12 September 2012

Still using a Filofax.....??


Do you ever get asked that question if you mention your Filofax, or you are seen using a Filofax personal organiser?
'Are you still using a Filofax....?'
It is normally followed by one of the following:
'I had one of those once......'

'Why aren't you using one of these.....' shows you his/her latest iAndroidWin Phone

'But you have retired.......'
The first two we have all come across I'm sure and we have our stock answers for those like...
'Oh do you still have it?' without trying to sound too nerdy

'I tried using one of those but I like paper and pen... it's quicker you know'.... 'said with an air of superiority. You quickly go and seek out someone else to go and talk to or get a top up for your wine glass, leaving Mr/Ms Nerdy iAndroidWin phone user stumped for an answer....
It was the third one that caught me off guard, it some how sneaked in under my Filofax radar defence shield.

I was just loading my usual prepared answers when I was caught out... but not for long.... so it got me thinking a bit more.... dangerous I know.. 'but you have retired'.... "yes I know but I'm still allowed to think..." now don't you start as well!!!

So let me clear this one up..... Yes I've retired from a salary paying job, but I don't get a pension from my previous employers until I'm 60, which is a few years off yet... It's true that Alison (her indoors aka The Hand of Philofaxy) and I do work part-time with our property search business, but technically she is the employed person I'm just the unpaid assistant/notetaker/photographer/wheel man.

OK so technically I no longer do a 9-5 Monday to Friday job... but I still have to interface with lots of people that are still in true employment, or businesses that adhere to business hours, which in France nearly always includes a 2 hour lunch break!

So my daily life has to mould itself around other peoples schedules and therefore in a way I'm more dependent on a Filofax than I was when I really was working.... yes I did work once upon a time.... but I would have kill you if I told you what I did!!!! Shhhh need to know...

So I might not have as many appointments/meetings (and you know how I love meetings) as I used to have, but I have a lot more varied things to remember and do on a daily basis. And given how bad my memory has become, even the topic of this post I had to right down for the fear of forgetting it the next day.

So I use my week per view diary insert not only to capture events and appointments (meetings!) but also as a reminder of things I said I was going to do, but haven't got around to doing yet.

I also use it to remind myself of topics I'm going to write about, just a single line is often enough to jog my memory, occasionally I will supplement the 'one-liner' with a sticky note or similar on the page as a more detailed reminder, but once done I will remove the note.

The thing that often catches me out is Bank Holidays, I know you working folk enjoy having them with a day off, but they just cause me a minor inconvenience, so whilst they might not apply to me in France, I often note the UK Bank Holidays in my Filofax as well as the French ones. May is a total night mare for Bank Holidays in both countries.. one or sometimes two a week in May. So the European holidays page comes in handy when I'm doing any long term planning.

The transition from my previous job to my new status caught me out a bit in terms of how I was going to be using my Filofax, it has taken me over 18 months to find a set up that works for me. I've described it in a blog post that I did for Ray's blog My Life All in One Place as part of the All Stars Tour.

During the move to France I was using my Filofax a lot with lots of check lists and contact details etc. But once we had settled here of course it took on a slightly different role which is how it changed to what it is now.

Have you ever had a major change in set up to your main organiser to cope with a big change in life style/job change etc?




36 comments:

  1. If I bring mine out the question , generally, is "what on earth is that?" "It's a filofax" "A whatofack- never heard of it" I am semi retired and I still have meetings and I still have telephone calls to make and I still get called into work and I have to organise fundraising events and find people to assist. Sometimes I wonder how on earth I ever found the time to go to work in the first place. I use my FF on a daily basis and I would be lost without it. "She who must be obeyed" calls it "My Brain Thing". And yes, I said I would not, but I have :o)

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    1. Love the Rumpole reference John! I sometimes use it, but *only* with reference to my ex! :)

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  2. I get 'but you don't work!'

    Since having children I use my filofax a million times more than I did when working. My work life was pretty much the same everyday but now I am juggling children and the household my life is much more varied. I think some people assume a filofax is for executive business people only and really are ignorant to wonderful hobby of filofaxing

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    1. Bringing up children is a full time job. Paid with love and affection...

      I once interviewed a Mum who was returning to work after having time off to bring up her children she said 'I've not done anything for the last 5 years' Yes you have you have brought up 2 children I replied. 'But that doesn't count does it' It certainly does.... I bet you are a better negotiator than any of my project managers... and she was!! Reasoning with a 3 year old gives you a lead on convincing adults that no you can't get 5 days work done in 2 days and still expect the same results...

      She got the job... no hesitation!

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    2. JasJan I've been looking for you!! You won the Dodo Pad Filofax diary in my giveaway! Please email me your address at laurie at plannerisms dot com so I can send you your prize!

      And yes, my planner gets a workout like never before keeping up with my kids, household routines, my own stuff etc. Being a SAHM is actually a managerial position: managing multiple people, budgets, and the household!

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    3. Ah yes.....it's OK to organise your work life, but not your private life.

      OK....so you have less personal free time (maybe) than you have work time. Isn't that a reason for *more* organisation rather than less.

      Joined-up-thinking alert, I suggest.....just mention it next time it comes up. After you've berated them for suggesting that your full time parenting role doesn't classify as work

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  3. I've been in this boat: I may not have a 9-5 job but I still have a life, family, and responsibilities. A Smartphone will never be able to handle the amount of data I put into my filos. Nor will it have a faster reaction time -- flick to correct tab, pull out pen, write!

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    1. Why is it that people don't get this? Paper is *quicker* in every situation, except for making a call on a mobile phone, which seems these days to be the last thing mobiles are actually designed for.

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  4. I get that too sometimes but so far they've always shut up when seeing the amount of stuff I cram onto a day per page.

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  5. Electronic gadgets are all very well when they work, also when the internet has signal and is fully powered...all this cloud stuff is fine but you can't answer a call and check your diary on your phone at the same time whereas a filofax you can answer the phone and fill in in the info.
    Yes, electronic gadgets have there place, but so does paper organisation.
    And to say why do you need one when your retired or you are a stay at home Mum, well its probably the time you need it most..

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    1. I have a guest post on Paulien's website going up today, on just this subject. I'm sure she'll post the link in due course.....

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  6. I believe its called cognitive distribution

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  7. This isn't on topic but I wanted to ask - My son has a really hard time organizing school. He really can't keep track of whats due and when and the syllabuses don't make sense to him. It's just a lot of writing that all melds together. I've been up since 1 this morning trying to get him to just put one foot in front of the other with school but he's in overwhelm - I told him I'd write everything out by day so he know's what's due when, what he's expected to read, and what the class will be about.

    I'm not sure how to do that in the most efficient way... it's all trial and error... but I'm going to try setting up a mini for him. I only have the yellow piazza which is just too girly.

    Does anyone have a mini in a masculine color they aren't using? I want something he can carry in a pocket or a zip lock thing in his binder. I don't want to spend very much because I don't know if it's going to work and if it doesn't ... I already have a mini I'm not using. Any model will do really but I need to keep the price low - Don't mind a #plannerfail, like I said, organizing my kid has been a 21 year long work in progress, but I can't afford to spend a lot for the fail.

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    1. Tracy, I have a mini black domino that I'm looking to unload. I may also have some blank inserts, though no diary pages. Let me know if you're interested.

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  8. Hi Tracy,

    I don't have a mini in a masculine colour but I do have a pocket Urban in grey if that would be any use to you. It's very masculine and would be ideal for your sons needs. It's yours for the price of postage if you want it. I actually have 2 Urbans so I want to get rid of one.

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    1. Thank you for the offer, I might take you up on that. I have a pocket in pink and I'm going to see what he thinks of the size. I was trying to get something he could stick in a pocket and I think the pocket may be too big. That said, he might be willing to try it. I'm going to show him the pocket and mini size and see what he thinks. I'll get back to you and thanks so much for responding
      Tracy

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    2. No problem, Tracy. The Urban is in very good condition. The litlle button popper is just a little scuffed. You can email me at ladytamlynn@gmail.com if you're still interested.

      Ashlene

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    3. I have a pocket chocolate finchley, not sure if he would consider that girly...

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    4. Lostwithoutyou, I was thinking more along the line of pink and baby yellow being girly. Any brown or black would be great. I've got to show him the sizes first and see which he prefers

      could you email me with how much you'd want? mom at crazysuburbanmom dot com

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  9. On the other hand, I wonder how many of us Philofaxers inwardly comment or judge people who use phone calendars exclusively? I guess it's good when they work for that person, but for people like my dissertation supervisor who uses his iphone exclusively and promises to do something for me but always forgets, I secretly thing "He should really use a filofax..."!!!

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    1. My conclusion regarding the dissertation supervisor is that some people just don't use a system and resist writing/typing anything down, I really don't think a filofax would work for that person, because a closed filofax is almost like a phone switched off..

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  10. A lot of people seem baffled as to why I have an iPad and a Filofax, but I just explain that I could never use my iPad as my diary. I've tried many organisational apps in the past but none of them give me the clear week to view that my Filofax does and, as a result I ended up forgetting things. Besides, if I useD a tablet or phone as my calendar, where would I store all the random bits of paper and pieces of information that are stuffed into my Filofax?

    So my iPad is used for lesson planning, net surfing, Powerpoints, word processing, etc and my trusty Filofax keeps me organised and reminds me when all these lesson plans, etc have to be completed for :-)

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  12. I couldn't cope with using weeny teeny screens for a diary!! Give me space and the tactile feel of pen and paper any day!!

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  13. Last night I took a work call at 2345 (don't ask). He needed some part numbers and prices. I:d just got in bed. I said "I7m in bed. Two seconds.......", opened the trusty Filofax, found what he needed, rattled them off with prices, and said "see you in the morning", leaving him baffled. I know it can:t replace the PC completely, but I do my best to use it in the times, places and situations where it is better, faster, more efficient.....and just FEELS better.

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  14. I "only" work part time and my kids have flown but . . . my Mum is in assisted living, I work at a library which is open seven days a week an into evenings so my schedule is all over and my husband has always worked shift work. If I didn't have a scheduling system that worked for me I'd be curled up in a small ball in the corner keening softly. And if someone makes a crack about your Filofax and being retired again just tell them you need somewhere to keep track of your doctor's appointments.

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  15. " Yes, I used to have one of those back in the early 90´s when I was a sales rep. "
    .. to which I replied
    - Oh, how do you now keep organized?! ( and you gotta say this annoyingly enthusiastic, like a monkey on speed )
    - Organized..?
    - Yes! I have all our lives organized right here, within seconds of my reach. Doctor´s appointments, school schedule, meetings and those attending with their contact info right next to them promptly, meal plans and shopping lists, budgets, detailed cleaning lists that I´ve broke down to each week- day, my son´s therapy dates, nannies and their hours, contact infos to all officials and personal peeps we might ever need and cross references from a year- month- week- day info. Anything I need, I´ll find the info in mere seconds.
    You know, every day stuff like that. So what method do you use to keep organized and effective?
    - * mumbling... *

    The sermon I served last time.

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    1. That approach always works for me as well - because it's true - people who use gadgets *profess* to be organised, but separate them from their desktop computers and they're usually "Oh....I'll have to email you about that when I get back to the office"

      Apart from contact databases....paper organisers work.....smartphones don't. End of argument.

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    2. The thing that rubs me the wrong way is the passive aggressive condensation in "used to have one back in the Neolithic era, but you are retired, etc etc etc ".
      It´s rude and it´s a quip that screams " explain yourself ".
      Actually I often have used " would you like me to tell you explain to you ? " on various occasions and FF is not an exception.

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  16. I've used a planner all my life from primary school all the way up to uni and now at work. I'm 23 and work at the library of an international school. I have 3 bosses, each gives me different tasks. Me and my friends seem to have turn slightly workaholic so all parties and going out must be planned weeks ahead and ofc there's always the theatre (which I love and tickets are bought a month in advance). Still with all of that going on people are shocked when I mention I use a planner (filofax is brand new ^^ so before that it was an array of different planners). They assumer since I'm young, bit obsessed with technology and a wee bit hyper I can't write things down and organize them. My usual answer is 'I went to a German school, they made us use it and I got use to it' still people are shocked yet find it very useful to check a date or whatever they need on my planners. Also I'm more of a visual person. If I see the weeks rather than say there's 4 days left or 20 to go to wherever, number and me don't get along, I need to see it!

    Still my dad (old man always cursing at technology yet fighting to get along with it) thinks I'm completely mental haha he thinks it's hilarious but as long as it keeps me organized he's happy. Besides he's happy to get pirate stickers and Angry Birds sticky notes hahaha (stuff I've found buying supplies for my FF :) )

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  17. I think im the only 17 year old that uses a filofax, 8 months ago i did not know what a filofax was of even if it existed - most of the people in my age range dont know what it is but are interested as to what it is

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  18. I find it offensive that someone should even approach the topic of your retirement as a reason for / for not having a Filofax. I think this is because of the implication being made that once you don't have a full time job anymore you don't appear to have a life or something?!?! It's crazy as I would say, from personal experience, that this is the opposite. I'm 22, and due to a death in the family and starting university last year I decided that I needed a little break from my full time job as a care worker, mainly due to my head not being in the right place. I have found that when I am not in employment full time, I seem to have to use my Filofax more than ever as my life isn't a regimented as when I was in full time employment, it seemed to the same shifts / the same days always repeatedly filled in, in comparison to entries regarding eBay (I had an eBay shop for a while) car boots, interviews etc.
    I'd say that I'm currently going through a radical change in my life at the moment which is leaving me a little overwhelmed in terms of my Filofax. I have now just started my second year at university, started an agency job so I could arrange my shifts around University and also a volunteer job which needs to go in as well. I'm attempting to completely changed my Filofax so I can attempt to be able to see all these things basically at a glance. Hmmmph. xx

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  19. I'm also amazed that someone would say that about being retired. I know some people who are busier than when they were employed full-time & their grown up kids now have to book an appointment to see them! When the time comes, I intend to fully enjoy my retirement & will be using my filo to plan it all :)

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    1. I'm glad you agree with my point, I can safely say If I wasn't such a nice person I might have bopped the person right on the head with my filo fax! hehe. xx

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