A Filofax dilemma – too many filofaxes?!

Warning: Very geeky, stationery focused picture-heavy post!

Some of you may remember my filofax for university post, in which I happily chatted away about using my filofax for university.  Now that my lectures are over, and I have one exam to go until I graduate, it’s time for a serious overhaul in terms of my set up, and I’ve hit a total wall in where to go from here!

As plans stand at the moment, I’ll be starting my MSc in September 2014, and getting some work experience over the next year.  That means that my university sections are going to be completey obselete…for a year, at which point they’ll come back! I’ve loved having the space of the A5, but will I need it for the next year when I’ll be looking at work experience (hopefully) or unemployment (potentially)?

I’ve got 4 filofaxes to choose from at the moment, 2 A5s (Domino Snake & Aqua Finsbury) and 2 personals (Metropol Raspberry & Winnie the Pooh!).  This Winnie the Pooh binder isn’t an official filofax, and I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but it is real leather and it takes personal sized inserts, so for the purposes of this post, I’m just treating it as an extra personal!

Filo collection

For most of this year I’ve been using my Domino Snake A5, because I can toss that into my bag without really worrying about damaging it. The intention was that my Finsbury would then stay at home as a sort of reference filofax.  Unfortunately, I ended up having plenty of space in my Domino, and so as the year has gone on, more and more has gone into my Domino, and my Finsbury has been getting neglected!

Part of what’s thrown me off on my plan for next year however, is….the purchase of a handbag. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t carry a handbag – my phone and bank cards go in my back pocket, my keys in my front pocket and everything else stays at home! On a night out, I either stick everything in my other half’s pockets, or carry one of those tiny bags too small to be called a bag!  When I’m going to lectures I carry a bag far too big for day to day, which gets filled with all sorts of junk – notebooks, books, tablet, food, my filofax (or sometimes both filofaxes)…anything and everything basically!

Finally fed up of either having to lug around my giant bag for a quick trip into town, or stick everything in my pockets and risk (another) bank card so bent out of shape it doesn’t work anymore, I bought myself a handbag over Easter. It’s only a cheap one from Primark, but it has been a revelation (though I haven’t yet managed to break the habit of putting my phone into my back pocket!)  I have to admit that with Lady Tamlynn’s glowing comments on The Leather Satchel company, I’m now dreaming of one of these in the 12.5inch, but that’s an issue for later!

Anyways, the link between my handbag and filofax is simple – it’s too small for an A5 filofax, but can comfortably fit a personal and either a book or my tablet.

Personal & bookPersonal & Tablet

So logically this leads to the assumption that I should use a personal right? Well sure, except that I’ve never managed to get on with just a personal before because I want my filofax to act as more than just a list of appointments I can carry around, and all the other ideas I want to include don’t tend to fit into a personal!

I’m leaning towards carrying one of the personals around, and using one of the A5s as an at-home filofax – a sort of modified version of my original plan, but hopefully there won’t be enough room in the personal for it to take over!  My biggest issue with that is the idea of two diaries – it seems like the perfect opportunity for things to get lost or not-transferred in time etc!  My other half suggested putting only essential appointments into the personal, for carrying around, and then having a detailed diary with to-dos etc in the A5 at home, which is about the only way I can see it working at the moment!

That of course, still leaves the issue of which A5 and which personal to choose! I’m reasonably sure I want to use the A5 Finsbury because it hasn’t been used much over the last year (yes, I feel bad for it!), and my biggest reason for not using it was that I was worried about damaging it. If it’s just staying at home anyway, that shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, it was a gift, and I feel bad not getting full use out of it!

I’m very torn by the personals though! I love the Winnie the Pooh one because it’s unique, and I love the cozy interior.  It could do with a bit of a clean up, and it is real leather, but it’s stood up pretty well so far. For the downsides, it only has one pen loop, and it doesn’t have any sort of closure mechanism.

Winnie interiorWinnie outside

The metropol is very definitely not unique – my housemate has one in Kingfisher (which I’m sort of jealous of, because I have a filofax problem!).  It is however slightly slimmer, has two pen loops, and does close – all good things!  It has card slots in the front, but honestly I doubt I’d use them. I carry only the minimum amount of cards out with me, and I know I wouldn’t want to get my filofax out everytime I wanted to use them!  It’s more durable than the Winnie the Pooh organiser though, and (petty though this is) I love the way it looks next to my purple tablet case. It’s just fun and colourful, and part of me loves that. The rings don’t line up as well as the Disney ones do though.

Tablet & metropol
I’m trying to focus on finding the system that works for me – rather than the system I want to work for me! When I first started thinking about getting a new filofax set up, I’ll be honest, a very large part of me thought “Well, I could get rid of the personals I already have and buy a leather one”….which is stupid when I don’t even know if I can cope with a personal! Instead, I’m going to try and come up with the right set up, and THEN (if I have any money) decide whether I’d rather have a new personal filofax or a satchel!

Figuring out the right set-up (for now at least, I very definitely do not believe in “The One” when it comes to organisation!) means deciding what I really want to put in my filofaxes. As a quick ‘brain-dump’ right now these are things I have included before/want to include in the future:

  • Diary
  • Blog post ideas
  • Day Zero List
  • Reading Challenges
  • Book review tracker
  • Review notes
  • Gift ideas
  • Wishlist
  • Spending
  • Long-term projects
  • Pets – tracking weight etc
  • To-do lists
  • Goals
  • Blog Calendar
  • Writing
  • Blogs I like / Bookmarks
  • Account names / Password hints
  • Quotes
  • Outfit ideas

Obviously this is just too much stuff! I need to really narrow it down to what I actually need, and fit that to what I’ve got and the most productive set up. I.e. logically I would normally put all blog related things together (list of post ideas, bookmarks, calendar, review tracker etc etc) but those things don’t all need to be carried around with me every day, so I need to decide whether I’d rather have one overstuffed heavy filofax to carry everywhere, or to put up with having two filofaxes in exchange for having a small, light one to carry around?

The other thing is that I’m still struggling with the right inserts – not helped by the fact that so far I haven’t managed to successfully print any of my own!

So that’s my dilemma for the moment, and it’s making a reasonably interesting but productive break from revision! I’ll be thinking about it more over the next week or so, and hopefully I’ll have figured things out by the end of next week at the latest (my exam is on Tuesday of next week).  If I ever get sorted, hopefully I’ll be able to join in with the My Week roundups hosted by Paper Lovestory!

In the meantime, please share your advice and/or your filofax set ups, because I love seeing everyone else’s! Do you have one, two, more? A5, personal or something else entirely?

9 thoughts on “A Filofax dilemma – too many filofaxes?!

  1. Hello!
    Love your blog. The owls are especially delightful.
    I think your other half’s suggestion is pretty spot on, so maybe try that and if it doesn’t work, then cross that bridge.
    I think you should go with the Metropol, ’cause that might be easier to replace if it gets too scuffed up. That Disney one is –gorgeous–!
    I’m guilty of too many Filofaxes (and non Filofax organisers). I have 1xA5, 2x Pocket, 5x Personal. And that’s just Filofax branded. On top of that, I have another A5 (Paperchase) and another two Pockets (one Paperchase, one from WHSmith’s). In my defence though, I’ve managed to get most of these for a discount of some kind. I’ve only ever paid full price for one and that was the pocket one from WHSmiths, but that was only ever £9.99 so that’s not a big deal. I love them all though XD
    My advice is, if something is in your Filo for a long time without you looking at/referring to it, then it should be removed. Although once you get the hang of printing/designing your own inserts it’s a little easier to slim down what you carry around.
    Umm. That was kind of rambly. I hope it helped some!

  2. I use a Pocket Filo with an A5 ringbound notebook and that combination works really well for me – details are on my blog, lilyactually.blogspot.co.uk

  3. Winnie the pooh is gorgeous, perhaps too much so to risk around. Give the personal a go and if it doesn’t work for you…. buy a bigger bag? I love my 13.5 inch satchel, and it would definitely hold an A5!

  4. Anyone know where I can get a personal organiser that is NOT Filofax, fed up paying so much for their leather zipped organisers only to have the zip break after a year , and I don’t overfill it, I have written to them about the problem but they do not even send an acknowledge let alone a reply .. The first organiser I ever had was an own brand and lasted far longer than any Filofax I have had

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