My new Filofax – Part 2!

So the Metropol went back to the Filofax factory for a bit of a re-fit. Having had a feel of it, I decided I wasn’t much of a fan of the PU cover. Clearly I went the wrong way in having gone from a gorgeous leather Chameleon down to the most basic of binders, but it just felt a bit cheap. I ummed and aaahed over splashing out on a Finsbury, and then had some crazy credit-card bending thoughts of an Osterley, but in the end the bank account won and I ordered another non-leather binder. 

Slimline also seemed a no-go for me – it was just a downsize too far! This time, it was all about the compact. The tab closure makes me feel far more comfortable about throwing it in my handbag as well! 

So, what did I get? 

 

An aqua Saffiano! I’d been a bit dismissive of these when they first came out, but after much trawling through websites I found it was growing on me. The textured cover – it’s kind of rough cross-hatching – gives it a bit of character and a nice feel, and the aqua colour isn’t quite as bright as it could be. 

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Next to my Chameleon, there’s not much in the depth overall, even though the ring size difference is pretty big – 15mm vs 23mm! There’s some space saved on the width as with the slimline, and the pen sits nicely outside the pages within the closure tab. There’s a smidgen less height too. I think the main difference is in how much you can stuff it – the tab on the personal is much longer than the compact one. 

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I was too excited to move in to take pictures of it empty, but there’s a flap pocket on the left, with two card holder slots, and a vertical pocket on the right. It comes with 1-6 coloured dividers, a 2014 Wo2P diary, and a whole variety of to-do/contacts/lined/squared/plain paper. 

 

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The one negative is that it’s still not perfect. The rings are neatly aligned with no gaps, but the buttons to open them are rattly. But I don’t have time (or immediate funds) for a third filofax delivery in the space of a week, so rattly ring tabs it is. 

Update: This has been in my drafts box for yonks. The ring tabs still rattle, but it’s not an issue – the rings are perfect *touch wood* and it’s being well used! I’ll post soon to show how I’m using it in 2014…

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A new Filofax… maybe.

As much as I love my personal Chameleon, I decided it was time for a change. It’s a bit chunky and I don’t really need everything I’m carting around in it, so I figured downsizing was the way to go. I ordered a slimline Metropol in the Filofax autumn sale, and was so excited for it to arrive! 

 

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Eee! 

 

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Oh. I’m fairly sure PU/ pleather isn’t supposed to look like that. There’s no actual indentation in it, just a weird scratch-like mark. Oh well… Function first, right? 

 

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Maybe not. That was after opening and closing the rings once. And with only 11mm rings, that’s a huge percentage of ring space that’s actually a gap. 

Let’s look on the bright side though. I got a slimline to test out…. 

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It’s definitely so much slimmer than the personal. And narrower too – I never realised how much space the rings actually take up in a personal, and the curve of them means there tends to be a big space between the edge of the page and the edge of the binder. No such wasting of space in the slimline! 

Those rings are teeny! That’s the 2014 WO1P and 2013 WO2P inserts you can see there – they came with the organiser. I was pretty keen to try out WO1P, but in the five language variety that seems standard with all Filo organisers there was literally a single line available for me to write on per day. 

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Inside, there’s four vertical card slots, and a neat filofax monogrammed print. 

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The back cover is a single vertical pocket – I was looking forward to slotting a thin notebook (probably a Muji passport book!!) in there. 

I’m sure you can guess that with those ring issues and the cover damage I was never going to keep it. Thank goodness for free returns! And the lovely ladies at Filofax customer services kept an eye out for my replacement order and refunded me the cost of express delivery so that I could have a replacement in my hands just one working day later – not sure this is standard practice, but I’m moving to a place where I can’t get post in a week’s time, so it was pretty urgent! 

I’ll show you what I got in the Metropol’s place in another post…. 

My fave handbag – Aldo Ullum

I seem to be getting quite a few hits from people google-searching for this bag, so thought I’d do a post about it! I bought my Ullum a month back as a gift to myself for finals, and it’s every bit as awesome as I’d hoped. Aldo (not Aldi, as some of my friends keep getting it confused for!) do great bags and this is the second one of theirs that I’ve bought – I also have their Giannitti striped satchel.

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The colour really doesn’t show up well in this photo, but it’s a lovely apple green, bright without being overly garish. It’s definitely the right shade for summer but I’ll be taking it right into autumn to brighten up my outfits.

 At the back you’ll see two poppers where the ‘belt’ of it ends – these are real poppers, so if you need the top of your bag to widen to fit something big in, you can undo these to expand it.

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The padlock at the front sadly isn’t real, but on the up side it’s very lightweight compare to how it looks! Who actually wants a real padlock on their handbag anyway? I tend to think zips are quite enough faff without adding keys and whatnot… It’s a nice feature and I love that there’s a little coloured band on it that matches the rest of the bag.

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Inside… Three compartments. That middle one is massive – throw in a change of clothes, your make up bag, lunch, an umbrella… it just seems to absorb stuff, you can pile things in and from the outside it could still look almost empty. It’s because the base is almost 20cm wide. This means it’s perfect for weekends away, as it’s just under Easyjet’s new minimalist cabin baggage limit of 50x40x20cm, being about 40x40x20cm. Aside from travelling, these dimensions mean it can take textbooks or files with ease. There’s no zip on this main bit, but there’s a magnetic popper on the inside to hold it closed.

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The front and back compartments are full depth and zip shut. I usually put my filofax in one of them to keep it separate from the rest of my things, and any papers I’m carrying in the other, as it keeps them flat. Papers in the middle compartment tend to slip down across that wide base and get a bit dog-eared.

This super storage bag has even more hiding places though, as in the main compartment there’s a little zipped pocket on the back ‘wall’, and facing that is a pair of pockets for phone/keys/pens. There really is no excuse not to be organised with this bag!

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Any downsides? Well, a cream interior was never going to last long with me, so it’s gained a few pen marks already and I have no doubt it’ll be covered in ink by the time I’m done with it. It can get pretty heavy – if you carry it in the crook of your arm you’ll definitely feel it, but just consider it a cheat workout for your arms! Last but not least – it’s not leather. I’ve got one corner that’s scuffed already (I think it brushed against a wall whilst I was walking) and with the base not having any ‘feet’ like many bags of this style do, I’m concerned that the bottom corners are only going to get increasingly scruffy.

Overall I absolutely adore this bag though. It’s going to take me from hospital placement straight to the airport and not look out of place in a bar either.

If green isn’t your thing, the Ullum is also available in a very stylish black, taupe, and ‘snowy’, which is white. I’ve also seen a red one, but that doesn’t seem to be on the Aldo website. Black, taupe and green are all £50, but the snowy one is currently in the sale for only £29.99!

What’s your favourite handbag?

A mini stationery haul!

I checked out the Paperchase sale recently and came away with a few little things that I just couldn’t resist!

ImageI’ve been after some index tabs for a while, to organise my Filofax a little better without adding more side tabs, and these little bus tabs were just too cute to resist. They’re stickers that fold in half to sit on each side of a page, and mine show the front and back of different coloured buses! They’re not quite firm enough to be able to flip to a section easily, but they’re great as page markers – I’ve got them marking out the end of my summer holidays, and the page where my blog planning starts, as that’s within a bigger ‘Projects’ tab. Blog planning was also why I needed more ‘to-do’ pages!

ImageI’m using a to-do page to plan out my blog posts, with little spaces to show when it’s written, the photos are done, it’s scheduled to post and on what date, with the tick box at the end to show that it’s gone online. I got the idea off of Practically Pretty, but mine’s a bit less neat and colourful! The ‘To-Do’ section in my Filo houses the rest of my to-do pages, with one per month to list all the tasks I have to complete that month – projects, booking travel for future months, renewing insurance – as well as reminders of things I’ve ordered to tick off when they arrive. Tasks that are date-specific or likely to be done really soon, like sending emails or taking ebay items to the Post Office, just go in my diary on the relevant day to save space.

I also picked up some cards from Paperchase. I tend to buy all my cards from there anyway as I love the designs, so this was just an opportunity to stock up a little bit for upcoming birthdays. As much as I’m trying not to buy things unless I need them, having a supply of discounted cards at home is definitely a good cost saving measure and means I’ll never miss a friend’s birthday from not having time to go out and buy a card.

The one thing I deliberated over loads in the shop was this gorgeous jewellery holder!ImageIt’s so cute! I love that it has lots of space for hanging necklaces and bracelets but also the tray at the base for earrings. It’s painted metal, so fairly sturdy but lightweight. And did I mention that it’s cute? The red hearts are so lovely!

I really did umm and ahh over it but it stayed in the shop… Couldn’t convince myself that red was the right colour accessory for my new bedroom. Still on the lookout for a nice jewellery holder then!

Did anyone else get anything nice in the Paperchase sale?

What’s In My Handbag

I love these posts on other blogs, so I hardly needed any motivation to do one of my own, and then I saw the ‘Win a Mulberry’ competition over at MoneySupermarket.com. Given that one of my new half-year resolutions is to enter more competitions, I jumped at the chance.

So, what’s the handbag? It’s an Aldo Ullum, which I lusted over for precisely as long as it took my bank to change my address details so I could have it posted straight to my uni flat. I’ve been dreaming of a green handbag for years, and I have my sights set on Prada as my first ‘proper’ handbag, so the combo of a green Prada lookalike was too much for my credit card to resist.

My Aldo Ullum! It was love at first sight :)

My Aldo Ullum! It was love at first sight 🙂

And inside…

Inside my handbag.... I'm a sucker for compartmented bags!

Inside my handbag…. I’m a sucker for compartmented bags!

It’s summer, so a slightly different set of contents to what I’d usually carry!

Handbag contents

Handbag contents

The sunglasses are Primark, I’m awful for leaving them everywhere so I daren’t buy pricier ones, not to mention that I love the bright plastic look – these pink ones are my favourites.

Sunnies!

Sunnies!

I’m trying really hard to take water with me everywhere to resist buying diet coke cans, so my Aldo bag is great as it’s big enough to hold an old Evian bottle easily. The pink bag is my pencil case, with just a few liquid ink pens inside that I don’t want staining that lovely cream interior!

Beauty products wise, I’m pretty minimalist in what I take out with me. Hand cream (check out my post next week here on how many options I went through before settling for this as my takeout cream!), a lipsalve in my favourite strawberry flavour, beauty flash balm, and my special addition for summer – Boots Vitamin E Moisturiser with SPF. I think it’s designed as a face cream but it’s great as a lightweight alternative to suncream for anywhere.

The beauty products I carry

The beauty products I carry

My Filofax (a personal chameleon) is always with me, and I love that my bag has separate pockets so there’s no risk of my Filo getting damaged by my keys or covered in my lunch. I’m a sucker for texture and anything yellow, so when I spotted this purse in Urban Outfitters I had to have it.

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Urban Outfitters purse and Filofax Chameleon

My iPhone and I are never separated (he sleeps under my pillow at night), so it’s usually in my pocket rather than in my bag, but I guess it still counts! I’m making an effort to remember to take my proper camera out with me too, so I get better pics than just Instagramed shots, but I often forget. It’s a Nikon Coolpix that I picked up at the airport last year, with a Cath Kidston case. I carry my iPod (an old 2nd gen Nano) as well as a phone, because I know the battery on my phone is next to abysmal so I don’t risk it for music.

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I’m always amazed by the quoted value of handbag contents but assume I don’t carry that much… I was really surprised to add this all up! I used what it would cost me to replace rather than what I paid for each item, cos my Filofax was a gift, the handbag was on a discount voucher, my Phone is on contract, etc.

Handbag £50
Purse £15 (ignore the contents, they’re negligible!)
Filofax £65
iPhone £500
iPhone case (InCase) £25
Camera £100
Camera case £6
iPod £100
Beauty stuff £35
Pencil case inc contents £8
Sunglasses £2

Total £906

I should probably extend my insurance to cover handbag contents now I know that…

Planning nirvana, maybe?

Since my last post, I’ve been looking at other peoples’ ways of organising their task lists, from using daily and weekly planners side by side, monthly planners, uncalendars… I was getting a bit overwhelmed by how many ways there are to plan your life!

As an aside, in my search I came across loads of people using Moleskines, and then stumbled on the Evernote/Moleskine crossover – I’m intrigued. And for only £14 with free delivery, I might even give this a try in the new academic year. Watch this space!

Back to this planning business. I was going through old Plannerisms posts and came across this post which referenced ‘Getting Sh*t Done’. Now that sounds like my kind of strategy, so I found the original idea on Bill Westerman’s site. It’s really simple, and it looks like it could work really well!

So here’s the plan. I have my Master List, which is just my original To-Do list, now removed from my diary pages and behind its own Filofax tab.

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Master list

Then my daily list is in a little Muji notebook that’s the size of a passport. As per the GSD guidelines, this is a completely randomly ordered list of stuff I need to do today, and can feasibly do. No more million-item lists. Just specific tasks that are clear how I can achieve them – not just “build my CAL package”, but “write a topic list for my CAL package”, then once that’s complete I can put the next step to reaching the overall goal onto tomorrow’s list. The idea is that you put a dot in the box to prioritise a task, and once you’ve done it, tick it off and put dots in the next few tasks to do.

Tomorrow, anything I didn’t get done will have a diagonal slash through it and get moved onto the new daily list, so there’s only ever one list to deal with (with reference to the master list to see if anything from there can be achieved that day).

The number in the right corner is how many days it is til I see my boyfriend; sad, I know, but I like seeing the numbers go down as the end of term gets closer!

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The notebook tucks into the front pocket of my Filofax perfectly! This means I can carry it around with me to refer to or add things.

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My Muji passport book tucked into the secretarial flap of my Filo

It’s only a 90-page notebook, but given that I only really need to be able to see today and yesterday at any one time, I don’t need an entire year’s capacity with me. Any bigger and it would push against the rings or make my binder really bulky, so it’s perfect! I think I might go for the navy version next time though, the dark red almost blends with the red of my Filofax but it’s just a shade or two darker. Navy would be a nice contrast.

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Muji book inside my Filo, not adding any width

The best bit about it being tucked into the front pocket is that it falls open when I open the Filofax, so I can tuck all the previous pages into the pocket and get it to always open on today for easy reference. And no, my Filofax doesn’t lay flat! It has one ever-s0-slightly dodgy ring (like nanometres out of alignment) so I’m being really careful not to overstretch it too sign and disrupt the rings, so the flattening process is gonna take a while.

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First thing I see on opening my planner.

I’m really looking forward to seeing whether this new system works! Three weeks before finals is probably not the time to be getting distracted by forgetting to do stuff… Having everything written down is part of my finals masterplan anyway, to give my brain a break from remembering day-to-day stuff so it has space for all the medicine instead!