31 March 2007

Spring Cleaning

My return to Filofax was precipitated by a desire to rid myself of attachment to various rigid systems -- Getting Things Done, Franklin Covey, and so on. Filofax organizers are unobtrusive, customizable. And when I'm really busy or focused on things other than my process itself, I can disregard all systematology. I can write to-dos on diary pages, ideas on list pages, projects on to-do pages, anything wherever. In the heat of the moment, the point is to do what works; just capture the information, right?

Well, after several weeks of this, I find myself at odds. I'm missing things because I'm avoiding opening my Filo because it's just a little too chaotic inside. I've been remedying this condition gradually, trying not to let it grow until my life is in an equal state of disrepair. That's a good thing.

What's the solution? If things in my Filo aren't the way I like, change 'em. I wish I could say I'm OK, even prospering with a little bit of chaos, but I can't.

26 March 2007

April Fool!

Three weeks after the 2007 revised Daylight Saving Time date (also a week after after Europe went to Summer Time), I found this entry in my Personal Filofax diary. Sure, I know the reason for the problem is that this diary refill was printed before Congress decreed the date change, but it's an amusing April Fool's gift nonetheless.

The ever-proper Filofax does not mention April Fool's Day, since it's not an official holiday anywhere. And the wikipedia article on April Fool's Day is flagged with more than the usual number of tags warning of its inaccuracy...a portent in itself?

Yet, this humble Philofaxy blogger, whose birthday happens to be April 1st, has found that mentions of this date are recognized with knowing smiles throughout the world. Oddly, I seem to have been the victim of fewer than average April Fool's jokes. Sure, there were the unextinguishable birthday candles and the elaborately gift-wrapped dirty sock, but nothing truly creative. Perhaps that's the ultimate April Fool's Day joke.

So, I'll leave you with my favorite April Fool's quote, from Mark Twain: "April 1st is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three-hundred and sixty-four."

09 March 2007

PSA: Daylight Savings Time

In the U.S. and Canada, Daylight Savings Time stands to be more treacherous than usual.

First of all, if it seems like it's too early for all of this nonsense, you're right. The "spring forward" time change will being three weeks earlier (the second Sunday in March instead of the first Sunday in April). The "fall back" will also happen later (the second Sunday in November instead of the last Sunday in October). Supposedly, the lengthening of the time shift is to help conserve energy, like one that was also temporarily enacted in the U.S. in the 1970's.

My A5 day-per-page Filo shows the new start date, March 11, as shown here. My week-per-2-pages Personal size still shows the former, first-Sunday-in-April start date. I guess it was printed earlier, before the enactment. The European version -- Summer Time -- remains March 25th, shown correctly in both Filos, free from the mood swings we're so prone to in the Western Hemisphere.

But the trouble continues. This shift in daylight time is going to affect one heck of a lot more computers than there were during the Carter administration. Computers built before 2005 are unequipped to deal with this change. Some folks are even calling the situation Y2K7.

If you rely on a computerized calendar instead of a Filofax, and if you need to know exactly when your email was sent, you have a couple of options. You can change your computer's clock manually. Or, if you use one of the popular Mac or Windows operating systems, use your computer's Software Update feature to make sure you've installed the very latest updates. Both Microsoft and Apple have created updates that compensate for the daylight time change.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Filofax to debug ... anybody got a pen?

03 March 2007

Right Turns Only

If I had to pick one way that my Filo paid for itself more often than any other, it would be as a keeper of directions and other place-related details. When I get directions to, say, a friend's house, I write them on a single page. I can move the page around, edit it, and move it from one organizer to another without rewriting it. And no matter how much time elapses, years even, I'm always able to return to that same address (assuming that my friend hasn't moved). Need a code to get into my doctor's office door? It's right there on the same page.

Similarly, whenever I call a phone number, I write it in the Filo, even if I don't know if I'll ever need it again. I did the same thing on my Palm. If I ever wanted to order a pizza from the same place again, I could do so without looking up the same number more than once. For some reason, that efficiency really appeals to me. Look a number up once, write it down once, use it forever with no further effort.

But then, I'm weird.

01 March 2007

One Book, Single Pursuit

In my last post, I talked about devoting a single (Pocket) Filofax to wine and travel notes. The illustrious Philofaxer does the same thing -- he has a Pocket Filo for wine notes, and a Personal devoted solely to financial matters.

I've noticed a trend among Filofax aficionados to accumulate more than one organizer before settling on a favorite. Has anyone else ended up finding a use (even a limited one) for an orphaned organizer?

For example, do you have a large Filo on your desk and a smaller one to carry? Do you have a separate family organizer and a personal one? Do you use one for organizing and a different one for notes and ideas?

Let's hear it in the comments!