Feb 19, 2012

On a true Filofax love affair, finally, and on how to do to-dos... and it looks like this isn't the end yet!

It's three weeks of me being back to work after a year of maternity leave - need I say more?! :-)
I planned weeks ago to make this blogpost, and even promised to some of you to do it, so... let's go to work without any further delay!

Just to remind you where we stayed at last time: there was a christmas present which shook my ground, and it came in the shape of an Apple Green Personal Piccadilly.
Can you imagine what are the odds that someone who knows absolutely nothing about Filofaxes (apart from seeing me clearly having trouble with my self-control around them) gives you a brand new Piccadilly in 2011 (I gather they were sold between 1998 - 2001)?!
Only one person in the world is capable of that. My mum.  :-)

I have read about the Piccadilly before and frankly couldn't imagine its addictive powers. Well, now I have tested them myself and to put it short and simply: after the Malden and the Amazona and many binders in between as well, this one is without a doubt my favourite.

I can't exactly tell you why. It's hidden somewhere in the mixture of the pockets layout, its vibrant colour and great soft padded surface, I guess. It's like coming home to a soft, worn, comfortable couch. There's just the chemistry that wasn't there with the previous ones! :-)

Hm, but let the pictures do the talking!

It lays perfectly flat out of the box and its brilliant colour was just calling for a brand new decoration... you could see me searching through decorative paper like never before and then actually making new dividers for it - now that must be love! :-)

I couldn't imagine any other pen to go with it than the trusty old Bic Orange, I think it just completes the uber comfortable look and feel of the organiser!

The other part of this re-decoration was my new DIY post-it accessory.

The set up didn't change much though, as it was working great for me as it already was: Diary, Me (with various Lists that are marked with small top tabs each, Journal and my Finance section with the punched envelope for receipts and odd banknotes that I hide from myself), Info (Adresses, Bus Schedules, Passwords, Doctor's numbers ect.) and my little one's tab with all her important info. The only new tab was given to my Projects... now that the work began again, haha... 

I hope you liked it so far, and now off to the second today's topic, the to-dos system, which is my new improvement in the use of my Filofax.

I always use week on two pages; not just because I have countless numbers of them, arriving with each new Filofax, but also because I find them as the best compromise between the available space and still bearable bulk of the organiser.
The nature of my work is quite predictable appointment-wise, so I use the daily space mostly for my to-dos.
I use different colour pens, but solely to pretty things up, I colour-code my writing only occasionally, I don't have the time or the nerve to pick the appropriate colour when on the go!

Therefore I use another coding method to orientate myself quickly: I divide a day's space mentally into 4 quarters, and the quarters mean:
  • left upper one = priority stuff, usually work or doctor's related 
  • left lower one = to-dos related to household and family
  • right upper one = my pleasure activities, yay, I often write here the type of tea that I drink that day (very important journalling info, lol!) and
  • right lower one = events and things of that day that I want to remember, i.e. my baby's milestones... or simply the arrival of my new Filofax Compact - ooops, but that's another post! ;-)

While I have my to-dos on day's space, it is easy to check them up later; but then there are some to-dos and reminders that I want to keep in sight every time and I had to invent a hack for it. The basic idea was to write them on a post-it and move them from week to week, but I didn't like the post-it covering my days, so finally I came up with the solution: I put a transparent flyleaf in between the week's sheets and used it as a dashboard for my post-its. Ray with his incredible inventions was most helpful here, giving me the idea of diy transparent flyleaves.So this is how my dashboard looks like in action:

Hopefully, any of this will be useful to you, too... and please, do share any comments and ideas!!!

So here I am Filofax-wise so far; loving the binder and satisfied with the system. But. But! Of course there has to be a "but" now. And it has to do with both the binder and the system.

Firstly, as I said, I love this Piccadilly like no other model so far and am already on the quest of buying all the existent Piccadillys in the world to make sure I never again remain without one. The problem with this current one is because it gets scratched sooooooo easily! After only a month and a half, the marks of use are clearly seen, and as my little one is especially drawn to it (now at least one gene of mine she's gotten...), its future is quite predictable. I guess it has to do with the binder's age and maybe dryness that, ironically, obviously even Nivea cannot fix completely.

The other problem that surfaces constantly is the thickness of the binder. I love the idea of one life - one binder, but mine is as thick as a telephone book now! And since I don't use it just at home as I used to, lugging it around along with other necessities is quite a work to do.

Therefore I have a few open challenges again:
1. I'll probably put my Piccadilly to rest for a while now, so I don't ruin it too much too soon. Hardly, because I cannot imagine any other binder replacing it, but it'll be necessary, I guess. But on the other hand, I did have the idea to change the binder with the change of seasons last year, so the new challenge would be - which binder to use for the nearing spring? :-)
2. I am considering a compact size binder, especially with the forecasts of the new Filofax range being a bit more compact - oriented. But will it really suit me?

Ahhh, the never ending adrenalin in the land of Filofax... ;-)


  1. Welcome back! Love what you've done with the dashboard, and the task quadrants are genius.

  2. Yep, what Ray said. Absolutely genius! :D Your Piccadilly is just lovely, I wish they'd make more green binders!
    Seasonal binders are fun-it helps make your FF always feel fresh and new.

  3. I love your Piccadilly!!!! Want one!! It is so nice! And I love your set-up.

  4. The flyleaf in between the week sheets is a very good idea - I used to put my post-it´s upon the week sheets and it always annoyed me. I´m going to try this at once!!! :-)

  5. Hello everybody,
    thank you for your kind replys - it's such a motivation-boost for me! :)

    @Ray - thank you for letting some of your geniousness rub off on me! ;)
    @Rori - so I can count on you when organizing pressure campaign on Filofax for more green binders next year? :)
    @Amanda - hmmm, but don't bid against me on eBay, will you? :)
    @Maus - let me know how it works for you!

  6. PS Rori, I so agree - any seasonal-Filofax ideas?

  7. Yes, love that fly-leaf! When I first saw the arrows I thought, "That's weird, it looks like it's floating." And the little top tabs made from Moleskine stickers is brilliant!

    As for putting away the Picadilly so it doesn't get worn out... that doesn't make any sense! You can't love on it unless you are using it! You should love it to absolute pieces and then give it a decent burial.

    Nice post.

  8. Ooh, so pretty! I understand the urge to put the Piccadilly away so it doesn't get used, but it's like the Velveteen Rabbit -- you have to use it so it knows it's loved and the signs of wear are signs of love! I also really like the idea of seasonal FFs, which makes me think that hmmm, now I need to look for others so I can rotate the four different A5s I have for different purposes with seasonal ones. Yay, a reason to look for more FFs...

  9. I share your love of the Piccadilly! I got mine on a business trip to London in 1998 or so - it's a beautiful bright blue, and to me the size, feel, everything about it is perfect! Why oh why did they discontinue making them? And mine looks as good as ever - it wears well EXCEPT that the little tab closure has become cracked and very worn... I wonder if I could have it replaced?

    Where did your mom find the green one? I would buy another one in a heartbeat!

    Thanks for sharing - love your pics. Enjoy!

  10. I too love the fly leaf Post-it dashboard! I may have to steal - er, borrow - that idea. I also like your lovely dividers. I really want to decorate mine somehow but I have yet to find anything that appeals to me. Plus, I don't want to have to do a lot of sizing, cutting, and gluing - since I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I know that if it doesn't come out just right I won't use them, and I don't want to ruin my dividers. I'll have to keep looking for something that suits my needs. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Lovely, absolutely lovely!!!! I'm envious of your new beauty! I had never considered green but as soon as I saw pictures of yours.....I was hooked! And now the quest begins for a green one!

    The flyleaf dashboard is so useful! Thank you, Ray! I read about it and immediately set to using the flyleaf that comes with the binder as my dashboard between the pages of the week. It has been wonderful! I actually secured it to the FF ruler using tape (and then covered up the tape with pretty stickers. So I can easily turn the flyleaf page by turning the ruler. The ruler overlaps the flyleaf so both are still secured into the rings. Make sense???

    Could you tell me what you have hidden, and peeking out, of the bottom pocket on the inside left cover? I see these four pretty colored swirly things peeking out. Stickers? Post-Its?

    I love the idea of mentally splitting your day boxes into four areas! Thanks for sharing this method...I'm going to "borrow" it and start using it in mine.

    Congrats on your beautiful gift. Moms...aren't they wonderful??!!!!

  12. Beautiful & I wish there were more green filofaxes.
    I love your use of the flyleaf! I found a spare one the other day & was considering doing some thing similar - great minds think alike :)

  13. I've flirted with the sticky dashboard; I think I will incorporate it as a permanent feature. Your excellent post reminded me how functional it is!

  14. A big, biiiiig thank you for all your lovely comments,
    it's such a reward for me, seeing that you spent your time and shared your thoughts! And I'm also so glad that some of you found the dashboard idea useful, do "steal"/"borrow"/"implement" it freely! :)

    @Nancy and Diane: thank you for making me reconsider the time-out for my Piccadilly! I so agree - it has to be loved and used! But it is also very frustrating seeing it get a new scratch every day, it does get them incredibly easily - so if I use it up now already, what will I do when there are no more Piccadillys left in the world?! :) (oh, if only I had one more left in stock...)
    Ah, and Diane, if you happen to need some more enabling about the change of seasons in Filofaxland... Saffronia put it geniously in the comments here:


    @Claudia: thankfully and finally someone with a Piccadilly disease as well! :) I know the blue colour, it's really brilliant, and not to mention the whole looks and feels of the organiser... hard to explain it rationally, right? :) I really wish they'd make these again in this very form, Finsbury just seems too distant a cousin!
    I don't know why mine is wearing so badly, I reckoned it had to be dried out, just a light scratch from a fingernail will already leave a lighter-coloured mark behind no matter how much TLC I put into it... Must be something with this leather because I have another one in black and it seems to be more resilient... but black is no match for the green... or yellow... or blue... Honestly, I envy you a bit! :) And I think this one came from eBay, mum has been enigmatic about it seeing how she got me, haha...

    @kanalt: I so know what you mean about making the dividers - this is my first time as well, because of exactly the same reasons! But the binder was a real inspiration and then all of a sudden the right papers appeared, and the dividers even came out very neat... so do try it soon! :)

    @LJ and Filocrazed: and I'm even not that much into green colour otherwise! :) true, this green does get you hooked and I, too, wish for more green binders... well, given the 2012 Filofax range... 2013 maybe??
    Yes, those swirly coloured things were my post-its, they're from sigel and are of great quality, too - here:


    @anita - great minds do think alike, that was no coincidence! ;)

    @terriknits - thank you, and do share yours in action in one of your great posts!

    I hope you all have a nice weekend and that you'll stop by again... thank you! :)*

  15. You really have done such a lovely job. I've re-read your posts and looked at the pictures a couple of times already!

    Thanks so much for providing the link to the post-its! I was hoping that's what they were.

    I really enjoyed reading your post! I'll certainly be visiting again.

    Hope you have a great weekend as well. Enviously, DEM (aka Filocrazed)...I decided to change my username so that I don't sound as "filofax obsessed"

  16. What a wonderful post!

    About your Piccadilly scratching, I would advise you NOT to shelve it, and to handle it as much as possible. The oils from your hands are probably the best to condition the leather. I learned the hard way from shelving my Buckingham "to protect it," that without frequent handling the leather got dry and cracked along the spine, and rubbing up next to other things on the shelf (especially the destructive elastic strap of my Domino!) it got scuffed much worse than it ever did when it was in daily use!! So I agree with those who say, love it and use it.

  17. Thank you, Laurie,
    I read your post about your Buckingham just around the beginning of my dilemma of how to preserve Piccadilly and you really made me think... like you did just now again! :) Thank you, I think you'll be satisfied with my final decision! :)

  18. That is such a pretty Filofax. And I love the idea of the to-do quadrants. My pocket is too small to handle that, but I'll definitely use that idea in the future.

  19. Lovely color and excellent ideas! Question (or two!). You mentioned Ray's idea of making your own flyleaf. I assume you mean making them from transparencies? I was going to buy some but they are pretty pricey and only come 100 to a box! I don't need that many. But if you meant something else please do share! Thank you! And you're cute little tabs with the icons. Someone above mentioned Moleskin stickers. Can you provide more info or a resource? And did you mount them on another tab to make them sturdy? Thank you! :)

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      thank you for stopping by and commenting! Here, the answers! :)
      Yes, I did mean the transparencies, but I bought them really cheap because they sell them separately here in various stationery stores...
      Those Moleskine stickers come as a part of their yearly planner, in the pocket inside, and I still had some leftovers... I stuck them onto the usual Avery tabs and cut the shape - but not the transparent part that sticks on the paper - otherwise it'd be too narrow and they'd come off easily (tried and tested!). Good luck and let me know how you fix it! :)

  20. LOVE that clear fly idea!!! Now to find a hard enough piece of plastic I can punch holes in.
    I too have made my own dividers for my crimson malden mainly from old greeting cards - was much easier than I thought, glad I did. Wishing you all the best for Xmas from sunny Canberra, Australia!

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  22. i´ll be using your transparent flyleaf idea! I'm a post-it addict and it will help a lot. :)

  23. Genius! I'm not organized by nature, but this is a concept even us un-tidy folks can work with. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Great post~thanks for sharing! :)