Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Kent from Oz!

Not much going on this week being Christmas and all....but I did dabble in a tiny bit of decoration with some washi tape and a cutout from some wrapping paper. 
Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hunt for the Black Balmoral

It's Chrissy McGann's fault!
It really is.

I stumbled upon her YouTube video* way back in March 2013 where she showed her Black A5 Balmoral to the world.

I liked it.
She was over the moon about the luscious aligator-style print on the cover.
I really liked it.
She showed all the generous pockets and clips.
I really really want one.

And then.....she opened it up to reveal the HUGE full-length back pocket...


I had to have one.

The glorious A5 Black Balmoral
But like anything worthwhile that is out of reach - I had to wait.

A few months later, I saw one on Adspot.
I tried to contact the seller,
but OOOOMPH!!!
it was snapped up by someone else.

I searched eBay.

Months rolled into months of patient waiting.

Then, out of the blue a Philofaxy member contacted me to see if I wanted to buy hers.
HALLELUJAH!! Of course.
We bargained and dealed.
I waited eagerly for the package.
Waiting, waiting. Always waiting.

Then it arrived.
My search was over!
I ripped open the package.

Black? CHECK!
Shiny? CHECK!
Large pocket? . . . . . . . . . Noooooooooooooooooo!

I was devestated!
My dreams shattered like a crushed lightbulb.

I was so, so, so upset that I immediately wrapped it back up again -
and there it sat on my desk.

I was also so upset with myself for not asking about the pocket!
How could I have forgotten THAT?
I assumed they all CAME with the POCKET!?!
Not so it seems.
I learned the hard way.
Caveat Emptor!

I took it out just once more that day to photograph it and placed an ad on eBay to quickly sell it.
I couldnt bare to even look at it.
I was so upset.

But eBay did what eBay does best!
It was snapped up fast.
I made sure I told the buyer it was sans pocket.
She didn't mind.
She just wanted a top quality binder.
I posted it away
and shook the dust from my shoes.

I was Balmoral-less once again.

I waited. I hoped.
The Balmoral drought was long and agonizing!
Months went by.

And then, another friend told me she was selling her brown Balmoral.

Not a black one, but a Balmoral nonetheless.
and it DID have the wide pocket.
I could live with that?
Couldn't I?


We did the deal.
I was happy - even if it was a brown one.
Yes - happy to get one.
Bitter-sweet contentment.

It arrived a few weeks later.
I was SO hesitant to open the package.

Balmoral? CHECK!
Brown? CHECK!
Shiny? CHECK!
Back Pocket? Yeeeeeesssssss!

I was in heaven.
I really was.
Once it was in my hands.
The colour was not my first choice but it was such a good looking binder.
I quickly knew I could love and use this Balmoral.
The deep rich chocolate colour was stunning in its own unique way.
I finally owned one after all this time.
And it was mine.

I quickly set it up as a work binder.
It was going to be put to good use.
I had plans for this new fellow!

The pocket seemed to go on forever.
It held so much and never seemed stuffed.
It was (and still is) so wonderful to use.
Each morning it came with me to meetings, classes, lectures.
I paraded it around all day.
It won the admiration of many.

The large pocket was EXACTLY what I needed for my work.
Plenty of room to store larger papers and the leather was so sleek and strong.
I was a happy camper.
I had my Balmoral.
I loved my Balmoral!
I could even say I had Planner Peace.

And then,
And then,
And THEN.......

My friend Anamarija messaged me on FaceBook: There's a BLACK one for sale in Sweden!

I couldnt breathe.

Did it have....?
Did it come with a.....?
Has it got the.......?

I could hardly ask
swallow deeply....Does it have the large pocket?

'Yes!' came back her reply.

Keep calm. Keep calm!

Should I?
Could I?

Self face slap!

The race was on!
I tried to bid on it, but the site only registered Swedish nationals!
I live on the other side of the world!!!!

I sent out an SOS to the Philofaxy family.

Can anyone in Sweden help me?

I had an overwhelming amount of replies.
Everyone there is so sweet.
I was humbled to see so many people wanting to help.
Many of them had shared my journey over the last year.
And were there for me to complete my quest.
Of course we will help!
We're a family. That's what we do!

I chose one person.
The wonderful Janet Carr.

She would be happy to bid and pay and post it to me if she won.

Fingers crossed.

I had to wait 7 days.


and then.....tick, tick, tick.
I watched the timer go down to 0.
Only one bidder!
WE WON!!!!!

I yelped with excitement.
I woke up my dogs!
I had won the Filo-lotto!!!!

We did the money exchange and soon got word it had arrived and was reposted to me.

Wait. wait. wait. wait. wait.

I arrived home one afternoon.
A travel-weary parcel sat on my doorstep.

I couldn't breathe.

I sat down and slowly unwrapped the heavy package.
You tug at paper and tape.
You know that feeling?
Excitement with the tinge of fear?

I finally got down to the last layer.

It was there!

My beautiful, perfect, deep, six-ringed, wide-pocketed, black A5 Filofax Balmoral.

All mine!

I just sat there
smoothing my hands over the near perfect shiny cover.
I checked every inch of it.
Opening and closing the double strap catches.
eyeballing the rings for gaps and scratches.
Smelling the almost new leather smell.
Enjoying the end of the search.
Taking in the moment.

It was mine.
Really mine!

Some people say God honours those who wait.
I don't know about that.

All I know is that I had a dream come true last week.

I am looking at it now as I write this.
We are going to become good friends - this Balmoral and I.

This long awaited filofax from across the sea.

Today I am happy.
I really and truly now know the meaning of Planner Peace.
My search is over.

And I am grateful!

* Here's Chrissy's YouTube video that started the ball rolling:

and my video about the Brown Balmoral:

and the new Black Balmoral:

Monday, 2 December 2013

Merry Christmas from Kent from OZ!

Hang on a bit.....
Whoosh, whoosh.
Just blowing away a few blog cobwebs.
For my devoted readers, I haven’t posted here for a while.
But now I'm back.

Can I start by saying - I really love using a Filofax!

Simple but true.

It is such a positive part of my life.
I enjoy getting it out each day and adding bits and pieces
Writing ideas and notes
Coming up with ideas to make it work better
Getting ME to work better
Keeping me organized
Keeping my extraordinarily busy life in some semblance of sanity
I like the feel of the binder
I like the 'click' of the clip.
I like the shade of the cotton cream paper
The sturdiness of the laminated dividers
The way it looks on my desk
The smell of leather that never diminishes
The notion of safety and security.
I just love it.

In this busy Christmas season,
Enjoy your time with family and friends
Enjoy some extra time to snuggle up with your binder

Be happy.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Make Your Own Amazing POP-UP Christmas Tree for your Filofax

I am trying to make a little money to fill my Christmas Stockings.
If you would like to buy (very cheaply) a template, you too can have a little Pop-up bit of Christmas for your FIlofax.
Decorating is optional but very much encouraged.
Send me some pics so I can see how wonderful and creative you are.

To purchase the PDF file - go to my Etsy store at 
Here's a quick video of what it looks like.....

and a step-by-step instruction of how to do it.

So why not have a go and.....

Kent from Oz

Here's some other wonderful Pop-Up trees made with the template.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Goodbye Franklin Covey Collins Debden - it was nice knowing you!

Dear Franklin, Covey, Collins and Debden,
You are my oldest and dearest friends.
But I am sorry to say
I am leaving you
for a better binder.
In fact
It is of no surprise to you that it is another leather bound cutie.
I call him Karl.
He's a Malden
(get it . . .Karl Malden??)
I am now destined to spend the rest of my life with him.
It is now to Karl that I share my inner most secrets.
Karl is strong,
he's brown (ochre to be exact)
Leathery in appearance
has deep pockets
snappy rings
and he never, ever lets me down.
Don't get me wrong
You four have served me well.
But the Filofaxes have won me over.
Dont be too upset,
I will never forget you
or the start you gave to me in my planner journey
but I have simply outgrown you all.
Karl and his two brothers
Black Stratford and Bad Boy Brown Balmoral are taking your place.
So goodbye
and bon voyage!
May your new owners treat you well.

Your fickle filofax friend
Kent from Oz.

PS - I have also sold the two 7-hole hole-punches I used to own.
and close the door on your way out!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Learning To Be Satisfied - My Filofax, My Style.

I am a scavenger.
I search for things to own

I look at the things around me and want want want.

And when it comes to Journals and Filofaxes,
I am either on a never ending quest
Or a folly for fools.

I have always kept a journal and own a Filofax (or two),
but have envious eyes on the work of others
it always leads me to dissatisfaction.
I want my journal to be the best!
The best for me
and a source of admiration for others.
I want my handiwork to leave it's mark.

And then,
in the midnight hours
I search the web for pictures of other people's binders.
Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google images... and on and on!
Oh, I have it bad!

And then,
like an addict
I feel a sense of inadequacy and need
I must have something more!
I need to have perfection!

And then,
I am not happy with my pages
they should be neater
they should be more decorated
I want a better pen
Perhaps more expensive paper?
the pages should be complete,
they should be like ......

And then,
I stop
I breath in
I take stock of myself
and take a moment to be focused.

I am trying to reach the unreachable
I am desiring the things I do not have
I covet the order and effort of others
I feel everyone has the perfection I lack
and feel sad that I am not good enough
When in fact,
the thing I want the most
 is already before me.

I AM in possession of a wonderful and creative book
I love to write in my journal and Filofax.
I enjoy the solace of writing
and sharing my thoughts and dreams
Placing and pasting and cutting and ordering.
Making it uniquely mine
The joys of stealing away to a quiet place
to have some private moments with just the two of us.

I can WRITE.

I look at my own work.
This simple book
This part of me.

Now I see it in a different light
Sure, I admire other people's work
But what I have done in mine is also worthy
It is admired by others - they have told me so.
And I begin to see it more clearly
What I have is amazing
and remarkable
and valuable to me beyond words

Because it is full of myself

If I ever was completely happy with it,
I would soon get bored.
Daring not to tamper with perfection

But it is NOT perfect.
And that's it's beauty!

It is a developing work of art
Individualized and growing
And as it grows - I grow.

My envy now turns to pride
and settled thoughts about my books and words

I like it.

I really do.

And now
In the midnight hours
I am happy with my work

At last!

Monday, 8 July 2013

OH FILO! - A Song In Five Parts

Sung to “Stranded at the Drive-in” from the musical GREASE

Stranded in a carpark!
Time to write and share,
reached inside my backpack
and you’re not there!

FILO, Where are you?
I left you back at home!
How am I to occupy
an hour on my own?
Must create with washi tape
Some borders on the si-yi-yide
Oh why aren't you here?

Oh FILO baby
Some day,
When all my work is done,
Some how, 
Some way
Our two worlds will be one
I’ll open you,
Embellish you
and write until I sleep
Oh please, where are you?

FILO my darlin’
I want you real bad...
you know it true!
Ya gotta believe me when I say....
I’m helpless without you!
I can’t believe
that I would leave
You sitting on the bench!
my red fil-o-fax
called FILO



Monday, 1 July 2013

Kent from Oz's THE NEW ME Wellness and Weight Loss Planner

Hey Filofax Community.

I want to share my Wellness and Weight Loss planner with you.

The New Me Filofax Wellness and Weight Loss Plan

It is not a diet plan with recipes and telling you what to eat
It is not an exercise program
It is not a miracle worker - it is just a tool
It is not constructed by health professionals - just little old me

And please seek medical advice before undertaking any weight loss of exercise programs. It makes sense and vital to doing it all right.

It is a planner which you can use to act as a guide through your own weight loss and personal wellness and fitness plan
I wrote this to act as a guide to keep track of my eating and exercise, but I also wanted something to help me stay focused and reflect on this journey.
and it is a journey.
I am grateful to the online support of the friends from the Facebook Filo Dieters United

So here it is. 
I am sorry that it is only in A5 size, but if there is a creative person out there who can convert it to Personal or pocket size let me know.

The layout suits an A5 Filofax

I have included a food/activity journal page and a reflection page for 50 days.

You may just print out the food page or even put the reflections at the beginning and the food journal at the back.

It is up to you.

The questions are only a guide. 

We will each have our own reasons for starting a weight loss journey. 

Make the planner all about you.

Spend time reflecting each day. Focus on the REASONS why you succeed and have failed.

Often diets are useless because we still approach them with the same mind sets that got us unhealthy.

An example of the reflection Page

Each day I try to fill out a reflection page per day along with my food entries.

It is totally up to you

I also fill in everything I eat and drink, the exercise I do and how I feel. It helps to be honest with my self.
There is also sections to write things that inspire you, and a statement about WHY you are on this journey.

It is always good to reflect and stay focused and that helps to stay on track.

The food tracking page has an exercise and food planner section

You may want to write calories or carb levels in the food sections.

They are open enough for what you need to do.
I personally just track what I eat, but check the goodness of the foods as I prepare them.

That is what I will do once I reach my goals.

It is all about making good choices.

Answer the questions in any way you like.
Add more of your own,
Don't answer if you don't want to.

I tried to come up with the 50 areas that I personally wanted to cover in the reflection pages.

Feel free to make your own ones.

Here's the link for A5 Full version

Here is a Week on 2 pages slimdown version for A5 filofaxes.

Remember it is a journey.

Do it for YOU.

Enjoy and aim for success!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Sentence Starters To Avoid When Writing School Reports

(The following is written as humour and in no way reflects the author's personal view of education or children)

OK - it's no secret I am a Educator ('Teacher' is so last century!)

If you teach in the southern hemisphere, we are about to finish our first of two semesters which also means writing reports.

I wrote the following to provide some light relief to my fellow teachers in my faculty so I thought I'd share them with you.

Sentence Starters to avoid when writing school reports
  1. Your child is the reason I drink. . .
  2. Military school would be . . .
  3. Like a rat caught in a trap . . .
  4. I would not allow this student to breed . . .
  5. Apart from working with glue, . . .
  6. Your child's self-serving personality . . .
  7. According to the prophecy . . . . 
  8. My migraines have increased this year . . .
  9. I hear there's a parenting class at  . . . 
  10. I wouldn’t say he’s “one neuron short of a synapse” but . . .
  11. Against my doctor’s advice . . .
  12. A good beating could solve . . . .


(Not really a filofax post, but if it counts, I DO use an A5 Lyndhurst as my teacher planner.)

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Making my Filofax Mine

My A5 Stratford at work in the classroom

I had a good look at my current A5 Filofax today.

The way it looks, feels, works.

It is beginning to take shape but there is still a long way to go.

I had a little think about what I was actually trying to achieve with my binder.

Here is my very hastily written out list of NEEDS:

I need it to be
  1. practical
  2. set out neatly
  3. organised so I do not waste time searching for what I need
  4. Not stuffed with pages I would rarely use
  5. binder needs to lay flat when I am writing
  6. I need storage for A4 fold paper that I use at work
  7. only the essential sticky notes, stickers and flags
  8. holds three pens I use daily
  9. keeps everything together when closed
  10. smells good!
My current Week on Two Pages
the last one is a personal requirement but I can hear hundreds of you saying "Amen" to that one.

I made a promise to myself that I would try to make this binder MY OWN. It has to be like that.

I promised myself to not be impatient and to give it time.

We all want wonderful Filofaxes, filled with stamps, stickers, trinkets, post-its and more. They look amazing! I admire them alot.

But that is not really ME!

I need my binder to be ME.

And in being ME, it needs to be an extension of me.

My journey is ongoing.

I enjoy it so very much. I really do. All of it.

Don't you?

Saturday, 1 June 2013


(with creative thanks to Barry Humphries)

Whatever may befall
No matter how you tell the facts
I don't think I forget the night
I burnt my Filofax
Outside the night was chilly
but inside the fire shone bright
as my A5 Ochre Maldon
was chopped up and set alight!

I never bought from Staples and
I never shopped at Borders
But I ended up a scavenger
and something of a hoarder.
No one ever saw my binder
So they never really knew . . .
that it looked just like Chernobyl
and smelled like Whipsnade Zoo!

I tried to carefully open it
The smell just swept the room
I felt like Lord Canarvon
piercing Tutankhamen's tomb!
The pages were just bulging
when I opened it up wide,
and something really creepy
seemed to crawl out from inside!

I really had enough of it!
It simply was a mess!
So reluctantly I carried out
A Filo S.O.S.!
I tried to disinfect it.
I threw it in the dryer.
But the only way to kill it
was to set it all on fire!

It was time for instant action
with quick guidance from above,
I covered it with paraffin
and snapped on rubber gloves
I quickly lined the family hearth
with two layers of asbestos
and like a banshee lashed about
with a flagon of Domestos.

Soon a fire had been constructed
and I stoked it with my pen,
I threw on all the washi tape
from Organized with Jen!
Next went all my highlighters,
my hole punch burnt for ages
with a hundred diary inserts
from the Philofaxy pages.

Its amazing what we cram into
these little leather things -
a dozen packs of sticky notes
and a trinket for the rings,
some TODO lists I had printed
to make my pages pretty.
A hundred cutesy paper clips
and a stamp from Hello Kitty!

The paper count was massive!
I mourned for all those trees
whose trunks had now began to reach
a thousand and ten degrees!
The flames went out and higher,
The chimney was ablaze
fuelled by endless lists and diagrams
from my Filofaxing days.

Then in walked a policeman.
He said: "Hello hello!"
"What's this I see above your house?
A dirty great red glow?"
"Why not bung it off to UNICEF?
Now wouldn't that be kinder?"
I said "what self-respecting refugee
would want my 6-ring binder?!"

So the moral of this story is not very hard to find.
Its often so essential to be cruel to be kind.
If your Filofax is rubbish
and your nerves begin to show . . . .
Why not nuke it all to Kingdom Come
and buy a Gillio?

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.