Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Guest Blog post from Blackforest Designs - Filofax interview, inserts & freebies

Hi! My name is Noémi, although I mostly go by Noa, here on the internet. I am a blogger and designer, with a passion for planning and all things Filofax. I create and design Filofax inserts, dividers and other goodies which you can find on my blog. Anna was really sweet and per my request, wrote a guest post on my blog, so, naturally, it was my pleasure to return the favor and aswer her questions about blogging and filofaxing. 

1. Why did you start blogging?
I’ve been a blogger ever since I was a teen and all through my adult life. The only reason I ever had for blogging I think was that I wanted a platform to share my ideas and opinions, so blogging about filofax-related  topics came naturally to me when I got more in to planning and Filofax in particular. I also decided to design a whole collection of Filofax goodies, and I thought a blog on the subject would be a good place to share and post what I come up with.
2. What do you blog abut and why? (I know but I thought readers would like to know!)
Everything on my blog is somehow Filofax or planning-related. I’ve been a planner all throughout my life, there were times when it was almost excessive, but in the long haul, it has helped me overcome issues such as anxiety, panic attacs and self-esteem issues as well. I am also a designer, so combining the two and blogging about it was a natural process I guess. The people surrounding me in my non-virtual life don’t really care about planning or are not into Filofaxing, so blogging was also a way to reach out to a community with people who share some of the same interests as me. On my blog you can find my own designs that I upload on a regular basis, posts about planning tips, DIY projects that can make planning easy, cost-effective and fun. I am also a huge believer in recycling but mostly upcycling, and all my DIY tutorials to come will be based on working with what you have and making beautiful and functional resources out of them.

3. How often do you blog? Do you have a routine / set blogging schedule that you stick to?
When I first started my blog I set myself the goal of uploading at least twice a week, but I quickly found that it was too much for me. I know keeping a somewhat schedule with regards to posting is important for establishing a reader basis, but this is not so important for me, as I think that if people are interested in what I do, they will find me anyway. I upload as much as I can, but without seeming redundant, because let’s be honest, theres only so much one can talk about regarding a binder 
4. How do you organise your blog posts / what to blog about? Do you use your Filofax?
I use my Filofax to write down post ideas that I have, and try to group them in the topics that I have up on my blog. I usually write down what it is that I would like to blog about, and bullet-point some guidlines so that when I actually sit down to write a post I know exactly what to include. I am also working on an „organise your blog posts” insert series, that will be available as a freebie on my blog, so stay tuned! 
5. Where do you get your blog inspiration from?
I love looking at other blogs, but surprisingly not just filofax-related ones. As a hobby, I am also very into fashion, and as far as the look of my blog goes, I was inspired by the sleek and minimalist look and feel of the fashion blogs I follow. In regards to topics and posting, both Pinterest and some of the filofax-related blogs I follow help a lot – they don’t just give me ideas, but with following them I can find out what others are blogging about and make sure that I’m not making the mistake of seeming like a copy-cat or just munching over the same subjects over and over again. Watching other blogs, the beautiful photos some people upload always inspires me to sit down and tend to my blog though, and I am trully greatful that such a community exists!
6. I love your woodland collection, what made you decide to create them and where did you find your inspiration from?
Thank you! The reason I wanted to create a collection of my own in the first place was because I always have the tendency to customize whatever I have. When I got my first Filofax, it was no different. I’d be lying if I said I don’t like what’s out there: some inserts and designs that are already on the market are trully georgeous, but I wanted something more unique and fitted to my perosnality and needs. I also think of my planner as a very personal planning tool that basically assists me in my everyday life in whatever I do, so I wanted my dividers to reflect that. I came up with the idea of naming it Woodland collection and using nature as an inspiration because I started designing them right at the beginning of summer, in a time when I longed for the damp, windy woods of my native Transylvania.

7. What do you see for the future, do you envisage making more designs and inserts?
Absolutely! I am already making plans for a new collection as I am finishing up this one, I have so many ideas! But first and foremost, I’m currently working on finishing up my current filofax-setup and making a video series on it, that explores and gives tips about different types of planning, using different resources etc. There will also be a detaild blog post about my finished setup soon. I am working on setting up an Etsy shop also, where all of my future creations will be available.
8. What sections and inserts are in your Filofax / What do you use your Filofax for?
Okay, let me answer this backwards. I use my Filofax for everything in terms of planning basically, I don’t have separate binders for separate things. My current lifestyle mostly involves university, working, blogging and freelancing, so most of my Filofax is adapted for these aspects of my life. My sections are the following:
1. Misc: my first section in kind of chaotic and contains a lot of stuff, mostly things that need to be at the beginning to be easy to reach. It contains my dashboars, business cards, a section with different colored sticky notes for quick reminders that wait to be filed away, year on 3 pages calendar with a place for notes and marking off birthdays and important e-mails.
2. Diary: my diary section has a month on two pages for every month, followed by week-at-a-glance inserts for every week of every month. I use the month on two page inserts mainly to mark appointments, deadlines or important reminders, and I use the week-at-a-glance ones to write those particular things in more detail. I also have a blank sheet for stickies for every month where I write down the most important things to do in that period of time.
3. To do: My to-do section only cosnists of as many to-do inserts I can fit in my Filofax, that tends to be bulky from time to time. I use them to break my tasks down to smaller mini-tasks, as I tend to work on bigger, more time-consuming projects mostly. And, of course, everything is color-codedJ
4. Goals: I have a goal section with my long term goals broken into small steps that I need to achieve in order to accomplish that big milestone. I also have a separate accomplishments section at the end of it and usually write down every small success I have to keep myself motivated.
5. Finances: Includes a pocket for important reciepts, one for gift cards that I would want to hang on to and inserts for every month with sections for product names and the amount I spent on them. I also set small rewards for myself in this section, fors instance, if I manage to keep my spending under a certain amount in a particular month, I reward myself with something from my Wishlist, which is at the end of my finances section
6. Passwords: pretty self-explanatory I would say
7. Blank sheets of paper that I currently use to write down my blog ideas, will have separate, dedicated inserts for that though!

9. And what about the future with your Filofax? Where do you think that will take you?
I hope that I will never get bored or tired of it, I am really, trully counting on it being the essential tool I need to keep my life from falling apart. I am working on perfecting my setup and making it foolproof, and although it’s easy to get distracted, I know it will be worth it in the long run.
10. What planners do you own? Do you use them all? Which one(s) are your favourite?
I own a Filofax personal Saffiano in Aqua. My first “grownup” binder was a black, faux leather, A6 size Herlits one, but I gave it to my mother when I got my Saffiano. Owning more than one binder makes me feel uncomfortable I think, I like having everything in one place. I love my Saffiano and I think I’ll be using it until it literally falls apart lol!
11. What are your essential planning tools? Where do you shop for them?
My most important planning tools would be my own inserts, which I design to fit my needs and have become absoutley necessary in my day-to-day planning routine. I also am starting to use chronodex, which is obviously not my invention, but there are many free downloadable ones out there. In addition, I buy small sized, colored sticky notes, gel pens and text highliters, which I use for color-coordinating. I also always have a small notebook that matches and fits the binder I am currently using, just to write down things that don’t necessarily go into one of my sections. I do buy the odd cute paperclip to mark one of my sections, but I’m not a big fan of stickers or washi. I usually shop at my local office supply store, but I also don’t pass out a chance to buy something cute online, especially if there’s a sale going on. 
12. I love the planner charm that you recently made, will you be making more?
The reason I made it was to put it on my Saffiano, but in the process of making it I’ve found that I have a crazy huge amount of beads and charms stashed away that I totally forgot about, so I’m definitley making more! visit my blog  check out my pinterest

Thank you Noa, it was lovely to have you over, Anna x

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