Friday, 9 May 2014

Getting started with Filofax - Filofax Friday - Week 18

I often get comments and questions from people who are looking at getting into the Filofax World or who have already purchased and now want to get rocking and rolling with it but not entirely sure how to do so. I am also on several social media groups (although I am having a little Facebook holiday at the moment) and I see lots of people asking questions around getting started.

Now I am no guru, no organising expert. I am just a small village lass who uses her Filofaxes on a several times a day basis so I feel like I can impart my experiences and what I know on to others. So this is what I know..

 I know it can be somewhat overwhelming at first. You have your planner (maybe) and you decide to check out instagram, YouTube or Facebook groups and you suddenly see all these amazingly inspiring photos of people who have got multiple planners, bulging with organisational lovelies and you think well mine doesn't look like that, I must be doing something wrong. I want to stop you right there! Yes it is overwhelming, I find it overwhelming too sometimes but I just have to take it as inspiration or 'eye candy' and just think that I am going to do it my way.

Before actually getting started, I think it is quite useful to ask yourself why you want to use a planner and how and for what. This will then dictate or help shape how you actually use it and will give you a much better idea for everything else that follows.

If you don't already have a planner, you now need to look at getting one. Again the above questions help with this. If you are going to need or want to take your planner out and about with you then a smaller one may be required. If you are like me and rarely have a need to take your planner out, then an A5 works great as a home or family planner. Although at the moment I just have the Filofax brand, there are other planners out there that you may want to consider like: Kate Spade, Kikki K, Franklin Covey, Paperchase own brand etc. Now there is no better excuse for putting the kettle on, making a cup of tea and sitting down for some internet window shopping (just don't get too overwhelmed by it!). Oh and I wouldn't say you need to spend loads (unless you want to) for your first planner so don't worry about that. Just get something that suits your purpose and budget and that you like the look of.

You may want to start looking at inserts to go in your planner. If you have bought your planner new then it should already come with diary pages and probably some other pages like to do sheets or lined paper. I would suggest that if you have never used a planner before that you just start using what you have just to get you used to using a planner initially. Once you have decided that you like it and know a bit more about what you want to plan and organise, then is the time to start looking. Where do you go? Well there are loads out there to suit most tastes and needs. Some you can buy ready printed and others you can buy as digital inserts and print yourself at home. Some are fairly plain, some like mine have some decoration on them and others are very colourful or patterned. You go with what best suits you. Have a look around. If you wanted to purchase inserts, of course there are the ones that I sell in my Etsy shop and of course just a general search on Etsy for Filofax inserts or Filofax printables will give you a lovely lot to choose from. Digital ones are inexpensive so if you don't like one you can always get a different set or just mix and match as and when you fancy. Philofaxy have some free ones and a Pinterest search will often serve you well too. I have a pinterest inspiration board just for Filofaxes just here and there are some free inserts on there too, hot the follow button and you can see as and when I add items.

You will see a lot of people choose to decorate their planners and their pages. This may or may not be for you. I did a Filofax Friday about this in week 4 this year and I plan to cover this again sometime in the future. I decorate some weeks and not the others, it depends on how busy I am and what is going on. Some people, me included, find a lot of joy in decorating although it can equally be quite stressing for me and I explain that in week 4! I do it occassionally. Again this is something that you will find your feet with as time progresses and not something you need to rush into straight away, if in fact you choose to do so at all! Decoration is a matter of personal choice and preference.

You may feel that you need or want to supplement your planning with other organisational add ons such as sticky notes, to do lists, page markers and tabs etc. All of these can be very useful but not all of them may suit. I am not a massive colour coded so don't like to use colour dots etc but other people find these invaluable. Agian my advice to you hear would be to try it and see how it goes, if you don't like it move on and try something that does work for you. You don't have to have these things if they are not going to work for you in any way!

If you are wondering where you can get such items from, please take a look at the giveaway sponsors below, they all have lovely shops where organisational add ons and decorative items can be purchased.

I hope that has helped to maybe get you on your organisational journey. More is in the video...


In order to help get two people started on their Filofax journey, I have collaborated together with some lovely ladies who run their own Etsy stores (see below). We thought we would help get two people started on their Filofax journey by providing them with some goodies that we love / sell. The giveaway is also open to seasoned 'faxers too as we didn't want to leave you out with a chance of winning! There will be two winners, a first prize and a second prize. To enter please use the giveaway widget at the end of this blog post.

What could you win?

1st Prize: Personal size Filofax in ultra violet, set of coloured pens, set of highlighters, single hole punch, set of Mrs Brimbles printable inserts (not shown), to do list pad, set of two washi tapes & set of sticky notes all from Mrs Brimbles. Set of dividers, matching dashboard, matching page marker and matching washi on the go cards from Filomania. Set of Paris sticky notes and washi samples from Chaotic Stationery and a beautiful planner charm and a lovely T-shirt (not shown) from Filolove.

2nd Prize: Personal size compact Filofax - purple saffiano & a set of printable inserts (not shown) from Mrs Brimbles, Two dashboards from Cazzadashboards. Set of washi samples and sticky notes from Chaotic Stationery and a 10% discount from Filolove.

Giveaway Sponsors

Please take a few moments to learn more about the sponsors who have collaborated with me to make this giveaway possible for you. I have really enjoyed reading their stories on how their businesses have grown and involved all due to their love of planning and Filofaxes. Very inspiring indeed for any ladies who are thinking of starting their own businesses whatever they may be. Please do go and check out all of the wonderful items available from their etsy shops!You will find a link to their shops under their bio below.

My name is Claire Richardson, and I am the owner of an Etsy store called Filomania. I also run a joint Instagram account called Its_madewith_love.

I started Etsy around December time in 2013. I have been a lover of Filofax since I can remember as I have always loved keeping a diary. My first official Filofax was a pocket Breast Cancer one several years ago, and then I found the love for Maldens. 

Chaotic Stationery started as an attempt to share my love for unique and cute washi tapes with people who had trouble finding them in their area. Then, thanks to everyone's amazing support, it evolved into an Etsy shop. It reflects my love for floral patterns and polka dots and it's a collection of my most beloved items to use in my Filofax and crafts.  

There's a coupon code for 10% off of every order of $20 and above. It's CHAOTIC1020 and it has no expiration date.  

Lover of all things sparkly...

I've been a planner lover for years. In fact, one of my most treasured items is a beautiful leather planner my Dad gave me during college. I've always loved crafting and often did it to help me relieve stress.  Last year, when my ulcer was really giving me a lot of trouble due to stress, my doctor suggested I take up a hobby. I've always enjoyed crafting and decided to make a planner charm for my first Filofax. I posted it on a Facebook page and orders  started coming in. Someone suggested I open up an etsy shop. And I've enjoyed making planner charms ever since. I've shipped charms all over the world and it's such a great feeling to be a small part of someone's planner.

My husband and I own a printing company that we run together. My love of paper and his paper sources ensures that I always have an unlimited supply of pretty paper. I have two doggies, Peetie and Sophie. I live in beautiful Pasadena, CA.

I've made so many great friends on Facebook and Instagram through my love of planners. It's a wonderful community and I learn so much from all the wonderful people I've met.  Please visit my shop and let me create something wonderful for your planner.

Discount Code for etsy  mrsbrimbles for 20% discount for the month of May 2014

Welcome to Cazzadashboards. I selll handstamped dashboards for personal planners which you can colour in yourself. I supply them on 2 type of cardstock - 1 is suitable for colouring with watercolours & pencils and the other is suitable for using with alcohol markers such as Promarkers, Copics, Spectrum Noir or Graph'it pens. They are not laminated but the holes are there to make it easier for you to see where to punch the holes when / if you laminate yourself. You will get 2 in a pack. If you have a specific subject in mind, let me know.

I have had a filofax since 2002 when I left University and over time my planning and the way I used it evolved somewhat. I started designing my own inserts for two reasons, one because I couldn't find stickers readily where I live to decorate with so I thought I would make my own inserts with my little doodles on them (that and when I do get stickers I sometimes feel reluctant to use them - I like to hoard!). Secondly I made my own inserts that were custom for the things that I wanted to use them for, to suit my needs. I started my Etsy shop back in January 2013 when a friend gave me a little nudge! I had made my own inserts and it didn't even occur to me that someone else might like them too until a friend told me to stop being so scared and to just get on with it. 

My Etsy shop has now evolved over time with more inserts being added all the time with little doodles on them. I have my ideas in my head than I actually get time for sometimes. Sometimes it is so hard to come accross cute organisational stationery, especially where I live in the UK so I sourced some lovely items such as sticky notes, washi tapes, to do list pasts etc to sell in my Etsy shop. I also, again thanks to a nudge from a friend, sell my reproduction prints of my art work as dashboards. 

I have really enjoyed ther planner journey and community and the friends I have made along the way. My blog and YouTube has also evolved too to co-inside with the planner World. I mainly started just with my journals and art and now think of it as more of a lifestyle blog with other items I enjoy too such as tea and books. Well you know as you are reading this on my blog lol! Thank you to everyone who has helped and who continues to help me on my journey.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway...To enter please use the widget below. After you have added your email address and name make sure you click 'BEGIN' you will then be asked to follow the sponsors Etsy shops in order to enter. It is literally just a case of following the shops, that is all! The 'begin' is just under the 'remember me' and the 'open to' section underneath the email box (it isn't that obvious!) 


Next Week

Next week I will be continuing the theme of getting started in Filofaxing with interviews from the lovely ladies mentioned above. They will be telling us how they got started in Filofaxing and will be sharing their tips and lessons they have learned along the way so I hope you will come back and join us again next week. Don't forget to enter the giveaway and also why not subscribe to the blog over on the right hand side so you won't miss next week and any future giveaways!

See you soon, have a great weekend xx


  1. I would love the chance to win one of your fabbie prizes...i don't have a filofax at the moment but do need one in life to get me and my family organised plus it would help me with the massive changes i have to make in my life due to for appointments, Blood sugar readings also for keeping track of my diet!! Thank you for doing such a great giveaway and i will keep fingers and toes all crossed Lol
    hugs and xxx

  2. Thanks for a great video and giveaway

  3. Awesome video and blog post. Someone who is just starting out is sure to love either of these prize packages. Since I am not a novice to the planning world I decided not to enter the giveaway in order to give someone else who is starting out a better chance. As always I love your videos and blog and look forward to the next one. Thank you for always keeping it real!
    Take Care From Across the Pond,

  4. These are wonderful give away s, thank you for this opportunity. Good luck everyone :)

  5. Thanks for such a great give away. Such generous ladies :)

  6. HI, I'm so excited to enter this giveaway. I'm hoping I did it right it says "Entries Earned +5" but it doesn't say it It went through. Either way it's a generous offer. Crossing fingers for luck to win, could use some good luck since I've been bedridden from surgery since March. Thanks for Sharing. Hugs, Poetic Dreams~

  7. Thanks for the filofax tips, and the chance to win the giveaway! :)

    I found your blog today, and I think it is so creative! I would love if you could do a guest post on my blog. Please email me at and let me know if you're interested!


  8. What a wonderful giveaway Mrs B! Good luck to everyone :)

  9. This is a really generous giveaway - thanks for running it! And thanks for showing us some more great sellers!
    Love your channel!

  10. Thank you for organizing this Anna. Unbelievable giveaway.

  11. Thanks for doing this giveaway! It is nice to learn about other etsy sites. I'm looking forward to your next set of videos with them.

  12. This is an amazing giveaway and it's a great way to promote new shops.

  13. Thank you for the giveaway! I saw this on Instagram and I thought it would be a opportunity for me to get started in the planner world. I am slowly collecting planner stuff and want to use a filofax for next schoolyear

  14. I am a new born in this amazing filo community. I would love to finlly find an organiser to keep EVERYTHING in because I am forever having various note books! I've checked the filofax we page and they are sooo expensive!!! I would love to win one so much!

  15. Thank you for the opportunity!