Filofax & Midori Traveler's Notebook Facebook Groups

Filofax and Midori Traveler's Notebook Facebook Groups | Thoughts by Zara M.

Why I left the online "Planner Addict" community... 
and why I have come back

The good ol' days...

There was a time when my obsession with Filofaxes and the Midori Traveler's Notebook was fuelled by Youtube unboxing videos, Pinterest image bingeing. and of course the deliciously bad influence of all my fellow Facebook group nutters posting pics of the planners and notebooks I desperately wanted, and talking about their insane relationships with 'organisational systems'. It was bliss. I had found a cult of people just like me, and I was happy :)

Heidi Ott Doll, Happy, on an Aqua Chameleon A5 Filofax. Filofancy Blog by Zara M.

A downward spiral...

But then something changed. The groups became less interesting to me the bigger they grew! They felt less personal, and people began to post things I didn't really want to see. In the Filofax groups there was a lot of pink happening, and washi tape. I felt like everyone's planner was beginning to look quite similar. I didn't like the new designs that Filofax kept bringing out either, they just didn't seem very authentic to me, with their patterns, their bold or pastel colours, their fabrics and plastic-looking covers. I was sick of seeing them everywhere, and I was sick of seeing people's weekly spreads  - all colour coordinated and perfect (is that really how planning is? Is that what life looks like? My planner very rarely looks like this, and if it does it's because I have gone back and decorated everything, which is something I had never even thought of doing before.) 

Filofancy | Zara M.'s Favourite Stickers for her Midori Traveler's Notebook!
I have consistently used these stickers to express how I am feeling
with silly doodles throughout my journal for YEARS :)

Filofancy | Stickers in my Midori Traveler's Notebook
Today I feel quite "Royal" :)

Even darker times...

I was even more disillusioned when the Midori Traveler's Notebooks groups on Facebook seemed to take a similar direction. I have to admit when Ray Blake first started to make his Raydori's I was quite excited. It was cool to see one of the original crew doing something he enjoyed, making his own versions of a product I love. I think it's a great inspiration to see a person's creative journey, and of course I was thrilled when he made me a Raydori for my 30th birthday! It was blue and it had my name embossed on the front, I still use it. I like that Ray has made a name for himself and is hand-manufacturing a great product. But then other TN-makers started to pop up out of the woodwork, making their own versions in all the colours of the rainbow, and in a variety of different materials. Okay, it was fun at first, but I soon realised that I wasn't feeling good about all of this so called development... What was once a cool and original brand, a product with a purpose and a sense of identity, was being transformed into a rainbow coloured glitter fest full of washi tape and cutesy nonsense, that anyone and everyone was selling in their Etsy shops. 

Filofancy | My Midori Traveler's Notebook, Journaling bliss with a nice cup of tea!
I like Classic, Sophisticated Simplicity... and a nice cup of tea!

Rock Bottom...

Perhaps what upset me the most was that not only did I feel increasingly disconnected with these online communities, I was feeling more and more disconnected with my planners, my journals, and even with myself. I didn't belong in this rat race. I tried to fit in, but in the end I felt lost and incomplete. I couldn't figure out how to connect with my own planners and Notebooks, and the platforms I had always gone to for inspiration or reassurance, weren't really there anymore. So I silently bid everyone goodbye and disappeared.


It has been a few years now, and I am always quite fascinated to see how my blog has survived, despite my absence. It still gets a healthy number of views each day, even though I haven't been adding content or linking to posts for simply ages. I had a right giggle when I watched the handful of Youtube videos I created back in the day :) I realised how much I have grown up. I now have to wear specs to work on my laptop, and I have a halo of grey! But more importantly, I feel that I have grown into myself. I have my own sense of identity. I like myself. I am confident and secure in who I am, what I think, and what I want. I am even, more consistent with the way I use my planners & journals these days - In fact I have come to realise something important...


It's not about what planner you have, or even the way you use it, these things are not important or worth planner meltdowns or expensive shopping sprees. It is about YOU and your life. Do you feel that the material items you own reflect who you are? Do they make you feel good and are they tools which empower you to do great things and make the most of your life? Or are you just working hard and then spending lots of money on things you don't need in order to fill a hole? Think about it.

New Beginnings...

I want to recreate my platform. Filofancy has grown up, and has something useful and individual to offer the community. That is why I am back. I hope that I can use my creativity to inspire people to find themselves, organise their own thoughts and ideas, and live life to the full. So pick out your favourite planner or notebook and put the rest away in a drawer, you don't need them all they are just distracting you. All you need is an open and clear mind, and your own creativity, to be organised, successful and happy.

Filofancy is about YOUR Life on Paper :)
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Filofancy is Back... "About Filofancy"

My name is Zara M. I am an Artist and a Writer. You may recognise me from the handful of Filofancy videos I created, my first one was about four years ago, and of course my blog.

Where Does "Filofancy" Come From?

The term "Filofancy" was originally created (by me, I think) to describe a hobby or interest that includes the ever so slightly obsessive admiration of personal organiser products, mainly in the Filofax product line. The word is closely related to the term "Canary Fancier" which of course has nothing to do with stationery, but sometimes the creative process is like that. A quick google search will bring up the definition for "Fancy" though, and essentially it expresses - "feeling a desire for, or
liking something." So there you go.

My Love Affair With Stationery...

I am not as much of a Filofax fanatic these days, my loyalties have shifted along a bit and I am now a dedicated Midori Traveler's Notebook convert. It has taken a few years of switching back and forth, but I now know where my heart truly lies, and I have a system that I stick to which seems to work well for me. I do still have a fatal fascination for ring-bound organisers though - which occasionally takes over, and I still use a small Filofax alongside my Midori for keeping records of orders and sales from my Art Business.

The Blog...

I have come back to the Filofancy blog after quite some time now, to give it a new look and update the content. I love that my old posts are still of interest, and still receive many new visits every day, even though I haven't been active on the blog for a few years. It just goes to show how great the stationery-loving community is.

I am very much looking forward to sharing my own journaling adventures, discoveries, thoughts and inspiring tips/creativity with you again. I am now making a living as an Artist too, so I hope to be able to incorporate my art and provide you with plenty of scribblings to use and enjoy.

Where Else Am I?

I have just created a New Instagram Account which is nerve-wreckingly bare :) So  please come along and show me some love. I have to say I was a bit surprised to see an account already open called "Filofancy" - Please don't confuse me with the lovely pink lady, Donna Brandon Brown, although her feed is lots of fun :)

There is of course the Filofancy YouTube Channel. I am looking forward to doing a few more videos soon, so take a look and subscribe to keep updated.

I am looking to open up an Etsy Shop in the very near future, and incorporating my art into some beautiful stationery products and downloadable/printable images for you to use in your own journals, notebooks and personal organisers. If you would like to keep updated on that I suggest you sign up to receive email notifications of my new blog posts - There is a subscription box in the blogsidebar.

GREAT to be back, and thank you for visiting the blog! I hope to hear from you, I always respond to comments, so feel free to introduce yourself and point in the direction of your own blog/website/social network accounts.

Zara M.