24 January 2007

Managing Multiple Filos

Last June, I wrote about the three Filofaxes I was using at the time and how I used them. Since then, a new reader emailed asking me to go into more detail, and reminded me that there may be other new readers who haven't seen this information before. Also, I've switched from carrying a Pocket to a Personal size Filo since then.

So, with the indulgence of anyone who already knows some of this, I'll quote from my email response here:

Mind you, this is subject to change without notice! I've tried to make a deal with myself to stick with this current system for the rest of 2007, but I'm already wavering, as I'll explain below.

Anyway, here's my current system:

1) A personal-size Filofax that comes with me everywhere. It's my wallet, week-per-2-pages calendar, and has tabs for to-dos, projects (current), ideas, lists, agendas, and telephone numbers. (As you can see, this is already different from the tab arrangement I posted on the blog a while ago.)

I do the projects as one-page-per-project, on yellow lined paper. It's fun to take the page out when I complete the project. My most recent one was making hotel reservations for next New Year's Eve!

2) An A5 Filofax on my desk at work. In this one, I have a day-per-page calendar that acts as a schedule, work record, and tickler file. Actually, I don't use this as well as I like, and it's the first thing I might change. In the past, I've used iCal at work with lots of success. This one has tabs for meeting notes, editing notes, contacts, reference, etc. (Can't remember them all since I don't have it in front of me.)

3) An A5 Filo that stays on my kitchen counter. This one is a work in progress, but it's the repository for my FLYlady system. She calls it a Control Journal. It's basically a tickler file for all your routines and house tasks, plus household-related contacts, family calendar (actually, a couples calendar since we don't have kids), emergency and evacuation info, and so on.

Anyway, if I make a change in this, it would be to use the A5 work Filo for both work and personal matters, and instead of the Personal-size Filo, use a Pocket-size as my wallet, with just a portable calendar, phone numbers, and some blank paper for notes on the fly. That's what I did last year. The reason I ended up getting a Personal-size was that I was trying to cram too much into the Pocket.

Hope this makes sense.


  1. That's fascinating. I find I can't make do with less than four organisers - one for work, one for home, one for sports and one for family! I sometimes think I keep the whole company going! By the way, there's no such word as 'filofaxes'!! That's how much of a geek I am! Still, whatever works eh? Great site - keep it up!

  2. I agree, quite fascinating! I find myself lost in another world when I'm organising my life within my Filofax. I couldn't do without it. I think it's a marvellous idea to have multiple organisers. You truly are a Filofax aficionado! Bravo!

  3. Thanks for your support, A1 & A2! I feel a renewed sense of confidence in my multi-Filo system.

    But I must ask; I'm intrigued. What's the plural, then, of Filofax? Filesofax, maybe...? LOL!

  4. Tax, taxes; fax, faxes. Look it up in any dictionary. I think you're correct, Nan.

  5. No - Filofax is the company name not the product name. So you use three 'organisers' not three 'filofaxes'. I win! :)

  6. The company name is Letts Filofax Group, Ltd.

    Anonymous 1, you should probably strap on a police siren and rush over to a Moleskine site, where people are calling them Moleskines instead of Moleskine notebooks, Moleskine sketchbooks, Moleskine calendars--all without adult supervision. :-)

  7. "Letts" it never be said that there's any adult supervision at Philofaxy!

    There are no winners or losers, either, unless you're talking about people who use Mol-a-skeen-as. :)

  8. Which personal size filofax do you use? Thanks.

  9. Hello Filofaxer

    I am currently using a Palm for appointments, contacts and todo's and in office I have to use Outlook. I am also using a Filofax for notes, scetches and because the palm accepts only latin characters. There is also a cameraphone/mp3 player in my pocket.

    I would like to use only the filofax instead of the palm, mainly because entering text is not so convenient.

    How can I keep appointments in outlook and filofax up to date?

  10. I have a slimline classic (cross) in black that I carry with me at all times, a Personal size classic (cross) again in black for home/personal life organisation and at work I have an A5 Bloomsbury in Black. I find that you definately do need more than one to organise a full life. I am considering one for the kitchen for the whole family so that we can all remind, manage and book appointments...
    Anon. E. Mous

  11. Hi Anon E. -- Your organizers sound so sleek and sophisticated! Definitely consider the kitchen organizer. It can be a way for family members to pass notes back and forth, a repository for numbers that anyone might need in an emergency (repairmen, etc.), menus and recipes so whoever gets home first can start dinner, and so on.

    H. P. -- There are only two ways to sync Outlook with a paper organizer: Either by hand or by printing. You can buy printer paper from Filofax in your organizer's size and print your Outlook calendar and contacts on it. You may not have to do the contacts very often, but for the calendar you may want to reprint once a week (just the upcoming weeks or months), and then write on the printed pages in the meantime.

  12. Question for Nan: Which Filo models do you use? Thanks

  13. A5 Work - Finsbury, Black

    A5 Kitchen - Belgravia, Red

    Personal - Finsbury, Red

  14. Did you find that the pocket was more portable than the personal? I'm trying to decide whether to purchase a personal or pocket to use as a wallet.

  15. Yes, the Pocket really is more compatible for a wallet than the Personal. Although I've gotten used to having the Personal with me everywhere, the Pocket is really easier to carry.


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