A Happy Filofax Friday, Indeed!

26 April 2013

Call off the search, folks, for I have found my beloved Baroque! *happy, happy dance*

I won't even go into how much I have been wanting this particular Filofax and how long I've been searching for it. Or how often I've checked both eBay and the Philofaxy Adspot with no success at all. And let's not forget the whole "almost but not quite" incident with Filofax Italy that I briefly mentioned before.

No. I realized that waiting for the Baroque to fall onto my lap or miraculously appear in my hands was simply not going to work. So, I decided to try a different approach--a more proactive one, if you will. One day, I contacted several Filofax sites and kindly asked each one if they happened to have a Baroque for sale. In just a few days, I received a response from a kind sales agent all the way in Switzerland who informed me that they happened to have one Baroque left in the color pink. Ooh, so close! If you recall, I was looking for one in black and, though pink is a lovely color, I wasn't sure it was right for me. I had to make a choice and I had to make it quick. I figured that, if the color didn't work out, I could either sell it, trade it, or find a worthy recipient who likes the color. Mothers Day is around the corner, after all. So, seeing as how there was no going wrong with making the purchase, I decided to go for it.

And I am incredibly happy that I did! The pink is actually a lovely rose shade and not so Pepto-Bismol-Barbie-Threw-Up-All-Over pink (which is what I was afraid it might be). It's very pretty! I have yet to move in and instead have spent most of yesterday stroking its soft leather. Its details are simply gorgeous.

Anyway, I just wanted to quickly share the good news. I leave you now with yesterdays unboxing video. Happy (Filofax) Friday!

Organize It: Sticky/Post-it Notes Storage

24 April 2013

I don't know if I've told you this, but I have a crazy obsession with sticky/post-it notes. I can never have enough of these genius things. They're not only useful for jotting down quick notes and reminders but now they come in so many different colors and cute styles that I can't resist popping one into my shopping cart whenever I see them in stores. They're like eye candy to me. Or crack candy, in this case...

Anyway, I've accumulated so many kinds of sticky/post-it notes over the years that I've actually banned myself from buying anymore until I've used up the ones I already have. Problem is, a lot of them get unused as I forget that they're there in the first place. Many of them are stashed in piles, deep inside desk drawers or hidden away in stacked containers somewhere. I do keep a stash in my Filofax for daily use and add more as needed. But, still, many are neglected and there is no way for me to keep track of what I already have. So, I decided to completely reorganize my stash of sticky notes in a way that would encourage me to actually use them on a more regular basis.

Unfortunately, we don't have an entire room in our home designated for an office. Instead, I have office space in our bedroom (translate: desk, chair, and computer) and space around here is already limited. This meant that adding a completely separate storage unit for this purpose was out of the question. Plus, I wanted to avoid spending any money so I needed to get creative and try to work with what I already had. I looked at several of the obvious options that I had available to me (empty shoe boxes, binders, containers) but neither of them fit the requirements I was looking for. I needed to keep my sticky notes somewhere where I could actually see them. Then I remembered I had one of those hanging jewelry organizers somewhere in my closet. I dug it out, began slotting sticky/post-it notes into all the little plastic pockets, et voilĂ , instant sticky/post-it notes organization!

The plastic pockets are the perfect size for stickies and because they're clear, I can easily see them all. The entire thing hangs neatly near my desk where I can get to it and is also readily transferable (like from room to room) if need be. No more piles of forgotten sticky notes taking valuable storage space in desk drawers.

These jewelry organizers come in different sizes and the number of pockets in each varies. I purchased mine at a local Container Store (heaven for all of us neat freaks). It has 80 pockets total, front and back. If you don't have a Container Store in your area, you can purchase the very same jewelry organizer online. These can also be found at major stores like Walmart and Target (for those living in the US, of course).

I absolutely love how it all turned out. I think it adds a bit of fun to the overall space, too. Almost like a piece of hanging artwork. These jewelry organizers would be great for storing other small office supplies, too. Like paper clips, and decorative tape. The possibilities are endless!

Learning to Let Go

20 April 2013

I have done what I thought was impossible. I have sold most of the Filofaxes in my collection. *dramatic GASP* Now, everyone, stay calm. I said "most" and not "all". I allowed myself to keep my favorites. The rest I have kissed goodbye and sent off to good homes where (I hope) they're being loved and taken well care of.

I've never really shared exactly how many Filofaxes I've had altogether. Let's just say there were many. The following list are of Filofaxes that have come and gone. I would have kept them all if I could but, most of them were sitting in their boxes, unused. And an unused Filofax is just, well, sad, I think.

  • Personal Malden in Ochre. My very first Filofax. Sadly, I sold this when I received the Crimson Malden because, at the time, I couldn't justify having both. It's unfortunate because it was one of the really good ones. You know those Maldens. There are no two alike.
  • Personal Finsbury in Red
  • Personal Metropol in Kingfisher Blue. Gorgeous color but I'm all leather all the way. Gave this one to a younger relative who absolutely adores it.
  • Personal Holborn in Wine
  • Personal Holborn in Black
  • Personal Aston in Orchid. Twice I had this Filofax in my possession. Hoped I'd fall in love with it the second time around but, sadly, that wasn't the case.
  • Personal Chameleon in Raspberry
  • Personal Chameleon in Black
  • Compact Chameleon in Raspberry. Purchased this when I had switched to the A5 and was looking for a more portable planner to carry with me. Didn't work out.
  • Personal Regency in Black. Loved the pocket configuration (similar to the Holborn) but wasn't crazy about its overall appearance.
  • Personal York in Tan
  • Personal Hamilton in Black
  • Personal Finchley in Imperial Purple
  • Pocket Baroque in Teal. I so wished the pocket size worked for me just because of this particular binder. But, it just wasn't meant to be...
  • Pocket Malden in Purple
  • A5 Finsbury in Raspberry
  • A5 Chameleon in Aqua. An impulse buy.
  • A5 Malden in Ochre. I'll explain in a bit...

And this is what's left of the League of Super Filos. Not too shabby for a collection, eh?

  • Personal Piccadilly in Green
  • Personal Finchley in Teal. Purchased this recently from a lovely seller on the Philofaxy Adspot. I thought I was done with the Finchley's altogether having just sold mine in Imperial Purple. I just couldn't resist. It's such a cheerful color and in excellent condition, too.
  • Personal Osterley in Grey
  • Personal Osterley in Plum
  • Personal Amazona in Almond
  • Personal Malden in Ochre
  • Personal Malden in Crimson
  • Personal Malden in Purple
I might part with both the Grey Osterley and the Amazona. I can't justify having two Osterley's (two Maldens, maybe. Three even. But, not two Osterley's :D), and the Amazona, well, it's a beautiful binder, but I'm not too crazy about it. The initial spark has somewhat faded away. I figured this reason alone is good enough a reason to part ways, yes? Hmmm, we'll see. I'm taking baby steps here, folks. Baby steps.

As for the whole A5 ordeal, if you recall, I had made the decision to upgrade to an A5 several months ago--an A5 Malden in Ochre to be exact. I was so stoked to make the move. To make a long story short, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get used to it. I loved and hated the size all at the same time. I went from using it as my main planner, to using it as a home binder along with my personal size Filofax, to finally throwing in the towel, packing it up and shipping it over to a lovely lady who promised she would give it the love and attention it deserved. Am I completely done with the A5? I can't really say. Who knows what'll happen next year. Heck, who knows what'll happen in the next coming months. But, in the meantime, I'll be doing my planning in a personal size Filofax as usual. I've just had to make a few minor tweaks to the set-up to make it work for me (lack of space was why I had decided on the move up in the first place). It's not perfect and there are days where I still long for more room (both ring wise and writing space). But, it'll do.

I'm currently using my newly acquired purple Malden which I stumbled upon at Warwick's, a stationery/book store located in beautiful La Jolla. Funny thing about this place, at one point, I thought their selection of Filofaxes was pretty sad and limited to a small stand in the middle of the store. Plenty of inserts to peruse but very few actual binders. Some Finsbury's, a handful of classics. Nothing to go crazy over. Until, on a recent visit, I happened to glance over at two glass shelves behind the counter that displayed even more binders! According to the sales clerk, the "nicer" Filofaxes were kept behind the counter, and the not so nice ones on the store floor. All those visits and I completely overlooked them! My jaw dropped when I spotted the Maldens. I couldn't believe it.

Anyway, I can't say there will be no more Filofaxes in the near future. Never that! I'm actually quite excited to see the leather ranges coming out this Summer. But, for now, I'm quite pleased with the ones I have and, except for the coveted Baroque (preferably in black *AHEM*), there aren't any out there that I'm currently pining for. How many Filofaxes are in your collection? I'm curious to see how many people actually own and use just the ONE Filofax or planner. If only there was such a thing as a personal size Malden with 30mm+ rings...

I Think I'm Turning Japanese. I Really Think So.

12 April 2013

I love shopping for Japanese goods. And, in case you're wondering, I am not Japanese. But, I have lived in Japan many years ago. My dad was in the Navy (he's now retired) and was stationed there. At the end of my 6th grade year, our family packed up all our belongings and moved overseas. We lived there for five years and it was a wonderful experience. One I will always treasure.

Here's another fact for you: My husband was born in the very same Naval base my family and I were stationed in. Growing up military brats (and Japan) are some of the things we have in common. In fact, I couldn't believe it when we first met (I actually thought making this story up was his way of trying to impress me). His dad, too, was in the Navy and he and his family were all stationed in Japan, many years before me and my family. Small world, eh? But, I degress.

Every time I visit a local Japanese shop in my area, I get a bit nostalgic, and I can never leave without buying something. I love being able to find things that one might not easily find at a big chain store. Particularly office supplies and stationery (go figure). Here are just a few of the things I can't get enough of, and where they can be purchased both online and locally. You know, if you're ever in the southern California area.

Stickers. I love stickers as much as the next stationery geek. It's a childhood obsession that has never gone away. I particularly like using transparent stickers in my Filofax. Although the cutesy character ones are fun to look at, if I had to choose my go-to, it would be the transparent shapes (dots, hearts, stars, arrows, etc.). These are great for pointing out or highlighting important dates/tasks on your calendar. If you're ever in San Diego, Marukai sells a few of these. Everything there sells for $1.98 unless otherwise noted (see why I can't stay away?). I have also bought transparent stickers online from eBay, Etsy, and Mochithings. To find the right ones, you want to try "agenda stickers" or "diary stickers" in the search field.

Sticky Notes & Page Flags. I know I can find these at my local office supply store like Staples and Office Depot or at even major shopping centers like Target and Walmart. But, I can't resist ones with cute characters on them like Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty which, you might not find locally. Hello Kitty seems to be all over the place now, so you can easily find her anywhere. Now, I know I'm a grown woman but I just can't help myself. Sometimes I wish I had a daughter to share my interest with but, that's not the case. I say, if grown men (like my husband, for example) can get excited over toy cars and action figures, then I can go all giggly, school girl over a cute teddy bear and a white cat wearing a bow. Just sayin'.

I recently discovered a small selection of Rilakkuma stationery goods at a local Japanese market called Mitsuwa. This place is mostly known for the Japanese groceries and foods they sell, but you can also find household goods and office supplies here. My brother, who was with me at the time, couldn't understand my squeals of excitement upon seeing the little display of pastel colored goodies. You can also find both Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty stationery goods on eBay, and Sanrio.

Pens & Paperclips. My all-time favorite pens are my Pilot FriXion pens. Since discovering them, I don't like using anything else. They're erasable and perfect for mistakes (I make a lot of these) and for cancelled plans on your calendar. What's great is that, if you're living in the US, you can find these at your local office supply store or super center (Walmart). But, for more of a selection, I go to Jet Pens. They have a ton of FriXion pens and other great writing tools that come in various colors, and tip sizes. I've also invested in a multi-pen which is great if you tend to use more than one colored ink when writing. They also sell other office supply/stationery goods like stickies and stuff. I am particularly fond of the paperclips. Who would have thought paperclips would be so darn cute? And who can deny paperclips with happy faces on them or ones shaped into little animals, flowers, bugs, and fruit? Not me, obviously.

Planner Inserts. I'm always on the lookout for new inserts to use in my planners since discovering my dividers at Marukai (sadly, they've run out and haven't been restocked for awhile). These dividers are wonderful because they're made of a really thin plastic material which doesn't take a lot of ring space and, because they're plastic, I can re-label them when I need to switch things around. I've found and purchased several more inserts from the Rakuten Global Market. For a fee, you can get all sorts of Japanese merchandise shipped to the US. Even food and beverages! It takes a bit of clicking around when navigating their website and, although it is their US site, the translation from Japanese to English is awful and comes out a bit weird. If you're looking for inserts there, you want to locate "Home and Garden" from their main menu and from there, Household Supplies & Stationery > Organizers > Refill. You want inserts in Bible size if you're looking to use them in a personal size Filofax or similar planner. You can also find inserts in mini, pocket, and A5. Be aware, though, that their pocket size inserts are a fraction of an inch taller and slimmer (not as wide) than Filofax pocket inserts therefore, might look a bit off in your planner. Not too bad, but definitely not the same. The price for each item is fairly reasonable. However, depending on where you are from, shipping can get quite costly. You can also join their points club for free which you can use towards future purchases.

Washi Tape. This is a fairly new obsession of mine. I don't own a lot as I can't find use for them other than using them to decorate my planner. Still, I can't seem to not browse through this section when I'm at my local craft store. Although these can be found locally, I've also bought mine from several sellers on Etsy and Yozo Craft. There are other online shops as well that carry washi tape like wishywashi.com or cutetape.com but I can't vouch for these sites as I have never bought anything from them. Washi tape is not only addicting but can be quite expensive, too, depending on where you buy them. So, shop around and don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, these are just a few of the shops I frequent and where I've found some of the things I use on a daily basis in my Filofax. One day, I'd like to go back to Japan not only so that I could relive some of the good memories I have of my stay there and make new ones with my husband and son but, also, so I could do some heavy shopping!

What stationery goods do you have access to in your area? Also, if you know of any other online stores that sell great stationery supplies, do share! Domo arigato and happy Filofax Friday!