The Multiple Organiser Dilemma

When you own so many different types of organiser, how can you truly become attached to any one of them, so that your personal organiser system really does become a valuable part of your everyday existence? 

The Addiction

I used to think that having a variety of different kinds of organisers, all different shapes, colours and sizes, was pretty cool. I enjoyed being a 'Collector' of Filofaxes, but to be honest I think it was becoming an irrational addiction.

Most of the gorgeous, and not mention expensive Filofaxes I had collected were not really being used. It made me sad to see that they were just sitting on a shelf and gathering dust. I'm not much of a fashion victim to be honest, and I began to feel guilty for having so many pretty organisers that I didn't really need, because let's face it, it wasn't often I swapped all of my inserts from one Filofax into another into another just for a change of scene, or to go with a particular outfit.

I am a creature of habit, and essentially I like to form an intimate connection and relationship with a diary or a journal, otherwise I never end up becoming attached enough to use it properly. I realised that what I had really developed was a shopping addiction.

The Big Decision

When I was younger and at University my diaries really did get used until they were falling apart. I only had one diary for the entire year and it went everywhere with me. I felt naked without it. Usually I went for a good old Moleskine because I liked bound notebooks better than filing systems back then. It was the best feeling to see a Moleskine transform from a spanking new notebook, into a scuffed, crumpled and well-used journal and diary planner.

So when I found myself later on in life faced with a whole shelf full of pristine Filofaxes and the dilemma of what to use them all for, I decided it was time to make the sacrifice that was a long time coming. I had to narrow down my collection to the organisers that I was actually going to use everyday, and only then I would be able to form relationships with them, and stop being so afraid to ruin the brand-newness.

I decided to go for a personal size Filofax for my everyday diary, notes and personal stuff - and I went for an A5 for everything business related. All the others I sold on Ebay. 

I have to admit, it was extremely hard and even today I still regret it a little bit. But this new minimal system worked so much better for me. I felt less anxious, and more connected and productive, even though I was constantly changing the way I used them because the rings allowed way too much freedom. Then one day I discovered a new kind of system that was going to change everything... forever.

The Midori Traveler's Notebook

Yes, you guessed it, I happened to stumble across the Midori Traveler's Notebooks. I don't remember how it happened, only that I fell in love with them immediately. They made perfect sense. I had been missing the sense of fixed and permanent chronology I felt when I used to use Moleskine diaries for both planning and journalling. I have never felt quite at home journalling in a Filofax, I prefer bound notebooks that you can really break in.

The Midori offered a simple system that allowed for flexibility because you can change the notebook refills around and design your own, and a sense of 'fixed' chronology because each refill is essentially a bound notebook. What's more, I fell in love with the fact that the more you use a Midori the more personal and unique it feels because the leather is so raw that it gets scuffed and marked and the journal feels more and more 'lived in' the more you handle it!

I started off with a black Midori Traveler's Notebook because I have a tendency to be a perfectionist and I wasn't sure at first that I'd be happy with the leather getting too damaged; but I knew that eventually I would want to upgrade to the brown one because I began to prefer the way the brown leather ages and how beautifully the marks show up. Then I was very kindly given a 'Raydori' - which is a Midori-style notebook made by Ray Blake back when he first started making them. Mine was a lovely dusty grey-blue colour with my name embossed on the front.

Back To Square One

But soon I realised that I was beginning to find myself back in the same predicament. I purchased a smaller size Midori-style Notebook from Waterstones too. Suddenly I had four of them! The whole point of having a Midori was for it to become a part of me - which meant that really I needed to confine myself to using only one - So I chose the brown one.

I made all the inserts I needed so that the only thing I would ever have to carry around with me was the brown Midori. This of course rendered my Filofaxes useless once more, so I sold my final personal sized Filofax, but I couldn't bring myself to sell the A5 because I had been so excited when I got it, and I was sure I would find an alternative use for it sooner or later; or my pocket Filofax which was the very first Filofax I ever owned, and I'm a sentimental kind of girl.

The problem now though is that I religiously follow the Midori and Filofax group threads on Facebook, and seeing all the new colours and designs that people are making and purchasing and customising makes me feel that familiar urge to dig into my pocket. 

So far I have been very good and I have stuck with my brown Midori. It is gorgeous and it really does feel like it is part of who I am now, it goes everywhere with me and I love it to bits, there's no way I could ever give it up. So I am continuing to resist purchasing any of the wonderful new faux-doris that are popping up left, right and centre! However, I do think it is important for me to try using at least one Filofax, otherwise how can I write about them on this blog? (A reader even commented on the fact that all I post about these days is the Midori!)

My Secret Confession

So I purchased a Filofax last night on Ebay. It felt sooooo good! It's nothing particularly special, just an old black vintage thing. The reason I chose it was because it is one of those slim, compact designs with small rings and no popper clasp, so the idea is that it will be discrete and light enough to carry around with my Midori. I am itching to go and buy inserts now... and I am already watching several more Filofaxes on Ebay. Only watching...

I think I will be happy using the new slim Filofax alongside my Midori, because if I move my planner into the Filofax, then I can free up space in the Midori for more creative things. I also have plans for my A5 Filofax - I am moving in with my boyfriend soon and we love to cook together, so I think I am going to create a gorgeous recipe journal, with pictures and recipes and doodles and whatnot. My boyfriend is usually the one who cooks, you see, and I just sit on the side with a glass of wine looking pretty. A Recipe Filofax will give me something to do!

Anyway, that will be another post. And I will keep you updated on how I alter my current system to cater for the new Filofax, which should be arriving before the weekend - yay!

What Do You Use Your Midori Traveler's Notebook For?

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If you are anything like me, then you probably get great pleasure out of finding out how other people use their Midori Traveler's Notebooks. So I have decided to share with you a few ideas...

The GREAT thing about Midori Traveler's Notebooks... that you can refill them with notebook refills that you can very easily make yourself. This means that you can make your notebook refills with any number of pages to suit your individual needs. The less pages you decide to have in each notebook refill, the more refills you can fit into your midori at the same time, and the quicker you can get through each notebook; which personally I find quite satisfying :) It's also convenient if you're still getting used to your Midori, and you're still not entirely sure how you want to use it. You can try out different refill designs for a short time without feeling anxious about waste.

But what refills will you find most useful?

Well, the most obvious of course are diary/calendar notebooks, which most people seem to use in their Midori Traveler's Notebooks. Also refills for doodling or taking random notes, art sketchbook refills, and journal or scrapbooking refills seem to popular choices too. Sometimes it can be fun to try out new ideas though, because you never know, having an art sketchbook in your Midori might encourage you to be more artistic than you knew you were, or having a notebook refill dedicated to recording your dreams in when you wake up might help you in your creative writing, or self therapy efforts.

So, what alternative notebook refill ideas are there?

There must be an infinite number of ways you can use your notebook refills. You can get so many ideas just by browsing other people's blogs, chatting to other Midori Traveler's Notebook users on Facebook, or just thinking about your personal interests and looking at stationery online. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing...

  1. Dream Journal - As I have already mentioned, a notebook refill can be dedicated to recording your dreams. if you keep your Midori, Traveler's Notebook by your bedside, when you wake up first thing in the morning you will be able to quickly recall details of your dreams and record them. This can assist a very interesting and personal journey. You should try it! It might also help you to develop an emotional connection or relationship with your journal, which is what all of us Midori fans strive to do through personalisation.
  2. Doodle Book - If you like to let your pen wander aimlessly across the backs of envelopes when you are on the phone, maybe you should consider keeping a doodle book. Who knows, each page could turn into wonderful abstract pieces of art!
  3. Brainstorming Pad - Everybody has a preferred way of taking notes to remind themselves of ideas for shopping lists, blog posts and other things. Why not try brainstorming as a very free and visual way of generating ideas? Keeping a notebook refills dedicated to your brainstorming will encourage you to use this open form of note-taking; and the best thing about brainstorms is that it is easy to add onto your ideas, link things together, and even use little sketches. TIP: Use your notebook horizontally!
  4. Stamp Collecting - People who like to collect things or compile things might want to dedicate a notebook refill to collecting, say stamps, or stickers, or receipts, lists...
  5. Recipes Ideas - How about a notebook dedicated to yummy recipes? It can accompany you to the supermarket when you go, and then you can take it out to make space for something else when you know you won't be doing any shopping!

In what inventive ways do you use your Midori Traveler's Notebook refills? Tell me in the comments below...

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