Never a week goes by without us thinking about a new diary insert layout or adapting an existing one to our requirements. I'm always looking for improvements.
I recently bought a new bag from Filofax, in my haste to order it I hadn't fully appreciated how big it was. When it arrived I was trying various things in it to see what would fit. My small 10" screen netbook slips in easily, likewise my iPad and A5 Filofax... but so does my A4 Filofax.
I've had the A4 for a few years but not really used it a lot. But seeing it out on my desk again got me thinking, I wonder what sort of insert would work well in something this size.
All of our A5 inserts are in fact designed to A4 size and in the process of printing to A5 they are scaled down to fit A5. So printing them full size they fit A4 perfectly.
Looking at my current A5 set up, whilst it would look great on A4, it would be a bit of an over kill, having a week on two pages with task lists etc spread across two pages.
So instead I looked at a Week on One page and thought that might work better. So instead of using it as it is I divided the appointments column in to two to create appointments and tasks/to-do's.
Once I had merged the file I created a file to do about 4-5 months worth of pages and printed them off.
Straight away I could see an advantage to this, like my week on on page insert I use in my personal you have two weeks in view most of the time, obviously when you are on the right hand week you can't see the next week without turning the page.
So I've set up the A4 with a few weeks of this set up and I'm using it in parallel with my A5 just to see what issues there are with this format of insert.
I'm using the 5 lines per day variant and this is working quite nicely for me, I don't need more than that number of appointments in any one day. It gives me two morning slots lunch time, afternoon and evening or however I choose to divide them. Being a week per page it significantly reduces the number of pages in the insert as well.
The other advantage of course is I can use good quality A4 paper without having to worry about cutting it in half after printing it. Also I've been able to clip in printed off travel bookings in to the relevant weeks without any resizing of the pages.
Naturally there is the size issue, an A4 left open does take up considerably more desk space than an equivalent A5, so I'm not sure if this will be a permanent feature of my set up.
What it has taught me though is that this sort of prototyping and testing in A4 might benefit further developments and revisions of A5 inserts. You can see the errors and spot where adjustments are needed when printed full size.
So here is the insert I've been trying out:
As always I'm making the 2014 files available as a Word file and as a PDF. The source files are also available you will need to download the Word and Excel files to experiment yourself.