My Slim Magenta Flex by Filofax

WARNING:  Lots of droolworthy pictures below...
I'm still fairly surprised that Filofax fans aren't raving more about the various perks of Flex organisers.  I was even more surprised when I went into the flagship Paperchase store on Tottenham Court Road recently to discover that their lovely Flex by Filofax display has been removed and they aren't stocking the Flex any more.  What a disappointment.

I don't think you guys 'get' the Flex yet!

I have already shown you how I use my A5 Black Flex with my Kindle, now I am going to show you how I use my Slim Magenta Flex with my Smartphone.  (Note:  I do take pictures using my smartphone, so its a tricky one as I can't take pictures of my smartphone being used with my Slim Flex, because I'm using the phone to take the pics... sorry.  There are some sexy pics of my Slim Flex further down though, so don't fret.)

I do a few casual shifts in a bar around the corner from where I live, and so I like to nip down the street with as little as possible holding me down; usually because I'm running late.  My Slim Flex fits perfectly in my little handbag, and what's more, my HTC smartphone fits perfectly in my Slim Flex!

When I get to work, my handbag goes in the office, but I like to keep my phone behind the bar, and it just feels safer slipped into the inside pocket of my Flex because its not on display.  During a quiet moment I sometimes like to sit on a stool with my Flex open; my smartphone on one side open on a cocktail app, and my notebook on the other side with my scribbled notes and diagrams of different cocktail recipes I am trying to learn.  It just makes sense!

You have to stop thinking about the Flex as a Filofax organiser in the traditional sense, and start thinking outside of the box.    What else can a Slim Flex hold?  Your passport, receipts, notes, cards...  the Flex isn't here to replace your Filofax, its here to compliment it!  You can slip your Slim Flex into pretty much any personal organiser - play around with colours too, and accessorize your Personal Filofax with a Flex.  Do you have an Aqua Personal Chameleon?  Why not team it with a Slim Flex in Slate?  My Magenta Slim Flex looks pretty cute slipped into my new Chocolate Personal Aston.  I bet it would look even better slipped into an Orchid Aston with the pink stitching!  Contrast a lighter shade of Filofax like the Mushroom Aston with a Black Flex.  (Sorry... I'm a little obsessed with Astons right now).

Here are some pics of what my Slim Magenta Flex looks like with some of my other Filofaxes.

As you can see, the sizing of the Slim Flex is ideal for a personal Filofax.  This is my Slim Magenta Flex popped into my Personal Wine Holborn Zipped Filofax.  I love my new Holborn zipped because I can literally chuck anything I like in loose, and then zip it up to keep everything together.  That's why the Slim Flex works so well with it.  I don't have to fit it into any slots or pockets, it just sits there, like its laying back on a sun-lounger!

Wondering how I am using my Slim Flex with my Holborn?  Well I just love the little bound Flex Notebooks!  You can get a lined one or a plain one and they're great for scribbling in.  I know you can use Filofax paper inserts for this, but there's just something about scribbling in a little bound notebook, making doodles, sketching, jotting things down...  I am also experimenting with a new diary system whereby I want to start using a Flex bound diary insert as a way to permanently record important dates and things I have done; and then use my Filofax more as a non-permanent planner/organiser; which is what its really designed for.  I have always found the non-permanent nature of Filofax inserts annoying as I never feel I can relax knowing all my info is there forever in a proper chronological order.  

You can use your Slim Flex to keep a small collection of mini-notebooks to compliment your own Filofax system.  You can fit 1-4 slim notebook inserts into these Flex binders after all!  Or how about making it your sticker and post-it station?  Now that's a good one!

You might think the Slim flex will dominate in your Filofax, but it can quite neatly slip into the back and out of the way.  It doesn't even fall out when you open your Filofax up, because your Filofax inserts press the Flex against the back cover.

With my Pocket Guildford, I used to slip an old stretchy hair-band over the back cover so that I could slip a thin notebook in the back and the hair-band would keep the notebook in place by its spine.  Well there's no reason why you can't do this with a Personal-sized Filofax and a Slim Flex binder!  It would provide extra card slots, notebooks, a jot-pad; not to mention those all important slip in cardboard pen-loops... Sometimes I use my Slim Flex cardboard pen-loop on its own in my Personal Aston - you can just slip it into the front or back pocket.

But don't stop at the personal size - swap your Slim Flex over to your A5 Filofax!  If you are using your Flex as a sticker and post-it station, its great because it can pop into your A5 Filofax even easier...

Don't you think the Aqua of my A5 Chameleon looks even more fun and girly when teamed with my Slim Magenta Flex?  Well I do!  Hee hee.

And last but not at all least...

Don't look so baffled!  Its fun, cute, and most importantly - it works...  
Besides, I like to mix up different sizes, it adds character to my super-system of organisation.

Videoblog 3: My Holborn Filofax is also my New Clutchbag!

If you enjoyed that you might enjoy reading about my first impressions of these GORGEOUS new Filofaxes of mine!  

(They arrived this morning and I am smitten...)

Aston Filofax and Holborn Zipped - First Impressions

What happens when you can't decide between two gorgeous Filofaxes?  Well, if you're anything like me, you basically end up with two stunning new organisers, and a rather alarming dent in your virtual wallet.  I couldn't help myself.

I didn't purchase them both on a whim though.  No no... When you are deciding on your next Filofax, it is of course essential that you check every single review, blog post, and youtube video.  I exhausted them all, and a week later I came to the conclusion that if I didn't purchase both of these organisers, there would always be that - what if...?

It all started when I was browsing the Filofaxes in Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road - Not because I was looking for a new Filofax, but because I couldn't resist. I never can.

The Aston...

I absently picked up this ordinary looking Aston Filofax and was immediately taken aback. It felt... right.  Suddenly the rich dark chocolate colour was just so... me.

The leather was soft against my fingertips, and ever so slightly cushioned. The graining was so subtle, and the stitching - Talk about elegant!  It fitted into my palm so comfortably that I had to have a private moment with the Aston right then and there, whilst standing in the middle of Paperchase, with the Security Guard  overlooking suspiciously, as my eyes rolled back and my fingers fondled the merchandise.

When I opened the snap and looked down, I knew exactly what to expect - I held my breath, almost hoping it wouldn't be so... but it was... the Aston leather cover was totally flexible.  It bent right back onto itself like the cover of an old paperback book - Heart wrenching perfection.

Now then, in the reviews the Aston is often referred to as plain and lacking that certain je ne sais quoi; I assure you these people don't know what they are talking about!  I honestly don't know how anyone can hold this beauty in the palm of their hand and not experience the magic.  The Aston, in my opinion is just so classy and sexy; but in an understated, elegant sort of way... a bit like me I suppose.  Dogs look like their owners, do Filofaxes?

The price tag brought me back down to earth though - Eighty quid?  Yikes.  Better think this through. Reluctantly, I returned my soul mate to the shelf and sheepishly walked away, past the freaked out Security Guard and out onto the sunny street.  My love encounter wasn't about to end there though.  It was when I pulled my stubby old 80s burgundy organiser out on the bus to console myself (it has always worked in the past) that I knew it was over between us.  I craved the elegance and subtle beauty of the Aston like nothing you could possibly imagine.

So I spent a whole week scanning my laptop for reviews and pictures and deals. That's when I came across a youtube video which compared my beautiful Aston, with a Holborn Zipped. Suddenly I was very, very confused.

The Holborn Zipped...

I have never been a fan of the idea of a zipped Filofax.  Perhaps they remind me of those bulky zipped school pencil cases - back in the day, and I was always more of a slim leather or tin pencil case kinda schoolgirl.

My opinions were challenged though when I watched greedily as an American woman ran her hands all over this Holborn zipped Filofax in a youtube video, whilst comparing it with my beloved Aston. I couldn't figure out the feeling I was experiencing at the time, but I know now - I was jealous.

Initially it was the colour that attracted me - not burgundy, but a beautiful classy wine colour.  Then it was the look of the buffalo leather.  Bare in mind that I had never handled buffalo leather before, but as soon as this American lady described it as "buttery", I knew I was intrigued.  The smooth leather caught the light in the video which totally enhanced the wine colour.  I think I watched this video five or six times in a row trying to imagine what it felt like to hold it in my hands.

When the woman started to reveal all the pockets and space there was inside, I realised I had a problem.  This Filofax was like a little clutch bag!  I am a woman okay?  The idea of a Filofax/clutch was too much... I had to have it! (A woman can never have too many bags.  It wasn't like I would be purchasing two Filofaxes... because obviously that would be nuts; no, I was going to purchase an Aston Filofax, and a Holborn Clutchbag -  This is my story and I'm sticking to it!)

So that's exactly what I did.

How to Create a Unique Dashboard for your Filofax - The Filofancy Way!

TRUST me... This is going to be the most useful thing you create for your Filofax.  Have you ever heard of such a thing as a Filofax dashboard?  If you are an avid Filofax-fan blog-follower then you probably have because everybody is doing it.  Most people tend to use the sticky-notes insert as their dashboard.  Well, as usual I have an alternative and rather clever way of creating a dashboard for your Filofax that you will use forever!

Firstly though...
What is a Filofax Dashboard?

It's your first port of call.  You open your Filofax - and there is it - with everything you need to immediately be reminded of.

Why do most people use the sticky-note insert?

Quite simply because you can write some notes down, then tear it off and dispose of them when you are done.

You can also tear them off and then stick them elsewhere in your Filofax, but that is about as far as this dashboard will take you.

The Filofancy Dashboard...

It's simple, affordable and reusable...

Just purchase a Filofax cardholder insert - Then use a credit card for sizing and cut up a nice little pile of pretty coloured paper to slip into each pocket... as much as each pocket will hold!

And now you have a great little note-taking system.  You can dedicate each space to specific types of notes - ie. personal reminders, work-related mind-joggers, shopping lists etc.

When you have finished with the note, take it out to reveal a fresh sheet of notepaper.

I use my Filofax business card for sizing which came with my Aqua Chameleon A5 when I bought it.  It's ideal because I can either keep it attached to the rings in my filofax, or slip it into the dashboard itself, ready for when I need to cut up a few more slips of notepaper.

The great thing about the Filofancy dashboard is that you can choose coloured paper that suits your own preferences.  I don't know about you but I'm not so keen on the neon bright colours of the sticky-note insert dashboard variety.

You can use the dashboard pockets to keep reminders, to-do lists, or even slip folded up bits of paper like receipts if you need to remind yourself to file them later on for your expenses.

Or store your stickers and paper-clips, like I do.

But what makes the Filofancy dashboard ultimately versatile is that you can modify the Flex jot-pad like I have to attach to your dashboard for longer lists and notes you may need immediate access to!

I just took my Filofax sizing card and measured around it on the back cover of the flex jot-pad, and then I cut the back-cover so that it fits into the top card slot of the dashboard.

I use the underneath card slots to store my star-stickers - (Read about how you can design your own personalised stickers for your Filofax here) - and my little silver Waterstones bookmarks, which are very useful for marking pages in my Filofax when I don't want to forget where I have put them!  You can even make a mini index to remind you of what you have recently written and where in your Filofax you have filed your notes away.

I am forever losing or forgetting things I have written down and filed somewhere in my fat Filofax, so this system is such a godsend to me.  My dashboard is now the first thing I look at when I open my Filofax.  It is my memory jogger, and it also directs me to the things in my Filofax I may otherwise have forgotten about.

You can also use the back of the dashboard in the same way because the cards insert is double-sided.

I am sure you will find many other creative ways to make the dashboard your own!

A Filofax Moodboard Like Temperley's

Inspired by the sneak preview of Alice Temperley's moodboard for the new collection, I decided to create my own visual collages to express myself, and well basically just have some fun!

I really like the patterns that Alice is playing with.  I'll be interested to see what the final products look like. I think they are due to be ready for September Fashion Week, which will be just in time for my birthday... hint hint! 

Perhaps the most attractive thing about Temperley's previous limited edition Filofaxes are her use of fabrics. The lacy "Affair" oozes intimacy with that risqué undertone, and the brushed fur of the Guinea contrasted with the golden rim is pure edgy class.

I'm telling you it's all about the fabric!

So I routed around in my bedsit to find some fabrics of my own, and this is what I discovered...

Don't you just love this satin Japanese-print material I found in my closet?  I think it's quite effective when teamed with this lace and patterned silk.

Ooh wouldn't it be cool if Filofax designed a Kimono Filofax, combining the satin fabrics with luxurious leather, embossed with Japanese symbols?  I want one already!

They could design them with horizontal strips of patterned satin fabric and embossed leather so that it mimics the Japanese Kimono with a wide strip of contrasting fabric in the middle like a Kimono Sash.  Inside they could experiment with fan designs for the inserts.  Oh it's so exciting!

I think I should be on the Filofax design team.  What do you think?  Or at least on their promotions, marketing, or campaigning team.  What fun I'd have.

It's actually quite amazing how a bit of textured fabric can really set a plain leather filofax off.  My filofax is a battered old vintage personal organiser from the 80s.  (Its not even a 'Filofax' to be honest, just a nameless dark red leather organiser.)  But after setting against a backdrop of all these luscious fabrics I'm beginning to see my vintage beauty through renewed eyes. I think I'm falling in love all over again.  Move aside my adored A5 Chameleon... it's time for my anonymous 80s Personal to experience some TLC.

When I have decided how I am going to put it to new use I will let you all know, with lots of glorious pics.  But until then, here are some to keep you going, and inspire you to dig out your neglected old Filofaxes...

More Planner Porn...

How is Flex by Filofax Better Than a Notebook?

First Edition Notebook Cover (Pocket Slate) | BUY IT NOW

What is Flex?

The Flex by Filofax is essentially a very versatile binder cover which allows for a range of notebook/diary solutions.  The Flex has been designed to offer a large variety of notebook combinations - Supposedly offering more than a million ways to make the Flex your own.

(Yes, according to the Filofax Website, Flex offers more than a million ways to make the Flex your own!  I thought I'd repeat that whole sentence, because I'm still trying to get my head around it.)

Why bother with a Flex binder when you can just pop a notebook in your bag?

Well I don't know about you, but before I discovered Flex by Filofax I had an ordinary notebook in which I kept my writer's notes, doodles, scribblings, and loose bits of paper.  One of the most annoying things was when I was out and about and a creative idea would seize me - I'd dive into my bag to grab my notebook and get the idea down as quickly as I could before it escaped me, and usually in the process most of my loose notes would fall out in my bag or all over the floor while I was standing on a rocky bus; and of course I could never find my pen!

Spontaneous note-taking was just a hassle.  I imagine it would be the same for an artist who spots something they quickly want to make a sketch of before it moves or disappears.

Now that I have my Flex though,  I don't have any of these problems because everything is kept neatly together in one place, and I can just pull the Flex out of my bag and know that I have everything I need on my lap without having to route through my bag for a pen or calculator.  The Flex is just the perfect little portable desk for bus or tube journeys to and from work.

Flex organises your note-taking habits

If you are anything like me a notebook means one notebook crammed with creative writing notes, fractured poetry, appointment reminders, shopping lists, random chapters for different novels I'm working on, menus, receipts I need to keep to claim back expenses for my self-employment - you know, basically absolute chaos.

Flex is the solution.  The flex allows for me to keep a number of separate notebooks bound together in one place.  This is useful if like me you have a notebook for your writing notes, and a notebook for your personal thoughts, because you can keep your writing notes and journal thoughts separate but also together, if you see what I mean?  It also works if you want to keep a notebook for factual snippets or info, and one for creative writing; or a lined notebook for written notes and a blank one for diagrams, sketches, brainstorming and flow-charts.

Many people find it useful to have their diary with them, or a yearly planner.  Flex have covered all diary options with Flex inserts.  You can create your own combined diary and note-taking system if you want, using the diaries and notepads designed specifically for flex.  Alternatively you can slip your Moleskine Diary into the Flex along with any pretty A5 Paperchase notebook of your choice. The options truly are never-ending.

At one point I think I had about 6 separate slim A5 notebooks in my Flex binder. You know the school exercise book kinds that come in different colours?  I had a different colour for each of my creative projects which I separated with coloured tabs, like you do in your Filofax.  When a notebook was full I could just replace it.

I do this now with my journal and writing notebooks.  Whenever I complete the A5 journal for instance, I replace it in the Flex with a brand new one from Muji, and the old one is taped to the journal previous to it, so that I can keep my old journals stored in chronological order.  This is a new concept though so I can't show you any pictures yet.
Nappa Leather Notebook Cover (Slim Black Leather) | SHOP FILOFAX NOTEBOOKS

Further reasons as to why the A5 Flex is better than a Notebook

  1. With the Flex pen-loop inserts you can keep up to four pens or pencils attached to your Flex Binder, ready for spontaneous note-taking, highlighting, and mark-making.  No fuss or searching or stress.
  2. There are slots for business cards inside the Flex.  Useful to pop your oyster in if you are in the habit of carrying your Flex under your arm like a clutch-bag.  Or you can use these slots to store stickers, sticky-notes, small bits of paper, page markers (I like to use hair grips!  Weird but discrete and they do the trick!) or clip extra pens.
  3. The larger pocket beneath the card-slots is perfect for your smartphone, calculator, highlighters, slim diary, packet of gum etc...
  4. The inside pockets can house your Kindle eReader if you use one.  
  5. You can also slip the front or back sleeve of a paperback book into any of the Flex pockets and carry your novel around with your notebook. This could be useful for students who need to take notes while they are reading.
  6. The Flex protects your notebooks and prevent them from getting all dog-eared.
  7. Loose bits of paper and receipts can be slipped into pockets rather than in-between pages where they are likely to fall out.
  8. Instead of having to keep buying expensive leather-bound journals you can have the same effect by replacing cheaper A5 notebooks in your Leather-look Flex but not have to spend all that money if you're a fast writer like me and get through notebooks like loo-roll.
  9. The Flex is smart. The black and grey versions look very professional and are great for work, conferences, meetings etc.
  10. Flex is just so much more FUN than having one notebook!  It makes complete sense.

Forget Kindle Covers, Use a Flex Filofax instead!

I use my A5 Flex by Filofax as a portable writer's desk which houses my writer's notebook, my personal journal, and my Kindle eReader. 

You can read more about my portable writer's Flex-desk in my previous post - How I use my Flex by Filofax

I like to keep my Kindle with my writer's notebook because I always forward articles from the web straight to my Kindle using a Kindle 'push' extension on my Chrome toolbar.  I also email all of my edited manuscripts straight to my Kindle so that I can read through them as if they are eBooks, which is a much nicer experience than reading a word doc on my laptop.

It's so useful to have access to all of my research and written work while I am out and about, taking notes on buses and in coffee shops.

I would suggest always storing your Kindle eReader in one of the inside pockets of the Flex, to make sure it doesn't accidentally slip out and fall to the ground when you are carrying it about with you or taking it out of your bag.

If you are contemplating getting yourself an eReader I would definitely suggest getting a Kindle.
You can Browse Kindle Devices here, and find out which device suits your needs best.  And instead of purchasing a Kindle cover, why not consider trying something a little more versatile, and so much cooler, like a Flex by Filofax!

Click on this link for a fun post on how I would like to improve the Flex by Filofax design

Filofolios - How to Make Your Own Portable Mini Portfolio Using a Filofax and Moo Business Cards

I've had a crazy idea!

Are you an artist, a designer or an illustrator?  Do you create or sell your own products or services? Are you a cupcake artist or do you design and make your own hand-crafted purses? Most importantly, do you have too many Filofaxes, or are you trying to find an excuse to purchase yet another?  Well, I think I may have the answer to your dilemma, and a creative solution for all you Filofax lovin' Freelancers.

I'm always trying to think of new ways to use my Filofaxes.  I have four of them and  keeping four diaries of various sizes would be a sure route to madness and insanity - believe me, I've tried!

I've recently gone self-employed and I am currently making hand-crafted jewellery to put pennies in my pocket, but I needed a way to keep with me samples of my jewellery when I am out and about in case I happened to pass by potential clients or shops I could potentially supply to.

Well how about this for a stroke of genius...

  • Get yourself a beautiful Filofax of your choice - Go for pocket-sized or slimline to fit nicely into your handbag
  • Buy lots of clear card-holder inserts
  • Order a set of personalised business cards from - Each with a different product printed on them
  • Put is all together and what do you get? A very cool, very portable, mini-image portfolio or product catalogue!

I know, I know... You can thank me later :)

Basically provide this GREAT Business Card Service where you can have a set of very attractive and professional business cards made for you, but the difference is that you can order a set of 50 cards and each card can have a different design of your choice printed on it!

This means that you can essentially create a mini-portfolio of your products to take around with you. You will never be unprepared when it comes to promoting your business and products again. have already initiated this idea on their website. You can go and have a look for inspiration and more creative ideas on how to use moo business cards.  But my unique, and if I may say so - totally genius idea is combining it with Filofax products to create a truly personal and attractive little portfolio or product catalogue to take about with you in your handbag!  And you can also keep your standard business cards in there too, ready to hand out to your new clients once they have fallen in love with every image in your Filofolio.

Improving the Flex by Filofax

Wouldn't it be great if Filofax did a bespoke service and you could literally design the ultimate personalised Filofax to work for you, exactly how you want it to?  Its nice to dream...

We all use our organisers in different ways so you may not agree with all of my points.  But these are just the little alterations and improvements that would make the Flex work better for me!

  • I know they designed the Flex to be simple and universal, but they had better start thinking of some new cover designs soon!  I mean, there are endless possibilities - it hurts my head just to think about them.  I would personally like to see something classy and feminine.  I love the lace and leopard-print on the Temperley for example, it would be lovely to have some similar fabric options for the Flex... That don't cost a fortune.  Real leather would be great too.

  • The jot-pad is soooooo in the wrong place for me.  I need it at the front on the left-hand side where I can have easy access to it.  I don't want to have to search for it behind all of my notebooks, do I? There should have been slits on both the right and the left hand-side so that we can choose what works best.

  • The pen-loops are rubbish.  Mine snapped in the first week of purchasing my Flex.  I was very upset and I haven't gotten round to buying a new pen insert because my Flex originally came with a black one to match the cover, but the replacements all seem to be grey!  I don't like the grey - That's why I bought black.

  • I wish there was a zip pocket somewhere.  Just a small one for loose change, perhaps on the front or back of the binder.

  • Sometimes I wish there was a built in or attachable concertina-style pencil case on the front, you know, for a rubber and pencil sharpener, sticky notes and other loose bits and pieces.

  • I'd rather like to have the option of having a slim ring-binger insert that you could slip into one of the slots and use the Flex like a normal Filofax as well.  but I guess it would make it too bulky. A slim optional insert wouldn't hurt would it?

  • Filofax need to work on its insert collections for both the normal Filofax and the Flex.  I think this needs a dedicated post all to itself though.

  • It needs an elastic band around it to keep everything together!  Then you could slip loose pieces of paper inbetween pages and not worry about them falling out when you take it out of your bag.

  • Wouldn't it be cool if there was a way to slot or clip two or three Flex binders together to make an ultimate FAT one with lots and lots and lots of options!  Perhaps not very portable, but fun for an option all the same.

  • It might be nice to design a Flex with clear pockets on the front and back so that you could slip your own images, photos, paper or material in and transform the look of your Flex whenever you feel like it!  (This is perhaps my most genius idea so far, and if Flex by Filofax design something like this in the future I want my cut of the profits!)

How I use my Flex by Filofax

I'm quite surprised at how little blogging coverage the Flex Filofaxes get. I mean, they're pretty cool. I love mine. Not as much as my beautiful A5 Chameleon mind you, but the Flex does seem to make a lot more sense to me. My Chameleon continues to baffle me, and I still haven't figured out a system I am happy with.

I chose a black A5 Flex because I wanted something smart that would compliment my writing journal. My writing journal is a big fat A5 notebook I bought from Paperchase a while back. It has a soft bendy black faux-leather cover and lots and lots of tiny-squared paper for all my notes and scribblings. It fits perfectly into the A5 Flex.

I like to place it in the middle with the front and back cover of the notebook slipping into the slots of the Flex to give it complete support. It's such a fat book that it needs to be in the middle. When I want to take some notes down on the bus, or do a bit of creative writing while I am sitting in a coffee shop, the Flex would fall to pieces in my lap if the main notebook wasn't placed and held firmly in the centre of the Flex binder.

Conveniently the Flex is also the perfect size for my Kindle eReader which I like to slot into the inside left hand pocket.

I used to slot it into the left outside pocket but then I had a horrifying experience one day where my Kindle fell out! Okay, it wasn't that horrifying because it happened while I was indoors and it fell onto my sofa, but it was horrifying in theory.

Kindles are dreadfully delicate because of the screen which will bleed at the slightest knock.  When I first purchased my Kindle I had it in my coat pocket with my keys, and in the five minutes it took me to walk home from the tube station somehow the keys had pressed into the screen and caused the ink to bleed underneath it.  I was mortified.  Luckily the kind Kindle people sent me a brand new one - Phew! The Flex protects my Kindle wonderfully as long as I keep it in the inside pocket where it can't accidentally escape.

Because I use my A5 Flex as my portable writing and reading desk I also like to keep a journal of personal thoughts that are separate from my creative writing notes. It's always good to have the journal with me to unload my mind in moments of clarity or confusion.

Yay for all the pockets! I slip an A5 lined Notebook from Muji (also black, in-keeping with my smart theme, and pleasingly affordable) into the outside right pocket so that it closes inwards and slips in behind my main Notebook. Underneath I have the jot-pad hidden away because I rarely use it, but you just never know... (see the main diagram at the top of this post.)

Personally I would prefer to have a slot for the jot-pad on the inside left where all the card slots are.  I don't really find these useful, although one or two wouldn't go amiss. But I don't see the point in having the jot-pad slot at the back of the binder where it is hidden.  Surely it should be placed at the front for easy access?  Very annoying and such a waste.

The remaining outside slot on the left hand side I usually keep blank to stuff loose papers, flyers, notes or whatever I find when I am out and about. Sometimes I use it to hold my Moleskine diary if I know that I might need it while I am out. But generally my Moleskine stays at home with my ridiculously heavy but very beautiful A5 Chameleon Filofax. You can see how I use those two together here.

I have begrudgingly come to the conclusion that there is simply no point in doing my back in every time I go out by carrying my A5 Chameleon Filofax around with me. So my compromise is that I transfer my slim Moleskine diary, which has all my info and appointments to my Flex when I am out and about  It doesn't look quite as interesting when I pull out my black Flex as opposed to my aqua A5 Chameleon, but it does make me look very professional and less frivolous, which suits me fine.

The Flex is small, less bulky, and lighter than normal A5 Filofaxes, and can probably fit a lot more inside because its so versatile. For instance, sometimes I pop my smartphone into the deeper slot below the card slots.

Don't you have a Flex by Filofax yet?  Don't you think you should get one?  They're so affordable and versatile, you're bound to find a use for it!  Personally I don't think you're a true Filofax Lover if you haven't shown appreciation for the Filofax offspring yet... show it some love and get yourself a little one for your handbag.

Don't forget they have lots of cool inserts to experiment with too.

Filofax & Moleskine - The Perfect Marriage of Two Stationery Brands

I went completely overboard and spent the better part of twenty quid on a beautiful Moleskine Diary for my Filofax today.  (I also bought a Writing Magazine which brought the price up to twenty.)

When I arrived home, very excited, I watched intently as my four year old niece ate her dinner, and then I took her to bed and speedily read her two short stories before making myself a nice cup of tea and settling down to unwrap my new Moleskine.

To my utter disappointment I discovered that the diary doesn't actually start until the beginning of July - That is two whole months away!  What am I supposed to do for two whole months?  Carry on using my current A5 Filofax diary inserts I suppose.  I am most put out.  Today is National Stationery and the one piece of stationery I bought is of no use to me for two months.  Grrrr.

I do love how it fits so perfectly into my A5 Chameleon Filofax though.  There's something quite satisfying about filling up a bound leather diary, it doesn't compare to loose Filofax insert sheets.  I like to see the pages get all marled, and I like to fold corners and rough it up until it looks and feels thoroughly used. Bound books seem to have this effect on me.  It's the same with novels, I love to break the spines and fold down page corners and see the pages warp from the steam of a hot bath.

For some reason I almost feel afraid to touch my new Filofax inserts.  I want everything in my Filofax to be used perfectly because it is an organiser and I have to keep it organised!  It might have something to do with the fact that the inserts are so expensive too.  My A5 Filofax feels like the 'final draft' of a diary, so basically I have been using an A4 refill pad to jot down all of my notes everyday, and then I copy down the most useful notes neatly and in the right place into my Filofax.  It's all a bit weird, isn't it?

I love the fact that Moleskine also do a selection of 'Passions Journals'.  I bought one recently for my sister because we are about to embark on an online cooking project and blog together.  I think I have decided that I may need to purchase one for myself too.  And because they fit so perfectly into the A5 sized Filofaxes I may also have to think about which A5 Filofax I want next, to organise my cooking project. Any excuse to expand the collection.

You know, it's almost as if Moleskine and Filofax were made to fit together - like a complimentary marriage of two luxury stationery brands.  Beautiful.

Filofax - The New Smartphone!

They call them 'Smartphones' for a reason, though I'm not entirely sure what the reason is... 

(Scroll down to the bottom of this post for my personal 
Filofax vs. 'Smartphone' comparison list...)

When I purchased my very first 'smartphone' last year, on my very first pay monthly contract deal, I have to admit I was besotted.  I abandoned my Pocket Guildford Filofax and my Moleskine for an online calendar syncing system, and took full advantage of every note-taking app I could download for free.  Even my laptop became a bit redundant when I discovered a screenwriting app, a 'quickoffice' app, and various blogging and social networking apps.  It was bliss and most of my spare time was spent squinting at the mini-screen - On the bus, in bed, and on the loo.

But I soon found that my battery was just not up to the job.  What happened to those good old Nokia phones that used to last about a week before they needed re-charging?  My new 'smartphone'  dies at the most inconvenient of times, and I can barely get through a day. So to rectify the problem I got into the habit of having the phone permanently on charge whenever I was at home, so that at least I would know that when I was out it would be fine.  But effectively this only made the problem worse.

Then a few months ago the worst thing imaginable happened. The socket where my charger lead fits into my phone became loose.  First a little wiggle sufficed to do the trick, then a good shove tended to kick-start the charging process.  But of course I'd have to keep an eye on it because it would randomly stop charging which was jolly dangerous, because suddenly I was waking up in the morning to find it was actually the afternoon. My so-called 'smartphone', which had cockily replaced my alarm clock too, had conked out in the middle of the night because it had stopped charging two minutes after I had drifted off to sleep!  I don't know about you, but I don't think this is very smart. If anything I think its smart-ass and lazy.

In a short space of time the situation became so ridiculous that I was balancing the phone upright and on its side; sometimes upsidedown, wedged in a groove between a stack of books, with an elastic band wrapped round the phone to keep the connection intact.

It was at this point that I had had enough. I was about to give in and purchase a new 'smartphone' when my aunt suggested an external charger for the battery.  So I ordered a charger on Ebay that sticks in the wall and I have to take the battery out of the phone and slot it into the charger every time it needs charging.  For this reason I have two batteries so that one can be charging while I am using my phone.  But each barely lasts a day, and the MOST annoying thing is that my nails break now on a daily basis as I try to pry the phone open to swap the batteries over.  The whole thing is completely bonkers.

What's worse is that when I purchased the smartphone I didn't automatically become a 'smart-owner' of the 'smartphone'. I was mislead into paying insurance I didn't ask for.  I discovered this earlier today in fact when for some reason I was analysing my bank statement.   £7.99 a month since this time last year - Ouch!  So here I have been struggling with all the flaws of my decrepit piece of 'advanced technology' for a good three or four months and the fact is I have insurance that I didn't even know about, and could hence have simply had the thing replaced.  Apparently a month or so free insurance comes automatically with a phone when you purchase the contract, but the loophole is that you have to remember to cancel it after the free period if you don't want to pay for it!

Anyway, I guess I shouldn't complain.  At least now I know that I can go to The Carphone Warehouse and get the problem fixed, and then go to the Salon and get a manicure.

Filofax Fanciers may be relieved to know that I am back to using Filofax organisers. They are SO much better than 'smartphone' calendar apps.  And here's why...

Filofax vs. 'Smartphone' 


Staring at a Filofax for hours gives you nothing but pleasure...
Staring at a 'Smartphone' for hours gives you a headache!
Filofax 5/5
'Smartphone' 0/5


My 'Smartphone' fits pretty much anywhere - In my pocket, in my handbag, and even in my Filofax, but the battery-life means that using it on the go can often be short-lived if I don't have my charger with me, which takes up more space in the bag.  My Filofax takes up space in my bag too, and can be heavy depending on what size I have chosen to use, but at least all of my information is constantly accessible.
Filofax 3/5
'Smartphone' 3/5


My 'Smartphone does pretty much everything, all I have to do is download an app, and put up with touch-screen typing which can be annoying.  My Filofax can be specifically designed and organised to my needs as well.  My A5 Filofax works as a portable office-desk which is great for commuting, and my Pocket Filofax can double up as a wallet, and also slot my phone in, so its almost like a clutch bag!
Filofax 5/5
'Smartphone' 4/5


My 'Smartphone is discrete and formal, but can be jazzed up with clip-on covers, gel covers, sleeves and holders.  My Filofax - well I don't think I need to say that I am in love with it, isn't that given?
Filofax 4/5
'Smartphone' 5/5



Filofancy Ramblings - I Nearly Lost my Filofax!

My beloved Pocket Guildford

Hello Everyone,

Just to let you know (Because you don't know me very well yet), sometimes I have an urge to write a load of waffle that is probably of no use or interest to anyone but myself.  You'll just have to excuse me when this happens, and I'll help you out by naming these posts: Filofancy Ramblings.  So you are welcome to avoid them if you so wish, and skip to my more focussed, informative, and creative Filofax-related posts.  I am not so vain as to think this blog is all about me.  Why would you be interested in me after all?  I'm just a girl in a world over-populated with girls.  You probably wouldn't be so interested in Filofaxes either if they weren't so exclusive with not enough designs to choose from - it makes them all the more special eh?

Anyway, I just wanted to say, and it might seem like a rather odd thing to get excited about, but I made a PENNY from the blog's Adsense ads today! Someone must have clicked on an advertisement in my sidebar and made a purchase.  How cool is that?  Okay so its not ground-breaking; but you know, I'm a girl who nearly had an orgasm opening a giant package containing an A5 Chameleon Filofax - (in aqua) - in front of my webcam - check it out - (Not me nearly having an orgasm, I mean check out the brand new Filofax!)  It's the little things in life, isn't it?

Speaking of little things... I nearly LOST my beloved Pocket Guildford  today,I can't believe it.  I left it behind in the library, and I wouldn't have noticed it was gone so soon had I not reached into my bag to skim my daily to-do list insert.  I have to keep one of these every day of the year otherwise I forget important things like...

  • MUST buy matching pink mechanical pencil from Paperchase for my new A5 Chameleon Filofax.
  • MUST remember to brush my teeth before I go to bed tonight or risk waking up with a mouth tasting of crispy aromatic duck and spring onions like this morning.
  • MUST take out money to pay rent.

Would you believe me if I told you that this was the actual beginning of my list of priorities for today? Yep - pen for Filofax right at the top!

So you see?  It was my lack of memory and need for a Pocket Filofax with to-do inserts that made me realise I had left it behind. I ran back in alarm as soon as the realisation hit me, swearing that if I lost it I would go straight to Ryman and buy another, even if it mean increasing my overdraft again by another fifty quid.

Thankfully someone had handed it it to the reception desk and nothing was missing.  Thank you so much to that person, and to the Filofax angels!

More Filofancy Ramblings another time...

Zara M.


Videoblog 1: The Arrival of My A5 Aqua Chameleon Filofax

... I vaguely heard the doorbell go, and I vaguely heard my landlady answering it.  I could have been dreaming, perhaps I was mid-dream at the time, but as soon as I heard the postman say "Package for Miss. Zara Mohammed" I knew exactly what it was, and suddenly I was awake.

Yes, this is me. Little Miss. Filofancy living, breathing and speaking... How very weird.  Do I really look like this?  Do I really sound like this?  Is that beautiful new A5 Chameleon Filofax in aqua really mine... All forty-five pound's worth of it?  Yes, yes and YES!

*  *  *  *  *


If you liked this post you might enjoy reading more about my previous Filofax experiences... My First Filofax: The Pocket Guildford

My First Filofax: The Pocket Guildford

My First Filofax

I was fifteen. A girl in my class had one, she was a girl I respected, and I wanted to be respected to. So I purchased my first Filofax.

I chose black because I figured it was a serious colour, and I wanted people to think I was important. I had no idea how expensive Filofaxes could be, but I struck lucky, there was a sale on and the little pocket Guildford sat on the shelf looking up at me with its 50% off sticker.  I could almost hear it whispering “Please take me home with you.”

The next week at school I felt confident. And guess what? The girl in my class who I admired so much suddenly had something to talk to me about. We became firm Filofax friends, and sat next to each other in all of the classes from that day forth.

I have used my Guildford on and off over the years, according to my whimsical nature, but it is only recently that I discovered the obsession that has been biding it's time. I am now a fully grown adult and I can afford to pay for my Filofax fascination. And pay I will. Within reason of course.

What I Love About My Pocket Guildford Filofax

Looking at my pocket Guildford I can hardly believe it is twelve years old. The black leather is a tad scuffed here and there but I think it just adds to the flavour. I love how soft it feels, snugly sitting in my hand. It is the perfect size for taking out and about with me, which is why I have decided to start using it as my handbag Filofax. Everyone has to have a handbag Filofax! If you don’t then I suggest you think about acquiring one. Any excuse to add to your collection.

My Handbag Filofax System

I have developed a system so that my Personal-sized Filofax (which isn’t technically a Filofax, it’s a vintage crimson coloured organiser from the eighties apparently) doesn’t feel too left out. Basically I don’t keep diary inserts in my pocket Guildford. It contains only lined paper and clear top-opening envelopes for pictures or lose notes, and a card-holder insert. This way I can use it on a daily basis, mainly when I am out and about, and then any notes I make during the day can be copied into my personal Filofax in the evening, which is what I always refer to when I’m at home to keep on top of things as it is my main diary.

I always write and transfer a daily plan-of-action or to-do list which I keep at the front of my pocket Guildford and refer to it throughout the day when I am out.  Some people might think it rather odd to have more than one diary and then transfer notes between them all, but I just think it's common sense. Besides, Filofaxes are collector's items, so you want to have more than one, and an excuse for using them all.

This system is working like magic for me at the moment because my personal-sized organiser became too bulky and heavy to carry around with me – don’t you just hate it when that happens? I do love the way it looks though! Before now, I found that the pocket Guildford’s rings were too small for it to be my main organiser, and I really like the look of a stuffed Filofax.

But now I can happily use it as my daily notebook/wallet. It fits my smartphone in the back pocket quite nicely, and also my little silver card holder that homes my business cards. Always useful to have those with me.

The Pocket-sized organisers really are the perfect size for carrying around with you. I am looking forward to taking my pocket Guildford out with me to evening networking and social events as it is small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of my hand while I hold my glass of wine in the other. Whoever thinks Filofaxes are for geeks have obviously never heard of the term ‘geek is chic!’

I also keep my passport tucked into the back of my Pocket Guildford, because whenever I am out in the evening I always get asked for ID. Such are the drawbacks of having a youthful face.

I had to get a bit creative to stop everything from falling out though, so I slipped a black elastic hairband around the Filofax which holds the passport nicely in place by the spine. I love this idea because the band is stretchy and can also act as a wrist strap on the outside, which will be great for the times when I am holding my glass of wine in one hand, and then the waiter swims by with a tray of tasty nibbles!

I keep a passport sized notebook slipped into the left-hand side inside flap. You can buy them from Muji for 95p in passport-red and navy-blue. The paper is blank inside so I use mine for little diagrams, sketches and visual reminders.

What I Don’t Love About the Pocket Filofax

One thing I’m not very happy about with the Pocket-sized organisers is that there don’t appear to be any cream-coloured blank divider tabs. I don’t particularly like the multi-coloured ones, so I am doing without. I use my clear top-opening envelope inserts to divide my paper from my contacts. I also use discrete silver page slides from Waterstones to mark important notes hidden away in the middle, for easy reference.

My Other Filofax Secrets...

I tend to purchase a few bits and pieces from Paperchase for my Pocket and Personal-sized Filofaxes, simply because they're cheap and cheerful! 
They do a very pretty selection of pens and click-pencils that fit into the Filofax pen hoops perfectly, and they're only about £2. Also, they have quite a nice selection of inserts which are less expensive than the the original Filofax ones.  I particularly like the brown kraft lined-paper inserts.

Well that's all from me for now. My new A5 Chameleon Filofax should be arriving tomorrow morning, so as you can imagine I am jolly excited!  Tune in tomorrow to share my joy :)  I will be posting a little video, so you'll get to meet me face-to-face.

And if you have enjoyed this post and are looking forward to many more please feel free to subscribe to Filofancy for regular updates on all new publications - straight in your email box!

Bye for now...

*  *  *  *  *

Have you read...? I Fancy a Filofax?

"The other day I got a wonderful surprise... I went onto the Filofax website (as I do at least once every time I am online) and to my delight I discovered that the Filofax I have had my eye on for months... the Filofax that started the obsession but was too expensive to even consider... the Filofax Chameleon in Aqua A5... was ON SALE!"