01 March 2013

Free For All Friday No. 224

It's finally March! Despite February technically being the shortest month, it often feels like the longest month to me. I'm ready for springtime's longer days and warmer temperatures.

Lately I've been looking for ways to make my planner/ diary more fun. Often I get bogged down in planning and my planner becomes too serious. I'd love my planner to be more lighthearted and fun (and then maybe I would be too!). How do you make your ring binder and/ or pages fun?

And as always, feel free to discuss anything ring-binder related!

41 comments:

  1. I recently had a total planner rethink. I've been happily using my 2PPD Franklin Covey inserts in a nice, used Franklin Quest binder. The setup works so well, everything has a place and the binder has huge rings allowing me to carry lots of daily pages along with lots of reference information and notes. But, as usually happens when I try something other than a personal size filofax, once the novelty wears off I find myself longing to be back in a personal filofax. It seems that even with the compromises forced by small rings and inadequate pen loops, there is something about "the filofax mystique" (have to honor the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan's classic!) that compels me to return.

    So back to my 1989 Winchester I go! Kristin kindly sent me a week on two pages diary and some day planner pages, so I will try for a "less is more" setup to get me through 2013. This makes my foray into FC the single most short lived experiment of my planner career!

    Anyone else bailing on their system?

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    1. Josh I'm so happy for you you're in your Winchester! I know Filofax paper is crap, but have you tried the Filofax Day Per Page inserts, with a blank or lined page in between? That would approximate the FC two pages per day, with nearly as much writing space and a less prescribed format, giving you more freedom of what to write where.

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    2. Yes, I have also bailed on my Franklin Covey binder. There is just something as you said about the Filofax. I have kept the 2DPP FC inserts though and have trimmed them. I am now very happy to back in my Crimson Malden.

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    3. Now that is interesting. I'm actually pondering the opposite. I'm going to continue using my Filofax personal which I love. But I have been considering going back to the FC Classic size for a home bound organizer. Right now my home bound organizer is an A5 Filofax. I have 3 of them that I love BUT! The rings aren't big enough (even the Malden's larger rings aren't big enough). And the choices in inserts...well, we've all gone down that road before. Here is the US the 'classic' size inserts are so readily available in our local office stores and with such variety. I can choose from Day Runner, Day Timer, FC, Martha Stewart, Avery, etc. and the ring configuration all works with a FC style binder. I have struggled with this since the beginning of the year. I really want to use my lovely A5's and not see them sit there useless but I just can't seem to make them work. I find the plastic inserts (which I use for coupons, bills, recipes, etc.) so limiting in the A5 Filofax line. I'm going to give it till the end of the quarter. I just bought the A5 page on one day to see if that helps me better utilize the A5 as my home management binder. I probably just wasted $25 because I just have this feeling that the classic FC inserts and binder will just work better for my purposes. But I won't stop using my Filofax Personal...love it!

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    4. I'm sorry the Franklin Covey set-up didn't work for you. I had a feeling you wouldn't. You've always seemed so happy (overall) with your various Filofax set-ups. But now you know.

      I'm still struggling with what I want to do. I go back and forth between Franklin Covey compact, Filofax personal and Franklin Covey classic. Why is this so hard????? Oh, yeah - it's because my life is changing so fast it makes my head spin.

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    5. Cheryl - I thought about getting FF A5 but didn't for the very reason you mention - there's nothing available in the US that fits the FF A5 but the classic size inserts are everywhere! Too bad those two systems aren't compatible.

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    6. I agree; I want so bad for my A5 to work. The other thing I forgot to mention is that I have a classic size hole punch that I've had for over 10 years and it still works like a dream. I do not have an A5 hole punch and after reading the various reviews on this blog of the ones available I still haven't bought one. (Either they didn't get great reviews, are difficult to use or aren't available to US buyers). I see where this is going...lol

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    7. It's a tad fiddly but I manage to use a Rapesco punch for my A5 pages - theoretically it should work with a standard punch. Grab a pre-punched page and mark all the holes on the sheet (or top sheet of a stack) you want to punch, then take the bottom off your punch and turn it upside down. You can then match the marks to the punch holes... two punches and you're done! :) Turn it upside down into a bin or bucket between punches to empty the holes.

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    8. Wow cool Tilli...I've seen that Rapesco punch on Amazon for a good price. Thanks for the tip!

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    9. It works brilliantly upside down but truth be told I'm getting a bit fed up with it. Mine sticks occasionally and I'd like to upgrade. There is a neat looking one on a dutch site somewhere (that I think I found through Philofaxy?) that does all three sizes so I think I will eventually get one of these. But the upside down trick does well enough for now. I actually used this method with a two hole punch for a while, punching one hole at a time... I was so glad to get the rapesco after that!

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    10. I too have such conflicting feelings with my personal Filofax vs compact FC. And one thing that makes me want to work with Filofax (whether personal or A5) is that at least then all the inserts are somewhat interchangeable, whereas the FC classic is incompatible with anything else. Regarding punches, I just recently purchased a Time Design punch which works with the A5, and I love it. It's great quality, just like my FC compact and classic punches.

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    11. I have a FC classic punch and still works like a dream after all these years, definitely worth the money. It has more than paid for itself.
      A5 pages will fit in a Staples Arc notebook (either size) and they do not get in the way of the pen loop on the 8.5"x5.5". Defeats the purpose of buying a cool FF, but if you want the FF pages and could live with a plain Jane.
      2 holes fit perfectly in a 8.5"x11" 3 ring binder. It is an easy way to store them for US peeps.

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    12. Thanks for sharing great tips everyone! Claudia I just ordered one of those hole punches! I had forgotten about that brand (read about it here on this blog not long ago) until you mentioned it again. Thanks!

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  2. I always seem to be switching between my A5 Cuban and my Finsbury. I love the layout of the Finsbury better than the Cuban, and its size of rings, but I love the soft finish and padded feel of the Cuban better than the Finsbury. I long for a personal to work for me in terms of size and portability, but somehow it never quite hits the mark for me as much as an A5. Decisions, decisions.... I love brightening up my Filofax with colour, and add the odd sticker to my refeerence pages. Iam a bit careful about this now and more conservative, only adding the odd one or two, as I still like my diary to look business like and professional.... difficult to strike that balance between a Filofax looking funerial or like a kindergarten craft project gone wrong!!!!!

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    1. Apologies for the typo.... should read reference. Evident that I've not had that morning coffee yet!!!

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    2. LOL!! You've hit the nail on the head here. Often there is a fine line between fun and childish! I'd like mine to be fun, yet still somehow professional-looking. Does this exist? Seems like the workplace shouldn't have to be so somber, yet it is hard to be taken seriously if your planner is too bright, girly or decorative.

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    3. I have crossed into the realm of childishness! After recently being reacquainted with my Metropol I've gone a bit sticker mad on the diary pages.

      Though I aim to tackle this by introducing a system on my current Week on one page maybe divide the days or add a notes page for tasks. Try and reduce the number of girly cutsey stickers if I can!

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    4. I feel the same way - I want it to look professional but I want it fun, too.

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    5. I respond to colourful stationary and cute images (often childish; hello kitty, anyone?), so keeping my work based binder clean has been trying. I've found a comfy balance for me using colour coded dividers and lists and highlighting everything. Colours are fine when there's a code! I'm also thinking of adding more personal stuff (images, quotes, doodles etc) but hiding it behind one tab that is unlikely to fall open. That way I can peek when I need a visual boost but it's not obvious to anyone else.

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  3. I'm embarking on a textiles course today and of course I need to keep a sketchbook of material I've collected to do with the course, and development sketches and design.

    It occurred to me yesterday that instead of the typical bound book, a Filofax would make sense so I'll be emptying the innards and pockets of my work and home "one for everything" Holborn Zipped A5 Filofax today and moving it into an A5 Hamilton.

    The ring set up will allow me to carry a small selection of papers, the built-in pockets will be filled with pencils, my watercolour box and brush sleeve. There is space for gallery leaflets, postcards, needles and skeins of thread.

    Yes, it may get paint spattered, marked and otherwise distressed. This is what a Filofax is for. Staying pristine is not part of the job description!

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    1. I use a Malden in a similar way in my studio for textile art design work and a classic for fabric dying swatches. I would love to know what your course is and to chat about it but its a bit off this point for the forum so why not email me studioconway(at) gmail (dot) com
      I had also been eyeing a zipped Holborn so if anyone is willing to sell one at a good price - again, email please!

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    2. OCA Textiles One.
      I signed up for it last year but got sidetracked so have set myself a deadline of Assignment One by the end of March.
      I'll email.

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  4. I can't be doing with stickers and things in my main (personal Osterley) filofax. I won't even write in it in anything other than black fountain pen, but I am a bit anal like that!

    My journal is an A5 turquoise Finsbury. I got the idea from Helen above and that is a bit more relaxed (but still definitely no stickers and no washi tape!) I have covered the dividers with discrete patterned paper and have a post card at the beginning of each section with an inspiring or funny quote to make me smile (or keep working)I have also hacked a Jill Bliss notebook (thank you Helen again!) for one of the sections. But that is as far as I am ever likely to go!

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  5. To pretty my filofax, I often draw or doodle events of the day and journal on my FC 2DPP. I see my filofax not only as a planning tool, but almost a journal/scrap book of my life. I like everything in one place so couldn't maintain a separate journal or scrapbook.

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    1. Mine's a record of my life, too - so I have all kinds of things on the page - but not usually stickers.

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  6. I'm hoping someone with a bit more knowledge about Kawaii stationary can help me figure out one of the stamps I got recently. It looks like this one over at etsy.

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/101479263/wooden-rubber-stamp-1-pc-d-day-schedule?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=d-+day+stamp&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

    D-Day to me has always been the day the US invaded Normandy so it seems a bit odd to celebrate that. Another thought I had was a literal interpretation, "D+Lightning Day" but that doesn't make sense. Other uses are for a countdown to a big day like a wedding, but that seems out of place in the set of stamps it came with that are for events that happen more regularly.

    If anyone has any idea what this stamp is supposed to be, let me know.

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    1. I think it is best know for the invasion, but it also means "designated" day. So, pretty much a day something is supposed to happen. Guess it would be good for goal planning and such if you could get over the connection to the better known (albeit negative)meaning. Just thoughts... I'm sure there is a more eloquent explanation!

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    2. "D-Day...the day the US invaded Normandy".

      Oh, really? I do hope there aren't any European WWII veterans reading that as they might be very upset. Yes, the United States of America was there, but so too was the United Kingdom, Canada, The Free Belgian Forces, The Free Dutch Forces, The Free French Forces, The Free Norwegian Forces, The Free Polish Forces and many others. It was a joint Allied invasion. "D-Day" refers in code to the precise day an attack would commence. There is also the less well-known "H-Hour" the time it would start.

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  7. Oops...posted in wrong spot-sorry!

    Does anyone use a mini Filofax as a capture tool? I was thinking of doing that but I don't know; I'm the type that forgets her glasses when going upstairs or elsewhere in the house. I get into the room and realize I either forgot my phone or my glasses or the cleaning polish. So I can't see me remembering to grab my capture tool every time I leave the room. But then what's the point if you are in another room and you have a brilliant idea (rare though it is!) or need to jot a note for the grocery or to do list? Maybe I should just have post its or bits of paper in every room, my car, my handbag, etc. to 'capture' those random thoughts.

    Does anyone have any new ideas about using GTD's 'capture' tool and what works for them?

    Is anyone using a mini Filofax for this purpose? Because they are so small, is it hard to write in them? (do the rings get in the way?)
    Thank you!

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    1. I was using post-it notes as a capture tool (mainly for blog ideas) and had them in several rooms. Then when I had an idea, I wrote it on the post-it and then put the post-it in my planner or on my blog planning wall. It works pretty good but you do end up with a lot of paper. At one point I collected them all and put a typed list of everything in my computer.

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    2. I like the idea of post it notes too. The little notebook would still have to be carried around and I'd forget it. Plus I'd either be transferring that info or ripping out sheets of paper. At least with the post its you can stick it on the page or in the planning section till you had time to record it. Hmmmm, liking this idea, thanks!

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    3. Hi Cheryl
      Yes I use a Mini as a capture tool, it's small enough to slip in to my fleece pocket or leave on the bedside table at night to jot any last minute thoughts I get before going to sleep. I was also using my M2 Filofax for the same purpose but the Mini is easier to get in your pocket.

      You can use a Mini Landscape as well if you want you don't have to use it with the rings in the normal way. I either transfer my notes in to my main Filofax if it's going to be a few days. Or I just tick things off and then tear the page out.

      Not had an issue with writing in the Mini.

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    4. I recently acquired an M2 to use as a tiny notebook for around the house. I think it's similar in size to a mini but with 3 teensy tiny rings. It turned out to be a little bulkier than I expected and I tend not to carry it around the house. Instead I use it as a combined wallet/notebook for when I'm out and something to write my shopping lists in so I don't forget to take them with me. I love the three rings as it means I can transfer pages into my main binder. I'm sure I saw a post here on Philofaxy using a mini in the same way. I'm still stumped on something I'll carry at all times, at the moment I locate the nearest post it pad or head straight to my main binder. I'm now wondering if I could punch and bind some pages to make a super compact filo-compatible notebook...

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    5. Ah hah, thanks Steve. I was wondering if the mini was much different. Is it more compact than the M2? I was surprised by how bulky it is for such a small thing.

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    6. Oh great ideas! LOL, Steve: now why didn't I think of using the mini landscape?! And I thought I was the type to 'think out of the box'. Obviously, not!

      Tilli--as I was googling around GTD capture tools I found that a really popular one is using a few index cards either attached with a binder clip or punch a hole in them and attach a key ring. Then you clip a pen on the stack.

      I know the premise of GTD is to not fret over 'the tool'; just be consistent with 'the capture'. I just wanted to see what others were using. And actually, after reading Steve's review of Zen to Done, I'm more inclined to follow that path which also strongly recommends a capture tool.

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    7. Ooh that's a neat idea... How about a mini post it pad stuck to a small card with a hole punched and attached to a lanyard? I'm loving this idea :)

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    8. That's the ticket Tilli...then I could slip my glasses on the lanyard as well and maybe I won't keep forgetting them around the house!

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    9. I use a slimline Pocket as my capture device. It is thin enough to be with me always and I use a North American sized (3"x5") paper that has the same hole punching that is quite inexpensive, as I go through a lot of these pages.

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    10. Cheryl, get yourself to Specsavers and for £2 buy a glasses lanyard....after resisting the 'old man' look of them for ages I finally got one a few months back, and they're brilliant. No more 'where did I put my glasses?' for me.....

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  8. My solution for portable mini notes can viewed on flickr in three steps... 1, 2, 3

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