Filofax Review: Temperley Ikat

I wrote the following post just before I went into hospital back in March and haven’t had a chance to post it until now.  Sadly I have now broken the zip on the Ikat and have stopped using it – I’m really sad about that as it was working so perfectly in my changing bag as a purse/diary/clutch.  I’m pretty sure the reason it broke was because I was putting the pen in the top and was stretching the zip around it.  A word of warning to anyone else doing the same!…

Ikat Filofax Review

I mentioned in my last post that I’d bought a new Filofax to use when I become a yummy mummy in a couple of months’ time – a Temperley Ikat.  I decided to move into it early to see how it would work for me and I have to say, I like it!!

Firstly I needed a diary, but since I was just testing, I used an old insert I had in the drawer and just crossed out the dates – a quick, simple and cost-effective hack!  Next, I had to really think about what I’d need on a day-to-day basis and only copied across the info I felt I’d really need with me out and about.  So far I haven’t come unstuck!

Temperley Filofax Ikat

My Setup:

  • Diary (week on one page) – I’m using a small 4-colour Bic, coding baby appointments in green, social events in red, birthdays and anniversaries in blue and to-dos in black
  • Projects – here I store lists of the books I’m looking for in the charity shops, music I want to download when I’m feeling frivolous, National Trust places we’ve visited (we’ve recently joined and want to ensure we get our money’s worth!) and various lists for baby – hospital bag, clothes, nursery items we need to get, etc
  • Addresses – this tab is actually housing general to-do lists!
  • Birthdays – birthdays and anniversary pages, plus a log of presents we need to buy/have bought
  • Notes – this section has plain white paper to scribble on when I need to make quick notes that won’t be kept in there for long
  • Expenses – has a log of my current account, savings, extra card wallets and a couple of pockets for vouchers and work expense receipts

The binder has very small rings but holds this little lot easily and I like the fact that if I want to write in it lying flat, I can just remove the whole section and get it out on the table!

The left hand section is the purse/wallet and has ten card pockets as well as three sections for putting notes, vouchers, etc and a zipped section for coins.  It works really nicely as a purse, or even an evening clutch, which I’ve done a couple of times by taking out the binder and popping in my phone and a lippy!

So that’s the good stuff – what about the bad and the ugly?

On the whole it’s working really well for me, but there are a couple of niggles.  Firstly, the card pockets are too deep, causing the cards to slip down out of sight and reach – why??!  I don’t know how that got through the prototype sign-off, but anyway, my solution has been to put the cards I use most often sideways in the back pockets so that I can grab them easily.

Secondly, if you put a pen in the pen loop, you can’t close the zip!  Madness!!  This is my biggest bug-bear, as I’ve had to resort to using a mini-pen and placing it sideways at the top, meaning that sometimes it drops out if I’m opening it up in a hurry.

One other thing that doesn’t bother me, but might bother you is that because the binder is removable, it does move about a bit inside, so it could be a bit askew when you unzip it.

In a nutshell?

I’m really enjoying using this Filofax, but I can see it wouldn’t work for everyone.  Having bought it in the sale I’m very happy indeed, but if I’d paid £45 I might have been disappointed.  I’d be interested to hear your views if you’ve used one – let me know in the comments!

Cat 🙂

Check out the Ikat on Amazon UK here – as I type it’s currently down to £20 in both colours 🙂

Some BIG News and the Resulting Filofax and Trollbeads Combo!

If I’ve been a little quiet of late it’s because I’ve been feeling under the weather for the past few months.  Not to worry though, it’s all in a good cause – I’m expecting a baby!  Hubby and I are very excited to meet our little one, who is expected in June 🙂

trollbeads maternity pregnancy

Here’s my Trollbeads maternity combo, which combines several OOAKs with a few artisans, plus Maternity, the anniversary ‘Beginning of Life,’ a German edition ‘Tulip’ and ‘Forget Me Not‘ as well as ‘Grandma’s Favourite‘ and a cheapy but lovely ‘Mum To Be’ charm from Amazon!

If you know me at all you’ll know I can also turn any event or celebration into an opportunity for a new Filofax and, of course, I did just that!  I was in TKMaxx a few weeks back and happened upon some Filofax Temperley Ikats in the sale at a bargain price and had to grab one to see what it’s like.

filofax temperley ikat-yellow

I wasn’t attracted to these when they first came out – the build quality seemed cheap for the price point and all the ones I saw seemed a little out of alignment, a bit squashed if you get my meaning?!  Lurking at the back of the shelves I found one in perfect order and it was the only one marked down to £10 so it was clearly meant to be!

So what’s the plan for it?  Well I’m not using it yet, and I need to get a personal diary insert, but the plan is that when I move out of a handbag (my beloved Mulberry *sniff*) and into a changing bag (an uber-amazing SugarJack bag!) I won’t be able to lug around quite so much of my own stuff (read 20 lip balms and glosses, several hand creams, huge purse, fat Filofax, etc).  The iKat is a great size and shape to fit my purse items, diary (obvs) and my smartphone.  Apart from my keys and maybe a pot of lip Vaseline, that’s pretty much my essentials all in one place, easy to grab in and out of a bag full of baby bits!

I’ll write a more full review once I’ve been using it for a while.  In the meantime, let me know in the comments if you’ve used an iKat and what you thought, or what your baby friendly Filofax solutions are!

Cat 🙂

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here

Filofax Dashboard: Hacking a Day Planner Insert!

I went to Paperchase to pick up a 2014 Filofax insert at the weekend and spotted their Day Planner inserts, which gave me a light bulb moment!

I tend to use post-it notes to jot down shopping lists, to-dos and reminders and pop them in the front of my Filofax so that I can see them at a glance.  Lots of other Filofaxers use this method and I’ve seen all sorts of innovative ‘dashboards’  – check out some great ideas on Filofancy, Vanjilla and Imy’s World.

The day planner inserts are Paperchase’s own brand and are priced at just £1.75 for 50 x the pocket size.  The front side has spaces for day and date, appointments, to-dos and reminders, while the back is for notes (I’m using that for my shopping list).  This lends itself perfectly to my needs as a dashboard, and I’ve amended this for weekly use – it’s working great!!  All it needs are a few stickers to brighten it up and you’ve got yourself almost a year’s supply for less than £2!

Let’s take a look…

Filofax Paperchase Day Planner Dashboard

What do you think, would it work for you?  What do you use as a dashboard?  Comment below and share your experiences!

Cat 🙂

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here

My Filofax Collection :)

If you’ve been here before you may have noticed that I like a Filofax (or ten!), so for all you other hardcore Filofanatics, I thought you might like to see my *ahem* collection…

The mini Finsbury has recently winged its way over to a new owner in the US, leaving me with a selection of 12 red, black and grey to choose from!  I hadn’t realised I’ve been so colour selective until I saw them all out like this – funny considering I love bright colours and purple is my favourite colour!

How about you, do you have a ‘collection’ of Filofaxes?  Or a colour theme?

Find a Filofax bargain on Amazon UK here.

Filofax Update: Malden Personal as a Housebound Organiser!

Since I’ve become besotted with my pocket sized Mulberry you may be wondering what happened to my beloved Malden personal?!  I was quite sad to put it out of action so soon after declaring it the ‘perfect Filofax‘ so I decided that I wouldn’t retire it after all.  It is perfect apart from being just too heavy to carry in my bag everyday…I’m now using it in the house for things I don’t need when I’m out and about and it’s great!

This slims down my everyday organiser (the Mulberry pocketbook) and also keeps the Malden looking lovely and new hehe!  So what’s inside?:

  • Lists I don’t need to carry with me – packing list for holidays, blog post ideas, etc.
  • Weight and exercise tracker
  • Notes such as holiday allowance information
  • Information on my gym classes and swimming timetables
  • Addresses

This is working really well for me!  Does anyone else keep a home binder?  I’d love to hear what you use it for!

Get your Malden on Amazon here

Moving into Mulberry: Vintage Pocket Book Review!

mulberry vintage pocket bookOk so I lasted three months without a Filofax for my home life before I cracked and went back to pen and paper!

It was really nice having a lighter handbag but I do prefer the tactile aspects of using a Filofax and I couldn’t resist the lure of a vintage Mulberry pocket book on eBay!… 

mulberry pocket book

You might be interested to know that this size organiser fits Filofax Pocket Refills, so no need to buy expensive inserts or faff about with hole punching!  The binder itself is slightly longer at the top and bottom, making it less square than Filofax Pocket, which for me is more comfortable to write in.  Once it arrived, I soon set about customising it:

The binder came empty so I initially used Filofax dividers and a variety of different inserts, but it didn’t please me so I had some fun with Muji post-it flags and made lots of different sections:

filofax homemade dividers

I couldn’t find a pen to fit the loop, so I bought a Leuchtturm 1917 Pen Loop in Lilac and stuck it onto a clear wallet at the back.  Rather than putting the pen into it, I simply clip my Bic 4-Colour Ball Pen into the loop for easy access:

filofax pen loop hack

This binder closes perfectly with the pen in place – loving this hack!

My sections are divided up into Diary, Shopping, Lists, Notes, Birthdays, To Dos, Expenses, and then at the back I have clear wallets to hold receipts, stickers, post-it notes and my nail polish swatches:

filofax post it notes insert

In terms of the binder itself, I really like it. The rings are approx 15mm and there are two poppers on the closure so you can fit a fair amount in – I have a week on two pages insert in it up to September, plus all the other sections and the plastic pockets take up quite a bit of space. The front of the binder has two long pockets, which I’m using for larger post-its and my gym class timetable and the back has one large pocket and four card slots:

This weekend I stumbled upon a tiny Frankin Covey pen in TKMaxx, which fits the Mulberry pen loop perfectly so I’m using that for the moment.  I love how it almost matches my Montblanc, which I use in my work Filofax, an A5 Malden:


I’ve always loved the Mulberry brand because the quality is so durable and tactile. The only thing I’d love this binder to have would be gold rings to match the popper, which seems like a bit of an oversight on Mulberry’s part. Can’t have everything though I suppose!

Have you tried a Mulberry organiser? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially on the newer ones!

Happy Filofaxing 🙂

Filofax vs Smartphone and a Radley Organiser!

Last month I mentioned that I’d picked up a Radley mini organiser in a charity shop and I was already using a Filofax Mini (Amazona – you can read about that here).  To make the switch required a bit of slimming down, so I finally made the decision to take out the diary section – yikes!  Drastic huh?!

I’ll explain… firstly, I like a challenge, and secondly, I could really do without the extra weight in my handbag!  So I thought I’d see how I would cope with using the diary on my phone and using a Filofax (or in this case, Radley organiser) for my notes, to-do and banking.

My smartphone is a Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android operating system) and it comes loaded with the app, ‘S Planner,’ which lets you log events and tasks and view your diary in different layouts – Year, Month, Week, Day, List and Task.  This is a great advantage over a paper diary, as you don’t have to replicate the information to see it in different views.  You can assign an icon to your events, which acts like a sticker would in a Filofax to highlight all your important goings on.  There are also a variety of widgets you can place on the homescreens to see your day, month or tasks at a glance.


I’m definitely a paper and pen girl, so I can’t believe I’ve actually been using it quite happily for a month, but I really have!  I’ve also discovered that if I keep a record of what’s in my bank account in the Samsung app ‘S Memo,’ I can actually leave my Filofax at home if I need to.  Most of the time I wouldn’t do this, but for things like a trip to the cinema, out to do the food shopping, etc, where I don’t need all my lists with me, I might do.

Back to the Radley… this organiser is super cute and fits Filofax Mini paper, so it’s easy to get refills.  I’ve also noticed that you can pick up Radley organisers on eBay at a good price, so that’s a good place to snap one up if you like the look of them.  Here’s mine compared in size to my Mini Amazona:


I decided that the insides needed to be super cute too, and since this is my personal (ie non-work) organiser, I went all out!  I found a lovely pack of thick American Crafts ‘Ready Set Go’ paper in TKMaxx and used regular Filofax Mini dividers as a template to create my new set of colourful dividers.  To finish them off, I punched using my trusty Rapesco hole punch and used a Hello Kitty sticker on the front, which was from a pack I found in a charity shop (score!).  I haven’t labelled them as I know what’s in each section and I wanted to be able to see the paper pattern showing through.


All of this has left me very confused… part of me is really happy to have a lighter handbag, and another part of me is hankering to go back to personal size again and stuff it until it’s nice and fat!  But I am wondering if I were to put the lists and info that I need with me daily into S Memo, I could perhaps use my Personal Malden for everything else, but keep it the house.  Best of both worlds?!  Does anyone else do this?

So what’s next in my Filofax journey?  Watch this space…

Cat 🙂

Find a bargain Mini Filofax on Amazon here

Filofax Mini Amazona – An Update!

Filofax mini amazona with zebra penIt’s been almost three months since I moved into my Mini Amazona Filofax and I’m still enjoying it so I wanted to give you a quick update on my progress!  Firstly, I mentioned in my last post that I wasn’t happy with my pen, the nib was just too fine and it felt too short to hold comfortably.  My mum showed me her Zebra Expandz Ballpen and it fitted perfectly in my Filofax!

It’s not very expensive to buy (check it out on Amazon here) and it comes in a range of colours – mine is an orange/gold colour.  When expanded it feels like a regular pen and the nib is thicker than the Filofax Mini Barley one.  I’m not an expert on pens (more an enthusiast!), but I’d say it was about a medium nib, where as the Filofax one is more fine. I particularly like the Art Deco style lines on the clip, as I’m a fan of all things Deco:

My next issue was whether I could train it to lie flat.  I haven’t had it sitting under books or anything, but every time I open it up, I bend it back slightly on the spine, which means it will now lie open.  Not quite flat yet as you can see below, but I’m happier now that it doesn’t close on me:

I’ve found this Filo slightly harder to personalise, I think because of the smaller format. Finding existing cards, etc to punch and fit is hard and I haven’t got around to making any pages with my hole punch yet, but I did find this funky letter ‘C’ at my local Lorimers store, which fits perfectly in the front:

amazona filofax with zebra pen

One other thing I wanted to share with you is my nail polish swatches.  I’ve been into doing my nails since my early teens and I often go home from the shops with a new nail polish similar to one that I’ve already got.  In an effort to stop me buying so many new polishes, I decided to swatch them onto quick reference cards to keep in my Filofax.  I cut out some cards that fit neatly into a Pocket size clear envelope and were also small enough to fit into the back pocket of a Mini and painted a small circle of each colour.  I haven’t ‘needed’ to buy a new polish for weeks!:

Filofax nail polish swatches

And my final update for this week is a bit of a tease… I recently found a Radley organiser, which fits Filofax Mini sized inserts, in a charity shop and just had to snap it up!  It has very tiny rings, so it will be like a slimline Mini, but I can’t wait to try it out.  Has anyone else used a Radley organiser before?  I’d love to see pics!

One other thing I’d love to know, which I’m sure someone who reads my blog will know – does a Mini with really big rings exist?  I’m still loving the Mini size, but I wish it was a bit chunkier (how I’ll cope with the Radley I don’t know!)!

Happy filofaxing, Cat 🙂

Find a bargain Mini Filofax on Amazon here

Filofax Mini Amazona Review: Living with an even Smaller Format

Filofax-Mini-Amazona-RedYears back I owned the most beautiful Mini Filofax, a red Balmoral.  I’d wanted it for a long time but couldn’t afford to buy it, and then by chance I happened to buy a job lot on eBay (all sight unseen – I had an eBay shop at the time) and a red Balmoral was inside the bag – I couldn’t believe my luck!  It became my personal/social planner, which I used alongside my A5 Balmoral for many years until the rings broke away from the binder 🙁 (you can see it’s sorry state on Flickr here).

I sent it to Filofax and they couldn’t fix it, suggesting I buy an Amazona to replace it.  I mentally put this on my wish list but moved onto other (cheaper) things.  I’ve missed using it very much and one day hoped I could find the Amazona at a good price.  I even bought a slimline Amazona, but that didn’t fulfil the yearning!  Then I found a pocket Balmoral, and that nearly did the trick, but not quite.

Don’t feel too sorry for me though, because after searching through a huge pile of Filofax boxes in TKMaxx before Christmas, I finally found my prize!  Here’s my gorgeous new Mini Amazona Filofax all set up:


I’ve sectioned it out with tabs for diary, to buy, to do, notes and money.  The cute stickers are from Accessorize and the post-it is Cath Kidston.


I wish I could remember where I got these shopping list pages from ‘cos they’re great!


I haven’t been able to find to-do inserts, but I picked up these fab to-do post-its in Muji.  I’ve been sticking them in the diary section so  I can track each week’s tasks.


In the back I’ve used a card insert to keep my stamps and a piccy of hubby and I on the reverse.


I’m using a Filofax Mini Barley Pen which I’ve had for years – it’s got a finer nib than I’d like but it fits beautifully in the pen loop!

In terms of the size, it’s not as comfortable to write in as say a Personal, or even a Pocket, but in terms of weight and portability, it’s a dream!  The leather is lovely quality and I’m hoping it will soften enough to lie flat on its own (can anyone confirm this?).  It’s smooth leather inside, which is different to the Balmoral and it has two card slots instead of three in the front inside cover, but other than that it’s a very good replacement – love it!

Do you use a Mini Filofax?  How do you get on with it?

Find a bargain Mini Filofax on Amazon here

Filofax Update: Moving into Malden A5 and a New Cross Pen!

Remember my A5 Balmoral Filofax?  It’s been with me all my working life and I love it – BUT every girl needs a change now and then!  In the run up to Christmas I was in TKMaxx and found a huge stack of those lovely black Filofax boxes we know and love 🙂

Filofax Malden A5 GreyHubby left me to it and I proceeded to open every box until I found what I was looking for – an A5 Malden!  This one is grey, which isn’t quite as exciting as my red Personal one, but very classy for sitting on my desk at work.  It was squirrelled away as a Christmas gift, but now it’s all set up and has gone straight into use.

The pen loops fit a pen and pencil securely, or a second pen if it’s a slim one (I tried a standard Parker pen and it fitted just fine), so my trusty Montblanc pen is nice and safe! There’s also room for loose items, my calculator and lots of cards, plus a slot at the back for a notepad.  The rings are nice and wide so I can fit everything from my Balmoral, although I’ve taken advantage of the new set of tabs and simplified my setup to just one set.

I start with my diary in front of the tabs and then have sections for Planning, Training, Website, Suppliers, PR and Data.  I have a busy job as a Marketing Manager and these sections keep everything organised that I might need with me at my desk or in meetings.

Filofax Malden A5 and Tombow Egg Pen

I also have a couple of new pens – the one pictured here is a Tombow Egg Pen – an Amazon bargain which, in matte grey, suits the Malden perfectly!

Filofax Malden Tombow Egg Pen

Filofax Malden A5 Grey

A slighlty more extravagant purchase, I also have a shiny new (GORGEOUS!) Sauvage Stingray Fountain Pen by Cross!  Just before Christmas I won two awards at work and was gifted £75 Amazon vouchers – this beautiful fountain pen is almost half price at exactly £75, so how could I resist?  I’m using Cross brown cartridges and am loving the results:

Cross Sauvage Stingraw Fountain Pen and Tombow Egg Pen

Cross Sauvage Stingray Fountain Pen Review

It’s a hundred times better looking in real life than in my pics!  If it’s of interest I’ll give a full review of this pen, although for now I will say that Filofax paper is too thin to use this ink – I’m using it on my own punched paper in the notes sections and sticking to my Montblanc for the diary.

No stickers or custom inserts in this Filofax I’m afraid, I save that for my personal setups. On that note, keep an eye on the blog because I also found a mini Amazona which I’m using for my personal notes and diary!

Is anyone else using a Cross pen with their Filofax?  Did anyone get a Filofax or a new pen for Christmas?

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!

Cat x