Thursday, 29 September 2011

My A5 red Amazona Part 2: Unboxing and review!

Hi everyone!

If you haven't read Part 1 of this 2-part post, please read it now :)

Sorry I didn't post this on Sunday like I said I would, I have had so much work to do this week! But my Amazona is helping me stay organised!

So last Wednesday I was eagerly awaiting 2 deliveries, 1 was of course my lovely new A5 Amazona on its way from ebay, and the other was a HUGE bookcase I ordered for my new uni room. Unfortunately I had to go to work that afternoon, but my housemate stayed behind to wait for the deliveries (thanks very much!) and soon texted me to tell me that the bookcase had arrived... and then a minute later texted me to tell me that a package had arrived for me too! I was very pleased to know that they had both arrived safely :) But I had to make sure I didn't get too excited, because I still had 4 hours at work, and couldn't play with either of them until I got home!
I have to admit something, readers... I was more excited about the bookcase than I was about the filo! But don't scold me too much, I have a valid reason- I am a very practical girl, and I have been looking forward to getting my room organised properly ever since I moved to this room without any storage- because everything was on the floor until I set my bookcase up! And one especially good thing about my new bookcase was that it would have a whole shelf dedicated to my Filofax collection!! So I wanted to get this sorted out before I opened the package with my new filo in it, because I knew I would not be able to do any housework at all that evening once I had my beautiful new Filo in my hands!
My new bookcase is huge! I tried to get it up the stairs myself and nearly managed it, but in the end I had to wait for one of my housemates to come home and help me. Finally I got it into my room and cleaned it, then I let myself go downstairs and open up my parcel!

I was so excited, I wanted to rip it open right away and see my beautiful new filofax, but of course, being a good blogger, I made sure I took photos of the unboxing for you guys!

With my phone covering up the address
It was REALLY well wrapped! But I was so tired I couldn't be bothered to go all the way back upstairs to find my scissors, so I spent about 10 minutes trying to rip open the thick packaging with my finger tips!
The first sneaky-peak of the 'Filofax' sign :)
I finally got all the packaging off to reveal the lovely Filofax black box!

I reeealllyy had to hold back, because I wanted to rip all the packaging off to see my lovely filo! But I wanted to take it all in first!
An actual A5 Amazona :D OOOHHHH!!!

Grrrr!! Why all the packaging! I just want to see my filo as soon as I open up the box!!
Actually, considering this was second hand, I am really surprised it had all this packaging! Proof that it is in great, almost-brand-new, condition!

Finally! I cast my eyes on my beautiful new Filofax! Isn't it gorgeous!!!

I can't tell you how much I love this Filofax! Well, I can, and will do so in bullet-point form!

  • The colour is gorgeous- fun but professional, grown up and delicious
  • I love the print, and the feel of it. This was an issue for me when I saw the Amazona (pocket and personal sizes) in the Filofax shop. But I'm so happy with the print on my filofax! It doesn't feel plasticky, but gorgeous and leathery like other people have described. I think I love the print on my A5 and I didn't on the smaller sizes, because it's such a large print that it's out of proportion and looks too big on the smaller filos, but perfect on the A5! 
  • The size- as I said, perfect for uni work organisation
  • The secretarial pocket, which I LOVE! It's so handy!
  • The vertical card pockets- I really prefer this configuration than horizontal slots
Amazona, Amazona, how'd you get so pretty? 
As I said before, the communication from the ebay seller was brilliant. She told me when she would dispatch it, and once she had sent it off she emailed me to tell me. She didn't have to, but she did, and I think that was brilliant, so reassuring! She even included a really sweet touch:

She put a card inside the filofax! That was so sweet! And I love sweet peas too!
Here is what she wrote inside it:
How lovely!

So a couple of days later I took photos in the proper day light, to show you my Amazona in its full glory!

Hmm... actually, you need to see her in person to REALLY appreciate her! Anyone coming to the November Philofaxy meet-up will get to see her and a lot more from my collection! I can't wait!!
And a couple more shots for some gratuitous filofax p*rn-

Saturday, 24 September 2011

My gorgeous new A5 Red Amazona! Part 1

I'm so happy to have the internet back, so I can blog again, and what's better than to start by telling you all about the latest addition to my Filofax collection!

Well, I don't want to moan too much, as I've already expressed my disappointment with the debacle that was the German 9 Euro sale, but my heart broke a little bit when I found out I wouldn't be receiving my A5 Rose Finchley :( I had intended it to use it as my uni filo, and so (although I could use my A5 red Domino), I kind of still wanted a new Filofax to use for that purpose.
Then I saw the BBC programme Page Eight, in which one of the characters has a Filofax on her desk, which I think was a brown A5 Amazona. It was gorgeous, sophisticated and sumptuous! If a luxury chocolate company could design a Filofax for their Managing Director, this would be it :) In fact, the shiny brown mockadile pattern kind of looks like chocolate, and I want to eat it! I loved it so much, I searched all of the websites I know to see if there was one, or something similar, for sale. Unfortunately, there wasn't... yet!

I have always loved the Amazona Filofax range, ever since I saw Imy's video about her personal black Amazona, I have thought it was a gorgeous Filofax! I saw them on Amazon (haha!) and ebay a few times, and a couple of times I came close to buying one. If I had bought one, it would have been the personal in red. But... something was holding me back. Until I went to London, I had never seen an Amazona in person, and I wanted to see one before I spent loads of money on one. So when I went to London, I made sure to check it out in the Conduit Street Filofax shop. It was in the sale section because Filofax are discontinuing it (which means it was relatively cheap :) But when I got my hands on it... the crocodile print leather felt plasticky. So I put my desire for the Amazona on hold. But then I moved over to the main shelves, I saw the Osterley, Filofax's next crocodile print range, and was captivated. But the price tag leaves a lot to be desired...

Anyway, I guess my disappointment with the leather was overcome by how gorgeous the one on Page Eight looked :)
So, in my regular checking of ebay for Filofax deals, I found an A5 Amazona in Red! It ticked so many boxes-

  • It was red (I'm much more of a pinky-red girl than any of the other colours in the range)
  • It's A5, the perfect size for my uni planning
  • It's an Amazona!!!
  • It had a buy-it-now option on the ebay auction, which I prefer to a bidding war!
When I saw it on the ebay app on my phone, I thought it would be very popular, and the bidding would start very soon. I think the auction was started at about £25, but as yet no-one had bid on it, and there was a buy-it-now price of £70. As I always do (except with things that are ending very soon), I decided to sleep on it- although I was risking the bidding war starting (after which the buy-it-now option would disappear). The next day I went to the library- real internet on proper computers, woohoo!!!- and it was still there, and no-one had bid on it!! :) I looked at the pictures again, because they didn't come out well on my phone screen, but on the big 19 inch (at least) computer screen, they looked gorgeous! I ummed and erred for a few minutes, tried to put my mind on something else, but I kept on coming back to the ebay page. I was looking at the £70 buy-it-now button, my finger determined to press the button on the mouse... But something in my stomach still didn't feel right. Normally I don't let myself buy things that I don't want 100%... and for some reason my instinct was holding me back. Maybe it was the fact that it was £70 that I don't really have, and I didn't really NEED it... BUT my heart won over my head! I clicked through all of the buttons to buy it now, without actually BUYING it yet... and then I decided to just GO FOR IT! So I clicked confirm, and it was MINE!!
What was exciting was that it was next-day delivery! So I wouldn't have to wait long for it to arrive!
A little while later, I received an email from the seller, saying that she would dispatch it the next day! I always like getting communications from ebay sellers when they don't have to, it just makes it seem much more personal and reassures you :)

So I waited for it to arrive... and you will have to wait until tomorrow for part 2 of this post, because it is already too long, and I want to take some photos of my gorgeous new filo in the daylight, to properly do it justice! So come back on Sunday :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

New addition to the collection... A5 Amazona!!!

I've just received my beautiful new A5 red Amazona from ebay! It's GORGEOUS!!!!! I love it and can't wait to set it up as my uni planner! I'm going to do a detailed post on it including loads of photos this weekend, once I have my internet back! I love it!! Hope you all are doing great!!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

All Stars Blog Tour: Guest Post by Angela!!

Hi everyone!
Sorry for my lack of posts lately! Unfortunately I don't have wifi in my new house yet, so I can only post when I'm in the library. Thankfully, Angela from Paper Love Story has a great guest post for you to read about her experiences using both Filofaxes and a Moleskine diary at university. If you haven't seen her gorgeous collection of personal sized Finchley filofaxes, please visit her blog!

Going into my third year of university, you’d have thought I’d have my planner problems sorted by now… but I don’t. For my first year, and for the first two terms of my second year too as it turns out, I used a Filofax. I started with a Raspberry Finsbury, changed to a Vintage Rose Finchley, changed once more to a Jade Green Finchley and then reverted back to a Vintage Rose Finchley for the second term of my second year. Further changes ensued when I got a Moleskine on the cheap in March and so commenced its use for the third and final term of my second and penultimate year.

Did this switch cause my productivity to increase? Far from it, it seems. My best exam marks were when I had used the various Filofaxes! Why was this? Well, one of these reasons may be the fact that the Moleskine layout was a day per page whereas my Filofax diary layouts had always been the ‘Week on Two Pages’ (in cotton cream of course). This extra space meant I scheduled more things to do on a daily basis – whereas the Filofax layout forced me to limit any activities I wanted to plan that were not related to study.

This is how a week looked with the Filofax inserts:

You can see that it’s pretty crammed with writing. I write in when my lectures are, and what lecture number they are too just to make sure I bring the right set of lecture notes with me. Television show episodes that need watching (the day after airing in America usually) are written in with colour to add a bit of spice to what would be a boring looking week. Sometimes, I also plan my outfits in advance – this may seem strange to some as students are commonly regarded as hoody and jeans wearing youths; but living in London has caused me to dress as a bit smarter than I may have otherwise done. Not to mention the fact that London is a fashion capital of the UK too (controversial, maybe but I have to stick up for the city that I so love – but is also flawed in many respects, i.e. public transport!).

Here is a page of my to-do list from February 2011. Long term, short term and urgent (immediate) things are filed into those categories so that more important tasks are done first. I’ve lost this system of organisation since I got my Moleskine though and as a result, my time management and life admin productivity has also gone down. Knowing this now though, I can use Amanda's time management post to good use to try and incorporate my previous system with the use of some of her tips too.

In comparison, here is how a day looked in my Moleskine.

See the bareness? This bareness leads me to schedule things in that I wouldn’t have done previously with my Filo and this lead to me leaving barely any time for study in the summer term! I ended up messing around a lot with socials and other stuff.

Again, lectures and lecture numbers are written in, as are things such as ‘what I wore’ and vitamins I need to take, etc. Writing in what I wore that day helps with my decision about what my wardrobe is missing (nothing it seems) and what I don’t wear (a lot). This enables me to decide what to sell on eBay and what to keep.

I can’t seem to find a page where I have written in coursework stuff – maybe it didn’t exist in my Moleskine. It does in my Filo though but unfortunately, I’ve filed away the pages already so I can’t show you. As mentioned in a previous post of mine, I did use notecards to help me organise coursework.

Overall, I had more success with my Filo(s) than I did with my Moleskine. But, this is due in part to the layouts of the two, rather than the fault of the brands themselves. Also, the Moleskine is a boring black colour whereas my Filofaxes are of interesting and lovely colours – not that I’m relating design of a planner to productivity… Ok, maybe I am but just a little!


A day per page Moleskine (the large size too!) is probably not the best for a student wanting to increase productivity – a week per page with the opposite page for memos and notes is probably better.

The ‘Week on Two Pages’ layout for the Filofax works fine – there is enough space to write when lectures are, when tutorials are, etc. Obviously, this is providing your lecture venues don’t change as mine didn’t and were always in the same place for the first two years. Next year though, my lecture venues may be different for successive lectures so we’ll see if I’m still saying the same thing in December (at the end of my first term).

If you are still to decide on what diary to use for 2012 or if you're itching to change, my only advice is to seriously consider what you want out of your diary. I initially thought a large space to write daily tasks and other stuff would be great - turns out, it was not so great for my studies! If you, like me, think bigger is better for diaries, then I'd urge you to honestly ask yourself, 'Do I really need all this space?' - something I really regret not doing, myself! But, as they say, you learn from your mistakes and I've certainly learnt from this one - that day per page large Moleskines aren't for me.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Filofax Disappointment!

Well, after a week of looking forward to getting my new Rose Finchley A5 and personal blue Topaz as part of Filofax Germany's €9 sale my whole order has been rejected! this has been a discussion point on Philofaxy's FFAT; a number of people's orders have been refunded, mostly in part, but I have lost the whole thing! It seems some filos, particularly the Rose Finchley, was over-ordered! I was soooo looking forward to receiving and using my beautiful new Filos! I already had purposes for them: my new A5 would be my MA dissertation binder and my Topaz would be my French/German vocab Filofax. So I am VERY annoyed and disappointed in Filofax for not being able to fulfil my order, and not even properly telling me- only a 'refunded money' email; no explanation. This certainly surprised me, giving Filofax's reputed excellent customer service! I am really gutted I'm not going to get my new Filos, especially my Finchley, which I was so looking forward to using!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

All Stars Blog Tour: Guest Post by the fantabulous Imy!!!

Hi everyone!
Today I am very pleased to present to you the very first guest post on this blog, written by the wonderful Imy of Imysworld! She's a lovely girl, and adores all things pretty and cute! She is famous in the Philofaxy world for her fantastic youtube videos, which I urge you to check out! She love love loves filofaxes, and with a much more creative brain than me, she manages to customise them brilliantly to make them look beautiful! I really want to make my own filofaxes much cuter and more 'me', so slightly selfishly I asked her to do a guest post on my blog about how she customises her filofaxes!

For Philofaxy All Stars, Kate requested I do a How to Customise your Filofax post! And as I love to customise my Filofax I jumped at the chance!
    As you all know I always have lots of ideas of customising my  beauties but I NEVER get around to doing most of them!
    One of my first and favorite things to do is customise the Ruler/Today marker, as it is always so boring, I always try and order a second one, usually a clear one!
    Then I always visit my favorite online shop, Modes4u! (well I have not visited it in AGES as I have had no money) but I love to go on there and look at all the Deco tapes!
    As you do not want to have your ruler with lots of bumpy things on it I like to just use tape, as its smooth and it looks pretty and its very simple to use, depending on the width, I either use a two strips of thin and line it up so it looks seemless or I use one thicker. I like to have a different pattern on both sides of the ruler so it doesn’t look too boring and plain.
    Here is a video about me customising my ruler, as it shows it best!

After I have done my ruler I like to start to create some dividers, but this is the one thing I’ve struggled with recently, I’ve been looking everywhere to get some REALLY pretty card, but it seems to be non-existent where I live!
    So if anyone knows any amazing online shops that sell the perfect pretty card for dividers let me know!!
     Well at the moment I have used some Wilkinsons card that was covered in glitter.

Anyway, DIVIDERS ARE SO EASY TO MAKE!!!! Click here to see my blog post on how to do it!
    But the only thing I will say is, it works so much better if you use a craft knife, metal ruler and board to make sure you don’t mark your table, which is easy to do (and if your under 16 get your PARENTS to do it, I’m 21 and still got my parents to do it) hehe
    You can also just personalize your dividers which come with the Filofax, watch this video I made to see how I did it!

You can also find some really pretty note paper and hole punch it so you don’t have to have plain paper and can have something really cute and girly!
    The possibility of customising your Filofax has no end you can do anything you want!

Hope you have enjoyed my guest post!

 Thanks so much Imy!

 Be sure to look out for my 'What's in my bag' guest post on Imy's blog soon!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Amazing Filofax offer!

An amazing offer is going on on the Filofax Germany website right now, basically lots of Filofaxes are available for only 9 Euros!! Please click on the following link to read the Philofaxy post about it, which gives some more information about why this offer is taking place

I just bought a pale blue personal Topaz and an Rose A5 Finchley for only 18 Euros together, plus 4.50 euros postage!

Here are a couple of things you should look out for:
Everything is obviously in German, so try to use the automatic translation feature through Google Chrome if you can't read German. 
For some reason, when I tried to check out on the Filofax Germany website, it wouldn't accept my existing account login, so I had to make a new one. 
When I put my UK address, it said the postcode had to be only numbers. This is because when you choose the UK option for country, it doesn't automatically change the postcode box to accept postcodes with letters in. The way some people have got around this, including me, is to just put the number 0 in instead of an actual postcode. As long as you put the rest of your address, you should be fine.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

End of the old, and a new beginning...

The summer holiday is winding up, and I am going back to university early this next week.
I am very pleased about this; I am always bored during the summer because I enjoy university too much and never have anything to do during the summer. I love a proper project, and without one I get very bored! So, I have subconsciously made my Filofaxes etc my project over the summer!
I have spent many hours every day on the internet, reading blogs, looking at pictures on flikr, searching ebay, in an effort to find my perfect 'system'. A couple of months ago Getting Things Done/Time Management systems in Filofaxes was a huge topic in the Philofaxy community, which got me thinking about my own system. Finally, as the summer winds up, I think I have got my systems sorted. This is perfect timing, as I wanted to get properly organised before uni started, so that I could have a good start to my MA, and because I won't have the time during university.
Over the next week, I will test my systems, and then post about them.

Hope you have a nice rest of the summer!!