Midori Traveler's Notebook & Filofax Video blog (at 1 in the morning)

This is a rather sleepy video blog of me dawdling my way through my Midori Traveler's Notebook...

Why? Well because I keep meaning to start doing more videos, and I keep putting it off. But last night, I wasn't having much luck getting to sleep, so I bit the bullet and this was the result. I think I will wait until I look a little bit more presentable for the next one though! Bedhead.


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My Favourite Stickers For My Filofax Diary And Midori Traveler's Notebook Journal

Without a doubt, I don't know where I would be without these expressive smiley face stickers! I love them...

I LOVE to use stickers to express how I am feeling each day, especially in my Midori Traveler's Notebook Journal and my Filofax planner. Flower stickers and star stickers are great, but my favourites are these little face stickers I got from Artbox - don't you think they're fab?

I can't believe how cheap they are too - £1.20 or something silly like that. The thing I love about them is that they're made of this soft 3-dimensional kind of rubber or gel that makes them stand slightly off the page, but they're still really discrete. 

There is literally a face for every mood! I also like to draw little bodies and hair for them to add a little bit of extra personalised expression. Check out some of my pics to see how I have been using them in my Filofax and Midori.

Here are all my smileys praising the lord and getting excited because I thought that they were exclusive to Paperchase, and when Paperchase stopped selling them I thought I'd never see them again! But then a wonderful reader informed me that Artbox sell them - phew...

...and here is my queen smiley - yes I do believe I was feeling rather royal that day...

Fun huh? Get yours...

Artbox Kawaii Shop

How To Use Midori Traveler's Notebook Refills With Your A5 Filofax Organiser

I have been thinking about the differing attractions of using a ringed organiser such as a Filofax and a bound notebook such as the Moleskine. Filofax gives us that wonderful flexibility of being able to move pages around, add, remove and replace pages, and even redesign our whole organisation systems at a whim to including new sections as needed. Whereas bound notebooks have a reassuring sense of permanence and chronology which many of us value and treasure.

Do we have to be a fan of only one or the other though?

How I Use A Bound Notebook 
To Compliment My A5 Filofax System...

I love my Filofax for it's versatility. I like that it holds everything together in one place and yet I can keep sections separate. I love the ability to open up the rings and add different bits of paper for lists and notes that relate to certain pages. I love the fact that anything that can be hole-punched has the potential to make my Filofax look more beautiful and be of more use. It is ideal for planning. But as a journal writer I find that I prefer to use a bound notebook to write my thoughts in, because the rings of my Filofax get in the way; and as an artist I find it more comfortable to sketch in a bound sketchbook.

Recently I bought a leather Midori Traveler's Notebook (Read about how I use it here). I was thrilled to discover that the notebook refills slip perfectly into my A5 Chameleon Filofax just like a moleskine, but better! So what did I decide to do? Why make my own of course! The result was so beautifully professional that I decided I wanted to share my hand-sewn notebook refills with the Filofax community, and make some extra cash while I'm at it.

So I'm very excited to announce that I am now making hand-sewn notebooks to fit the beautiful leather Midori Traveler's Notebook, and also your A5 Filofax! They fit the Midori perfectly, and they are discrete and slim enough to slip into your A5 Filofax to use as an extra notebook, sketchbook, or personal journal.

You can see in the image above how the notebook cover slips into the left-hand pocket neatly, the whole thickness of the notebook can be slipping into the pocket easily as it is slim with 32 pages of plain paper (you can currently choose between plain white, or pastel-coloured paper).

The picture below shows how you can slip it into the back pocket of your A5 Filofax if you don't already use the rear jot-pad in your Filofax. Actually even if you do use the back pocket for a jot-pad you can still slip the refill notebook in the back, it's nice and slim and tucks in discretely...

Uses For Your Notebook In Your A5 Filofax...

Having an extra notebook that you can pull out and use either with or separately from your Filofax has it's benefits. I have listed a few ideas here to inspire you...
  1. Use it to record personal thoughts like a journal. Pull it out of your filofax when you are in a coffee shop and then sit back, fold back the spine and scribble away...
  2. Use it as a sketchbook to scribble down ideas for artwork, design ideas for crafts, stick cuttings from magazines...
  3. Create a mini bound scrapbook to slip into your Filofax - make it beautiful, make each page a work of art. Store all of your mini scrapbooks in a shoebox, create a filing system.
  4. Use it for rough note-taking to save your Filofax inserts.
  5. Use it specifically as a lists-book for shopping lists because it's easier to pull out a notebook refill in the supermarket than it is to pull out your whole filofax!
  6. Use it to write poetry in.
  7. Use it specifically as a doodle-book in your Filofax to stop you from messing up all your professional Filofax sections.
  8. Use it to rip pages out of, hole-punch and file away in your Filofax.
  9. Use it for any information that you need to keep in a specific order - create a diary for achievements or milestones or other information you need to record in a permanent order.
  10. Use it to jot recipes down in one place.

Don't forget that the great thing about using a slim bound notebook with your Filofax is that you can remove it and use it separately, so that when you are going out with just a small handbag, you can slip it in and always have something to write notes on, even when you don't have your Filofax with you!

My Notebook Refills are made from black card, plain paper - choose from plain white or pastel-coloured. They are hand-sewn with cotton down the centre. Each page is measured and trimmed separately with a paper-trimmer to ensure as much precision as possible - yes I trim each sheet one by one! Such love :) I find it therapeutic. They have 32 pages, and I include free surprise sample products with each order. Prices start from only £3.50 and you can save on P&P when you order more than one at the same time, so stock up.

I will be making more hand-sewn notebooks soon to add to my Etsy shop, so your feedback would be really. It would be good to know if you would prefer different cover-designs to the plain black card. If people would be more interested in using hand-sewn notebooks to fit other sized Filofaxes. If you would prefer and be prepared to pay more for punctured pages that are easier to rip out, or sections and pockets to give the notebook a scrapbook/travelling journal feel. Or any other ideas you might have to make these notebooks more useful to a Filofax or a Midori user. 

Thanks so much for your support!
Zara M.

NB: I am no longer selling these notebook refills, but I do want to start designing a range of Traveler's Noetbook Refills again soon, so subscribe to Filofancy to keep updated.

You may also be interested in watching my A5 Chameleon Filofax videoblog.
If you are a fan of the Midori Traveler's Notebook you should probably check out this post!

Swapping My Personal Filofax For a Midori Traveler's Notebook

Midori Love...

The allure of the Midori Traveler's Notebook, for those of you don't quite get it yet, is it's raw, rustic, non-pretentious, gritty realness

There's something incredibly honest and humble about it. It kind of feels like another limb - a part of you - the more you use it and the more battered it becomes.

Of course I've only had mine for about two months so I've got all of that to look forward to, but I do know what I'm talking about because I have kept private personal journals since I was twelve years old. There's just something about a tatty old journal that has lived with you through the good times and the tears. I have journals that are dog-eared and warped because I've taken them into the bathroom with me to scribble in whilst I'm having a soak. I just love it when they get that 'used' look. So I knew I was going to fall for a Midori, as soon as I heard about them.

The thing I love about the Midori, is that it's refillable. This means you can kind of have the joy of watching a leather journal age with alongside you, and also enjoy a brand new notebook refill every other month or however often you use it. Perfect for me! I love old and tatty, but I also get excited by a crisp new notebook.


My dilemma is that I am a dedicated Filofax Lover. 

My everyday diary and planner is my personal Chocolate Aston Filofax. I have lots of Filofaxes and I swap and change, but I have learnt that in order to fully appreciate a Filofax as an everyday organiser, you have to focus on just one or two at a time, because otherwise you can't seem to develop that much needed rapport. 

Do you find that? Or is it just me? 

Anyway, I knew that if I wanted to fully appreciate and love my new Midori, I would have to sacrifice my main Filofax and lavish all of my attention on it, which meant having to redesign my system. 

Using A Midori and An A5 Filofax Together...

Surely there's no need to give up my Filofax system completely though? I thought...

I use my beautiful A5 Aqua Chameleon Filofax as my 'work' organsier. I always have. That's where I plan and record all my Freelancing work, ideas, assignments, projects and clients... So I saw no need to change that. I decided to use my new Midori to compliment my A5 'work' Filofax system by using the Midori to merge my personal thoughts and reflections journal, and my everyday planner, notes, sketches etc... basically everything not work-related. My Midori is my 'life' journal and planner!

I suppose the one consistent problem that has always been a niggle to me regarding all of my Filofaxes, is the feeling that nothing is quite permanent. Anything can be taken out, replaced, re-ordered... And while that obviously has it's benefits, I have always missed the 'bound' nature of a notebook. That is why I have always had a separate notebook as my personal journal. Something I can bend on it's spine, snuggle up in a chair and get comfortable with, to secretly share all of the thoughts inside my head. I used to think that my A5 Filofax Flex would make up for my craving for bound journals, and maybe it did for a while.

In a similar way to the Flex, the Midori gives me the opportunity to use bound notebook refills, and go back to taking a pride in the marks I make on the page. Each notebook, even the daily planner, is like a work of art. And why not - If you have to look at it everyday you should make it attractive, it should reflect who you are. I love seeing how other people personalise the diary pages of their Filofaxes, but I have never felt so closely acquainted with my Filofax diary, as I have in the past with my Moleskine diaries, for example. In fact I massacred a Moleskine diary and hole-punched all the pages to use in my A5 Filofax Business Organiser as a compromise... It helped.

My Midori Set-up...

Don't ask me how I did it but I managed to fit FOUR refill notebooks into my Leather Midori binder. Yes it's fat n' gorgeous, but still easy to carry around with me, even with my A5 Chameleon Filofax.

I love the Midori refill system, it's so simple and clever. The Leather binder comes with a doubled piece of elastic attached to it's spine so that you have two pieces of elastic to slip two notebooks through and carry in the leather binder - but you also have the option of doubling-up! 

To do this you get two notebook refills and attach them together by fitting an elastic band down the spine in the centre of the two notebooks so that they are held together. You could just fit the covers of each notebook together with the elastic, but if you do it down the centre they stay together better. Then you open them up so that you have one notebook on each side, held together in the middle by the elastic and slip them through one of the elastics attached to the Leather binder. So now you have two notebooks in the binder and part of the doubled-up elastic for two more to be fitted in the same way. there are different ways to do it though, that's just mine. I don't know if it makes any sense... I should have included a diagram. 

Anyway... of the four notebook refills in my Midori, one is my personal journal...

As you can see I have many thoughts and I am already into a second refill! I like to decorate my journal refills with lots of cuttings from magazines, and stickers and what-not. Each one feels different to me then. Personalised. A reflection of who I am at a particular time in my life. It'll be interesting in years to come to look back through my Midori refills to see how much I have changed. I love looking back through old journals... Well sometimes, other times it's depressing, depends on what I wrote and which ex boyfriend was breaking my heart!

In the front of the journal refill I made my own little slip-pocket for my stickers. I love these stickers to bits. I was complaining earlier in the blog that Paperchase had stopped selling them, and then a wonderful reader informed me that you can get them from Artbox. Yay!

In the back of the journal I attached an envelope which is really useful for slipping loose bits of papers in and receipts. Also I do this weird thing now where when I come to the end of a journal I like to write myself a little letter as a sort of reflection on the past few weeks... You know, what I think I've learnt, things I want to remember and thoughts or prompts for the future. Just things I might find interesting to read back over one day.

I like to create lots of secret pockets, because they're useful and just make things feel even more personal. So when I tape the envelope to the back of the refill, I only tape the top and bottom, so that I have an extra secret pocket behind the envelope - cool huh?

You can pretty much do this to all your refills and have secret pockets all over the place.

I decided to make my own diary because I like the layout of the Moleskine Diary week-on-one-page with the opposite side blank for notes. Yes it took a while, but I managed to fit six months in, so I'm sorted until Christmas just about. I filled in each page by hand with a ruler and pen, but I must say it does look rather professional!

I use this refill section as my daily planner, as I would normally have used my everyday Personal Filofax. I love the scrapbook-feel of it. I know that I can't move things around like in my Filofax, but I like the fact that I can stick things in and clip notes here and there with paper-clips to create a kind of organised chaos that only I can decipher.

I also have an artists sketchbook refill with thicker cartridge paper for sketching and using my watercolours, and an extra home-made refill at the very back that I just use for scribbling and doodling in.

I find it very easy to section the Midori as a whole. I have a silver leaf pendant attached to the original Midori  string page-marker which I use to mark my place in my personal journal section, and a pink metal bookmark clip from Paperchase that I use to get to my 'Today' page in the planner section. That's all I really need, but I do use little silver page-marker clips from Waterstones to mark out sections I use regularly like my Artists sketchbook and general notes section.

I have to say that my Midori has a wonderful way of opening up onto the page I need when I need it. It's very weird. I have an intuitive journal... heehee. It obviously loves me as much as I love it.

Erm... sorry this is such an epic post, I didn't realise how long it was until I had finished and I couldn't bear to cut it down or chop it up. Hope y'all are still alive :)

Filofax Caddys or Craft Totes (as they're more commonly known!)

You can purchase this cool craft tote from craftandcreate.tv

I've noticed online that a lot of people are using CRAFT TOTES as organisation stations for their Filofax sessions - and it looks like a lot of fun! So I decided to look into it...

This has got to be one of the best I have come across in my search for the ultimate, yet affordable Filofax Tote... yes I am now calling them Filofax Totes. It is called the 'Mackinac Moon Open Top'.

I just love it. I love the colours, and I LOVE the fact that it's only £31.99 including P&P - I can't believe that. Some of these craft totes can get jolly expensive you know?

This one has so many pockets for pens and whatever else you use, and each pocket is separate so you can divide your pens up into whatever groups suit you best. Imagine having one for highlighters, one for glitter pens, one for felt-tips, one for sticky-stuff... The possibilities are endless! Because it's specifically designed for crafts it has all sorts of clever secret pockets for you to discover.

Even the inside is sectioned, and ideal for holding your Filofax, along with any other notebooks and journal systems you use.

I also adore the fact that it's so sturdy and has handles so you can transport it about the house and keep all of your Filofax goodies or scrap-booking materials together, but not be stuck in one place.

Want, want WANT!

If you're looking for something you can zip up and take with you, then invest a little more this adorable and very versatile craft tote.

It is the 'Creative Options Total Tote' and comes in Vineyard Purple Faux Suede. It is water resistant and has a wonderful variety of sections for all of your creative accessories. In fact there are so many exciting little features that I can't even mention them all here, so you will have to go to the website and have a look for yourself!

I have to go now and ogle other people's Filofax Caddys... 

Cool Ideas for Moleskine Postal Notebooks

Moleskine Notebooks
I love when I discover innovative little notebooks! 

Small pocket notebooks are always a tempting purchase, they sort of grab you by surprise. You never usually need yet another pocket notebook, but at the same time, another wouldn't hurt. When it has a quirky little feature - like transforming from a notebook into an envelope ready to seal and pop in the post - well, resistance is futile.

Why would you need a pocket notebook/ready-made envelope? Well who cares... don't you just want one? I like the yummy pastel shades. Plus the fact that it's Moleskine, and it's petite enough to slip into my Filofax, twists my arm.

Possible Uses for the Moleskine Postal Notebook...

Encouraging Children to Create Storybooks

I have a five year old niece, and I was in the habit of encouraging her to use the good old snail-mail service so that we could write letters back and forth. It was the perfect opportunity for me to go to Paperchase to purchase lots of girly letter-writing sets and stickers. (I always take advantage of reasons to spend money in Paperchase!)

Most of her letters consisted of pictures. I like to think I'm a bit artistic too, and one day I got carried away and wrote a whole mini picture book for her to read. It was about a little owls 'First Day at School' and I used lots of cute owl stickers! I knew she was nervous and excited about moving up the the big school.

So I designed and hand-crafted a little pocket storybook specifically to fit into an envelope and pop in the post for her. Now if only these Moleskine Postal Notebooks had been available then! They would have been perfect, and I may even have ended up becoming a children's Author/Illustrator...

Therapeutic 'Sealed' Journalling

I got into the possibly strange habit of writing hand-written letters to myself as a form of Journal Therapy while I was going through a break-up. I would write myself a letter, or more to the point I would write the letter addressed to my Ex, and get all the emotional analysis out of my system. Then I would seal the letter and put it at the back of my bookcase and feel SO much better.

I don't know, there was just something about finishing the letter, saying everything I needed to say, and sealing the envelope that felt really good. And then of course, just not reading them or mulling over what I had written.

It was my way of saying that I had dealt with those feelings, said what I needed to say, and that was the end of it. And if I felt the feelings resurface, I would simply write another letter, until I got a bit bored of it and miraculously I was over my break up!

You could do the same thing with these Notebooks. When you come to the end of the notebooks, just seal them like a letter, and store them away somewhere for future entertainment or reflection. In fact these Moleskine Postal Notebooks could be dedicated specifically to journal therapy needs. I like it!

Travel Pen Pals

I suppose if you doing a bit of travelling it would be nice to collect thoughts and scribbles to send back home to friends and family. Moleskine Postal Notebooks would be perfect for that. Or even if you have a pen-pal that you write to regularly, whether you're travelling about or not, you could use these notebooks as a fun and alternative way to write your letters.

I know that I would love and treasure a letter if I received it in such a cool form! Like a little piece of art. A mini travel-journal. Someone else's adventures in a little bound book, written specially for me. One of a kind. Wonderful :)

Personally I think everyone should have a pen-pal, 
and keep good old-fashioned snail-mail alive!

Notebook Mail - it could be the next big thing?

The Time I Bought My Sister A Filofax... And KEPT It!

I was convinced that I could change my sister's life by converting her to share my secret love-affair with Filofaxes. Like me she is a Virgo and in many ways we are very similar. She has always had the same strange interest in pens and paper, we both used to keep diaries and scrap books as kids, Although being my younger sister, looking back, perhaps she was just being a bit of a copy-cat? If I could just get a Filofax into her hands though, I knew it would be contagious.

So I ordered her a beautiful bright red Personal Chameleon. I was so excited. Was this just an excuse to purchase more Filofax Goodies and not feel guilty? Probably. The thing is, when my sister's Filofax arrived, I had the pleasure of unwrapping it, and as soon as I had it in my hands I felt oh-so-confused! How could I possibly part with it now that I had seen it? It was so vibrant and when I placed it on top of my A5 Aqua Chameleon Filofax I saw something very special indeed. The colour combination was so exciting. There was no way that I could part with it.

As you can see that bright vibrant red follows you as you open the Filofax up, it's everywhere. Now I'm not normally a 'bright red' type of gal, that has always been my sister's thing, which is why I chose the red one for her, but I was beginning to think that maybe I could be...

And inside it came with these tutti-fruity coloured numbered tab dividers. I was jealous! I wanted them, end of story.

The only thing I could do was go straight back online and purchase another red Filofax for my sister and keep this one for myself. Yes, I was officially purchasing two of the same Filofax. My addiction and insanity was finally confirmed. But what's a girl to do?

I gave my sister the second Filofax last Christmas and she laughed when she opened it, but I had faith that it would soon seduce her, and it did. It's all about the personalisation, as you dedicated Filofax lovers know. She gradually gave in and made it her own, and then one day she called me up and made me the happiest sister on the planet...

"Zara," She gasped with angst in her voice, "Zara, I can't find my Filofax! What am I going to do? I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow!"

That's my girl, I thought with a big smile on my face :)

Desperately Seeking Paperchase Stickers

Don't you just hate it when you buy a really cute packet of stickers, and you resist purchasing more than one pack only to find that after you have completely become dependent upon them they appear to have been discontinued! Oh I'm so upset...

I bought these adorable smiley (and sad) face stickers from Paperchase, and I can't find a replacement. Does anyone know of where I can get something similar? These were kind of three-dimensional little rubber-like circles, with all sorts of cute and crazy facial expressions doodled on them. Desperately want more... 

My New Midori Traveler's Notebook Arrives!

When you fall in love, nothing will stand in your way. No, nothing... Not even a fifty quid price tag! 

I discovered the Midori Traveler's Notebook months ago, and no matter how much I tried to push it to the back of my mind, I knew there would come a day when I would, with much guilt, dip my hand into my virtual pocket and part with fifty quid for this slice of leather, some elastic and an over-priced paper notebook refill. 

Last week I had had enough of the torture. I had justified it to myself in every way shape and form, for weeks! It was too late for any more consideration. I was hitting the purchase button...

I couldn't believe how quickly it arrived, literally a matter of days. I was nervous in case it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I have spent many evenings ogling pictures on Google image search, and I knew I had to bear in mind that it would arrive brand spanking new, and that the leather would improve the more I use it That is what attracts so many people to the Midori Traveler's Notebook.

I opened the package and I was immediately very pleased with the simple cardboard container, I knew I'd put that to use with it's cute elastic binder. And I was equally pleased with the thin canvas pouch that was revealed when I opened it up. I took the Journal out of the pouch and this is what it looked like...

I knew about the natural animal fat that would be present on the leather, and I was actually quite relieved to see it, because it showed it's authenticity. How exciting! It was very easy to wipe off with a soft cloth, and the leather underneath was exquisitely... and I don't know what other word to use except... divine! It is velvet black and I am completely in love.

The Leather Journal came with one plain notebook insert, extra elastic, and a smell that reminds me of my dad who used to work in a leather factory. I felt immediately connected to it, and I have a feeling that my Filofaxes have some stiff competition.

You will be hearing a lot more about this little beauty, trust me!


Part 2 - 2013 Filofax Setup- My 'Notebook' Section

Welcome to Part 2 of my 2013 Filofax Setup! 

If you haven't read Part 1 yet you're missing out on the dashboard system I use for my personal-sized Filofax, and how I have integrated my Magenta Slimline Flex into my Personal Aston Filofax so that I can use them together.  

Now I'm going to look at what comes next in my new set-up... which is my 'Notebook' section! Every writer must have a 'Notebook' section in their Filofax, and I think it's quite important to make it a beautiful personalised space, instead of just chucking in a wad of loose blank paper inserts.  
Some of you might like to use your 'Notebook' section as a personal journal to jot down any personal thoughts that come to you throughout the day.  I think it's nice to have a dedicated space for this. When I open my 'Notebook' I consider it 'Me-time'.

I've personalised my Notebook section divider with some quotes that inspire me as a Writer. Filofaxes are all about transferring your personality into the organiser so that you feel at home and comfortable and want to spend lots of time there!  The more it reflects who you are, the more you are likely to use it to it's full potential.  You want your organiser to get to that stage where the paper has been thumbed so much it's started to crumple and crease, and the leather has softened and soaked up all of the oils and sweat from your hands.  That's when other people will look at your Filofax with envy and you will feel proud at how much your Filofax has grown :)

Behind the tab I have taped some secret paper pockets to hide loose notes in.  I love anything that's a bit mysterious. When I was younger I used to have a fascination with things like keys, and secret compartments in furniture, or loose floorboards where I could keep a secret stash of trinkets.  Perhaps that's why I'm so attracted to Filofaxes with all their pockets and sections.

If your Filofax is fairly straightforward and you don't have many pockets, you can get creative like I have.  Use envelopes, tape pages together and leave one side open to slip notes in. I like to write little notes to myself, or random ideas, and then fold them up and slip them into the secret pockets in my Filofax and forget about them. It's always such a delight to discover something months down the line that you had completely forgotten about. A bit like burying a little tin of treasures and then digging it up years later.

After these secret pockets I have a wad of lined and plain notepaper for my 'Notebook' section which is very handy and I am forever having to replace.  I write down my ideas and thoughts, and scribble all sorts of nonsense.

At the end of my 'Notebook' section I have a few sheets for jotting down useful websites, which I mark with a pretty bookmark from Paperchase for easy access.

Paperchase have a wonderful selection of quirky bookmarks and paperclips that are perfect for marking pages in your Filofax.  I actually prefer using random paperclips and bookmarks to organised tabs!  I don't know why. Perhaps it's because then I feel like my system is unique to me, and I'm the only one it works for.

Part 1 - 2013 Filofax Setup - Integrating my Flex and a Dashboard

To celebrate the beginning of 2013 and a fresh new start, I have decided to move into a different filofax.  

Sometimes a change is nice and refreshing, and I've been dying to break in my new Personal Aston for a while now. It's the yummy chocolate-coloured one! Read about how I discovered it here.

The first thing I did was de-clutter!  It is amazing the amount of junk you can accumulate within the pages of your everyday Filofax.  I decided to remove every sheet I haven't looked at in months, which meant removing half the tabs too.  I was brutal, and I only kept what was absolutely necessary.

Admittedly, looking at my new set-up, you wouldn't know that I spent hours de-cluttering - It still looks pleasingly packed!  We all love a nice fat Filofax, don't we?


I like to use my original Filofaxes and my Flex Filofaxes together (read more about that here!)  

So I am currently using my Personal Aston Filofax with my Magenta Slim Flex slipped into the inside pocket, so that the flex flaps open when I open up my Aston.  

Why? Well, firstly because the colours look so yummy together, and the magenta matches my pink pencil; colour coordination and accessories are what we gals live for, right?  Also, it just serves to give me more options...

For example, it's very convenient to slip in a Flex jot-pad and use the pockets to store bits and pieces. If you want to make use of all the pockets in the Flex, including all those card slots on the left-hand side; rather than slip the left-hand side of the Flex cover into the inside pocket of your Filofax, you can just keep the Flex stored at the back on the right-hand side of your Filofax, behind all your usual inserts.  It won't slip out because the pen-loop sort of keeps it in place.

As you can see, I have personalised my jot-pad with a newspaper cutting that says "Why Women Can't Resist a List" -  It sums me up to a T!  I tend to use the jot-pad for 'rip-out, screw-up and chuck-away lists' - Such as want lists, shopping lists, to-do lists...  Which reminds me, I need to buy more jot-pads!  They run out so quickly.  They are very useful though, especially when kept at the front of your Filofax. I find I use mine a lot more when it is at the front, than when it is at the back.

You can also use your flex as a portable sticker station. At the moment I buy specific stickers for my Personal Filofax which is my general organiser, and specific stickers for my A5 which is my business organiser, but it would be ideal if I had a portable sticker station that I could transfer to whichever Filofax I am taking out with me.  The Flex slimline is the perfect solution.

Other things you could use the Flex for... To store things like stamps and receipts... To hold extra notepads... I particularly like using the elastic pen insert to hold my Lime-green four-colour bic biro. In fact you can buy these separately on the Filofax Website and use them in your Filofax without a Flex.  Just slip then into the inside pocket, or alternatively hole punch the card and keep it in the rings!

The idea of using a Flex to accessorise your Filofax might seem a bit weird to you, but as you can see from my photos, the Filofax closes perfectly well with the Flex inside, so why not?  If you want to experiment with a slim magenta, you may want to purchase your Flex now though, because I think the First Editions won't be available for much longer... and I personally think the Magenta is very cute.

How I Use a 'DASHBOARD' For My Personal-sized Filofax

I have posted previously about how to create your own 'Dashboard' using card-slot inserts - FIND OUT HOW HERE - But I use a different system in my Personal-sized Filofax.  I have a 'Front Sheet' which is a pretty patterned insert sandwiched between two pieces of acetate and clipped together using silver bookmarkers I like to buy from Waterstones, and I slide in a longish sticky note pad which is kept secure using the bookmarks.  I can then use this to jot reminders or notes and move them into the areas of my organiser that they relate to.

Behind the 'Front Sheet' I can also stick loose notes into the book marks, or stick sticky notes on the acetate sheet opposite.

Read Part 2...

In Part 2 I will be talking about my Notebook Section.

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