Tuesday, 29 November 2011

New Poll: which DPP/DO2P planner should I use?


Earlier this year I bought Filofax's Day per page planner for my personal filofax. I have been using WH Smith's personal-sized DPP planner for my Filofax since March (when I started using Filofaxes), and I decided to use the real thing for 2012. I reviewed the two here and decided that I preferred the Filofax brand refill for a number of reasons.

But recently I have realised I need more space in my daily pages. After searching many brands, I decided the insert I really liked was the Day Timer Flavia day on two pages! It's really pretty and colourful, and I like the layout and the space it provides.
I suppose what I could do with my Filofax-brand DPP is put a piece of notepaper next to very busy days- but then it isn't nearly as pretty as the Flavia inserts! I would forever be wishing I had bought the Flavia ones!

If I hadn't already bought the 2012 filofax DPP, I would definitely buy the Flavia inserts. But I have, and I feel bad if I waste them! I couldn't really sell them on ebay, because I've already taken them out of the packet!

So what do you think I should do? Buy the Flavia inserts and have to find some other use for the filofax ones, or find someone to take them off my hands (I'd rather sell them for a few pounds than give them away!), or just stick with the Filofax-brand (boring) ones?
Please vote in my poll, and leave a comment if you like!

Thanks for your help!
P.S. does anyone want to buy an unused 2012 filofax DPP diary for cheap? Make me an offer!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Philofaxy Meet-up London November 2011!!

Hiya! Sorry this is quite late, the time flies when you're researching your dissertation!!

Last Saturday I went on my very first Philofaxy meet-up!! And it won't be my last! It was so much fun!!

I woke up very early on Saturday morning to finish getting ready and get an early train to London. I'm used to trains, and I'm used to much longer journeys than this, it's 6 hours from Plymouth to Liverpool, or the other way around, so 2 and a quarter hours to London was a breeze! The only problem was 3 chatty, noisy ladies in the same carriage, but I managed to get on with some work on my netbook, which was really good!
I arrived in London on time!! which is amazing for British trains! But then the troubles started! Euston overground station was the station I arrived at, and then went down onto the underground- only to find the tube route I had planned was unusable because of engineering works! I had to get to Marylebone station to meet my brother, and the changed route meant it took me double the time to get there!
I found my brother and we went back to his flat and he showed me around. My mum had left a bag there for me to pick up, which had my winter coat and A5 raspberry Finsbury in it, which I had left at home but wanted to bring to the meet-up because Steve said he would have a go at fixing the rings for me.
I left my brother's flat later than planned, but still thought I could get to the meet-up on time. I wanted to go back to Marylebone station, but my brother was walking another way and wanted to chat with me while we walked, so I went to another station. The trouble was, the east-bound part of the line I wanted to get on was closed, so I had to get on the west-bound train to double back on myself! But the west-bound train was delayed with some sort of technical problem on the line in front of us! And it was getting close to 12pm by this time, the time we were supposed to meet! The train finally arrived in another station, I crossed over to the east-bound track, then had to wait for the train to take me to the south bank. After a couple of changes, I got there, very late, and then had to go through a very busy food market packed with hundreds of shoppers and tourists, and lots of cobbled streets for my wheeled suitcase to struggle over, then more tourists to weave through on the south bank!
Then I remembered my promise to make a video of the day, so I took some panning shots of the Thames and St Paul's and the bridges. Finally, I found the Tate! Quite an ugly building... but I'm sure there are some lovely pieces of art inside (unfortunately I didn't get to see!!)
So I made my way over to the cafe... and look who I found!!
I kind of went up to the window with my camera like a weirdo... but then everyone recognised me so it was OK! Filofax-fanatics must be instantly recognisable!!
Here's everyone as I found them when I walked in!
Going clockwise: Christa, Imy, Tracy, Anja, Adam, Sharon (hidden), Steve and Anita!
I sat next to Anita, on the "excited" end of the table! The other end was quiet and subdued, not like us girlies at the other end!! We were all squeally and chatty, comparing filofaxes and being a bit over-the-top! 

We ordered food...
... and my Filofaxes went away as soon as I splashed a drop of vinegar in their direction :S

They came out again when the food disappeared, and we proceeded to build the obligatory filofax pile!

We tried to make it on the table, but soon it became a leaning tower of Filofaxes, so we built them up against the mirrored wall instead! It creates a lovely effect!
Standing up with Imy holding them :)

I measured the horizontal pile with my A5 page marker, they stretched out to about 94cm!

Then with Filofaxes safely packed away in our bags, we made our way through central London, Sharon shepherding us! Unfortunately Adam and Anja had to leave early, I didn't get a chance to speak to them :(
We saw lots of interesting things on the way, including sand sculptures on the beach of the Thames, a woman who looked like Lady Gaga, and most importantly for me, Cleopatra's Needle! 
We walked through Covent Garden, a place important for both my mum and dad separately- where my dad used to steal potatoes from the marker stall-holders' veg stalls to sell at his block of flats, and where, 20 years later, my mum used to eat her lunch on her lunch breaks!
Then we walked up Neal Street- very exciting of course! I didn't realise it was such a big street, it was teaming with shoppers! I was looking out for the Filofax shop the whole way, and then noticed something I recognised- the MAC shop! I remembered I had been here a few years before with my mum! I can't believe I had been so close to the Filofax shop before and never even noticed it! (this was before I was into filofaxes, though!)
Finally, we found it!!!

I didn't manage to take many good pictures of the inside of the shop, I was too excited!!
I spent ages looking at all the beautiful filofaxes and interesting inserts and accessories. I watched Imy and Tracy making their video, and having a debate over who should buy what colour bag!! We all flooded Dee with questions and sent her looking for obscure things, but she was very friendly and hospitable, I don't know how she does it! She even knows how to handle Imy ;b
When I was there I was looking for 1 thing- an A5 Ochre Malden. But... It wasn't on the display stand, and however had they looked, the staff couldn't find it in the stock room :( But that was kind of good, because epic-enabler Imy had about 99% persuaded me to buy it, and if I got my hands of it I would have found the other 1% and my bank account would have quickly been a lot emptier! So I guess it was good that they didn't have it!
But I felt very deflated, because I had been really looking forward to seeing it, and I didn't want to finish this fun day having bought nothing in the Filofax shop!! I looked around for something I wanted or needed, but bought... NOTHING!!! This happened before, when I went to the Conduit street shop in the summer. Then I was pleased with myself, but this time I was disappointed! What's wrong with me?! Steve says some people can get overwhelmed, and not buy anything. I'm ashamed to admit, I think that's what happened to me!!

So at 17:00 everyone made their way out of the shop, and we went our separate ways to our respective stations. I got home quite late, after a lovely day!! I have lots of photos and memories I will hold forever! I hope to go on another Philofaxy meet-up soon! And I'm really looking forward to the mini meet-up Imy's organising for December, in Bristol! Can't wait!!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Philofaxy trip preparation and Poll results!!

Tomorrow is the Philofaxy London meet-up! I'm so looking forward to it! I've got a bit to do to prepare for it this evening, mostly packing- lots and lots of Filofaxes! So thank you everyone for helping me to decide which filos to bring!
Here's the graph representing the votes for each filofax-
As you can see, the Cuban Zipped and the Raspberry Chameleon are the sure-fire winners! closely followed by the Teal Finchley, then by the Raspberry Finsbury and Personal Kendal :) I'm not surprised by the votes for the Cuban Zipped, because it is an interesting filofax, with it's 30mm rings and zip. I was surprised by how many votes the Chameleon received, because I thought it was a Filofax quite a few people owned, but it's a beautiful filo! The Teal Finchley is a gorgeous filo and quite unusual, so it would be nice for people to see it :) I was surprised by the votes for the Raspberry Finsbury, because it's quite a basic filo, I thought quite a few people owned one! The Kendal is a lovely filo :) The Finchley mini received quite a few votes, it's lovely too!

So it's time to decide which filofaxes to take to the meet-up! Unfortunately I can't take all of them!
Ochre personal Malden- my main filo
Red A5 Amazona- my uni work filo
Cuban zipped*
Raspberry Chameleon- has the rest of 2012 day per page planner in it
Teal Finchley* (I'm using it as my Happiness Project binder, but I haven't finished setting it up yet, so I'm going to empty it)
Mini Finchley- has notepaper in it for on-the-go notes, shopping lists etc (I don't use it much)
A5 vintage pink Malden- I think I am going to take this, but I haven't decided yet!
*Ones with a star are empty, basically I'm just bringing them for the binder itself

I'm not going to take some of them because I think people will already own them (e.g. the crimson Malden), or be able to see them in the shop. I wish I could take them all!

Soon after the meet-up, I will post a detailed description of the day with lots of photos! And I'm planning on making a video of the day too!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Filofax memories prize- Apex


A few weeks ago Filofax ran a competition to win a free filofax if you share a Filofax memory with them, through one of the filofax blogs. I won!! among lots of other philofaxers :)

The free filofax we won was an Apex. I wasn't too impressed, as I had been dreaming that Filofax would give us a choice of binders, and I was drooling over many of the more expensive, leather ones. Actually, people on twitter were joking about getting an Apex as the prize, it was like a threat! Well, Filofax didn't even give us a choice over colour and size!
Well, I'm not one to moan (much) over free stuff! So I'll just stop wingeing and be grateful!

Here is the Apex I got through the post about an hour ago:

Personal-sized, black with orange elastic. After I got over it not being pink (I did have my fingers crossed!), the first thing I thought was "that would be perfect for Matthew", my brother! His favourite colours are black and red, so this fits the bill almost perfectly! I'm going to give it to him as a Christmas present. He already has a planner for this academic year, but he can decide on how to use it, as the diary lasts until Dec 2012. I think most likely he will use it as a notebook because he uses a free promotional A6 pad from his library at the moment. I hope he will like this, and best thing- now I don't have to buy one of his presents!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Poll :)

Hi again!

I have made a poll, on the side-bar of my blog :) Please help me by filling it in!

Next Saturday (19th Nov) is the Philofaxy London meet-up! Everyone brings lots of Filofaxes out on the table in the restaurant and has a good nosy at everyone's set-up! So I need to decide which Filos to bring!
I have a small wheely-suitcase which I am going to use to take my filos to London. Fortunately it has backpack straps, so I can wear it on my back when necessary. It is quite spacious, but I am possibly going to put other things in it too, so I need to organise what I'm taking!

I'm definitely going to bring the filos I am currently using, which are my main personal filo, my ochre personal Malden, and my uni planning filo, my A5 red Amazona! Both beautiful filos!

But what I want to know is which of the filos I'm not currently using you think I should bring. Basically, they are only good for looking at the binders themselves, because most of them only hold spare paper, they aren't interesting for their set-ups. So what I really want to know is, if you are, or would be if you could, coming to the meet-up, which filos would you like to see?

Thanks for voting!!

Filo problems...!

Woops! Sorry I haven't written in so long, it's very surprising how quickly time flies in the 4th quarter of the year!! Nearly Christmas!

So I have been drooling over the A5 Malden in ochre for the past week or so. I know what you are thinking, I already have an A5 Malden, but I just LOVE the colour of the ochre one, especially since I saw the photos of Kathiza's on her blog! I prefer the ochre to the vintage pink.
I would love it for planning, notes etc for my dissertation, and when the time comes, my PhD thesis, and in the future, professional research projects! The gorgeous brown leather just screams 'Professor' to me- old fashioned, office that looks more like a library, leather arm chair and tweed jacket with leather elbow pads!! I've always loved that! I'm a very visual person, and if I see something that screams 'Professor' to me, it will make me act more professional in my research projects! Well, I hope!!

I wanted to get it as my main Christmas present from my parents. But ever since my mum said "that's very expensive" re the A5 Malden, I have been rethinking it. It wasn't a logical reaction, I didn't think "yes, it is actually", it was a gut reaction- as soon as she said it, a seed of doubt grew in my belly. Suddenly I was full of thoughts- do I need another A5? will I really use this? have I thought it through?
I know that I have a LOT of filofaxes. My A5 Domino is sitting on my bookcase doing nothing! I could use that, but it isn't as pretty as the ochre Malden, and it definitely doesn't scream 'Professor'!! I don't want to use my Domino as my proper dissertation planner; although, I think I will use it as my on-the-go A5, e.g. if I need my dissertation planner on campus for a meeting or something, I will put my papers inside the Domino so my Malden (or whichever filo I use) doesn't get bashed about in my bag.
Really, I don't want another filofax. I think my obsession might be getting a bit over the top then! I certainly don't need another one when I have an A5 going unused. So what can I do? Sell one? I won't get my money back for it!

As I see it, I have 3 options:
1) I could buy the ochre Malden. But that means another A5 filo, which I think is just ridiculous!
2) Use something else, a filo I already have!
3) Something which would be my ideal situation, but I don't know if it will work out! I could take my A5 vintage pink Malden to the Philofaxy meet-up, and ask in the Filofax shop if I can exchange it for an empty ochre Malden. But I don't think this will work... I have to think about whether I am really going to try this!

As I said, I already have an A5 Malden, in vintage pink. I bought it from the Filofax website for myself as a present after I graduated. In it I have 2 diary inserts up to the end of 2011 (which have gone mostly unused); a section for time-management; a section for getting things done (although not GTD proper); a section for main projects; and the most important section, my fun section, where I have notes on blog posts to write, Filofax planning (ideas of what goes where, etc), lists of favourite TV programmes, books, films etc.
But I have opened this filo maybe twice since term started! I just don't focus on things like this when I am so busy with uni stuff. I do try to do time-management planning etc, but not as often as I would like, and not necessarily in here. I don't plan my blog that much any more (shock horror!!), and really I don't need to have a list of 'favourite TV programmes' to know what to watch!!
So, I'm thinking of emptying out my vintage pink Malden, and using it for my dissertation filofax instead. However, it's not the gorgeous ochre colour, and I don't know any vintage pink professors!!

So what do you guys think? Do you think I will be able to exchange my vintage pink Malden in the Neal Street shop next Saturday?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Do it with paperclips...

Recently I bought a Moleskine Peanut's pocket 2012 daily planner from Amazon. Don't worry, I'm not cheating on my Filofaxes! I used a daily Moleskine as my planner for the first few months of 2011 and it DIDN'T work!! Actually, I'm using it as a very fat notebook! I use a Moleskine knock-off as my ideas notebook- the first half is for uni assignment ideas etc, and the second part is general notes- ideas for birthday presents etc. But I wanted to use a different one for my dissertation notes. While this general uni notebook will probably last me until the end of January, when this semester finishes, and I will have new modules (so most of the stuff in this notebook will be finished with), I need to keep my dissertation notes with me until the end of September (when I finish my MA!), and probably during my PhD too, as this will be on a similar subject. So I decided to buy a separate notebook, and as I love Moleskines, I decided to buy a daily planner because it has 400 pages, over 200 more than the normal notebook.

But I wanted a cahier or a volant to go with it too, for list-making and to-dos. I tried to clip it into my Moleskine, at the back, but it created a big bulge and the cover wouldn't shut properly, and I was worried that it would damage the binding. So my mind instantly went to the Flex, but the pocket-sized one was too small for the pocket Moleskine, and the 'slim' one was, well, too slim, and wouldn't accommodate my fat planner! So after much thought, I decided that I could hack something together. The basic concept of the Flex is that it has slots that a notebook's covers can slip into, to hold the notebook, or in this case, multiple notebooks. I don't want to ruin the magic, but this is the concept behind every single notebook cover! The only difference is that the Flex is made for people to put multiple notebooks in, while other notebook covers are just designed for one book. But really, if you could slip the front cover of a notebook behind the left slot, and the back cover of another notebook behind the back slot, any notebook cover can be used to house two notebooks!

Unfortunately, there aren't many shops, or websites, in Britain where I can get a lovely, Moleskine-sized, notebook cover. I love the Renaissance Art ones, but the postage to the UK is ridiculous. So I decided I would just go to town and find my own! There's a lovely little shop here in Liverpool called Shared Earth, and I knew they sold a few leather notebook covers (with the notebooks inside, of course!), so between meetings today I popped down there. I saw a nice notebook cover, and it was quite cheap, so I bought it.

Isn't it lovely?

Unfortunately, the actual slots that are designed to hold the notebook in place are very shallow-
Ignore the paperclips for now

which means that it wouldn't hold my Moleskine and volant very securely. But I reckoned I could think of a solution!
All evening I have been thinking about this. I won't bore you with the details, but I went through many options, and none of them would realistically work. On the more simple side of the options, I thought of somehow securing the covers of my notebooks to the leather with bull-dog clips, but that just wouldn't work. The other thing in my stationary box are paperclips. Surely it couldn't work, they are little things, how could they hold anything that thick in place??

Well, I tried it, and it worked! I pushed the longer side of the clip under the Moleskine cover, and the shorter side over the leather, and it holds them both quite tightly together! I did this twice on each notebook, and it secures them very well!

I'm quite proud of my hack! It shows that sometimes the simplest tricks work the best! My next problem is fixing my pen in it somehow, I tried my Leuchtturm pen loop in it, and somehow I didn't like it. But I'm really happy of my dissertation's ideas book now has a snug home! Plus, it looks a bit like Indiana Jones' notebook, which makes my inner archaeologist happy :)

NB. Not so happy with the decoration on the cover of my Moleskine, though- after only 1 day's use, the white rubbery stuff that makes up Snoopy and Charlie on the cover is rubbing off. Very disappointed!