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Practicing "Fillogamist"

by Gwendy Lefforge

I have a confession. One Fillion isn’t enough for me. I need multiple. 


I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a beautiful journal full of memories or introspection or recipes or milestones or goals or… but that’s the problem. I always purchased them but was too scared to use them. Afraid I would mess them up by starting down one journaling path and changing my mind, I was paralyzed by indecision. The pretty, empty journals stacked up, collecting nothing more than dust.

Then I found Fillions. The idea of a beautiful, personalized journal that could also be easily refilled made me all kinds of happy. Now I could have my keepsake journal, risk free. If I wanted to change directions, I could just swap out one of the books and start over. I could embark on a neatly gridded bullet journal or an eclectic art journal or a mini scrapbook or whatever other journaling whim struck my fancy. And I did. I tried pretty much all of those, plus some. 

So then what did I do? I started collecting Fillions. For as many journaling interests as I can think of, Little Mountain Bindery has a leather/size/color combination that speaks to me. Here’s how I use each of my beloved books:

Large Tan Bifold: This was my first Fillion and has seen several different insert iterations. It is currently my artsy journal of life events. I keep a Moleskine calendar, a plain Moleskine, and a gridded one in it. I use the calendar to artfully note highlights in my life, the plain pages for sketching and watercolor, and the gridded one for recording thoughts and feelings as they occur.


Large Black Trifold: This is my workhorse. I teach 8th grade science. I have five class periods with a total of about 150 students to keep up with so I use this Fillion with six gridded Moleskine inserts to document student issues, parent contact, etc. It easily fits six of the notebooks so I can have one per class period, plus one for general documentation or to-do lists. I had it outfitted with blue and gold cording, an arrow and feather charm, plus a blue/gold polka dot pocket to show school spirit for my Central Warriors.


Extra Large Gray Suede Bifold: This is my primary sketchbook. I like having extra room to practice drawing, watercolor, lettering, stamping, etc. It stays at home in my art basket until I have a chance to play.


Small Black Trifold: Honestly, this might be my current favorite Fillion. This one stays in my purse for any kind of notes or lists I need to jot down on the go. Of course, I could use my phone for this task, and I DO use it for some,  but for me there’s just something handy and aesthetic about having a cute little leather journal with my name on it. And I LOVE the black and white cord and the tiny feather and blue bead charms. I previously used a small Brown Bifold in my purse, but I find I like the extra protection of that flap when it’s rattling around in my bag. 



I’ve also gifted Fillions extensively. Most of my family and extended family own personalized Fillions.

*My husband uses his Large Bifold daily at work for meeting notes and inspirations.

*My oldest daughter uses her Large Bifold to journal her senior year in high school and keep track of graduation, college, and scholarship information and deadlines.

*My youngest daughter is the artist and loves to sketch in her Large Bifold Fillion. She doesn’t seem to have ANY of the fear-of-getting-started that I do.

*I also got Small Trifolds for my girls as travel journals: Annie is going to Peru for her senior trip and Tillie just got back from a GT field trip to Epcot.

*I’m not sure my 15-year old son has found a regular use for his Medium Bifold (a stocking stuffer a couple of years ago) but I’m sure he’ll come around.


Here are some of the ways I have used my Fillions or uses I have imagined:

*Collect favorite recipes

*Compile weekly meal plans and shopping lists

*Write down one thing about each of your kids EVERY day. (If you have young children DO THIS, you will be so glad you have it. You don’t think you will forget all that cute stuff, but you do. I used to write down cute/funny things my kids said. It’s so fun to go back and look at those quotes.)

*Health/Fitness journal. (I’ve played with keeping food logs and even making notes about why I think things went “wrong” and how to avoid pitfalls in the future.)

*Keep a list of creative projects you want to complete. Include paint chips or magazine clippings for inspiration.

*A Reading Log complete with date, title, author, and a rating and review. This will be fun to go back and look at over time. It would also be nice to have when friends ask for book recommendations.

*I think teens especially might think it’s fun to keep a journal of makeup combinations they like. Mine would have a drawing of a face on each page with labeled swabs of color. I would also keep a list of OPI nail polishes that I like.

*Keep a book of outfits. A sketch or photo of clothing and accessory combinations you enjoy wearing.

*A book of favorite song lyrics and quotes. I love to use quotes and lyrics when I’m making art, it would be nice to have a catalog of curated samples.

To be honest, I’m always trying to think of a reason to add a Fillion to the family.


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