22 August 2014

Free for All Friday No. 301 by Nan

In many places, the new school year begins in September or perhaps August. For teachers, students, and others whose life revolves around the academic year, most manufacturers, including Filofax, offer calendars starting in July instead of January.

Even though I'm not in the academy, I look at the beginning of September as a New Year of sorts. It's my second chance to change things that aren't working, especially in my organizer system.

Are you planning to do anything differently come September?

11 comments:

  1. I'm soldiering on with what I've got (A5 with 2PPD). But system is in flux right now. My projects and tasks have outgrown my current system so I am working on coming up with a revamped system to handle it all better. I have a running list of things to do, ideas, topics to think about, things to research, project frameworks... all unsorted at the moment but I am just doing whatever I can to insure I am capturing everything and then will need to figure out how to manage it from that point forward. I work in higher ed so definitely September feels like the beginning of the year!

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  2. No change in my system even though I got a new Personal Malden in Ochre. I'm waiting for the NY to use.

    I just want to make some comments about the Filofax USA website. I live in Canada and in a city not particularly well stocked with FFs so the FF website has been my go to for planners. This week, I ordered a Malden Pocket in Aqua from them. It went through and my CC was charged. The next time, a rep from the Blueline/Letts/FF in Canada emailed to say that it was not in stock and asked if I wanted Ochre or Purple. I opted for the refund instead as I had second thoughts on if I really needed another Malden (haha). This is not the first time I've had issues with the website. It routinely says things are in stocked when they aren't. I also bought a Finsbury folder from them last year that never arrived so I had to get a refund from them on that too. I'll still keep shopping from the website as I have little choice in a way for new planners, but I would have thought the website would have improved. It's actually gotten a bit worse even though it looks better.

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    Replies
    1. Athena, I am in Canada and dealing with the same issues too. I highly recommend Laywines in Toronto or Charals in Vancouver. They are both owner operated retail stores and stock as much FF as they can get their hands on. They have both been super helpful even keeping my name on a waitlist until they get shipments in. Laywines are shipping me a purple Malden right now and it's working out to a lower price than if I ordered on the FF USA site. Neither store have all their stock listed online so I have found it works well just to call them and see what they have or what might be coming in soon. Same goes for inserts.

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    2. I agree with Lisa. Laywine's customer service has always been great.

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    3. Thanks, Lisa and Alan! I have heard of Laywine's reputation and have yet to have the pleasure. I will definitely consider calling them about it, and now that FF USA charges HST in US$ (what), the deal is not good as it use to be either. Have a great weekend!

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  3. I bought too many inserts this year. I modified the layout on a couple of them and I thought I might like the layout on the other ones. However I did not need to buy all of them to know that. Anyway I usually buy two weekly inserts for my planner every year because I plan on one of them and write everything that occurred on the second one. I write items a maximum of two times. In the past I would just buy one insert and write everything on it and check items off. However in this way, tasks and steps on projects had to be moved to other days or the next week. I did not like rewriting them. In my way I can scribble notes and lists on my planning insert and know that I won't keep that insert after the year is over. I think that the other way is effective and see in person that it is more common for people to use one insert.

    I also removed the zipper pouch from my compact binder. I don't carry money or doodads in it so it was taking up space. Instead I use a Post-it mobile attach and go pocket that is 2 5/8" by 3 7/8". I removed the adhesive on the back of it and placed some paper clips and other items in it. It fits in a card slot in the back of my binder. It also comes in larger sizes.

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  4. With children heading off to school, I definitely feel the inspiration/pressure of a new year. My entire system has been in flux in 2014, but so has my life, so I'm adjusting as I go. The ring binders make that easier than the bound planners (my preference).

    As far as changes, I'm about to go upsize to A5 again. I tried it back in April, but had a really hard time finding inserts in the US, as FFUSA was shut down for so long. Stock is still pitifully impossible to find, but I've given up on FF inserts and am just going to use lined half-Letter paper to do what I need. I'll probably washi and re-punch some Franklin Covey monthly tabbed inserts for reference, since the MO2P is impossible to find here.

    I'd use a FC or Day-Timer binder, but they are all so big, lumpy and the rings take up so much space because they are huge. I don't need a ton of paper - huge 7 rings are just not workable, but I need the bigger page size.

    What do people suggest for a lightweight A5?

    I had to nix the Domino because I couldn't stand the feel of the faux-suede polyester used inside. How heavy is the new Saffiano? I wish it wasn't so pink... I'm tempted by the Metropol and Chameleon, as they seem lightweight.

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  5. Nan: In the Orthodox Church, the ecclesiastical year starts September 1.

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    Replies
    1. That's interesting, Alan. I wasn't aware of that.

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  6. There is a Facebook group focusing on the use of planners and planner binders in Post Secondary Education.

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  7. Like many others, I have finally come to consider September as the New Year, as has my wife. That is when we set our goals, define our projects and generally get 'geared up' again after the Summer break. I think this comes not only from having been involved in the school and university years, but also in my case from having ut children through those systems as well. Here in Somerset, UK the schools go back from 1st September this year.

    As regards doing things differently, I am currently once again experimenting with my 30 year old Time Manager International system, because I am somewhat feeling the need for more structure. However, the core of my system remains GTD in a Filofax Personal binder for the time being, and I haven't felt the need to vary anything from the system I outlined in my two most recent guest posts. I'm trying to refine a couple of aspects of the system, but basically I feel it's a solid set-up and not being broken, doesn't need fixing! The phrase I'm trying to keep at the front of my mind as defining what I want is 'elegant simplicity'.

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