Bright colours as well. Not for me, I’m more a muted leather man for my organiser, but ‘Calypso’ continues a trend to push Filofax to the fashionista in the world.
Posts Tagged ‘Filofax’
There’s a new design of folder from Filofax, and for a moment I got my hopes up:
Instantly recognisable, but with a twist. Iconic design with a simple one-piece thick leather cover, slightly rounded corners and strap with gel popper cap. Beautiful in its simplicity, with perfectly balanced proportions. Working with extra thick leather and using traditional construction techniques, these personal organisers are made by our UK factory who piece together the components by hand, using thick thread to carefully stitch them together.
Unfortunately it’s still the 25mm (7/8 inch) ring size. I’m still waiting for a new Filofax with a Winchester sized 31mm (5/4 inch) ring size.
The new modular system from Filofax is nice, and lets Filofax address the same market as the Moleskine range. And I love that you can hack it with Field Notes and Cahiers as ell as the genuine Flex refills. More thoughts after I use it in anger at the Fringe, but for now…
You can’t look at this in a vacuum, The middle sized Slim Flex is £19, and you can get a basic Filofax Personal for about the same cost. But in context, you’re also picking up a 64 page notebook and jot pad with the binder. The list price for Moleskine notebook of the same size is £10, and the notepad refill for Flex, with 256 pages, is £7.50. Yes, there’s a higher install investment, but the ongoing costs are about the same, and there is more organisational ability in Flex.
RI think that it would be more accurate to add "for people who collect invitations to Web 2.0 services with no income stream" to The Next Web’s headline.
And what’s wrong with visiting the retail store of the Filofax empire when visiting London?
Actually I was nipping in to see if they happened to have a certain type of paper refill lurking anywhere as it’s been officially discontinued. It turns out they hadn’t, but it was still worth the visit. You know when you put people together with iPhones and they start comparing applications and tricks? The same happens with Filofax people, as the shop staff and I started trading tips and hacks – turns out my SXSW Planning Chart was a new one on them, although I am opening the binder rings the ‘right’ way for a long and happy life.
I was also intrigued to spot a surreptitious thumb that was run over the cover of my Filofax. As it’s oiled leather the consistency changes over time to a well-worn and lived in feeling, and having one of them in the store was ‘rather special.’
So after taking the chance to stock up on some big blocks of paper and refills for the next few months (big projects coming up, including SXSW, Eurovision and starting to plan the Edinburgh Fringe coverage), it was time to leave.
Is this what it’s like for Apple Store fans?
So the broad strokes are now in place. This weekend I booked my flights to Austin and South by Southwest 2010 (and added a few days in San Francisco and The Valley – get in touch if you want to ‘do coffee’); the hotel room was reserved as I left Austin last year (forward planning, got to love it); and the Platinum pass was sorted in November.
Now it gets interesting though, because it’s time to plan out and organise my time at SXSW. More than any other conference, SXSW Interactive is incredibly busy, with multiple and concurrent official sessions going on during the day, along with fringe events, various blogger lounges and a packed exhibition floor. And it doesn’t stop at the Convention Centre, because the evening is packed with events, meet n greets, parties, barbecues, award ceremonies and the occasional secret celebration (hint, it’s likely to be called 64-bit).
Add in the same mass of events from SXSW Film and SXSW Music and you have a jigsaw of planning that’s like a ten thousand piece picture of a herd of zebras.
Some planning is needed to make sure that you get the most from your time at SXSW. And that starts with working out what goal is in attending the event. If it’s simply to socialise and meet new people, that’s fine, just be aware of it. An if it’s more in-depth, that works as well.
I’d suggest that rather than do all this on the latest gee-whizz bit of tech you go for a paper and pencil approach. I’m a big Filofax user and you could go pick yourself up a nice one from the UK during the current sale (try the Metropol at £14 in Filofax’s current 40% off Sale), but you’ll get just as much practical benefit from a new Moleskinie Notebook.
The main benefit of any paper system is that it’s always with you no matter what computer you are on, it’s easily referenced while at the Conference, and it takes but a moment to note down something while on the run in Austin.
No matter what medium you choose, here’s how I would recommend splitting the sections down.
Each day is spread over two pages that face each other. On the left hand side I note down the time and location of every major party or event that I come across in the weeks leading up to SXSW. Come the night, I have a relatively full list of parties and events and can choose then where I’ll be heading that night. It’s also great to be able to answer the question “what’s on tonight"?” which invariably gets asked a lot.
The right hand side is more personal. The top of the page has my actual appointments through the day, sessions I want to attend and any must go to events are noted here. The bottom of the page is a mix of sessions I’d like to go to and notes that are specific to that day (e.g. contact number of the restaurant where I might be running an event).
Things of Interest
As well as noting down the events and seminars, it’s worth remembering just how large SXSW is, and that not everything is going to be in the official program or on an Upcoming page. Set some pages aside after the diary pages for “things of interest.” I split them into Interactive, Film and Music, and again over two facing pages. Fill these in with half an eye on your personal goals for SXSW and you’ll have a ready made checklist when you’re left wondering what to do next.
People to See
Or as the Customs Officer might describe it, the stalking page. Who do you want to meet at SXSW? Who have you passed by on Twitter saying that you should hook up in Austin? And do you think you can remember every single name without a little bit of help? That’s what I use this page for – I’m never likely to win any memory contests, so I’ve no shame in getting them down on paper.
To Do List
My Filofax is set up to use the regular diary pages as a dated To-Do list, and this continues during SXSW, although it tends to be the more personal things on this page, like blog post deadlines and work that needs to be done.
If you’re using a moleskine or other notebook, then the rest of the pages are going to be your notebook for the conference. At the end of it all, you’ll have all your experiences from before, during and after SXSW in one handy book for the shelf. My yearly storage folders for Filofax pages
I have two more pages I use in my Filofax at SXSW. The first is a simple expenses page so I can see what I’m spending – the ability to check back on previous years is helpful when setting a budget, and I have a second custom page which is a fold out timetable blocking out my time on an hourly basis for a much faster overview of my plans.
So now you have a tool to help you make the most of SXSW. I’d recommend that you keep this close to your work computer, and just write in anything you find online about SXSW that feels important to you. Once you land in Austin, you’ll find that your time goes by so very quickly and you’ll be glad you’ve done some planning of things to see and do, while still retaining more than enough slack for the spontaneity that makes this one of the premier conferences in the year.
Just before Christmas the Filofax team let me have a look at their latest addition to their range – the Filofax Beauty Gift Pack.
Following on from their first adventures in ‘bundling’ with the Lifestyle Packs, I wondered if they would continue this line of thinking and create more appropriate bundles. The Beauty Gift pack is the next step.
Sporting a personal sized Domino Filofax; a filofax page sized mirror, and a ‘James Bond’ pen with a perfume atomiser hidden in the cap for a quick spray during the day; it’s clear that this pack is aimed at a certain segment of the population.
There’s nothing wrong in this approach, and to be honest I think that’ it’s the right way to go about building up the brand of Filofax in the 21st Century. Build up small pockets of support in new areas, and expand them out as the company grows. Filofax has moved on from the yuppie era of the 1980’s.
The key to the marketing of the Gift Pack is the enclosed voucher for a beauty Session at various locations around the UK. I’m going to pass this on to someone else, partly because I don’t think a beauty session would make a dent on me. It’s also not supplied by Filofax themselves, so they’ve little control over the final product (but they have put their name to it, so it does count).
Again it’s the combined pack of voucher (to tempt), the mirror and the customised pen (to enhance the targeting), and finally a choice of style of Domino Filofax (art deco print, snakeskin or shocking pink) to seal the deal with the customer.
Of course the core product is one I’m familiar with – a Filofax – and I know how useful and versatile they can be. From a personal point of view, the more of them in the hands of the public, the better! With a reviewers hat on, this is a great package even without the addition of a manicure, hair styling or other treat. You get the fashionable hit at the start, and the continuing reward of organisation (maybe) into the New Year.
The question now is how are Filofax going to address the more masculine side of the market in 2010, and how innovative will they be? I’m looking forward to finding out.
Filofax in the UK are currently offering the pack for just £30, and their end of year sale has a store wide discount of up to 30% on other goods.
Cross posted from The Daily Dust
One of the many interviews I did at Le Web was with C-Net France. Interestingly the reporter had a list of four names to track down specifically for the interviews, and I was one of them (the others were Robert Scoble, Joi Ito and Michael Arrington, who I can only assume he didn’t get).
Anyway, it’s all in French and with a quick run through the Alta Vista translator (yes I knew they still had a use) I think I managed to not put my foot in it!
Et mon second appareil serait un Filofax, un organiseur en papier. Pas de technologie. Seulement du papier et un stylo. Pour prendre des notes, des projets, … Il n’a pas besoin de se recharger. Ne tombe jamais en panne. J’utilise des ordinateurs depuis un certain temps et, vous savez, ils crachent quelques fois.
And the impromptu photo session turned out not bad either!
Regular readers will know that I’m a big user of my Filofax, and while it’s great for day to day stuff and some basic GTD techniques, it really comes into its own with large events, such as SXSW or the Edinburgh Fringe (and subsequent podcast).
I tend to have half an eye on the Filofax website for new twists and ideas, and while most of the time I just go there for new paper refills and to look at the many new designs of Filofax they keep coming out with, sometimes I stop and go “oh that’s a nice idea.”
One such moment was the recent launch of the Lifestyle Packs; Family, City and Traveller.
The easiest way to describe these packs is they are 250-350 page booster packs for an empty Filofax. With a wide selection of pages and content these are perfect to rejuvenate an older Filofax that the fanatics may have lying around. For the rest of the world it shouldn’t be too difficult to find at least one Filofax you like from the collection.
To cut a long story short, the Filofax PR Team seem to be pretty well switched on to Social media, and a review copy of the Family Lifestyle pack was soon in my hands. I have to say that I’m impressed.
There’s a wide range of pages, but the core is the 18 month diary (good through till December 2010), which allows entries not just for the owner of the Filofax but for four other family members, and a space for meals and memories to be noted down. Very ncie, and a good way to keep track of everyone’s appointments and dates.
The rest of the pages are made up of specialist pages, mostly newly created for the lifestyle packs. Alongside more traditional pages for addresses, budgeting and shopping lists there are pages for Babysitters (to have relevant information, and to make sure you don’t forget to mention anything), school contact details, party planning pages, holiday travel itineraries, and a bundle more. All very worthwhile and useful in their own way.
I only have two real concerns over this new range of products, and they’re not showstoppers by any stretch. The first is refills. Filofax have one of the greatest ‘razors and blades’ models out there, with a nice initial purchase (of the folder) and then the continuing revenue from the sale of paper refills, diaries, dividers and specialist pages.
As yet there are no refills available for the pages in the lifestyle packs, which seems an oversight. For example, there are only ten pages in the Addresses section, which seems a little bit small for a full household. While the new design of blue/gray boxes looks smart and swish, the pages available online are the more traditional lined paper/black outlines on white. So if you do go buying refills, they’re not going to match. That might be enough to set the compulsive people off buying.
The second is the perceived cost. Buying just the family pack to refill a personal diary is £17, while buying an A5 family pack with a bundled Domino Filofax is £40. It’s a big ask to make this your first Filofax purchase. The packs are also missing a decent number of dividers (six of them, and some twenty different t
To be honest though I don’t see this as a ‘new to the filofax world’ product. You’d need a lot of confidence that this is what you need, and it takes time to get into a good organiser frame of mind – that’s an area that could be addressed before the Christmas season – essentially these are here for the faithful to bring the family on board, to organise more than one person in a folder, and to bring the same level of order to chaos in many people as they can to one person.
Would I recommend them? To people who already use Filofaxes and need something more that the lifestyle packs offer, then yes. If someone has strayed from the fold and is ready to return, this is a great way to get going again. I think it would be heavy going (but not impossible) for someone completely new to not get daunted by the 300 pages and many sections.
These are the first ‘bundles’ from Filofax, and could well be the start of a new line – in the world of digital I’m still convinced there’s a place for paper, and the lifestyle packs are proof of that I hope Filofax now look at a way to bring people into the fold with some nice and not too scary introductory / primer packs.
The Filofax Lifestyle packs can be found online at www.filofax.co.uk.
Something I’ve noticed in the last week or so on the Social Networks, blogs and Friendfeed discussions is that many people are pointing out that I’m a ‘Party Radar’ for the annual South by Southwest Interactive festival.
I suspect the reason for this is simple planning beforehand. About a month before I get to Austin, I add in a new tab to my filofax, filled with the Day Planner inserts. That gives me two pages per day for appointments, to-dos and notes on the right, and a big blank page for notes on the left.
It’s that left hand side that I note down any party of interest I see mentioned online – obviously I have my favourites and the ones I’m pretty sure I’ll be at, but I’ve always got the other options to hand. I’m always happy to talk at conferences, point out parties, and help point groups of people in the evening to somewhere else.
As Laura said last year, “I could look them all up, but you’re quicker.”
From the ever delightful Philofaxy blog comes this, err, rather specialist refill of paper for the female Filofax user (and maybe the male users as well if they want to be polite):
Enthusiasts and technologists were amazed to discover yesterday that a new invention has beaten established organisations to breaking news.
While many journalists and reporters are carrying this new device, because it can be integrated into larger collections they personally carry (so called files of facts), only a few of them have realised that this is the future – they and their close friends can see news written down long before it reaches broadcast or print.
It is called the notebook, and is a cross platform solution, which can run in almost any location and configuration. It is expected that manufacturers will be gearing up production of these small book like devices now that the consumer market is demanding smaller portable versions after successful trials in courts and political briefings around the UK.
The only stumbling block is that people have to carry a separate dispensing device, called a pencil, to make full use of the technology. While some people are insisting that a pen is just as good, the expectation is that people will have to carry on buying these pencils to use their notebooks, providing a recurring revenue stream to the nascent industry that is expected to grow over the next few years.
Apple currently have no plans to launch an iNotebook, although every analyst in the country has pointed out they don’t yet have one in their line-up. A popular Apple Blog site said they had heard an insider comment that Steve Jobs had a prototype on his desk and it would be launched in a blaze of glory at an as yet unannounced press launch later in the year.
Until then, other companies will be testing the area, and trying to agree on a common format. With a variety of sizes and nomenclature (A4, B6, A5 and Foolscap are emerging as front runners) there is a lot of worry that the market will not be able to grow sufficiently until a standard size is agreed on.
As well as the South by Southwest festival in Austin – where I’ll be attending the whole smash of Film, Interactive and Music – March will see me take in some time around the USA attending two other events.
The first is the Getting Things Done Summit in San Francisco. While I can only make the first day of this conference (I do need to get to Austin) it’s going to be a great opportunity to learn more about the time/life management system perfected by David Allen. I use some of the principles in GTD, but not all of them – I’m kind of comfortable where I am.
The second appearance will be at the first Lonely Planet Travel Blogger awards happening after SXSW, which I’ve been invited to attend. It’s a nice nightcap to the whole USA trip, which has been a pretty much regular occurrence for the last few years.
The whole thing has a certain symmetry to it… Edinburgh, San Francisco, Austin, San Francisco, Edinburgh. I’ve added the relevant diary pages into my Filofax; for trips like this I switch from ‘week over two pages’ to ‘one day spread over two days’ because I tend to organise a lot of meetings.
The pages are almost blank at the moment so if you want to meet up, demo me anything, or just have a beer, then do email me (the usual place) and let’s sort it out. If I need to fly to see something, then convince me, but I do have space to put in a little road trip as required!