Philofaxy AllStars Guest Post by Kanalt17: Bag, Bag, Bag – and Another Bag!

Thanks to Zoe for allowing me to guest post on her wonderful blog!

Today I am writing about my latest bag acquisitions.  (Lord knows, there’s probably more, but these are the ones I’m going to talk about today.)

First, my new pen bag.

I bought this little bag at Barnes & Noble when I was there last.  I didn’t need a pen bag, wasn’t looking for one.  But the owls caught my eye (I love owls).  And canvas is pretty durable, so I figured, why not.  Obviously, I keep my pens in here.

There is plenty of room for my pens, pencils, and highlighters.

You can read about the brand of pens and how I color code here.

There are actually two compartments in the bag—the bigger portion (where I keep my pens) and a smaller portion (where I keep a white out roll).

On the back of the bag, there are two snaps.

This allows you to snap the two sides together, making a (what would seem) smaller bag.

I suppose this is meant to make it easier to put into a tote or work or travel bag, but I felt that it was too difficult to get my pens out using the bag this way.  I keep it open and flat.  I don’t carry this pen bag with me—it stays on my desk and when I’m planning and/or working, it’s out in the open, giving me easy access to all of the pens I might need.  However, the bag is slim enough that I can easily place it into a tote bag or travel bag when I need to.

Bag number 2 is my summer bag—the LeSportsac Carryall Tote.

I bought this bag after buying my first Carryall Tote.  It’s perfect for work—it’s so roomy, I can fit everything I need and then some.

And unlike my brown tote, this floral one provides a light, spring/summer feel, perfect for—you guessed it—spring and summer.  Since I’ve already reviewed the style itself, I’ll just go over what’s in it.

Here we have (from left to right, top to bottom) my iPad, The Happiness Project (I’m not currently reading this, but I do always carry a book with me, I just didn’t have my current one handy, so this is a stand-in for the purpose of the post), my Coach wallet, my rain hat (I don’t like to carry umbrellas—it’s one more thing for me to hold—but I do need something to keep my glasses from getting wet, which prevents me from seeing), my LeSportsac “essentials” bag (see review of this below), Ms. Plum, a Vera Bradley wallet (contains my store rewards cards and various coupons), a tote bag that rolls up small (I use this if I have a ton of items to bring home/return to the library), my sunglasses, my new iPhone, gum, a pen for whenever I might need one, and my keys (note the Vermont “Moo” key chain—it’s also a bottle opener—one always needs to access beer quickly, though not at work).

Moving on!

The “essentials” bag that I mentioned above is the LeSportsac Boxed Travel Cosmetic bag.  Note the stitching on the front.

It has a top main zippered compartment and a front zippered pocket.

When I read that the inside was pink, I was a little nervous, as I’m not a pink person.  But upon arrival, I was happy to see that it’s a very muted and calm pink.

I call it my “essentials” bag because there is absolutely no makeup in it.

Inside is a sample size of deodorant (a lady must always smell fresh), Purell (for when you need to be clean), lotion (for when you need to moisturize), Advil (for when you have pain), Tide stain stick (no stains here!), a toothbrush (fresh breath is preferred—but fear not, I don’t brush my teeth in random places), a hair clip, a sample compact mirror (to check that there’s nothing in my teeth or up my nose), floss (for when you see food stuck in your teeth upon using said mirror), Chapstick (an item I can’t and don’t live without), toothpaste for said teeth brushing, and a hair brush.

The front pocket holds lady items—no one wants to see that, so we’ll be skipping the details here.

Let’s just say that these are all things I cannot live without carrying with me.

Once full, my tote bag still has plenty of room for other items.

I can still toss (and do) a sweater for the day (my office is ridiculously cold), a DVD, CD or audiobook that needs to be returned to the library, and other items (sometimes an extra pair of shoes if I’m going out after work).

That’s quite a lot!

We now come to our fourth and final bag for this post, my new autumn weekend bag.

This is yet another LeSportsac tote, the Medium Travel Tote to be exact.  I bought this little beauty off of eBay.  I love this style for the weekend, as illustrated by my previous post of a different pattern.

I love the three zipped pockets on the front.

There’s plenty of room inside to carry what I need to during the weekend (basically, everything I carry during the week minus the iPad, the book, the hat, and the roll-up tote bag).  What’s neat-o about this find is that it comes with a matching cosmetic bag.

I probably won’t use it with this bag because I’ll more than likely be using the essentials bag from above—it’s easier to move one essentials bag from tote bag to tote bag rather than moving all of that little stuff.


So that’s it for now.  It sounds like I’ve bought out LeSportsac, but really these purchases were made over the course of several months.  I’m sure there will be another bag purchase before the end of the year (but, maybe not).  We shall see.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “What’s In My Bag.”

**Note: I am in no way affiliated with or getting kickbacks from Barnes & Noble or LeSportsac.  I just happen to like their products.**


Wow, thank you so much for this fantastic guest post!!  I have me some bag envy going on for sure!! And now I must go check to go see if there is anything in my teeth….

Planner Conundrums

Nothing in life really stays the same for very long, does it? I should know this by now.

Last Wednesday some stuff went down at work and suddenly my world (professionally) turned upside down and my formerly sufficient Compact Finsbury with the Week on Two Pages diary inserts suddenly wasn’t gonna cut it anymore.

Room…I needed room. And lots of it.

Overwhelmed but still craving color, I went straight into the Filofax bin and grabbed my A5 Aqua Finsbury and loaded up some Day per Page Business Style inserts.

Of course, you are all very familiar with my ongoing gripe about Filofax’s lack of tabbed months, or even the ability to tab out a month’s worth of daily pages with someone elses monthly pages. This is a feature I use heavily, both in my personal and professional planning. But hey, Filofax, you know best so whatevs.

Undaunted, I simply did what I used to do back in the day…stuck one page marker ruler in the appropriate Filofax untabbed month and another to mark the day.

Lame then, lame now…but I digress.

While this setup gave me room galore, which trust me, I appreciated and made full use of for the rest of the chaotic week, the thing was HEAVY. And bulky. No way I was going to lug it around 24/7 like I was doing with my Compact.

And, not wanting to give up my awesome and beautiful Compact, I took out all but the weekly pages and made it my wallet. This way, I figured, I could carry it all the time and still use the Weeklies for an overview until I got back to my cement block of an A5, which would be laying somewhere (at home or on my desk at work) open and waiting like the cumbersome behemoth that it is.

Carting the A5 brick around in my handbag along the Compact as wallet and everything else I carry on a daily basis was back breaking and required a humongous handbag.  I knew by the weekend that it probably wasn’t going to work, and remembered why I moved away from A5 in the first place.

Okay, back to the bin and this time I tried Filofax Day on Two Pages (didn’t I start the year with those? I can’t remember anymore…) and stuck Q3 & Q4 in a Personal binder.

After copying to present in full detail mind you.

Yeah, if using a Compact has taught me one thing, it’s how awesome those small rings are when it comes to writing on all areas of the pages, on either side of the rings. Not so with a Personal; the fat rings which allow for more than a couple months of 2ppd to be carried also make it a complete pain in the ass to write.


So, I moved my wallet stuff BACK into a regular ol’ wallet and tried the 2ppd in the Compact. Using it as my one, everything planner (which means some To Do pages, note paper and the like), I could manage a paltry 2 months of two pages per day.

Which two would it be, 1 past month and the present month, so I could refer back? Or the present month & 1 future, for forward planning?


Fail. I need a bare minimum of three months for work (1 past, the present month and 1 future), ideally six months. Do I spend the money and order the FF Personal Day per Page to only use the last 4 untabbed and untabbale months (which I was told will fit in  Compact), or do I go back to the bin once again?

Back to the bin. This time the Franklin Covey bin. They, at least, have tabbed months and I remembered really liking the 7 Habits Two Page Per Day inserts I tried at one point, when my life was busier.

Life lesson: Never, EVER toss out planner pages from a current year that you’ve quit using for one reason or another. You may be back. And if you’re me, you will be for sure.

These are too wide for a Filofax Compact binder, so I also took out a FC Compact binder (Compact being their equivalent to Filofax’s Personal size) and set that up.

Yes, that means I copied everything AGAIN. My right wrist was killing me at this point, but I was unstoppable. A veritable juggernaut of planner dubbing.

Or flat out crazy. I have yet to make up my mind on that one.

Anyway, here I am in the light of day with an ancient, resurrected FC binder and 7 Habits 2ppd inserts, hoping for the best.

You were very patient and read a lot, so now I will reward you with some pictures : )

Here it is. Just an old FC “Compact” binder, black smooth leather, that they don’t even make anymore.

Inside front. Love the flowered fabric lining and the secretarial pocket. Four card slots and an ID window (in which I have Tarot of Trees “Strength” card, in case you were wondering). The pen loop is also stretchy : )

Right now I have Sept through Dec in it, along with one tab for capturing any notes, quotes, etc. If I decide to stay with this format, I will probably add more stuff to it.

Open to the day, two pages per day. A wonderful three-section To Do list and appointment calendar on the left page, with extensive room for notes on the left page. Line spacing is terrific and very usable.

Just a view from the top….

Interior back. The black plastic thing on the left is just a backer insert so you can write smoothly with no bumps (and the end few pages don’t get crinkled). Love the additional secretarial pocket in the back, plus the gusseted zip pocket.

The back. The smooth leather has worn like iron and still looks brand new. Something to be said for quality.

My only issue with Franklin Covey stuff is that it isn’t Filofax. This is a good thing or a bag thing, depending on my mood. A good thing because I do love the FC inserts (with their oh-so-glorious TABS) and, although limited in color and selection, I have never had an issue with the quality of the binders. Bad because FC doesn’t add that addictive chemical to it’s stuff like Filofax does so it is “just a planner”, as opposed to the metro/ retro chic of “a Filofax”.

And there is no FC-ofaxy web community. Or Flickr group.

What I’m gonna do for 2013 is entirely beyond me, but for now I need to quit dubbing around, re-copying, obsessing and just settle in to a system that will help me stay on top of my new duties and responsibilities, all the while remaining sane.

For now at least, this is seeming like the best solution to my new work sitch, so in this case function will outweigh form and/or coolness. And addiction for that matter. Sometimes it has to I guess.

Stay tuned – who knows if I’ll still be in this system next week…

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