Friday 31 August 2012

All Stars Round-up

The Philofaxy All Stars 2012 tour has been running and if you're a regular visitor here you'll have seen that I've been lucky enough to secure some fantastic guest posts.

I've also been writing guest posts for other blogs as part of the tour. Here are my posts so far:

I answered a few questions about myself for Thoughts and Exploration.

I designed a today marker and goal reminder for Imysworld.

I wrote about the things I carry with me for Deligted.

I introduced the new golden age of SF for Fennell Books.

I wrote about how to avoid procrastination for We Really Didn't Need Another Filofax Blog.

I wrote about my system for keeping in touch with people for Steve Morton.

If any of these are of interest, please visit the blogs and have a look around while you're there.  Each of these blogs could keep you occupied for hours!

Filofax Blog of the Week: Paper Pens Ink

Friday means it's Blog of the Week time again. Weekly a different blogger walks us through their Filofax blog. This week, it's Amanda who introduces her blog Paper Pens Ink.

When did you start your blog?

8th January 2011.

What were your reasons for starting it?

I enjoy reading about other people's experiences of different paper, different inks etc and I started out intending to review more things than I actually have! Somehow along the way the filofaxes and organisation in general started to take over.

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

The post I did on my book-o-fax which has has over 1100 views.

Which post is the one you’re most proud of?

Although not the most popular nor the most commented on, probably the post I did on Reviews and Plans.  I have struggled with ending up swamped with things and then not being able to do everything, then feeling like I've failed when things aren't done. Every now and then I read that post again to remind myself to live until I die. You only get one chance at this world; don't squander it on things that don't mean the earth to you.

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

The enormous warmth and support out there. I genuinely assumed I would be a lone voice, crying in the wilderness when I started but so many people have found me. There's an amazing community out there and I have ended up 'friends' with a whole heap of people I never would have otherwise. (Friends is only in quotes because I have met absolutely none of them in the flesh!)

In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?

A place where I try to share my love of stationery.

Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?

Try and post regularly - little and often is better than one essay a month. And keep a section in your filofax where you can note down ideas for posts.

My thanks to Amanda for participating.

If you own a Filofax blog and would like it to be featured in this series, please complete the questionnaire.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Download a Party Planner for your A5 Filofax

When Judith in her blog posted on these birthday planner pages, salvaged from an old hardcover organiser, I immediately saw how useful they would be. Over the years, my wife and I (mostly my wife, if I'm honest) have organised a wide variety of birthday parties for our growing kids, and having pages like these would have been a big help to us.

I asked Judith if she minded me producing a printable version of the pages, and she was kind enough to send me some clear scans.  I changed them quite a bit and added a whole new section at the front to support finding and booking a venue, which for us was always the trickiest part.

The result is a four-page party planner that I think will be of use to anyone who has to organise parties.

Here's what it looks like. As I said, page 1 is about finding and agreeing terms with a venue.

On page 2, we move into move detail on catering and entertainment.

Page 3 covers invitations. Here, you can list the people to invite and track their responses. Later, you can note down what gift they each brought. Numbering the guests lets you see at a glance how many places you have left.

Finally, page 4 tracks your party shopping by category and other actions.

Using the party planner will make it more likely that your parties will proceed without a hitch. You can download the pages as either an editable Word file or as a PDF file. Either way, it is set up as an A4 document for you to print in booklet mode and then cut in half. Mirrored gutters allow space for the holes to be punched.

Monday 27 August 2012

Journalling School Session 6: Personal Goals

Welcome to the sixth session of Journalling School. In today's session we'll be looking at how your journal can help you achieve your personal goals.

Writing down your personal goals is generally considered to be one of the most important personal development activities you can undertake. But it is only part of the story. Making your goals public, reviewing the goals and progress towards them are important, too and so is planning how you'll achieve them. You can do all of this in your journal.

Firstly, you have to explain what your personal goals are. For each, journal about what the goal is, but also:
  • Why this goal is important to you
  • What achieving it will mean to you
  • When you want to achieve it by
  • What plans and ideas you have for achieving it
When I did this myself, I split the goals up and covered one each day for a week, but if the mood takes you, you can do them all in one entry. The idea is to really explore each goal.

Next, you should revisit your goals regularly, perhaps monthly and perhaps one goal at a time. When you do this, write about:
  • What you have done to get nearer to the goal(s)
  • What you are going to do next
  • What other ideas you intend to try
  • Whose support you need and how you plan to get it
Note that when you look forward, you don't have to have the answers when you start writing. Next time we'll look at problem solving in your journal, and you'll find when you try the techniques I'll explain then that blank paper is very much your friend.

Here is where your journal and your planner really come together. When you have finished your goal review, transfer all of the ideas and actions into your planner. Where you can, write actions into your calendar on fixed dates. Where you cannot schedule definite actions, schedule planning time or make some entries in your task lists. Also, pop a post it tab or a bookmark in your journal on today's entry so that next month you can review the entry and hold yourself accountable when you review your progress again.

What you'll find when you start to consciously plan and pursue your goals in this way is that they stop being just dreams and start to become conceivable reality that you are working towards. Of all the outcomes you might find journalling gives you, this is perhaps the most tangible and life-changing.

It isn't just your life goals that you can use this technique for. You can use the same approach for any change you want to bring about - say, changing your career or getting fit. Start by writing about the change you want to make, why you want to change and what making the change will mean to you. Then, regularly write about what progress you've made, what you want to try next and what other ideas you have. Use your planner and keep holding yourself accountable.


If you have already written your personal goals, then write about them in your journal this week. Pick one or two goals a day and consider them from all angles. In particular, talk about what achieving the goals will mean to you. If you haven't yet written personal goals, then use your entries this week to explore what they might be; think and write about what you want to achieve professionally and personally, at work and in your relationships. Finish the week with a list of 4-8 goals you want to commit to.

Put a note in your planner for when you want to review progress towards your goals. Do it straight away, even if you haven't written your goals yet.

That was the sixth session of Journalling School. In the next session we'll be looking at problem solving in your journal.

Feedback, thoughts and ideas are welcome, as ever. Please share your experiences in the comments.

Friday 24 August 2012

Filofax Blog of the Week: Filofax Love

Friday means it's Blog of the Week time again. Weekly a different blogger walks us through their Filofax blog. This week, it's Sachiko who introduces her blog Filofax Love.

When did you start your blog?

I started my blog in May 2012 when I bought a Malden Vintage Pink.

What were your reasons for starting it?

I had an Aqua Finsbury before getting a Malden and I'd been really enjoying making dividers and so on, so I thought I wanted to share what I do to my Filofax with other people.

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

My first post which is on my handmade dividers has got the most views so far.

Which post is the one you’re most proud of?

It's hard to pick a favourite- writing posts is difficult for me because I am a native Japanese but I always try my best to create interesting posts.

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

I'm surprised how many nice people there are in the Filofax community.

In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?

Packed with lots of interesting photos showing Filofax love!

Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?

In my experience lots of people like looking at photos so it's definitely a good idea to have plenty of them on your page, and don't forget to share your cool ideas with us!

My thanks to Sachiko for participating.

If you own a Filofax blog and would like it to be featured in this series, please complete the questionnaire.

Thursday 23 August 2012

All Stars Guest Post by Femke: The Things We Carry Around

When Femke offered to exchange guest posts with me as part of the 2012 Philofaxy All Stars Tour, we both thought it would be interesting to write about what we carry around with us (as well as our organisers.) Here is Femke's collection of portable essentials. Be sure to visit Femke's blog, Deligted, where you will find my list of carry around items and plenty of other interesting posts besides.

Things I carry in my bag.

1. My Marc Jacobs wallet

I tend to switch wallets, but I just switched to my Marc Jacobs wallet, because it really is my favorite. Everything fits in there and it’s always overstuffed. I love it.

2. My pink A5 Chameleon.

Yes, I carry my A5 Filofax with me. I have just cleaned it out, so I’m only carrying the stuff that really is essential for me and surprisingly, it’s not that heavy! It’s really thin now, though, which makes me kinda sad.

3. A book.

This is my current read. I just bought a stack of books so I’m going through that, but I also have a Kindle stocked with lots of books. I just cannot say goodbye to paper books.

4. My keys.

The Guardian Angel was a gift from my mum, and you can take it out and then it can be used as a coin for a shopping cart. Really nifty. The 100% Bristolian keychain I bought the last time I visited Bristol, I lived there for a couple of months and this reminds me of that time. The other keychains I thought were just fab.

5. My pen holder.

I carry around 7 Pilot Frixions, so instead of keeping them in my Filofax, I got this cute pen holder. 

Thanks, Femke for this look into your bag. 

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Day Planner for your A5 Filofax

Filofax make an undated 'Day Planner' in Personal size. It looks like this (picture from the Filofax UK website):

Click to enlarge
I've always thought this was a handy insert for people like me who can usually cope with a week-to-view diary, but who have the odd day that requires more extensive planning and scheduling.

But Filofax don't make one of those in A5 size. So I decided to make my own. Broadly, I stuck to the same design, but the bottom section on the front page - "Don't Forget" - didn't do anything for me. It struck me that the 'To Do' section had pretty much covered that. So in my version, the lower third is a place to log people you need to contact where you can note what you want to talk to them about, how you plan to do it (by calling, emailing or meeting them) and to track successful completion.

Here's my front page:

Click to enlarge
And here is my back page:

Click to enlarge

The insert is available as an editable Word file and as a PDFfile. Either way, it is set up as an A4 document for you to print in booklet mode and then cut in half. Mirrored gutters allow space for the holes to be punched.

Monday 20 August 2012

Journalling School Session 5: Role play

Welcome to the fifth session of Journalling School. Today's session is something of an advanced topic and it won't be for everyone. It is about being someone else for a while.

This idea is inspired by an exchange in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "Total Recall" (which started life as a much better short story by Phillip K Dick called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".) In the film, our hero, Douglas Quaid, visits the HQ of a company called Rekall Inc. At Rekall, they offer a service which implants false memories of a holiday. Rather than the expense and inconvenience of actually going to a place, you can simply remember the experience.

Doug meets Bob McClane there and explains he wants to have memories of a holiday on Mars implanted. Bob outlines a new optional extra:
Bob McClane: What is it that is exactly the same about every single vacation you have ever taken?
Douglas Quaid: I give up.
Bob McClane: You! You're the same. No matter where you go, there you are. It's always the same old you. Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself. I know it sounds wild. It is the latest thing in travel. We call it the Ego Trip.
Doug decides to be a secret agent on his holiday, and the film then gets rather weird. But the point is this: you can use a similar trick in your journal. You can write in the persona of a secret agent, or a visiting alien, or a TV reporter, or whatever your imagination can conceive.

When writing, you can think about what your persona would notice or find interesting, and write about that. One of the most effective roles to play is that of a child, perhaps a younger version of yourself, who doesn't understand much of what is second nature to you. You will find yourself wondering about and questioning all sorts of things you normally take for granted and this can throw up some great insights.

Set yourself the task of staying in this persona in your journal for a few days, perhaps for a week, and just see what emerges. You will undoubtedly write about things that would ordinarily never have made it to your journal, and at the end of the 'Ego Trip' you can evaluate the exercise and decide what you'd like to keep writing about even after you drop the persona. 


Take an Ego Trip in your journal. Be someone else for a few days. Write about the things that you normally would, but look through different eyes. Focus on what this persona would focus on and write accordingly. Afterwards, go back and read your entries. Think about what emerged that wouldn't normally find its way into your journal. Which of these elements would you like to incorporate in your regular journalling?

If this is just too weird for you, then reverse the situation. Be yourself and write in your normal way, but write about an imaginary day that didn't actually happen. Imagine a dramatic event. If you like, you can include famous people that you don't know. Write just as if this were a normal day. Afterwards, go back and read your account, and think about what is different in the way you wrote this entry. Can some of this find its way into your day-to-day journalling?

That was the fifth session of Journalling School. In the next session we'll be looking at personal goals and how journalling can help you reach them.

Feedback, thoughts and ideas are welcome, as ever. Please share your experiences in the comments.

Friday 17 August 2012

Filofax Blog of the Week: The Life of the Perpetual Student

It's Friday and thus Blog of the Week time again, in which weekly a different blogger walks us through their Filofax blog. This week, it's Kate who walks us through The Life of the Perpetual Student. 

When did you start your blog?

I started my little blog on 12th April 2011!

What were your reasons for starting it?

I had been reading the fantastic Philofaxy for a few weeks after I got my first Filofax. I soon became obsessed with reading other blogs, and I loved the way people could write whatever they liked whenever they liked, and that theoretically there was an audience out there who would read it. I decided I wanted to start my own blog to tell my story and share my ideas, and I'm so glad I did! I love writing and this is my outlet :) I decided to write it about studenthood, because this has been my life for years, and it is very important to me that other students can get all the help and advice they need, so I wanted to give them the tips and tricks I have learnt the hard way, by being the first member of my family to go to university and not having anyone to give me that advice.

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

The most popular post on my blog is this Philofaxy Allstars guest post by the lovely Angela from Paperlovestory! It has over double the views of the next most read post!

Which post is the one you’re most proud of?

Actually, it's not one of my Filofax posts, although I do love writing them! As my blog is called the Life of the Perpetual Student, I don't just write about how to organise ones (student) life with filofaxes etc, but tips and tricks to student life. This post hasn't got the most views (those are definitely the Filofax ones), but I spent a few hours writing this and I think it is quite a good set of tips for first time students. I have also got a few good comments to this post, and hope that it has helped people! 

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

Undoubtedly, I have been most surprised by the fact that people actually read my little blog, and how many do! Almost 60,000 page views to date! (Although some of them were me checking my posts have successfully been uploaded!)

In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?

Tips, ideas, reviews and comments I have come up with along the way of my Filofax journey!

Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?

My piece of advice is to filofax users, not filofax bloggers, if I may: Don't be over-influenced by what you read on other people's blogs. A few times I have felt that I was completely happy with my filofax set-up or the size of the filo I was using, and then I read a blog post or two that made me question whether I should change my set-up or switch to a bigger or smaller sized filo. This is dangerous because suddenly I feel that I have to change the set-up I have been happy with, and then my filofax is in flux for weeks or months! So don't feel that you have to change your filofax just because you think someone else has a good idea; trust your set-up, and stick with it if you are happy with it and it is working for you!

My thanks to Kate for participating.

If you own a Filofax blog and would like it to be featured in this series, please complete the questionnaire.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

All Stars Guest Post by Imy: Zebra Sharbo X Multi-Pen

I was very happy when Imy of Imysworld (obviiously!) offered to write a guest post for me as part of the 2012 Philofaxy All Stars Tour. Her review of the Zebra multi-pen was timely for me, because I've been considering investing in one like it. I hope you'll find it similarly informative. Afterwards, be sure to visit Imysworld.

As part of the Philofaxy All Stars, Ray has let me do this post about my new Zebra Sharbo X Multi-Pen. I ordered it from Cult Pens and got pretty much next day delivery for nothing, free delivery!!! They are amazing when it comes to ordering from them. 

The Sharbo X can hold, 2 pen/stylus/marker/highlighter refills and a pencil, with the options of 0.3mm, 0.5mm and 0.7mm. 

I ordered the Silver Sharbo X, Zebra JSB Gel 0.5mm refill, OHTO Needlepoint Multipen Refill Fine R-4C7NP, pack of 3 erasers, Pencil Mechanisim for 0.5mm lead, and finally Pentel Ain Stien Lead 0.5mm Grade B.

When I opened the pen and took it out of the packaging it said read all instructions before setting up pen (I forgot to take a photo of the packaging, it comes presented in a lovely box.) I ignored this instruction and just set up the pen with excitement!! 

The main issues I have noticed about this pen are (thought it was best to start with the problems then tell you the good points)

  1. The Zebra JSB Gel 0.5mm refill seems to have a VERY SHORT life span, even though it is the nicest refill to write with, I queried it with Cult Pens and they explained that I either have a faulty refill or it will only last that long, I used it for 5 days very lightly at work in my Filofax and writing telephone messages, no where enough writing for me! The other issue about this refill is it costs £4!!! When it last for 5 days that is just not good enough, I emailed them about ordering in packs of 10 to see if there would be a discount and it came out at £3 per refill, which is quite a saving, especially if they run out so quickly, but it is money I would spend due to how AMAZING the refill writes! 
  2. The pen as a whole is very costly due to the fact it comes completely empty other than a rubber and you have to set it all up, it came to £60 including VAT. 
  3. The last issue I have noticed, is the rubber is fiddly to get to, it is under a screw cap, but I love how it keeps it streamline and tidy and less likely to loose it I guess.

          And that rubber on the screw cap is not a rubber! 

The positives… 

It is beautiful


It holds 2 pens and a pencil, so it's practical.

It is easy to change between each pen and pencil, it changes so smoothly like a well oiled machine, it love how smooth it feels to change! To change the inserts is easy as pie…


And it is so comfy to hold, it just looks like such a gadget pen, you can imagine it shooting a spider web or something… 


Despite the three issues, which are not major ones as it is an investment, I would recommend this pen to anyone, I really love it so much!!! 

Thank you Ray for letting me do this guest post on your blog, I feel very privileged!!!

Au contraire, Imy, I feel like the privileged one, hosting a guest post from a Filofax blogging legend! Thanks for the excellent review.

Monday 13 August 2012

Journalling School Session 4: Positive Journalling

Welcome to the fourth session of Journalling School. Today's session was originally going to be quite a frivolous one, but I've been struck by the number of comments so far about people having found themselves getting bogged down in negativity when journalling. So today we are going to explore positive journalling, and its mood-altering abilities.

Often, we are advised to face challenges and work through issues by writing about how we feel in a journal. That is worthwhile, because once you've cleared the air and got those feelings down on paper, I find that they stop eating away at you. It can be as though you have pulled them from your mind and trapped them on the paper, and that's a great result.

However, there comes a time when enough is enough and when what's lacking is a little positivity. Just like you can smile yourself into a good mood, you can write your way into a positive attitude, or confidence, or relaxation. Simply write about one, some or all of these topics:
  1. What am I grateful for?
  2. What am I looking forward to?
  3. If things go well for me, how will I feel next week/month/year?
  4. What nice things do people say about me?
  5. Who do I love and why?
  6. What are my greatest achievements this year/this decade/in my life?
You will end the writing session smiling and feeling warm and confident, which could be enough to make a big difference to the outcomes of your day.

If you have feelings of depression, fear or discontent, you have to acknowledge them first, though, or your positivity will be largely wasted as suppressed feelings keep intruding on your consciousness. So if you want to use your journal to influence your mood in a more positive direction, there are three steps to achieving it.

STEP 1: Write about how you actually feel. Poor out the worries, fears, concerns. Share your depression with the page. Acknowledge what's on your mind.

STEP 2: Keep going as long as you need to. Make sure you write down every aspect of your malaise, even if it covers pages and pages. When you've finished, pause. Let the echoes fade away.

STEP 3: Write down one of the prompts listed above and then answer the question in as much depth as you can.

Followers of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) will recognise this as the Match-Pace-Lead process, but rather than engaging with another person to influence them, you are engaging with yourself. And the influence you create will be very real. When you try this technique you will put down your journal in a different mood from the one in which you picked it up. It is catharsis, as Rori pointed out in a comment at Session 1.

Image © Copyright Rod Trevaskus and licensed
for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence


One day this week, work through the three steps in a journal entry. Try to do it in one sitting, but spread it over a couple of days if you need to. Make sure you really write it all out, and then give as much space to the positive prompt as you can. Do more than one if you like, and keep the focus positive. Afterwards reflect on how you feel.

That was the fourth session of Journalling School. In the next session we'll be doing some role playing.

Feedback, thoughts and ideas are welcome, as ever. Please share your experiences in the comments.

Saturday 11 August 2012

All Stars Guest Post by Deborah: Career Change with a Filofax

I am delighted that Deborah of Thoughts & Exploration agreed to write a guest post for me as part of the 2012 Philofaxy All Stars Tour. I think you'll enjoy reading about a subject close to my heart - using a Filofax to make things happen. Afterwards, be sure to visit Deborah's excellent blog.

Thank you, Ray, for letting me guest post on your blog as part of Philofaxy's All Stars Tour! And thank you for doing an All Stars guest post on my blog, Thoughts & Exploration. After you read this, go take a look at Ray's guest post!  

I read Ray's blog on a regular basis and have picked up a lot of useful information that I've adopted for my own use, so I'm happy to make my little contribution here by writing about how I will be using my Filofax to help bring about much needed changes in my professional life. I wrote a little bit about this needed change on my blog in a post called When I'm On My Deathbed. I know, pretty sullen, huh? Well, like I said, it's time for a change!

What better way to plan out this change than to do it in my beloved Filofax?! I have created a section in my Personal-sized Filofax that now has four different worksheets that I'll use to help me make a career change.  

I decided to use a rainbow icon as my tab for this section - I think it's appropriate! The thought of a rainbow makes me happy and that's what I want to do, make myself happy in my career. This first worksheet ("Skills and Field"…a name I made up) was suggested to me by Cloudberry (I'm sorry, I don't actually know your real name).  She suggested that I make a table with four squares and that I list my current skills and new skills needed as they pertain to my current field and the possible new field.  I think the picture explains it a bit better.  This will let me think about what is possible based on my current capacity and what I may need to do in order to move forward to a new career.  She explained that it is hard to jump from the "Current skills/current field" square (bottom left) diagonally up to the "New skills/New field" square (top right).  Doing this exercise will give me an idea of how to go about finally reaching that new skills/new field area.

Click to enlarge

I'll work on that exercise while also doing my "Thoughts" worksheet:

Click to enlarge

This is where I plan to just brainstorm the pros and cons of staying where I am versus looking for something new. I'll list some of the jobs/careers that interest me and then some of the pros and cons for each. I'm hoping that by the time I've worked on these first two sheets, I'll have a focus; a goal towards which to work.

Once I've narrowed down my interest(s), I'll use my "Job Search" pages to start, job search! These pages will give me a snapshot of the different agencies that are hiring and the positions that I'm interested in pursuing. It'll keep me on track so that an application or opportunity doesn't fall through the cracks.

Click to enlarge

And then there is my last page.  I'll use my "Interview Prep" pages to help me prepare for any interviews. I'll do my homework on the agency/position here so that I'll be able to sound like I know what I'm talking about. I'll have my questions ready and I'll remember to write down the names of the interviewers so that I can follow-up with thank you letters after the interview.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yes, I haven't actually started to fill in these pages, but I will!! I think I'm off to a good start and having it all together in my Filofax will help me stay focused. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has suggestions for any changes that I should consider making to my worksheets or if I'm missing something.

Thanks again, Ray, for letting me do this post! I fear that my handwritten pages aren't nearly as nice as the fabulous forms that you create but they'll do the job. I should take it as a hint that I shouldn't apply for a position where I'll need to create forms! 

Thanks, Deborah, for an excellent post. Please keep us updated on your progress.

Friday 10 August 2012

Filofax Blog of the Week: Miscellany from a Filofax Fanatic

It's Blog of the Week time again, in which weekly a different blogger walks us through their Filofax blog. This week, it's Sandra who walks us through Miscellany from a Filofax Fanatic.

When did you start your blog?

I set up the page in April, 2011, but my first post was in early June, 2011.

What were your reasons for starting it?

I had been reading Philofaxy blog posts for a few months and was amazed at the number of others out there that shared my passion for Filofax. I started the blog to share my experiences with Filofax and to have fun. I love to write! Photography is a passion as well.

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

My one and only vlog. Who knew?

Which post is the one you’re most proud of?

It's my first post, Start 'Em Young! I dove in with it and became a blogger. Weird.

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

It surprises me that others want to read what I write and to take peeks into my life. It's also more fun to blog than I thought it would be.

In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?

My blog chronicles my love of Filofax, my values, and my life as I know it.

Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?

Don't worry about the judgement of others. Just write and share what you'd like. And have fun! Oh, wait, that's three pieces of advice. Oops.

My thanks to Sandra for participating. If you own a Filofax blog and would like it to be featured in this series, please complete the questionnaire.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Holidays and observances in Filofax diaries

If you buy your diary pages from Filofax, they are likely to come with various national and international holidays and observances already noted, but if you print your own, this doesn't happen.

There is a wonderful site called that is well worth exploring in its own right.

But one page that is certainly of interest is this one. It lists all the world's major countries and offers a list of official holidays and observances for each of them. For instance, on the UK page, I learn that 19 August is the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr and that August 27 is Summer Bank Holiday. Every holiday included links to a page where you can learn what the day is all about and how it is marked or celebrated.

For DIY diary makers this is a wonderfully useful resource.

Monday 6 August 2012

Journalling School Session 3: Restarting a Journal

Welcome to the third session of Journalling School. Today's session is about how to restart a journal after you've spent a time not writing.

When you are in the journalling habit, you tend to gain a momentum that makes it easy to keep going day after day, week after week. But this can sometimes break down.

What happens when you have neglected your journal for a period and want to restart? Perhaps you entered a busy period and your journal fell by the wayside, or perhaps you just lost interest. For whatever reason, you want to make a fresh start.

The thought of cataloguing all that has gone on since you stopped recording your life is likely to be daunting and may put you off starting again. But you might feel that you can’t just launch in again as if nothing has happened either. What I suggest is this:
  1. Take a blank sheet of paper – not a page in your journal.
  2. Divide the sheet into sections by drawing lines. If it’s been just a few months since you stopped, then each space represents a month. If it’s been years, each space represents a year.
  3. Write the names of the months or the years in each space and then write one or two bullet points of notable events from that month or year. Don’t add any detail – just use a word or two or a memory trigger.
  4. Tuck the completed sheet in your journal.
Now, start writing in your journal again regularly. If you have to, you can use a new journal, but I'd recommend you use the old one and just start on the next fresh page, because what you're going to be doing is recreating the continuity, repairing the gap.

Once a week (or whenever you feel like it, or have the time), pick one of your months or years and write up the events as you remember them. As you record your memories, cross them off on the sheet. Before long, there will be nothing left on the sheet and you will be back to journaling in the normal way.

You should also treat restarting your journal as an opportunity. Think about why you stopped. Was it because of an aspect of the way you were journalling? Is this a good time to try doing things differently?


If you have fallen out of the habit of writing a journal, then try the exercise above. Remember what you were hoping to achieve when you originally started your journal. Consider if that is still what you want, or whether you should take this opportunity to journal differently. 

If you've yet to start a journal, and last week's prompts didn't inspire you, try the exercise above. Rather than a few months or years, though, you'll be looking at your whole life. Have a space for each decade or each significant period (e.g. University, newly-wed.) Make bullet notes on the sheet and then start your journal, taking one period of your life each entry.

That was the third session of Journalling School. In the next session we'll look at... well, let's just say it might surprise you.

Feedback, thoughts and ideas are always welcome. Please share your experiences in the comments.

Friday 3 August 2012

Filofax Blog of the Week: The Wonderful Life of Alice

It's Blog of the Week time again. Every week a different blogger walks us through their Filofax blog. This week, it's Alice who walks us through The Wonderful Life of Alice.

When did you start your blog?

I started on January 30th 2012 - its quite a young blog really!!

What were your reasons for starting it?

I wanted somewhere I could review my life and all the things in it. My blog is not exclusively a filofax blog, it features some makeup and skincare products as I have a lot of allergies and am restricted to what I use. It's also about my life...what I've bought, why, how I organize my life and what is going on in it. Readers to your blog will like the Filofax posts mainly, but there are some good product reviews on there too! I use it as an outlet mainly - a private outlet; most of my friends/family have no idea I have one! I must admit I haven't been posting as much as I should, but now my university exams are over with there will be much more to read very soon!

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

After featuring on philofaxy my post on Part 2 of my Filo makeover has had over 650 hits!! 

Which post is the one you’re most proud of?

The one i am most proud of has to be my Filo Part 1 post - no-one really looks at this one with only 60 hits but it was my first post on my organizer system and after writing it i was very proud of it!! 

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

That there are so many! There is a blog on everything these days. And that people are so nice, i have not had one nasty comment yet!!

In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to a Filofax user who hadn’t seen it?

A blog for everything, from Badger Balm to Lily Lolo, Filofax to Paperchase and Zoomed to Lucky Reptile!

Finally, what one piece of advice would you offer to other Filofax bloggers, based on your own experience?

Use lots of photos, try to capture things in daylight and always reply to comments personally if you can. And always be polite and try to be helpful on other blogs if people ask questions you could answer :)

My thanks to Alice for participating.

If you own a Filofax blog and would like it to be featured in this series, please complete the questionnaire.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Podcast episode 2

My Life All In One Pod, the Filofax podcast has made it to episode 2.

You can download and listen to it here. You can also subscribe to it via the iTunes Store.

The Filofax and the five frogs

"Five frogs sat together on a log. One of them decided to jump off. How many frogs were left on the log?"

This was a question I was once asked on a training course.

My immediate thought was that four remained on the log, working on the basis of simple subtaction, but if that were the case the trainer wouldn't have thought it worth telling me the story. Then I started thinking of what would happen if the frog unbalanced the log when leaping off, tipping one or more of his fellows from their own perches, but there was really no way to make a guess from the information I had.

The trainer told me that there were still five frogs on the log. One of them decided to jump off, but he hadn't taken any action yet.

That made me think. How much time do we all spend sitting on the log, having decided to do something but not actually doing it?

It is here that we as Filofax users have the advantage. The Filofax is a facilitator of action. It helps turn dreams into actuality, goals into accomplishments, to-dos into have-dones.

Image credit: Bobbie Peachey,


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