Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Moving into the Holborn

Warning - picture heavy post!!

Well, after buying a personal Holborn ages ago, and then drooling over him for what seems like months, I have finally made the switch from pocket Miss Aston into Mr Holborn.
In many ways, I am sad to move out of Miss Aston as she is a lovely filofax and very neat in a handbag. But, my summers always have fewer appointments and more to-do and space to write in was beginning to be an issue.

Mr Holborn’s attractions were his pocketses (oodles of them) and the layout. I also like the very dark brown colour (especially as I made all the contrast stitching match the leather with some Brasher boot cream – the cream stitching bugged me!).

My layout has settled down over the last year, but is still different in this personal size in comparison with the set-up I had in either the Baroques or the Cavendish, but the tweaks are quite small.

Here’s a walk-through of the whole binder.

Front cover, with blended stitching…

Inside cover:
There are 6 card slots  and a larger pocket with a curved edge underneath. I am using 5 of the slots, but I removed my credit/bank cards so as not to have to faff about redacting the details on them!

Behind the card slots there are two full-height pockets – one facing outwards and one facing inwards. I have paper money slipped into the outward facing one and nothing (at the moment) in the inward facing one.

Outward facing pocket (before Brasher treatment
Inward facing (also before Brasher treatment)

Throughout the filofax I use home-made dividers with the same image printed on the reverse as on the front. I blogged about making them here.

1. Notes
Behind this divider is some blank paper. I have sifted through to find some unwritten on paper for the same reason I took my cards out! You’ll see old diary sheets being used as scrap paper (but turned upside down so I’m not confused!).

2. Projects

The start of the ‘meat’ of the filofax, this has:
a) a mind-map diagram (colour-coded) of the main areas of my life with their associated goals.
b) a sheet with written on it:

            Is it my DREAM?
            Is it essential?

            Time is finite

These statements are there to remind myself to focus on the important. [see this post for more details]
c) a to-do list that contains all to-do items that are NOT associated with a goal/project (like: post birthday card etc.)
d) the goals to projects to next action pages. I’ve blogged about these before (see here) but in essence the goal might be to raise £500 for a charity; this could break down into two projects – to produce and sell calendars, and to have a book sale. These projects would then have next actions such as choose the pictures for the calendars, and book the hall for the book sale etc. The goal and the project go on the front of the sheet; the next actions for that project are listed on the reverse. I use a separate sheet for every project and all of them are colour-coded according to which area of my life it belongs to.

3. Diary

Diary section (the elephant is for both 'never forget' and for 'eating an elephant' reasons!)

June monthly list; same pictures on the reverse of a divider as the front

At the start are monthly goal sheets. These have things that I know are going to have to be done this month (e.g. car tax) and these are often written in a long time in advance. There are also things added in during the monthly review/planning session I have, when things get moved from the next actions sheets to the monthly list.
After these, I used to have sheets for each week (with the sheets for June tucked behind June’s monthly list, then July’s monthly list followed by July’s weekly lists etc). I used to transfer things from the monthly list and the general to-do list onto the weekly list. Currently I have a week of DPP sheets for planning the day tucked immediately behind the monthly list (marked with one of two Today markers). Behind these sit a whole year of week to view. These used to be the filofax lined week to view but recently I have changed to using the Philofaxy week-on-one-page-plus-tasks diary format:

Instead of putting things on a separate weekly list page, I now transfer them straight to the weekly list opposite the week on one page. In busier times, the four lines for the day’s appointments will be woefully inadequate, but at the moment, they are okay. I may get these next year (or work out how to make my own version).

Right at the back of the diary, I have a Forward Planning page where things get jotted down for next year (or beyond). Slightly randomly, after that I have my training schedule… no, I don’t know why either.

4. Lists

Lists section

Here are gathered lists of sites I want to look out for, lists of things I’m waiting on, what I’ve bought/sent for birthday presents, things I receive as presents (and if I have sent a thank you), an equivalent list for Christmas 2011 (so I don’t send the same present twice!), lists of things I have written to friends about (as I am an inveterate letter-writer, but don’t easily remember what I have said to whom or when I last wrote), some packing lists, books to look out for, things to get for house/garden…

5. Info

Info section

Does what it says in its title… ‘in case of emergency’ contact details, general bits of info, travel insurance telephone numbers and policy number, ditto for car, coded passwords, those info pages from the diary, tube map, map of GB, world map etc.
Right at the back of the information section are addresses and phone numbers. These used to be sorted behind A-Z dividers but they seemed bulky so I chopped up some Post-It index flags and wrote the letters on them.

Right at the back are three plastic things: a zip-lock bag that I have punched holes in and put coupons and vouchers in then a zipped pocket with coins in, then a card-holder with the other store cards, car insurance card, donor card etc. I will blog about making the zip-lock bag in a separate post.

Removed from the filofax because anonymising their surroundings was too tedious

Inside Back Cover:
I like the design of the back cover much less than I like the front cover. There are two full-height pockets again, one outward-facing and one inward-facing. Inside the outward-facing pocket, there is a zipped pocket, but the placement of the pen-holder makes it almost impossible to access this pocket with the pen in there. I had the same issue with the Aston and hence moved my money out to a zipped purse hack (which was originally made for the mini-Baroque! Maybe filofax need to think about making the pockets in their products better?).

Outward facing pocket with zipped pocket inside (right next to the pen-holder)

Inward facing pocket

I have stamps in the outward-facing pocket and nothing in the zipped pocket. The inward-facing full height pocket is also currently empty and my Zebra Sharbo pencil/biro combo in the VERY small pen-slot. I tried to get a slim Frixion in there but it’s too tight. The Zebra Sharbo is a tight fit! I don’t know if that’s just my Holborn or if all of them have such small pen-holders, but my Zebra Sharbo is a very narrow writing implement!

So, that’s the set-up. It feels a bit like a brick in comparison to the Aston, but I need the real-estate over the summer. My Baroques are clamouring to be used, since I’ve moved up into the personal size again, but they will have to wait their turn!


  1. I love the purse hack! I like using the zipped pockets but find pens, paper etc get in the way. This purse looks easily available at all times. Do you find after using it for a week or more now that it works?

  2. Your post is wonderful. I love your dividers. Especially the Notes section. Lovely. I agree with @Angel Jem, the pouches are a great idea, how are you getting on with them?

  3. This is making me want a Holborn, and as Steph said, lovely dividers. I've been liking them nice and simple myself lately. (:

  4. @Angel Jem; @Steph
    The zip-bags are still working really well after a week so I shall be sticking with them.
    Thanks for the feedback about the dividers. I'm still really pleased with them too!