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Monthly Archives: February 2012

the melbourne painter meet up group – painting at st kilda pier

(Just realised I wrote the following entry but never posted it)

In trying to find fellow art journalers in Melbourne, I joined the Melbourne Painters at St Kilda Pier for a day of sketching and painting.

Below are some of the pictures I took on the day.

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uni style fit meister review

Yesterday I tested out the new multi-pens I ordered from a week ago which just arrived (shipped from Hong Kong).

I purchased the Uni Style Fit Meister 3 in 1 multi-pen and the 5 in 1 version. Both in pink (I’m surprised at myself too!) to match my A5 Finsbury.

When I unwrapped and picked up the 3-in-1 I remembered that I don’t like metallic pens – they don’t have a good grip and feels like they are forever slipping while you’re writing.

Luckily, although the 3 in 1 has a metallic barrel, the 5 in 1 has a plastic one. I had originally ordered the 3 in 1 to store my staple colours, (red, black and blue) whilst the 5 in 1 was for the fun colours together with the mechanical pencil.

However, if the metallic barrel keeps slipping in my grip, I may need to re-organise the colours and use the plastic one as my main instead.


I sometimes handwrite the draft of my blog entries

When ordering the pens, I had accepted that the 5 in 1 would be too thick to fit in the pen holder in my Filofax; I had assumed I’d just clip the pen to the holder instead. However it would seem that the 3 in 1 is a bit too thick as well. I could get the pen in and out with a little force and I’ve heard that leather pen loops would loosen over time, but I’m afraid that I’d tear the stitching if I tried. So both pens are now clipped to my Filofax instead. Which isn’t too much of an issue for me.

I also had an issue with the ink refills. Don’t get me wrong, I love the variety of colours available and how smoothly it writes (except for the light blue one – that took a few try to get the ink flowing).

However, I’ve only written about one A4 page of text using the dark blue ink and already you could see a significant decrease in ink levels. I write a lot, and I have a feeling I could finish one refill within a couple of weeks (one week if I was writing my draft blog entries as well).


I really prefer gel ink over ballpoint (who doesn’t?), but replacing refills frequently can get pricey.

Lastly, and this is not a deal breaker, but it does leave me scratching my head, is that the 3 in 1 doesn’t have a naturally “retracted” mode.

With the 5 in 1 you just half press any of the other colours that you’re not using and the pen you’re using will be retracted and you wouldn’t have to worry about the pen accidentally leaving marks on things when you’re carrying it.

With the 3 in 1 however, it doesn’t naturally allowed this. The pen doesn’t have any buttons, instead you twist the top half of the pen to select the colour you want. Normally when a cartridge is selected, there is a slight “click” to lock the cartridge in place. But there is no lock for retracted mode, you have to just half turn the top half of the pen until it is roughly between two colours (ie. so none of the cartridges are protruding from the barrel).

As there is no lock for “retracted mode”, there have been a few times when the cartridge has accidentally out twisted and I end up marking myself or my clothes. As I said, not a complete deal breaker but can be annoying.

Regardless of the number of “negatives” that I’ve pointed out I still love the number of ink colour choices and how the pens write. The pen nib doesn’t move around when I write, which is something I’ve found to happen with some multi-pens, and the pen barrels (both metal and plastic) are nicely made.

These pens are thicker than the Filofax pen loops (the leather ones anyway), so you’ll need to use the pen clips to attach them to the Filofax, but that’s not to much of a problem for me – all the pens I like have fairly thick barrels and won’t fit in the loop anyway.


So there’s my review of the uni style fit multi-pens. When I’ve had a chance to use them more, I’ll come back with a follow-up review.

For now, please let me know your Filofax pens and leave a comment with a link to your Filofax-related blog posts!


new filofax obsession

Yes, I have to admit that I haven’t been art journaling recently. As many of you would understand, everyday life can get quite hectic and the first thing to go would be the hobby (and I mean the term in the nicest way possible).

This entry isn’t going to be about art journaling but I think would appeal to many art journalers. I’ll be talking about Filofaxes!

It’s funny how things work out, because I was never a fan of Filofaxes. My one and only exposure to the product (prior to the events leading up to this post) was back in Uni when a long-time friend started carrying this tiny ringbound PVC-leather notebook everywhere.

I was using a Palm at the time so it was with amusement and then increasing annoyance that I watch him write his appointments down in miniscule letters on a cramped weekly planner page and record each and every expenditure on a note page which then needs to be manually calculated. It also didn’t help to see that the ridiculously large rings (in comparison) was in the way everytime he wanted to right on the left page (he was right handed).

When I finally asked him what he was using, he proudly told me that it was his mini Filofax. I have had a aversion to the brand ever since.

A few weeks back I realised the yearly calendar at my workplace needed replacing. I went from looking at commercially printed calendars to online printing services. Then I started looking at free online templates to create my own. In the process, I stumbled across DIY Planner and from there I was gone.

I started with just printing A5 pages to be put into a 2 D-ring Binder.


It was a good start, inexpensive, and allowed me to see whether a ring bound planner was going to work.

I printed out different types of weekly planner, to-do lists and GTD-related pages to see what would be “my” setup.

And it would have been all good and well…if I didn’t then started browsing blogs on planner systems.

Just some among the few which I browsed until wee hours of the morning, flicking through images of fancy looking planners that looked nothing like the tiny plastic-y notebook I remember my friend carrying.

I was hooked. All the pretty pictures and articles on how to customise your own planner made me want to get one… immediately.

I’m not a patient person, when I really want something, I had to get it NOW. Last time this happened, I purchased an iPad 2 within two days of deciding I wanted one. Time before that I went to five different districts in Hong Kong trying to find an English copy of Lineage 2 (which I couldn’t find, so I ended up getting Guild Wars).

This time round I ordered from an online store located within Melbourne and selected “same day delivery”.

Yes I’ve joined the craze and is now in possession of a Filofax – an A5 Finsbury in Antique Rose to be exact.


A5 Finsbury in Antique Rose I’ve always been into productivity gadgets though I haven’t talked about it much. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad 2 very much and I use it at work everyday, but there’s something satisfying about writing with pen and paper – and much quicker; I can’t really be turning on my iPad and opening the Notes Plus app when a colleague comes up to me with things to do. In case you’re wondering why I do that, I’m trying out David Allen’s GTD (or re-attempting the system), but I’ll talk more about that later.


This photo was taken about a week into using it and you can see it’s full (not to bursting as I’ve seen elsewhere, but I’ve already had to take out some diary/planner pages out to fit my GTD setup).


I’m not using my Filofax as a wallet – I don’t think an A5 should be used for such a purpose – so I don’t have my cards stored in the slots in the cover. But I do have receipts and ticket stubs (both movie and transport) wedged behind the rings. There’s also a pack of cute stickers that I plan to use to add whimsical elements to my pages (yes, I might go so far as to do zentangles and art journaling pages in my Filofax).


Filofax only has side tabs that I know of, but I’ve read a few articles on making your own dividers/tabs. Although I did not exactly follow their instructions, I did manage to create a few more dividers for my GTD context folders.


My tabs are quite plain at the moment; I do plan to decorate them and make them “mine” as I use them.

The tab labels were all printed using a Dymo labeller which unfortunately uses a wider tape than the tabs have space for. I tried cutting them down to the right size freehand, but ended up with wonky tabs that weren’t centered. So I selected the “border” style around the text so I would have a guide line to cut around. I read it on blog about Filofax hacks but I can’t remember which one.

If you are the owner of said wonderful blog entry, please let me know so I could give credit where credit’s due. (note: found the blog, it’s Ray Blake’s My Life All in One Place blog.)


I have a feeling that this would not be my only Filofax-related post – I actually have a few ideas for future entries already floating around in my head (well they’re written in my Filofax). I think a Filofax is a great tool for creative people to have – it’s a customisable system for people to jot down every single creative idea that they come up with.

I’m quite curious to know; how many people here already use Filofaxes, or paper-based organisers for their creative work?