Early in 2014, when I was still struggling to decide which organizers and diary formats I would use for the year, I came up with a way to simply my decision. During 2013, I'd found myself drifting toward doing everything on Personal-sized paper, even journaling and lengthy note-taking, so I decided to go Personal all the way for the year 2014. Whatever I needed my Filofaxes to do for me, I would have to make Personal size work. That put an end to my indecisiveness—at least for the next 12 months.
With the year more than halfway done, I thought I'd take stock of how APATT is working for me, starting with the Filofax I use on the job.
Step one was buying a new Personal organizer, since all my other Personals were either in use or not suitable. I ran out and got a Fusion, which was all I could find in my local shops on short notice. I'm not in love with its plain, nylon-bound appearance, but it's proved to be serviceable.
I filled it with:
1. Month on 2 Pages with tabs. This is where I keep track of deadlines and days blocked out for ongoing projects. In this photo, you can see one challenge already: The limited ring size. I will fix this by archiving, but I would love to have larger rings and be able to feel like I'm carrying all my information in my fist.
2. Week on 2 Pages diary, lined. I don't have a lot of appointments, so this works fine. I also note my coworkers' vacations so I know who's available.
3. Tabs. Only three are labeled so far: Projects, Notes (weekly meeting notes), and Research (future project development). These are the colored tabs that came with the Fusion.
4. Forms. Behind a few of the tabs, I have some vintage Filofax business forms. I haven't come up with a use for them yet, but I love having them.
5. A-Z Index. I use the standard cream-colored A-Z tabs to store contacts and reference info.
Behind the Projects tab, I keep both To-Do pages and notes for each project. I soon realized that I needed some way to create tabs-within-tabs so I could quickly flip to whichever project's pages I needed. My solution is to color-code them with washi tape along the inside edge—a different color for each project. I arrange the projects in alphabetical order, which also helps me quickly find the project I'm looking for.
Here you can also see that I have no trouble taking notes on the diminutive Personal pages. The tape does add to the organizer's bulk, though.
Using Personal for professional purposes is working well for me—except for the ring-size issue. There are also times when I yearn for larger pages to take notes on. If I continue using Personal for business in 2015, I will buy an organizer with larger rings; perhaps a Van der Spek. Or I'll go for something completely different, like an A5 Clipbook.