Saturday, 18 January 2014

Waffle about my A5 Fauxdori for hobbies and my Midori TN planner!

This blog post is dedicated to my friends over at the facebook Midori Traveler's Notebook Resources group!

I'm very happily using my Midori Traveler's Notebook as my planner! It contains a diary (calendar) of 12 months of WO2P and MO2P spliced, an Organisation insert for my 'Current' lists and other lists (to-dos etc), and my journal. Here's my January MTN video if you want more info on my set-up!

I'm still using my Filofaxes for some key things: my Egyptology research (A5 Ochre Malden) and my Art Journal (I'll switch between my A5 Aqua Malden and A5 Espresso Siena). I think I'll also use my Mulberry Agenda to store my important information in the A-Z dividers, and my compact Raspberry Chameleon as my craft/art inventory so when I go shopping I don't buy duplicates of what I already have!

However, I have Filofaxes that have purposes for my other hobbies, but since I've been working full-time, I don't have the free time to do all of these hobbies, and I've found that I haven't been using these Filofaxes. I feel a bit of regret that those Filofaxes are sitting on the shelf not being touched for weeks or months, or in some cases, completely empty, because although I know what I want to use them for, I haven't set them up yet after a year! The problem is that I don't have the time or energy to do all of these hobbies, such as researching Tudor history, or if I do find the time to do them, I don't have enough to put in these Filos (maybe a few pages of writing per week) to justify using a whole Filofax for each of them.

Also, another problem is that these Filofaxes are 'stored' on my shelf, and I don't carry them around the house with me. Over the past few weeks when I've been using my notebook (an A5 Oxford Signature notebook, just for random notes, lists, etc- see this video), I've noticed that I've been using it all the time because I've been carrying it around the house everywhere!! So I really need to use something for my hobbies that has everything in one cover, and that I can carry around the house everywhere! True, I could use a Filofax with different sections for each hobby, but you guys know how paranoid I am about damaging my Filos, and I really love the Midori TN format- so I'm going to use an A5 Fauxdori instead!

A Fauxdori is like a Midori TN, but not made by Midori- it's a 'fake' (in the good sense of the word), made by a crafter for sale (e.g. Ray Blake's 'Raydori', Monique, Tracy) or by yourself- there are some great tutorials on Youtube, for example this one by Ray.

I intend to set up an A5 Fauxdori for all of these hobby things etc. I want to buy a leather one eventually, but I can't decide which colour to choose, so I'm going to use some stiffened felt to make one in the meantime while I decide. I want it to be A5 because that's my ideal size; while I have a couple of Raydoris I could use instead, these are based on Midori standard size, and I really want the width of the A5 page. I haven't figured out the set-up yet, but I think I'm going to put in my A5 Oxford notebook, and make my own A5 thin notebooks out of A4 paper! I've already made some pocket inserts for it during my tutorial in this Youtube video:

I'll make a video, and possibly write a blog post, when I've finished setting it up!

Therefore this fauxdori is going to be my fun-dori! It will be for my hobbies, fun projects, sketching, etc etc. I will play with it and use it in the evenings and during the weekends after I've done my chores, to-dos, and finished getting prepared for work the next day (e.g. making my packed lunch).
But you may be asking, why can't I have this hobby stuff inside the Midori I also use as my planner?
Firstly, I will be writing so much in this fauxdori, I'd run through a 64 page insert in a couple of weeks (I write a lot), and also I wouldn't be able to hold any information in there for long-term! But mainly, I know I need to keep them separate.
My planner is great for keeping myself organised, and I love playing with it, using it, and just looking at its gorgeousness during the morning, while travelling to and from work on the bus and during my lunch break (when I subconsciously feel the need to be organised), but during the evening, when I'm trying to feel relaxed and do fun things, I don't actually like opening it that much! I realised that's because when I'm trying to relax, I subconsciously don't want to look at something that has a big list of Things I Must Do- for a while, I was annoyed and disappointed that I never looked at my Midori planner when I'm at home, but now I know why, I know it's ok as long as I've memorised my to-dos and get them done, and write down any more to-dos I think, I'm allowed to leave my Midori on my bed or desk to use the next morning, and just pick up my fauxdori and have fun and relax!

Monday, 2 December 2013

December update! Philofaxy Meet-up and Planners- Midori TN and Filofax!

Hi guys!! Long time no see!!

I've not posted for 3 months, I'm sorry about that!
In September I was busy looking for a job, and then in October I started a full-time job!! So for the past 2 months (although it feels longer), I've been working 40 hours a week and travelling 2 hours a day, then I've been very tired after work, so I haven't had the time or energy to blog!

Philofaxy meet-up!!

At the end of September I went to the Philofaxy meet-up in London! I won't write a full blog post about it, and I didn't take enough photos, but it was amazing!!!
It was lovely to meet the people I hadn't met before, especially Mella and Chrissie, who I shared a hotel room with, and also seeing others again, like Debbie (who we also shared a hotel room with) and of course Steve! The Friday was amazing, as we had lunch together, shared Gillios around the table (I didn't let myself touch any of them until I'd washed my hands after lunch!), then popped to the JP Books shop to look at Midori Traveler's Notebooks and other Japanese things before making our way to the station for our evening adventure! There we met all of the others, and we chatted until everyone got there and Steve bought tickets for our visit to Filofax HQ at Burgess Hill!!
    It was amazing there- the staff were brilliant and passionate about their products!! There was a table of vintage Filofaxes which were absolutely incredible to see in person (and I was trying to think of ways to smuggle them out...), and a presentation about the past, present and the future of the brand, and a Q and A session. Then we mingled, inspecting a wall of current-range Filofaxes, spoke to the staff, answering their questions and showing off our expertise!! Unfortunately we didn't get to see any of the new Filofaxes for next year, but we did see the options being considered for the patterns for the non-leather Filofaxes for the future!
    On Saturday, we went to a lovely French cafe for some amazing pastries and gorgeous hot chocolate drink (think melted chocolate!!) for breakfast, then made our way to the huge Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road! I was very good, and didn't buy much- but I could have moved in quite happily!! Then we made our way to Vapianos for lunch, where we got to see most people from the night before, and some others too, and had a nice session of sharing Filofaxes and eating Italian food!! Then we went shopping, including making our way back to Paperchase!! Unfortunately people had to start making their way back to train stations and airports, but it was an amazing weekend and I would love to do it again soon!!!

Planner update!

As you probably know, over the past year I've been chopping and changing between planners, and that's still been happening over the past few months!
    However, over the past couple of months I've been happily using my Midori Traveler's Notebook for my calendar diary/agenda/planner. (Video from October here) I love this thing for lots of reasons, but using it as my calendar diary (by which I mean my WO2P diary calendar, not a journal diary), I really love it because I prefer bound diaries rather than the loose-leaf diary pages in my Filofaxes because I wouldn't archive them properly and I'd lose them. Also because I'm not worried about taking my Midori out and about with me like I am with my Filofaxes, if it gets some scratches on it, it just adds to the character, and there's no rings to damage!
My Midori on my messy desk a couple of months ago
However, I'm going to be tweaking my system a bit over the next couple of weeks. I'm trying to perfect my planner system before 2014, so this is my challenge for December. And yes, I'll be going back to a Filofax again! BUT I'll also be using my Midori...
    Although I love my Midori TN, it doesn't work perfectly for everything for me. As my only planner, I have my WO2P calendar diary, organisation lists, and notes. However, I can't fit everything I need in it, and so I need to spread out into other planners. Also, I don't really like having so many serious things in my Midori- my diary with serious appointments, my organisation lists with serious to-dos, and my notes which aren't very fun either- all of these serious things, shouting at me to "Do this! Do that!" aren't fun, and are making me not want to open my Midori! And in the past, I've planned better and managed my life better when I use both an A5 Filofax for planning in conjunction with my Midori.
    So my plan is this: I'm going to continue using my Midori TN as my calendar diary, which I love, and I'm going to put my current organisation lists (which have been in a separate notebook, but I'll move them to save space) onto a monthly dashboard spread in here. My diary in here will be my everything- I will put all of my appointments, to-dos, plans and everything in here, I won't have one in my Filofax or anywhere else, because I don't want to get confused or forget an appointment. After this insert, I'll have the space for 2 more notebook inserts, which will be fun and creative sections- things that make me want to open and use my Midori! I think I'll have one notebook for creative writing- poetry and short stories, and I may have another creative notebook (I'd like to sketch or paint, but I'm not good at it), or more probably a notebook insert for random notes, ideas, lists and other things. My Midori will go everywhere with me, around the house, to work, shopping, etc etc!
    Then, I'll have my A5 Filofax, probably my Aqua Malden or Espresso Siena, switching between them! This will be my main planning place, having the things that won't fit in my Midori- it will have all of my planning lists (except my 'current' lists, e.g. shopping list, waiting for list, keep in mind list, etc etc, which will stay in my Midori), projects, goals, reference information, long-term notes, random lists etc. This is my brain, it will hold and organise my life- and the flexibility of a Filofax is perfect for this, which I can't achieve with a bound notebook or even my Midori, and the A5 size is ideal- and it will be a perfect companion to my Midori. They won't overlap, so I won't get confused. My Midori will hold things I need with me all of the time, and things I want with me too, whereas my Filofax will stay at home and hold things I don't need with me when I'm out. Every Sunday evening, I'll flick through my Filofax, and find things that I need to do that upcoming week, or things that I want to, or should, try to fit in that week; then I'll write it into the diary in my Midori!

So there's my update! I'll be setting up my Filofax and my Midori over the next couple of weeks, and I'll try to do a video on them soon! :)

Monday, 2 September 2013

Task Prioritisation System 1.0

Hi guys!

A quick post this evening to share something I came up with in my Filofax over the weekend. I've not 100% finished setting it up, but I wanted to show you it in its infancy!

Task Prioritisation System 1.0 
(It's only a coincidence that it matches my internet handle's initials 'TPS'!!)

Basically it's a system to prioritise tasks and keep them in perspective, for time management and organisation.
It's comprised of 8 sections (although you may need fewer), characterised by a) degree of importance and b) when it needs to be done, in which you 'file' your tasks:

  • Now, Important/Urgent
  • Now, Unimportant
  • Ongoing, Important
  • Ongoing, Unimportant
  • Not now/Later, Important
  • Not now/Later, Unimportant
  • Other, Important
  • Other, Unimportant
*The above order arranges the sections more by Time; you can also arrange the sections by Importance= 1) Important, Now; Important, Ongoing; Important, Later; Important, Other; Unimportant, Now; Unimportant, Ongoing; Unimportant, Later; Unimportant, Other.

Step 1-
Basically, you file all of your tasks under one of these sections, by deciding how important it is and when it needs to be started/be done!
    So for me, I take my several, scattered to-do lists, and re-organise my tasks in this way. I have a paper divider (no tab) for each section, then at the start of that section I have a to-do sheet with my lists of tasks under that section, and I cross off those taks when completed; some tasks have accompanying pages with notes/lists to break down/give more info, behind the to-do list inside that section.
    Here are some examples:
Find a job- Now, Important!!
Organise my bedroom- Ongoing (because it won't be done in one day), Important (because it needs doing!)
Decorate my Filofax- Later and Unimportant (although I WANT to do it, I don't NEED to, and I should do it when I have the time, not now. However, I can schedule it in my diary for when I have time soon, e.g. this evening/this weekend)
Things on my Someday/Maybe list- go into the Not now/Later, Unimportant section

Step 2-
Schedule these tasks into your diary/calendar/planner.
    For me, this means I can flick through the to-do lists in the sections described above, and schedule them into my weekly diary, according to how they are prioritised -->
    Because the point of these sections is prioritisation, this system helps you schedule your tasks more sensibly (I would schedule all of the 'fun' tasks first if I could!). By breaking tasks down by both importance and when they need to be done, you can see easily which tasks to schedule above others. Prioritise the Important ones and the Now ones, and try to do something towards the Ongoing tasks every week.
    So first I look at the Now, Important list, and try to schedule as many of those into my weekly pages as possible. However, some I know I don't have to do immediately, so I can look at those again when I know how much free time I have later in the week. Then I look at the Now, Unimportant list- even though the things on here aren't important, many them have deadlines, and I should try to do them this week anyway. Then I look at the Ongoing, Important tasks, and try to make progress with these ongoing projects, which may have many steps, and possibly a deadline which is further away. Then I look at the Not now/Later, Important list- although it isn't the time to do these tasks yet, it is important to keep them in perspective and in my mind. Then, if I have some spare time, I can try to schedule the Unimportant tasks.
    You can also break these lists down into your filo in other ways, e.g. this month's to-dos, this week's to-dos; even tasks to finish by the end of this year (e.g. for scheduling the not now/later tasks).

Pheww!! I hope you guys followed that!

I think this is a good system, and I'm proud of it, but personally I think it's a bit dry and boring. It's not fun like how I want my Filofax to be! So I'm going to try to make it a bit more fun! I think I might develop a colour-coding system with highlighters, and instead of having tasks on separate to-do lists, in separate sections, I will have them on one to-do list, prioritised using the highlighters, so all of my tasks are viewable in one glance, and are prettier because of the colours! 

Anyway, let me know what you think of the system :)

Friday, 30 August 2013

How I'm using my Midori Traveler's Notebook!!

Hi guys!

Today's post is all about my Midori Traveler's Notebook!

I love this thing! ... well, actually, it's 3 things- Maru, my first Midori, which I got when I swapped my personal orange Osterley with Sara, and is now being used as my journal; Mido, my second, which is currently on vacation (waiting until I move back into him), and my as yet unnamed 'Raydori', which isn't actually a Midori TN, but a Midori-esque leather notebook holder made for me by the amazing Ray Blake of My Life All in One Place!!

L-R: Maru, Mido, and my Raydori

In this video, I show you the set-up of my Midori for August 2013...

... before I change it all up again!!

As you can see in the video above, for the whole of August I've been using my Midori as my diary (agenda, not journal), ideas notebook, and other stuff like that. It's a pretty simple set-up, especially compared to the complex set-ups you can get in Filofaxes, where people can have dozens of sections! In a Midori, you can have 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5 sections, made of notebook inserts, plus some plastic pocket inserts, so it's easy to keep the set-up simple. And I do love how free that makes you feel- no over-complication like a Filofax can achieve, with millions (ok, that's over-exaggeration!) of dividers, lists, sections, etc etc. I just love how rugged and handsome Midoris can be too!

So why am I changing my set-up?

Well, actually, I'm changing quite a bit in my planning system tools.
When I've tried to use my Midori as my planner, in August and earlier this year too, it works well to an extent, but I still can only achieve a medium degree of planning. My Midori set-up is simple; but really it's too simple, and so most of the time I actually need the ability to add pages, move pages, make new sections, take old sections out, which I have only been able to achieve with my Filofax. I have had my A5 Aqua Malden Filofax set-up (almost finished) as my in-depth planner alongside my Midori- my Midori has my WO2P diary and ideas notebook, and my Filofax has all proper planning, lists, projects etc- but unfortunately I haven't been using my Filofax properly. It seems that when I split my planning between my Midori and my Filofax, I ignore my Filofax because I love my Midori so much, and carry that around more! And because I'm ignoring my Filofax, I'm forgetting about all of the important things I've planned out in there :S
So I'm going to not be using my Midori as my planner any more (don't worry, it will have another purpose!). Instead, I'm going to be using my Filofax (A5 Aqua Malden), and a diary/agenda made from a notebook (as I need a bound diary, not a loose-leaf diary in my Filofax, because I'm rubbish at archiving Filofax diary pages!), alongside each other. These two will work together as perfect partners! I'll do a blog post when I've finished setting these up :)

What will I be using my Midori for?

I'm still going to be using my Midori every day! It's going to be more of a 'nice things journal' (It's hard to describe!)
I'm planning on using 3 notebooks in here because I find that's the perfect amount to fit in a Midori. I've decided to have:
     1) Hobbies/projects/goals journal- where I record what I've done in my hobbies etc
     2) Random nice lists notebook- maybe with some sketching and a bit of scrapbooking too
     3) Commonplace notebook- I already have this in my current Midori set-up
plus my credit card pocket insert and ziplock pocket insert.
Basically, this is going to be for nice things I want to keep and look at often. I'm not a daily journal person, but I like writing down nice things in list form (my preferred way of writing things, I have a very linear brain!) and looking back at them when I'm bored. I'm excited to use my Midori for this because it's a lovely notebook holder, and like I said, I'm rubbish at archiving, and if I did these on Filofax paper I'm sure I'd lose them! So I love that I can keep safe them in my Midori, and I can carry it around the house or pop in my handbag! I'll be using it everyday, writing in it, decorating it and reading it when I'm bored, and I love that it will be fun and pretty and self-reflective :)

I'll be making this up this weekend, and I'll do a blog post on it soon :D

Speak to you soonly!!

Friday, 16 August 2013

A5 Aqua Malden- Winner!!

Drum roll please...

And the winner is...

Natalyn Bradshaw!!!

She left this insightful comment: 

Open your planner every day. Even during those times when you feel stressed or feel like you don't have anything going on. When you get bogged down with life or stressful times and you don't feel motivated to use your planner, still use it. You can re-purpose it for a moment to write things or save things that are encouraging and uplifting, or write good memories that can help you regroup and re-focus. There are many great uses for a planner, not just for scheduling appointments.

This is such a perfect piece of advice for me, and I'm sure many others will find it useful too! I sometimes find it difficult to actually use my planner when I'm over-busy, or tired, grumpy, or feeling lazy! Or sometimes I feel like I just don't have anything to write in it! So this advice is great, and will help me use my planner more, and better!
I love this comment, but picked her too!

Thanks to everyone who entered! You left loads of inspiring and useful tips, which I'm sure will be really helpful to loads of people! I'll definitely be using lots of them to help make me more productive! Thanks for taking part!!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Competition!!! A5 Aqua Malden! CLOSED


Today I have a very special post for you... I'm launching a COMPETITION!!!

In yesterday's post, I told you all about my A5 Aqua Malden!! They are now for sale at in Pocket, Personal and A5!

Malden, Personal Organisers
Malden, Personal Organisers
Malden, Personal Organisers

If you read my post Introduction to my A5 Aqua Malden... you'll know that I accidentally got sent two A5 Aqua Maldens from Filofax UK!
I've been in contact with Filofax, who have agreed that I could give away one of them as the prize in a competition!

*** COMPETITION!!! ***

So today I'm giving you the chance to win this gorgeous Filofax!!

The A5 Aqua Malden is made of antiqued buffalo leather, has 2 pen loops, 30mm rings, on the left a zip pocket, 3 credit card pockets and 3 larger pockets and a full length slip pocket, and on the right a notepad pocket. The A5 Malden is worth £105!

The binder you would receive if you win is the one you can see me unboxing in this video!

To enter:

Leave a comment on this blog post to answer this question:

What is your best piece of organisation/time management advice for using your Filofax personal organiser?


  • The competition runs from 1st August 2013 (today) to 15th August 2013.
  • 1 entry per person. Any additional entries will be ignored and won't count.
  • This competition is open worldwide.
  • If you would like your piece of advice to be featured on Filofax's Facebook or Twitter page in their organisation advice series, please write (Yes) at the end of your comment. If you DON'T want your piece of advice to be featured, write (No) at the end of your comment. Filofax and Ideas Network have the right to choose which Filofax tips they wish to post on Facebook and/or Twitter, and may not publish all of them. 

Good luck!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Introduction to my A5 Aqua Malden... with an interesting twist!!

Hi guys!!

If you are part of the Facebook Philofaxy group, or if you've watched my unboxing video on youtube, you will have seen my A5 Aqua Malden! If you haven't, there are lots of juicy photos here!!

I think this one's really special because I believe it's the first Aqua Malden to be released in the UK- read below why!

Since I learned last year that Filofax were going to be making an Aqua Malden, I knew I had to have it! I love the Malden range, and in the past I've had quite a few, although my collection has decreased a lot recently! How would I get my hands on one? :)
    For the last few months I have been in contact with some people from Filofax UK about replacing a couple of faulty Filofaxes. I swapped one for my A5 Wine Holborn I picked up from the Filofax shop in March at the Philofaxy meet-up! I asked for the replacement for the other faulty Filofax to be the Aqua Malden, and they said they would send me one as soon as they are released! The original release date was mid-June, but in the end it was delayed until 24th July. I heard from Margaret Rennie at Write at Home that she would be sending her stock to their new owners (bought through pre-order) on the 24th, so I guessed mine would be sent from Filofax HQ then. Actually, it was sent from Filofax HQ early, even earlier than the retailers were allowed to dispatch theirs, so I guess I was the first person to receive an Aqua Malden! The post man came earlier than I thought, at lunch time on the 24th... the only time that week that no-one had been at home!!
    I had received one of the dreaded "You were out" cards from the post man! My long awaited-for Filofax had been sent to a local Post Office! And, even worse, it said I had to wait 24 hours to pick up my parcel!! Well, I couldn't wait, knowing it was only a few streets away!!! I phoned up the post office, and the lovely lady there said I could pick it up that afternoon!!! I walked there with my dad and my dog, and finally the box was in my hands!!!!
    I knew you guys were as excited as me to see an Aqua Malden, so I filmed an unboxing video...

And loaded lots of photos onto the facebook Philofaxy group!!

I got lots of comments, questions and likes! Most people said it was lovely and they couldn't wait to get theirs, some people said they actually didn't like it now they've seen one, lots of people saying the creases are too wrinkly, and some comments on the colour!

The colour is very difficult to capture on camera! It looks MUCH bluer on the camera/monitor than it does in person! Actually, I would describe the true colour to be a spearmint or jade green!

Closer to the true colour, although this photo doesn't show the depth of the colour.

We had to bribe Chloe to take this photo, by putting cat biscuits on top on my Filofax!

That evening I set up my Aqua Malden by moving the contents of my A5 Raspberry Chameleon over. Fortunately, the dividers match perfectly!
I was busy at work last week, so I wasn't able to play with it much :( But then on Friday (2 days after I received the Filofax), I got an interesting email from someone at Filofax with whom I have been in contact...

"Further to my recent email I am pleased to advise you that 

we have today sent you an A5 Malden aqua organiser by  

Royal Mail Recorded Signed For delivery."

At first I was confused, and then I laughed... they had accidentally sent me 2!! I had been in contact with 1 person about my replacement Filofaxes, and then I think my case was handed over to a second person, who didn't realise that the first person had already placed an order for an Aqua Malden, so she unknowingly sent a 2nd one!
I knew I would have to reply and send one back, but I realised something... when I received the 2nd one, I could open it up and compare the two Filofaxes, and keep the one I preferred and send the other one back! The leather on Maldens tends to vary between different binders- some are more crinkly, some are smoother- so I was glad I had the opportunity to compare them!

When the 2nd Aqua Malden arrived, I was pleasantly surprised!

1st Malden on the left, 2nd Malden on the right!

The 2nd Aqua Malden is much smoother than the 1st! Everyone on facebook agreed how much better the 2nd Malden looks!!

I'm happily setting up my Aqua Malden, adding new sections and striving to improve my time management and organisation techniques. As soon as I'm happy with the set-up I'll make a video and/or do a blog post!

So what will I do with the Malden I'm not keeping? Well, I was happy to send it back to Filofax, but I thought that I could ask them if they would let me keep it to give away as a prize in a competition on my blog... and they agreed!!! So TOMORROW I'll be launching my competition to win the A5 Aqua Malden!! Stay tuned!!!