Scaling Inserts: The Easy Way

This is not something I commonly need to do because I stick to one size planner. However there are several people in the planner community that will carry multiple planners. An on the go planner could be a mini or a pocket and then you can transfer finances into a larger personal or A5 planner which is a stay at home planner.  Steve emailed and asked for some help about creating one insert in multiple sizes and getting them to line up when printing. This question led me to thinking about the same insert and different formats and an easy way to do it – so I’m going to show you how!

Firstly create your insert. I am working with a mini sized template in Microsoft Publisher, so I used 0.32×0.32cm squares (the smallest square setting you can get) to get the feel of the layout and created an finance sheet that had the right proportions. If you need help with getting to that step try this blog post: Filofax: Make your own Inserts.

 

Scaling 1

Now open up another document and select a different size – for this tutorial I am going to use a personal size insert. You need to select the table, copy it and paste it into the new personal sized document.

Ctrl + A (Select all) -> Ctrl + C (Copy) -> move to new document -> Ctrl + P (Paste).

Now you need to lock the aspect ratio of the table. To do that you need to go to the layout tab and select the little arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the strip (it is highlighted in red on the previous post).

Tick lock aspect ratio -> Ok.

Once you’ve done that adjust the width of the table to the size you want. In this case I did 17.1cm to match width (I’m working in landscape mode) of the personal page.

Now 0.32cm is very small and now we have a personal we can afford to make that a little bit bigger. I counted the squares and realised I had 21 – so I deleted the bottom row to have 20 in total. I like to work with 0.5cm lines so I calculated how much that would be for 20 and it was 10cm. I unlocked the aspect ratio – the reverse of the previous step and changed the height to 10cm. This will make the rows taller whilst not changing the dimensions of the table in terms of column width.

Then I simple deleted two rows to give me space for my holes and allow it to fit on the page.

Scaling 2

I then made the writing a little bigger and I have my insert all ready to go.

To find out how to print it, check out my other post: Filofax: Printing your own Inserts.

Planners I’m currently using

So I’ve had a slight change of planners. Nothing really major but I thought I’d share. I am currently using two planners. An A5 and an A6.

A5

I’ve recently switched my A5 planner from a clipbook to my A5 Dark Aqua Original. This planner holds my dissertation research for my research. It’s fairly simple. I have the blue and green dividers that come with the planner. The sections are as follows:

  1. To do list with Filofax to do pages. Mostly to use them up. I wouldn’t rebuy them.
  2. Reading list. Simple list of books I need to read, written on clipbook grid paper. I like the paper but it is not really fountain paper friendly so I wouldn’t repurchase.
  3. Primary material list. Like the reading list but for primary material I’d like to consult. Also on clipbook grid paper.
  4. Research questions and chapter breakdown. Again on clipbook grid paper.
  5. Reading notes. Written on Filofax paper, it’s not the best paper in the world and it’s not fountain pen friendly but I have a ton of it and I’m using it up.
  6. Lots of spare paper of different colours.

Pen: Handmade Asa pen with Waterman blue ink.

A6

For the six months of Autumn and Winter I am switching to my Van der Spek Light Brown touch me. This is the original touch me line so only has one pen loop.

I keep my planner fairly simple. I have no dividers but my layout is as follows:

  • Plastic divider pocket. I bought these on Ebay and punched them myself. This contains dashboards. I love using postcards, I get a lot from Nicole my pen pal and I loved them. She knows my likes so I get lots of blues, sailing related postcards and the Ampelmännchen 🙂
  • My contact details. This is laminated.
  • Addresses. I have just one page of addresses. It’s not in alphabetical order. It’s just my most used addresses and to save space they are just on one sheet. This is not laminated because my boyfriend is in the Navy and his address recently changed so I knew I’d have to redo it. I will probably update and laminate soon.
  • Birthdays. Also not laminated but will be soon. It’s on one sheet of A6.
  • Current month. This is a month over two sides of A6. It contains each day and birthdays and appointments written in. Birthdays are written in blue ink and appointments in Black.
  • Daily pages. I use a day on two pages for journaling, to do lists and appointments. I like to use a different ink and fountain pen each month.
  • Future months. I only keep one month of dailies in my planner.
  • Page for future dates if I don’t have the right monthlies.
  • Spare pages for journaling.
  • Gifts ideas page.
  • Fitbit badges tracker.
  • Spare grid paper.

Pens: A mechanical pencil, an Ampelmännchen pen ❤ (Thanks Nicole!), various fountain pens stored in a leather pouch in the back pocket – inks: black, ancient copper and ink of the month.

Depression and using a planner

Depression can be a debilitating illness and it is a condition that can affect one in four people. I, myself struggle with depression and often lose all motivation and struggle to maintain a basic, everyday routine.

For many, they might say what is the point in having a planner during those stages, you’re not doing anything and not motivated to do anything so why bother with a planner. However, I think using a planner during these times can be very useful.

A planner can contain many things, it could be a journal, where you just write how you are feeling, even if that is hopefully lost, alone and deeply unhappy. A planner can become a confidante, someone you can write things that you wouldn’t, or can’t, tell anyone else. I’ve used a planner for this in the past and it can be quite cathartic.

When you feel ready you can start to use a planner for other things, basic tasks, small tasks. Even if it is just to get out of bed, wash your hair and change your clothes. Sometimes in the beginning that is all you can manage and that is completely fine. Over time you can increase the tasks into going out for a walk, or cooking a more complex meal – even just recording what you eat. You can use it to track medical appointments, make notes on meetings you have with the doctor and monitor medication use and possible side effects.

Over time you can start to break larger tasks down into small manageable tasks, such as tackling one aspect of cleaning or part of a project.

You can then begin to use your journal to reflect. How are you feeling today? What made you feel more human? What do you think you can do next week?

It may not seem much in the beginning but setting tasks and completing them, no matter how small can give a sense of accomplishment and that you’re achieving something. Once these build up, you can start to get back into a routine and help you feel a bit better in yourself.

Recently I have found my planner to be a great resource for me when I have been very low.

Repairing paint transfer on a planner.

I am the worst! I swore I would try and get this blog to be a bit more active but alas life gets in the way. Today however I had some time to attempt to fix a planner.

I really wasn’t hopeful about fixing this one and I was extremely pissed off my Filofax Person Union Jack had ruined my VdS old TM light brown. 

It was on the front as well which makes it even more upsetting.

I removed all the inserts and decided to have a go with my diy hair treatment I had stored in the bathroom already.

My hair treatment is a fairly simple mixture of coconut oil, castor oil and essential oils so I figured it would be save enough to use on the planner.

I took a facial scrub brush which is very gentle on the face and I took a fairly decent sized blob of it and began to work it in front and back. I tried to give equal attention to all parts of the planner. After a minute or so I noticed that the painted areas where disappearing so I paid a little more attention to those areas and within no time the paint was removed. I finished it uo by wiping away the remaining oil.

The leather has darkened but I like it is so beautiful. I am almost tempted to move out of my Gris Blue and back into this one! 

Collections in my Planner: A Lifetime of Movies

This is the first in a new series of what Collections I have in my Planner. I follow the Bullet Journal system which is a series of rapid logging tasks in a planner, you can find a previous post on it here. Part of the system is collection making, which is grouping together a series of bullets on one page. Over the next couple of weeks I will share a couple of the collections I use. Today’s version is a Lifetime in Movies.

I got the idea for a Lifetime of Movies, which is basically as the title explains. It’s a collection of movies from every year I have lived. I did a search of IMDb for the top film of each year from 1988-2016 and I wrote the number one movie down. Now I did this in December which is suspect may have influenced the choices, as quite a few are Christmas Films, but hey some of those Christmas films are pretty good so I suspect they are pretty high up for a reason. I’ll be reviewing them over the coming weeks so check out my blog and see what I thought of them. I may revisit this idea after I have completed the list, if I was to do it again I’d probably look at most awarded movie of a year or something to give a variety and potentially reduce the number of Christmas films a little.

Planner: Currently Using

My planner system has changed quite a bit since I last did a post it on. I’ve made a structure change and I moved to a6. I am currently in a VdS Touch Me in Gris Blue. This is one of their new colours. I plan to do a full review of it in due course.

My actual system hasn’t changed too much since September when I started using A6 size. I have a very traditional bullet journal. I am using a Rhodia Graph paper pad that I have ripped apart and hole punched (rather unsuccessfully as it’s not very straight!).

My Bullet Journal largely follows the traditional system.

At the start of the month I write the numbers for the month out and the corresponding days and I fill in information from my future log.

Then at the start of the week (because the new year began on a Sunday I have switched to a Sunday start, it’ll be interesting to see if I like this…) I write out a weekly tracker which I will fill in for the week.

Underneath that I start directly with my dailies. I just write the day and then log everything for the day.

What I really like about this system is the flexibility. My first daily was nearly two pages long with all the to dos and lists I wanted to keep track on in my planner. I love that I am able to write everything down and it is in there. I like that there is a place where I can record anything and everything in whatever order I want it to.

I don’t tend to migrate tasks over to each new day as that is such a waste of time, effort, ink and paper. So instead I tend to flick through and look for open tasks I need to complete and only transfer them to a new month if they have not yet been completed and are still relevant. There are of course a few downsides to this method – it can become a little cluttered looking and it can be quite hard to focus with so many bits of information around the place. It doesn’t always bother me until I really need to focus and get tasks done on a set day. On those days I find it best to start the day with a very simple outline of places I have to be and tasks I have to complete. I will migrate these to the set day and try to give myself a realistic number of 3-5 tasks depending on the complexity of the tasks, to ensure that there is enough time for me to complete them. Then I just shut everything else off and focus. I find this method works really well.

I like that I don’t have to design and print out loads of pages, if I want a new page I just write it. I love that the paper I use is fountain pen friendly and I can write with my new found obsession (more to come on this topic in the future…). I tend to change my ink up once a month to have some variety and use up my growing collection of ink. Unlike traditional bullet journalling which is done in a bound notebook, I love that I have control to move pages around and take them out as I need to. I like that I can flick the page over and start writing a new collection – but then I can move collections towards the back on my planner to keep them in alphabetical order so it is easier to find them. My monthly, weekly and the start of my collections are marked with the coolest paperclips in the world. They are of the Ampelmann – he is the East German crossing man, complete with hat. He is really cute and I am obsessed with him (a fact my lovely penpal Nicole knew and she sent my these cute paper clips!).

I find this is a great system for me and allows me the flexibility of having a daily when I perhaps wouldn’t need a full page each day. It is the ultimate brain dump as I can just throw everything at it and not worry about it looking pretty or having enough room!

*I was going to have photos with this post buy unfortunately a rather nasty flu has crept up on me. I am instead going to tease you all silly and leave it without photos until the next time I bring up my planner!*

Traveller’s Notebook: Make your Own Inserts

I’m going to have to thank Cheryl Payne for this tutorial. She emailed me a little while back asking for guidance on how to make traveller’s notebook inserts and she gave me a lovely compliment of saying my tutorials were easy to follow. So this is really for Cheryl (although I am sorry it is a little late!). I must start with a big word of warning – I don’t actually own a traveller’s Notebook so I have not printed these out or tested them. This is just a tutorial of how I would make them if I had a traveller’s notebook…

I’ll be making a simple dotted page for the passport size of notebook but first of all we need are trusted Publisher, so start by opening that up.

Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Publisher

Next we need to create a blank template to the correct size, as it’s not standard you’ll need to create a new template. The first screen in Publisher should be the select your template.

Click More Black Page Sizes > Custom > Create new page size…

Width:8.9cm

Height 12.4cm

Margin guides – set all to zero.

I’m going to make this a dotted note paper and to do that I’m going to create a table that is 5mm x 5mm.

Insert > Table > 1×1 Table

Once the table is created

Double click the table > Change width and height to 0.5cm

tn1

You’ll need to insert 18 squares across the width of the page.

Right click the table > Insert > Right

Keep going until you’ve inserted 17. To speed up the process you can highlight multiple boxes and insert right. If you select three boxes you’ll insert another three.

Align > Align Right

Will set your table to the right side.

Next we need to create 25 rows.

Right click the table > Insert > Below

This will create a slightly bigger table than the height of the page. Don’t worry about that.

Now we need to create the dots. Click the mouse to the first cell. Then go to the main task ribbon.

Insert > Symbol > Middle Dot (Character Code 00B7) 

Copy and paste the dot into each box by highlighting the first cell and pressing Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. Once you completed the first role you can copy and paste the dot into each row.

Once each box has a dot in you have completed the page. You can then duplicate the page by.

Right clicking page 1 on the left hand side of the screen > Insert Duplicate Page

tn2

Now this is just a basic template you can jazz it up and get as fancy as you want with it. Just remember that a traveller’s notebook consists of four sides to one sheet of paper. To help explain this a bit better take a scrap of paper and fold it in half. There are four faces to the book. When printing faces 1 and 4 (the front and the back page) will be printed together and faces 2 and 3 will be printed on the back. It doesn’t really matter how they are printed in this tutorial, but it is more important when you design your own layouts. A trick to making it easier for you is to select the select the printing option of Booklet side-fold, as this will calculate the order of the page for you when printing. For a more in depth look at printing inserts please read my original post. The only different would be not to cut the centre crop marks but to merely fold the page over. If going more complicated layouts it’ll be a good idea to think of margin spaces to the left and right of each page as a fold may effect template design. I’d aim for a margin of about 2-3mm.

tn3

I hope this helps anyone looking to make your own TN inserts. If you have any question please feel free to add a comment below.

Yo, sound the bell. School is in, sucker

It has been a very long time since I wrote a post for my blog…so I decided to write on someone else’s blog instead. You can find it by clicking here.

First off you get points if you can name the song I stole the title from!

Hi I’m Emma, I used to write at a now very abandoned blog – hopefully one day I will revive it! But for now I am taking over Philofaxy again (if you didn’t see my first post you can catch it here. Today is going to be an extension or an update of that blog post.

It’s that time of the year again when us students sigh and begin to think about preparing for another year at our studies. Naturally, we are all full of the enthusiasm of being organised and ready for the academic year and it’s important to try and sustain that throughout the year and be prepared for exams. I am normally really keen at the start of the year and then towards exams tend to panic – so it is important to get organised early so you can help remove some of the stress.

A5 vs. smaller?

This is the big debate. I cannot use bigger than A5 personally – I hate writing notes on A4 paper and always have. So I do write my notes in an A5  However, I need to carry a LOT of books, often on a four hour round trip on public transport and for me the carrying of a quite heavy A5 with the books was just painful.

So I used to leave my A5 at home unless I really needed it. This year I have decided to try a Filofax Clipbook as they have the bonus of being a5 but are also lighter than my A5 original. I love the blank inserts which means I can begin to set it up for September/October when my academic year begins.

It also means being blank that I don’t have to fill in all the weeks and only use the pages during the academic year. I usually always carry a smaller personal sized planner with me – but I’ve taken the plunge and gone for an A6 which I am in the process of setting up and playing with. I will be trialling new styles of inserts and giving them a go.

At the moment I am thinking of a day per page but we’ll see how effective it is, usually I am more a get tasks done by the end of the week rather than the end of the day type of person. I am also going to consider writing academic dates in the A5 and the A6 (which will also house personal appointments). This will mean I have the potential to leave the A6 at home and take the A5 instead but we’ll see.

What should I put in my Filofax?

Well that’s a good question but I really recommend:

  • A personal plea in your Filofax saying this contains your academic life, notes and potential valuable research so if you are holding it – you’re clearly not me and therefore I need it back – contact me here and I will reward you handsomely. I’ve know people that have lost their academic work – it’s NEVER pretty.
  • Deadlines. Academics seem to like to put evil and never put these in one easy to access and convenient place. So I suggest you do it yourself. Write down every date – in order with times. Triple check it’s right and then check it weekly to make sure you’re not going to miss ANYTHING.
  • Timetable – you can print this out as well as write it in weekly. Be sure to spot those weird start week 6 workshop changes.
  • Sign-ups – there may be times you need to sign up for classes as well. These are usually first come first serve so the popular classes go quickly. Make a note and make sure you get the class you want.
  • Reading lists – always a good idea to have a copy particularly if you have essay questions related to reading lists. I always find it easy to take a page out of my filofax and take it to the library to raid the book shelf. Set a reminder in your diary to get your books early because they are always a limited supply and others also raid the books.

Optional?

It takes skill to write good academic work and sometimes it takes time to jump levels (GCSE > A level, A level > Degree). Reading feedback is key and sometimes it is good idea to have a feedback tracker.

Where you can pick apart your feedback into what I do well and what I can improve upon. Then when you prepare for your next assignment you can start at this page and go from there.

Even if you are a first year at Uni it is NEVER too early to think about your dissertation in the final year. It will go by so quickly and you’ll be sitting there having to submit a form and you may not even know what you want to write on.

Sometimes lecturers make off-hand comments or you yourself ask a question someone cannot answer. These can be the basis for excellent research ideas. My dissertation came from an off-hand lecture comment and not only was it highly original it was exciting to research and it was well received by my department. So put the effort in early and you will be rewarded later.

Random advice.

Did you know that there is a form of dyslexia that only become noticeable when you’re at University. If you are struggling a little it’s always good to pop along to your Access Ability (or equivalent student support service) and get tested.

Also I am dyslexic and I use a Dictaphone. I found it invaluable for recording lectures and I have an archive of lectures I regularly look back on for references. So if you struggle with writing notes and sometimes find them unreliable maybe consider investing in a Dictaphone – or getting an assessment from Access Ability – often you will be given a Dictaphone as part of your package.

If you have any questions comment below. I have only just begun to set up my academic planner so I don’t really have enough to show you what my planners look like at the moment but I can come back and do another post if people would be interested in that.

Maybe there is also the potential to organise a Sunday Philofaxy Skype chat dedicated to getting organised for the new school year and we could do this at the end of August (28th?) or Early September if there is enough interest. Comment below and Steve and I can organise something.

I wish you all the best for the upcoming year and may your deadlines be well spaced and your stress levels be low!

Thank you Emma for a useful post with the new academic just around the corner.

Buying and Selling Planners: What you need to know!

Lately I’ve been seeing quite a few posts of people buying and selling planner related goods online and people have been scammed. Firstly people pay and the goods never show up, or they send the goods before money has been sent. The condition they turn up in is terrible etc. So I thought I’d share sort of a code or guidelines of what buyers and sellers should be doing.

Buyers

  1. If you see an item you like – make sure you request photos of the entire planner – inside and out – close up of the rings etc.
  2. When buying always use paypal. It protects you and makes life stress free.
  3. Never pay via Penpal’s friends and family. That is not designed for buying and selling and does state in Paypal terms and conditions that if you use that method to send goods your account can be suspended and even restricted.
  4. Unless a Seller states a specific date on when to expect your goods, they seller has up to 30 days to send you the item after paying for it.
  5. Check the seller’s return policy before buying. If the item arrives in good condition and you simply do not like it. Tough. The seller does not have to accept returns or refund your money if the item is exactly as they described it.
  6. If you get the item and there is something wrong ie. The item is not fit for purpose or is faulty. You can request a repair, replacement and as of October 2015 you can request a refund. Bare in mind that if the item is faulty, the cost in you returning it, such as bus fare/petrol to a post office and postage costs should be met by the seller. You as a buyer do not have to be out of pocket for a faulty item. A faulty item is if the item has a fault when you buy it…or it develops a fault within a reasonable time frame – usually set at 30 days. Your dog getting a hold of it and wrecking it, your toddler drawing ink on it or you dropping it and scuffing it are not developing faults, that is life and the seller cannot be held responsible for your maltreatment of the item.
  7. Be sure to take photos of the condition of it if you are not happy and send these to paypal when requesting a refund. Time stamp photos.
  8. When returning the item. Keep the original packaging – including any cable ties or little bits that came with it. You can providing the packaging is in good condition repackage it and send it back with a return address on it. If possible record a weight of the item. Ask this to be recorded on your proof of purchase receipt. Where possible send the item tracked. Recording the weight lets the seller know you are sending the item – see scams section below.
  9. If you are unsure about a purchase and you are on a Filofax group. Check out the sellers previous posts. See if there has been any trouble. Try searching planner groups for a seller’s name or say selling on a site such as gumtree. Sometimes warnings come up and people tell you to avoid certain buyers as they have known to have scammed in the past.
  10. If the goods don’t turn up – file a dispute with paypal. The Seller has to send proof of postage to paypal, if they can’t prove they’ve posted it they can’t proof they’ve sent it. So you’ll get a refund.
  11. Shipping can be expensive, but remember sellers can charge a fee that includes, post, packaging and handling. If you state, or they state they are going to send it a specific way – such as Royal mail recorded delivery, request a tracking number. If what you get is less than what you paid for you can dispute that. But if you pay £10 for packing, handling and postage and the postage you get is what is started, only it’s higher than the cost of the stamp – you can’t dispute it. Postage can factor in petrol to post the item etc.
  12. Do your research and see how much a planner cost new. If you are buying a really great filofax and it’s at a steal of a price…stop and think. Yes it may be a good deal, but it may also be a scam. People are out there scamming. So do your research. Check the person out on facebook groups. Sometimes there is no such thing as a good deal.
  13. Share you experiences with the community. If someone has been a great Seller, tell the facebook groups. If you’ve had problems let people know. Often you may find it’s a repeat offender and by working together and telling people that person can be stopped.

Sellers

  1. If your goods come from a smoke free, pet free home. Please state this. A large amount of items appear to come stinking of perfume and cigarette smoke. If you are sending them please make sure you send them in a condition you would like to receive them in. Keep them away from strong perfumes. Make sure they smell ok. If there are any imperfections on the planner take a photo and show them. Make sure the buyer can really see what they are buying. Make sure it is fit for purpose, ie. if it’s a personal planner state that. If it’s a Filofax state that. If it’s not a filofax don’t mislead people, state it’s a no named planner. If you are not sure of the details. Do your research and check before you sell. Pick a realistic price for it, again research.
  2. Sell good through Paypal, do not send through Paypal friends and family. You are not suppose to sell goods through friends and family – if you do you can end up with your account being restricted – it’s in those guidelines you agreed to when you signed up and probably didn’t read.
  3. Do not send any goods until you have received payment. Once you have payment send goods within 30 days. If payment is sent and you break your leg tripping over the dog and you can’t send it. Contact the buyer. Make them aware. Let them know it’s going to be a few days. You’ll let them know when you’ve posted it. They can know when to expect it etc.
  4. Sometimes people like to package things with certain goodies and extras. This can be sweet and a thoughtful gesture but bare in mind certain things. Some people send Haribo sweets which are not always vegetarian or religious dietary observance friendly. Lavender seeds might be a nice touch too, but people are allergic. So just keep it simple and stick to the items being sold.
  5. Package the item well. If you are selling a planner, make sure the ringers are protected. Take a photo of the condition of the planner as you are selling it. This will protect you if the item gets damaged in the post you can then claim through royal mail. Time stamp photos.
  6. State quite clearly what your returns policy is. If you do not want the item to be return. Specify no returns and no refunds but bare in mind that if an item is faulty or has been misrepresented and therefore is not fit for purpose, the buyer has the right to expect a return within a reasonable time frame. This is UK law and unless stated it a reasonable time frame is set at 30 days. State whether seller or buyer is responsible for paying return postage. If it is not specified UK law states the Seller must pay return postage.
  7. Record the weight of your parcel when you’ve sent it – see scams below.
  8. Where possible, pay for tracked shipping. If you stated you would send it a specific way – ie. Royal Mail first class. Send it Royal Mail first class. It is your responsibility to make sure you sell it as specified.
  9. Obtain proof of postage. Email an electronic copy of it when you send this to the seller.
  10. If you get a dispute and the item is faulty. Request photos of the condition the buyer received it in. Send the photos of the condition you posted it in. Send proof of postage to paypal in the dispute. Request the item be sent back. If the item is sent back you should expect to return postage, it’s the law the buyer should not be out of pocket. However respond within a good time. Ask for the seller to send recorded and ask for the recorded weight to be recorded as well – see scams below.
  11. Share you experiences with the community. If someone has been a great Buyer, tell the facebook groups. If you’ve had problems let people know. Often you may find it’s a repeat offender and by working together and telling people that person can be stopped.

Scams

Below is a list of some of the scams I’ve seen/heard of.

  1. People sending empty boxes both in returning and sending the item in the first place – why you should record weights. If a seller has proof of postage it will be proof of postage for an empty box. You won’t get a successful claim. If it’s empty. Call the police, report it and get a crime number. That way you’ll get paypal should then give your money back.
  2. Items being in an unsellable condition – which is why you should always request full pictures.
  3. If the rings arrived damaged and they weren’t in the photo try opening and closing them a couple of times to see if they realign. It could just be a slight hiccup in postage. If it can’t be fixed send a photo. If you’re a seller request a photo – remember claiming an item is photo is a way to get your money back. So request they return the item. If the item is in the condition you sent it in – take photos again. Time stamp them. So you can clearly show before and after. If they’ve scammed saying it’s faulty then request that the buyer pay for postage, because after all why should you be out of pocket for their dishonesty.
  4. If you are scammed. Do report it to the site you buy from and warn others. If you are on ebay, gumtree, facebook they can block and stop people from selling. It means that scammers can and still be stopped eventually but only if they are reported. You can even report the crime to local police and get a crime number.

Remember communication is key. Keep communicating to ensure a channel is always open and you are post happy with the process.

If you are buying from overseas be aware that buyer’s protection is different and the laws are followed from where the seller is. If the seller has a UK website, they are bound by UK. European countries share European law – which is the same as the UK.

If you buy outside the UK you may be subject to customs so do expect to pay them.

Do not take people at their word. Remember the great Dr. Gregory House: Everybody lies. But you do enter into a contract buying and selling. So clearly state what that agreement is ie. what goods for what price and service. If the contract is broken in anyway you can dispute it, you can report it you can be protected by it. Report it to the police. Don’t get calling 999. Just call the local police and report it. If more people stopped and reported it to the police, it would make buying and selling community less of a horrid scam invested place.

Above all do your research. Know your rights. Be professional, calm and polite. It costs nothing to be polite and if people were nicer and kept communication open the process would often be a lot smoother.

My Filofaxes: Compact Patent Lemon

*I did mean to post photos with this although time and other commitments have prevented me from doing so currently*

I thought the lemon colour of this planner just looked so beautiful, it I got it for around £20 so I thought it was a reasonably cheap planner. However I just don’t like it all that much.

Firstly it’s a compact, which means it has smaller rings and whilst they maybe great for stopping planners getting too bulky, I just don’t really see the point. It’s the same size as a personal so in reality it’s not any less bulky, it just means that you fill it more quickly and then you have that annoying pages flying everywhere when open it.

Another thing that annoys me with this planner is that it does not remotely lie flat or want to attempt to do that. My personal original lies flat and it has done so from day one – it’s so nice to just lie in on a table open and see my task list. I can’t do that with this patent planner.

Next off I don’t really like the plastic-feel of the planner I suppose it’s personal taste.

However, the biggest problem I have with this planner was the dye transfer from of my other planners. So it now has brown stains on it. I tried somewhat successfully to get the colour off using nail varnish remover and whilst it lightened it, it did in one part take off the shiny feel to the planner in that spot. It’s not very noticeable in terms of looking at the planner, you mostly feel it (and see a little bit of the brown stain). I shouldn’t have really tried messing with it but I wanted to give it a go and I wasn’t overly worried about ruining it because it’s only going to sit on the shelf and store spare pages in it – of which I appear to have rather a lot of paper. So much so that I don’t think I’ll need to buy note paper for the next two/three years.