06 January 2014

My Filofax: The Mini Is Big Enough - Guest Post

My name is HP from central Switzerland. I’m a rather quiet Philofaxy reader since the days of the original Philofaxer. The posts I enjoy the most are when somebody let us have a look at their setup. I’m opening my Filofax for you and let you browse through it.

I’m using an Amazona Mini in brown colour. Most important is that a Filofax lays flat. The Amazona didn’t lay flat at the beginning. When it arrived from Filofax Hongkong, I found a new and shiny Filofax in the box, but it didn’t lay flat. A few minutes later it was in used condition and quite a bit battered - but from then on it lay flat.

The Mini is small and lightweight. It fits easily in a trouser pocket. But for me the Mini is big enough to be useful as a planner and a wallet combined.


The Amazona Mini has two card slots. In there I keep my bank card and my driving licence. In Switzerland a driving licence is an accepted form of identification in most cases. Unless I plan to travel abroad I don’t have ID or Passport with me. I use the secretary pocket for loose bits of paper.

First comes a plastic pocket with stamps in it. Then Personal Information. Laurie probably knows what the sticker says, it’s Indonesian.


My Filofax has four tabs: Notes, Diary, Lists and Info. The Mini is tiny and ringsize is small. To save space I write hints to important data like passwords, credit card number, PIN codes of my mobile phone and things like that on the tabs.

I glued the bar codes of loyalty cards on the first tab. No need to carry those cards in my Filofax any longer.

1st Tab - Notes
It’s a chaotic mix of everything. There isn’t much more to say about the notes section.


A brown ruler page marker let me quickly find empty room for notes.



2nd Tab - Diary
Behind this tab is the most important section. It begins with Itineraries. This journey is already over. I keep the itinerary as a memory.


Then the black ruler page marker lets me access the current week. A few months have passed since I took this picture. One has to write small and concisely to fit a busy life on a week-on-two-pages diary in Mini format.

My system is very simple. I use a colour scheme with three 0.5mm Frixion pens. Red is for office, blue is for family and green is for spiritual. To save space I sometimes use the pencil to write other things over blue, red or green information. Appointments, deadlines and tasks which have to be done on a certain day go into that day. Short term tasks not linked to a specific day are on post-it’s attached to the page marker.


There is a small space for notes after sunday. I visualise it with a bold black line. There I write down the things I want to focus on during this week.

Post-its on the back side of the ruler focus on learning. I’m in IT. For me learning is very important to be up to date on the latest technology.


After the current years week-on-two-pages diary comes a fold out calendar of the next year.


For the second and the third year ahead I use a single page.


3rd Tab - Lists
The lists section is probably the most important section in my Filofax. I use lists to record ideas, tasks, personal things I want to change. I use lists for planning things ahead, small projects and so on. During summer holidays in Indonesia I started a list of things I want to do after I return home. That’s the list shown in the picture below.


Next is a long list of personal goals and the necessary  to reach those goals. I’ve wored on these goals since a long time. The list shown is not the first version. I printed and holepunched it. I’m updating progress and adding more tasks by handwriting. After some time I’ll update the word file and print it again.


4th Tab - Info
I don’t keep addresses in my Filofax except a few. I’m so much faster writing down a new address in my Filofax than entering it into my mobile phone. The addresses are as chaotic as the notes section. There is no alphabetical order but I find things quickly.

Again, the small yellow paper is written in indonesian. It says which “Angkot” bus to take and where to stop. It’s of no use in Switzerland. I keep it in my Filofax as a memory of my summer holidays.
On the tab is more usernames and password hints for websites. It’s amazing how much Information one Mini page can hold if you write small.


For some reason I love the conversion tables, clothing sizes and all those things that come with a Filofax diary. I actually don’t need these information, but I keep it in my Filofax even when ringsize is very limiting in a Mini. And I’d love to have more maps in my Filofax. Unfortunately there is no European and no Swiss map for any size of Filofax binder.


Wallet
The Amazona has a full double with pocket behind the cover. As I use my Mini as a planner and a wallet this pocket is stuffed with car sharing card, railway card/tickets and with some money. The zip pocket is just too difficult to access. This is mainly because of the pen loop which comes into way. Coins go into the trouser pocket instead. The zip pocket could be useful to carry memory cards or foreign SIM cards.


The true advantage of the Mini size is that this Filofax is always with you. It’s with you even when you don’t want to carry a bag and don’t want to wear a jacket.

Thank you HP for an excellent insight in to your Mini Filofax organiser. I'm tempted to revisit Pocket size in a similar way! 

33 comments:

  1. And I thought my Pocket Chameleon was too small to be anything to be JUST my wallet. Love how this system works for you! I also love how you still have room for those odds and ends.

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  2. Wow, i've hardly ever seen anyone use a mini so efficiently.

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  3. That is one FULL-OF-INFORMATION Mini! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

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  4. I love small, neat things. I have just bought a Malden mini in grey but had no idea what I would use it for because of its size. This post is quite inspirational HP and thank you for sharing it with us.

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  5. What a pleasure to read this post!! Thank you so much. I have two Mini Finsbury and I love them!! One I use as a wallet only and I like it like that. But the other one I want to use as a journal (!). I know the Mini is small, but I look at it and I see POSSIBILITIES!! And just as I am in the moment of thinking a lot about possibilities with a Mini this post came up #it is a sigh!# I love it! I eco your words about the maps. I would love a UK map only. Thank you so much again.

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  6. I enjoy reading this so much! Thank you!

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  7. I have a new mini Finsbury (bright pink) and have been wondering how best to use it. You've given me some good ideas - thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I also liked this post on using a mini - very much wallet and list based
      http://philofaxy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/a-mini-solution-guest-post-lime-tree.html#comment-form

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    2. That looks useful! Thanks, Holly!

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  8. Very interesting! I have a mini I just use as a simple wallet, I should look into how I can make it more useful to me and how I can run it along my A5 - I'm too scrappy and full of bits of paper people give me to truly down-down-downsize!

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  10. Really great post! Wouldn't work for me though because I have big sausage hands and the rings really p* me off!

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  11. Very interesting...I didn't think it was possible to use a Mini so effectively.

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  12. Wow, what a perfect use for the mini - as others have said we rarely get a chance to see them used so well!!!

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  13. Thanks for sharing & it's amazing how much you've managed to fit in!

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  14. It's amazing how such a tiny thing can fit so much! I love how you've utilized every inch of that mini. I don't think I could ever write that small. Well done! It was a great read. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  15. I have a mini that I use to monitor my daily medication injections. This is a wonderful post, I might just go upstairs and look to see if I can use it more effectively.

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  16. Did I read somewhere that the mini is being discontinued?

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  17. Great post! Mini binders do seem to have disappeared from the FF US site.
    I use a mini Chameleon as a wallet/diary/notebook, works well for me. I use a Kaweco Lilliput fountain pen with EF nib, if you need the finest possible line from it for the mini paper use the reverse side of the nib (tip form Nota Bene pens in Montreal, it works).

    Dave.

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    1. I have a very old Kaweco Sport fountain pen in my Filofax drawer. It has a piston, no cartridges. I used to write with fountain pens. But when the Pilot Frixion became available the age of the fountain pen was over for me.

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  18. Oh, I think I would struggle with a pocket, never mind a mini! It's great to see a system that works really well for someone!

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  19. I can't believe you have so much information in there. Wow! You are one organized planner user.

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  20. I used a mini for a while, trying to make it work as a satellite of my main planner; I am never able to make multiple planners work for me and this instance was no exception. As I was far more invested in the other size I chose to stick with that. As you've illustrated, the mini is not too small to use. I recall mine being more functional than one would guess it could be! Thank you, thank you for this post! I absolutely love these visits into people's filos. This is a favorite, for sure!

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    1. Good Morning Josh

      Yes, I know what you mean. Recently when I was promoted teamleader at the office I bought a Filofax Lyndhurst A4 to use in office and in meetings. I'm still trying to adopt my system to this new job situation.

      If Steve agrees I'll probably write another guest post once I figured out how to do it.

      Kind regards,
      HP

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  21. Wow, I've already loved my mini--I use it as a wallet--but holy cow I can't write THAT SMALL. This is one of the most inspiring posts I've read in a while! Thanks, HP!

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    1. I wouldn't want a graphologist to analyse my small handwriting. He'd probably come to the wrong conclusions.
      Thank you for your kind comment.

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  22. Good Morning

    Thank you very much for all your kind comments. I didn't expect my guest post to have an echo like this. I'm happy that you liked to read it.

    Kind regards,
    HP

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  23. LOVE this post!!I used my Mini Amazona for many month - and it was a great wallet+shopping-list!!
    I moved into a Pocket Mia Cara,which is VERY chunky...sometimes I seriously miss the Mini!!

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  24. Good Afternoon Chrissie

    I can't understand the Gillio mania. That clumsy clasp is as ugly as it can be.

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  25. Now that is impressive use of a mini - it's amazing that you manage to fit so much information in there. I use a mini as a wallet, but couldn't imagine trying to use it for anything more than that - until I saw your post, which has also reminded me to add Junior Karte to my list :-)

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  26. HP,
    I know this is a bit of a late post, but I have to admit...I've been 'stalking' your photos, heh heh!
    I have a few questions:
    1. What is the pencil lid/pencil style you're carrying? Is that a 3 color pen???
    2. Is the size of the yellow post it note the 1 inch by 1.5 inch size? GOOD HEAVENS that is small writing!
    3. What size font is your goals list?
    4. What size pen do you use...like a .01???
    Told you I've been really studying, heh heh=)
    PM

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  27. Hi All,
    I have just bought my very 1st filofax POCKET size (pocket chameleon raspberry) n I regretted it every moment of it because it is just to small to write on.

    For those who r using pocket size filofax, HOW DO YOU WRITE ON IT?
    Do you take the paper out n write it on then put it back or ....?

    I'm going crazy. Might buy a personal size instead.
    But I do love the color n compartment - cards, coins zip and notes.

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