Friday, 15 July 2011

Setting up my “new” Portland Filofax

I bought a green Portland Filofax a few weeks ago from eBay for very few pounds (certainly a lot less than any of the new filofaxes are, even in the sales). I have decided that it will be my Chimwemwe filofax. Up until this decision, all the Chimwemwe work was sitting in my personal baroque (and before then, it was squeezed into an A5 which was so full it was almost unusable!).

The 'new' Portland
But, a lot has been happening with the projects in Malawi and so a dedicated filofax seemed sensible. I would rarely be doing any Chimwemwe work away from my desk at home so it was a stay-at-home filofax (unless I was deliberately out and about on Chimwemwe work, in which case it could come with me) and so it would not be competing for space in my bag with my baroque.

After reading Imy’s excellent post about setting up a new filofax, I did my homework and drew up a list of ‘what-where’. It went like this:

1. Planning
            Goals and to-do (with the to-do copied into the weekly plans in the baroque where appropriate)
2. Month-at-a-view calendar
            Which days are the newsletters due?
            Place to put time-sensitive info
3. Projects and updates (colour coded)
            New building
            Land purchase
            General ongoing stuff – uniforms, IGAs, school funds etc
4. Finance
            Overall (UK bank) – including transfers to Malawi
            PayPal account
5. Resources/info
            Details of potential donors
            Details of “Friends of Chimwemwe”

I also wanted to have some slightly prettier dividers than the ones available commercially, but which still looked professional enough to meet potential donors. I bought some card with a green pattern on it and then made my own, just cutting the card to the right size and sticking blank label paper onto the tabs. The green co-ordinates fabulously (though I say it myself!) with the green leather and makes it look lovely and smart and they were a lot cheaper than any commercial ones.

Smart interior!
Over the years, I seem to have acquired several lots of coloured notepaper, including a lot of pink, which is why I have decided to colour-code the projects. Obviously the one I will write the most about in my filofax will have to go on the pink stuff which doesn’t match the filofax that well!

Lots of lovely (and less lovely) colours
Cannibalised from elsewhere...
the rest...
[Incidentally, the reason everything is anchored down with paperweights is because I am sitting in the garden writing this, with the scent of alpine strawberries wafting over me. It’s a hard life.]

Some of the other inserts have come from other non-filofax brand sources and some of them are some Time-Management sheets trimmed to fit. I realise that will be sacrilege to some, but they currently don’t fit and I don’t like the TM binders, and I got a whole bundle of TM sheets for a song on eBay. (Feel free to contact me if you really want to buy untrimmed ones from me!).

So, that’s the ‘new’ filofax and its set-up. Now I just have to do the work!


  1. Lovely! You always do such beautiful interiors in your filofax! :-)
    Alpine strawberries sounds delightful!

  2. @CP: thank you! I do like to personalise them and make them a bit less dull than the FF ones.
    The alpine strawberries are delicious! Imagine the flavour of 10 normal strawberries packed into one small one (about half the size of a regular strawberry) and you'll get the picture.