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Monday, 08 February 2016 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

On the 22nd October 2000, I made a significant alteration to the way I ran my business life. It is the last written entry in my Filofax diary, because on Monday 23rd January 2000, I started up my Palm Pilot and never made another written note in the Filofax. It was a scary day – I had run my whole life through my Filofax for many years.


Gerry’s Trusty Filofax

I still have the leather bound Filofax in my office drawer. Along with my 2000 diary, with entries in pencil so I could change them, it contains all my contact details, separated by alphabetical dividers, a section for notes, a set of UK and European maps and most importantly in a plastic envelope at the front a picture of my wife and children to remind me why I was working so hard. I had considered alternatives for a number of years, ever since I left my Filofax in an office one day and thought my whole life had come to an end. You think losing a smartphone is stressful? Let me tell you that with no cloud back-up, losing your Filofax was like a bereavement.

I was persuaded to change to a Palm by a visiting USA supplier and at once my new electronic life began. In those days the Palm, which I have still got, did not make phone calls, it was just a diary, contact list and assorted other information. Oh and it was black and white, but at least you could back it up and if you ever lost it, you could replace it and all your information. Of course once I started down the electronic route, my Filofax stayed in the drawer and a succession of devices from Nokia and Apple took over from my Palm.

Palm Pilot

Gerry’s once cutting edge Palm Pilot

When I saw the announcement from Apple that they were introducing a new Apple Pen to go with the latest iPad, I had to smile, because here at last we were going full circle. Today’s tech-savvy youngsters are going to be reintroduced to using a stylus rather than a finger to record the minutiae of their lives, much like my Filofax.

Apple Pencil being announced

Apple Pencil announcement

Fast Forward to a Future of Pens and Paper Diaries?

I wonder how long it will take before some of them actually decide to try out writing in paper diaries again, because for the modern aesthetes it’s all about form and feel. The clean lines and tactile nature of paper just lend themselves to being part of daily life. You never know, if the trend were to catch on, the prospects of diary and journal printers might be on the rise again. Just like the slowdown in e-book sales and the growth in printed versions, print still has a place in modern life.

Of course the reason that I know the importance of the 22nd and 23rd October 2000 was not hidden in my Palm Pilot, whose internal battery gave up the ghost years ago. No, the reason that I know the date, was because it is recorded in my Filofax diary in pencil.

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