Monday, 13 February 2012

Scratching the Pocket/Personal itch

[Since writing this, I realise this might be the start of several posts on the same thing... once bitten by the 'create more pages for your filofax' bug... well, you all know the rest!]

Every now and then I look yearningly at my pocket Cavendish and wonder whether I can move into it instead of using its big brother in personal. For some reason I can’t fathom, whereas the personal sized Cavendish has massive rings (30mm), the baby brother has small rings for the range – only 15mm. For comparison, the pocket Malden and most of the others too) has 19mm rings. Now this is puzzling to me – why should the big brother of the family have such large rings and then the baby version be so impossibly slim?? Surely they should have been larger than normal?

Well, you can see my problem already! How could I even contemplate moving from the mansion-like 30mm into the compact and bijou (aka tiny) 15mm? And, haven’t I been here before (and also here... oh and here)? And didn’t I decide that there was just no way I would spend money buying new diaries and so on when I was fully kitted out for the personal?

Um, yes. And yes.

But, every now and then I need to go in the drawer that all my currently unused filofaxes live in (glaring balefully at me) and the Cavendish calls to me. So I fish him out and look at him and think… maybe if I didn’t have the whole year of week on two pages it would work, or maybe if I did week on a page and then stuck to-do sheets or lined paper in between the pages…?

What got me wondering about it today, other than the fact that birthday cards are in the same drawer and I needed one, was all the calendar-stuff going on at Philofaxy, where the filofax king, Steve and his trusty (and extremely talented) side-kick Ray (of My Life All in One Place – go check it out after reading this…) have been creating fabulous diary designs. Now, I know the templates the two magicians have produced are A5, but, I also know how to scale when printing and know you can choose to fit to paper source! On top of that, I have some lovely cream Clairefontaine paper and if you trim carefully, you can get 5 sheets of pocket-size paper out of it. I am also not averse to cutting and punching paper and feeding it into my printer.

So, armed with some paper, a guillotine and a hole punch, I made some pocket-sized paper and printed off a day to 2 pages and a week on a page. I just did one day (Friday – the next day I am off work) and the spread of last week to this week.
Of course, the first thing I noticed was that everything looked Lilliputian. I have fairly small, reasonably neat writing, but this wasn’t going to work. I needed half as many Tasks and Notes lines and for them to be twice the height. As for the left-hand side, I didn’t need so many hours and I didn’t need half-hourly intervals. The calendar at the top of the page was also just a teensy bit too small to be any use (and wasn’t something I needed anyway). The week on a page was much better, but would be even better as a week on two pages so that it was more usable.

Which took me to Sweden.

Ever looked at the Swedish Filofax site? For all the talk of it not being profitable to make so many different inserts and to contemplate reducing the range… Sweden (and Denmark) have some fabulous inserts for pocket-sized filofaxes, that are only in Danish or Swedish or Norwegian etc… and with only some minor tweaking (adding English maybe?) they would sell really well across other countries, I am sure! There are also ‘starter packs’ of diaries, index tabs, address sheets and ruled paper! And pads of 100 sheets of cream paper. Filofax UK – please could we have some of these on the UK site? Or better still, have the entire range of all inserts available online. I mean, it’s not like everyone has been asking for that since the year dot!

But I digress.

I had a look at the lovely pocket-size inserts but didn’t get any. Instead I thought about making a generic two days per page and also a word version of a week on two pages, so I could print off about a month or so and road-test the pocket before committing to buying any inserts. And then… since making the week on 2 pages could be a right royal pain, I noticed my little week to view diary that was 80p in Tescos. I am not averse to cutting this up and punching holes in it any more than making my own pocket-size paper! It’s actually a tiny bit smaller (7cm x 10.5) than the pocket (8cm x 12.5) but the printed size is larger than the scaled down version of the A5 I had printed. Since my WO2P and 2DPP are not going to be kept at the end of the year, I don’t really care if they aren’t spiffing quality!

Anyway, to cut a long afternoon’s playing short, this is my prototype. I wanted to be able to note some appointments and be able to time-box on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side I wanted to note what elephant needed eating (big thanks to my friend Gerard for the elephant picture!), plus list tasks and notes, with enough space to write.

screenshot of the print-preview
I may try road-testing this, along with a dismembered week to view diary over the next month. I shall also make myself some nice lined paper out of my lovely cream paper. Guillotines and hole-punches, here we come!

I only need to print out days I’m not at (paid) work – my work diary covers me for them, which would be a lot cheaper than getting a whole year of 2DPP and then only using 4 days per week of it.

[And yes, we all know that in a month, after road-testing this, I will be back in the big brother version! But let’s just scratch the itch, huh?]