Friday, September 17, 2010

Planners Without Frontiers – Steve Morton

Here is a guest post from my friend and fellow Philofaxy writer Steve. I am VERY excited about this, because this could absolutely revolutionize my Filofax usage: the wonderful paper and excellent diary formats of Quo Vadis, as Filofax-compatible refills!! Fabulous!!

Steve says:

My main interest is mainly in Filofax organisers and I write about them with Laurie on the Philofaxy blog. But following my recent move to live in France I have started to ‘widen my horizons’ with regards to what other planner formats are available.

A French medical doctor by the name of Mr Beltrami invented the Quo Vadis Weekly Time Management System in 1954. I’m not sure how similar the current designs are to what he came up with in 1954. It would be nice to think they are the same, but I can’t say for sure if they are or not.

Today it is a truly international brand with over 15 million diaries sold in 18 languages. They are distributed through several subsidiaries around the world.

After reading Laurie’s review of the ‘Tri-note’ I got interested in the format of their diaries and planners. To my surprise I discovered on the French or rather European website that the tri-note format was available in loose-leaf formats. The loose-leaf formats appear on the French site but not on the US site. However there are quite a few on-line stockists in France, and these inserts are also available in the UK on the Quo Vadis UK website.

As I live in France my local stationary store is a Quo Vadis stockist so I went there to see if the ring spacing would be compatible with my Filofax Organisers.

The A5 has the three holes that are the correct spacing but the two groups of three are a different spacing between them... more in a moment a picture will explain it better... But the Personal Filofax and Pocket Filofax size refills are the same as Filofax hole spacing.

The A5 I went for is the Timer 21 "Planing" and this is what it looks like (click on the picture to see it full size):

As you can see it's a week on two pages, but with a smaller entry for Sunday, remembering not a lot happens in France on Sundays (shops are all shut!).

The right hand page has spaces for tasks split in to telephone calls, letters, Emails, To-Do with a Notes section for each day and each day has timed appointment slots from 7am through to 9pm There are also small monthly calendars at the top of the right hand page. There is a week number tab that moves down the edge of the right hand page.

This design seems to be common through out the different ranges of Quo Vadis bound planners as well as the loose-leaf refills. On the smaller sizes there is a slight variation in the placement of the ‘Sunday’ space, but in A5 format it follows the same layout as its ‘bound’ cousins.

There is also a ‘Prestige’ range which replaces the different task boxes with a lined notes column instead.

The refill runs from September 2010 through to December 2011, but before I can use it I have to re-punch the pages. Here is why:

On the left is an upside down Filofax page, on the right a Quo Vadis page, if you look closely you can see the holes are half a hole spacing different! But with an A5 Filofax punch it's easily corrected:

The refill comes with lots of useful 'French' information, like holidays, phone numbers etc.

The pocket refill I bought is their Timer 14 horizontal which is a week on two pages starting on Monday or to be correct Lundi and this is what it looks like:

Yes it is in French, which isn’t too much of a problem for me! In some ways it is very handy because it has all the local bank holidays or Fete Nationales, which are of course different to UK ones. It came in cream paper, which is very smooth and very good quality and very nice to write on. The refills run from September 2010 through to December 2011 so I have already transferred across to this one for the remainder of the year. The corners are perforated so you might possibly be able to do away with a 'Today' marker.

Being a week on two pages compared to my previous refill being a week per page has obviously meant that there were more pages to accommodate in my Filofax pocket organiser, but I was able to thin it down by taking some of the spare pages and pages I wasn't using out of my organiser and everything is back as it was. I love the extra space that a week on two pages gives.

At the back of the refill are a year on two pages year planner for 2012 and other French information pages.

I tend to carry my pocket size Filofax around with me all the time and it contains my contacts as well as a snapshot of my appointments and to-do lists. But I’m now using my A5 with this refill as my main desk planner. My A5 also contains a lot of other reference information, which I like to have to hand. I intend to use one of my personal size Filofax organisers next year as my journal for recording what actually happened, the smaller size will not be too much of a problem as I tend to be fairly brief in my current A5 journal.

So if you like the flexibility that a loose-leaf format gives then take a look at the Quo Vadis refills if you like the Tri Note bound format.

*Those of us in the UK can order these French refills directly from the Quo Vadis UK website! The Timer 14 refill fits Pocket size Filofax binders, Timer 17 fits Personal size, and Timer 21 fits A5 (with hole-punching modifications as above).

Here again is the link to the French website showing the various formats for Timer, Prestige, Horizontal and Daily.

1 comment:

  1. QV have redesigned their European site! So the links just take you to the home page. Looks like they have slightly altered the range of pages, although the main ones I discuss in this post are still available.

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