09 July 2013

Free For All Tuesday No. 127

Tuesdays are your chance to ask any Filofax related questions you might have.

So fire away and we will collectively try to answer your questions or offer opinions.

42 comments:

  1. My oh my.......11.00 a.m. and no comments? Where are you all?!

    After a considerable period of time operating my GTD-based task management system, I'm beginning to feel the weight of constantly maintaining it. My lists often seem to be out of date, or barely up to date, and I seem to spend a *lot* of time rewriting, transferring tasks to/from Next Actions and Waiting For, etc etc.

    So after some consideration I've decided to look for a simpler and more 'lean' system of task management, and would welcome ideas on what others are doing (links to your own blog posts if you don't want to regurgitate that which has been written before would be fine). I do *not* want a vast, overblown system with umpty-nine lists to maintain every day!

    I am committed to staying in my Personal Hampstead, so any system must be capable of being run out of that format. Also, I would prefer a system which can (like my current efforts) be run mainly or wholly on plain paper or lined (apart from the diary of course).

    My time management (diary) is working just fine (thanks to Lieselore sending me the 2014 refills which match the 2013 sent to me by Alison Reeves, I don't need to worry about diaries - thank you both!), so it's only the task management I'm concerned with. Current and continuing diary format is week on two pages, so I don't have room to include tasks on the diary pages, I want a separate to-do section (or sections).

    Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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    1. Hi David
      Staying away from warm computers I guess. In the low 30's here again today.

      In the last couple of days I've migrated one of my to-do lists to a computer application. This particular list was to do with checking website backups each day, 2 or 3 different sites each day I need to check.

      I figured that I can only check these when I'm using the computer anyway so I thought no harm in moving them to the computer. But what a trial!! I've got it working to my satisfaction now, but finding a suitable app and then plumbing in the reminders and alerts just takes so long to do! I'm using Wunderlist, which I have used on and off before.

      For everything else paper still rules for me.

      I've not printed off any diaries for 2014 as yet, I have a year planner though so that will do for now. May be around about September I will print mine off. Only in A5 and Personal though going with a similar set up to this year as well.

      In a stationery supplies store the other day I found some A5 Claire Fontaine paper in packs of 500 sheet for €4.55 a pack. I will be getting some when I need some more. Their paper is just so silky smooth.

      Steve

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    2. Hi Steve!

      High 20s here, remaining so for the rest of the week and weekend. That's hot enough for me......(Soft Southerner that I am).

      Like the sound of that Clare Fontaine paper....that sounds like a ridiculously good deal, and their paper quality is legendary. For me, the A5 (after many trials!) proved just not portable enough, so I'm happily settled in my Personal Hampstead for the foreseeable.....

      I'm starting to accumulate some 2014 commitments, but the diary is still awaiting deployment. I just get it out when I need it, pencil in the appts, and put it away again. I guess it'll come out around September.....they usually do.

      After having lost the battle to reduce our online footprint back in March, we're determined to try again when our current BT broadband contract runs out. Must find out when that is, but it's not for at least a year, so we have enough time to plan and implement a completely analogue lifestyle in that time. The smartphone will remain, I guess, although nothing seems to be off limits right now. The certainty is that we'll continue to respond to email, although maybe once or twice a day maximum. I've 'played' with Wunderlist (not available for BlackBerry), Evernote (eats entire BlackBerry battery in a matter of minutes) and Remember the Milk, but I just don't get the same feeling of security and trust in my data if it's not on paper. Also there's the portability and the fact that I don't have to be 'connected' and it's that connectedness which I'm trying to eliminate.

      Good to hear from you.....hope all is well where you are!

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    3. @David - and regarding time management systems, I would suggest you have a look at www.markforster.net . The guy is a serial inventor of task management systems...

      Many of his systems follow a similar pattern but there are variations in the 'rules' for applying them. I've personally tried one of the Autofocus variants and SuperFocus. My current system is a hacked variant of SuperFocus - I used to operate a GTD based approach but the overhead became unwieldy much as you are finding.

      As to 'where are we all' - well I'm 'at work' but on a day like today (bright blue sky, brilliant sunshine, nearly 30 degree temperatures) I imagine anyone at liberty to be enjoying the weather is outside enjoying it!

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    4. Thanks Paul - I'll definitely check him out! I'm familiar with the name.

      The overhead (as you so aptly put it) on GTD is really becoming quite onerous, especially as I have many 'open loops' moving from Next Actions to Waiting For, and back, sometimes repeatedly.....time for a change, methinks. The other line of enquiry I'm currently pursuing is 'Getting Sh*t Done' - more details at http://blog.utilware.com/gsd

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    5. David - there are so many good systems. But surely you should consider reverting to the system you used successfully for 25 years! TMI (Time Manager). Ok! it's not as cool these days, but as a system of identifying your key areas a of work and personal life, setting goals and breaking them down into tasks and activities, it still takes some beating (IMHO). GTD is trendy but can be onerous to maintain.

      For those who've never heard of Time Manager (I have no links with them) a quick review of the philosophy is at http://shop.timemanager.com/shop/UK/cms-5.html

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    6. Hi Tim

      That would be a great suggestion had I not given away all of my old TMI inserts and binders earlier in the year! However, I would probably have found the portability issue still present with the TM binder, so I'm not too sorry.

      There's something about the TM system which needs the generic binder and inserts (and especially the dividers to make it work, so I don't think I'l be trying to design something like it to fit inside a Personal binder - although if anyone in far off lands knows of a divider set which mirrors the TMI structure (and colours?) but in Personal size I *might* be interested in taking a look!

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    7. Hello Mr P! Hope you are well and enjoying the sunshine.

      I use Zen-to-Done. It combines the principles of GTD and Covey's 7-Habits. I now have a low maintenance system that works with me rather than against me.

      For my task list I cut a slit into the holes of a sheet of FF paper so it can be moved from week to week without rewriting. I use the FF vertical to do list pages to itemise next steps per project/client - a sort of mini project plan.

      I'm not in London for a while, so if you're passing along the M4 and fancy a catch up, let me know.

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    8. Hi David

      Check out Zen to Done (ZTD), the simplified version of GTD. It's on the Zen Habits blog.

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    9. Likewise I've read the ZTD stuff too, nice and easy to follow

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    10. Yep - I recently read the book, actually, and had quite forgotten. Good thinking - it's back on my shortlist.

      CB - ALAS! Only yesterday I was in London, BY CAR, and had ample time for a catch-up late afternoon. Unfortunately mostly I'm taking the train these days, but i will certainly think of you next time I'm passing......

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    11. No problem David - forgot you'd switched to the train. Will let you know when I’m next in town.

      From what I recall of your streamlined system it may lend itself to a ZTD approach. I run my entire ZTD system from a personal FF using a 'vanilla' insert - Wo2P diary, unlined cotton cream, standard FF 'to do' sheets and lavender lined paper for personal journal notes.

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    12. Thanks CB - I'd be interested to see a post about your set-up if one exists, or some brief outline......thanks for responding again!

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    13. @Cloudberry - I'd be really interested in reading some detail about your setup :-)

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  2. Hi David!
    Interestingly, just yesterday I had reread your posts about how you set up your GTD system, and I have to say, you already have a pretty streamlined system. Like Paul, I have also experimented with Mark Forster's various systems, and I guess the thing I liked best there was just the idea of having one ongoing list, so if you had a task "edit chapter four" and you worked on it for a while but not to completion, you could then highlight it (or cross it off) and rewrite it at the bottom of the list. The rest of his "rules" though seemed a little convoluted to me.
    Claudia (from sunny, HOT Florida)

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    1. Hi Claudia

      It's only recently that I've found the maintenance getting quite onerous - before that it worked (and continues to work) just fine. I definitely won't change systems just because I can, but if I genuinely feel that something can offer me less maintenance overhead, I'll consider it.

      I guess your hot is pretty hot by our standards of hot! High 20s here today, which is quite hot enough for me!

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  3. David - I was about to recommend Getting Sh*t Done to you when you commented. Name aside, it's a simple and excellent system.

    An another note, I would like to urge Philofaxers to consider Alan in voting for Best All Rounder and encourage those of you who are looking to purchase your dream Filofax to consider his selections up on Adspot. After a truly lovely exchange of emails, throughout which he was most patient and accommodating with regard to all of my new parent anxieties, I have what looks to be a lovely example of my dream Filofax on its way to me...

    A Personal Eton!

    The interesting conversation that developed from our emails added a great deal of fun to the entire purchasing process. I shall be sure to report on the Eton when I receive it, and then again later this fall once it's set up, if anyone is interested interested. As I am on the verge of retirement, I expect that my new setup will be a bit different from most setups.

    Thanks, Alan.

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    1. <>

      (And I voted for Tracy!)

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    2. I forgot that HTML tags work! What just showed up as <> should have been (blush)!

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    3. I was going to suggest Getting Sh-T Done, too. Here's a link to an article: http://blog.utilware.com/gsd

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    4. @Homemakersdaily I'm going to give GSD a try for a few days, but they really have to find a different name for it.......

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  4. I'm going to be really interested to see that set-up! Obviously all of my set-ups to date have been business-related - working in, and latterly running.....this oen will be *really* interesting.

    Alan - you've got my vote!

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  5. Whoops, it looks like I was doubly interested in FFAT today...sorry about that!

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  6. Hello and Morning/Afternoon/Evening to One n All !
    I have a FF that I've not seen noted on any of the searches I've done...its' a Zippered style that says: Personal Westminster Deluxe Leather....does anyone know when this style was out and about, I'm assuming it is discontinued.
    Also, is there a listing of all filofax models current and shelved styles out ? A print picture lookey look for me to squeal over ? It'd give this gal a bit of the chills lol ! I mean to see so many FF all in one pretty place !
    Thanks all, I so love this site !
    Patricia

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    1. You need to visit the Filofax shop in Conduit St London. The Squeal Factor will be off the scale......

      http://www.arken-pop.com/pop/images/filofax_stand.jpg
      http://blog.affiliatewindow.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/DSC04256.jpg

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    2. Hi David...went to the link and it came up as Arken Pop and the like...uh, was that the correct link, should I follow it from there....truly looking for that Squeal factor....more directions, or just point me further ...eek ! help ?!

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    3. Uh never mind David ! I did the link wrong and now i'm squealing everywhere, oh How Lucky for anyone there in dear England to be near soooo many beauties of Filofax....sigh...I dream a dream of Filofaxes, thank you for the pretties....oh my ! Have you been there ? I'm here in the Midwest of USA, Illinois....oh I can dream...yes ! Many thanks !

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    4. @Journey Woman The Conduit St shop is my main source of inserts and as I'm in London twice monthly I usually pop in if (but only if) I need something.

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  7. Hey guys if you haven't already, please vote for me (Alondra) for best photography :) The poll is on the left hand side! Thanks a bunches

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  8. Hmmm, I have posted twice lately (one last week and one last night) and neither have shown up. Am I not doing something right or was I moderated? :(

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    1. Hi Rebecca
      Not sure what you might be doing wrong, there's nothing from you that has been trapped as spam or for moderation.
      This comment worked ok though.
      Steve

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. It's freezing cold here in New Zealand today. Jealous of all of you experiencing warm weather!

    I'm a new filofax junkie. I'm a writer, a fountain pen addict, and went looking for something to organise my notes better than random notebooks. I acquired an A5 Director (the stamp inside says Filofax System Organiser - Director - made in Italy), and was hooked. Then I acquired two personals, a Portland and a Tejus. All three were new, unused, and the two personals came in the battered but original boxes. No diaries included, but there was a random assortment of index and notepaper inserts, some dating from 1985.

    I can't seem to find any definitive information on the net as to the age of these binders, but I'm obsessive and have to know. It's driving me bonkers! Can anyone help me out?

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    1. I love love your name ! As a FF vamp myself (heh,heh)...I too am looking for info on my older FFs...so if you ever find a link to them, please share and I will do the same !

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    2. Heh, thanks. There's a story behind the name, but it's long and boring ;)

      I did find what I was looking for at the filofax UK facebook in their gallery of old advertising. Nothing definitive on the Director, but the Tejus was being advertised in 95 and the Portland in 99 I think (without loading the page again).

      Now I really, really want to know where the 1985 inserts came from!

      Someone should put up an info page/post on when which models were in production. I searched endlessly for something like that. I know there are pdf's floating around but they're incomplete and kind-of a hassle to access on a smartphone. A web page or blog post that can be added to and suggestions made for additions submitted by the community would be more useful I think.

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  10. Hi everyone! My first comment here :) I am new to the Filo world, but have tried Daytimers and the like off and on for years, but not one ever felt like "mine". Needless to say, I am IN LOVE with my new A5 Finchley (family)... totally in love. I have one issue with her, I am a stuffer and the cardboard is totally holding me back. I am thinking I need a FF without cardboard, I need more give! If they make these (in A5 only, because how do you PEOPLE live out of anything smaller!?) could someone here give me a few (past and present) editions that don't have cardboard in the covers that I could start looking for? I'm thinking I might make my Finchley a garden binder, or maybe just for the kids. Any guidance is super duper appreciated!

    Ashley

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    1. Is that really my only option? Nothing vintage to look for? I'm really on the fence with the Malden.... something about it doesn't strike my fancy. Surely there are other A5 models without cardboard?

      Ashley

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  11. Hi Steve. I have posted a few comments and have enjoyed reading this blog.

    Hi David. For task management, I write my tasks on notepad paper that has the days printed on it. Once I have written the tasks for the week I place this list next to my week on two pages calendar. When I finish a task from the list, I write it on the correct day on the diary page and I put a check next to it. I draw a line through the task on the list after it is done. After I finish all tasks on the list, I toss it in the recycling. Before using this method, I wrote tasks on the diary pages and checked things off. Sometimes I moved tasks to different days and I wrote extra things on post its, etc. It worked okay but I decided to try something different. With my current method, I keep the task list and other lists I access often in a transparent top loading envelope. A drawback to this method is writing the task on a list and then writing it a second time on the diary page. I don't mind that too much though. I use this method just for tasks. I write appointments and timed events once on the diary pages. It is interesting to see how other people manage their tasks. I like to see how I can enhance my system. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  12. Rememberance of things past in FF world...does anyone else remember see this (or did I imagine it?)..where it would say "how many Leaves a FF would hold" does anyone remember a reference to FF 'leaves' as in pages that a FF could take on within its' stated amount of ring size ?

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    1. Yes - this was documented in the old catalogues.
      I will try to dig out the stats again.

      BTW - you may want to see if you can identify any of the models you lost using the photos on the Filofax Collection site.

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