Friday 30 November 2012

Make your own Midori Traveler's Notebook insert

I was toying with the idea of buying a Midori Traveler's Notebook. In that post, Imy really made me want one, and her subsequent posts have only made me want one more.

But, the inserts represent quite a cost, so I thought I'd see before I took the plunge if might be able to make my own inserts. It turns out to be quite easy. You can use the same method to make a stand-alone notebook, if you prefer, like these ones I made recently.

Here are the instructions.

Start with a simple file folder. It can be A4, Letter, Legal or Foolscap size. Open it up and it'll look like this:

Note the central fold. Later, this will be the spine of our notebook insert.

A Traveler's Notebook insert is 210 mm tall and 110 mm wide. Ours is going to have an inner pocket on the back cover.

Get out a ruler and a pencil and start drawing all the lines you can see below. That 120 mm measurement isn't an error, by the way; the extra 10 mm will be disappearing later in the process.

Once you've drawn all the lines, you can start cutting all the red lines and scoring the green ones. Here's what you should be left with:

From this you should be able to see how the pocket is going to work, but first we're going to add the pages.

210 mm is exactly the width of A4 paper. Letter paper is slightly wider. Either will do to make the pages inside the notebook, but if you're using Letter paper, you'll need to trim the width down to 210 mm.

Take about a dozen of so sheets of paper (no more than 16) and fold them all very precisely in half, using a bone folder to make the creases as sharp as possible. Open the folds and put the paper together, then refold all the pages together, so you have what looks like an A5-sized newspaper.

With a pencil, mark out some dots along the centre fold, starting about 10 mm from each edge and equally-spaced along the fold, like this:

Now place the stack of pages on top of your cover, aligning the folds in the paper and the spine of the cover. Use some bulldog clips to keep these perfectly aligned. The paper will be wider than the cover at this point. This is intentional.

Use an awl with a hammer to punch a hole through every layer at each of the pencil marks.

Next, thread an embroidery needle with strong thread and start sewing.

Put your needle first through hole C from the paper side and leave the end of the thread hanging. Pass the needle beck through hole B from the cover side, then back through hole A from the paper side. Pass it again through B from the cover side, then C from the paper side, D from the cover side, E from the paper side, F from the cover side, E again from the paper side and finally D from the cover side. Remove the needle so you have one end of thread hanging from hole C and one from hole D.

Tie these ends together with a double knot, tightening the thread, and cut the loose ends close to the knot. You can now remove the bulldog clips.

Next we're going to assemble the inside pocket:

Fold over Flap X. Then apply glue to Flap Y, then fold it up to hold Flap X in place.

Now it's time to get out the ruler and pencil again. measure a line on the page as shown below:

Now you'll need a steel ruler and a very sharp knife or a rotary cutter, because you are going to cut though all the pages in the notebook and the cover to give the whole thing a straight edge.

Here is the finished product:

Here is a close-up internal view. You can just about see the stitching:

And finally, that cheeky internal pocket at the back. I've slipped some contrasting paper in there so you can see what's going on:

Sunday 25 November 2012

Homemade cahiers with dot grid paper

Recently, I made available dot grid paper to download and print. I keep some in my Filofax and have found it very useful.

Moleskine's cahier books are another very useful thing, but ludicrously expensive.

I decided to have a go at combining the two ideas and making my own dot grid cahier books. I used the following:

  • Used file folders for the covers
  • A hammer, to hit the awl
  • An awl
  • An embroidery needle and some strong thread
  • Some grid paper, printed double-sided in A4 and A5 sizes to cut down
  • A round-corner punch
I made single-signature notebooks in regular Moleskine cahier size and in A5. These books will nestle happily in the inside pockets of most Filofax binders. I love the end result. What do you think?

Click to zoom and see the dots!

Thursday 15 November 2012

Filofax Blog of the Week:

It's been away for a while, but Blog of the Week is back. This week, Saz walks us through

When did you start your blog?

My first post was on the 6th May 2012 but that was on Blogger and I then imported to WordPress on my own website which I have had since 30th March 2004 after I decided I would like my own domain name rather than using the free service I was then using.

What were your reasons for starting it?

I was inspired by the other blogs I had seen through the Philofaxy community and thought it would be a good way to help me get writing. I love writing but until 2012 I haven't really written much apart from occasionally as part of the Media Team on a Scout Jamboree. For those that don't know what a Jamboree is, it is a big, usually 10 day long, camp that Scouts from all over the World come together to take part in adventure, challenges and learn about a variety of things and one of the best things about it all is you get to make friends from all over the World! During the Jamboree there is usually some sort of paper or newsletter containing news from across the camp site and about some of the participants. Being part of the team that puts together the newspaper for such camps has been fantastic for me, not only do I get to see a lot of the Jamboree from going around to find stories and speak to many, many people it has also given me a way to use my Media and writing skills as part of my voluntary Scout role in my area. My role is District Media Development Manager, which means I write and edit the District News (the newsletter that goes out every month to the Leaders), I also look after the District website and also get to work with local media to get Scout news in the local papers, although as I have only been in this role since December 2011 this is the area that is still to be explored as the main area I needed to work on was the District News and website. Although all of this writing through The Scout Association has given me a meaningful outlet for my work, I still wanted somewhere to talk about the other things I am passionate about. I have of course mainly blogged about my Filofax and stationery so far but I hope that in time that will evolve and further topics will be written about. I want to develop my writing further as I have aspirations to write a book or two someday.

Which post has enjoyed the most pageviews?

I don't know how to check this as I am unable to install JetPack on my server and the view stats on my server control panel just show WordPress rather than individual posts.

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

I think it must be the one about my Raspberry Pi Project because CPC, the company I ordered my 2nd Raspberry Pi from (that was delivered first) read it and Tweeted me to challenge me to incorporate my Raspberry Finsbury Filofax and Raspberry Pi as they hadn't seen anyone do something like it yet. As of yet I have not been able to do much towards this challenge as the A5 Finsbury is too big to use (and it contains my notes for the project...) so I need a Raspberry Filofax specifically for the job. I think a mini sized one should be large enough as the Raspberry Pi is only the size of a credit card with a few extra bits sticking up out of it! If anyone would like to donate a Raspberry coloured Filofax for me to complete this challenge then please get in touch! projectRPi [at]

What has surprised you since you started blogging?

Others comments on some of my posts. It always surprises me when people leave wonderful comments about my posts, it really put a big smile on my face!

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

Somewhere that documents how am setting up or using my Filofax along with stationery items I use, with a selection of other topics thrown in whenever something I come across makes me feel like ranting or raving about it! (OK it's a bit of a long sentence...)

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

Deal with your comments properly! This is two fold really, firstly I HATE Captcha's BUT when I first set up my blog I didn't have one on there and I was getting so much spam comments - I must of had about 700 spam comments, nearer 800 if you include random track-backs too! So I installed a simple Captcha which was literally one of the most basic I could find because I can never read/see the letters and numbers properly in many (they don't help a lot of people with Dyslexia like me) but I can see and deal with the one I found and use. Secondly, once you have cut the spam, make sure you remember to respond to your commentators!!! Sometimes I get so excited after reading the comment I forget to reply then a while later I suddenly remember and it's only when I get another moderate this comment email that I suddenly remember and end up having to reply to several at once. This is not the best way to keep people happy, much better to respond as soon as you get the comment.

My thanks to Saz for participating.

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

Saturday 10 November 2012

Budget pages for your Filofax for free download

Increasingly people are tracking and keeping close scrutiny over their spending, and your Filofax stands ready to help you with this. I have designed two different pages to support budgeting in the Filofax Personal.

First, there's a recording sheet:

Click to enlarge
What you'll do on this sheet is track your day-to-day spending. Along the top of the page you can name up to 8 budget categories (using multiple sheets will allow you an unlimited number, but eight is a sensible and manageable number for most people) and you can note the monthly budget you've set for each category. Underneath you can track your spending day-by-day, by category.

Next comes the analysis sheet:

Click to enlarge
This sheet allows you to record monthly totals and analyse your actual spending by category and variance to your budget over a four month period.

Both pages will print double-sided, two-to-a-page on A4 paper. You can download the pages here:

   Recording sheet - Word file or PDF file
   Analysis sheet - Word file or PDF file

If using the PDF versions remember to set your printer settings so as not to shrink the pages.

Each file should be printed double-sided with the duplex set to flip along the short edge. You can then cut out and punch individual pages as outlined in this post.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

New Filofax diary layouts to download

I love designing diary layouts, but mine are pretty utilitarian; I'm not an artistic person.

I was simply blown away when Lime Tree posted these sets. Available for download now for Filofax Personal and A5 sizes, they're free. Be sure if you visit the site to say how much you like what Lime Tree has done.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...