Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Filofax Swing Pad you can make at home

It was on The Crazy Life Of J blog that I first learned of the Franklin Covey Swing Pad, the answer to a problem that I hadn't realised I had with my filofax:

You see, my bindler - like many - has a pocket inside the back cover for a pad of paper:

Nice. I'd never thought about it until I watched the video on J's blog, but what I can't do easily is make notes on the pad while referring to notes elsewhere in the Filofax, because the pages obscure it, thus:

Time for some DIY. I started with a nice, firm file folder. This one is in blue, but you'll probably want one that looks good with the colour of your binder.

First, I trimmed the folder down to just less than the height of my pad:

Hopefully you can see what I've done in the picture above. The top edge as you look at it is the spine of the folder. Opening it up, I now measure the width of the pad and mark it up:

Next, I use a craft knife to cut from the spine to the outer edge, plus the remaining length of the spine. This leaves me with an L-shaped piece like this:

The next bit is tricky to explain, but here goes. I fold the long piece back on itself at a point that matches the width of the pad. It's probably easier just to look at the picture below which shows what I get after the folding:

If I lay it flat it looks like this:

I take the leftmost edge and take it to the right, making a fold that exposes paerhaps 2 or 3cm of the pad-shaped piece beneath:

By the way, don't worry if you're starting to get lost with these folds. In a minute I'm going to lay the whole thing out flat and it should become clear then. Before that, I'm just going to cut off the end of the piece I've just folded to the extent that it sticks out beyond the fold beneath it. Here's what I'm left with:

As promised, I'll now unfold it all so you can see how far we've come:

Another tricky bit. If you look at the top piece as you look at it above, I'm going to mark and cut out a rectangle from the central panel of it, from its left-hand fold, almost all the way to its right-hand fold, like this:

I wonder if you can work out what we need that hole for! Once it's cut out, we need glue all over the right-hand panel. I've used craft glue, but double-sided tape would be fine:

This now sticks to the card that backs the pad itself, like this:

Once that's dry, it's time to load the piece into the binder:

It looks like I still have a regular pad in there:

But look what I can do!

And the need for the cut-out rectangle becomes apparent, necessitated by the pen loop. Now I can access any page in my filofax at the same time as I use the pad. If this is something you now realise that you need to be able to do too, you can make one yourself. I'd suggest you either find a folder colour that complements your binder (I'll be using black if I can find one in black) or that you stick pattterned paper to the visible part of the contraption.
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