In the process of developing my organiser I have learnt a lot from other people’s systems, from around the world. However there has been one problem with this globalisation and it is increasingly frustrating and that is the availability of supplies.
In the UK, the main organiser available is Filofax and when I was developing my organisation system the question wasn’t whether I would use a Filofax, but what size it would be. As I couldn’t decide on the size I tested an A5 ring binder. It was successful and was an eye opener for me that there were more options than Filofax, especially as it was cheaper to buy normal A5 paper allowing me to experiment with my own templates such as my day planner.
But there was one issue, the file was wider than I liked and took up the majority of my handbag. But as it had a lovely picture from our honeymoon on the cover which made me smile each time I looked at it, I didn’t consider changing for long. However, the issue came up again when I was working with my husband to develop an organisation system for him. He wanted an A4 system that would lie flat and preferably fold back on itself, so a ring binder was not an option.
I showed him examples of other systems I found on the internet, particularly Corrie Haffly’s (which had almost tempted me to convert because you just can’t use her project task cards with a two ring binder) and Stephen at HDBizBlog. The more we looked into the disk system, the more excited we both were at the possibilities.
The USA and UK have different standard sizes of paper and although similar Letter and A4 are not compatible (I don’t know what the closest to A5 is). This would mean it wouldn’t be possible to use standard UK paper in one of their organisers, butI assume it is possible to buy American sized paper over here; or we could create our own organisers using the punch.
Unfortunately neither Levenger or Rollabind focus on the international market for their products so the postage to the UK is enormous. No estimate is provided on the site, but doing our own calculation it appeared it was going to cost about the same for the postage as the actual order which was going to include several packets of rings and at least two punches. I am happy to pay for international shipping, but not that much.
After further research I discovered two European equivalents; brilliant! Except Atoma don’t appear to have a UK supplier either and neither they or ADOC sell punches for their systems (which are not compatible with the Levenger or Rollabind systems) so it is necessary to buy their refill paper.
As a trial, I bought an A5 ADOC book for myself, and an A4 one for my husband, and I have to admit that I’m very impressed with the disc system. My organiser is much thinner than before and much more flexible. In fact, I want to create lots of notebooks for different projects, but oh yes we don’t have the choice in the UK! If I continue with the ADOC system I need to rely on their refill paper which for the A5 size only appears to come in wide ruled lined paper; I am still amazed that no stationer has been able to find the plain paper which I want to use for my day planner.
At the moment I only see three solutions to the problem; I return to my ring binder, I change my templates to fit the lined ADOC paper or offer to be an importer of Levenger or Rollabind to the UK and selling it from my garage!