Save the date!

Wonderful guys & gals: take out your planners, your favourite writing gear (and some financial paper to start saving up for it!):



from Friday, November 29th ’till Sunday, December 1st.





I’m still in the middle of all of the arrangements, but we will be entertaining ourselves with following activities:

Friday: evening dinner in the wonderful center of Antwerp, some drinks and sightseeing, AND some special guests…!

Saturday: put on your most comfy shoes for some serious SHOPPING throughout Antwerp & Wijnegem Shopping Center (home of… GOLDPEN by Gillio, of course!)







Lunch & dinner I’m still organising… Depending on how many of you are joining us 🙂

There will be plenty of time to talk, eat and drink, get to know eachother and exchange ideas!

On Sunday, shops are closed here (yes, I know, absolutely terrible!) but depending on the people that are still here on Sunday, I have some activities planned you will read more about in future posts! (Arrangement still to be made…)

If all else fails, there will be plenty of time to discover the city of Antwerp, the harbour, the old center, the wonderful museums, etc.

Hotel arrangements: there are plenty of small hotels and B&B’s in Antwerp, but in my experience, good value for money is IBIS Antwerpen Centrum, where you can stay two nights as from €130. If you share a room that would only be about €65 for each person… A bargain, right? 😉

Transport: Antwerp Central Station is easiest by train; if you are flying in, you can fly to Brussels (Zaventem), Charleroi, and even Eindhoven (the Netherlands) which is only an hour from Antwerp. Check what the cheapest flights are, and let me know, I might be able to pick you up at the airport!


Now. Who’s with me?




Filofax Deco in Ivory

Beginning of this year, I stepped into Goldpen here in Wijnegem Shopping Center with my mom and asked the nice man there (aka Tom of Gillio) if they sold Deco’s. He totally lured me over to the dark side and Gillio-mania began, but I still wanted the Deco to serve as my diary, journal and on-the-go planner.

Last week, the wonderful Nati Zou sent me her personal sized Deco in Ivory after I’d been looking for one for quite a while. Here are some up close & personal (pun intended) pictures of the newest addition to my collection… I’m becoming quite the collector, although I’ve always screamed being a one-planner-girl… I guess that’s the influence Philofaxy-people are having on me! 🙂

As I still had the Croco Grey Compagna (before sending it out to the winner of my giveaway on YouTube), I thought I’d include some pictures comparing the two as they look a lot alike.

Picture heavy post!

First of all: here she is, my beautiful Deco. I’ve never been any good at naming my planners so I won’t 😉

It arrived in perfect condition with perfect rings, thanks Nati…

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The inside is lined with beautiful cream-coloured suède. It has one pen loop on the left but being right-handed, that’s not really a practical place for it to be – for me.

I keep my Swarovski pen in there but I usually carry a little pen bag around with Frixions so I only use it to scribble something on my post-it dashboard.

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On the left there are several credit card pockets, one large pocket and a zipped compartment, which is quite stiff – not suited for use as a wallet, I think. It would take me too long to get any cash out.

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The planner came stuffed with beautiful cotton cream inserts – I’ve never had these before but they are stunning, and so much easier to write on then the plain white ones… I wonder if they come in A5 too?

There is To Do-paper:

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Ruled note paper (ideal for journalling, with the little box at the top of the papers to write the date!)

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Plain note paper, more journalling-ideas coming up…

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Mileage-log paper (never seen those before!):

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And tabbed telephone papers – I think I might store some internet password clues in there.

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In the back, there is one large pocket, envelope-style, with a popper button. I’m storing keepsakes in there (cards, movie tickets, …)

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It’s also made of this wonderfully soft suède material, love how the colour slightly changes when you rub it!

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And finally, compared to the Gillio Medium Compagna in Croco Grey.

As you see, the colour is almost identical, I’d say the Deco has a more yellow-ish tone of beige then the Gillio.

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The strap of the Gillio is a lot wider (and the pen loop is on the correct side!), but… The Deco has that gorgeous lock!

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The Gillio has slightly larger rings, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how much the Deco can hold!

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By now, the Deco has been set up (more details on that later…) and the Gillio has been kissed, cuddled and sent off to a better home after my YouTube giveaway!

Any other Deco lovers out there?



DIY A4 organiser

A while back, I was looking for an A4 organiser. The Filofaxes available were all dull in colour, or just too expensive. Plus: I didn’t know if the big size would work for me. So spening over €200 on a ‘try’ was too much for me. I decided to make one myself with some left-over fabric, an A4 4-ring-folder and my mom to show me how to operate her sewing machine 😉

It’s not perfect, the stitching needs work and after using it for some time I can think of other pockets and functions it would need if I ever made another one. But it works!

I use it for the FM Academy that I teach: it holds all of my course materials, the course schedule, adresses of all of the venues my trainings take place and also the attendee lists. I only carry it when I’m on the road for trainings, and the participants are always very curious to see what that folder is all about 🙂

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NIAS – stationery shop in Brussels

Hello lovelies,

when I went to another meeting at Gillio beginning of June, Tom was so kind to point out that there was actually a HUGE stationery shop just around their corner! I don’t visit Brussels often and I’s never heard of it, it’s called NIAS. They have Filofax and Gillio and soooooooo many other things.

I’m not going to waste your time writing about it, it’s stationery walhalla, I will let the many many many pictures speak for themselves! Enjoy!

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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.

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


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.


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


And then you can just slide them unto the mechanism:


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


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!)