Welcome, fellow stationery geeks!

I shall be using this blog to witter on about my stationery finds in general and diaries/planners and Filofaxes in particular. Please feel free to witter along with me!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I just can't take all this Filofax excitement!!!

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Me.

Something happened this evening that is going to change my life.  Are you ready?  Brace yourselves. You may want to sit down.

Take a deep breath.

My husband made a confession to me this evening.  I was very afraid.  I thought his confession was going to have the capacity to turn my life upside down.  It did . . . but in a good way!

After being a Filofax Virgin for all his 40 years, he has decided he WANTS TO GET A FILOFAX!!!  Oh my goodness, the excitement was way too much for me.  I immediately became a Filofax saleswoman, showing him all his options - size, style, colour, closure, different diaries, miscellaneous inserts - he was blown away by my excitement.  Pandora's box had been opened, and nothing he could do would get it to close again!!!

His Filofax will be for work only apparently.  I organise absolutely everything to do with home/family and our social lives.  He just sits back and enjoys the ride and I don't mind this at all.  No doubt he'll bob the odd family commitment down in his Filofax once he gets going but initially, it will be for, and stay at, work.  He is a Software Development Team Leader so he has various commitments in terms of his job - meetings, one-to-ones, holiday/sickness absence, project leadership and actual software development to name but a few.  He has decided that he wants a black A5 with a DPP diary layout, but he wants the day to be split into two columns - the first one for tasks to do and the second one for tasks done, as well as how long it took him to do them (in respect of project budgets etc).  I swiftly directed him to Philofaxy's free diary insert page as well as Ray's My Life All In One Place free diary insert page.  His eyes nearly popped out of his head at the thought of all that geeky tinkering with source codes and other such nonsense (he's a software developer don't forget).  Anyway, he's taken some ideas and decided he's going to write his own program and inserts from scratch.  What fun!  But not yet, he says.  Too busy.  KILLJOY!!!

Anyway, I suggested it would be a good idea for him to have two 'today markers' - one for a WPP for his appointments and one for his DPP.  I also suggested that he could use a year planner for logging things such as sickness absence and holidays within his team.  He liked both these ideas!

So, in terms of confessions, as he had shared his with me I though it would only be fair to share mine with him.  So I told him about my blog!  He was astounded.  I showed him my site and posts and told him all about Philofaxy and that I felt so at home being surrounded by other people who were just as crackers as I was about stationery and Filofaxes.  He even read some of my posts . . . and seemed very impressed!  He did look rather stunned when I told him that I'd been blogging since early March and he had no idea.

So that's it - he knows I'm blogging, so I'd better be careful what I say now!!!  JUST KIDDING DARLING!  MWAH!

Do any of you have any tips on how he could use his new work Filofax to maximum effect???  Please feel free to share and I'll pass them on!

If you're interested in buying my jade / teal personal Finchley, click here!

Click here to read my Malden revelation . . .

Click here if you want to read about my new Filofax setup.

If you enjoyed this post, please FOLLOW ME!


My (compact) pocket raspberry Chameleon Filofax setup (plus gorgeous handbag!)

Hello everyone!

You may remember not so long ago that I discussed my compact raspberry Finsbury setup here.  Well . . . it didn't take long for the itchy feet to set in!

I really really really LOVED my compact Finsbury, but I just found it too heavy.  I was longing to downsize my handbag and use something a bit smaller for the summer.  So out came my (compact) pocket raspberry Chameleon again!

I got this little beauty on my birthday shopping trip right at the very beginning of March at a heavily-discounted price (of course) and used it for a short while.  Unfortunately, I'd moved from a very fat (non-compact) aqua pocket Finsbury and was struggling to fit everything onto the smaller rings.  Pocket rings are normally 19mm but the Chameleon's are 15mm.  At the time, this bothered me, so I wasn't very happy with it.  Then along came the compact Finsbury and my Chameleon was put back in my Filofax drawer!

Anyway, enough rambling.  After I decided that my compact Finsbury was too heavy, I thought I'd go back down to my pocket Chameleon but slim down the innards immensely.  I thought I'd try a 'week on one page with notes' diary (albeit made by myself 'cos I can't stand all the different languages that take up room on Filofax's version), so I bought a 'week on one page' and stuck a page of lined paper in between each page.  I got a bargain though; the diary only cost me 50p!  You can read about that here.

Anyway, I took lots of unnecessary stuff out of my pocket aqua Finsbury (that weighed about the same as a newborn baby) and slimmed it right down.  Boy was I happy!  The 'week on one page with notes' has been working really well for me.  I don't have a vast amount of appointments - just work hours (which do change), my daughter's commitments and the odd appointment here and there for me and hubby - so I've managed to fit everything reasonably well.  I do have a lot of things to remember to do though, and that's where the 'notes' page has worked a treat.

Here come the photos, and be warned - there are lots!

Firstly, this is the bag that I wanted to change to.  It looks fairly small but is actually massive inside.  It's butter-soft leather and the make is Ciccia (an ex Radley designer I believe).  It retails for about £115 but I got it for £40 at TK Maxx.  It's really gorgeous!  (Just put 'ciccia flower bag' in an eBay search; there are a few available at the moment for about £89.99)

Ciccia leather bag

I have absolutely LOADS of handbags, despite selling some on eBay earlier on this year!  I've always had a thing for handbags and living about a mile and a half away from a TK Maxx store doesn't help . . .

Ciccia leather bag

Pocket raspberry Chameleon

One thing you'll notice is that whilst I absolutely LOVE bright, rich colours, I'm not into stickers and home-made dividers.  I'm not very creative and I prefer to save the girly stickers for my six year old daughter!!!

The first thing I see when I open my Filofax is my shopping list (not food, just general stuff I need to buy when I'm out and about).  My shopping list is stuck to a top-opening envelope that I use for receipts for things that I might need to exchange.  General receipts for food and other stuff go on a spike at home.

I also have a couple of important forms in the slip pocket and library/business cards in my card pockets.

My 'welcome mat'

Here are the sticky notes I use for my shopping list at the front.  They are lined which I always find useful.  I got them from TK Maxx - I think they were £2.99.

Sticky notes block made by Piccadilly

Inside sticky notes block

Reverse of sticky notes block

To prevent bulk I just use the basic Diary, Notes, Information, Financial and Addresses tabs came with one of my (many!) Filofaxes.

In the diary section, I firstly have a year planner that contains birthdays and important perpetual dates.  Then comes my 'every day diary' after the year planner.  Appointments and the odd day-specific reminder/to do on the left.  Blue sticky dots are for birthdays and red ones are for important reminders, such as MOT due.  I can check my year planner for full details.  Using sticky dots saves space!  Then there's a list of notes/to dos on the right with boxes drawn in to tick when they've been completed.

I stuck a cut-down sticky arrow on my ruler so I can instantly see what day it is - very useful when I'm in a hurry.

My diary

Important telephone numbers

Passwords (blank for security!)
Petrol usage

Overtime & My Spends

My sat nav postcodes page again - all my templates are the same as the ones I made for my compact, but smaller!  I love this sat nav page because it's like having an address book with me at all times, without the bulk.

Sat Nav postcodes page
Sat Nav postcodes (continued) & work holiday log

My final top-opening envelope contains odds and ends I need to keep with me, such as repeat prescriptions.  I also have a few blank sticky notes on here to use inside my diary for anything important.

My zipped pocket contains stamps and a few business cards etc.

Card/jewellery sale log & farewell envelope

As you can see from the top view, the contents aren't very bulky.  It looks it a bit because of the full-length pocket at the back.

I can fit my mobile phone in the front of the full-length pocket, or in the back zipped pocket or the shopping list envelope at the front, which comes in very handy.

Top view

So there we are.  I'm loving my new setup, and I really love the raspberry Chameleon.  I admit I could do with a bit more room to write, but a personal is just too big for me.  If only they made Chameleons in the compact size.  Sorry?  What was that?  They do?  Oh, great stuff.  I'll just have a look and see if I can find one.  Oh!  Would you believe it, they have them on the Filofax Denmark site, with 50% off!!!  Holy cow.  That's tempting.  Oooooops!  My fingers just slipped on the keyboard . . . one's on it's way to me . . .!  How did that happen?!  Well, for £36.78 including overseas postage, it would be rude not to.  Thank the Lord for Google Translation!

Now to sell my Teal Personal Finsbury to fund it . . . click here if you're interested!

Click here to read my Malden revelation . . .

Click here to read about exciting Filofax news!

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Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Letts Academic Festival A6 diary/planner

Hello all!

Today I have decided to review the only planner I have ever come across that has been close to putting my Filofax into retirement: the Letts Academic Festival A6 diary.  You can buy the current 2012-2013 version here.

Despite the fact that I’m not a student (but my daughter is so I do have school holidays to make a note of), this really is a little beauty.  In my opinion, the best features are:

  1. Lovely bright colour.
  2. Elastic closure.
  3. Page ruler marker.
  4. Pen loop (with gel pen included).
  5. Spiral bound so lays flat.
  6. A6 size (15cm X 11.5cm - also comes in A5 though).
  7. Pull-out year planner.
  8. Plastic pocket to store bits and bobs.
  9. A brilliant layout.  Read on . . .

The layout is a week on two pages plus a box for notes after Sunday.  All eight boxes have equal space (hallelujah!) and the weekdays are divided up by: Time, Activity, Location and Reminders.  So you can put your appointments on the left and reminders on the right.  The Notes box (with a small calendar of the month in it) can be used to mark down things to do for that particular week.

Here come the pictures . . .

Check out that ugly mark where I peeled the label off!  Yuk!

Fold-out year planner (2011/2012 on the reverse)

Plastic pocket for 'bits 'n bobs'

As well as a brilliant layout, it also has the following features:

  1. Two year calendar.
  2. Conversion tables & factors.
  3. Sunrise & sunset.
  4. Religious festivals.
  5. Notable dates.
  6. Useful contacts.
  7. Travel information.
  8. National information.
  9. London attractions.
  10. Notes.
  11. Addresses.
  12. Deadlines & exams.
  13. Timetables.

This year, the cover is slightly different.  I don’t like it quite as much but I’m more bothered about the other features than this particular aspect.

The only thing I don’t like about this planner is that Letts insisted on putting a great big ugly sticker on the front cover that took some of the colour off when I peeled it off (very carefully I might add).  I hate these stickers so much!!!

This is a great diary with some brilliant features.  I also love it because it’s so small and light, but big enough.  What do you think?

P.S. Don't forget to FOLLOW ME if you enjoyed this post!


Friday, 4 May 2012

Bargain Filofaxes & Filofax diaries - what a savvy shopper!

Hello all!
Well I had a most pleasant experience in Staples this morning.
Last night, I spent the evening frowning at the fact that my handbag is quite heavy, due to my Finsbury compact.  I blogged about my setup here.  I really really love it; the diary is a great size for me to put all my appointments, reminders and to dos in and I can see it all a week at a time.  It’s not even stuffed to the gills really . . . although it is reasonably full.  But it’s just . . . heavy.  So whilst I definitely don’t have planner fail, I am thinking that I am approaching Filofax Fail!  I’m really gutted.  It’s a shame they don’t make Dominos in a compact size because they are very light.  That would probably solve my problem!  I have seriously considered getting a slimline which could potentially work, but they are all either too expensive or too dull!  There’s no way on this earth I would use a black or brown Filofax.  My only options would be a red Amazona or a damson/magenta Adelphi.  And they’re as rare as hens’ teeth, at a reasonable price anyway!
Regardless, I digress.  All this ‘heaviness’ got me thinking about reverting to one of my pocket Filofaxes - not something that I really wanted to do.  I totally loved my aqua Finsbury but it’s a bit battered and faded now, and it's not the lightest one I have.  I also have a violet Domino and a raspberry Chameleon.  The Chameleon is quite light and has smaller rings (15cm I think) so I thought about slimming down my inserts and putting just what I need in there.  I thought what I’d try was using six months’ worth of ‘week per page’ inserts (for appointments and time-specific reminders) together with a month’s worth of dailies as well for my ‘to dos’ and more detailed information.  And I’d also use my pocket templates without dividers – just put them all behind one divider.
My next task – to have a good rummage through all my Filofax paraphernalia and find a 2012 ‘week per page’ pocket diary.  FAIL.  Oh dear.  So, after some surfing on t’interweb, I found one here at Staples.  For 42p!!!  Yes, you did read that right.  So in my basket it went, only to discover to my horror that the total price including VAT and delivery came to £5.70!!!  Well stuff that for a game of soldiers.
Then I remembered.  A while ago (January I think), I decided to buy a label maker.  It was about £12 (ish) on the Staples website but I didn’t want to pay for delivery when I have a Staples just down the road from me.  So I went to the store only to find the exact same make was over £30!  Needless to say, I queried this and they checked out their website to confirm what I was saying.  I ended up paying the price quoted online and I went home with a very large smile on my face!
So, this morning, my cogs were whirring.  I wanted to try a new setup but didn’t want to shell out much money in case I didn’t like it and it didn’t work for me.  I was going to have that diary for 42p, come hell or high water!  Off I trekked to Staples and found the diary in question.  At £3.75!  Blimey they are cheeky.
I found a very nice man who could help me and explained my dilemma.  After lots of searching on their website (he clearly didn’t have as much experience as me when it came to searching for Filofax products on the net . ..), he found the product in question at the grand total of 50p.  (Their prices obviously included VAT.)  He looked rather horrified at the low price but checked it out with his manager and said I could have it for 50p!  (I wasn’t going to argue for the sake of 8p . . .)
So, I handed my 50p over to the lovely lady at Staples and left with, yet again, a very large smile on my face.
The moral of the story?  If you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Or, it pays to ask.  Next time you want to buy something from Staples, check the product out online first and take a printout of it with you when you visit the shop.  You could save yourself some decent wonga!
P.S. – While I’m on the subject of Staples, they currently have the London Olympics Filofaxes at rock-bottom prices, starting from a fabulous £5.63!!!  Wow!  Check them out here.
If you want one at the price online, take a printout of the item with you in case it’s more expensive in the shop.  I believe that they have to sell it to you at the price quoted online.  It certainly worked for me!

If you're interested in buying my jade / teal personal Finchley, click here!

(Please FOLLOW ME if you enjoyed this post!)