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!

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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...

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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!"

A Picture Book We Made for Mother's Day

I spotted this gorgeous little fabric notebook a few weeks ago (Asda) and it was such a bargain. I bought it with my niece in mind, but I wasn't sure what to do with it, until last night when the brainwave swept over me.

"I know!" I thought, "I'll write a picture book and my niece can illustrate it. It will be the perfect Mother's Day gift for my sister. And the best thing is they can read it together at bedtime and my niece will absolutely love it because she co-authored it with me." (My niece is 4yrs old.)

What a lovely little keepsake. Stationary isn't necessarily a boring gift to give, you see? My sister loved it of course.

Enjoy the story...

Don't forget you can subscribe to the blog for updates, and leave your thoughts in a comment below!

I Am Officially in Love with The A5 Chameleon Filofax

Filofax Chameleon Aqua (A5)

The other day I got a wonderful surprise. I paid a sneaky visit to 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 way too expensive to even consider... The Filofax Chameleon in Aqua A5... Was ON SALE.

But not just on sale... it had a 50% discount! It was a miracle that I simply couldn't ignore. No, it was fate.

So without even thinking about it - because I knew that any amount of thought would result in something very silly called rationality, which would lead to me never owning such a thing of beauty - I logged into my bank account, increased my overdraft by fifty quid, and made the purchase. Very bad Zara, very bad.

But I don't care... I don't care... I just have to have it.  And now I do.  Well not quite - it still has to arrive in the post.  But at least it is on its way.  I'm so ridiculously happy, I almost feel bad about it, almost. It makes no sense how a sane adult can develop such a strange addictive obsession with these extortionate little organisers and paper inserts. I just don't understand it.  All I know is that I am one of these crazy people now, well and truly.

How do I know this?  Well, aside from the fact that I have just spent fifty quid that technically isn't mine on a piece of stationery, I do often find myself on Ebay, browsing through the lists, hoping to spot a bargain, and suddenly I'll realise a couple of hours have gone by. Hours I tell you. And once I spent two entire hours in Paperchase deciding on paper inserts, and other bits and pieces for my personal sized organiser, when really I should have been in the library studying.  It was an unexpected detour, what can I say?  Its not like I planned it.

Anyway, I think my recent purchase is a sign to get serious.  So I have created this blog.  Yes a BLOG all about Filofaxes, and paper inserts, and pens, and page-keepers, stickers, and notebooks. The beauty of it is that I have happily discovered that  I am not alone. There are lots of people keeping blogs dedicated to their Filofax-addictions.  Do you know what this means? It means I am not crazy.  Or maybe I am.  Maybe we all are.

I can't wait to get it. I will be posting lots of pics and a video when I do. Watch this space fellow Filofax and stationery junkies, watch this space.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, it would be lovely to meet you!

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"I was fifteen. A girl in my class had one, she was a girl I respected. I wanted to be respected too... So I purchased my first Filofax." 
Read More... My First Filofax: The Pocket Guildford