Monday, July 8, 2013

Welcome to Filo Fabulosity!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now that you’re here, grab your Filofax (or whatever planner you use), your favorite cup of java (or glass of wine), put your feet up and let’s jump in! J

One day at the tender age of 6, I was out shopping with my mother at a local department store. I remember her saying that she needed envelopes and that found us in the stationary isle. While she was browsing for her envelopes, I saw a display of pretty little books. There were so many of them too! It seemed like rows and rows (remember I was only 6). Some were pink, some were yellow, some were orange, but a baby blue book caught my eye. It had a border done in gold leaf on the cover and a lock with the key taped to the inside back cover. I picked it up and the cover wasn’t hard like a regular book. It was kinda squishy with the word “Diary” written also in gold leaf script on the cover. I turned the book around and all the pages were lined in thick gold leaf. I opened it up and it made an awesome crackling noise that made it sound like it was really old. All of the pages were dated for 5 years! I stared at that book for what seemed like hours, flipping and smelling the pages (back then printed paper gave off an ‘odor’ that appealed to most kids…circa 1970s). When my mom said it was time to go, I begged and begged and begged for the diary. She didn’t have to worry about me not using it. Ever since I could write my name you didn’t find me without a pen or pencil or marker or crayon in my hand. I was always writing or drawing or coloring. I remember her looking down at me with that look on her face….”you don’t need another book to write in baby” but I kept begging and she eventually gave in. Oh I wish I still had it, but I wrote in that diary, faithfully, for almost the full 5 years! It was a trip, even at 13, to see the progression of my vocabulary, my penmanship, and the things I was into change as I got older. To read it now would probably make me blush, but I would love to see it!

That was the beginning of my stationary obsession. From the diary I moved to calendars and agendas with stickers to eventually planners like DayRunner, Franklin Covey and now Filofax. I’m pretty sure I got it from my mom because she kept calendars in EVERY room of our house! I miss her so much….she passed away in April 2011 and in many ways, this blog is dedicated to her memory.

My need for a “life organization planner” came in 2012 when I decided to try returning to school to earn a Bachelor’s degree. Once I got started I quickly realized I needed a way to keep up with all my assignments as well as taking care of home (I’m a stay-at-home mom of 2). My husband is disabled and has numerous doctor appointments to keep so I needed a way to stay on top of those too. I did a Google search for “agendas”, because I figured ‘calendar’ was too generic and stumbled across Erin Condren Life Planners and fell in LOVE!! I loved the idea of customizing a planner the way she does with personal photos and stickers (there are even more ways now!) but the $50 price tag scared me off. I decided to see just how much it would be once I had one customized the way I wanted and it came to nearly $90! I thought no way am I spending that kind of money on a planner, but I kept doing my research. I saw so many videos of people loving their life planners and read so many blogs that I was practically forced to troll around for a discount code. It was then that Erin decided to have a sale at 30% off so I jumped on board and rode the Erin Condren wave for an entire year. It was great too! I loved writing in it and even just looking at it. I had my favorite picture of my husband and kids on the cover and it made me smile just to see it. I was able to stay on top of my school and home tasks and all of the doctor appointments, but I as far the internals went, I couldn’t do much to change them. Once my year with Erin Condren came to a close and it was time to get another planner, I questioned whether or not I was going to jump back on that train or go a different route.

Enter Filofax….

I had heard about Filofax way back in 1990. I recall a girlfriend of mine saying “I never go anywhere without my Filofax” and I asked her what it was. She showed me this awesome black binder that was as stuffed as it could be with notes and calendars and money and whatever else she could get in there. I thought it was the coolest thing ever so on my payday, I ran to the mall only to run to Franklin Covey when I saw how much a Filofax cost! Eeek!! Now it’s 2013 and I’m in need of a different kind of planner, one that can change with my needs and one that I won’t get tired of using in a month or two. I remembered how much I spent on my life planner and wondered what I could get for the same money or less. I trolled around on the internet and stumbled on Franklin Covey, DayRunner, Day Timer, and Filofax. All three; FC, DR and DT had nice planners, but all were more than I wanted to spend. Then I checked the Filofaxusa site and they were having a 60% off sale. I checked out the inventory and inserts and was highly intrigued. I decided to check and see if there were any videos of people using a Filofax and came across an entire Filofax community! I found Philofaxy and My Life All In One Place and it was over, I was sold! I went back to Filofaxusa and bought a personal sized Dakota, extra to-do sheets and finance sheets and spent less than $40! My sand-colored Dakota arrived in about 4 days and I was on cloud 9…..for about 3 days. The closure began to separate and it looked so ugly! I emailed Filofax with a couple of pictures. They let me keep it and sent me another one!

Fabulosity right?

Well….I would say yes except the same thing happened to the new one! Once again I emailed with photos and they sent me a black one this time. Fabulosity yet? Nope! Within a week it happened to the black one! Yes, once again I emailed Filofax with photos. I guess they’d had enough too because they decided to refund my money and give me a 10% off code for a future purchase.

Fabulosity? Almost!!

I decided to use my black Dakota until I could save up enough money to get a high-quality leather Filofax. I had already fallen in love with what I had done so far with it so I knew purchasing another would be an investment and not a waste. I used that Dakota for about a month and then….my income tax refund came and all of a sudden I had enough money to get the one I really wanted….a personal sized Malden! Every video I saw that featured a Malden was loved and held and oh I had to have one!!! And with all the extras I got, my 10% discount made it a steal! So I quickly put in my order than proceeded to stalk the order. It arrived about 4 days later and I once again was on cloud 9.

Filo Fabulosity achieved!!!

That was in March of this year and I still use my Malden. I carry her around like she’s my 3rd child….yes I said ‘she’. I haven’t really officially named her, but I know she’s a she because I tell her all my secrets and she hasn’t betrayed girl-code. Sometimes I call her Ebony, though. She makes me happy to look at her, to hold her, to aimlessly flip through the pages. I love decorating my planner pages and filling out the information inside. I love how she’s my brain dump and she frees up my mind to be able to think clearly and focus on whatever task is at hand.

What did I do with the other 3 Dakotas?

I gave a sand one to my daughter, the black one to my husband and kept the other sand one for storage. I didn’t think my son wanted one until one day I got FiloRAKd and when I shared some of it when my daughter, his lip was poked out! I asked him what was wrong and he said “I want a Filofax.” I was shocked! Really? I didn’t think he was serious so I told him to let me think about it. I took about 5 days to ponder (thinking he would forget about it) and within that time I got FiloRAKd again! That inspired me to FiloRAK my son so I took my storage binder and with some of the stuff I was RAKd and a few extra inserts I had and I put together a “young Author’s Filofax”. Complete with sections for his story line ideas, characters, and any notes. I also added a list for him to record information about the books he’s reading over the summer. My son fancies himself an Author so I’ll do anything to help foster that talent. He’s quite good too! When I gave him the Filofax he got this HUGE grin across his face. He jumped up and gave me the biggest hug! He’s as tall as I am so he almost picked me up! He was on the computer at the time and he put it to the side and opened up his Filofax. I showed him his sections and told him how they work. I also told him that he could change whatever he wanted and completely make it his own. He was so happy and it did my heart good to see my baby (he’s 13) so happy. So now we’re a Filo-Family!!

So finally after all my jibber-jabber, and if you’re still with me…here are a couple of photos of my stuffed Ebony to reward your patience. My next post I will talk about my setup and how it's working for me…thanks again for stopping by!!

Here she partner in crime! :) 

See how stuffed she is? I love it!

Awaiting my next to-do, appointment, list, or inspiration!

So if you’ve hung out thus far I again want to thank you for stopping by, checking out my story, and sharing my love of all things planner & organization related!!

Stay fabulous! <3 o:p="">


  1. Good morning Monnique.

    Many years ago, I used a DayTimer and loved it. I switched to a Palm which I also loved, but I never felt as organized as I did with an analog planner.

    I am gradually switching back to paper, but I can't decide what to use. Right now I am using a Moleskine weekly with notes. I have to have something light enough to carry with me everywhere.

    I look forward to following your blog for ideas on what to do.

  2. Hi Elaine! Thank you so much for stopping by! I had an affair with a PDA as well. I used a Palm III until the screen cracked. I liked it, but I mainly played games on it. It just didn't quite work for me. When the color PDAs hit the market I jumped on board and even with color it still wasn't right. I had almost forgotten about that! I have so many other things to talk about and ideas to share so stick around & tell your friends!

  3. it really go to see that i am not the only one that feels the relationship between filo and myself. i also have the dakota in a5 its my first filo. also had the same problem with the strap.uhh. so yes i'm currently waiting on my malden a5 but i think ill be needing one in personal size too. we shall see. ill be peaking around. read you later :)

  4. Hi Monnique, Ebony is incredible!! Makes me want to run out and get a black Malden!! (: I must have missed the photos when I read the blog post from my Iphone! Anywho.. I've already told you, but awesome job!! Can't wait to see your setup and how it's working for you. Best, A.

  5. Hi Monique, loved your post, I too have a Malden and love it. I'm amazed at how your whole family has taken to Filofaxing, that's just awesome ! My beloved family just look at me scribbling in my Malden again and roll their eyes ! Thanks for sharing.

  6. A stuffed Malden, a Filo-toting husband, and future Filofaxers in your children? Sounds like organiser heaven!