27 June 2016

A date for you diary - 3 July 2016

We are going to run another conference round-table voice/video/text chat using Skype a little later than normal this month due to my travel commitments.

When? - Sunday 3 July at the following times:
  • London 10:00 am, 
  • Paris 11:00 am, 
  • Brisbane 7:00 pm time.
Additionally we will be on line later in the day at the following times:
  • Los Angeles 8:00 am, 
  • Denver 9:00 am
  • Dallas 10:00 am, 
  • New York 11:00am, 
  • London 4:00 pm 
  • Paris 5:00 pm etc.  
See the World Clock to make sure you have the right time.

The timing of these two sessions have been chosen to hopefully allow as many people to join in compared to previous round-tables.

Do not worry if you aren't available at the start of one of our sessions each one lasts 2-3 hours so pop up when you are available and say hello.

Where? - an on-line chat using Skype. with voice and video (if you wish)

What do I need? - just a micro-phone and some head phones(in ear phones work fine) and a free Skype account. Using headphones or earphone reduces 'echo' on the call. Video is optional, but a few of us will be on video as well.

Who - All of you... connect up with Philofaxy and we will attempt to get as many of us linked in to the audio conference as possible. Come and listen if you don't want to chat.  What do we talk about? Filofax stuff... but anything else as well. It's like long lost friends meeting up for coffee and a catch up.. but don't worry if you have never joined in before... you are an old friend too!

If you have any questions you want to ask then please let us know in the group or before we start.

How -
  1. Connect to Philofaxy by firstly searching for Philofaxy in Skype, I will then add you as a contact.
  2. Then  'Send Contact Request',  I will then add you in to the chat room. 
  3. Then if you request it, I can add you to the audio conference as well. But if you just want to chat via keyboard that's fine. That way it's slightly less hectic for me!  
Come and join in the fun, even if you only pop in to say hello... but don't be afraid to join in the discussion.

As with previous round-tables there will also be a parallel text chat room going at the same time as the voice conference, so you can listen to the voice chat and type if you wish, just mute your microphone in Skype

If you need any assistance setting up Skype, please pop a comment in this post and I will try and help you get one line. Skype is free for computer to computer calls....

Here is my post on how to improve your Skype audio with headphones or a headset.

Hope to be chatting with you on Sunday 3 July 2016.

26 June 2016

Experienced User - Tina

Thank you Tina for sharing how she uses her organiser. 

I am a Lecturer / Researcher in Cultural Studies/ German Literature at an Irish University (originally I am from Germany) – and I am part of the generation that transitioned from the analogue to the digital age very consciously.

1. When did you start using an organiser?

When I was a student I constantly worked with some sort of binder system, because I might have had different classes on one day and didn’t want to carry multiple notebooks. Also binders made it easy to incorporate hand outs and library receipts directly. These were simple bulky a4 planners though, and they were a pain to carry around.

Right when I finished my Masters and started my PhD project in 2000, emails came up and library computers could suddenly be accessed off campus. More and more content could be saved digitally (since storage systems changed so quickly though, I still have my old notes on paper, but there is a 5 year gap of material from 2000-2005 that I can no longer access. Also in 2008, just when I had started a new job, somebody had hacked into my email account and had deleted all mails (which I had used to send myself work in progress and teaching materials I was intending to use at my new place).

It was then when I decided to go back to some sort of paper system, at least for the most important drafts and reusable elements of teaching units. I struggled for many years with different notebook systems, hating their inflexibility and messiness (despite of all sorts of indexing hacks, it bugged me that I could not differenciate between temporary notes and notes intended to stay – either the notebook filled up too quickly with information that I didn’t need anymore – making the more important information hard to find, or I started to tear out pages, which wasn’t pretty), yet enjoying their low weight and transportability.

It was only at the beginning of last year that I came across Filofaxes, when I was looking for lighter and prettier versions of binders. I knew of course that they existed, but for some reason it had never occurred to me that they could be used for different things than just hosting a diary and contact pages. As soon as I had realised their potential for me, I was hooked.

2. How has your use of an organiser changed over the years?

I had started with the idea of having one binder for “everything” and since I was very pragmatic and budget conscious at the beginning, I just bought an a5 domino. Then I realised that there was information in it, that I should not carry around (in case it got lost), such as marks of students or short notes to their performances in assessments.

I now have a “teaching binder” (still the Domino), and a “current research project and grant applications binder” (an Original in a5) in my office, and a “house/garden project binder” at home (personal Original). I also have an a5 “master” binder open on my desk that contains detailed scheduling, the most recent notes to my research project, health and exercise notes, career planning, renovation/ gardening projects, and my master to do list; even a section for my husband who tends to scribble things important to him on random lose pages that then end up at even more random places – so I secure them there whenever I happen to find one. This binder (an a5 Lockwood) is my brain extension and brain dump in one.

When I am away for more than a few days I can grab it, zip it, and know that in it is all I need.  It is, however, very heavy, and therefore I am also using a 2 level satellite system: Level 1 is my senior Van Der Spek which is my everyday companion.

Its format is perfect because I can easily take out the a5 pages that I need in the current week, punch them at the top and fold them in (it’s exactly a6 format then).

In its big backside pocket I can also fit a5 pages or folded a4 pages – of which I get many in meetings or seminars during a normal day. It also perfectly hosts index cards, which I use to learn Irish – so I can take the words and structures that I want to learn in the current week with me and make use of unexpected waiting times.

3. Which diary format works best for you and why?

I find that I work best with the dodo pad for forward planning (because it’s fun and makes the future appear really exciting and promising),

but once the future comes closer I need more structure and less distraction, and I am using the vertical appointments inserts that the planner came with, to plan out my exact weekly schedule one or two weeks in advance.

Practically all of my completed tasks somehow translate into an email that I have sent off or something that I have submitted online somewhere (with an email confirmation in return), or a book or article I have published, so that I have neither desire nor need to keep old diary pages. Hence what I do is I transfer my current week from my Lockwood to my Van der Spek, and once the week is over I tear it out and throw it away.

Oh, and level 2 of my satellite is a terribly unpractical little vintage wallet organiser (a Lincoln from 1989).

It was a very lucky eBay find (sold for almost nothing by someone who didn’t know what it was) and I am only using it when I want to go out without a bag. It just contains a credit card, some cash, my emergency contact, health insurance card, driving licence, some phone numbers, and a bit of note paper. It’s something that slips easy in a jacket pocket without bulking it. And it’s the lightest and most stylish way to carry note paper around!

4. What other information do you keep and maintain in your organiser. 

As for other items: I keep bus tickets, stamps, plain envelops, some cash, important receipts, café bonus cards and colour coding stickers in my planner. I don’t “decorate”, other than using pretty post cards as dividers.

5. Do you use a 'system' of organisation, and how does it work in your Filofax?

When it comes to my task list, as soon as a task comes in that requires more than an hour of work, it goes on my master task list, and if it needs an hour or less, I schedule it by putting it on a post it note and stick it in my diary at the first time I believe I will be free to do it at the right time of the day. If it’s a routine task, I will stick it to a free spot in the late afternoon, if it’s a task that requires alertness and focus, I stick it on the next free morning.

Also, when I am planning bigger projects I break them down in steps that I schedule long term, so there normally wouldn’t be many “free”  time slots available, however I try to keep at least an hour at  each  work day schedule unplanned for sudden emergencies. If no emergency occurs, I will look for such post it notes in the following days and will get it out of the way, and I do the same when an appointment is canceled – at least in theory, often enough I end up just enjoying some free time.

I am using a simplified version of GTD to keep my desk and my mind free. Every piece of paper or task-bearing email that comes in, goes into a “month” folder – this can be a bill that has to be paid or a conference call of an event where I want to participate. I don’t use different categories here but go strictly by the time in which something has to be dealt with. Once that month is close, usually at the last weekend of the old month, I crab the folder and schedule the tasks or do small things such as payments straight away.

That way I stay on track of things, without letting every incoming thing interrupt my flow.  It is important, however, when dealing with deadlines, to put things in the right folder – not the one in which the deadline expires, but the one in which I need to start working at it, to be done in time.

I am archiving relevant pages of planners that have become too bulky in upcycled vhs tape covers. I found out by accident that they have the perfect size for a6 as well as personal inserts.

6. Do you use one binder or several, and if several, how do you use them?

As mentioned above I am using different binders, but each of those is represented as a section in my master binder with its most current work in progress. My master planner is like the narrowest point of a Japanese fan: very stable, very concentrated, connected with every section of my life – and from there the other planners spread out in their distinct areas.

And whenever a new area becomes very bulky I know that the time is ripe for this area to deserve its own planner. Of course I could just get some cardboard office supply folders for it – but where would be the fun in that? Also I tell myself that since all of my planners but two are kept stationary – well, most of the time anyway –  and are therefore in perfect condition, it should be possible to resell them, should I once end up impoverished and be buried underneath the weight of my planning.

Thank you Tina.

If you would like to take part in this series please email steve@philofaxy.com and mark your email 'Experienced Filofax User'

25 June 2016

Web Finds - 25 June 2016

So I hope you have had a good week.

So now it is time to enjoy a great collection of blog posts from around the internet, so grab a drink and make yourself for our weekly round-up.

Here are some Philofaxy posts you might have missed this week:
  1. Web Finds - 18 June 2016
  2. Experienced User - Elena
  3. The Goldilocks effect (home in my Kensington)
  4. Free For All Tuesday No. 281
  5. Web Finds - 21 June 2016
  6. Guest Post – Dust Bags by gmax
  7. The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Plannerverse - Episode 17
  8. Free for All Friday No. 397 by Nan
So here are the latest Filofax and other brand blog posts from around the Internet. Don't forget to leave a comment on the posts you enjoyed reading, all bloggers enjoy getting comments.
  1. Filofax Original Lilac Setup - Jagged little thoughts
  2. Bullet Journal and Filofax - My Filofax Blog
  3. Lord Dodo (sorry, Kitchener) WANTS YOU! - Dodevoted
  4. Gillio Amica una vera Amica.....Gillio Amica, a true friend.... - La Bottega di Melany
  5. Recording Information using a Filofax - My Filofax Blog
  6. Filofax Adelphi Review - The Stationery Geekette
  7. Filofax Fun: Loving my Kikki K! Part 1. - The Tales of Me, life's little adventures...
  8. Getting out of my planner funk - changing things up (featuring my week #23) - She's Eclectic
  9. Favourite pens for my Filofax - My Filofax Blog
  10. Should You Bring Your Planner on Vacation? - Lil Divette
  11. How to Make All Those Lists Work in Your Planner -  Giftie Etcetera
  12. Filofax Fun: My Kikki-K part 2. - The Tales of Me, life's little adventures...
  13. Featured on Philofaxy - A Witty Take On Productive Ways To Maintain A Work/Life Balance
  14. Filofax crocheted cover - My Filofax Blog
  15. Iskolai szünet a “filofaxban” - FilofaxNi!
  16. Filofax Finking Friday 2 - My Filofax Blog
  17. Blog planning set up in my Kikki K - Polkadotparadiso
  18. The William Hannah Notebook - The Pen Addict
  19. 5 simple steps to help you get on track: Use your planner! - The Fabulous Planner
  20. Take Note - Filofax Blog
  21. Paperchase Nordic Planner Review - The Stationery Geekette
  22. Planner Friday - June - She's Eclectic 
  • We monitor over 400 blogs and sites, your Filofax/Organiser blog posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • We can not guarantee people will read your posts, but we know there is a higher chance of people reading your posts and returning to read other posts if you make them interesting with pictures and good hints and tips. Do not forget to give your posts a title... 
  • Your Filofax/Organiser posts could appear in this list, just contact philofaxy at gmail dot com to be added to our monitoring list. 
  • For some general tips on Filofax Blogging, please see this post
We are on the look out for more people to take part in Reader Under the Spotlight. If you would like to appear in this feature then please contact Steve : philofaxy at gmail dot com  Thank you.

The videos and 'My week' posts will appear in their own post on Tuesday.


24 June 2016

Free for All Friday No. 397 by Nan

Welcome to our weekly roundtable!

Do you have a section in your organizer that's completely freeform? Blank paper for doodling? Lined paper for idea capture?

How have you used this section in your life?

Of course, since it's Friday, all ring-bound organizer-related conversation is welcome!

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