Monday, 30 April 2012

Are you an inny or an outy?

No, I’m not talking belly-buttons, but tabs on filofaxes. The idea was sparked by a comment by Saffy on the new dividers I made for Mr Holborn (which has sadly been deleted by the author…) which said:
Wow, they look great. Interesting, when I was spending a few hours with my daughter and new label maker we both made labels for our filofaxes. I put my labels facing inwards like yours, my daughter faced her labels facing out which I immediately thought was odd. I wonder what others do? Did you plan for the labels to be facing in?

I always have my labels facing in (and so would call myself an “inny”).

I found it intriguing that others might be “outy” and then wondered if it was to do with handedness.
So, in the name of scientific research, I have a poll. Are you an inny or an outy (or indeed a vertical)? And also, which hand is dominant? If, like me, that’s a tricky one to answer – which hand do you most commonly write with?

Inny – the bottom of the letters on the tab labels are towards the inside of the filofax
Outy – the bottom of the letters on the tab labels are towards the outside of the filofax
Vertical – the tab labels are orientated vertically

Please vote in the poll?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Miss Aston gets even prettier

[Warning - picture heavy]
[click on the picture to see a larger version]
A zillion years ago, I bought card to make new dividers for Miss Aston. Yes, her calligraphy ones are lovely and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them, but I fancied a change.

Anyway, almost as many years ago, I asked you to vote on which card I should use. Here are the original choices and the results of the poll…



No-one liked number 15!

The poll suggests this combination for the dividers…

Apologies for the colour cast - the original pictures are more accurate
Well, if you recall, I also had a caveat in so that if the final combination didn’t look right, I would have the rights to change it (it is my filofax after all). I didn’t like the fact that there was one silver/grey card and one yellow/purple combination, and so I swapped the yellow/purple for  another silver/grey:

Number 7 was only one vote away, and I hadn't actually voted...
Having finalised the choices for the card, I made the dividers. I made each one 9.5cm x 12.5cm which is a little larger than the standard divider size but there is plenty of space in the filofax (and I make my own sheets and frankly it’s easier to make them 8.5cm wide; I get 5 sheets from an A4 page).

As usual, I hand-trimmed the tab side (hence all the curved bits being slightly wonky) and then just wrote on them with a permanent pen. Some of the card is glittery or has foil, making the writing a little less easy, but they look okay.
Here they are together:

And here they are in situ:





 What do you think?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Is it planner fail?

…or is it just me?

In the last few posts I have talked about approaching planner fail with Little Miss Aston. I’m not sure if I truly am, or if I am just:
a) distracted by the new hunk on the block, Mr Holborn (with his supple leather and all those pockets) and/or
b) just not using Miss Aston properly.

Miss Aston is smaller than my previous carry-arounds (Baroques and then the Cavendish) and I am used to carrying everything around (because then I know where it is). But… she has 19mm rings, not 23mm rings, so something had to give. Gone are the addresses I will only ever need when I am at my desk; gone are the lists of things I am waiting to arrive in the post; gone are the lists of what I have written to people about (as you know, I am an inveterate hand-written-letter-writer). Gone also are the lists of meter-readings, the shelved projects and my training plans (less of a bother now as I did the half-marathon yesterday and can now have some of my life back from training!). Also ousted are the packing lists and maps.

Of course, when I say ‘gone’ or ‘ousted’ I of course mean ‘did not get transferred across’. They are all in existence, and are now in Mr Holborn, who is supposed to sit on my desk and be my ‘home filofax’ and contain all the aforementioned bits and bobs so that I can look them up when I need to. [He has also got all the other workings in there too… the diary, the project lists etc… and so could step up to being the carry-around in the blink of an eye.]

Miss Aston has all the day to day workings still there – she has the notepaper at the front, the projects to goals to next action sheets for current projects, the monthly planning sheets, the week to view diary, the day planning sheets, the lists of things to look for (garden fork; books; new running top etc.), vouchers, paper money, coins and cards, stamps… I am still (usually) doing my weekly review and planning out my weeks. I am even just about used to the fact that not everything is in there and I have to look in Mr Holborn for some things.
I love Miss Aston’s size – she’s easy to carry around and with the coin-purse hack and the zip-lock bag hacks in there, she is pretty and functional.



It’s just not quite working.

My planning is going okay – my projects to goals to next actions are all getting translated into weekly plans and then (when applicable) daily plans, but there’s something not quite right. One suspicion is that it’s the paper. The other is the need to look in Mr Holborn for some things.

I have long since printed many of my own inserts for my filofax, since filofax seems to refuse to make any inserts worth a damn – either the layout is about right and the paper sucks (most common problem) or, the paper is okay (cotton cream) but the layout isn’t there. Or, isn’t there on the UK site but is on another European site but then the shipping costs are ridiculous.

I generally use Clairefontaine Trophee in cream and it’s a dream to write on in fountain pen and looks lovely in my personal-size and A5 filofaxes. However, for some reason, it looks wrong, all wrong in Miss Aston. Too dark. Too yellow. Maybe that’s to do with the mauve colour of the leather (though you’d think the shocking pink of one of the Baroques would produce the same clash…). But, I’m not enjoying writing on it and using it, which, for a planner, is a bit of a non-starter!

I have just ordered some ivory paper (in the hope that it is off-white and not yellow-white… there are no decent stationery places nearby for me to look at the paper in the flesh so my only real option is to order online and hope the colour-reproduction is okay). Once it arrives, I will re-do some of my pocket inserts and see where I am with it all.

Mr Holborn:
Of course, I also know that once I have something new and shiny, that I just have to use it and I may just be itching to use Mr Holborn. He’s sitting here on my desk next to me, with all his glossy, chocolate-coloured supple leather and pockets and space, and I swear, it’s a siren-song! Whenever I open him up to look something up, I find myself gazing at the space on the pages and the fact that everything is in there.

Anyway, I have made a deal with him. I will use Miss Aston until May 31st and then on June 1st it can be his turn.

And now (at last) to make the new dividers for Miss Aston!

Monday, 16 April 2012

New dividers...

…but not for the Aston, despite all the charming, pretty card I have.


Because I am approaching planner fail and because this post on Philofaxy inspired me to be more creative with making dividers for the Holborn, ready for when I well and truly hit planner-fail and move back to the personal size.

I may post soon on why, exactly, despite loving my little pocket Aston, I am reaching planner-fail with her, but today I wanted to do a quick post to show you my new dividers for the Holborn.

Many of you have seen/commented on the calligraphy in my filofaxes before and I too love the crisp lines and beautiful blend of simplicity and complexity – they look simple on one level, but the more you look, the more you see how complicated and intricate they are. A bit like people sometimes... Most times.

My set-up is fine – that isn’t why I am reaching failure with the pocket – and so I have recreated the same set-up but on cream card, which I think looks divine with the brown leather. In fact, the crispness of the designs with the dark brown leather are a small slice of ecstasy for me when I open the binder!

I decided to try and be a bit more clever with the dividers this time. I read this post on Tommes-S blog where he had put a mirror-image of the picture he was using on his dividers on the reverse side – quite rightly pointing out that when you open the filofax at the divider, you see the reverse side and not the front! I also wanted to print the labels on the tabs, rather than hand-write them in afterwards.

I am rubbish at being able to draft things out accurately enough to be able to print onto card first and cut later but thankfully my little printer will take filofax-sized paper/card without bother, so my first step was to cut two sheets of lightweight cream card into three pieces, each 10.5cm x 17.1 cm.

Next was to do the arty bit in a word document, sized to 10.5cm x 17.1cm. For each divider, I chose one of my calligraphy pictures (gathered from various corners of the web) and chose the picture settings to be centred both vertically and horizontally. I then re-sized each picture until it was a decent size.

For the labels, I made text-boxes, fixed their size as 3.4cm (I always use 5 dividers and 17cm/5 is 3.4cm), rotated the text and then positioned them on the far right-hand edge. Getting them in exactly the right spot was tricky (and I haven’t for some) as I was having to use a ruler against my laptop screen since I have not mastered the skills of text-box placement the ‘correct’ way, using the placement settings! Nonetheless, I can cope with them. The text isn’t perfectly centred now that I have cut the tabs, but they will work!

Then came the sneaky bit of having the same design on the reverse side. I flipped the text again and then moved the text-box over to the far left-hand edge and reprinted the card. If I moved the text-box by only using the left-arrow on the laptop, then they were at exactly the same height as on the original side. I needed to nudge a couple of the images to the side as now bits of the design were over-lapping with the label (the elephant trunk etc.) but otherwise, the images are in the same places and just the labels have swapped sides and orientation.

So, here they are… (before I trimmed them up).

Fronts of the dividers

And reverse…

Reverse side

I then measured where the tabs should be and trimmed them up by hand. I also shaved another 1.5 mm off the width of the tab, just because the text had ended up a little far away from the edge and it looked better.

Finally, I put some squares of clear, sticky-backed plastic over the tabs to protect and strengthen them and popped them in the Holborn:
Ta da!!!

What do people think?