Tuesday, 29 January 2013

My rough & ready filofax food diary!

I've noticed that, lately, I've had a fair few hits from people searching for food diaries; examples of, how to start one, ect. So I thought that it would be a good idea to share mine!

As you might have guessed, it lives in my filofax where I can get to it when ever I want, see what I've eaten, write down that extra banana, or check to see if it really has been THAT long since I've had a biscuit with my cup of tea.

I did say that it was rough & ready!

Until I design my own inserts this is what I'm working with. The official slimming world diary is terrible; poorly structured with barely any space to write in! I don't know about you, but my hand likes to breath!

I've divided my day into the three main meals, with specific sections for the Healthy As and Bs and any extras I might have throughout the day. All syns I might use are marked in the meal/extras space where they fall and I total them at the top using basic tallies.

It's nothing glamorous, but it's working for me.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

My Week #4

It has been another busy week of trains and automobiles; thankfully plains were left out of the equation. A lot of thinking about my academic future too...

I've moved between binders this week; from my Metropol into my pre-loved salmon Piazza and back into Jeremy two days later. I just couldn't get on with her, so Jeremy is the one for me for the foreseeable future.

Next week is going to look very different from today's as I picked up a day per page in my rade of Staples yesterday. Loads of room for lists, notes and doodles! See you next week :)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Going through changes.

I currently own five personal sized filofax. Five. While I love this size I don't think I'll be buying any more in the foreseeable future.

Though I know I'm not alone in possessing numerous organisers (my small number is dwarfed by some I've seen!) I feel somewhat lost when I think of what to do with them all.

Do I need to have separate tasks designated to each of them, or should I rotate them periodically?

As of today I have moved from my kingfisher Metropol, Jeremy, into my salmon Piazza, who is yet to earn a proper name. But it feels... wrong.

I can't deny that the Piazza is a lovely binder; the secretarial pocket being a unique feature amongst my collection, and its soft leather almost matching that of my Portland, Percy. I just don't feel comfortable. It's rigid, lacks greatly in the card slot department and has only one, somewhat snug, pen loop.

I've moved into her for now, with the intent to move between binders every few weeks or so.

I think I miss Jeremy already :(

Is it always this way when you majorly shake-up your binder, or is it just me?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Little sticker haul

I'm alone and bored on the train home, so I thought I'd show off my little haul of stickers I picked up while in the big city of St. Albans.

Though smaller than my "local" paperchase (nothing is local when the nearest city is 40 minutes away) the St. Albans one seemes to be able to cram as much, if not more, stock into their tiny square footage! As every good starioneer does (stationery + buccaneer = stationery pirate!) I instantly scoped out the sale items; amongst which were these cute stickers. 5 sets of cats might be a bit much, but I gave away my only set of panda stickers & you never know when you'll need to spread the cute... plus, I like cats. The hedgehogs and foxes are for my mum, as gentle encouragement to use her mini Identity. She also lost 5lbs this week at fat club, so she deserves a non-chocolate based reward. Hopefully my weigh-in tomorrow will justify the mini splurge I've had this weekend (thank you ebay).

How do you like to use your stickers? Decoration, rewards, or willy-nilly because stickers are just plain awesome? I'd love to know :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Slimming World's Simple Folder

Those amongst you who follow me on Twitter will know that I have joined Slimming World (or Fat Club as I have so lovingly dubbed it) with my Mother.

On signing up we were given a cute little folder stuffed with all the information we need to start, and continue, our adventure to a more socially acceptable silhouette.

Front: with a lovely blue showing through. That wasn't meant to rhyme...

The front design is ever so reassuring! Pretty butterfly, heart and flower cut-outs and some rather gorgeous typography in silver foil decorate its cover. It's hard to show in the photographs, but they're not actually cut out of the translucent plastic (yes, it's plastic. A nice cream canvas or linen would probably last longer.) they are transparent sections. I'm not 100% sure how they achieved this effect; I'm assuming some form of heat printing.

"So here it is, with all our love; because you are amazing, and together we do amazing things."

Exactly what you want to hear before you step on a scale that looks like a Roomba from 2001.

Because of the variable transparency, the colour scheme of the colour changes depending on which booklet you put behind it.

A lovely sunset affair. The sunset to my love-handles perhaps?

Inside you can see the magnetic closing mechanism, and the pockets that neatly hold everything you need to get going.

Transparency reads, "If you love food you'll love food optimising. Your slimming success really does start here."

I'm so glad this isn't one of those nasty shake/special soup based diets. Been there, done that, got the "Awful stomach pains after 2 hours." T-shirt. As you can see, I've labelled everything with Washi tape in case I ever leave it at a meeting.

On the exterior, everything is lovely, as is most of the interior; but it goes a bit to pot when it comes to listing food "Syns". So many tables!

The one main qualm I have with the starting pack is the food diary.

This design just doesn't seem to click with me.

Surely spaces for each of the three main meals; and separate spaces to list your Syns, extra free foods, and your a & b choices, would work much better than this? The current set-up only really lends itself to one of the 4 daily plan choices you can follow. If, like me, you're on perpetual green days, listing the free foods in that tiny gap is going to prove the biggest challenge of the whole diet!

I've decided to make my own in both mini and personal sizes so both I and my Mother can carry it easily, reducing the chances of us forgetting something or getting confused whilst recording our food.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Week #2

This week has been such a messy one filo-wise! An awesome week, but my god; I could have tried a little harder to pretty it up a bit!

I attempted a few different methods of dividing my daily to dos but, as you can see, it all went to pot around tuesday. Then I got the day wrong for some additions and had to fix it with stupid wiggly arrows :(

I have a feeling that next week isn't going to be much better thanks to the potential snow and my travel plans. I'm going to be checking the weather reports like a mad woman!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Where for art thou A4?

While I've collected a fair few binders, so far there is one size I do not own. A4.

As a design graduate I've spent most of my life dragging around various sizes of portfolio. The heaviest of which being a monsterous A2, which I struggled to lift even before filling it. Since then I've downgraded to an A3, but it's still ridiculously heavy when full, and I can't help but feel that dumping something of that size in front of a perspective employer is a bit intimidating. There for I need an A4!

I've already sent my feelers out and have found a few options to mull over.

Image via filofax UK.

A Finsbury Trifold Folio; while missing the rings the rest of my binders have, I'm not completely adverse tot the idea of a lose leaf portfolio. And it's only £40 in the local stationers.

Another option is an A4 Logic, which I couldn't find a suitable image of, also found for a reasonable price in my local stationery shop. It has both rings and a handle, giving it a more of a briefcase look. The only downside is the finish. Not being a leather binder (or even leather look) takes away any professional edge you have with alternative binders.

Image via officeshopping.co.uk

Goldline binders are more traditional when it comes to design portfolios, but do I want to be traditional when applying for a job, or do I want something that makes me stand out? Experience has taught me that this style of binder is weatherproof, sturdy and the rings are reliable (but destroy your fingers if you get trapped in one!). They are however cumbersome and, frankly, they always smell weird. I'd rather not take this option if I don't have to.

Image via filofax UK.

Back to filofax; Metropol Zipped A4 Portfolio. Classic, beautiful, ringed, and has loads of space for extra paperwork and business cards. Can you tell where my preferences lie in this 'decision'? It could be my new found penchant for the Metropol series, but I think something like this could serve me well... IF plastic presentation sleeves fit inside it. If they do, it might be worth considering this instead...

Image via filofax UK.

Metropol Zipped A4 Portfolio with handles! It has the extra professional kick form the handles with all the storage of the regular A4. How amazing would I look (and feel) walking into an interview sporting one if these bad boys and a nice suit? I could keep all of my documents inside it, take any notes I needed to during the interview, and have an intimate format in which to present my work.

The problem is, everything costs money, so it'll be a while before I can get any of the above. However, it does mean that I have loads of time to really think about what I want, and to tart up my work ready for the new folder.


Monday, 7 January 2013

Small additions

While this stationary thing may be getting a touch out of hand, I try to never make a purchase without purpose.

I've been looking for a friction pen for a few weeks now, but I refuse to pay the price WHSmith were asking for. Strangely enough, WHSmiths had them for over £1 more than the local independent stationery shop. It pays to look around sometimes.

The Stabilo Lighter pencil will be used to highlight anything written with my fountain pen as, for some reason, my highlighter pens erase the ink quite effectively.

The lovely arrow page markers are from WHSmith. I wanted a way to mark separate projects in my A5 Kendal, but didn't want to commit to labelling anything as the turnover is pretty quick. These cute little arrows clip nicely onto the edge of my page, marking the start of each project. Hopefully, because they're not made of metal, they won't damage the pages I attach them to.

I wish I had these things when I was researching for my dissertation. I would have wasted a lot less paper.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

My Week #1

Apologies for the ugly photo, I've not quite perfected the art of capturing text on camera.

This week has been a game of two halves; I was lucky enough to have my incredibly gorgeous boyfriend over for new years, so all I wanted to do was spend time with him at the start of the week. Once he went back home, it was business as usual for me and Jeremy.

I've shopped a LOT this week. Ebay seems to be my way of fighting the post-Christmas blues, so all my gadgets are getting new cases (especially my phone after I dented its screen protector!) and I have a pretend Brompton on the way, the filofax not the folding bike.

As you can see I've gone with a transparent ruler. It's working out really well; I don't have to constantly flip it over when trying to view my week, and it's thinner than the vintage black one I was using previously.

Hopefully next week will have a touch more order to it. I plan on trying out Timeboxing for a few design projects I'm attempting at the moment, and maybe a to do/appointments split similar to The Storage Studio. This will be my first full year with a filofax, so there's plenty opportunities to experiment!

See you next Sunday :)

Friday, 4 January 2013

My flexible friend

As 2013 is the year of the organised, and the bargain hunter, I've made an addition to my collection.

Guess who...

I purchased an A5 flex for my younger brother this Christmas; as he as a dissertation to fight with this year, I knew that anything that would help him focus his energies (you know what musicians are like) and was easily portable would be an advantage.

After seeing the versatility of the flex I couldn't help but want one of my own, and they come in pink! Filofax can label it how they like, it is not quite magenta. Though calling it 'magenta' may help it to appeal to the print industry (everyone loves a touch of CMYK) and the feminine shade prevents women from being alienated from the First Edition range.

I'm really starting to get a liking for the non-leather products; combine this with Jeremy and you've got a regular ray of stationery sunshine! 

I've haven't written in it yet, but I know exactly what I'm going to use it for: CVs! In the past I've always written tailored covering letters to accompany my CV, which I also go over every few months depending on my priorities. I believe that hand writing them first instead of going straight to the computer, gives you two stages of thought between the document you're going to send out into the world. Pretty similar to my thoughts on the design process really.

As you can see, I've been influenced by Filofancy in using the flex as a Kindle case. My brother has decided against this for some reason, but each to their own. I also appropriated a metal bookmark from a cracker to hold any lose leaves I may have to carry, though I've only had bad experiences with these destroying the tops of pages, so this won't be holding anything more important than printing receipts.

I've hidden the tare and share jot pad, or the pizza sheet as I like to call it, underneath the ruled notebook and moved the pen holder to the right exterior pocket. Being right handed, I like to have everything on that side. I'm really going to have to force myself to write on the reverse of pages to prevent paper waste.

Huge phone is huge.

On the interior is another lovely pocket perfect for a mobile phone, thought it's probably not designed for one as large as mine.

Using this pocket does make it fatter than it's intended to be, and may compromise the condition of any cards you're carrying.

I have to say that I'm more than happy with this purchase, and finding it for less that £14 really sweetens the deal. The only down side is that the refills are expensive; £10 for a blank notebook seems extortionate. Luckily at a standardised size, you can use any sketch or note book you like. I'm looking at you recycled Paperchase stationery.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Introducing Jeremy (the kingfisher blue personal metropol)

Some of you (more likely none of you) will be sad to hear that I've semi retired Percy the Personal Portland. Technically it belonged to my Dad, and is potentially older than me. I felt that if I were to damage it, it would be a hell of a lot worse than damaging something I'd paid for with my own money. For now at least, he's tucked up nicely in a box looking after all my extra pages and such.

On to the subject at hand! This is Jeremy:

He's so pretty, and 50% off in the Staples sale, which makes Filofax's reduction of £5 look a bit meagre in comparison.

Normally I wouldn't have gone for a Metropol; My mini is a tad on the puffy side and smells of tobacco (not my doing I assure you), but the colour of the Kingfisher is amazing! Combined with the contrasting stitching and the cute way the material is gathered at the corners makes me smile. Metropols are nothing if not cheerful.

A tight squeeze.

In comparison to the Portland the Metropol is severely lacking in storage space, the card slots are exceptionally tight but you'd be hard pushed to lose anything from their clutches. I've used mine for stickers, business cards and library cards. As you can see I'm using a year on one page at the front, though I've taken to popping a to do list behind the fly leaf when I've got a lot to remember to do. While it did come with official filofax A-Z dividers, I really like how the colourful Paperchase dividers look.

I think everyone's tabs should be in a secret code.

While the A-Z is pretty, I have enough OCD in me to want dividers that run smoothly so I've kept the numbered ones it came with. I don't know whether I'm going to formally label them yet, but I know where everything is and that's all that matters...right?

Double trouble.

I'm not sure I've addressed the subject of my dual rulers before; I use one for my monthly view planner and one for the current week and I simply flip one over so the tab is at the bottom, preventing them from clashing with each other. I may swap one of them for a transparent one as I can see the benefits of being able to read through your ruler, but I'm undecided/yet to try it out.

To make up for the snug storage space I have two plastic sleeves for important things like giant holiday receipts, exhibition tickets (I can't recommend the Tate St. Ives. It's rubbish.), old Italian coins with naked men on them, and proof of postage for filofaxes I returned in early December and have yet to see a replacement or refund for...

At the back is a nice big mesh pocket for anything you fancy or the included, pre-punched, notebook. I quite like that I have some where solid to write so I plan on keeping the notebook. You can never have too many notebooks if you ask me.

Not as fat as it looks.

Pen-wise I've got with a Zebra 0.5 mechanical pencil and a blue Bic four colour thingy. As the front and back pen loops are two different sizes (front is significantly larger than the back) it should accommodate most combinations of writing paraphernalia. The front holds a Lamy Safari quite nicely, for those of you who like to use fountain pens regularly.

The only thing wrong with Jeremy is a small abrasion on the strap but, as it was the last of its kind in the shop and super cheap, it doesn't really bother me.

Teeny tiny.

And as a final bonus, it goes nicely with my current phone case!


Hopefully I'll be able to stick with this beauty for a while. It's far too pretty to ever get bored of :)