25 March 2014

Free For All Tuesday No. 164


22 comments:

  1. Morning, everyone. I'd like to ask for input from readers on something I and others have been discussing and thinking about for quite a while. The advantages and disadvantages of Personal And A5 size (And I'm aware that some people only use a Pocket, or a Mini, or even a Deskfax, so I'd like to hear pros/cons for all sizes). I have a mental list for Personal and A5, as these are the two sizes I vacillate about the most. I know from previous comments that there are a lot of people who have the same internal debate, and have to weigh the trade-off between more real estate on the page, and easy printing and punching, versus the portability and weight/size benefits of a Personal (or smaller). Grateful for any contributions from readers to expand my list, which may help in decisions about what binder for what use. Thanks.

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    1. If you plan on making your own inserts, you will spend a lot less time cutting A5 sheets than the personal size.

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  2. It is such an individual thing, but I prefer a squareish layout as in pocket or A5. I can visualise the page better somehow. Silly I know!!

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  3. Paul, can I suggest that you put down the things you need and only then see which size suits you better. Rather than internally debate between binder X and binder Y, what if you mapped the attributes you need to carry with you and then see which binder suits your needs most?

    Or then just decide which one makes you happiest and go with it.
    I don´t suppose there really is a "right" answer to this question, or any. There is no right or wrong decisions in life. There just are decisions and consequences that follow as a result.

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    1. Thanks, its more a case of I'm curious to see if there any pros/cons which I have overlooked, or hadn't considered. One of the strengths of this website is that I'm always picking up tips that I'd never have thought of :)

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    2. If you have a punch and guillotine you can make good old fashioned double, triple or quadruple width leaves to fit into a personal size. This can do the job for those occasions where you need more space, as long as you can live with unfurling them.

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  4. I'm having this (repeated) debate with myself at the moment. I'm not an overly busy person, so my diary isn't my main planner feature, ironically enough. I want it as more of an information place, with notes, ideas, goals, lists etc. I think this would work in a personal sized planner, but with bigger rings. I could have more pages in the binder. The trouble with using an A5, while giving me said pages and space, it also is big and a bit cumbersome. It also doesn't feel as practical to pull out of my bag and write in it, like the personal does. A personal can be held in one hand while writing, whereas balancing an A5 in one hand is tricky. I'd love a Gillio or Filofax in personal size with A5 rings - problem solved!

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  5. What I have learned from my recent discovery of my passion for Filofax is that there is not a perfect binder. It reminds me of watching Phil and Kirstie on "Location, Location, Location" - there is always a compromise. What Paul needs is a "Kirstie" to perhaps get him to look at each from a slightly different perspective to confirm which is best for him. On the property shows they will point out the obvious that the purchaser might have overlooked and then suddenly it all becomes clear! Whilst I would love the space of an A5, I'm currently in a personal because smaller size of Filofax outweighs larger size of paper/storage (for the moment anyway)!

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  6. I have recently bought and fallen pretty hard for the Filofax Clipbook in A5, which is much smaller and slimmer and lighter than a regular A5 binder, so now I have moved back into a pocket size for my diary, work schedule/deadlines and notes - my Clipbook is now my main work book and goes with me for work purposes, while the Pocket goes everywhere and fits in even smaller bags. I had a similar system with my Flex, but I missed the shufflability of rings. Looks like I have finally found that magic combo!

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    1. What exactly is this Clipbook? I wonder if it will be available in the US? It sounds intriguing...

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    2. I don't know when or if, but they are great. No pockets or fasteners, but decent approx 25 mm rings and very flexible. Don't think you can really stuff it though because of the design, so it stays light and slim and is much easier to lug about. There is one or two reviews online already but not a lot of info even though they are already out in WH Smith shops ...

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    3. I bought a Clipbook last Tuesday in WH Smith after reading about them on the Addicted to Stationary blog. I was very interested when I saw her pictures, and now I have been 'living' in it for a week I am totally, utterly smitten. They won't suit everyone (not for those people who like to stuff theor binders with loads of stuff, and no pockets) but as LM says, they are barely bigger or heavier than a 'normal' A5 notebook. I think this has finally solved the a5-too-heavy vs personal-too-small problem, at least for me.

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  7. Hi Paul B. Welcome to the club of A5 vs. Personal. One thing that you can add is how many times you would need to open and close the rings. If you are doing this several times a day, it's definitely easier to do with an A5, even if it is stuffed. It is definitely more cumbersome with a stuffed Personal.

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  8. Paul, for me it's a matter not so much of what works and why but what is a deal breaker. No matter how many positives something has if there is one thing that is a deal breaker the positives don't matter. For example, I really need a binder that lays flat - or at the very least, is not constantly popping closed. I would find that so annoying it would never work even if all the other parameters could work for me. I'm carrying a heavy a5 at the moment - heavy enough that a lot of people would find it a problem but it works for me. If heavy is an issue then an a5 with large rings is always going to be a problem. If you need to punch and add a lot of random pages of information anything smaller will always be a bit of a pain in the neck - Those are just examples really but I think it's easier to focus in on what would work by starting with attributes you couldn't live with.... or over time you just know they will annoy you enough to want to throw your planner through the TV set

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  9. I was wondering if you guys might be able to help me... I am looking for a notebook that I can slide into the pocket on a pocket sized fauxlofax I have coming my way (it's from the London Organiser Company instead of Filofax). I need something bound along the long edge rather than across the top. My first thought is that the notebooks from the Flex series would fit but I was wondering if anyone had come across anything cheaper?

    And to contribute to the debate above about Personal vs A5 size, I started out with personal and "upgraded" to A5, and this weekend when I was debating between Pocket and Mini I actually cut out paper the approximate size the pages would be, and punched it (drawing the holes on/folding over a margin would work too) and tried it out :)

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  10. I love carrying my Personal Malden everywhere with me. I love holding my life in my hands. I do have two A5 (Bond/Finsbury) planners at home with more detailed notes, clippings, receipts, etc., that I add to daily. But the Personal Malden holds my daily to do lists, goals, meetings, notes on work stuff, appointment just fine. The A5s are just too heavy to tote everywhere. Now if Filofax wants to give me someone to carry my A5s with me 24/7, I will start taking them everywhere I go.

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  11. Years ago I used a large A5 type binder as my main planner and I did not find it to be too big when I took it to work. However, I did not want to take it on errands or to the store because of the size. I then switched to a personal Filofax and used it for a long time. Then last year I bought a compact Luxe and I am enjoying it as my main planner. I focus mainly on the diary inserts, note paper, and information I need. If you want more space as in an A5 Filofax could you have a designated work binder that you leave at work and then use a personal Filofax that has your work appointments and schedule and your personal life? Some people use that combination and they are not writing the same information in both binders. I have enough room in my compact Luxe but I am looking for a leather notebook that is similar to the Midori Traveler's notebook. I saw something that I might purchase but I would use the notebook for something else. I bring this up because if you need more space as in an A5 binder but you want to carry a personal Filofax as a main planner you could consider carrying a notebook too. The notebook could give you extra space but then you would have two items to carry. My compact Luxe has a long vertical pocket in the back and I can slip in a thin notebook there. That could be an option. If the extra notebook does not suit you and you need the large space on an A5 insert then you may have to use an A5 binder as a main planner. It works well for some people and they just leave their binder at home when they run errands or go to other places.

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  12. Thanks for all the comments. Some useful things in all this that I hadn't considered!

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  13. Have any of you wrestled with whether something is a task or an event? In other words, do you put it on your To Do or Task List or on your daily page with an associated time?

    For example, I need to get some information from my bank. So the task might be "Get loan information". Goes on the Weekly To Do List. But to get it, I will call the bank. So, at 10 am when the bank would open, on my daily page, I write "Call bank." But under Tasks for that day, there is Get loan information.

    Now, it seems, there is a duplicative effort. How would you handle that?

    I know to some it may seem trivial, but it has been nagging at me for quite some months actually. I also know this is the only forum I could ask and get answers.

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    1. I fully understand this and have had the same thought. Generally if it is something that is attached to a time I'll put it in my diary and not my to do list - they are both on the same page so not a big deal for me. I have the added complication of reminders on each day as well - such as whether one of my kids is away or a TV programme is starting again. I've told myself that as long as it gets done and I don't forget something it doesn't really matter which part of the page it is on but I am a bit OCD about using the right colour pen for the right thing (diary in pencil in case changes are needed, unless its a personal appointment in which case it is green - to do is brown - reminders is red) it does play on my mind a little bit as I like everything to be neat and consistent!

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    2. I would see it as a task -after all, you can call the bank any time it is open. Most tasks have parameters which limit when you can carry them out. For your example, it's only doable when the bank is open. I can only mop the kitchen floor when I'm at home, and I can only mow the lawn when it's not raining.
      You could deal with this using 'context' to do lists like in Getting Things Done (GTD). Here you would have a 'calls' list and then all the calls you have to make are on one list (bank, doctors, colleagues etc). However, when I tried this it became quite cumbersome.
      I have recently been trying out a 'kanban' style to do list, writing each to do on a sticky flag and then moving those flags to the time slots on my diary page on a daily basis. So far its working really well.

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  14. Those are both great responses. Thanks for the input!

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