My Filofax

Karine Tovmassian

Thoughtlets on Filofaxing

The first Filofax I ever bought was a Fuchsia Apex A5. At the time, I had a good look-see through all the Filofax models and wanted to have the sort I wouldn’t mind throwing in the passenger seat of my car, or plop on a table in a tea house without worrying about scuffs, marks, dents or other mishaps. I was looking for aesthetics and form. The Apex made full use of the Bauhaus philosophy of form following function. Also, I loved the bright and happy fuchsia colour with the accented yellow, elasticated band. 

My attraction to Filofax centres around the ‘Filofax-ability’ of Filofax organisers to be a better medium than other planning systems for documenting, tracking and maintaining the various parts of my life. I’ve most recently created a ‘30 uses for a Filofax’ list in which items such as menu planning, grocery shopping, appointments, to-dos, current contact list of my clientèle, running lists for Christmas cards, household inventory, eBay items for sale, daily, weekly, monthly and annual cleaning schedule for our house, birthdays, beauty regime, airline and hotel travel points, rewards cards and travel/work calendars all reside in various designated Filofax planners.

I am a firm believer in the “You have one life. Thus, you need only one planner” concept. I know there are people of both sides of this statement, arguing about their work-life being separate from their private life, but I am a purist where calendars are concerned. Certainly, one can have multiple calendars in a planning system. My other Filofax organisers simply serve their designated roles as delineated by my ‘30 uses for a Filofax’ list. They are, in effect, Project Management centres. I never plan in the other Filofaxes and while I do have multiple calendars, those calendars are housed in one, deliciously brilliant, purple, leather Malden, A5 along with a zip envelope of colourful pens that travels along to colour-code my calendars.

I love how a Filofax adapts to the user’s needs; it is brilliantly user-friendly. Before meeting Filofax, I would NEVER have thought of using a planning system as a wallet. My current wallet set-up is housed in a red pocket Chameleon, which holds credit cards, folding money, coins, IDs, Square Credit Card Reader, thumb drive, business cards, post-it notes and flags, and a fountain pen (blue-black ink). The various inserts, colours and design models allow for a modular system that works within my life, as opposed to other systems where I feel I must crop bits of my life in order to have some of it fit, awkwardly at best, into their system.

As an editor, writer and workshop facilitator I often travel to my clients’ locations and need my mobile office to be as compact as possible. Because I accept credit card payments and need to invoice clients on the spot, I use the small zip pocket envelope as a keeper for my Square Credit Card Reader in my pocket Chameleon wallet, along with the USB thumb-drive for my accounting software and safe haven for earrings that need to be swapped out.

There is a huge stigma in our societies for people that lead cluttered lives and to those whom organisation is not a sixth sense. The simple awareness of wanting to lead a more pulled-together life is reason enough to celebrate. However, through friendly forums like Philofaxy, I find life is absolutely cherished through active members who encourage planning, breaking down the processes of setting up functional planners and not adversely criticising those who’ve no clue what a planner is and how to go about setting one up for the first time. Filofax ownership is a lifestyle adjustment; I am keen on maintaining this sense of calm and order.


Originally from Bucharest, Romania, Karine is a Writing and Language Specialist and owns a writing and editing company ‘Thinker Extraordinaire’. She received her BA (Hons) English and Foreign Languages & Literatures from California State University and her MA in Commercial Diplomacy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, USA.

She serves as a creative consultant to governments, agencies and private companies, advocating the use of simple language, advising on creative and efficient project management techniques and facilitating workshops on resumé writing. She writes pieces showcasing lifestyle design, the intricacies of planning and the nuances of life hacking.

Facebook: Kariné Tovmassian

Twitter: @MrsTovmassian

LinkedIn: Karine Tovmassian




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