Thursday, 23 February 2012

Moved in to the Aston... almost

My, how things change. When I started using a filofax, I wondered how I could ever downsize from an A5 into a personal... and look at me now!

Well, whilst I was away, my inserts from City Organiser came - two top-opening envelopes and a card-holder. I have dutifully moved the other cards across and popped the vouchers, stamps, blah into the top pockets...


...the pockets and card holders barely fit on the rings. The top hole and the bottom hole have the ring jammed up against the outer edge of the hole! As a consequence, they hardly move on the rings. Does anyone else have this problem? I mean, they are so tight, that the holes are slightly distorted by the rings. It's not like I haven't bought the filofax branded stuff so why on earth don't they fit with a bit more ease??

Anyway, I have managed to punch better holes in the top-opening envelopes and now they are moving more freely (I have a rapesco punch - to even attempt to do that with the filofax punch would have been ludicrous since it struggles with two sheets of paper!) but the card-holder was too thick to even get in the hole punch so unless I can find my leather punch, that will have to stay jammed on the back. The top-opening envelopes don't look all that pretty with the holes extended, but at least they move on the rings now!

Re-punched holes: not pretty, but at least they move freely!

Re-punched envelope on left; still jamming on the rings card-holder on right

It might only be a couple of millimetres, but it makes all the difference! Card-holder top; re-punched envelope below

So, although I suppose I have officially moved into it, I have (of course) now gone and bought some other stuff for it. Although the top-opening pockets are okay (now that I have butchered them), I do like having a zip-lock envelope too. After the experience with the envelopes and card-holder, I am blowed if I am going to spend £3 on a filofax one. I once got one for my personal but hated the way the zip sat on the surface rather than being right on the edge, as it made all the pages stick up. So, I have bought some zip-lock envelopes from eBay and will punch holes in the side of them. They were £3.99 for 10 which seems a heck of a lot better value (especially if they will then sit on the rings properly).

Oh, and I bought some more card to play with different dividers.

More pictures and updates next week once it has all arrived.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Moving into the Aston (part 2 – pictures)

I’m not fully moved in as I’m waiting for a card-holder and some plastic pockets to come, but, as I’m away for a few days, I thought I would share some pictures of the inserts I made etc. Pretty much all of the inserts are home-made by the way.
[The Aston needs some training to lie flat - hence the kitchen weights on the corners!]

First up: Notes.


I printed the picture onto the (home-made) divider, but forgot that I had used a slightly sparkly card and so the ink hasn’t taken quite as well (on any of the dividers) as if I had used normal card. Ah well. All of the pictures on the dividers I have snagged from the web, so apologies to those who own them!
Tucked behind the tab are a few pages of lined paper.

simple lined paper (BUT... FP friendly paper!)

Next up: Goals.

I got this Manifesto from Caribbean Princess’ blog and it’s there to remind me that I only have one life and that I should focus on the things I yearn to do. See this post for more on that…
Behind the goals tab is some To Do paper. 

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that the reverse side looks upside down. It’s not that I fed it into my printer wrong – I just like having To Do sheets on the right-hand side and so I deliberately printed them so they always would be. When they're filled up I take them out, flip them over and put them back in. Ta daa!
Then there are my goals to projects to next action sheets. Just the same as I have in the big Cavendish, just re-sized and reprinted onto pocket-size.

Then comes: Diary.

I just love the elephant. It’s there for three reasons – as something I love to look at, something to remind me to look at my diary and not forget things (elephants never forget) and also to remind me to eat my elephants (do the tasks I least want to do to get them done).
The sheets behind follow exactly the same set-up as I am using in my Cavendish: monthly sheets (task-lists from the next-action sheets on the front, with a list of books read and blog posts written on the reverse); 

February books read/blog posts on left; list for current week in February on R

Tasks for next month on the R, weekly review on the reverse of the last week of February's weekly sheet
... then weekly sheets (weekly task-lists with lines on the reverse to do my weekly review on) ; daily sheets (now 2PPD as the pockets is so small – time-boxes on the left; elephant and task-list on the right); 

2PPD layout

...then the remainder of the year of WO2P diary – home-made using the mail-merge thingy. For me, real-estate was the most important so my WO2P is a simple thing! I did two versions – one with the top left space for Notes and this one with the bottom right space for Coming Up. I settled on the Coming Up as being more useful.

SPACE was what I needed - hence the very simple layout
 Next up is: Lists

This is a simpler version of the one in my Cavendish – in there I have packing lists and all sorts of things. All I will have in the pocket is stuff I will need out and about with me – lists of things I’m looking out for; and lists of presents to buy/have bought in the past (so I don’t buy the same thing twice). Other things like packing lists and lists of what I have written about in letters to friends will stay in the Cavendish on my desk as I only need that sort of information when I am at home. I have never gone in for the home-filofax as well as one to take out and about, but there just isn’t space in the Aston and so I have had to consider the concept. It might take some getting used to as currently everything is in the Cavendish!

Last up: Info.

Still embryonic at the moment but it will have personal information for me (next of kin, emergency contacts etc), car insurance details and all the kind of stuff that I could potentially need out and about. Right at the back are names and addresses sheets, currently interleaved behind A-Z dividers but I may free up that space and just have the letters written on the top right-hand corner.

So that’s where I am at the moment. I’ll post again once the pockets/card-holders arrive and I finally work out if this is really possible! I do love the colour and the leather of the Aston, so I hope so!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Moving into the Aston (part 1)

Well, I’ve started moving into the pocket Aston. So far, I have created and printed all the inserts I want onto lovely cream Clairefontaine paper (trim an A4 sheet carefully and you can get 5 sheets out of it!) and used my Rapesco punch. Honestly, if I’d had to punch it all using a filofax punch, I would have gone mad. I think that’s why filofax make their hole-punches so rubbish – to persuade you to buy the paper/inserts instead.

The packaging the filofax came in absolutely stank of cigarette smoke and sadly, some of it had permeated the filofax and as I was filling in the diary and so on, the smell was really beginning to get to me so I have already rubbed it over with some of my Sheraton leather balm, which has improved the smell a bit. I suppose I can’t complain – I paid only about 1/3 of the full price and a little airing should sort it.

Anyway, having made my inserts I then started to move the other bits and bobs in. This may of course be the deal-breaker. I may have to rethink the whole year of WO2P in there if the cards take up too much space. I’ve put the 4 main cards in the front slots which has stiffened the whole thing up incredibly! At the moment it’s a bit of a fiddle to get them in and out but I’m hoping the slots will ease up with use (does anyone know from experience whether they do?). I have ordered a card-holder (for the store cards I carry around) and two top-opening pockets (one for vouchers and stamps and things and I’m hoping there’s enough ring space to have my guinea-fowl card in the other one. If not, I suppose I will just have to leave it out). I ordered from City Organiser as there’s free P+P at the moment. Hopefully it will all have arrived by the time I get back from being away over this week. I’ll put the cards and money back into my Cavendish and work out of it until the card-holders and pockets arrive.

Pictures of the inserts and everything soon! [Maybe even tomorrow!]

Friday, 17 February 2012

I seem to have enabled myself!

Oh dear. My last post, followed by playing around with a Word file and making templates of all the pages I would want to have in my filofax has led to me enabling myself!! But… not into the Cavendish after all I think.

I was browsing eBay (as you do) and saw a new Aston pocket, in Orchid, for less than £30 including P+P. Well, I just had to. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have been tempted… Anyway, I ordered it on Wednesday night (I was feeling blue and wanted to cheer myself up – another good reason to get it…) and it arrived this morning! Good service! For the moment, I am going to leave the contents pristine, in case I don’t get on with downsizing, in which case I will sell it again (At this point I imagined this from my DH: “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh really?? Because so far you haven’t sold any of the other filofaxes you haven’t found a use for!” but I just ignored it!).

Anyway… here are a couple of sneak preview shots of it intact, with the baby Cavendish and the big brother Cavendish next to it for comparison. And yes, I do realise it might be quite a mountain to climb to downsize from the glorious beast that is big brother Cavendish, into the petite and delicate Aston.

Big brother (top) with babies underneath
Big brother Cavendish (L), baby Cavendish (C), Aston (R)

 My first job is to play with a Word file to make a WO2P diary layout that I like, then work out this merge-thing that the geniuses Ray (My Life All in One Place) and Steve (Philofaxy) have sussed…

More soon!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Scratching the Pocket/Personal itch

[Since writing this, I realise this might be the start of several posts on the same thing... once bitten by the 'create more pages for your filofax' bug... well, you all know the rest!]

Every now and then I look yearningly at my pocket Cavendish and wonder whether I can move into it instead of using its big brother in personal. For some reason I can’t fathom, whereas the personal sized Cavendish has massive rings (30mm), the baby brother has small rings for the range – only 15mm. For comparison, the pocket Malden and most of the others too) has 19mm rings. Now this is puzzling to me – why should the big brother of the family have such large rings and then the baby version be so impossibly slim?? Surely they should have been larger than normal?

Well, you can see my problem already! How could I even contemplate moving from the mansion-like 30mm into the compact and bijou (aka tiny) 15mm? And, haven’t I been here before (and also here... oh and here)? And didn’t I decide that there was just no way I would spend money buying new diaries and so on when I was fully kitted out for the personal?

Um, yes. And yes.

But, every now and then I need to go in the drawer that all my currently unused filofaxes live in (glaring balefully at me) and the Cavendish calls to me. So I fish him out and look at him and think… maybe if I didn’t have the whole year of week on two pages it would work, or maybe if I did week on a page and then stuck to-do sheets or lined paper in between the pages…?

What got me wondering about it today, other than the fact that birthday cards are in the same drawer and I needed one, was all the calendar-stuff going on at Philofaxy, where the filofax king, Steve and his trusty (and extremely talented) side-kick Ray (of My Life All in One Place – go check it out after reading this…) have been creating fabulous diary designs. Now, I know the templates the two magicians have produced are A5, but, I also know how to scale when printing and know you can choose to fit to paper source! On top of that, I have some lovely cream Clairefontaine paper and if you trim carefully, you can get 5 sheets of pocket-size paper out of it. I am also not averse to cutting and punching paper and feeding it into my printer.

So, armed with some paper, a guillotine and a hole punch, I made some pocket-sized paper and printed off a day to 2 pages and a week on a page. I just did one day (Friday – the next day I am off work) and the spread of last week to this week.
Of course, the first thing I noticed was that everything looked Lilliputian. I have fairly small, reasonably neat writing, but this wasn’t going to work. I needed half as many Tasks and Notes lines and for them to be twice the height. As for the left-hand side, I didn’t need so many hours and I didn’t need half-hourly intervals. The calendar at the top of the page was also just a teensy bit too small to be any use (and wasn’t something I needed anyway). The week on a page was much better, but would be even better as a week on two pages so that it was more usable.

Which took me to Sweden.

Ever looked at the Swedish Filofax site? For all the talk of it not being profitable to make so many different inserts and to contemplate reducing the range… Sweden (and Denmark) have some fabulous inserts for pocket-sized filofaxes, that are only in Danish or Swedish or Norwegian etc… and with only some minor tweaking (adding English maybe?) they would sell really well across other countries, I am sure! There are also ‘starter packs’ of diaries, index tabs, address sheets and ruled paper! And pads of 100 sheets of cream paper. Filofax UK – please could we have some of these on the UK site? Or better still, have the entire range of all inserts available online. I mean, it’s not like everyone has been asking for that since the year dot!

But I digress.

I had a look at the lovely pocket-size inserts but didn’t get any. Instead I thought about making a generic two days per page and also a word version of a week on two pages, so I could print off about a month or so and road-test the pocket before committing to buying any inserts. And then… since making the week on 2 pages could be a right royal pain, I noticed my little week to view diary that was 80p in Tescos. I am not averse to cutting this up and punching holes in it any more than making my own pocket-size paper! It’s actually a tiny bit smaller (7cm x 10.5) than the pocket (8cm x 12.5) but the printed size is larger than the scaled down version of the A5 I had printed. Since my WO2P and 2DPP are not going to be kept at the end of the year, I don’t really care if they aren’t spiffing quality!

Anyway, to cut a long afternoon’s playing short, this is my prototype. I wanted to be able to note some appointments and be able to time-box on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side I wanted to note what elephant needed eating (big thanks to my friend Gerard for the elephant picture!), plus list tasks and notes, with enough space to write.

screenshot of the print-preview
I may try road-testing this, along with a dismembered week to view diary over the next month. I shall also make myself some nice lined paper out of my lovely cream paper. Guillotines and hole-punches, here we come!

I only need to print out days I’m not at (paid) work – my work diary covers me for them, which would be a lot cheaper than getting a whole year of 2DPP and then only using 4 days per week of it.

[And yes, we all know that in a month, after road-testing this, I will be back in the big brother version! But let’s just scratch the itch, huh?]