Plannercon Europe Haul

I bought my ticket for Plannercon Europe the day they went on sale (apparently I was the 17th person). From that day in April I’ve been saving funds knowing full well I would be splurging on all manner of goodness at the event. Luckily I was travelling by Eurostar so was limited only by my physical strength.


Carpe Diem – personal planner, post its, bookmarks and stickers

Leuchturm – two dot grid notebooks with names embossed for free

Erin Condren – large hardbound planner, coiled horizontal planner and accessories pouch

Gillio unveiled their new products at the event and I couldn’t resist their undyed range so I bought the A5 undyed appunto. I can’t wait to see how this patinas over the coming months.


Technically, not at Plannercon, but I did place a custom order with Van Der Spek for a Standard with 30mm rings in Forest Croco with Acacia insides, which I collected from their booth.


This is so much more stunning in real life than these photos do it justice. As a surprise gift Van Der Spek gave me a matching pen case which was incredibly generous of them and had me standing in such stunned silence I can’t even remember if I thanked them. So thank you Van Der Spek.

They also gave us a 15% discount coupon which I used to buy an A5 Touch Me in Grey Blue. I just love the ring size and feel of this – like a mature Malden.

I also couldn’t resist this Gillio medium Compagna in Yale Blue and I chose Gold Rings to match that gorgeous inside leather.

Finally, I have been a huge fan of the Filofax notebooks since we received one in our goodie bags at Plansterdam last year. I have since bought a couple and I use an A4 notebook for work. I was delighted to receive another A5 in our goodie bag this year but that didn’t stop me picking a couple more up at the Filofax booth.

I also bought the A4 folio cover in The Original Dark Aqua leather. I thought I’d use it for work. I plan to do a separate post about the Filofax Notebooks before the end of the year.

I did buy from all the Etsy sellers but started using all that loveliness before it occurred to me to take photos.

Obviously we were also throughly spoiled by the generosity of contributors to our goodie bags. There are plenty of videos on YouTube if you want to see what we got.

If you’d like me to write a post on my Plannercon Europe experience let me know.

Planner Set Up for 2017

We’re already in the second half of February and my planner set up still remains undecided. 

To be fair I didn’t really start thinking about my planner set up until mid January. After more than 3 years as a lady of leisure I started back at work a month ago and adjustments would inevitably need to be made. 

We also moved to Family Sharing on iCal so having a separate family calendar no longer seems necessary. Of course the paper planner in me worries about what would happen if the system crashed and we lost the information, but the other part of me thinks that would be a great excuse not to do something, plus I tend to remember important events even if I don’t remember exact times.

So ultimately I needed (or wanted) a planner to note events/appointments specifically involving me and to list my tasks. But then I thought about routines and projects and meal plans and studying and blog planning and garden planning and books read and films watched and money spent and the list grew longer. 

Obviously the idea of using a Filofax came up. I haven’t used a Filofax as my main planner for any length of time since I discovered Erin Condren Life Planners but I knew the Erin Condren wouldn’t be able to contain all the information I need. The ability to add sections and set up my planner my way seems essential.

Whenever I think about using a Filofax as my main planner I instinctively return to DIYfish Inserts. I have tried other printables but they never work as well for me. There’s so much choice with DIYfish and her print and cut instructions are so clear they’re easy to use. After trialling a lot of styles, I decided to go back to my old favourite, version 2.2.

The only problem is, I can’t decide which size. I like A6 but I couldn’t fit much more than the planning inserts in my Gillio so I’d need a second planner of some sort to hold the rest. Surprisingly I’m drawn to using a personal sized planner because the do1p style layout gives me ample writing real estate; the drawback is my appointment or Half box labels aren’t the right size so they would immediately be wasted (or look awful on the page). It seems like an A5 would be the best option but I find I’m just not reaching for it.

So I still don’t have my planner set up for 2017. For home, that is. My work planner set up is fully functional.

A Month of Planners

As we approach the home straight of 2015 my thoughts inevitably turn to my planning set up for 2016. I don’t strive for planner peace in my set up; I enjoy trialling new planners so much I don’t think I’m even looking for the perfect planning system.

But ultimately planners have to be functional, I can’t play with planners at the risk of missing appointments or forgetting tasks. In order for me to have confidence enough to keep my planner hobby going in 2016 I need to make sure my back up system functions really well. This year one of my failings was trying new planners without maintaining my back up. Or perhaps my back up wasn’t really working that well.

Also a part of me is constantly tempted to buy the latest version of a planner I’ve already reviewed in case there have been changes which affect how they function (on that note, review on Emily Ley Simplified Planner 2016 coming soon). But with so many new planners entering the market it seems a little counterintuitive to buy planners I’ve already trialled.

So in November (and maybe December) I’m going to try something a little bit crazy – I’m going to reuse the 2015 planners I’ve previously trialled. Not only can I update some of my reviews,  and remind myself why some planners didn’t work for me, it can also help solidify my back up planning system for 2016.

Obviously it would be ridiculous to use all the planners at the same time but I will use each one for at least one week. Inevitably there will be some planners I use for more than one week and I may use a planner for a few weeks but tweak the way I’m using it each week. I know this means I’m going to be writing the same appointments, tasks etc several times each week but I can’t see this short-term duplication (or triplication etc) being a huge burden. If I do get frustrated it should help eliminate layouts that aren’t working for me.

So a couple of caveats before I start –

  • I’m only including 2015 dated calendars – there’s no need to try undated planners at this time
  • where I know the planners have been revised for 2016, I’ll trial the layouts on that basis as far as practicable
  • I would like to have one planner as my back up system so I’ll be seeing how each planner could work towards that.
  • I’m concentrating on retesting weekly layouts, for my monthly layout I’ll rely on iCal.
  • I already have some notebooks set up which are working for me (e.g. for writing and project planning) and I don’t intend to change that.

Some of the planners I’m thinking of using over the next few weeks –



And of course Filofax using different inserts


To make sure I don’t miss anything during these crazy weeks I’m going back to basics and using a simple weekly layout for appointments and a list for tasks.


Wouldn’t it be ironic if this simple layout was my ultimate ‘planner’ peace?


One Book July

Last month I decided to try the #onebookjuly challenge which is to use one book and one pen for one month. As I understand it, the idea is to get back to basics with your planning system.

I shared my set up in this video

I finally uploaded my update video here

Basically I didn’t manage to keep with one book or one pen for the month. As I explained in the video, July wasn’t the best month for me from a planning perspective and it’s more of a reflective month. But trying out one book was still a very useful process for me because it got me thinking about how I plan, what I plan and how my brain works.

I’m spending the rest of August really thinking about my planning and organisation needs so I can try a new set up from September. 

New Additions

Last month I added to my collection.

First off a Smythson and Mulberry. These were both being sold on a Facebook group and husband was very generous and bought them for my Valentine’s gift.

IMG_1438The Smythson is very stiff but the colour stops it being too formal. The Mulberry is beautiful to hold. The only thing that puts me off using it is the rings are spaced like a personal Filofax rather than an A5 so I couldn’t transfer papers easily.

At the same time I also got this gorgeous Gillio Compagna in the A5 size. This is the epoca in purple and cream.


I do have some Gillios but they’re in the personal size and I’ve dreamt of having an A5 compagna in purple epoca, so I was overjoyed when this was being offered in the Facebook group. I’ve moved into it straight away, yes my Finchleys have been bumped from my number one spot.

And speaking of Finchleys, I haven’t really been actively searching to complete my collection recently but, when I did decide to check Ebay on the off-chance, these two popped up.


I can’t believe I found the personal teal Finchley at a reasonable price. I also can’t believe they didn’t make the teal in A5 size. What a loss!

At the same time the teal Finchley was on sale there was a personal in vintage rose but it was already over how much I’d be prepared to pay for a Finchley, let alone one in vintage rose, so I let it pass. Then the next day I popped back on and saw the pocket vintage rose. It was at a low amount with 5 days to go so I decided to bid. At that point I realised the low amount was a Buy it Now price. Nice!

So now I’m looking for a mustard personal Finchley. Once I’ve bought that I’ll call off the search and have an unfinished collection. However, if in the meantime, a personal and mini vintage rose are to be had for a reasonable price I won’t say no. The race is on!

Planners I’m using in 2015


Sometimes I wonder whether I have the most complicated planning system with my Erin Condren Life Planner, Day Designer, home projects Filofax, general Filofax & blog planner (another ECLP), and this doesn’t include planners I don’t use as actual planners.

This may be the refrain of the obsessed planner nerd but it really does work for me.

Anyway, you decide


My Favourite Filofax Organisers

I did a ‘show and tell’ kind of video showing my favourite Filofax organisers, which are Finchley, the Original, Finsbury and Malden.

In my video I didn’t cover affordability or availability because that’s quite complicated. I’m mainly going to cover the A5 size because, to be honest, I haven’t looked into the other sizes/models in much depth.

The simplest is the Finchley range. This is a completely discontinued range although you may find some stock lurking on shelves somewhere. They do appear on ebay quite a lot if you keep your eyes peeled. Obviously because they’re discontinued the market determines the price you pay. I, however, have only paid retail price for 2 of my Finchleys. The rest have been considerably under retail so bargains are still to be had. Having said that, I’ve seen the Vintage Rose and Teal (personal-size) Finchleys sell for quite a high amount.

Most of the Original range is still available, although it looks like the Yellow and Green may be discontinued. As I understand it, the navy Original was not available in the UK and the monochrome was not available in the US. The metallics were released this summer but seem hard to find. But ebay could be your friend again here. A lot of stores do sell Originals online for a lot less than’s retail price (£80 for the A5).

It seems like only the Purple and Ochre Maldens are still being made (in A5 at least). The Maldens seem to be very popular so the market prices are usually quite high – well above retail, even second hand. If you want to buy a brand new Aqua or Vintage Pink – good luck!

Finally the Finsbury range. The Black, Raspberry, Electric Blue and Cherry colours are still readily available and can be found online for less than’s retail price (£80 for the A5). The others can be found on ebay occasionally and the market for these depends on the price. I’ve bought the grey and tangerine/orange in EUC for much less than RRP.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


Filofax Collection: Finchleys

I think Finchley is my favourite range, the leather is gorgeous and the stitching is beautiful. They’re hardy yet supple. In April I owned 4, but I was seriously thinking about selling my red personal.











Then something happened, and instead my collection grew



I have the full sets of the black, red and chocolate.







My favourites are the soft jade and imperial purple.







I also have some bags in the soft jade










And then I have a few incomplete sets



I’m missing the personals in mustard, teal and vintage rose, the pocket in vintage rose and the minis in vintage rose and caramel






And here’s the problem – I really don’t like the vintage rose Finchley. Really don’t. To the extent that, on the rare occasions one comes up for sale, I can’t bring myself to spend money on it. I’ve only paid retail price for two of my Finchleys (which is amazing considering these are discontinued) so I guess there’s always a chance I could get the vintage roses for a price I’d be willing to pay, but it would have to be pretty low.

So what do I do?

Do I stop trying to get the others because I know I’m unlikely to ever have a complete set? I really would love the teal and mustard personals though.

In the grand scheme of things this isn’t the greatest dilemma, I know.

In case you’re interested I’m currently using my mustard A5 and just switched out of the jade green. Last year I was using the imperial purple in the winter but may alternate between that and the caramel.