Jul 7, 2013

So, How's the Filofax Doing?

Welcome to yet another filofax post. I should really go back to posting much often and more about my life, right? Like, the people reading this isn't reading it because they want to follow a given topic, but because most of you know me in real life (yes, penpalling actually counts for real life in this case, as letters do arrive to you... in real life ^_^), and well, yes, that. However, given that I've just posted in the Hungarian blog - where I write about real life - I don't feel like posting here again and repeating myself in a different language. Thus, filofax it is. (Okay, I'll post later on about how's my fabulous life going on, though I just drank the last of my coca-cola, so you may have to wait a tad bit more.)

Last week - after a really looooong and hard debate over whether I should get a new filofax or not, and if I do, which should I pick - I finally made a decision and ordered a Personal Identity Filofax Black from the UK site. They don't ship directly to here and I didn't want to have it sent to the US so that my "smart address" company can rip me off with the extra shipping and handling charges, so I sent it to my boyfriend - because there was shipping there - and he's going to bring it to me once he has it and the next time we meet. We are talking of different parts of the planet, so don't you think that Filofax UK works like cable complanies that give you the service up to the third house of the block and denies it from the rest. No, not that case.

 If you remember, I had ordered a Personal Chocolate Sketch Filofax last year from the FilofaxUSA site. I really loved it - though had some issues with the inserts, as you all know - but then after some use the base of the claps (or latch, really, at this point I can't figure out how should I call the closing thingie) started to rip.  I contacted the company and they told me to send it over to the US, and they would replace it with a Marron Personal Sketch. People, Marron! Marron that looks like red though people swear up and down that it really looks more brown that red... but still. Marron! So I said then "thank you but no thank you". Well, by now the clasp has ripped off and only the stitches are holding it into place. I've been forced to slim it down as much as I can, which included taking out basically all of the dividers (only six survived), and also all of the card holders and two of the three plastic pockets. It is thin now, though still if I put the whole contents to one side, I won't see the part where the rings meet, BUT, it's thinner.

By the end of the choosing process, I decided I wanted a filofax that had a pocket in the back for a notepad, NO ZIPPERS!, was available in brown or black (preferably brown, and I mean brown-brown and not marron), and no bunched up corners, but tucked under another layer of something. Elasticized penloop or more than one were a plus, since I'm actually planning on getting myself a frixion multipen, and an elasticized one would be dandy. Leather would have been nice, over PVC. I don't have any PETA afiliations or no-leather politics. I eat cow, so I might as well use the hide, right? So I checked the Holborn, the Guilford, the Cuban... even the Finsbury and none would do! The Malden won't do it for me because of the stitching and the detailing, and the other ones are textured and too... flashy for my taste, so no. I even considered the Metropol - as I have in the past - but once again the puffiness of it broke the deal for me. I was between the Fusion - which is a bit too juvenile for me - and the Identity - bunching up corners - when I decided to take the question to the big audience: Facebook. There I asked opinion over the Identity, and it turned out that the corners don't bunch up so bad, and the stitching in real life isn't as crappy as the amateur stitching in the cataloge. Thus the decision was made!

The Identity has two elasticized pen loops, a notepad pocket in the back and it isn't as puffy or shiny as the Metropol. And it was 27 GBS, so I would say it's a fair price. Now all I have to do is wait to see it in real life and give you a piece of my mind when I do. As usual.

While this happens, how's my current and only filofax doing? Well, after having to submit it to a forced slim down, I decided to move a couple of things around. One of them was to move my List of 13 to the front, right after my personal information and before my calendars. I haven't been doing so well this year, and almost on every list there are things that remain to be completed on the next list. For this moon's list, I actually made a mistake and put the same activity twice (that happens when you jot down activities not at once but some now, some others later and you don't read what you've written), but hey! Stuff like that happens! I also changed their order, so now the current one is on the top and the last ones go to the back. I also leave the space behind each list to write notes on what had happened and what I thought about that particular list.

My weeks are working well with the week-on-two-pages format, so I believe I'll keep it. Personally I like the panoramic view of my week it gives me, though truth to be told, I do miss the space a page-per-day format would give me.

I've been thinking on what format would I prefer and use from now on, but since my new filofax promises to come loaded with yet another Wo2P calendar, that decision has been left for 2015. I had my next inserts already planned - I posted about that a while ago - but recently I've been thinking about redoing my inserts - those inserts - since I had the day slotted in hours from 8h to 15h, and I actually would need it to go from 6h to at least 20h. That's nearly twice as much, I know. And I would really need the same for weekends. Could work with 7h to 18h, though, so I'll try to fit that in and see how it goes.

Another thing I've been thinking about is the paper type. The regular paper one can get at a paper store might be thicker than the paper filofax uses, and that could affect the general volume the filofax takes, so I've also been thinking about ordering blank pages. However, I have a bunch of pages cut to size, so I'll experiment on them first before making any other decisions and ordering like it's the end of the world.

One of the things that had really pained me has been removing my dividers. My 18 dividers. Things are messier nor inside, so I'm thinking about reinstalling my dividers, but I know that I can't use cardboard again for that, so I'll thining about other ways to sort this out. One idea has been to use magazine pages (there are art magazines with slightly thicker pages, yet not as thick as cardstock dividers) and somehow find and use tabs on them. Making the tabs is also a possiblity, but if you are acquinted with my handywork, you'll agree with me that buying them is better. Hey, each to their own!

Currently I've three large sections:
This includes my monthly calendar, my weekly calendar and my Event Planner... which hasn't been working as well as I expected it, but that's still up for fixing.
Which includes my track and notes. These were two different Major Dividers at one point - thus the two post-its on it - and these house all my tracks (fuel, blogs, books, etc) and my notes and lists such as my to-do (which has nothing...), housed my List of 13, and all sorts of notes like info on shipping and handling, or stuff about the University God willing I'll be enrolling for again in August, some on Archery, German and whatever I decide to print out or write down and keep in there. I actually have a couple of poems I like in there! One of my most important sections is in there as well, which is the "How To" section. I tend to forget everything, so I map out there stuff like how to change message ringtones on my phone, how to create a new archive for Outlook and stuff like that.
This is my final section. I call it "information" because it parks just about everything from addresses to the map with the timezones, and also stuff like lists of contacts, which I don't copy on contact pages but I either add on a page - like, lets say the names and numbers of all the people I need to contact about Fishermen Project under F, or all the contacts for Filofax under F, or the notes I need to remember for my penpals under their letters - or on post-its stuck to the dividers.

A lot of people like to pretty up their dividers with scrapbooking paper and pictures and washitape, but I've found that I like simple stuff as well. A simple divider with a post-it to personalize it works just fine for me. Now, don't get me wrong, I love using pretty things! And I have, as you can see in this picture, where I used a segment of a painting I found in a magazine (this gave me the idea) to cover up the unsightly side of the registration number page. However, the hard thing here is to find a magazine page sturdy enough with a good image on both sides. (I would personally go for cataloges, art magazines, architechture and Nat Geo, but that's me.) I tried using simply post-its and post-it flags but after a while that didn't do the trick.

If you have any other idea to deal with dividers, or any idea for super-thin dividers, let me know!

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