More recently using more than one size at the same time. This year I managed to get it down to two organisers instead of three, but still different sizes. I'm not counting the ones I have for dedicated jobs like my work A5 or my car Pocket Filofax, they continue to be used for the purpose they have been set up for.
This year I've been using an A5 Malden at home and a Personal Malden to carry around with me, both with essentially the same information in, even down to duplicate journals. But sometimes it takes a shock or a crisis to make you realise which size works best and sadly that happened to me recently.
At the beginning of April, I suddenly had to travel back to UK at a few days notice and attend to some arrangements. I found that the A5 with the Enhanced Time Management Insert that Ray and I designed really worked well in this two week period when I had two return trips to UK, one by train and plane, the other by car. It was complicated and tiring in equal doses, I didn't have time to think about it all really, I just needed something to help me through the plans, some where to record details and phone numbers, reference numbers, reminders.
I was staying in different hotels and so I needed the booking references to hand when I arrived at each place. It all looked as if it was going too well, until less than 12 hours before my first flight I received an email to say my flight had been cancelled due to industrial action. So then I had to literally start again and re-plan one phase of my travels by train instead of plane... thank goodness for Frixion pens... out went the flight details, in went the train booking details:
- TGV - Tours > Lille Europe
- Eurostar - Lille Europe > London
- East Midlands Trains - London > Sheffield
- Trans Pennie Trains - Sheffield > Manchester Airport
'Have you flown from France today Mr Morton? Because I thought all the flights had been cancelled?'His face was a picture.... more tapping away on his keyboard, then he turned to his set of car keys and grabbed a car key on a tag and handed it to me along with the hire agreement.
"Err no I've come by train"
'What all the way?'
"Yes all the way"
'Well for your determination Mr Morton we have given you a free upgrade'Well the car wasn't anything special, but it was a bit more comfortable and it had a few more toys than I was expecting in a hire car...
The rest of my travel plans went according to plan, but each day over the two weeks my A5 was in use the whole time, gathering information, recording details, although I was carrying my notebook computer with me, not once did I use it whilst I was out and about, my Filofax was so much quicker to access and record information (times and dates, phone numbers, reference numbers, reminders and other details).
On one of the days I had to write several letters, so again my Filofax address section came in to full use. This is another area I had duplicated in both the A5 and my Personal Maldens, but again I was using the A5 in preference to the Personal because the address section in this is printed rather than hand written.
I travelled back to France via Manchester Airport and plane this time on Easter Saturday, I spent what was left of Easter weekend at home with the family then we travelled back to UK by car together on the Monday. Again different hotel stays and various bookings, so once again the Filofax was in full use again.
It was at about this time I started to realise that I could make the A5 work for me on a day to day basis without having the duplication of the Personal size as well. The diary insert was certainly working well for me even when there was so much going on.
This was the quieter of the two weeks, now I know some of you have busier weeks every week than this... but this is busy for me these days!
I'd also found a solution for carrying the A5 on a daily basis, if I was going to carry it around with me all the time, you can read that post on Bagsey.
Having been back in France for a few weeks or so after an epic set of travels, I've settled back in to using the A5 on my desk open next to me. I've still been carrying the personal around with me in my normal 'Man Bag' but I'm finding I'm referring to it less. I'm not convinced yet I can get down to just one Filofax. Certainly the A5 has been working well for me and it really has a lot of advantages in terms of layout and flexibility.
What I suspect I will do is to reset up the personal size without the journal section, duplication of this is a little unnecessary. This will slim things down quite a bit. I will review the rest of the contents too and see what else can come out. May be I might be able to try out the compact size or get back in to my slimline... who knows!!!
This might seem to be a lot of changing around but the total flexibility of Filofax and the way you can adjust the contents and set ups at any time is the reason I love them so much. You can have the information you need to hand be it lots of information or just a few notes. They absorb the peaks and take care of the routine stuff so well.