I blame my mother.

Yes, mom. I blame you.

After all of this planner-madness the last couple of weeks, I started to think about the very beginning. When did the planner-addiction start? When (or why?) did I get so obsessed with paper planners, Filofaxes, to do lists and other ‘systems’?

My mom bought me my first ever Filofax when I was turning 13. The year was 1997, people, I’d almost finished my first year in highschool, and the exams in June were coming up. My birthday is in June as well, so: exams on my birthday, and not a whole lot of time to celebrate. I remember vividly: that first year, I had an exam of Latin on my birthday… Joy, oh joy.

About two weeks before my birthday, my mom picked me up from school. I don’t remember why, but we went to this stationery shop near my school. They had a very cute Filofax in Pocket size, called ‘Active’:

Active FF 1997 (thanks Steve Morton for helping me find the picture!)

I fell in love with it, and my mom got it for me. Too early, my birthday wasn’t for another two weeks, but she said: ‘This way, you can plan your exams.’

It sounded like a magical solution, a self-fulfilling prophecy that actually worked because I started filling out the papers like crazy, making a schedule and fabricating my own inserts. After this planner came another, and after that many, many, MANY more.

Today I have about 4 planners, and 1 on Adspot so I won’t count that one. One as my wallet, one for personal stuff, one for work, one for storage. I use an iPad, iPhone and iWhatnot, have spent some money on organising apps but I always, always come back to paper and pens. Like all of us, I switch out inserts, switch between sizes and uses… But I need paper. I need to write, to create, to be creative, to design and paste stickers and washi tape (for that, I blame you guys.)…

I agree with the post in the Philofaxy group on FB: there should be a FiloFanatics Anonymous group. We’d all schedule in the appointments and never miss a date, of course 😉

So mom, thanks for introducing me to the wonderful world of planners. Love you.

A little Filo-Flashing…

… Or should I say; Gillio-Flashing?

Between all of the gorgeous planners I saw at Gillio, I couldn’t stop to think: they all look so NEW; I like mine a tiny bit scuffed, used and abused. Just to have that ‘I’m an avid user’-feeling.

Like many of you, I never get to this stage because I switch them out so often…:-)

Then, I saw Tom’s planner… 

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My day at Gillio, part two

Tom and Mieke of Gillio were very kind to show me how their ring mechanism works – I explained to them that a lot of Philofaxy-people have had ring issues and that “buyers remorse” often comes from receiving a planner with gaps in their rings… The dissapointment after saving up for a planner, waiting for it and then receiving a faulty item is just indescribable, I have had to send items back on several occasions too.

Their planners come with a lifetime warranty, and in the rare occasion that ring issues would present (they hardly ever receive complaints!), you can just replace the rings yourself, after receiving a new set of rings from them.

Replacing my own rings? I’m no Bob the Builder, so I looked at them like they came from another planet. Apparently it’s not that hard, and Tom just took a planner apart to show me!

First of all: a close-up of rings from some random planners I took out: as you can so, no misalignment whatsoever.

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Then, taking a planner apart. No planners were hurt during the making of these pictures! ;-D

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Their ring mechanism is, apparently, different than what other brands use. As you can see, the rings slide on to some hooks that are fixed inside the backpiece. A very sturdy system, no screws through the leather.

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The back of the ring-rail has some metal pieces that have to point slightly upwards, as shown here:

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And then you can just slide them unto the mechanism:

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… And slide upwards with both hands until you hear the clicking sound:

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And you are done!

Tom will make his first attempt at a YT video (won’t you, Tom? :-p) showing you exactly how to do it. This way, if any issues would arise, you can change them at home without having to ship your planner back to Belgium… (Which you can, of course, still do if you don’t trust your own ring-changeing abilities!)

My day at Gillio, part one

Holy guacamole. Have I had the best day EVER yesterday, or what?

(Just a quick disclaimer: I have in no way been payed to write these posts… Just out of my own planner-freakishness!)

For those of you that haven’t seen my ranting on the Philofaxy FB page: I went to Gillio yesterday. That is: to their walhalla of leather goods in the center of Brussels here in Belgium. After the planner that I bought in their shop in Antwerp, and my YouTube videos, they contacted me because of the many requests they were getting for information about their planners from all over the world! The power of the Philofaxy community…

I thought I would just spend a few hours there, but I ended up staying the entire day. I just couldn’t leave, I told them I just wanted to move into their shop permanently! I have enough stuff to tell you for a couple of YT videos and a couple of blog posts, and I will try to divide them by subject. Part one today: my visit to their shop.

Their lovely little shop is located in the Galeries Louise in the (expensive) center of Brussels. They have quite a lot of window displays, luring you in to see all of their magnificent leather goods, pens and more:

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I met with Tom and Mieke there, part of the small family business that is Gillio… Wonderful people who took literally all day to show me their entire collection and ‘feed my fixation’ of planners and leather. They’ve been making these wonderful planners for over 15 years, and everything they do just beams craftsmanship: hand made goods, naturally coloured leather (70 days in a colour bath!), top notch finishings… Having the time to inspect everything from close by really convinced me: these people don’t settle for anything less than quality.

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I myself had bought a ‘Compagna’ planner a couple of weeks ago, in Croco Grey. For me, these planners stand out because of their extra pockets and beautiful extra patch of leather at the inside (see my YT video) but now, I got to take a look at their other planners, colours and sizes.

The Compagna in A5 is stunning. I use a Filofax Finchley in Raspberry A5, too, and comparing that with these is just, well, comparing apple sause to apples 🙂

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The Fuchsia A5 immediately caught my eye as I am a pink addict…

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The Red is actually some kind of coral-colour between red and orange, I have to be honest, this picture isn’t comepletely doing it justice…

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The Brown was just gorgeous… Would be a great office binder, now I think of it…

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For those who wanted to know the difference between my planner’s colour and the beige: on the left Grey, on the left the Beige – you see that mine is not so ‘yellowish’…

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They also have a ‘Slim’ series with smaller rings… Pretty, but how on earth do people fit their life in there?

That’s it for now, I have some special treats for you on the YT video I will post tonight, after my son goes to sleep…!