29 November 2013

Free For All Friday No. 263

Wow, it amazes me that there are only 32 days left remaining until the end of 2013!
I'm really enjoying using my crimson Malden, and I'm working through processing some old notes and non urgent to-dos that have been hanging about for a while. For next year, I'm not going to make any major changes to my set up (I rarely do anyway) and am going to work on keeping it consistent, current and context-driven (e.g. separate lists for phone, home, errands etc). These 3 C's are recommended as a way to have a more effective system, as advised by the author of Getting Things Done.
Do you have any principles or basics you use to help you organise your binder more effectively like this?

And as always as it's Friday, please feel free to discus anything Filofax or ringbound planner related. Have a great weekend.

25 comments:

  1. Morning everyone from a sunny UK. What I would like to know is more about the pre-printed inserts from Filofax in the early days, which are no longer printed. Can any of you remember what some of them were and what subjects they related to? I'm new on here so I realise this might have been covered in previous years, and if that's so maybe you can point me in the right direction? Thanks, Steve (UK)

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    1. The "Filofax Facts" book by I.Sinclair is the best published source of info on the range of pre-printed leaves, and most of the book is devoted to them.
      It's quite amusingly written too. A review is on the site here:
      http://philofaxy.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-filofax-facts-ian-sinclair.html.

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    2. Many of the old leaves offer charming insights into 1980s life, and some are unintentionally amusing today.
      For example, in FFAT77 last year, @Paul B had observed that the Platoon Commanders Record even had the boot size of your soldiers. He didn't mention that it also allowed a record of their butt size!

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    3. We may also chuckle about the Stud Record, although it was clearly intended only for equestrian use.

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    4. And the precise purpose of the Personal Services leaf can be subject to speculation.

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    5. Thats a great link, thank you.

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    6. I have a couple of insert catalogues from 1987 and they included a bird watching checklist "over 300 European species..." and a church family record "Church history of each member of the family, Record of visits...". This last was apparently available in bulk packs - another charming insight into 1980s life?
      The inserts section of the catalogue runs to 20 pages of quite small print on personal size paper designed to go into a FF - personal was the only size offered at that time.
      It's a useful resource for ideas for custom inserts to make yourself and produce on a laser printer.

      Dave.

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    7. You're welcome Steve.
      @Dave - perhaps "charming" wasn't quite the right word! Not sure how many really look back to that era with same degree of fondness awarded to other periods.
      Incidentally, I once bought a number of storage binders from a member of the clergy who had presumably either retired or decided to change their record keeping process. I have an image in mind of them filled to capacity with bulk-purchased Church Family Record leaves!

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  2. Though I'd do a bit of an "enabling". John Lewis have Malden Personal Ochre at £60 (20% off) with free postage at the moment. Currently they say they have more than 10, but they ran out last week. http://www.johnlewis.com/filofax-leather-malden-personal-organiser/p275901

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  3. I will be using my A5 Boston as my main planner in January but I am still looking at 2014 inserts. I have narrowed it down to a couple of inserts. Because I will probably use a layout that is more comprehensive than the Wo2P with blank space for each day (lined or unlined), I will make a few changes to my system. I will use one of the sections on the diary page that I saw to track some items that I was tracking in a separate binder. I don't need to record some tasks. I will just record the important main ones in this section and I can see them in one place. I may also tweak my task management system. I think that it is important to stick to a system and be consistent but sometimes it is beneficial to try some changes. I rely on intuition and my methods in devising and developing a system. It is also good to see techniques and tools of other people. Anyway, have a nice weekend.

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    1. I was looking at some die cut tags that I bought to use in cards and I took out my compact Luxe. In the summer, I trimmed and hole punched Franklin Covey weekly and monthly inserts for it and the pages look nice. I put my A5 Boston in one of my handbags at an angle because it does not fit otherwise. It looked like an ultra violet whale in there but oh well. I will buy an A5 Wo2P insert for it soon and see how it goes. I'm thinking of using my compact Luxe as a list and important phone number planner/notebook that I would just take to the store. I won't keep a calendar in the Luxe because I don't want to have to sync two calendars. I am giving one of my extra inserts for the compact Luxe to a friend so that at least it will be used.

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  4. I looooooooove my Crimson Malden, it's like my right arm,
    But i've just brought a new vintage filofax, could you help me identify it?

    http://daydreamsdaisychains.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/my-filofax-find.html

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  5. It's interesting that Mr. Allen keeps harping on "context driven." I see the value but find it is absolutely a no-go for me. I need to see everything I need to do or hope to do on the same list, in the context of today. If I maintain a list of phone calls I need to make I will almost always forget to look at it.

    I find the most successful method for me is to assign every task to a date and calendar it. For a large project I will write a plan, assign target dates to the various elements of the plan, and then calendar everything and file the plan document behind the appropriate A-Z index tab. Then I can look at the project in the context of the plan or just see the target dates for the different tasks/actions as they appear on my day pages. I also keep a list of weekly tasks which I assign during a weekly review.

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    1. I do the same, just without A-Zs. I actually have looked deep into GTD and for the life of me, I would´t even begin to understand why? Why make something so simple so complicated. If I need to get things from 1 to 17 done today, I need to see them on today- pages. Otherwise I can kiss them fondly into the other cheek, pat their heads and wish them safe trip to oblivion.
      But then, peeps are so different, lives are different and perhaps this indeed serves so many others.

      A whole other animal is the chronical lack of time- management, calendars&diaries, pre-planning. Over the years it´s been so loudly underlined to the point that it´s become a norm already. In my circles of people I´m generally seen as the OCD-driven list-keeper and recorder of times with my planners and their honed *systems*. Yet whenever somebody needs information or needs to check some data from weeks and months ago- they come to me. Like today, I had to go through certain lists starting from 1.9-13.
      Also, just because my life obviously was not busy enough, I´ve decided to go back to do some studies at the side of everything. I´ll be forever a true believer that you need to evolve, to learn and seek to keep on thriving. Having that said, of course I´ve planned a certain time- period to do some research on deep-learning. It seems to me that meta-cognitive and over-learning is the way to go. In order to make most of my very little time, I need to make the best of it. I´m in competition with myself and I love it!
      However, as I was doing this research I stumbled on some videos on youtube.
      Well, don´t you just say. A professor said that he´s taken a routine to print out school-year calendars to students just so that they know WHICH MONTH IT IS!!! Because, obviously these pesky tests he keeps on shoving them throws the posse by a surprise because they had no inclination that the test- day was today BECAUSE NOBODY WARNED THEM BEFORE even if the test day was mentioned before but of course those students apparently never write down dates because where would they? Seriously, I first thought that the man was just a trolling trollster. But no, he was serious.
      But this is the general philosophy to time- managing these days. Who do they think plans their use of time (I´m talking about people in general) really? Since it apparently is a norm to not to (every time I get fascinated inquiries about my swift flipping through months,days etc I simultaneously get the feeling like they are studying those quirk habits of zoo-animals. And I always get told "oh I never do that. Never have, actually...") and then I think...
      Now that we have a generation of 20somethings with no inclination of calendar-wizardry, how will this phenomena affect on the generation after that?
      I´m not saying that every breathing creature should tweak their Chronodexes ´till the wee hours of the night, but I´m just wondering about the general disposition when it comes to goal- setting, timetables, calendars in general, life planning and pre-paving in general.
      The difference already is to be seen on working environments and other areas of life.

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    2. I know that GTD works brilliantly for some people. I personally find it excessively over-complicated and when I tried to use it as a system I fell flat on my face with it incredibly fast. For my personal needs it was just too disassociated and I didn't know where anything was... not to mention the fact that I would have one list of things to do at my desk, some extremely urgent and others not urgent at all, with no hierarchy or prioritization applied. I would go into a form of paralysis not knowing where the heck to start.

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    3. I played around with GTD, too. But I'm like you, Josh - I need to see it now or have it planned for another day. All those different lists of random stuff were overwhelming.

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  6. Anita,
    Can you explain your filofax system?
    Thanks!
    PM

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  7. I do sometimes wonder if GTD is deliberately over complicated by the use of words like context when really, it's a collection of lists within categories.

    Why say "contexts" when you could just as easily say "headings"?

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    1. Hi Natalie. I think some of the headings are actually physical contexts. So when you find yourself physically in the context of being at your desk or in front of your computer (ha! That one was clearly devised before we all had smartphones!), it's supposed to make you think to get your @desk or @computer list out and do the next task/action. But some of them it seems a bit odd, like @OH! Anyway, for whatever, reason, I have more or less fallen off the GTD wagon, though some concepts are admittedly useful (like the initial review of stuff, for example!).

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  8. I just wanted to say I was good ALL DAY Long (no shopping at all on Black Friday for me, until...this) and now I've bought a Malden Personal Size in Black. I'm so happy excited thrilled. And I had said 'nevermore', 'no more' Filofaxes... And yet, I had to have a Malden to match baby Malden. Just wanted to confess lol !

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  9. I have a separate GTD personal Malden... projects and their next actions in context. It is the equivalent of my back burner, capturing must remembers, and long term goals, objectives and wishes folder. At my weekly and monthly reviews I plan what is coming up immediately of course, and then choose what is important to do next from my GTD folder, so order of importance comes into the frame. Just like you have said here, if it is not diaried into a slot, and sat in front of me as today's objective, then it does not get done!! The only things for me which make sense to batch plan are E. mails, phone calls and shopping trips. But even then GTD can fail, as for example, when the person you call is unavailable.... a return call then needs diaried in, rather than going back onto the batch list... or contextual list as David Allan calls it. I use GTD within my own contexts, as each person's business and home planning will have such diverse and individual areas of focus, that it has to make sense for you as an individual. So my solution is David's brain dump of lists, moved into project areas and step by step processes, but then regularly reviewed and diaried. The BIG fail of GTD is there is no allowance for elastic time.... ie planning a task to take an afternoon, when it takes a day in reality. I try to build in plenty of elastic with deadlines especially.

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  10. Talking of the new year, I've been looking for planners, workbooks, etc. that help you look back over hr past year and then set your goals for the year ahead. Does anyone have any recommendations? The only two I've found specifically through planner - related link hopping, are the Women's Success Choice planner system that Laurie has reviewed at Plannerisms, and Leonie Dawson's workbooks. I'd like something closer to what Leonie does, but maybe a bit less full of woo?!? Anyone have any suggestions?

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    1. Gail have you seen my post on how to use the Plannerisms planner as a Goals workbook?

      http://www.plannerisms.com/2012/12/using-plannerisms-planner-as-goals.html

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  11. Right. Philofaxy lurker here. Originally purchased a Classic A5 in June this year - found it great but too big to carry around. Then purchased a malden purse/personal compact and found that I loved the lay out but the leather wore terribly :( Have just purchased a reduced price Cuban personal - hoping this is MY FILOFAX OF CHOICE.

    Anyone experience disappointment with the Malden compact? feeling disheartened and having internet buyers remorse - will the Cuban actually be the size and quality of my dreams?
    Kirsti

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