Monday, 27 May 2013

REVIEW - Filofax Black Fusion Personal Organiser 2013 Release


The first thing you notice about the Filofax Personal Fusion is how light it feels in your hand. It is a very strong yet sleek Filofax. My first impression was – ‘Now there’s a Filofax I can take to the football, business meetings and it would be great for the busy parent’.
I really like black binders, and the materials used to create the Fusion left me intrigued. I HAD to touch it. The cover is made from a strong microfiber combined with full grain leather band. The stitching is a mid-brown. The specifications say it has a width of 155mm, height 192mm and depth 42mm.  Holding it all together is a rather long and sturdy leather strap that inserts into the front cover. It is ready to hold everything including those bulging-at-the-seams days.

The newly arrived Fusion came in the more contemporary plastic dust cover.
The outside spine contains the familiar Filofax logo and a stamped Filofax on the strap closure.
The front contains two small slip pockets on either side of the strap while the back has a large, full length slip pocket which is kept secure by the strap when the binder is closed.
Opening the Fusion, you see it lies quite flat. The cover is stiff yet still flexible.
On the inside front cover is a generous smartphone holder opening to the right with an expandable elastic siding.
I tried placing my Phone 4 inside and it accommodates it well.
When closed, the whole binder remains secure despite having the phone inside. It’s a great innovation and the uses for the busy owner will be endless.
Also on the front inside cover are three credit card pockets and a long vertical pocket. These are quite easy to use and keeps all types of cards in position. The Personal has the usual 23 mm rings.
The lining of the inside is a combination of black polyester lining with a microfiber and leather interior.

The personal comes with the generous printed papers.

The list includes:

·  Black Filofax icon front sheet
·  Personal week to view 18 month diary, five language
·  Frosted ruler/page marker with black print
·  Coloured indices - red/grey/orange/blue
·  Red ruled paper
·  Grey ruled paper
·  Orange ruled paper
·  Blue ruled paper
·  White ruled paper
·  Addresses, five language
·  To do, five language
·  Top opening PVC envelope

On the inside back cover is the standard notebook pocket and a rather terrific elastic pen loop. I tried a few different pens and it seems to handle them all no matter what size and width.  When closed, the pen is positioned to the side that does not make the pen press into the paper.
While it is closed, the Fusion holds everything snug and secure. I tried stuffing it with as much paper as the rings could handle and the leather strap worked well to hold it all together.
On the outside, the fusion looks great. It would match a whole range of bag accessories. My teenage son said it looked like something that would match and fit inside a camera bag. He then asked me if he could have it. That’s the best compliment for this Filofax. It has a contemporary look and feel about it and, at the same time, would be just as much at home in a business meeting.  
For the price of £40 for the Personal and £56 for the A5 with 30mm rings, the Filofax Fusion ticks almost all my boxes of what I admire in a good planner. Well worth the look, and well worth the price.

A special thanks to Filofax UK and Ideas Network for providing the black personal fusion for this review.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


So, if you're wondering - I've moved out!

After a lot of soul searching, I have decided that the Collins Debden life is not for me and I am now fully moved in to an A5 Filofax.

This is for real.

I ummmmmed and aaaahed for a couple of months and really was very torn between the two version of organizers.

I have to admit I really REALLY REALLY did love my Collins Debden.

I have had it for so many years.

It has served me well.

It was comfortable.

But then I did something really dangerous.

I got a new filofax.

A new, boxed, leather-smelling, perfect-ringed, fully embossed Filofax.

That one small act sealed my fate.

And then a funny thing happened.

I got another.

And another

and another, another, another . . . . .  .

they are all A5 or Personal size.

A variety of different types that I think I like.

They sit on my desk in a row, all competing to be "the one"

"Pick me! Pick me!" I hear them cry out at me.

I have not made the final selection.

I DO know I am a ONE FILOFAX kind of guy.

I tried the dual binder thing - too complicated.

But which one?

A5 or Personal?

The colour is easy - black or tan. No problems there.

I have given myself until the end of July 2013 to make the final decision.

I am still after the elusive A5 Balmoral - one day I will get you my pretty.

I think the Balmoral is my ultimate binder.

But I need to buy one first.

I will need to hold it and carry it and use it before I really truly know.

I have never seen one in the flesh.

One day

Am I indecisive? I am not sure!

My plan is to get the whole range of binders and associated stationery and make a choice.

A choice for the long term.

Choose my ONE and ONLY binder,

and sell off the rest.

Well that's my plan.

It's a good plan right?

Test the waters and make my selection.

I'll let you know.

My heart tells me, when I see it I will know.

In the mean time - I am fully moved into one of the A5 binders.

It feels good.

well, that's a start!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The FILOship of the Rings

I am constantly amazed at how generous the people in the Filofax community are. Ever since I found myself joining this lovely group of people to celebrate all things Filofaxy, there's been a transformation in my faith in humanity. 

It's an amazing thing to be part of such a fellowship of people who are like-minded. It is a very interesting thing, but the Filofax can break down so many social barriers. We can talk to each other, in chat rooms, on Skype and even with the comments posted on YouTube and our various blogs. Everybody seems to have a generous spirit of giving. 

I am almost floored by the way people are able to share things, give things away, swap and look out for sales and bargains for each other. How many times have I been messaged that a certain binder I am after is now on eBay or Adspot? Many times when I have swapped or bought something from another filofriend, the return mail has provided me with the whole sample bag of goodies along with the item. 

What is it that brings the best out of these people? On one hand, I used to think that it was because being interested in Filofaxes is a lonely existence. We may be the only person we know who shares this compulsion, excitement and the wonderment of obtaining and using the humble Filofax. 

It's a hard thing to try and explain to someone who has not experienced it. Even the disappointment of receiving a new binder then discovering that the rings have been squashed or are not lined up is a problem shared with our friends. There are calls for help on Facebook and other blogs, and in return these receive a myriad of helpful responses. Sometimes there are offers for free replacements, others share tips on how to fix up some small imperfection and others merely commiserate and send a message of well wishes. We're always looking out for each other. That’s who we are. 

It really and truly is a unique fellowship. I am so grateful to the people that I have been in contact with, although we have never met. One day, I hope we will. Until then let us just continue with our unique and very satisfying fellowship of the rings - all six of them!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

So The Question Is…

What makes using a Filofax so damn attractive?

I guess it’s how the a Filofax feels
When you work with stationery in your everyday life, you get to know what good quality is and what is cheap. The Filofax experience is very sensual. It is not just a space to write down your schedule, but it has to be just ‘right’ (or close to it). We all have our special pens and notebooks, and a Filofax needs to feel good, which in turn makes YOU feel good. If this were not the case, then many of us would be just writing down our notes on scraps of paper or in cheap stapled notebooks.

It is worthy of collection
When you enter the Filofax world, you feel happy. Admit it. And when we have something that makes us happy, we may want to seek out other similar binders that also make us happy.  And before long, there is a lovely row of binders sitting on our shelf – that well….makes us happy. We collect them. We may not use them all, sometime we sell or give them away. But we want to know more about them, put them to different uses, or just keep them. Whatever reasons you may have, collecting Filofaxes is a happy experience. It may lead to Filo-addiction . . . but that’s a different blog story.

Sense of order
Filofaxes are designed to bring order. There are many parts to the humble Filofax, but each one is geared to get YOU, the user more structure in your life. When used well, (and this may take a very long time for some of us!) our lives begin to move better, we accomplish more and jobs once left forgotten are quickly done. We all crave structure and the Filofax helps us. The end result is a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Some days are like train wrecks, but the good days are glorious!

If you are reading these words, then you may most likely be part of the greater world-wide fellowship of Filofax users. In a previous blog post, I talked about discovering that there are thousands of us all across this planet who share a love for all things Filofaxish. How good is that! There is a kindred spirit amongst us which quickly breaks down gender, generation, cultural and even language barriers to bring us together. Who among us cannot say we have friends in the Philofaxy and YouTube fraternity? We catch snippets of each other’s lives, care for each other when things are sad, rejoice when we share our triumphs big and small. We have meet-ups, do coffee and we talk. Oh how we talk. Nice isn’t it?
Visually pleasing
Filofaxes just look good. Damn good! They come in so many styles, colours, textures, designs, sizes and materials. They are nice to hold, enjoyable to smell and they look stylish and smart. See me writing this sentence in my pyjamas (yes it’s true!) and you think I am just an average guy – dress me up in a suit with briefcase, tie and Filofax in hand and I am transformed. Clothes DO make the man and this is also true for the Filofax. It just looks great. People notice it when you are out and about. People admire it and indirectly, they are admiring you. You look smart when you hold it. It is not too presumptuous an object – it blends in with most occasions. It says: Class!
The Filofax holds whatever we place inside of it. Some of us include our life, soul and breath; others just write the facts Ma’am! Whatever you do with it, we end up needing it throughout our waking hours. It holds our memories, our schedules, our photos and our ideas. When we have it with us, we feel better. We feel secure. If you don’t believe me, imagine how you would feel if you one day you accidently lost it or watched it fall off a cliff into a raging river or be kidnapped or . . . OK that’s a bit too extreme. But my point is: a well-used Filofax provides us with a rich source of information to support us in our daily lives. That’s what its purpose is. It creates for us a stable resource that supports our daily life. So it goes without saying – look after yours.
It’s a life
Sometimes we may think to ourselves that we may be getting too infatuated with our Filofaxes. Perhaps our friends or spouse make comments about our addiction. Perhaps you stop the car in the driveway in a panic and make one of the kids go back to the house to retrieve your binder. Perhaps you cry out at the supermarket “Where’s Tabitha?” and have strangers immediately looking for your lost child only for you to find your binder wedged in the corner of your handbag! Whatever you face, the place of the Filofax in your life is special. Could we live without them? Yes it’s possible. Does it control our lives? Maybe. Do we enjoy using them? Do I need to ask? Whatever the journey your life has taken you when one day you stumbled upon this little leathery (or pleathery) book, remember to do one these things: look after him/her/it/them, enjoy the life you lead with your ‘companion’ binder close at hand and best of all . . . take time to smell the Osterleys!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


I have a little secret
that only you will know.
It isn't about alcohol
the horses or skid row.
It has to do with binders,
not some old skanky moll.
You want to know my secret? 
I've bought a Metropol!

I saw it there on eBay.
T'was true love at first sight!
I only had 2 minutes
to forge an eBay fight.
The going price was £40.
The other bidders keen.
And against my better judgement
Bet a thousand and fifteen!

When everything was over 
I glanced at who had won.
My username was flashing.
My God, what have I done?
Although I was victorious,
I felt that I would die
So much for just one Filofax
in some hasty impulse buy!

So onwards then to PayPal
to transfer all my dough.
The gas money and school fees
disappeared in one great show.
To pay for my black binder,
it was all that I could see.
I guess we're eating mince again.
Who needs a new kidney?

One push of the return key
and ownership was mine.
But now I had to wait two weeks
for the package to arrive.
With baited breath I waited
what seemed like twenty years.
Then hearing the postie's whistle
was like music to my ears!

I ran up to my postbox
and grabbed the box real vicious
and walked away, me muttering
like Gollum  ' Oh My Precious'!
I seemed like I had rabies as
I ripped it with my teeth
and fumbled with the bubble-wrap
to see what lay beneath.

And there it fell before me
upon the table there.
I couldn't quite believe it
and fell back on the chair.
For in this long sought package
that nearly sent me broke,
was not a pocket Metropol
but a mini pink Baroque!!!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ever Had One of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days?
you know
THOSE kind of days
The yuck days
The gassy days
The bad haircut days
The toilet paper on your heel days
The drop the iPhone in the toilet days
The spill your coffee on your shirt days
The "I overslept in the tanning machine" days
The "That's not skim milk it's breast milk!" days
The brushed your teeth with haemorrhoid cream days
The "when are you due?" to an unpregnant stranger days
The saying you hate the name Mildred 
to the husband of one days.
The being told by a stranger there's a coat hanger 
caught on your back days
The "Look Grandma, see Daddy's funny balloon 
from his bedside table!" days
The "what's your name young man?" only 
to be answered tearfully "It's Mary!" days
The driving in traffic and you notice some poo from 
the nappy you changed that morning on your finger days.
The being pulled over for speeding on the only day 
in your life you have ever driven in your pyjamas days
The opening the door to your in-laws in your underwear 
remembering it was TODAY they were visiting you days
The answering the phone on your anniversary saying 
"Hello you sexy wench" to the boss on the other end days
The hold up the checkout line with a million dollars worth 
of groceries and discover you haven't brought your wallet days

Well, if you had a Filofax,
You would only have the best of days!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Times have Changed - Teenagers Haven't!

My sixteen-year-old is always amused that I use a Filofax in this day and age.

He knows I am computer savvy.
He knows I own an iPhone and iPad.
He has seen me use Skype.

"So why write things down in a book when you can have everything in your pocket?" he asks.

So I told him.
When I was your age . . . . . 
(you could see his eyes glaze a bit expecting one of 'those' stories)
 . . . . I continued.

When I was sixteen, there was very little technology.
Not like what we have today.

Teenagers dd not have personal computers

There were no cell phones
no internet connections
no broadband
no swipecards
not even credit cards

we only had
the family telephone,
handwritten or typed letters and
face-to-face interaction.
(that's talking for those of you reading this who were born after 1998)

If something exciting happened to you on the weekend
we very rarely were allowed to phone our friends
The telephone was for important things!
you had to save it up and wait until you arrived at school

there were no selfies or instagram

we had to wait for film to be developed and be delivered to the chemist.

We spent a lot of time outside of school with our families and
we always had time up our sleeves.

It was in these days that I learned the power of the written word.

As a young man, I had so many thoughts running through my head
bursting out when no-one could hear me.

Thoughts too personal
or deep to try to explain to others.

Ideas, like bubbles
emerging and disappearing if not captured down on paper.
Dreams quickly jotted down upon awaking from the night.
Scraps of paper stuffed in pockets from scrawled notes while on the bus.
Even the back of my hand became my own personal post-it note.

The written word was a powerful tool we were told at school
'the pen IS mightier than the sword'

So I began to write.

I wrote
and dreamt
and pined
and anguished
and shouted for joy
or groaned with embarrassment
I made claims to become an astronaut
and made adoring swoons at Farrah, Jaclyn and Kate.

I wrote and shared and journaled my way through
those terrible, glorious, sporadic and adventuresome summers of my teenage years.

But within those days
I had no forum to share myself
compared to the youth of today

You had your friends
But they were always so far away

You had your family
But how could you tell THEM how you felt?

What was there to help me speak?

I had my journal
My family
and me.

I learnt to be my own best friend

My journal was the testament to my growth as a person
I moved from just writing my thoughts to
writing my schedules and appointments

As my high school days moved into the heady days of college
I needed to let words organize me
help me to improve
harness my times
get me through.

I found the gift of a day planner.
My first Filofax
A random present from my sister.
A new companion.

We have journeyed far, this diary and me
sometimes we parted ways from my neglect

Some days were so full I could not squeeze in another word
Many times I simply forgot where it was
And there were days where it never left my side.


my place for writing was my only friend.
One thing is was certain,
it never let me go.

I am a tree
who needs to extend out my branches to the world with words
They are my roots to this life.
My Filofax keeps me grounded.
No electronic gadget can ever do that.

My son would say:
"but technology is so much more RELIABLE and POWERFUL!"

I say:
"Pull the battery out and let's see how reliable it is then"

He sees my point.

I did not seek to win the debate.

I am only pleased that he can see the legacy I can bestow on him
as he himself enters the adult world.

"here's a binder" I say to him
"Go and write something."

He looks at me

He gets it.

As he leaves with paper filled diary and pen in hand
I sit at my desk and see my own Filofax.
I lay my hand just lightly on it's leathery skin.

"Thanks" I say quietly

as if it were a prayer.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Thoughts of a Late Night Filofaxer

If you're like me, you are flat out all day 
and drop in an exhausted heap at the end of the night.

 Well close the doors,
turn out the lights
listen carefully

I have a confession to make.

I am a late-night Filofaxer.

Aren't we all?

How many nights have I given up much needed sleep
in order to set out my pages, write in my journal
or surf the net looking for great ideas to apply to my own binder.


No. Passion!

I love to organize!

There, I said it.

I LOVE to organize.

I love to set out my day/week/month 
remember events
cross off tasks done, post reminders 
and highlight appointments

It invigorates me, It keeps me in touch with the 
millions of things that pull at me in all directions
and it is focused in 
one, small
leather bound 

It really is bigger on the inside!

Where else would you get so much information
so lovingly written
so many thoughts turned into words
decorations and

Sitting alone
in the quiet of the night
I have time to dream
and write.

Oh the joy of writing.

In my busy life
those minutes spent at the end of each day
is an oasis
a soothing task
a confessional
an encouragement
a plan.


I am

a Late-Night Filofaxer.

Who wouldn't be?

*For a definition of TARDIS see