Category Archives: Filofax

Always expect the unexpected – Filofax

Did you ever own a Filofax or other personal organiser?
Do you still own one?

Contrary (perhaps) to popular belief, it’s still going as an effective time management and even life management tool. A super-enthusiastic community worldwide is extremely active and knowledgeable.

You may also ask how I and this blog about Romans and thrillers are connected to Filofaxes. Well, this brand new A-Z guide, available for pre-order today, was written, compiled and sweated over by my husband, Steve Morton, and published through my imprint, Pulcheria Press.

Available now for pre-order:
Ebook: Kindle (Amazon worldwide)    Apple    Kobo    B&N Nook
Paperback: Amazon UK   Amazon US    Barnes & Noble
Book Depository   Waterstones
(Publication date 3 January 2022)

Who is Steve?
Although he bought his first Filofax organiser in 1986, Steve moved to an electronic organiser in the 1990s. A change of job in 2005 where he worked in a high security environment prompted his return to a Filofax.

He has used one daily ever since.

Now retired from being a radio and electronics engineer, Steve now devotes his time to the Philofaxy blog website and the planner community.

Quirky fact: he featured in the highly acclaimed The Dull Men of Great Britain book published in 2019 by Random House due to his Filofax dedication.

Since 2016 Steve co-hosts a podcast, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Plannerverse, devoted to making better use of planners.

So, what could this book do for you?

Filofax is the great survivor turned indispensable cult.

  • But how do you choose the size and the inserts from so many on offer?
  • How do you select the design to work best for you?
  • How does your Filofax fit into and enhance your life?

Whether you’re thinking of getting your first Filofax organiser, have just bought it or are a long-term user, this guide will help you get the best out of it, from the basics to the clever stuff.

  • Easy A-Z format
  • In-depth review of different designs (and their quirks!)
  • Secret features users might not suspect exist
  • Timeline of Filofax’s history through the last 100 years
  • Introduction to other leading manufacturers of organisers (Gillio, Van Der Speck)

Several years of pain, fun and experience are brought together in one book which will suit both new and established users.


Connect with Steve and the community
Philofaxy blog:

The Philofaxy public page: 
Steve’s Philofaxy page:




I’m very proud to be able to place my editing, formatting and publishing skills, experience and contacts behind this great reference book. I know Steve is my life partner and has been for over 35 years(!), but I think this guide is not only useful in a practical sense, but also an extremely accessible guide to take you through the world of personal organisers.

Here’s where you can pre-order it now:

Ebook: Kindle (Amazon stores worldwide)    Apple    Kobo    B&N Nook
Paperback: Amazon UK   Amazon US   Barnes &Noble  Book Depository


fILE OF fACTS: A Comprehensive A-Z Reference for Everything fILOFAX
Publication by Pulcheria Press 3 January 2022
Ebook: ISBN 9791097310332
Paperback: ISBN 9791097310325


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO, CARINA (novella), PERFIDITAS, SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA, NEXUS (novella), INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO,  and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. Double Identity, a contemporary conspiracy, starts a new series of thrillers. Double Pursuit, the sequel, is now out!

Download ‘Welcome to Alison Morton’s Thriller Worlds’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be among the first to know about news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Lefax Radio Log

I was given this item by a Filofax friend of mine. It combines my love of Filofax and the love of radio in to one!  It dates from 1928. The leather organiser is a little delicate now, but I’m in the process of preserving it to stop it getting any worse. The paper pages though are fine, I’m keeping those separate. See the post over on Philofaxy for the full story behind this remarkable find.














Radio Log 2-3

Radio Log 4-5

Radio Log 6-7

Radio Log 8-9

Radio Log 10-11

Radio Log 12-13

Radio Log 14-15
Radio Log 16-17

Radio Log 18-19

Radio Log 20-21

Radio Log 22-23

Radio Log 24-25

Radio Log 26-27

Radio Log 28-29

Radio Log 30-31


New Filofax Shoulder Bag

I had never considered buying a Filofax bag until recently.

I spotted a Filofax bag on offer in their sale. It was still quite expensive but I had a discount voucher that I could use so it brought the price down a more sensible price.

So this is the Filofax Architect Portrait Courier, it’s rather smart don’t you think?

It came in it’s own dust bag which I keep it in when I’m not using it.

It’s bigger than I thought it would be. It has two main pockets which are very generous in size. Turning the bag over there is another slip pocket which will take an iPad or similar full size tablet. There is a grab handle at the top, and also a strap for looping the bag over a wheeled suit case handle.

The woven shoulder strap is very generous in width and it is also quite long too but it has a metal buckle to adjust the length.

Now in terms of what will fit inside.  The smaller front pocket has a variety of slots for pens and cards but still has enough room for other small items too, including a personal size Filofax!

The leather flap has a zip pocket in it as well, plenty big enough for your smart phone or similar. The flap closes with a magnetic fastener in the middle.

The slim pocket on the back can take an iPad easily, it has a velcro tab at the top to hold it closed too.

The main pocket can take an A4 Filofax or an A4 size zipped conference folder easily. I’ve also tried it for size with my 10″ Netbook PC, and it slides in easily with space to spare. In the photo is an A5 Zip Holborn, that goes in sideways with plenty of room too. I think the biggest size of PC you could fit in would be a 11.6″ display one, such as a MacBook Air or a similar sized Chromebook.

A large ring size personal Filofax as shown here also fits inside the front pocket easily.

As you might be able to see on the detail of the front flap it is made of leather and textile lined inside. But the leather is a smooth finish and a pebbled finish in two distinctive panels.

Being a vertical format bag compared to the horizontal format of most messenger bags I find it retains it’s rigidity a lot better.

I’m very pleased with it, grab one for the man in your life for Christmas….


Filofax Blogging Tips

Most of the following tips also apply to blogging in general, but most Filofax bloggers come to blogging for the first time. I’ve learnt by trial and error and by reading other peoples blogs to get ideas and I have tried out some ideas of my own.


What you call your blog is very much a personal decision. However, I would suggest that you don’t make the name too long or too similar to other similar blogs. Looking down my list of blogs on my ‘watch’ list there are a lot of ‘Filo’ blogs already.


Keep the design of your blog simple, I see some horrible designs whilst I hunt around the inter-webs. Yes design and beauty are a very subjective thing, but don’t get carried away with the fonts I tend towards using a simple serif font for titles but a san-serif font for the text, that’s the bit your user will be reading most. Try to keep the number of fonts you use to no more than say three, any more and it just looks amateurish.


The sidebar on your blog is the place to put things to help the user find their way around your site and to help them to get back to your site. I try to put ‘subscribe/follow me’ type things towards the top of the side bar, with navigational things next and anything else towards the bottom. Don’t make it so long that it requires a 1500 word post before anyone ever scrolls that far down the page before they find your subscribe by email sign up box.


I prefer not to put important things in the footer of the site people often never see it.


When you are writing those first few posts you will be trying to do something new or different, don’t get carried away, short brief and to the point posts get the message across and often I find the ones I rush off in a few minutes flat get more comments and visits than the ones I spend days researching and run to 1000 words or more. Free For All Tuesdays are a case in point, I often struggle to think what to say to introduce these with… one recently nearly went out on line with only the word ‘Blah’ in it!  Yet these posts get dozens of comments and thousands of page views…

With a Filofax post the more photos you include the less you will have to write. So make those pictures nice and clear, well lit, preferably take them on a decent digital camera in natural light. May be on a table outside on your patio, or on your desk below a well sun lit window. Make sure the photos are in focus. Don’t be tempted to get close to the subject, stand back, and make sure you don’t shadow the picture. You can crop the photo afterwards to ‘zoom in’ on your Filofax. If photography isn’t your art then ask a friend who is to do some photos for you. This Philofaxy post might also give you a few more tips:

Check your writing for typos, grammar, spelling before you publish it. Again your style is important and the style you write in whilst it is subjective can be the thing that makes your blog appealing to others. I for instance always try to have a light-hearted approach to the topics, slipping in the odd bit of humour here and there. Mainly poking fun at myself, if you can make people smile it always helps.

Make sure your work is your own, please don’t go on a Copy and Paste extravaganza or pinch photos from other sites… you will be found out!

Frequency of posts

This is a difficult one to tackle, people often start with a great deal of enthusiasm and post a dozen posts one after another and then their work rate slows down. Try to do it the other way around, build up the frequency of posting. May be one every month, one every two weeks, one a week, two a week etc. But if you plateau at say one every two weeks, don’t panic continue at that rate it is fine. People will expect to see a post at that sort of frequency and will return or expect a post every couple of weeks. Doing a post every day is quite intensive… believe me!

Use the scheduling facility on your blog to be able to write ahead of publishing time, so if you get 5 different blog post ideas you can write them whilst they are fresh in your head and then meter them out one at a time at your normal blog post frequency.


Respond to comments on your blog it encourages people to return if they think you are taking notice of what they say.

Getting noticed

Make sure Google can find your site, which means you can’t keep it private. In Blogger you will find the privacy setting in Settings, Basic, Visibility to Search Engines.  In WordPress, Settings, Privacy, and you want the radio button next to Allow search engines to index this site. ‘ticked’

If you are a Filofax Blogger then you need to contact Philofaxy and get them to include your posts on their ‘watch list’, this will ensure you suddenly have a few hundred people trampling around your site, poking around it and hopefully reading and coming back to your site…

Philofaxy likes to discover new Filofax blogs and stealthily add you to their ‘web finds’ posts without you knowing about it and it is only when you look at your stats and you suddenly see this massive spike and you think WTF did that….

Get your blog on Twitter even if you aren’t on there yourself. Use a site like Twitter Feed to automate the posting of ‘Tweets’ that link back to your new blog posts from the RSS feed.  Twitter Feed can also post to your Facebook time line as well.


When you want to build an audience, there’s nothing worse than ‘talking’ to yourself. If you want to know how big your audience is, you need something to measure how many people visit your site and also how many return to your site at a later date and whilst they are on your site find out what they are reading.

Blogger (blogspot) includes some simple stats on their blogs, but you can do better. Likewise so does WordPress. But if you want to get serious about measuring the impact any change to your blog has or to see what sort of rate your audience is growing at, they get yourself a Google Analytics Account

Once you have set up the account with your blog URL etc. It’s a simple case in the case of Blogspot blogs of adding the Analytics ID: UA-13088822-1 to the Google Analytics setting in ‘Settings’ ‘Other’ in the new layout on Blogspot.   In WordPress get the Google Analytics Plug-in and authorise the plug-in to use your analytics account.

Then you have to be patient and wait whilst the stats start to build up and you can then have a benchmark to work from.

Guest posts

If you don’t want to venture in to having your own blog then why not offer to post as a Guest Blogger on one of the established Filofax blogs, there are plenty to choose from these days.

If you are running your own blog, also invite existing bloggers to guest post on your blog in return for a guest post on their blog, this will also work as a link exchange for both of you and should bring you more visitors.


If you are reviewing items or recommending items on your blog then you should give a disclosure some where in the post and may be on the site as well, to indicate that you have been sent the item by the company to review and you haven’t spent your own money to purchase the item. This I believe is law in the USA and possibly other countries.  If you bought it yourself then again it is advisable to include this fact. It just keeps things neat and tidy. Nickie over at Typecast has a ‘Disclosure’ page that is worth reading

Linking back

Once your blog gets established it’s worth encouraging people to link back to you. Philofaxy have a ‘Grab the code’ box at the foot of the side bar, this was quite easy to design, and it allows people to put some HTML code in to a widget in their own side bar to say ‘We like Philofaxy’ people clicking on the badge then come through to the blog. Interestingly sites that have this badge on them feed in readers that read more pages than people that arrive at the site either from Google or as a direct link.


This is just a start, but hopefully a good start to your blogging experience. The essential thing is though to enjoy your new challenge, listen to what people say and learn from experience.


I have been blogging around the world!

As well as my normal activities on Philofaxy, I’ve been taking part in the Philofaxy All Stars Tour, which is about a team of blogging doing guest posts on a variety of blogs, connected to readers of Philofaxy. The tour is going very well. Here are some of my contributions:


Written by hand – I’ve been tagged

Robin over at ‘So very Robin‘ tagged my friend Laurie at Plannerisms, who in turn tagged loads of us… so here’s my entry in this chain.

I’ve always had problems with my handwriting and until recently I didn’t know why. But I think it’s because I don’t have stereophonic vision(I’m more or less blind in my right eye), so my ability to being able to put the point of my pen back on the page between letters/words is always a bit hit and miss.

I hate filling in forms especially those ones where you have to print in to boxes. My signature is also hardly the same twice, although it’s roughly the same each time.

Like Laurie I will spare your eyesight by supplying you the questions and answers! The following page was written Uniball Eye fine tipped pen on a sheet of fan fold tractor feed Filofax paper, yes it’s old. But without a tractor feed printer I still use the paper! Click on the picture to see it in more detail!


1. Your name/blogger name : Steve Morton aka Temps Perdu
2. Your blog name/URL: Philofaxy as well as this blog and a few others!
3. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
4. Favorite quote? ; The radio spectrum is already packed and unfortunately they’ve stopped making any more of it.
5. Favorite song? Peg – Steely Dan
6. Favorite band/singers? – Steely Dan amongst many others.
7. Anything else you want to say? My handwriting has got worse, but I now know why, I think…. see above!

Now it’s your turn!  Post your version of this on your blog, and please post a link to it here in the comments.

Man Bag..

OK it’s a very French thing I realise, but I also don’t like carrying ‘stuff’ in my pockets, fine in winter when you are wearing a jacket, but in summer I find my shorts are weighed down with ‘stuff’

Well what sort of ‘stuff’ are we talking about….

Car keys, house keys, magnifier (my close in eyesight is terrible these days), mobile phone, Filofax – which is also my wallet, a pen and a torch (for night time!)

I also carry a small compact camera a lot of the time too.

So I found I already had a bag that I wasn’t using, it was used for my portable CD player…. infact this one…

I now use an iPod… ah add that to the list of ‘stuff’, the above fitted in to the bag like this:

It has a nice soft lining for both compartments and it’s quite discreet and compact. So I gathered all my ‘stuff’ together and tried it in the bag:

Wonderful, except the Filofax is a little too tall… ah but I have a Pocket Filofax, a quick try and that converted ok to my Wallet/Filofax, gather my ‘stuff’ together again:

And this looked more promising…. and in the bag it all fits including the compact camera:

Sorted…. it’s also fairly shower proof as I discovered the other day in Niort!!

Filofax Focus Group

Are any of you a member of the Filofax Focus Group? See: although the same page appears on the US site.

Get the Filofax products YOU want – Join our Focus Group The views and opinions of our customers are extremely important and the Filofax Focus Group allows you to directly influence future products/advertising. You will be asked to complete occasional questionnaires via the web which are simple to complete and you can unsubscribe at any time. In return for your time we offer discounts on website purchases and the chance to win £100 worth of vouchers! To join the Filofax Focus Group, please complete the information requested below and click the Submit button.

I’ve tried to sign-up but on submitting, the page is not found. I’ve reported this and I got a response from Filofax HQ in UK (bows his head in honour!) to say thank you for making them aware of the fault and it is being looked in to.

I will go back to the lady who emailed me to let her know it’s not fixed yet. I’m sure there will be a few people that would appreciate contributing ideas to ‘the maker’!!

Filofax – My Own Story

In a previous post last year, I briefly outlined the history of Filofax. As I said then I started using a Filofax back in about 1986. My old Winchester binder is still in use, but not everyday use. It sits between a pair of Finsbury’s, an A5 and Pocket binders.

The Winchester binder was very popular back then, I forget how much it cost in 1986. I was not aware of the Filofax until I read an article in the Sunday Times about how popular they had become!! What I liked and still like is the flexibility offered by the loose leaf binder. The ability to just fit a new diary, whilst retaining your contacts in another section.

Filofax back then offered a large variety of pages that you could fit in to your binder. Some of these pages and accessories dated back to the very early days of Filofax. For instance in my personal size Winchester I have a page for holding postage stamps.

I rediscovered some of my old Filofax pages still in their packets in an old briefcase, but sadly they are no longer sold, such as the Photo Exposure Record ref 404. I’ve recreated this sheet and others in A4/5 format. Whilst I don’t use film much these days. I like to record the details of each shot.

In the days of Inter-City, they used to supply their timetable twice a year in Filofax format, as a bonus with the winter timetable they also sent you a free diary insert for your Filofax as well. I still have the index dividers from Inter City.

After a few years I went over to using electronic PDA’s starting with a Casio Digital Dairy, then a Psion 5MX finally a HP iPaq 5550. After I changed job, I wasn’t able to use an electronic PDA at work. So I dug out my Filofax in 2005 and rediscovered the joy of using a Filofax.

I bought the A5 Finsbury because of the ease of being able to create your pages on the PC and printing out contact and diary pages in MS Outlook.

I use the A5 binder as my desk diary and journal, it’s not the best solution for most people if you want to carry something around with you a lot. So to overcome this I added the Finsbury Pocket to the collection. I now add my appointments to this one. I also use it for collecting notes and to-do lists. As yet I’ve not added my contact lists to this one. Although I need to do this sometime. This size Filofax is a lot easier to carry around with you on a daily basis.

Since rediscovering Filofax I’ve been surprised at the number of on line resources there are for people using Filofax. I’m a regular contributor to the Philofaxy blog I had time to read through all the previous posts in the past week, which in some ways inspired me to write this post.

There is also a Filofax Yahoo Group that I look after. It’s a growing group of people and although not a hugely active group, but lots of good ideas are exchanged.

I’ve also been contributing to D*i*Y Planner has a large number of page templates and also a forum. It’s not exclusive to Filofax, but it’s a great site for sharing ideas.

Here is a list of the pages I’ve created on the DiY Planner website:

Here is a sample page in my A5 Finsbury:

And finally I thought I would share with you this picture, true porn for Filofax lovers!


I’ve been a user of Filofax since the mid 1980’s, I wasn’t a yuppie!! but that era made them more popular than ever. At the time I liked the flexibility (and still do) of the format.

The history of Filofax started in 1921 when the company Norman & Hill introduced for the first time the simple but extremely effective concept of mobile pages maintained together into a leather sorter of great quality
During the Second World War, the buildings of the company were destroyed by the bombs during the “Blitz” Filofax would not have survived without the perspicacity of a remarkable woman: Scurr Grace
Grace had entered to Norman & Hill as a temporary secretary and had created his own file of information (file of facts)
Each evening, it brought back to it this sorter which contained all the co-ordinates of the suppliers and the customers. With this information, its competences and its determination, it contributed to the rebirth of the company which exists today under the name of Filofax, the name which it chose then imposed in the whole world
Today, Filofax helps people in more than 40 countries organizing their professional and personal life

I started off with a classic personal size Filofax I still have that original binder, sure it looks old and well used, but the leather is nice and supple now and I use this binder for my French language notes.

Like a lot of people I moved over to electronic organisers of various kinds, but following a change of job in 2005 I was forced in to giving up my HP iPaq and I went back to my Filofax. But to make life a bit easier I went up in size to an A5 filofax, printing from Outlook on to A4 paper in booklet mode gives me an easy to produce calendar and contacts pages.

However, recently I’ve also bought a Pocket size Filofax which is a more convenient size to carry around in a jacket pocket.