Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The Writing Filofax

Ooh, I do love being asked to give more information on my set-ups! It makes me feel nice that people are interested! So, in response to Sweetspot’s request for more info on my writing filofax, here goes.

Originally, my writing filofax had been my red A5 Finchley, but it out-grew the space and moved into the red A5 domino (the first filofax I bought!). I use A5 for my writing filofax because I create my own sheets for it. Not only is this cheaper, but I can decide to print onto nice paper and use a fountain pen too! I also prefer the larger paper size for writing.

The other advantages of moving into the domino other than the 30mm rings size, are the harder cover which allows for writing when out and about and two pen loops! The Finchley, glorious as it is, has quite a flexible cover and so wasn’t so handy for the sitting-in-the-garden-leaning-on-my-knee kind of writing.

So, how is it set up? Everyone has their own systems and needs so this won’t suit everyone (and at times it doesn’t quite suit me and gets changed around a bit, but hey, that’s the beauty of a filofax!).

Here it is closed – it’s a bit of a plump filofax (though by far my heaviest filofax is the jade Finchley I use at work!)
The front page shows one of the calligraphy animal dividers I made (and which I blogged about here). 
I love the elephant!
It says ‘Home’ because there is some home stuff in here as well as my writing stuff, though to be honest, the home stuff is perhaps in the wrong place. I tuck receipts into the pockets on the inside cover.
Behind this front page, you can see some other dividers peeking out. They are ‘Notes’; ‘Writing’; ‘Blog’; ‘Ideal Life’ (and there is a space where there used to be ‘Diary’ but that’s now housed in my personal filofax.

Behind Notes is a pile of spare paper. The things sticking out the top are Rotary Thanks for Life bookmarks, which indicate where the notepaper changes style.
Notes section
Immediately behind the Note divider is ruled paper, then there is ‘idea’ paper then ‘blog’ paper (all of which I made myself). ‘Blog’ paper is almost the same as ‘ideas’ paper but has a little box in the top right corner to title and date the post.

ideas paper
Blog paper plus the Rotary bookmark divider
This Notes section is my ‘landing pad’ – when I have an idea I can just turn to the right kind of paper and scribble. The scribbles then get filed in other areas of the filofax.

The next divider is ‘Blog’.
Blog section
This files the blog post ideas I have had. It started out as just Paper, Pens and Ink but since the All Stars Tour on Philofaxy has commenced, there are also ideas for guest posts in there too now.

After that is the section which really doesn’t belong in this filofax at all! It’s called Ideal Life and the frontispiece has a quote from Caribbean Princess’s blog that I find both sensible and inspiring. 
Ideal life section
the quote is from Caribbean Princess
 Behind that quote, there are booklet-printed articles from Zen Habits about creating your perfect job, ways to be mindful etc and then an article on Time Management for Creative People. Then there are scribbles about a whole range of things, mostly to do with me finding a new job/career (my ideal life), then some finance pages tracking money relating to writing (postage, ink cartridges etc), a chart of my weight week by week (because it doesn’t fit in my personal filofax), a fold-out year to a glance to show writing competition deadlines, then my writing goals for the year, then lists of presents given and received for the last few Christmases (so I don’t give the same thing twice!), random bits of information (like how to connect to work computers from home) and finally a world map. You know, now I’ve listed it all out, I realise what a clear-out it needs!

Behind that sits the Writing section, which is then further sub-divided using standard A5 dividers. Immediately behind the divider sit some articles about writing.
Writing section
The five dividers behind are: competitions; short stories; novels; character notes; agents.
Competitions lists the details of any writing competitions I am interested in and/or have entered (and if so, what the outcome was). I use my own pro-formas for these which list the name of the competition, any web details, deadline(s), word counts, themes and the cost of submission, with space underneath for notes. Sometimes I print-out details from the web instead of filling in the pro-forma and file them.

Short stories contains notes I have made on different magazines – what kind of stories they print, word counts, etc. For each submitted short story there is also another page I’ve designed myself, which summarises the story, then details when and where it was sent to and what the outcome was. Any notes for short-stories or ideas get filed here too.

Novels contains the same kind of form as the short-stories, except it’s for the novels written – quick summary (like I’d forget!!!???), then which agent(s) they have been sent to and what the outcome was. Any notes or ideas for new novels (or editing ideas that suddenly strike me about completed ones) also get filed here.

Character Notes is where I file any scribbles or ideas for characters I have (often made after meeting new people!)

Agents contains a series of sheets I’ve designed listing details of agents to approach re: novels.

Right at the very back is a plastic wallet with a card in that my husband gave me, to cheer me up!
So, that’s it. Having written this, I realise how much of a tidy up it needs. Guess that’s what the rest of my afternoon will be!

Does anyone else have anything similar? If so, how have you set yours up?


  1. Thank you for this wonderful piece, Amanda! I surely will refer back to it numerous times when I finally receive my fins A5 in purple (which is somewhere on the way from far east - it's a long story!).
    Right now I have a "writing" section in my personal filo, where I make notes on ideas and visions, collect quotes about writing, etc. Can't wait to have a designated filo for it. The red domino looks gorgeous! Now I never owned a domino... Hmmm...

    Oh, your self-made "ideas" and "blogs" pages are so pretty. Is it too much to ask for the templates? :)

  2. @Sweetspot
    Glad this hit the spot! Especially as you'd asked for it...
    Let me know your email address and I will happily share my writing templates. The "ideas" one is on Philofaxy in the files section, but I have some others too if you want?

  3. @Amanda
    LOL! It sure "hit the spot" alright!
    My email :
    Thanks a lot for sharing your goodies. I'm fairly new to the filo community, so am still like a kid in the candy store. :)
    I'll go check out the templates on the "mothership"(aka philofaxy) as well.
    Thanks again! Excellent blog!

  4. Hi Amanda. My name is Catarina and I'm just starting to adventure onto the blogsfere :) Being an absolute Filofax fan, I've recently discovered Philofaxy and from there I got to your blog. It's full of great ideas. Hopefully, I'll have a brand new filofax on the way sometime soon, and if you don't mind, I might use some of your ideas.
    Congratulations on your great blog.

  5. @Catarina
    Thank you for your lovely comments! Please let us know when your filofax arrives and how you set it up?? Steal any idea you like!