The Filofax Faces Challenge

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Introducing the lovely blue Pennybridge zipped Filofax... and my handsome boyfriend!

About the Filofax Faces Challenge

I was invited by Filofax to take part in a Filofax Bloggers' Challenge. I would receive a brand new Filofax from the new spring collection to photograph and enter as part of the online Filofax Facebook 'Like' contest. The pictures with the most likes will win 6 organisers for the photographer, and two runners up will receive 3 to give away on their blogs.

My interpretation of the Challenge

I decided to use the opportunity to allow my boyfriend to bond with my new Pennybridge Filofax on a Filofax Photo-walk around the local area. He has never quite understood my fascination with these organisers, and so I hoped that taking part in my creative project would soften his judgments, as we both love photography. I figured that as the Pennybridge we were using was blue and not too feminine, that he wouldn't be overly resistant to join in. Much to my delight he even coordinated his clothes for the shoot. Result!

We wandered around on the streets looking for interesting ways in which to shoot my boyfriend with the Pennybridge Filofax. We found a rather attractive red front door with peeling paint, so I sat him down in front of it.

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We also found some wonderfully broken down wooden fencing, with even more peeling paint. So I got him to stand in front of that too!

And another wall with, yes, more peeling paint..

Verdict: Is my boyfriend a converted Filofax Fan?

Not really, no. But at least now I have a nice little collection of pictures in which I have both a Filofax and a handsome man to ogle!

So if you like my pictures, the more likes they get, the more chance I have of winning FREE Filofaxes to give away on my blog :) Just thought I'd put this out there! So Click on the following links to support Filofancy and help me win those free Filofaxes for a blog giveaway...

Thanks for all of your support - and thank you to my wonderful and supportive boyfriend for modelling!

Zara M.

Filofax / MTN Setup - My New Combined Notebook/Rings system.


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National Notebook Day: How I am Combining My New Filofax With My Midori Traveler's Notebook.

(According to Filofax on Facebook)

I thought I'd get involved, seeing as today is National Notebook Day (part of National Stationery Week), and take the opportunity to show you my brand new Filofax, and how I am using it alongside my Midori Traveler's Notebook.

Firstly, Let's Talk About Notebooks...

Being a Writer, I always have to have a notebook with me, but that doesn't necessarily mean I always use it. That is why I decided to kick my notebook addiction and STOP purchasing pretty notebooks that I know I will never get round to using. Instead I have chosen to form a very personal relationship with ONE Notebook and one notebook only - my Midori Traveler's Notebook.

For those of you who don't know, the Midori Traveler's notebook is a simple notebook refill system which uses a simple raw piece of leather with elastic and string attached in such a way as to allow you to hold several slim notebook refills inside it. 

What Do I Use My Notebooks For?

Mainly I use mine for journalling - a daily brain dump of random things I have going through my head, and sometimes a more in depth exploration of thoughts, feelings, people and situations. My journal is like my best friend, who I go to for non-judgmental consolidation. Writing in there helps me to organise my thoughts, understand myself and live a happier and more productive life. I also use notebooks to jot down creative ideas for stories, characters, scenes and creative projects. I like to make lists and doodle too.

Why Have I Decided to go Back to Using a Filofax?

When I discovered the Midori Traveler's Notebook I abandoned all of my Filofaxes because I felt that my attention was divided, and that my filofaxes were preventing me from bonding with my gorgeous new leather notebook. The main appeal of the Midori is that it is a very personal possession which is intended to grow with you, and gain more and more personality as the leather is handled and acquires all the wonderful nicks and marks that make it so unique.

I wanted to use my Midori exclusively so I sold most of my Filofaxes and designed a weekly planner in one of the Midori Notebook Refills instead. In the end though, I found that whilst bound notebooks are perfect for journalling and sketching, scrapbooking and jotting things down because of the chronological and more 'permanent' feel to them, I essentially missed the 'organisational' aspect of having rings and being able to move inserts around as I planned my weekly schedule and daily tasks.

But the problem I now faced was that I didn't necessarily want to carry about my Midori Traveler's Notebook AND a bulky Filofax - If you are a Filofax lover you know exactly how bulky and cumbersome they tend to get! I needed a Filofax that was discrete enough to complement my Midori Notebook to create the perfect and complete portable system.

How I Solved My Filofax Problem

So the problem was that whilst I wanted the use of a Filofax 'rings' system for my everyday planning but I didn't want to start using a Filofax that would end up stuffed and take over from my Midori. I was lucky enough to find the perfect solution on Ebay...

I discovered (and won, so it was obviously meant to be) the slimmest and most discrete Filofax I have ever seen in my life. It is an old vintage Filofax so it doesn't have the model name or type embossed on it, but it does have the 'f' symbol embossed on the side and Filofax, Made in England, Real Calf printed in gold inside the back cover. It is good quality, durable black grainy leather with a slight sheen, and the rings are SO tiny (1cm diameter I think!) that it must be a slimline/compact.

It sits perfectly on top of my Midori and I have bound them together with a large clip that also acts as a pen holder. 

Why Have a Filofax and a Midori Traveler's Notebook?

Well as I have said, I personally prefer the flexibility and organisational aspect of being able to use the ring system of the Filofax to move inserts around when I am doing my daily, weekly and monthly planning, whereas I prefer to fixed chronology and sense of permanency I get with bound notebooks for journalling, doodling, sketching etc. I had toyed with the idea of trying to find a way to attach rings to the inside of the Midori, and I know that this has been done with Filofax Flex notebook binders, but I couldn't bring myself to go that far. I knew that I needed a Filofax that I would be happy carrying alongside my Midori.

How Am I Finding the Tiny Rings?

Normally I would definitely NOT be able to deal with having such tiny rings on a Filofax, especially if I were using the Filofax as my main organiser - I like to really stuff them! So you are probably wondering how I am dealing with such tiny rings. The truth is that they force me to use the Filofax specifically for what I intended - a day to day planner for the here and now - and the small rings encourage me not to carry around a load of inserts I am not really using on a day to day basis. I used to carry a whole year's worth of diary planning inserts plus excess paper which just wasn't necessary, and actually made me feel less productive because my Filofax became less focussed and less organised. As a result I was feeling more and more overwhelmed by it. 

Besides, if I start using my Filofax in that way it becomes more of a sentimental scrapbook of clippings and doodles rather than something useful, and then I would stop using my Midori. So now I reserve my Midori for all of that creative stuff, and keep the scheduling to the rings system. I love the tiny rings. - psychologically they make me want to maintain the Filofaxes slimness, and so I am constantly re-evaluating what I am really using in there and taking out inserts that have had their use. Having this minimal set-up is helping me to stay more focused and have a much clearer idea of what it is that I need to do right here and now. I design my own inserts and only draw up a month or two at a time. I intend to remove and archive the months as I go, because I have never had to look back four or five months for anything when I am out and about anyway.

I have to say there is something very satisfying about minimalism, and only using what you need.

I hope you all have a Happy National Notebook Day! Here are some more links to Notebook Posts I have written on Filofancy in the Past...

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