Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yes, so about the Moleskine planner...

..that I got last summer and didn't know what to use it for.
Well, considering that there's only two weeks left for the year to end, I decided to try it out on Wednesday, instead of my trusted Pocket Filo.

So you won't have to remember which format I got, it's the 'Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner, July 2010 to December 2011', Pocket Size. It's got a week on a page and notes on the other page.
I have been writing in it daily, using a pencil at first (OCD me is afraid to ruin it if I use ink, even though I'm not planning on ERASING my scribbles!).

My first impressions are mixed; I like the size of it, and the fact that it is a notebook.
But I have to adjust to it, as I don't have a Notes nor a To do section in it. So I'm having to write everything into the daily space, which isn't big at all! I'm glad that I have a separate work Filofax, or else, this little book really wouldn't be enough.
I know that the size issue can be 'fixed' by going up one size, but for those who know me... I don't do BIG! All my Filofaxes are either the Pocket or the Mini size, except for the work one, the Personal Scanda, but because it is only available in that size.

Next issue: the LACK of pockets. 
I know it has a 'memento pouch' (I've always though this was a silly name) on the back, but I haven't used it yet. Maybe after some time I will.

But what I'm missing the most is a pen loop. These days I've been carrying a small aluminum mechanical pencil from Muji, attached to the elastic closure. If I want to use another pen though, I don't think that would be the best way to carry it.

And not to mention the fact that I can't add or remove sections...

So, why am I actually enjoying it? 
I guess because it's not even a week that it's been in use and I'm still blinded by the novelty of a new and different system. Because I am approaching it more as a notebook (fun) rather than a planner (work). Because I have started this as a 'fling', knowing perfectly well that once the excitement is gone, I will return to my 'steady' Filo.

Or will I? 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sneak Peak at the Midori

As always, time is NOT on my side, and will need to simply write a few words about my new BABY!!!
I was going to wait for tomorrow or some other day to write about it, but I don't know if tomorrow I will actually have the time (mindset) to do so.
A relative went to Japan last week, and ever since I found out he was going, I asked nagged him to please bring me a Midori Traveler's Notebook with a few inserts. 
Finally today, I was able to go pick it at his mother's house! 
Turns out he didn't get me the classic one (large) but the 'Passport' size, which at first I thought wouldn't appeal to me as much, but as it turns out, it is PERFECT!! (I should have figured this out before, knowing how I always use smaller notebooks..)

The Notebook is, I tell you, A THING OF BEAUTY! I think there is a phrase that sort of goes like 'beauty in simplicity', (if there isn't one, it should!) which truly defines 80% of my taste. And this baby is the perfect example for it.
The supple brown leather cover, the colours used all around the notebook, and the concept! Easy to use and maintain, refillable, and customisable!

I am so in love with this little thing that I am seriously considering to start using it VERY soon in lieu of my trusted Filofax, even though I had planned on using my brand new Raspberry Fins from the 1st of January '11.

Anyway, it's already past my bedtime, so I'll leave you for now. If you want to know more about my new japanese best friend, check out my flickr. (Sorry, can't be bothered to include a link, but you know how to get there, especially from here. If not, then your brain's just being lazy!)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

To Do: Buy 2011 Day per Page!!

I just realised that I still need to buy Day Per Page refills for my Pocket Filo!

And here I sat happy with just my QuoVadis inserts that Steve so kindly brought from France for me :)

I know, it's been an awful long time without updates in my blog. I've not only been busy with a new job, but also, I must confess I've been feeling un-inspired, despite the Filofax bloggers Event I attended with Jess AND the long-awaited Philofaxy London Meetup!

I've also been mentally stressing about having to write about these two events, but as far as the Meetup goes, others have done a way better job writing about it than I ever could. And mentally stressing about something is really not good for me, as I end up NEVER doing the thing I'm stressing about!

So I have decided to approach this blogging thing from a different angle: I'll simply write when I feel inspired, about whatever stationery-related topic that is occupying my mind, even if it is just a couple of phrases.

Like today's topic: 2011 refills, or rather, the lack of.
Like I mentioned, Steve brought me some beautiful QV weekly inserts which I plan on using once the year starts. I did consider using them straight away, as they are not 12, but 18 months format. 
But when I looked at my already (scarcely) filled pages of my current WPP, I felt I really couldn't just kill those pages after having served me so well!! So, yes. They will stay until the 31st Dec... or rather, the 29th, as the 30th is already on a new page...arghh I really hate these stupid dilemmas!

I honestly don't know if I really need to have two formats now that I also carry a work Filofax, having my Personal Filo more empty since then. But I'm getting tired of changing, even if it is a silly little thing like my planner issues. So I will stick with my two formats choice I've been using for almost two years now. Maybe in one year's time, I will re-address this issue and decide then.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Onigiri's night out ;)

As many of you must've read already, there was a Filofax event last Thursday, which I was lucky to attend thanks to Steve ;).
And what does a philofaxer do at such an opportunity? Why, take pictures of Filofaxes and have fun, of course!!

I must say that one of the things I enjoyed the most, though, was getting to meet the marketing team at Filofax! These people really do enjoy their jobs!!

Jon, who was always busy talking to everybody.
Matt, who I found out is a crazy cat lover like me ^__^
and Jess, whom I cannot praise enough! She did a great presentation of the featured Gourmet Gift Box, handed us all our free organisers, and made sure all the guests had a nice time.
My dear friend Dee, who also happens to work at the Filofax store on Neal St. was also there, making sure amongst other things, that my glass was never empty! And she didn't mind to take pictures for me :P

Here, I was having fun taking pictures of 3 Filos I liked the most, and 3 Filos I liked the least! (It was like a playground, I tell you!!)

Once the event was over, Dee, Jess and me headed to a nearby fancy bar to enjoy some cocktails and most importantly, GurrrlTalk!! 
We also did talk a little about Filofaxes, but I've forgotten all about it. (The waiter was distractingly cute!!).
Sadly, no pics were taken at the bar. And the details? they belong in my private journal! :)

And some pictures of FiloPigeon!! (I know Dee will enjoy these ;) )

Have a great week everyone!!

Friday, October 08, 2010


Last night I was lucky to be attending the Filofax Gourmet Gift Box Launch Event at the store on Conduit St.

I have already given all details to Steve so he can post it on the Philofaxy blog tonight! 

I shall also write about it here, but not until tomorrow (my inspiration muse is still out and about having cocktails!).

So, I kindly ask all of you to stop by Philofaxy to know more!! :D

Monday, October 04, 2010

Filofax or Moleskine?

I have a dilemma:

Filofax vs. Moleskine

I bought an 18 month Moleskine Pocket planner in the spring this year because I was tempted to try a bound planner.
It is very pretty and it has a whole page to jot whatever down, next to the week on a page format.

My problem is that I am so fixated on my Filofax I can't bring myself to stop using it, even for a couple of weeks, to try out the Moleskine. On the other hand, I am pained not to use it, to have it pristine in my notebooks box.

I also think that updating BOTH planners would simply be overkill, and would fail on the second day of doing so.

Currently I do not lead a lifestyle that would require me to carry two planners for different reasons (i.e. one for personal, the other for work). I also thought of the idea of using it as a financial planner, but I really don't need one of those. 

What to do, what to do???

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Filofax Domino: Elegance in Simplicity

Finally the time has come for me to review an organiser with which most of us are familiar with, the Domino.

I received my Pocket Domino as a birthday present this year. This was an organiser that didn't rouse any interest in me at first, mainly due to the limited colours that were available in previous years and the fact that I found it rather flimsy and not as glamorous as favourites of mine, such as the Finsbury or the Urban.

This year though, Filofax presented the Domino in two of my favourite colours: Lavender (purple) and Slate (grey). I must confess the reason I didn't get one as soon as I saw them on the store last spring was because I simply couldn't make up my mind on which to choose, as they're both beautiful!

But on my birthday I finally settled on the Lavender one and I am currently using it as my main Filo.

Before I had it, I decided to give my beloved Fins a rest by switching to the Pocket Chino in black. And although this organiser was pretty, fun, and soft to the touch, I ended up finding it bulky, complicated and high maintenance (yes, even with the black colour!) as it would attract quite a lot of dust and lint. But I'm not here to bitch about the Chino, so let's move on!

After one month with the Chino, I decided it was time to give the Domino(and its lack of 'pockets I like') a go.

The first difference I noticed after moving all the Chino's contents 'as-is' into the Domino was the slimness of the whole organiser.

Oh, the loads of free space I still had for additional sections and notepaper and photos and passports and cards  and and and...   (remember to breathe...)

The second discovery I made was during actual use of the Domino. I had switched on the day we had started looking for a new flat and I made a point of asking each agency for their business card for the sake of keeping track of which ones we'd been to, and of those, which ones had shown us something or had told us they would call us once they had something available. 
The Domino proved to be extremely practical in the sense that opening and closing it was very quick and easy; and the top card slot could easily house the 3-4 cards I would get in a day, not having to fill up all the slots with just agency cards!
Other features I've really come to love in this lil' fella are:
  • Its ability to lay flat straight out of the box ( I know Yvotchka loves this!), no matter which section you open it,  at the very beginning or the very last of its contents, it will ALWAYS lay flat.
  • The elasticated pen loop, which I noticed, isn't available in previous models. (Theirs is made out of the same material as the inner lining.) I think this small change makes a HUGE difference, for it allows us to carry thicker pens, or like I sometimes do, carry two pens inside the loop!

As we all know, though, nothing is perfect and there is always a BUT!

Before using the Domino I had a few concerns regarding its use:

1)The elastic band closure: I was convinced this would in no time lose its snug fit due to constant use of the organiser, and becoming an unsightly, limp elastic hanging from the spine.
I admit this is still my main concern; I've only been using the Domino for nearly two months. But I must add that I use it heavily, opening and closing the binder at least ten times a day, and I often add extra bulk to it such as my passport, A4's folded in 4, wet wipes... 
and the elastic can still sit snugly if I empty the whole contents of my Domino.
This type of closure is also quite practical as you can stash papers on the outside of the organiser, and when you're writing on the right side of the Filofax, it doesn't get in the way, as most strap closures tend to do.

2) The absent full width wallet pocket: This is one of the features I love the most about my Finsbury and Urban, as it would be the place I would carry my passports, plane tickets, money, receipts, you name it! It was the pocket for whatever I fancied!
I already experienced this lack on the Chino, and even though it comes with zippered and secretarial pockets, I did miss a place for the stuff I mentioned earlier.

The Domino is different, though, as the elastic closure and the two vertical slots on both sides of the interior make up for it. I now stash my passport and the occasional A4 (folded, of course!) on the back of my Domino, while all other bits of paper and other random stuff can go into the other pockets.

To sum up, this is a lightweight, no-fuss, no-bullshit organiser that has become my sidekick during these two months. As a matter of fact, I don't think I'll be switching to another organiser (my unboxed Raspberry Fins will have to wait still) in a long time.

And I honestly recommend this organiser to ANYBODY!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I ♥ Google Maps!

We already know how great Google Maps are! We can easily input a whole address into the search box to find exactly where it is, zoom in to see the nearest transport links, even do a Street View (when available) to get an idea of the surroundings at a specific place.

As Filofax users, some of us have already incorporated the benefits of Google Maps into our paper life, by resizing and printing maps out for our beloved best friend (aka Filofax).
But for me, the only map I had printed out in the past was a map of Spain, and that was it.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to go all the way to a town outside of London for a job interview. Since I was already nervous enough about the interview, I decided I really shouldn't add even more stress to the situation by getting lost, or having to ask strangers for directions. That is where my Filofax and said maps came to the rescue!

I spent some time before going to bed, investigating the area, looking it up in Google Maps, etc. But I also found a very handy thing about Google! I discovered that you can create your own maps, linked to your Google account. And that you can also draw a line from A to B, using the colour and style of your choice!! (Not to mention, you can put a pin or marker in A and B using the icons of your choice!)
So I took my map, drew the line from A to B and saved it for future reference.
I then took a screenshot and modified the size and print area with InDesign, so that it would print out exactly the way I wanted it to.
I even left a margin to the right, to write down the complete address and details, and folded it.

I punched the map in the margin I left to the left and put it at the very front of my Pocket Domino.

The results? Once I got off the station the next day, I was able to guide myself correctly, walk at a decent pace, and get to my destination with enough time to calm down my nerves!!! ( 15 minutes earlier!) And not once did I look like a lost tourist, I simply looked as someone consulting her planner, very professional!

And in case you were wondering, the interview went very good, but I turned down the offer as the commute would be too much, not to mention, it would eat up all my salary...

Til next time!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Should definitely post something soon, right? else all the few followers I have will start to leave... :(

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ticking off one item of my To Do list..(or my review of the Pocket Urban)

One of the other Filofaxes I own, and cherish, is the Pocket Urban in slate. This was my second Filofax, and I had bought it already knowing what I would use it for. It would be my Travel Filo, and accordingly, I also bought the new Travel pack, fresh from the Filofax ovens!

New Urban pocket in slate

I got this baby on the 3rd of august, 2009 and that same night I wrote my first impressions on it:

'Night has come and I still haven't written anything (inside). Haven't even registered it! I just stare at it, open it and run my fingers through its pages. I am scared I might ruin them.
I have taken out all the unnecessary pages, like international info and the 2008 diary, and kept only Aug-Dec 09.
I still haven't decided which sections to move/carry. I don't want to force it.
I've only twice thought about which pen I want to use with it, but haven't really decided yet. I have tried to insert my purple pilot V5 into the very tight loop, but a piece unfolded from the push. So I quickly removed the pen and tried with something slimmer: my trusted Pentel (mechanical pencil) should help the loop to loosen up a bit.
I have already decided to put a scented tissue into the full width wallet pocket, like I did with the Finsbury, so that it will have its unique, nice scent.
I absolutely love that it comes with a frosted (not black!) ruler. It also lays flatter compared to Finsbury's beginnings; it should be fully trained in no time.
Still don't know if I should keep the coloured, numbered tabs, or use the Travel Pack's white, empty ones.
It also comes with an 'Events Calendar' and a 'Timetable', as well as a 'Course Record Notes' which makes me think this organiser could be targeted at students.'

Now, almost one year after I can only sing praises to this little fellow! 
Shortly after having bought it, I travelled to Bolivia, South America. And both the organiser as well as the Travel Pack worked to perfection!

Travel pack at the VIP lounge

The Travel Pack worked wonderfully helping me plan my trip a few weeks ahead, and inspired me to actually write about our trip every night. It also helped me keep all necessary info such as travel itineraries easy to locate and to keep track of my expenses. 

And the organiser seems to have been born to travel! With the secretarial pocket securely holding my boarding ticket, and the full width wallet pocket not only holding one, but TWO passports, I kept some of my local currency in the zippered pocket outside.

Urban's backside

And don't even get me started on the material! "Waxed textile finish with distressed leather-look trim." It is nice to the touch and very stylish!
As a matter of fact, I love this organiser so much, that my DB got me one in the Mini size for my birthday saying: "You love this model so much, you should have a mini so you can use it as a wallet."
And that is exactly what I use my mini Urban for.

Mini Urban Wallet!

Friday, July 23, 2010

X-ray of the Pocket Filofax I use

A fellow philofaxer and dear friend asked me to write about how I use my Pocket Filofax in detail. She uses the Personal size and has been considering going one size smaller. So, this one's for you:

As you already know, I not only changed organiser model (purple Finsbury to black Chino), but I also recently redesigned my system after coming to the conclusion that it had become incompatible with my new life, even though I had been using it effectively before.

My previous system had more sections than the current one, and I also had the tendency to try and fit every imaginable thing into my Filo. Then again, I also had a more active lifestyle and would always carry 'Filito' with me wherever I'd go.

I believe all the sections I used to carry were:
  • Transparent envelope: with pictures and stuff
  • Personal info + registration page
  • To Do section
  • DPP diary: for daily journalling
  • W2P diary: for appointments
  • Notes + Idea Catcher
  • Japanese syllabaries
  • Financial
  • Addresses: separated by categories, not alphabetized
  • World Map
  • 2nd transparent envelope
I started using/combining the two diary formats over a year ago I believe, and have like very much the way it works for me. Of course, I can't keep one year's worth of pages for neither diaries, so I would mainly keep only three months of the W2P (week on two pages) and about six of the DPP (day per page).

The Notes was, well, for notes of ANY kind! I'd even sketch (and still do) in it whenever the urge came up. The Idea Catcher occurred to me after noticing that I had been starting to sketch and write down ideas I had for my 21Kittens projects in the Notes section, and then having a hard time finding them in the future. So, this addition to the Notes section was quite a helper, except that I stopped using it around the time we started preparing for our move to the UK.

The Japanese Syllabaries was a section I made roughly a month after acquiring my first Filofax in order to keep practising the little Japanese I had been learning the previous year. It also had a couple of blank pages for practice, but sadly I never used them.

I tried to keep up with my expenses via my Financial section, but only used them a few times a year, it wasn't quite necessary it seems.

My addresses I completely revamped during my first month of Filofax usage.I've never been keen on carrying a specific address book, especially after having a mobile phone became the norm. So, I organised my contacts into categories (this is explained in more detail here).
The rest of the sections are self-explanatory.

Now my current setup is as follow:

  • Transparent envelope (still empty)
  • Personal Info + registartion page
  • To Do's: (only 4 sheets)
  • Notes: here, the first sheet is an Expenses sheet where I keep track of my debit card (I was recently overdrawn because somehow I thought I had barely used my card!). Then I have all lines sheets in assorted colours. Ever since I started with the new system, I have been using this section to write down blog entries or Filo related stuff (if this goes on, I might consider creating a subsection called Blogs or Filofax). Sometimes I still draw in here.
  • Appointments: this is where I keep my W2P diary. I use it only to jot down future appointments, dates, or urgent To Do's, sometimes even my chores for the day. I'm currently carrying pages from April 8th to Sept 20th. My frosted ruler serves to mark the week.
  • Diary: here are my DPP where I simply write about  my day, what I ate, people I met, music I heard, jobs I applied for... all things I consider worth remembering and keeping track of. But I never write my very personal or secret stuff in here! I use my black ruler as the marker.
  • Finally I still carry my World Map, a picture of my cats and another transparent envelope.
The missing sections are the Idea Catcher (have a Mole for this purpose), Japanese Syllabaries (have put learning Japanese away for a while), financial (didn't really need) and Addresses (I transferred these to my Mini FiloWallet).

So there you have it, a complete and detailed description of my former and current sections in my Pocket Filofax. Hope you enjoyed it :))
(Will try to add pictures later on, either here or flickr)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Musings of a tipsy Philofaxer in London...

My birthday is coming up.
Next Wednesday to be exact.
And all the happenings during the days before it won't be routine-driven! That is a change. In a new London life that's been filled with hope, only to be replaced with fear, stresss and anxiety, it is hard to make decisions for tomorrow.
So I can't really pin my hopes onto anything. The sanest and safest thing to do as of now, is to just try to go with the flow, and not have another breakdown. Life is crap and we all know it, but still we have to manage to overcome all that bad luck and ill outcomes! Ugh...

As I was saying, my birthday is near. Already my better half has proposed to buy me a new Filofax as a present. We were supposed to go to the lovely store on Neal Street yesterday, but on the day before, I started having doubts about which binder I should get.
I love love love the Raspberry Finsbury...
I could go for the Aqua Fins...
But then the Bond calls to me...
I don't really need another Filo...
Another Pocket Filo would mean I'd have to stop using my recent Chino...
I'd really need an A5 for future work projects, but they don't have one I like...
The Bond in A5 could work...but I need some colour...
Why is the Lavender Domino not available in A5?????
And sorry but the Fins in such a large binder doesn't look good!Not to mention it's EXPENSIVE!

But just half an hour ago I saw a lovely photo of Jotje's Mini Fins in I think I might just have made up my mind. I'll go for what I've wanted since it came out: the Pocket Raspberry Finsbury!

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Pocket is personal!

This past week has been pretty filled with Philofaxy happenings.
It started with Yvotchka's Citrus Love Affair, followed by my attempt at making it work for her, (luckily she did it all by herself!), being promoted to administrator of the flickr Philofaxy group (still getting my ideas sorted...), and not to mention all those tweets from other happy Filofax users.

It's been quite hard to avoid the temptation of getting a new Filofax, especially after having found out that somebody had quite recently acquired the raspberry book that I have been coveting the most for the past year! The fact that my current economical situation doesn't allow me to splurge on things I REALLY DON'T NEED, does play an important part, though.

What's a girl to do then?
Simply, switch from her current Fins' to her unboxed black Chino.

The Chino or 'the one that got away'...'but was finally recovered with the help of a good Samaritan at the Filofax store'.

The first time I set my mouse on the Filofax UK site looking for a planner that would complement my life, I was torn by having to choose between the Chino and the Urban; two planners that perfectly seemed to fit my 'urban' and casual lifestyle, with their brushed or waxed fabric, their convenient zippered pockets and their whole 'laid back' attitude. It was a tough decision to make, so I decided to return after a few days.

Not five days had passed since my last visit, when upon arriving on the main page, I saw It.
The ultra-sexy, brand-spanking new Purple Finsbury.
It was love at first sight.

Pointlessly I clicked my way to the Chino's and the Urban's main page. It was useless. The black and the slate were no match against the Finsbury's purple magic. I was smitten!
No matter how hard I tried to reason with myself, there was no talking me out of it, and a week later I was finally holding it in my hands...

...but I'm getting side-tracked here!

Some time later, whilst looking to set up a travel Filofax, I decided to go back to my initial choices. To my disappointment, the Chino was no longer available. It was discontinued.

I looked at other European sites, and only few of them still had it. It was also available through the US site. But after working out the differences in price, in exchange rates and in shipping charges, I came to the conclusion that it was a better investment to get the Urban. And I did.

Fast-forward to May this year.
It's a windy Sunday afternoon and I'm standing at the Filofax store on Neal St. I have reassured my boyfriend that I am not going to purchase anything, no matter how good the sale is.
I look at all those pretty binders that need to be sold in order to make space for the new models! Some Domino's, Urban's... the rest I don't remember.
When all of a sudden one of them catches my eye. It's the Chino in beige. As I'm trying to stand my ground, I tell the store assistant that I do not fancy that particular colour, so she quickly pulls another Chino from somewhere I can't see, this time in black!
I proceed to open it, trying not to linger on the softness of the fabric, and notice that the tabs are pastel. I tell the assistant that I do not do pastels. She then leaves me to 'simply think about it and browse a bit more if I wish'.

Next thing I know, I'm handing her my 7GBP, after she's put a new black chino with IVORY coloured tabs (thank you very much :) ) inside that little white plastic bag.

The search is over. You are finally mine, Chino!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Help for a fellow Philofaxer

Yvotcha, this one's for you:

You mentioned that the sections you carry are: Contacts/Notes/Information/Projects/To Do/Diary.

Diary + To Do:
You say you are currently using the DPP format, but will most likely have to revert to the W2P format due to lack of space.
You carry all your year with you because you need it for referencing, right?
From what I understood, the DPP format also allows you to write down your daily ToDo's? which is why a W2P would be too small...

I suggest:
From today start using the W2P format (I counted and it's only 28 sheets from today until end of year :P).
Then, take your To Do sheets and cut them in half. Keep them all neatly stacked at home, but have some 6 resulting sheets with you. 
Place one half of the TD between your week spread, with the To Do's that belong to that week, should you need more, you can always add more halves.

Like many other suggested on your post, I also think you should store older months in another binder. Really think about it, which months do you still need to revise regularly? You could carry the last 3 months in a separate binder (maybe even a Slimline), if you REALLY need them. Older pages you can store in another binder at home, but keep it somewhere easy to reach, say your bedside table? That way if you ever need it to bring it to work with you, you can easily grab it and not spend all day rummaging through all your Filo parafernalia...

I am assuming this is your personal info. Maybe you carry all those Weight and measures etc....Think about it, how badly do you need it? Here you could just carry your personal details (one sheet) plus the Registration page with you.

If you're like most people, you probably not only carry sheets that are filled, but also tons of blank sheets.
Maybe the way I have it set up could inspire you.
I currently carry my Contacts inside my Kendal Mini. Instead of having my contacts arranged in an alphabetical order, which is a terrible 'space eater' due to all those tabs (*gasp*), I have them arranged by their importance in my life:
   -boyfriend, father,BF parents house, BF father's +mother's mobile, sister, BF's brother+wife, BF's sister+husband, BF's cousin's house in London, and then mobile for each of the London cousins as well as more cousins in Spain (I'm lucky not to have a large family)
----TAB COMES HERE------
-FRIENDS (Spain):
-about 10 contacts here
-FRIENDS (World):
-about 12 contacts
Useful Info UK:
-Bank numbers, mobile operator, Utilities, NHS, (this one will grow the longer we live here)
Useful Info Spain:
-Dentist, Doctors, Bank, Vet, 
-Those contacts I don't have as friends, like our landlord, my cousin's half sister in the US (don't even know her), etc etc.

That for me totals a number of 10 sheets including two blank ones. And I am using the Mini format. In the personal format, more info would fit and you'd still keep your sheet number low. 

I don't know how you currently have set up this section. So, if you can, just keep it as it is, otherwise try to find a way to slim down the pages.

Here you could also try to slim them down, by storing older ones and just keeping the last 5-10 sheets. I know this is probably not much help, but like the Projects, it also depends on the way you currently use this section.

Looking back at your post, you say "doing future planning in the field with a contractor waiting for me to give him dates."
I was thinking, if you still need to reduce your system, one option for this would be to add in front of your Projects section a couple of pages with only VERY important dates. That way, instead of flipping back and forth in your diary, you can simply look at this list to let them know when is what due. You can either have it organised per month:

 3rd: do such and such
 4th: blah blah
10th-20th: blah blah

Or per Project:
 Project A:
   9/3: blah blah blah
   12/20: blah blah blah
Project B:
    9/4: Blah blah blah
   10/12 - 10/25: blah blah blah

Either way, it should help you plan those dates better and not look clumsy flipping through your very fat Filo ( joking ;)  )

Anyway, this is all my brain could come up with. I  hope it is of some use for you, and look forward to reading your posts on your system revamp.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Want a Habana?

I know this post might seem strange to you, but there's no other way to do this:

I am selling this brand-new QuoVadis Habana Notebook!

"Why??" you might ask... well it's simple. 
When I bought it, all nicely wrapped in cellophane, I thought I was going to finally try one of the most loved notebooks from QuoVadis. I did.

And I didn't.

See, this version is the older french version with a thinner paper, almost like the Moleskine's Reporter Notebook. Its pages are also, like the Mole's ivory coloured.
I am sure most of you like this kind of paper, I myself don't find it appealing.

When I discovered the kind of paper it had, I decided not to test it so that I would be able to find it a more suitable home.

It is 10 x 15cm, has 224 BLANK pages, and the cover is a 'cherry red'. It includes a back pouch for storing all those bits of paper you might otherwise lose or misplace, a ribbon pagemarker and the notebook itself feels really nice to the touch.

I am giving it away for 9,00 GBP plus shipping. 
I will gladly trade it for an UNUSED A6 Rhodia Webnotebook. 

If you or someone you know might be interested, please let me know, I will greatly appreciate it :)

Thank you for reading ^^

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Old posts I had on paper go online now

May, 25th, 2010:

I went to Muji today to buy some organising boxes for my desk, and ended up buying 2 small notebooks as well!
I fear I might be getting addicted to stationery, particularly notebooks! I find them all so pretty....I can't avoid holding them, opening them carefully to slowly run my fingers through the pages and wondering if the paper will be fountain pen friendly.
And even though I know I seriously don't NEED any, I always find ways to convince myself into getting a new one, especially after reading good reviews about a particular product.

June 10th, 2010:

I am really glad I bought those two notebooks from Muji. I have already found a use for them; the Passport is used strictly for doodling mandalas; while the other one, with its nicely spaced lines, serves me as a japanese vocabulary where I jot down phrases I can understand when I'm watching anime. I leave one line below the one I've written on free, so that I can later on write down the translation.

Having found a use for them isn't the only important thing about them, though; it is actually the whole quality of the notebooks that wins me over.
The feeling of my Lamy Vista gliding on the pages effortlessly, leaving a clean trail of ink that doesn't bleed through is one of those little things that make life enjoyable.
Such beauty and such art....I honestly never tire of it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finsbury gets a make-over!

It is Saturday night and I finally decide to take action, Filofax-wise!
 I'm sitting with my dear 'Filito'  in my hand. The QuoVadis, the Moleskine, and the Kendal lie on the table, staring back at me in defiance.  I really don't know how to organise and coordinate my planners...I 've not used Filito for what seems like a very long time!
I blame it on my life, being currently as exciting as a coconut,  with a quantum of things to do, people to meet.
Mind you I have been very busy these past days working on a website, and next week will find me  working on the design of their stationery.
But let's not get side-tracked.

I started using the Quovadis with the purpose of organising and detailing every necessary aspect of our move to the UK. I would scribble daily to-do's, meetings, sales, pick-ups, packed items, etc. 
At the same time I would use my Finsbury as usual, with my appointments and journal, to do lists, notes, etc.
It helped me a lot keeping the moving separate from my life  and work aspects. This also kept me from oversaturating my Finsbury and I was actually getting things done from both planners.

But now my life is so quiet that keeping both journals is redundant.
This being the case, I quickly stopped writing  in my journal, thus not even opening my Finsbury in more than 4 days in a row. I hadn't even started writing new To do's since we got here, and I didn't even bother. I simply kept on using the Quovadis, but even this would remain unopened for two days straight.
To make matters worse, two weeks ago, in a bout of impulsiveness I  got a small  Moleskine 18 month  Weekly Notebook Diary, telling  myself that it was only for 'investigation' purposes when really I was beginning  to doubt  Filito's effectiveness for being such a complex system.

That is when I realised that it was MY system that had stopped working for me, not Filofax per se.  I had to find a new way to rearrange, to redesign my system so I would use it again.
I decided I would let Filito take a much deserved rest, and intentionally kept  it closed and without its pen to keep me from trying to fiddle with it. Once I set up my mind to redesign it, I would open it once again.
That time is now.

To start, I have put aside the other planners, and written down the sections I currently keep in my filo. Next, I sort them out into three categories:

Need: Journal, Calendar, To Do, Notes
Take out: Addresses, Financial, Japanese, Sudoku, Pictures and random stuff
What about?: Idea Catcher, Size charts (self made), Underground map, City map, World map, Post its (none atm), Plastic envelopes

Once that's been done I take all the sections out and place them on the table, and start revising the ones that fall in the 'Need' category and come up with a more logical order for them.

I also put back the important photos but in different order/parts, and add only one of the plastic envelopes which I have previously emptied out. This time I will try to use it sparingly.

From all the maps I decide to only keep the one of the world, the sizes chart will be recopied into the Kendal, which is where I most need it whenever I go shopping, as I've already done with the addresses.
The remaining sections I stack up neatly in order, wrap a rubberband around them and stash them away in the 'Filofax Box'. I shall find a use for them in the near future, I know.

I put back the four main sections in the following order: To do, Notes, Appointments, Diary (Journal). Here's a sneak peek into my tabs:

Now Filito is looking tidier and slimmer after getting rid of all the unused sections!

I have also gotten rid of the ugly home-made extra pen loop, and have assigned a new Pilot for it.

In order to not spend valuable time freaking out whether or not I'm coming up with the perfect set-up, I must remind myself that  it is JUST A PLANNER and that I actually CAN change my system as many times as I need to.

I am also keeping in mind that in order for my 'new' system to work, ultimately it is  me who has to work with it, otherwise it will still be useless. So I make a promise to Filito to try and update as often as possible, and to reactivate the To do's and Notes sections, so we can be inseparable once again as we used to be.

I am now excited to see how this week goes, hopefully I can stay on track and update it, and set up To Do lists that actually make sense!