Filofax Print-to-File software? Reviews?

I waffled a bit about where to post this, so I hope I picked the right place.

Anyway, I scored a really good deal on a Filofax personal binder, so I'm experimenting for the moment with using Filofax instead of Circa. Because I do not own any clever paper-trimming equipment, and don't really have the patience to fiddle around with it anyway, I also bought a pack of the perforated paper in Filofax Personal size, to give printing my own stuff a whirl.

The thing is, I'm a bit intimidated by figuring out HOW to print multi-page stuff onto the 3-up Personal paper format with appropriate front and back printing. (Front and back of one page, or of 2-up is fine. 4-up has plenty of information out there, too. Weird 3-up format? Not so much.)

I gather this is one of the things the Filofax Print-to-File software is probably meant to help with, however there's limited information about it on the Filofax website, no demo (grr), and my google-skills are failing me because I have not yet been able to turn up any solid reviews of the software, just the occasional reference in passing or brief comments that don't address the user interface and that sort of thing.

So, I turn to DIY Planner. Anyone out there have the software? Is it worth it, or is it just doing something you can do in other ways without too much more trouble?

(Specifically, I want to print out a week-on-two-pages calender for my binder using Outlook as the source for the data so I can have recurring events pre-printed instead of having to go through and block out all my classes by hand for every week of term. I want to do other pages as well, but the calender is the section where order is most critical, obviously.)

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filofax software

The filofax software is ONLY aimed to manage contact lists (telephone, address, ecc.). And the lists have to be stored in advance in .csv format with a separate spreadsheet (Oo Calc, Ms Excel) or dbms.

Everything the filofax software does, you can do better with any DTP program (I use Scribus, a semi-professional software open source, Oo Draw is very good too. A Scribus page can be easily linked to a database file. Perhaps the same is true for Draw).

Anyway, on the filofax site THERE IS the link to download a demo of the software. It's builded in borland c/c++, runs on windows, but I've tried it on linux under wine.


Your boss climbed the corporate ladder, wrong by wrong.

A few questions

I looked at the filofax site and saw letter size paper (8.5x11) that contains 3 personal size pages. Is this what you are using ? What are the margins around the pre-cut pages ? (millimeters is best)

Can you create the calendar pages you want ? From reading your post, I cannot be certain if the problem is just printing or if creating the calendar is part of the issue as well.

As a possible alternate approach, do you have a punch ? You could go to a store like Staples and have them cut down a ream of paper to the proper size. For that matter, they can punch it as well. Even paying tham to do it all for you works out less expensive then buying paper from Filofax.

You say you own no paper-trimming equipment and lack the patience to fiddle with it. Do you have any local friends with one or both ? You are, I believe, a student. Does your shool have such resources ?

Finally, can your printer handle Personal size paper ?

In using a tool like a planner, you have to be prepared to either buy the pre-made stuff that fits your planner or create it yourself (or pay to have someone create it for you).
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

That's the paper I ordered

That's the paper I ordered to try out, yes. I figure if it doesn't work for this, I'll find something else to do with it - my back up plan for the Filofax planner if it doesn't work as an agenda is as a project tracker for my various creative projects, so I'm sure I can come up with plenty of forms that would be useful where it doesn't matter what order things go in, or what's on the front and back of any given page.

It hasn't arrived yet so I don't have specific dimensions at this point.

I can create the calender with no problems, it's just getting it to print in the correct order with dated pages on the front and back that's confusing me. I'd like to have a week on two pages layout that's properly ordered so you see the whole week at one time.

I don't mind paying for things if it's going to be what I need - I just want to know what I'm getting. I was asking about the print-to-file software offered by Filofax because I don't feel like they're really telling me enough about how it works and what it can do, and I was hoping someone here on the site might have used it.

(Good point about the school resources, though - I think we do have a print shop tucked away somewhere. Most of my professors just want things emailed or via the Blackboard website these days, so I've never had any cause to investigate it, but now that you've reminded me I will look and see what they can do.)


OK, so we are talking about three (sheets/leaves) which produce six pages.

Very simply, page 1 and 2 are on either side of the first sheet, 3 and 4 on the second, and 5 and 6 on the third.

If you take three scraps of paper and number them appropriately and then lay them out, you will see something like this:

1 3 5
And the flip side is:
6 4 2

Notice how the apparent order seems reversed. By flipping all three pages as a group, you have reversed their order.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Filofax Print software/driver brief review

I decided to try it out and see how it worked, after saving unexpectedly on another purchase.

So far I've just played around with it a little and I haven't actually printed out a full planner's worth of pages yet (I will update when I do) but overall this seems to be pretty reasonable for those of us out there who want to be able to stick things into a funny size (like Filofax Personal) without a lot of fiddling around figuring out what to print where and so on.

It isn't really super powerful in terms of layout - it is basically just a printer driver in the sense that you send it pages to print and it resizes them and organizes them as necessary to print front-and-back (if that's what you want) in a sensible fashion. However you can send a bunch of things to it at once, from multiple sources, and then rearrange the order that it will put them in, so if you want to go months-to-weeks-to-days then you can do that, or if you decide you want to do weeks-to-days-to-months you can just re-order things in the Filofax software and not have to 'print' it again from your source program.

From my sample printing, my one query is that it doesn't seem to take into consideration the space you need to punch holes (or for the pre-punched holes on the Filofax paper) but I haven't played with trying to solve that yet.

There are ways to do it, but...

it depends how "geeky" you are or are willing to become.

There is a Java tool called "Multivalent" that I have demonstrated on this site:

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

I saw those...

One of the reasons I figured I'd post a review of this software, even though it does something that can be done in other ways, is there are a few comments to those posts where people seem to be kind of overwhelmed by the idea of actually using code to do things.

So this Print-to-File software seems to be a possible candidate for people like that, who just can't wrap their head around the idea of code/command line things and are willing to put up with some limitations in exchange for a more typical Windows interface.

There are definitely limitations, though - it just squishes letter sized pages to fit, so if you have images or graphics they get distorted, and currently I'm having some issue that I haven't taken the time to resolve yet in printing from OpenOffice Draw direct to the Filofax "Printer" that the program sets up.

So currently, I would probably say that if you can wrap your head around Multivalent, that's the way to go. But if you're one of those people who just isn't comfortable with that sort of thing, the Filofax software might be worth a look. It only comes set up with standard Filofax printer paper options (US and UK) but it looks like you can set up custom choices. (So you could create a two-per-page on letter sized paper, which isn't exactly the same dimensions as A5, if you wanted to do that.)

(I did come up with a quick-and-dirty workaround for the squishing problem, if anyone is interested. I strongly suspect there's a better way to do it, but I was just messing around at 4am when I couldn't sleep, so I was going for 'obvious' and not 'clever' in my problem solving. :) )

Show us your workaround, please

You may have an excellent idea. Please share it !
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Filofax Print-to-File squishing workaround

This is assuming you're creating a document or altering a document to fit something where a letter-sized page won't scale nicely. (In my case, I was using a bento-planner graphic I got from a website, because I have to take lunch/dinner twice a week and wanted to be able to have a place to write ideas for future meals or thoughts about the one I'd brought in my planner.)

I used OpenOffice Draw for this because I was using the DIY Planner Widgits kit, but I imagine other programs might be able to do something similar.

1. Define your page to start with as the size of a Filofax personal sheet (3.75x6.75) - lay out your page the way you want it. (This is also helpful because it lets you see how much actually fits on the page without being too cramped - there's only so much you can fit on a smaller page, and the ideal layout may well be different.)

2. When you're happy with your form, change the page dimensions to be normal letter sized. Select ALL of the items/elements on your page as one group. Drag and stretch to fit the letter sized page. This will distort things like images and graphics. Print this letter sized page to the Filofax software (or, since I have an issue with Draw not wanting to print to the Filofax Printer directly, I export as PDF, then print that.)

3. The Filofax software will take the letter sized page and basically undo all the stretching you did to get it to fit the letter sized page, thus producing a Filofax personal page which is the way you designed it in the first place.

It seems like, logically, this should not be necessary - I suspect that if I could get OpenOffice Draw to successfully print to the Filofax 'printer' I may be able to just send the original smaller page directly. (Or if I could get it to stay 3.75x6.75 when exported as a pdf and then opened and sent to the Filofax 'printer' - But I couldn't get it to quit trying to fit it to a letter sized page and then everything gets messed up when you go from letter to Personal. As I said, though, it was 4am, so I didn't feel like messing around with settings.)

In any event, it does definitely highlight something to keep an eye on if using the Filofax Print-to-File software - it manages text fine, and the calenders I sent to it from Outlook turned out okay, but if you have any images or graphics or charts, you do need to double-check to make sure you like the way they've been scaled down by the Filofax software.

(I will try to update my review as I use the software more. I'm fitting playing with it in around keeping up with school assignments.)

Oh! I will add that the actual manual duplex printing aspect as handled by the software seems pretty idiot-proof - it will actually print out a sheet of paper with a big arrow on it that says 'put the whole stack of paper in THIS WAY' unless you turn it off. So particularly for someone new to printing their own planner pages, I think that could be quite handy.

(As a secondary note, if I get permission from the person whose Bento image I used, I'll do up a proper template in a few sizes to put on the site. Would I be allowed to link to her web page from my template listing as a way of giving credit where credit is due?)