, I am tempted to start again with all the charity stuff in one of the unused personal-size FF I have (some old, non-filofax brand things from the nineties and a personal Baroque and a personal domino that came with the Gourmet Gift Box). You see, if I’m out and about for the charity, I’m not usually needing all the other stuff to do with writing, and if I’m travelling (and therefore writing en route on the train), I’m not usually needing the charity stuff. If I need a diary out and about with me, the paperblanks one that I got from Plannerisms does absolutely fine, is lighter and has space for notes at the back, if needed.

Behind the charity stuff, is a section largely of blank paper of different formats all printed at home on cream paper and all designed by me. It’s filed using the cream tabs that came with the filofax as follows: blank lined paper with a “filing note-box” in the top right-hand-corner (so that I can label what it’s for); blank blog-ideas pages; blank ideas-pages (this is available on the Philofaxy site); a set of contact pages relating to writing; a list of things to look out for (books, websites, blogs, clothes, you name it, really), then a tab with nothing behind it except a top-opening clear envelope.

In another month or so, I may well have ditched the diary in this filofax and shifted all the charity work stuff to a home of its own, but this is how it is at the moment. I really think it’s not sure what its purpose is at the moment.

Any ideas to sort it out??

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


This is the second in the series about how I’ve set up my filofaxes and covers my Book-o-fax.

My red A5 domino used to be my work filofax, but after a trip to the Filofax France store, there was a re-shuffle and it became my book-o-fax.

I read. Not as much as I would like to, but I get through somewhere between 30 and 50 books a year. I also like to keep reviews of them and lists of what I have read. I had a ‘spare’ filofax. Ergo, I now had a book-o-fax!

I love to be able to produce my own pages and also to produce personalised dividers. The A5 is an excellent size to achieve this! The personalised pages I use in the book-o-fax are: reading lists (adapted slightly from the template on Philofaxy) and a book review form that I created (and which Steve at Philofaxy has kindly added to the list of templates over there – check out the files page). I will probably add the templates I have made (both for the book-o-fax and others) to this site in time.

So, here it is:
The book-o-fax

The personalised dividers use clip-art pictures off the internet. The font is Type Upright. I created the dividers in power point so I could line things up and rotate the wording for the tabs etc. Work has a guillotine that I can use for free! The card was straightforward card-stock, approximately 240gsm and I printed them on my home printer.
The first section lists what I have read in a year

The Reading List is simply a list for each year of what I have read, when I read it and how many stars (out of 5) I awarded it.

The Book Reviews list the author and title; the date I started the book and when I finished it; a brief synopsis and then my review. I also note where the book is (on the shelves, gone to a charity shop etc) and how many stars I awarded it. On the reverse of the review sheet is a page for notes where I write down if I lend the book out or if I need to add any other comments etc.
The reviews are filed behind this busy chap!
All of the reviews are filed, by author surname, in a set of A-Z dividers. I print all the pages on cream paper (Clairefontaine Trophee Colours 80gsm) because I prefer cream paper to white. I like the paper – it goes through the printer well and also copes brilliantly with fountain pen.

So, that’s my book-o-fax. As ever, feel free to comment/share your thoughts.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Jade Finchley Goes to Work

This will be the first of a series of blogs about how I have set up my filofax(es). After some great posts over on Philofaxy about using your filofax for time-management, I thought I would share how my work filofax is set up as this is the most managed area of my time…

Not that long ago, I only had a work filofax. It was a red A5 domino. Then I fell in love with a red A5 Finchley and used it at home. Then I had a mad splurge (see here…) and overnight, I had 5 filofaxes.

So, all change on the filofax front… The red A5 domino became a book-o-fax (which will be the next in the series to be featured), the red Finchley stayed as the home one, the new jade A5 Finchley became the work filofax, the pink mini baroque became my purse (see here for details of it), and finally, the pink personal baroque is still in its box awaiting a use (but it was so glorious, and to be discontinued, and I just had to have it…).

Of course, now I have gone ahead and bought the Gourmet Gift Filofax, but honest to goodness, it was for the Gourmet card (though DH is not convinced and laughed his head off when I said the card came with a free filofax!).

But I digress…

Here is the arrival of the jade Finchley (which came in a box not a slip cover, from Filofax France. The box is being put to use holding spare pages and so on).

I changed my set-up last week (bad move… it was a really busy week and I couldn’t find a thing in my filofax. I should have waited until a quiet week came by). The front page lists what/where. In essence I am blending the ‘Four Bucket’ approach (see links list below), with the principle that there should be one input area (where I have blank notepaper as a ‘landing pad’). Okay, I also have a blank meetings planner section, but that mostly reflects how many meetings I end up in!
Here is the Jade Finchley, all set up for work.
Front page of the Finchley so I can find things!

So, the four buckets: one – the monthly calendar. I use a vertical WO2P, with a hack to show where months start (um, nothing more technical than some folded over sticky labels with the months written on them and stuck as close to the start of the month as I can get). I took a close-up picture:
Find-the-month hack

Incidentally, my diary is half-way through my filofax to make it easier to write on both halves of the week. It’s the one area that gets written in many times a day.

The second bucket is a catch-all bucket or To Do list – right at the front so it’s easy to find. I keep completed To Do lists in the filofax too, mostly to see what I’ve done, but also to point out to my boss what I’ve done!

The third bucket is a daily bucket which I have to say is delegated to some scrap paper, roughly A6 in size, punched with 3 holes and with my daily to do written on it and inserted into the diary in the right place. It’s scrap paper because I throw them away at the end of the day so don’t want to shell out on expensive paper, and also I have stacks of these slips of paper (left over from another use at work).
The 'daily bucket' is the scrap of paper on the RHS

The fourth bucket is the memory bucket or information storage place. I have categorised it further and filed the notes for it behind some cheap A5 dividers from a stationery store, re-punched to fit the filofax.

So, that’s the set-up. Now that I’ve got used to it it’s working okay.

If you are interested in time-management, you could do worse than check out these:
Time-management Ninja:

How do others use their filofaxes for work?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Pilot Frixion Pens

Well, I feel like a late-comer to this party! Everyone and their brother seems to have discovered these before me.
For those other latecomers (and I was gratified to be able to explain them to a colleague at work who is usually as geeky as I am about pens and paper...) these are erasable rollerball pens. It's the heat of friction (hence the name) that deletes the ink and apparently the heat from a hairdrier also works (making them useful for craft purposes too).
Whilst I am far too wedded to my fountain pen to write letters etc with a Frixion pen, they really are fantastic to keep my diary up to date and neat. I don't particularly like having to write my appointments in pencil because that's a bit too faint, but then, my schedule can turn on a sixpence and if I write things in ink I am then left with either a load of crossings out, or a page whose thickness is doubled from the application of tippex.

Then I heard about these pens. I was a bit sceptical at first having bought erasable pens in the past and either taken them back to the shop or binned them because they didn't erase. But having heard good things about these Frixion pens I tried them and I'm converted. You will have guessed from the rest of my blogs that I'm no fan of cheap paper and I think the pens might struggle on anything without a decent surface, but for my purposes they are great. They're perfect for my appointments diary and also for making notes on the run (I love my filofaxes too much to risk tucking a fountain pen into them - not that they really fit in the pen loops anyway!).

Just as long as I don't leave my diary on the radiator, huh?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The mini-baroque filo-purse

Time to put my new purchases to work! I bought the pink baroque mini to use as a purse (wallet), with the idea that it would also have notepaper and the diary in it, in case I needed them.
The mini out of its box
When it arrived (thankfully DH was out so I could drool in peace) I moved essential cards from my purse into the four slots in the left-hand cover of the mini, tucked coupons into the first pocket behind them, put my coins in the zipped pocket behind that and then notes (money) in the pocket behind that.
The right-hand cover has a notepad slot, but a) you can’t buy the lined notepads in the UK and I didn’t want plain, and b) it’s far more useful to tuck some other odds and ends in – things I don’t need every day but wouldn’t want to be out without – roadside assistance membership card etc. My supermarket loyalty card is one of the ones designed to go on a key-ring so I’ve just hooked that onto the rings of the filofax instead of carrying it in a card slot (and when I went shopping last night and opened the filofax to have the card scanned I got a really approving look from the cashier!!).

I used the mini as a purse for the rest of the week and it’s working pretty well. In the end I decided I didn’t need to carry the diary – since I am usually carrying my Paperblanks book (which I won from Plannerisms) which has loads more space in it (and looks divine).

The only thing that didn’t quite work was the zipped pocket. Once my cards were in the pockets, it was really difficult to get the coins out! The mini’s big sister, the personal baroque, has the zipped pocket outside the card slots – which is probably a much better design.
So, I’ve now made a brilliant (to my mind!) hack. Years ago, in one of the Clinique bonus events, something came in a tiny, zipped purse. I mean, tiny. I have never used it. But… I have an eyelet tool and so I marked up where the holes would need to be and have punched 5 eyelets into the purse and hooked it onto the rings.
Ta da!!
up close and 'purse'onal

So, now I have stamps in the zipped pocket and coins in the Clinique hack and it all works like a dream! The Clinique purse is small enough to fit in the mini and big enough to carry all the coins I need.
in use

in use (2)
Still closes!!

So, the mini is my new “purse-plus” (filo-purse?) – it carries cards, money and coupons and has space for notes, built in. And it’s gorgeous! And the whole things is no bigger than the purse I used to carry around (though in fairness, my other loyalty cards etc have been relegated to an old card holder, to be carried only when I need them…)


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Oh. How did that happen?

Yesterday I had two filofaxes. An A5 domino at work and an A5 Finchley at home. Both red.

Today I have five filofaxes. The two A5 red ones I just mentioned, plus, an A5 jade Finchley, a pink Baroque personal size and a pink Baroque mini. (Um, actually, I have some old ones too, not made by filofax… maybe another three personals and a pocket; only one of which is used – one of the personals as an address book)


I'm someone who didn’t really use a filofax six months ago.

And someone who delights in an A5 because she just can’t work with a personal because it’s too small.

So, the jade A5 is kind of understandable… (see earlier blogs relating to All Change!), but if I can’t get on with a personal – why did I buy one? And why did I buy a mini?

Because they were there, they were lovely, they were in the sale and because you just never know…

The mini is actually destined to become my purse-o-fax (wallet-o-fax for non-UK?). It has some credit-card slots in the front left cover and a zip-pocket and two other pockets for receipts and coupons etc, and there will be an eeny-meeny diary in it just in case I have to make an on the spot appointment (which would then get relayed to the work and home diaries). The A-Z will be dispensed with and the rings will have just notepaper in with the diary.

The personal… well, I have always yearned to be able to live out of a personal and if any of them was going to convert me it would be the Baroque – beautiful embossed leather on the inside, a zipped pocket, other little pockets, a full-length pocket (all on the inside left) and a note-block holder in the back right. (Incidentally, the mini has a note-block holder in its back right, but you can’t buy mini note-blocks in the UK…).

Both of the Baroques are soft and squidgy with smooth, smooth leather on the outside and embossed leather hiding away inside.

Once I get them all set up I will post pictures of them!