I have never been a big fan of A4. I have always preferred to write in an a5 binder. I use to keep one of those plastic a5 folders for college and university work. However, when I went to replace it last year because it was looking tatty I had a hard time trying to locate a replacement. Rymans – the company I had bought my old one from only sold them in packs of 10 online and you couldn’t get them in store. I am also not a big fan of the WH Smith ones because they just seem wonky and not aligning straight. So I gave up trying to find a replacement and stuck with my old tatty folder.
Then I rediscovered Filofaxes (I didn’t really forget about them but I was under using my current one). I came across a lovely A5 Dark Aqua Original in WH Smith, and whilst it was a lot more than I was planning to pay for a replacement folder, it was 50% off. It was a good deal and I thought it would last a lot longer than a traditional folder and look a bit more professional. The other was also fabulous so I went for it. I also bought two a5 pads with it, one lined and the other plain. I was not impressed with how these came, particularly with the plain one, it was all bashed and pages were falling out. It was also terrible to print on it and my printer spat out more pages than it printed. It much prefers the paper I currently use to print on (even if I cut it to a5). So I will not repurchase the plain paper again, I might with the lined but we’ll have to see.
The dark aqua is a wonderful shade and I love the matt finish, which I find easier to maintain than the patient finish. It also feels nicer than a patent. It’s a wonderfully smooth leather and the contrasting white stitching gives it a simple but classy style. Inside you have nice big rings, 25mm – which is not as big compared to other a5 filofaxes but I don’t feel like I am missing out on size here. It holds alot. It comes with a jotter pad which slots into a slit in the back of the filofax. It has two folds perfect for storing a4 paper folder in half that you need to punch at a later date. It doesn’t have pockets as such – just two slits for cards. At the moment I don’t use these, but in my Personal I store flag markers in one of them. It comes with an elastic – which I really like. I use that to house a square sticky note in. It has two pen loops. I find this fits my Faber-Castell Grip pen in comfortably. I do not use the other one before I find it adds too much bulk, but occasionally I will add my BIC 4 way pen into it.
I use this filofax to house my University work and my German language work in (as I need German for my university so it makes sense to keep them together). I’ve not really put this Filofax to work at the moment, it’s mostly just a bare bones structure, so I will probably do an updated what’s in it when I’ve used it a bit more. At the moment it is divided into 5 sections. Which are marked by the standard blue/green Filofax dividers. I would really like to upgrade these dividers but for the moment with the cost of a new planner and things I am pacing myself and trying to get a feel for what I want in my planner – then I will do suitable dividers.
My planner starts with the traditional fly leaf and the Original made in the UK that comes with the filofax. I don’t at the moment have my information in this planner (I have just added a to do note to make sure it goes in).
Section 1 is dedicated to my first module which is about Life in the two Germanies from 1945-1990. It has my module guide, my reading lists, essay titles, sample exam paper etc. That’s it for the moment but when I start typing up my notes it will also have those, as well as relevant sources for exams and a timeline.
Section 2 is much the same as the first one but this time it’s for the Representation of the Third Reich and the Holocaust in film.
Section 3 is my dissertation which is on Criminals in Concentration Camps during the Holocaust. It has my proposal and my progress reports in it. It has a reading list or books I would like to consult. When I am reading I like to keep that one out so I can just jot relevant books down that I want to consult later. I have a notes section as well. Because my sources are in German and our often handwritten I tend to prefer to keep these in electronic format because it is easier to manipulate the image (sometimes turning an image into a negative makes it easier to read the handwriting).
Section 4 is for my German. I started my first formal german classes last Wednesday so at the moment this just houses my notes from my first class. I made rough notes and then wrote them up neatly in my planner. I will develop this section as and when I need it and may do a separate post on it at some point.
Section 5 – is just blank lined paper.
The jot pad I think is a really useful feature. I have the opportunity to leave my bag and filofax in a lockable centre so I can just write down the books I want to consult (usually Author, Title and Shelf reference) in the jotter pad and take that other to the library – without having to carry everything else. I don’t feel I need to baby my planner. It just goes in my bag. It does however have a carry case, it’s not so much for protection it’s more because when I need my A5 I also often need my dictaphone and my German textbook so rather than these being separated I keep them together in the one pouch. That way when I don’t need to take it anywhere I just pull it out of my bag and leave it together until I need it again. Simple and easy. The pouch is just something I found lying around in my house. I think it was a Clinque gift with purchase. It doesn’t exactly match my personality nor my filofax but it does its job amicably enough.
That’s it for the moment – not very interesting but I will write a new one maybe at the beginning of March to see how I’ve progressed with it and how I do my revision with it.