Filofax, Planners & Traveler's Notebook Lovers - Welcome Back!

Heidi Ott Doll, Happy, on an Aqua Chameleon A5 Filofax. Filofancy Blog by Zara M.

Why I left the online "Planner Addict" Community... and why I came back!

The good old days...

There was a time when my obsession with Filofaxes and Traveler's Notebooks was fuelled by Youtube unboxing videos, Pinterest image bingeing. and of course the deliciously bad influence of all my fellow Facebook group nutters posting pics of the planners and notebooks that I desperately wanted, talking about their insane relationships with 'organisational systems'... it was bliss. I had found a cult of people just like me, and I was happy :)

A downward spiral...

But then something changed. The groups became less interesting to me the bigger they grew. They felt less personal somehow, and people began to post things I didn't really want to see.

In the Filofax groups there was a lot of pink happening, and washi tape. I felt like everyone's planner was beginning to look rather similar.

I also didn't like the new designs that Filofax were bringing out. They just didn't seem very authentic to me, with their pretty patterns, their bold or pastel colours, their fabrics and plastic-looking covers.

To be frank, I was sick of seeing them everywhere, and I was sick of seeing people's weekly spreads, all colour coordinated and perfect (is that really how planning is? Is that really what life looks like? My planner very rarely looks like this, and if it does it's because I have gone back and decorated everything, which is something I had never even thought of doing before.

Even darker times...

I was even more disillusioned when the Traveler's Notebooks groups on Facebook seemed to take a similar direction.

When Ray Blake first started to make his Raydori's I was admittedly excited. It was cool to see one of the original crew doing something he enjoyed, making his own versions of a product I love. I think it is a great inspiration to see a person's creative journey, and of course I was thrilled when he made me a Raydori for my 30th birthday! It was blue and it had my name embossed on the front, I still use it. I also liked that Ray has made a name for himself and was hand-manufacturing a great product.

But then other TN-makers started to pop up out of the woodwork, making their own versions in all the colours of the rainbow, and in a variety of different materials. It was fun at first, but I soon realised that I wasn't feeling good about all of this so called development. What was once a cool and original brand, a product with a purpose and a sense of identity, was being transformed into a rainbow coloured glitter fest full of washi tape and cutesy nonsense, that anyone and everyone was selling in their Etsy shops. 

Filofancy | My Midori Traveler's Notebook, Journaling bliss with a nice cup of tea!
I like Classic, Sophisticated Simplicity... and a nice cup of tea!

Rock Bottom...

Perhaps what upset me the most was that not only did I feel increasingly disconnected with these online communities, I was feeling more and more disconnected with my planners, my journals, and even with myself. I didn't belong in this rat race. I tried to fit in, but in the end I felt lost and incomplete. I couldn't figure out how to connect with my own planners and Notebooks, and the platforms I had always gone to for inspiration or reassurance, weren't really there anymore. So I silently bid everyone goodbye and disappeared.


It has been a few years now, and I am always quite fascinated to see how my blog has survived, despite my absence. It still gets a healthy number of views each day, even though I haven't added content or linked to posts in simply ages.

I had a right giggle when I watched the handful of Youtube videos I created back in the day. I realised how much I have grown up. I now have to wear specs to work on my laptop, and I have a halo of grey! But more importantly, I feel that I have grown into myself. I have my own sense of identity. I like myself. I am confident and secure in who I am, what I think, and what I want. I am even, more consistent with the way I use my planners & journals these days - In fact I have come to realise something important...


It's not about what planner you have, or even the way you use it, these things are not important or worth planner meltdowns or expensive shopping sprees. 

It is about YOU and your life.

Do you feel that the material items you own reflect who you are? Do they make you feel good and are they tools which empower you to do great things and make the most of your life? Or are you just working hard and then spending lots of money on things you don't need in order to fill a hole? Think about it.

New Beginnings...

I want to recreate my platform. Filofancy has grown up, and it is time to celebrate and share how I have come to use planners, journals, notebooks etc. to explore and express myself, reflect on my life, and plan for what I want to achieve next.

I hope that I can use my creativity to inspire you to find yourself, to help you organise your own thoughts and ideas, and live your life to the full.

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