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!


  1. I think I finally found peace with my purple malden but only time will tell!

    1. The maldens are gorgeous, but you can never get hold of a bargain :) If I could my hands on an ochre... the purple is lovely too. Oh God, don't get me started!

  2. I think owning several ffs is just fine as long as you don't give in the notion that it must be in every days use which applies only for the diary one. I use a lot A5s as reference books. So they develope their content and usefulness over time. For that you need patience and a way out of the idea that every ff is meant to be a daily companion and diary. And when you stop the circle of buying-selling-buying than you are able to getting on with your life rather than clinging to this ff hunting addiction. Good luck!

    1. Thank you for your comment, I like the idea of using a filo fax as a reference tool and it becoming more and more useful over time. Sort of like a slow and purposeful process like developing a life with someone. :)

    2. Yes Zara, that's a nice analogy. Thank you. I see them like friends that take care of different needs to which informations, dravings and pictures are key. Also when working on a solution it is a useful thing to organise and adjust the content as you go along, whilest my journalling goes in my midori traveller notebook. For every specific task the fitting solution. That's what I have worked out for me after trying out every type of planner, notebooks and every size of Filofax.


Thanks for your comments and getting involved! :)