Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Monday, 25 February 2013

Guest post by Maria: Poetry Filofax

Maria was the winner of my competition to win a Swift filofax and kindly agreed to write a post about how she's using it. You can see her winning entry here and download her moustache to-list template here. Maria, thank you for a great post and for sharing your to-do list with us!

Maybe you remember that some time ago I won a beautiful Filofax Swift at Anita’s blog.
And after some thought I finally know what to do with it. When it arrived I immediately knew that the content would have to be beautiful in order to match the delicate, lovely exterior of the binder.
Translation in English at the end of the post
I remembered that I've wanted to read more poetry for a long time, which I haven’t done much about.
So my new Swift has become my poetry filofax in which I will create my own personal anthology. I won’t restrict myself to a certain author or period here. The sole criterion will be that I like the poem (I guess everyone knows that feeling when a text just speaks to you).

It feels like I stumbled upon a creative project here that really suits me:
I have decided to add one poem to my poetry filofax each week.

I like crafting very much but I’m not really much of an “artistic” person (I’m no good at drawing) so for me this will mean embellishing the page of the poem in a variety of other ways: crayons, gluing on pictures, just plain text…

Creating a small piece (of art?) regularly will surely be beneficial for me in many ways:
I will get to know new poetry and can revisit old favourites; I will craft regularly which always energizes me; I don’t exhaust myself with too large a project as I struggle with perfectionism.

I hope that over time this filofax will become a beautiful collection and somewhat also a reflection of my life (which text spoke to me when/why - events/people I associate with these texts…).

For the front cover I chose a portrait of myself that a very talented friend gave me as a Christmas card. I had been looking for a way to have it on display permanently and in this place it fits perfectly as it will always inspire me to be creative.


At the front of the Swift there is also a pocket where a little journal fits that I've kept for some time with short poems and prayers of my own.

Maria also helpfully provided a translation in English of Augenblick (from the first photograph). She first read it as a teenager in a book called Lilli's Morning Stars and chose it for the first weekly 'card' of her poetry project.

A Fleeting Moment
It’s the end of your concert
You’re standing at the edge of the stage
Smiling soulfully into the crowd

Everyone pushes to the exit
Voices
Sizzling air
Shoving
Thrusting
Over masses
Between noise
And silence
Our eyes meet

For the length of seconds
You’re looking into my eyes
I'm looking into yours
Unattainable closeness
Strangely familiar
Your eyes say
We feel the same

But disappearing
Into the crowd
Seconds later
I'm not searching for you
Enjoying the moment
Of a fleeting love at a distance

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Monday, 18 February 2013

All Stars Guest Post by Steve: Zen to Done review

I'm delighted to welcome a guest post from Steve, the Philofaxy King himself! Thank you, Steve, for a fantastic post about a book that I love and I'd forgotten that I did a very brief review here.  


It might shock you to hear or you might be surprised to hear that I think of myself as one of the most disorganised people there is!  I'm terrible at doing things I should be doing. I get diverted on to other things that I hadn't planned doing far too often. I could blame my lack of focus or motivation for it, but I have never been the sort of person that has Vision and Goals and all that sort of stuff.

When I worked I used to hate the annual review cycle of trying to set these sort of things. My job was mainly reacting to other peoples demands, I wasn't in a job producing widgets so I couldn't have a goal of produce n widgets in the year and then the following year produce n+5% widgets in the following year etc etc etc. You know the story I'm sure.....

In a vain attempt to harness my efforts and actually have some record of what I have done or acheived, I do use my Filofax organiser to record a very sketchy journal, and to list my To-Do's and lists. This sort of works, but away from my desk life continues to be slightly dis-organised. I have a list of jobs todo that I need to do one day... but you know there's always far easier and nicer things to do...

When I have dead lines to meet, I'm quite good at meeting them, I use my organiser to highlight things I'm planning to do in the future and plan things like posts on Philofaxy but I will admit I don't really go in to the small detail very often about events and things I'm planning to get done. It would be better I suppose if I delegated stuff better may be!!!

It gets worse....... I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to read Getting Things Done by David Allen, there's something about the book I just can't get on with, the way it's written or the layout or something. If I try to read it at night it just sends me to sleep... it doesn't grab me by the throat and keep me awake and the brain active enough to make me want to keep reading it. People have tried to explain the basic principles of GTD to me but my eyes just glaze over and my mind drifts off to something else and once again it's a lost cause. If you are one of those people that have tried to explain it to me, I apologise here and now for my lack of attention, yawning, looking at my watch etc.

So many other people have read it and have put it in to action within the Philofaxy community, I think I must be missing out somewhere... this has to be the answer to my haphazard journey through my late life? Or does it matter at all? Well I think it does... so I'm always looking out for hints and tips to try out myself and to also share with the rest of the people within the Philofaxy community... I'm that sort of guy!!!

OK here's where it gets better, here's where you take a grip of my wrist and wrestle me back on to solid ground and stop me from disappearing over the cliff edge.....

A few weeks ago... someone... sorry I've forgotten who it was or where it was shared a link about 'Zen To Done' by 
Leo Babautaas as usual I drifted off from what ever it was I was doing... clicking on the link or putting the phrase in to Google to find out more! I found the book and bought it on my Kindle. At first I thought oh here we go again.. it's another one of 'those' books, but this one did grab my attention and the approach appealed to me in a different way to previous attempts to getting my self vaguely organised...

As I've stated above I've never managed to read Getting Things Done by David Allen, so I will have to trust the judgement of Leo Babautaas as to what the differences are between the two approaches!  The first thing is he says that you don't have to do all of the  habit changes in one go. You can adapt to ZTD gradually and yet the changes are still effective. The book covers this in the first chapter, so straight away you will know what the differences are between ZTD and GTD.  He then intoduces each habit in turn, giving examples and a clear explanation about How and Why etc. It's a fairly easy read and I found it fairly easy to take in and adapt to my requirements.

There's also a blog by the author http://zenhabits.net/ and he's written other books too, although I've not looked at those as yet.

So the first four habits are fairly self explanatory 

  • Collect
  • Process
  • Plan
  • Do
I started by capturing all my ideas and thoughts, anything that came in to my head in my Filofax M2 I then either started doing these tasks, small jobs, what ever it was. But the more I captured the easier it seemed to stay focused. It was working... of course the proof will be if I'm still doing this in say six months time. However, the one thing that did come out of this exercise over a few days was that my long term goals started to emerge... yippee I had identified some things that I would be working on in 2013 as long term ideas. So these got highlighted and I now need to sit down and analyse these in more detail. So that has proved worth while.

The other 'habits' to learn are: 

  • Simple, trusted system
  • Organise
  • Review
  • Simplify
  • Routine
  • Find Your Passion
Leo recommends learning the habits two at a time. He's cleverly ordered them so they get progressively harder to learn, but he devotes more text to the later ones compared to the earlier ones. 
Having bought Zen to Done on my Kindle, one nice touch included at the end of the book is the opportunity to download a pdf version of the book free of charge, I've done this and printed it off to quickly refer to every so often.

Overall I think it's a book worth reading, you might find this work method easier to adapt to. 

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thursday, 14 February 2013

FriXion pens give away winners

Thank you very much for all your interest in my FriXion pens give away. I am delighted to announce that the winners are as follows, picked using Random.org:
  • Sally Cinnamon
  • Tracey Coates
  • mlblog
  • Liz Vee.
Please could you email me your name and address to info [at] anitalim [dot] co [dot] uk?
Thanks again to Cult Pens for supplying the pens for me to review, and I will be running another give away later next month :)

Friday, 1 February 2013

FriXion pens review and give away

I'd like to thank Cult Pens once again for sending me these FriXion pens to review. I admit I've been a bit curious about them as they're quite popular with Philofaxers for writing in a filofax diary.

So, how do they work?
The ink in the pens is thermo-sensitive which reacts to both heat and cold. The heat created when using the eraser means that the ink becomes transparent rather than disappearing completely. I had a little play and found that erased writing re-appears (more faintly though) after putting the paper in the freezer for a couple of minutes. And conversely 60 seconds in the microwave will wipe out any writing. I really enjoyed my little experiments as I went through a phase as a kid pretending to be a spy, writing in code and creating secret messages in lemon juice!

I was going to write individual reviews of each pen, but as I was going along I found I was just repeating myself so will firstly talk generally about them, apart from the highlighter. All of the gel rollerballs write nice and smoothly on filofax paper with very minimal show-through on the reverse.


They're comfortable to write with, all have a rubberised grip and the ink rubs out quite well with no damage to the paper. From a design point of view, I think it would make more sense to have the eraser on the top of the lid as I would probably use them with the lid posted, which means the eraser is covered up.     

First up we have the Pilot FriXion Point Erasable Rollerball Pen BL-FRP5 in purple ink.


The 0.5mm fine tip would be good for writing small in maybe a mini or pocket filofax, or maybe for squeezing more into your diary. It's slimmer and shorter than than the standard FriXion ball and fits in my personal Malden's pen loop. 


The pen mechanism retracts by sliding the pen clip. It's a little too wide for my Malden pen loop and got a bit stuck on the grip.


I love the bright pink Barbie colour! This is the standard FriXion pen and is a bit too wide for my Malden pen loop.

Pilot Frixion Pro Erasable Rollerball Pen BLFRO7


According to the product description it says 'with more grown-up barrel graphics suitable for office users'. Again, a little too wide for my Malden pen loop and got a bit stuck.


This has a lovely bright neon yellow ink and fits in my Malden pen loop and rubs out quite well. Out of curiosity I wrote with a ballpoint, highlighted it and tried rubbing it out. Maybe unsurprisingly it made a bit of a mess of the ballpoint ink but the highlighter still rubbed out. I could imagine this pen might be helpful if you block out time in you calendar in colour for work or revision.  

It's not recommended that you use these pens to sign documents as I believe there's more likelihood that the ink will fade, and using them on a cheque would be too easy to erase. I think they would be great to help keep your diary/work schedule looking neat and tidy if you needed to make changes, and would be helpful for crosswords and sudoku as well. Refills are also available which surprises me as I would have assumed they are disposable pens.  

I'm giving away all these pens (apart from the pink, which a friend is now using in her filo), so if you'd like one please comment and I will pick out four people at random. Please let me know which one is your preference and the give away is open worldwide.

Thanks for your interest - the give away is now closed.