It's time to come clean. A few days into 2008, just before I started posting here again, I had a Philofaxical crisis. After one-and-a-half years of all-Filo-all-the-time, I was one trip to the stationery store away from abandoning it all.
It all started one day at work, the first day after Christmas break. I was planning my work schedule for the next few months by projecting my upcoming deadlines. I used a monthly wall calendar to write down the milestone dates and hung it near my desk where I'd be sure to see it. Yes, I write the same milestones in the A5 Filofax I use for work, but then I don't see them far enough in advance. That's one weakness of the weekly Filo format, and it did affect my work performance last year.
I then flipped through my Filo, with a tab for general Admin To-Dos, and a tab for each major project containing both To Do pages and notes, and wrote down a list of things to do today on a big piece of paper. Another weakness of my system -- no instant way to ferret out what needs to be done TODAY.
You can see where this is going. The voices in my head start chattering...all I really need is a simple wall calendar and a running To Do list. I can keep my notes for each project in a file folder...wouldn't that be easier than maintaining a tab for each project and lugging a heavy book everywhere? A composition book for meeting notes...
I started making a list for everything I'd need to replace my 3 Filos (work, personal, and household). The list almost filled a large sheet of paper, and it included a small Moleskine to replace my Personal Filo. Well, those are already sold out for '08. Do I really want to change everything over, when I already have almost 2 years' worth of notes in Filo format? Do the weaknesses of my system really warrant starting over with completely different tools?
There was a time where I made lists like the above one or more times a month. But just as that kind of tweaking becomes an addiction, staying on track eventually becomes the path of least resistance. I started by promising to stick with my Filo system for just the last half of 2006. Then, the entire calendar year of 2007. Done. Now, another year -- 2008 -- is no big deal. I can just keep doing what I'm doing, with the option to change at the start of 2009.
But I'm going to add one thing to my Filo system -- one of those Vertical Year Planners. And I put that list I made away for 2009 -- in the pocket of my A5 Filo.