Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What Gets Your Awe?

In the early and heady days of the 1980's, ringed leather planners emerged and a trend developed.
I remember my attention being grabbed by Tess's overstuffed personal binder in 'Working Girl'  and the hilarious zip line antics in 'Taking Care of Business'.
And I wanted to have one.

I was bitten.



As a student, the expensive, overseas-made and  authentic Filofaxes were a little out of my price range.

I found some cheaper, mass market, vinyl planners which I pretended to use and pass off as a Filofax but I knew I couldn't keep up the charade for too long.
In the late 80's my sister gave me a genuine black leather personal-size Filofax and I never looked back.
I had made it.
I had one.

So move ahead to the 2010's.
You can pick up authentic (albeit used) Filofaxes at the Goodwill store for a couple of dollars.
You can bargain on eBay and Gumtree and now even get your desired planner from swap sites and of course, the Philofaxy Adspot page.
And the selection of other brand binders has hit the roof.
Why you can even design your own online!
We live in the age of planners!

So here's my question.....

What planner keeps you in AWE?
What brand tickles your fancy and makes you go Gaga?
What one gives you that ambitious Hunger Games look in your eyes and brings on a slight drool as everything stops in stasis while you see it - no 'visualise' yourself using it in your mind?


><CUT TO POOLSIDE><
You're tanning, one hand dipping into the edge of the water.
Your planner is open and a tequila daiquiri sits next to it.
The ink of your last entry still glistens in the words 'Fashion Show - Milan!'.
Some Kenny G song is playing in the background.
The waiter comes up to you with a phone on a tray saying - "Sir/Ma'am - it's the President on Line Two.......".
 ><SNAP BACK TO REALITY><


This is not a 'Unicorn' thing I am talking about.
This is just one that grabs you.
Makes you dream and swoon.
Makes you just sit there and be in awe?
Do you have one?
Share your dream if you like.

Here are some of mine.....


The Berluti Macassar - perfection!

Graf von Faber-Castell Leather Accessories Brown Grained Organiser
Louis Vuitton, Filofax

 


 
 
 








March 2015 Update on my (RINGLESS) Pocket Ochre Malden

The whole binder feels so much softer and more comfortable to hold. it's hard to explain. I wish we had touch-a-vision so you could feel the difference.
 
I guess the removal of the rings created a more comfortable feel to the binder overall. It feels just lighter and more balanced in my hands. Along with the softness of the Malden leather and the flexibility of the pocket size - it feels better and more improved.
 
 
All in all, it is coming together well and I am finding my groove with it as a set up.
 
At this stage - there's no regrets.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Stop Being So FILOFUSSY!

Okay so you still decided to read this blog entry after reading the title. 

Well done. 

Sometimes I just have to put things into words that I've been thinking about for a very long time. 

For most of us who just love using a Filofax, there seems to be an ongoing journey where you're never satisfied with what we have. We're either trying to find the perfect binder for us, commonly known as the "Unicorn" or spending excessive amounts of time changing our binder into some amazing work of art.. If we're lucky enough to find "The One", we then spend time trying to work out how to use it. There are many creative people around who uses binders, and spend huge amounts of time each day or week placing decorations and redesigning their inserts and a whole range of different things in order to make it just right. 



I know, because I was like that. In the last few years I've spent hundreds of dollars, and thousands of hours I am sure, tweaking and redesigning and changing all of my planners and inserts but was never really been satisfied with what I had. If you been following my recent escapades, you would see that I have gone to some desperate measures to try and find something that would suit my daily needs. It's called "Planner Peace". I call it - unattainable!

But it's not just my daily needs, it is also what makes me happy. I have cut, pasted, printed, used washi tape, stamps, different coloured pens, different types of pens and the list goes on and on and on. In recent days I have made some fairly drastic modifications on my Filofax and the inserts I use. So now after some great moments of filocontemplation, I've made a decision that I may live to regret, but will try to stick to as best I can. Cross your fingers and wish me luck. 

So what I think we should do, that's you AND I, placing myself in the front of the line (but also wanting to encourage you as well and also on this journey), is to stop. 
Just stop. 
Stop the changing, stop the continual seeking for better and better and never really reaching it. 
Stop the endless decoration styles, the printing, the looking at various Facebook pages for hours and hours, trolling blogs and websites looking for what will make you ultimately happy. 
Just stop. 

Take a deep breath, and slowly and carefully, with consideration, have a good look at what you have right now. It may not be perfect but if you're saying to yourself it's good enough, It most likely is. 

So here's my challenge. Just stop being so cautious and careful and giving in to that endless longing and just use what you have. 

Use it.

Just for a month or two months or whatever it takes. But just stop seeking, stop redesigning, stop looking at other peoples setups with envious eyes, and just use what you have. Enjoy it. Slowly develop it to the best of your ability. Just accept what you have. 



Sometimes we spend so much energy wishing and desiring when in fact what you really need is something that is already in front of you. Just take some time out. Really look at it. Examine it. Get realistic. Let the binder and the setup you have right this very moment, lead you on a journey. 

Now at the end of this time you may not like where you are at, and that may be then the indicator to move forward or seek something that would better serve you. And that's okay. I think you will be surprised at how deep this will lead you and how more satisfied you may actually be with your existing primary planner. The Filofax you have right this very moment did not appear before as if by magic. You obviously wanted to buy it and those reasons were good. Although you may not be totally happy with that now, I really believe that you may find that you can have a peaceful existence with it. It's not that different to marriage. 

Reassess what you want out of it, and why you really are wanting this binder and the inserts that you have. 
Take stock of what your needs actually are. 
Is it an emotional response? 
Is it wanting to have something that will help you order your life and make things more efficient for you? 
Is it something that you just like to have with you? 
Whatever the reason is, take stock and stop all the changing of your set-up - the endless fidgety decorating (and the redecorating) in the never ending cycle of trying to create perfection. 
Apart from being a source of frustration, it will never end for us. If you are seriously looking for 'planner peace', you may already have it there before you. 

Imagine where you will be in three or five year's time? 
Will you still be chopping and changing planners on a regular basis? Always looking for a better way to design pages, or even worse, collecting so many that they are merely fillers for your bookshelf and really are not serving a lot of purpose except for being a expensive set of trophies of your filo-fetishes.

Harsh words I know, but I guess what I'm trying to do is to encourage people to have a really good look at why they want to use these amazing binders and stop looking over another person's fence. Get in touch with what you really want and work on making it work for you. Perfection will never be reached, but you can get pretty close. Just give it time. Give it your commitment and give yourself and your planner a break. 

So take up the challenge, put away your cheque-book, credit card, ebay browsing or Pinterest eyecandy sessions and see what is there before you. Waiting to be your very best work.

You may be surprised!



Saturday, 14 March 2015

My Father's Touch

Not a usual planner related post.
I wrote this after a time of deep sharing in my men's group the other night.
It means a lot to me.


MY FATHER'S TOUCH
We are all emotional beings.

Our stories are as different as the wind.
We share an armful of common traits and needs that make us human. 
Uniquely and gloriously human.
We have the need to connect.
To reach out, 
To communicate.
From our first breath to our last we strive to make sense of the notion: 
‘We are not alone’.

We have senses.

We have the gift of touch.
I often recall the memories of my childhood, 
not clearly hearing the words spoken to me – they fade,
but more so, how I felt.
I remember my father when I was small 
and how enormous he was to me.
The man with whom I belonged.
I knew this then.

I remember him scooping me up in his arms, 
his laugh, his playfulness.

I remember the eagerness of waiting for him 
to come home each day.
For him to walk through the door.
Him seeing me there and scruffing my hair as he went inside to change.
The impatient wait for him to emerge and, as his first priority, 
take me out to the back yard to play.
To run, to be chased.
To be swung in the air and caught.
Never feeling fear.
Grasping the exhilaration of each powerful throw.
Telling him to go higher.
The catch.
The landing
And off for another game until we were called inside to eat.
Even then I knew that HE was the one who was sad to come in.
These were the moments of escape and freedom.
They were fun and rugged and reckless times.
But the dinner needed to be done.
The cleaning up and the baths.
And then some time to rest and pause.
To crawl up on his belly and read the paper together.
The letters for me were not yet learnt.
But I was content to just lie there, 
looking at the unfamiliar words I would one day know.
Rising slightly 
up and down to his rhythmic breathing 
and dodging the pages as they were turned.
The hair on his chest brushing the back of my neck.
A cuddle always ensued, a kiss good night.
And then it was off to bed.
I remember that was a warm place.
A safe place.

I remember his smell.

His strength and his care.
And of all my sweetest and deepest childhood memories,
I most of all remember his hands.
Hands so big, they wrapped around my childish fingers and palms.
Holding me firm.
Protecting me.
Guiding me forward.
We would walk, he and I.
He would take my hand and we would go together.
Anywhere.
Just walking.
He would talk to me.
Tell me stories.
Ask me questions.
Teach me things.
We would stop and just look at the clouds.
I was safe there with him.
Holding his hand.

They were rough hands.

A man’s hands compared to my childish skin.
They protected me.
And I knew it.
No doubts.
My father’s hands.
My father’s touch.
I remember.

So now I am older.

Much older than he was when I was a child.
He is old now too.
So old. 
When we see each other, we will kiss and hug and smile.
We will talk to each other in low voices so no one else can hear.
His voice is now subdued.
He holds my hand as we speak.
But his once strong grip
Now possesses the weakness of aging.
These hands of his are now softer and lighter and twisted with frailty.
My own grown hands now cover his.
They reach out to him in his declining years.
They steady him as we walk together.
His wrinkled fingers move,
Ever so slightly with ensuing palsy.
I lift him up and help him into his chair.
His eyes are old now, his face less familiar to me.
This man who was once my father.
Who is still my father.
Who is old.
So old.

I stare at him as he rests.

To notice every detail of him and keep everything in my mind.
So I will never forget.
Never forget him.
His body now is so frail.
He is slowly disappearing.
When he takes my hand, I feel almost nothing.
This man.
My father.

I turn to wave goodbye.

His eyes fill with tears and his body is slow.
I turn and go.
The man I once knew is gone.
The man I still love is slowly going.
And I realize,
With joy and with sadness combined,
the small boy within me rising with emotion.
The boy who longs to be swung so high again,
Just one more time.
Just once more.
And I feel, 
with a heart that is weary with so much aching:
how already....
I miss my father’s touch.







Sunday Morning with my Crew

My two best guys.
Journaling and planning on a Sunday Morning.
You can't smell the coffee, but it's filling the room.


I love getting up in the early morning when it's quiet and writing my week down in my A5 Malden journal.
I write small notes in my pocket Moleskine notebook and use it to write things out in more detail.
Each night I write down dot points of my day.
On the weekend, I write out how my week went and then write in detail what has been on my mind and heart that week.
It is a glorious routine I love, is time just for me, and is my quiet space.
I am grateful to my Filofaxes for making it such a pleasure able experience.



I Removed the Rings from my Pocket Malden Filofax - It's True!!!

Yes I did it

and it's OK.

here's the videos to explain how and why....





I had the holes in the Moleskine notebooks drilled at Officeworks. They tried to charge me $1 a hole but I bargained them down to $2 for the six. I did it to fit the Moleskine into the rings - but found that I loved the notebook but wasn't keen to keep having holes drilled each time I wanted to add a new notebook. Hence the ringectomy. But I will keep the 'holed' notebooks for this year as I have already started writing in the notebook and there's too much to reproduce. 

Overall? I am sad I had to remove the rings, but have no regrets due to the amount of space it created

...and here's some photos







Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Mini Windsors - Not for your back pocket

My friend,
No...let me rephrase that...
One of my filofax converts...
Found an almost pristine Mini Windsor at a 2nd Hand store.
He always admired my Mini Cavendish I use as a wallet and wanted to use the Windsor for his own walletary means.
I helped him outfit it to be used as a wallet.
For three months he used it in a normal wallet fashion
Kept it in his back pocket
He came to me recently to ask if the wear and tear was usual for a Filofax?
He assured me he looked after it
So here's a lesson.

Mini Windsors - not for your back pocket!!!!!
It can be a real bummer!!!







Comparing 3 months use with the Mini Windsor and 2 years use of my Mini Cavendish