Okay, I succumbed and set up the Personal sized Filofax. Once I had decided that I needed to inject some new life into my wool collection, it seemed obvious that the same was true of my planner. Perhaps I need to embrace my indecision and keep my options open? Perhaps I need to be able to move easily between different formats as my circumstances evolve? Shortly after spending more money than I should on wool, I threw another, smaller, amount in the direction of the Stamford Notebook Company. In due course, postal strikes notwithstanding, a package arrived containing an academic year diary insert and a set of ruled pages in the Personal size. Then, because I know I’m likely to keep making my way back to the A5 Filofax, I’d added the 2023 diary insert for that.

I was a little disappointed when I first looked at the Personal size diary insert. Instead of being designed to take advantage of the full length of the page, it looked like a larger diary had simply been scaled down, leaving excessive margins at top and bottom of each page. Would that be too cramped, especially going down from an A5 spread? Well, actually it’s not a bad layout at all. Maybe these diary designers know more than I do?

My main photo shows how I’ve used it for this first week and that turns out to be pretty much how I expect to use it going forwards. The top margin on the right-hand page is perfect for a two-line quote. Facing it on the left there’s room to put in an important highlight for the week, such as the fact my bus was on diversion and I had to get a different bus to work. Otherwise, together with the bottom margins, there’s plenty of room for a bit of decor without getting in the way of the daily areas.

As to decor, well, that’s where another little splurge has injected some inspiration. I found a UK seller who is stocking a few of the sticker books from the American planner company, Erin Condren. This company has an established fan base and is quite strongly hyped on social media. I’ve long fancied one of their sticker books, but it goes against my principles to have it delivered over from America. However, if someone else has it delivered from America and then sends it to me, apparently that’s okay. I think I may suffer from double standards.

When the book arrived I was taken aback by how small it is: almost the same as my Personal sized Filofax binder. They look larger on videos. Yet, being smaller, it’s actually much better suited to my purposes and the majority of the stickers are a perfect size for either the Personal or A5 pages (the elements that are too big for the planner will work well on the monthly horoscope pages in my journal). I seem to be able to write on them with my fountain pen ink, where I’ve flagged birthdays, for example. And the pages are crammed with stickers, which isn’t always true of this type of decorative book. There are reasons why I probably wouldn’t make a repeat purchase – the product is expensive and the company that imports it goes overboard with marketing e-mails – but I can see this one providing me with some fun for the coming year.

At the moment I’m sticking with the blue ink theme in the planner, alternating between pens inked with Waterman Inspired Blue and Herbin Vert de Gris. A bit of Graf van Faber-Castell Cobalt or Diamine Kensington Blue is likely to appear soon – I just need to clean some pens first!

Au revoir. I hope things are going according to plan for you lovely readers.

4 thoughts on “This time it’s personal

  1. I had a Filofax in the 90s but did not get on with it. I gave it away many years after not using it. But i like the ink colour a lot…

    1. They don’t suit everyone, that’s for sure – a lot of people just can’t put up with the rings. I think it would be fair to say that I’ve come back round to paper-based planning for two reasons and the obvious one is that I just want to use my fountain pens and inks. However, the longer I spend in jobs where I’ve got to have fifteen different apps open on two or three screens just to achieve one task, the more I appreciate the times when a pen and a piece of paper will suffice.

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