Thursday, 1 November 2012

Other mothers have handsome sons, too ....

Late in September I finished a huge work project. With everything in place and new activities ermerging, I suddenly felt the need for a planner change. My A5 Malden and me were working together just fine, but I didn't really need that much space anymore. At least, not for the next months.

As you already read in my last blogpost, I had printed out some DIY diary pages for my Personal Malden, that were kind of a mockup of the Franklincovey layout. They worked nicely, so I ordered a pack of nearly outdated Compact refills from Franklin Covey UK (dated from April 2012 to March 2013). They were priced at 8.95 GBP, so I figured it wasn't a huge amount of money, should it not all work out.

FC UK don't do tracking codes btw, and various phone conversations with the Scottish employee's revived a lot of memories (I had lived in Newcastle years ago, and the Geordie accent bears similarities with the Scottish tongue). Nevertheless, I received a nicely boxed package about one week later. Not too bad, considering they shipped it by road instead of air (yep, true that!).

The inserts fit nicely in my Crimson Malden, but it wasn't really all that perfect. By mere coincidence I stumbled upon an empty (and very ugly!) Exatime binder at a shop clearance that was about an inch wider than the regular Filofax Personal binders. Cool! I moved right into it, but hated the look of the binder (black pleather with a dark green mock croc - brrrrr). So I started scanning Ebay for FC Compact Binders. Plenty of choice there! I bought one from the US  (shipping was more than reasonable), but was truly horrified once it arrived: that thing was HUUUGE. I figured I didn't need 1.75 inch rings after all ...... (now, stop laughing!)

But one fine day, I discovered a very nice binder on Ebay UK, which had been listed as a Classic size. It arrived within just 4 days (thank you, kind seller!) and I am in love! I discovered that this model is called Aurora and has since been phased out. The leather is gorgeous, and absolutely equals the Malden magic. I have seen this binder in a dark burgundy somewhere on Ebay, but the one I won is a rich warm tan colour. Purrrrrrfect!

So, let's take a closer look at this beauty:

Meet Miss Aurora

Fully loaded.
View from the top

Backside, with a nice full height pocket - who knew?
Two very roomy penloops (hold two Lamy FPs without hesitation) and GOLDEN rings!

The rings are gorgeous! Not only are they super aligned and strong and golden, but they are 1.25" big!!!!

1.25" rings!

Obviously,it would have been insane to use this binder, have it with me at all times, and also use my Compact Chameleon as my wallet at the same time. So I decided to give Chameleon a break (she's been assigned another job now), and move her entire wallet contents over to Aurora. It actually works brilliantly!

6 cardslots, a secretarial pocket behind them, and a large open pocket where I store paper cash  

The zipper pocket holds my coins!

Post its- dashboard for my (grocery) shopping list (behind this my usual 4 wallet tabs).

 As for the diary portion of the planner: I really love the Original 2PPD pages! I'm still colorcoding as you can see, I love all the space on the right hand side where I also journal about my day before I go to bed. Great way to close up the day and never forget a thing. I also bought a Pouch Pagefinder, where I can insert a piece of paper with my weekly Task list.

Original 2PPD with pouch pagefinder
I use the monthly pages to record future events and appointments. They have replaced my weekly pages alltogether, how about that? I colorcode for a better visibility and I also use some Paperchase stickers to highlight special events.

Month on two pages

On the back of the monthly pages: Personal, Family and Household Todo's for the month; Work Todo's o the right (first page of the month)

The inserts I purchased only go until March 2013, so I only have the tabbed month until that time. However, the package also included a full year of untabbed monthly pages (on two pages!) after March 2013! I simply added a postit flag and can now plan forward for more than a year, until I buy my next inserts:

DIY tabs

As you can see, other mums really do have very beautiful sons ... ehm .. daughters, too! I am totally in love with this binder and also with the inserts. I like to be able to always have my planner with me. I also had a chance to listen to the Franklin Covey tapes (from Hyrum Smith's workshops) and got some great new insights. I started prioritizing my daily tasks (A = vital, B = important, C = should), and I use my Daily Tracker to record at least one task per day that is on my Longterm Goals list. It all just feels so natural and logic and really makes sense ....

So, anybody else considering moving over to Franklin Covey ....?


  1. ooohhh pretty! I am considering a classic one to leave at home. Seems heavy to carry all the time but sure thing having everything with you everywhere you go is tempting!

  2. Fantastic! I love the look of this binder and all the pockets, and the leather looks gorgeous!

    So you said it was listed as Classic size, is it? Or is it actually Compact?

    I know I'll be looking at Ebay UK to see if I can find an equally beautiful FC binder!!

  3. What was the 1.75 inch rings binder? I'm curious about it.

  4. I don't think that's an Aurora - I think it's actually called Collages. I had that one for a long time & loved it, too. One of the fasteners came out on the front of mine so my husband rigged it for me. It never bothered me. I wish I still had it. I liked it a lot better than the one I'm using now (Her Point of View).

    Is it a Classic or did it turn out to be a Compact.

    1. Well, the seller called it Aurora and on there's still a black Classic Audora for sale that looks the same. I also googled Aurora and found pictures of this binder in red, also called Aurora.
      However, I googled Collages this morning and found a leather tancolored FC tote bag that looked indeed very similar?! Do you have any pics of your binder?

    2. That is indeed a compact Aurora. The classic size has 7 rings.

  5. What a lovely find & thanks for sharing :)
    I think that zipper pocket looks just great for change.

  6. To answer your last question: Yes.. I am.. I think about it all the time and your post isn't helping me. I have a serious case of planner envy. The Aurora is just gourgeous with the tan and golden (!) rings complimenting eachother. First Zoe with her Gaia and Veronica binder and now this.. it's just too much! I'm stuck in personal versus A5 Filofax doubts and I keep thinking that 0.5 inch could make alle the difference. I'm going to print some undated inserts now and try it. (Oh, and just so you know: If you ever decide to sell.. *wink* *wink* *nod* *nod* *wink*)

    1. Haha, no chance of me parting with Aurora! But there are a few nice (and not too expensive) options available on ebay. Check my Twitter feed, cos I linked some of them!
      And I agree: the FC Compact size is a very nice compromise between the bulky A5 and smallish Personal sized FF binders. LOVE IT!

  7. Fantastisch! Maar je hebt nog steeds andere binders toch die je gebruikt? Ik dacht namelijk dat je er een voor de kinderen had, een voor adressen, etc. Of, zit nu echt alles in deze ene?

  8. Hi! can you please email me at helen at plancreatesucceed dot com so I. Can discuss a guest post? I just found your comment on my 1st Nov post on Philofaxy but can't see an email on your profile. Thanks.

  9. This is beautiful! I have been an FC fan for many years but switched over to a Filofax the beginning of this year just to try something new. I may or may not have a brand new FC Boston binder on its way to me even though JUST got my Holborn a week ago. ;)

  10. Wow, gorgeous! I just bought an FC binder via ebay, also with GOLDEN 1.25 inch rings (which I think are just fabulous). It would be heartbreaking to leave my bright red Winchester at home, but the added function offered by the Franklin system seems like a good trade off. The extra half inch of page real estate, the larger rings, the superior day and month layouts, the higher quality paper... It seems like a slam dunk. Something aesthetic about FC binders rubs me the wrong way, but I'm keen to give it a try and see how it does. I used DayTimer for most of 2012 with great success, featuring a very similar layout to the FC 2PPD. So I'm hopeful. And really, who can argue with GOLDEN rings?

  11. Hi! I'm the mother to your FC's twin. :) You recently made a lovely comment on a post I did featuring the Aurora that accidentally deleted (curse these big thumbs and touchscreen phones!). Anyway, in response to your comment, yes, I love everything about this binder. The spacious pen loops, and all the neat little compartments. I am not currently using it as I am all Filofax inserts at the moment and the OCD person in me can't stand how empty it looks with the narrow FF inserts. I'd like to get her some proper FC inserts once I figure out what I want to do with her. For now, she sits pretty on my shelf. Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

  12. That looks like a YUMMY binder! If I ever abandoned Mr. Malden, it would be for an FC Compact.