Filofax "The Original" in patent fuchsia, on white background
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My Filofax: “The Original” in patent fuchsia

We’re officially at that time of year called “back to school”, and whether you’re actually going back to school or if you left your last classroom behind five years ago (like I did) you are surely feeling the itch to plan, get organized, and structure your life a little bit more for fall and winter. I personally love nothing more than to walk past book shops and check out all the new note books, pens and calendars, but then again I always was and always have been a giant nerd. But alas, my daily work tool is a MacBook Pro and a pen tablet so I have no need for funky notebooks and colorful pens – I do, however, need to be organized.

Paper perfection

Enter the Filofax. I have a theory that I must have been a yuppie stock broker in a past life (who died from a coke overdose in the early 80s so that I could be re-born in 1985, bien sûr), because I have always loved leather-bound planners. I know, I know, they are SO out of fashion. We have smart phones now! iPads! Google Calendar! Who needs paper anyway? I do. If I couldn’t jot down notes and plans and ideas on paper I would have a minor freakout. I just think better on paper. Paper doesn’t run out of batteries. It is aesthetically pleasing, the binders come in a variety of sizes and colors, and you can buy any kind of insert your heart desires (or make your own). Sure, it adds some weight to your handbag, but come on. This is so much cooler than an iPhone.

Filofax “The Original” in patent fuchsia

I have had my Filofax “The Original” in patent fuchsia leather for a handful of months now, and we are getting along splendidly. You can get it from Filofax US or Filofax UK, but I bought mine from Colemans at a much lower price than at the official sites. The fuchsia is lovely and bright and the leather is sturdy, and it lays completely flat on my desk when I open it up. Some planners don’t do this, and it gets very annoying in the long run. The pen that I use is a Pilot G-2 05, and yes, I chew it. Sue me.Filofax_the_original_personal_patent_fuchsia_first_page

The vertical year planner

A mandatory insert for me is the vertical year planner. This is where I write down any major events, trips, birthdays and holidays so that I have my year at a glance in a simple and easy way. Wondering whether you can squeeze in a weekend away in November, or if you’re just too busy? No need to go through your entire diary, just take a look at your November page. As you can see January was not a good month for The Poodle, as she had several vet visits and some major surgery. She’s doing fine now, thank goodness.


The fitness tracker

This is where I keep track of my health and fitness. I made this insert myself in Adobe InDesign because I couldn’t find anything in stores that looked the way I wanted. My system is simple – the day gets colored in yellow marker if my diet was clean or pink marker if I ate candy or junk food, and the goal is to only have one pink day each week. If I worked out the day gets a big X in black pen, and if I was sick, injured or anything else out of the ordinary it gets written down in the notes section at the bottom.


The diary

This is my day-to-day diary where I write down my plans, appointments and daily notes. I prefer a week-on-two pages setup, but there are plenty to choose from if this doesn’t fit your particular needs. I only recently discovered that you can’t buy re-fills of this particular diary setup, which annoyed me way more than it should have. I like it! It works for me! Oh well, I’m sure there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere. Don’t get too attached to your paper.


The to do lists

I don’t know where I’d be without to do lists, because I’d surely get nothing done. I prefer a separate sheet of paper for my to do list, so that I can move it over to the next week if I didn’t manage to finish everything in time.


The note paper

On the same note, make sure to carry some spare note paper with you, because you never know when you’ll need it.

Filofax_note_paperOther lists

Speaking of note paper, I didn’t photograph the lists that I keep in my Filofax. The content was just too personal to blog, but I can tell you what kind of lists they are: 2014 new year’s resolutions, general to do, stuff I will no longer buy, things to get rid of, books read in 2014, bad habits that I want to get rid of, habits I would like to have, things achieved in 2014, a list where I write down one good thing that happened every week, a list of dinners for when I can’t think of anything to cook, a list of stores that I like, a list of wines that I like, and a NYC 2015 shopping list.

The pen loop

Most Filofaxes come with pen loops and The Original is no exception, but I didn’t like the placement of them and ended up buying a separate pen loop from a brand called Leuchtturm1917. It is sticky, so you can put it anywhere you like, and they come in many different colors. I found mine on eBay.


The transparent envelope or pocket

And last but not least I would recommend to get a couple of transparent pockets or zip lock envelopes for things like stickers, receipts, or coins. I only carry a card holder on most days, so this is where I keep my change. I’m not the kind of girl who decorates her Filofax with stickers and washi tape, but you never know when you’ll need a burger with legs or a dog in goggles, right?


Plenty of sizes to choose from

This is not my first time around the planner block, oh no. I have had several, most of them worn out and discarded, but I still have my pocket sized planner from Grieg. It is beautiful, but I’m a wordy chick and I simply needed more space to write on. There are larger and smaller sizes as well – you can get planners as big as A4 and as small as a mini (for the über-minimalists out there).


The extras

I said I wasn’t big on washi tape or stickers, but I still have a small box of Filofax accessories on hand: extra paper, post-its, and sticky flags. The options are limitless, and if you get extra super duper excited about your new-found toy there are also web sites and Facebook groups for the hardcore Filofax aficionado. Or so I’ve heard. Cough.


How do you stay organized in your day-to-day life? Are you digital or analogue? And how badly do you want a Filofax right now?


28 thoughts on “My Filofax: “The Original” in patent fuchsia

  1. Oh. My. I am so much the same at this season! I’m like “reorganize all the drawers, buy all the notebooks!” For my own safety I have banned myself from Muji and the BHV, the two major offenders when it comes to stationary items. I’m also, unsurprisingly, with you on the pen and paper affair when it comes to agenda and planning. My hearts goes to Moleskine on this one, with one weekly planner and one lined notebook that don’t ever leave my bag.

    I have discovered this beauty lately to protect my notebook and store credit cards at the same time ( which I’m struggling not to add in a post-shopping fast list that I’m struggling not to create at all… :)

    • Hahahaha, yes! Cull everything, organize it all, write shit down! Typical September behavior. I still visit the bookshops, but I’ve got such a guilty conscience about all the unused notebooks that I own so I think I’m safe. I used the Moleskine weekly notebook for about 6 months I think, but I honestly just ran out of space. Too few pages for notes! Also, I was itching to design my own paper, which is difficult to do for a Moleskine :)

      Ahh, that charette wallet is beautiful, I totally understand your struggle!

  2. elina says:

    oh. my. god. This post was everything I needed in my life today. I have officially started my shopping fast so I can’t have any new stationery (*sob*), but at least I can drool after yours! It looks fantastic! I can’t fathom how people survive without a good paper planner. Or some tiny notebooks (I love Muji’s little ones!). Or bigger ones (Moleskine!). Or everything in between.

    • I’m glad you liked the post Elina! And no, I don’t get how people get by without a planner either. The Boyfriend juggles work and studies without one, and I know I couldn’t do it, I’d go bananas. Some things I can keep digitally – I keep a general calendar in Google Calendar and a few lists in an app called Wunderlist (great for syncing shopping lists between people), but besides those I’m a pen and paper kind of gal.

  3. “How badly do you want a Filofax right now” – hahaha! I found a beautiful Filofax-type binder at a thrift shop last year, didn’t know what to do with it but held on to it because it was so beautiful and might become useful in its time. Now you’re making me want to ditch my pretty red Moleskine 2-year diary… I love how customizable the Filofax is, and I feel like I should probably write everything in one place rather than carry around (and lose) about 5 notebooks. I think better on paper too, and now I really hope I can find the right paper size for my vintage Filofax-like binder!

  4. Erika says:

    I’ve had the same dark blue leather filofax for years, and I would be lost without it. I’ve tried going digital, but I just can’t do it (and me a geek).

    I tend to get the cheaper Debden week to an opening refills for the calendar, but I MUST have lots of note paper. I use folder tabs to split up sections of notes: financial, to do, scraps of writing, clothing information, books I want to get, same for music, car info, garden info, medical info (very useful for anyone with a chronic illness) and ideas for presents.

    What I do need to find is a nice template that also prints out where to punch the damned holes. That way I can just update some pages electronically and print them out.

    • I found a hole punch that can make holes for many different sizes of paper, I love that thing. Makes it so easy to print my own pages. And I hear you on the chronic illnesses, I have so many allergies I struggle to remember them all when people ask me about them! Totally need a list for those.

      Oof, I’d so get a blue Filofax if I found one that I liked. I want them to come out with an Original in a light to medium sky blue. Is that so much to ask for? ;)

  5. Can I just hug you right now? Seriously, this post filled me with so many excited emotions I don’t even know where to start! You are kind of my hero though, so I’ll just start there.

    I’m a total organization nut, but since I’m also new to the iPhone this year, I’m geeing out digitally for now (though of course I have a yearly planner (week on two pages) and an unlined moleskin and numerous other blank notebooks piled on my desk as well. I love Wunderlist too, and am totally hooked on Fantastical instead of the native calendar app, plus I love the way the Notes sync through all my machines. But now, of course, I want a filofax too. Ugh.

    Your fitness system though I think is what really put me over the edge. Are you a genius? Why aren’t you marketing this shit and making money off it? I’m going to fill the house with pages of colored boxes and Xs now. My husband might hate you a little bit, but I think it’s worth it.

    • Hahahaha, I’m happy this post got you so excited Defne! Love it!! And how cool that you like my fitness system – I have previously tried writing down the actual exercises and times and whatnot, but really, all that matters is: did I work out or not? Did I eat okay food, or did I hit up Burger King? That’s all the information I need! I’m sure your husband will approve in the end ;)

      I forgot to mention another little app that I use called “Happy Goals”. If you have some very set goals – save X amount of money, read X amount of books etc then it is really nice.

      But of course nothing beats the Filofax. You kind of need one ;)

  6. Aaaagh! 2013 and 2014 have been my first years ever without my beloved planners. I am soooo close to going back to paper. I miss it! And I absolutely love your month per page exercise journal! Would you be willing to share the template…? But then I would have to get a filofax. Hmmm. I’ve been an Ordning & Reda nut until now. MAybe time to change things up a bit?

    • Tell you what Joanna, if you do end up getting a personal sized Filofax (or similar in the same size) then I will gladly share the template with you. I have only made a 2014 version so far though, so I will need to update it for 2015 first :) Send me an e-mail when/if you get one!

  7. Godt vi er flere! Jeg har en paperblanks-bok jeg er veldig fornøyd med, til tross for at den ikke har spiral-/ringfeste, noe som egentlig er et kriterie for min del. Jeg må ha det på papir, og avskyr iPhonekalenderen, jeg må ha det på papir så jeg kan skrive, tegne og sette det opp som jeg vil, organisert etter mine regler. Hurra! Flott post!

    • Åh, Paperblanks-bøker er så fine! Jeg har backup-dagbøker for flere år fremover nå, bare fordi jeg ikke greier å la være å kjøpe Paperblanks ;)

  8. Your organizational skills put my entire life to shame! Just kidding (slightly), but my method is a lot less methodical. I have a moleskine weekly planner that I use to plan my day by day things (weird seeing 2014’s switch from school assignments to work meetings and deadlines), and at work I have a monthly calendar that I hang on the wall so I can see my month at a glance (also planning to get one for my room at home). I use my iPhone (personal things) or Outlook (work things) as a back-up reminder for meetings and events since even though I think better on paper, I’m also super forgetful! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been saved from completely missing something by my phone/outlook alarm. Also can’t leave out notebooks. I have Moleskines in different sizes so I can fit them in whichever bag I’m using to write to-do lists, notes, and pretty much whatever.

    I also love your fitness system! Due to complete laziness and lack of motivation I enroll in classes so I can’t get out exercising, but if I were more self-motivated I’d copy your method (although I might steal your food technique). I eat waaayyyy too much junk food.

    • Aaah, I completely forgot to reply to your comments! I used the Moleskine weekly planner before I bought my Filofax, but in the end it didn’t have enough space for me. I would be completely lost without my outlook reminders (both on my mac and on my phone) though. I always forget that I have meetings! I guess there’s just something special about pen and paper.

      God I love junk food. I use this system BECAUSE I love junk food. I need the reality of my situation to stare me in the face through pink and yellow markers. You can’t argue with the markers ;)

  9. This looks sooo good! I’m itching to buy something like this. I’m super broke at the moment, so I’ll have to stick to Google Calender for the time being.

  10. Oh, how the organiser in me loves this post! I love organisers, but I haven’t got into the habit of actually using them day-to-day yet. I am a uni student, and trying to organise timetables is something I find easier to do on spread sheets. That being said, I love knowing when everything is due and having it all nicely written out, and this post has inspired me to use my diary more often.

    When it comes to my diary itself, I use a beautiful paperblanks diary that I fell head-over-heels in love with last year. Reading your post has made me question its lack of customisability (not a word – should be a word), but I do still love it, and it has worked well for me this year.

    One final note – I love the colour of your planner! I was a little surprised when I saw it, as you have always seemed more of a neutral person with splashes of blue, but as a lover of pink it made me very, very happy!

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment Bonnie! I have such a soft spot for raspberry pink it is not even funny, but it is true that if this particular Filofax was available in a nice blue I would have probably bought that one instead. I actually stalked an aqua-colored on on eBay for weeks until I resigned to the fact that I would never win an auction – hardcore Filofax hunters on eBay are willing to PAY!

      I own way too many Paperblanks notebooks, they are so pretty. I had to ban myself from buying more until I have finished the ones I have, which at this rate will probably be around 2020. I need to step up my diary game :)

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    • Så kult! Det er bra de har fått det på plass, for jeg tror det har vært veldig etterlengtet. I mellomtiden så har jeg begynt å designe og printe arkene mine selv, siden det jeg ville ha rett og slett ikke fantes :)

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