Saturday, 31 March 2012

Smartphone woes and how my Filofax will always win!

Hi everyone! I'm on easter holidays for 1 week at the moment, so I'm relaxing at home :) Unfortunately, I'm going back to Liverpool next Monday as I have an essay due in straight after easter, so this might be my last post for a while :(

I have been thinking about smartphones quite a lot lately. I own an Iphone 3gs, which is starting to slow down- not too much, but just enough that I know in a few months time it will become quite frustrating, and when my contract runs out in November I will definitely be looking for a replacement.
I love my phone, I really do, but the one thing I would improve (beside a better, longer-lasting battery), is a bigger screen size. I sat next to someone at a meeting last week who had a Samsung Galaxy S2. There was some silly debating going around the table about iphone vs. S2, but even though I love my iphone, the one thing that struck me was the gigantic and beautiful screen size of the S2, 4.3 inches vs. the iphone's 3.5 inches. I read lots of good reviews about the S2- it sounds like a brilliant phone. I think I could even switch from iOS to Android!!

I was walking around town, with all of this floating around my head, when I saw a big poster advertising the Samsung Galaxy Note. It's, in a word, GIGANTIC!!! It's marketed as half tablet, half phone. It certainly is a bigger device than my iphone, at 5.3 inches!! I googled this too, and it also seems great. And the TV adverts make it seem fantastic- you can use the stylus to snip things off websites and email to people or save as notes- brilliant for my chaotic mind! It even looks like it has a good calendar!! I would like an ipad eventually, but I don't want to carry it around with me, and I know I couldn't just whip it out to check something like I could with my little phone. And I don't want to carry 2 expensive devices around with me. The half phone, half tablet seems like a perfect solution!

But I think my brain is just going googoo over the prospect of getting a new gadget (read: toy!). I know that at first I would be in love with it, and may even forsake my filofax for it for a few weeks!! But eventually the novelty would wear off, and in a year and a half I would be looking for something new...
So I'm starting to think 'What do I need from my phone?' I love my filofaxes, and there are things that I could use my phone for but I don't, because I love writing in my filofaxes. So I made a table to see what I really need my phone for, and what type of phone I need. Do I really need one with all the bells and whistles?

What do I use my phone for that I don't use my filofax for?
What do I use my filofax for that I don't use my phone for?
Calling people
Texting people
Taking photos
Checking my emails
Reference information
Surfing the internet
Contacts- majority
Uni work organisation inc. dodo
Apps, calculator, weather etc
Important contacts
Vital (uni blackboard system) when out and about

The blue things are things that all phones can do. The yellow things are things that I need a better-than-standard phone for- i.e. a smartphone.
But do I really NEED a really fancy smartphone? Pretty much any smartphone can have apps nowadays, but I really want one with an OK camera (5mp would be good), and speed for internet access (mostly wifi) is essential. So do I need the all-singing, all-dancing Samsung Galaxy Note? Probably not. I use my filofax for a lot of things I could actually do on my phone, and probably other people actually do use their phones to organise their uni work etc. But I need to do it on paper, it works for me. So I don't need my phone to be fantastic for that. But some of the things the Note can do are just... COOL!!! But my sensible head switches on, and I ask myself 'Do I need to be able to snip a picture from a website and send it as an email to myself to remember to tell mum about it?' NO!! Just write it in my to-dos in my filofax!! 'Tell mum about the pretty picture on (or whatever)!'

So if I'm struggling with my organisation system (which I think I am), the solution is not going to be found by buying a VERY expensive phone, but by improving the way I use my filofax! That's something I've got to sort out over the next few months, definitely! Although I still may drool over the big glossy screens of the Samsung S2 and Note!!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Let's all do the Dodo!!

I just came from a skype chat with the CEO of Dodopad Rebecca Jay, Imy, Steve, Tracy and Joshua, about making the Dodopad more suitable for the personal-sized filofax! Yesterday I hacked my A5 dodopad to fit into my personal filo, and lots of us talked about it on twitter, which led Rebecca to talk to her designer to mock up a bigger grid for the personal-sized filo!
She said she didn't want to cut off one column like I did, so it would be a case of shrinking the grid to fit better on the page. This would be bigger than the current grid, smaller than the A5 or deskpad grid, but the same size as the mini dodopad grid (which is popular and totally works for many people!)- the squares would be 14mm square each, which I think is better than the current square size in the personal-sized filofax dodopad- I can definitely see myself writing in these boxes.
Unfortunately, a tiny bit of the drawings might get cropped a bit on the sides of the page, but I'm not too worried about that! Rebecca sent us some PDFs of some mock-ups, but they are secret!!
Obviously this is a work-in-progress, and it takes 4 months for the new dodopad to go from the drawing board to the printing press, so these new versions of the personal-sized filofax dodopads won't be available until 2013, but I think it will be worth the wait!!

In other news, I suggested the Day-on-2-pages Dodopad again to Rebecca, whether it's in filofax format or not- and she said she'll discuss it with her designer when they meet in a couple of weeks, so hopefully that will come to fruition!!

Isn't it great when a company really listens to you? Fantastic!! :D
Thank you, Lord Dodo and Rebecca!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A5 Dodopad for personal filofax!

After a brief flirtation with an A5 filofax, like many others in the last few days, I have realised the A5 size is unsuitable for me. It's heavy and bulky, and I'm already happily set up in the much smaller and more portable personal-sized filo. The more I fiddle around with the set-up of my planning filofax(es) [as opposed to my information filofaxes], the more I realise I am definitely a 1-life, 1-planner girl!!
I love my personal-sized filofax... although I haven't posted about it here because it's constantly evolving. I have a day on 2 pages Day Timer Flavia insert for the current week, which gets changed out every Sunday, so the old week gets moved out and the new one gets moved in, and I have a Day Timer week on 2 pages Flavia insert for forward planning, that stays permanently in my filofax. But I struggle to plan which university work to do when on these sheets. Last September I bought this academic year's Dodopad insert for my A5 filofax, which is brilliant, and it works for me (although I can't use Dodopad for normal planning/organisation of my time, I use it well for organising when to do which piece of homework). Because the dodopad is so good for me, I want to use it all the time, but I don't want to have to take my A5 filofax everywhere with me. I need to use it in my personal-sized filofax.
Dodopad makes a personal-sized filofax dodopad insert, but it is a scaled-down version of the larger dodopad, and so the whole page is shrunk, meaning the individual boxes are just tiny!! At this size, they would be very difficult to use.

I considered just buying this insert, but I know it would end up being too small, and I already have a dodopad in A5 size for the rest of this academic year. So I thought, would it be possible to make the A5 dodopad into a personal-sized dodopad?

I took an old page, and laid a piece of filofax paper over the grid of the A5 dodopad. It fit vertically, but horizontally it was at least 1 column too wide.
I hope you can see the personal-sized flyleaf over the grid, showing the boundaries of the page.

I was willing to lose 1 column from the grid; I work left to right, and rarely reach the 5 box of the day.
Here's the sheet I cut and the rest of the paper, showing what was cut off.
1 column at least gets chopped off

On the back, some of the lovely designs and writing that make the Dodopad so unique and cute get chopped off :(

Depending on where you cut, some of the holes go through the dates on the left of the grid.
Sorry about the shadow :(

I'm considering doing this with the rest of March's pages- I think this could be brilliant for my 1-life 1-planner!! 
What do you think? Will you do this yourself?