27 April 2008

Order arrived!

Recently, I ordered a bunch of refills from The Daily Planner. Along with the things I really needed (To Do pages in both A5 and Personal formats), I ordered several items I didn't need. Why? I wanted to experiment with Filofax products I'd never used before to round out my experience and collection, and to report to all of you on this blog.

Today I'll start with an insert called "Erasable Marker Memo" on the Web site and on the invoice, and "Most Used Telephone Numbers" on the package. It's a single sheet of plastic, about the same weight and flexibility as a dishwashing-liquid bottle. In other words, quite a bit thicker and stiffer than paper.

The insert is ©1995, and the packaging seems to be from the same era. (The more recent packaging is mostly white with only a little dark blue.) Also, it was made in the UK, which makes it a rare find these days.

The front of the form reads "Most Used Telephone Numbers" (as shown), and the back says "Messages," with just a page of blank lines below.

The instructions read, "Write in pencil or non-permanent marker. Erase with rubber eraser or damp cloth."

Just testing it briefly, pencil marks look lighter than on paper, and erase easily. Marker also appeared fainter, and rubbed off easily with just a finger -- no water needed! That leads me to believe just as I suspected -- that marker would smudge more easily than pencil.

I would love to use a form like this as a To-Do list for ad-hoc tasks, or capturing temporary notes. But it would also be great for its intended purpose, since the numbers we call most often change from time to time, as family and friends' phone numbers (or relationships) change from time to time.

24 April 2008

Order placed

I just placed an order for Filofax refills with The Daily Planner.

For my work A5, I ordered a horizontal format week-per-two-pages. Since these are 2008 calendars and we're well into 2008 now, The Daily Planner has them on sale now. My work life is driven by deadlines, reminders, and occasional appointments, rather than constant appointments every day, the horizontal format, rather than the vertical format that comes standard with the A5 filo, is better for me. More on that in a later post.

I also ordered 1/5" grid paper that I use for my food journal, and everyday items like ruled paper and To Do pages. I ordered a couple of items -- Personal Computer Paper (3 Personal pages to one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet) and an erasable single sheet ($6) -- that I wouldn't normally order. All in the line of duty. I'll report on how well these items worked for me. As a Filofax blogger, I feel it's incumbent upon me to test these items.

I didn't bite the bullet and buy the $50 A5 hole punch -- more on that later. But I ordered almost $90 worth of Filofax paper. I'll let you know how it goes.

22 April 2008

How sick am I?

I like to frequent a local restaurant because it has delicious, freshly prepared appetizers and I can usually get a seat at the bar in front of a TV where I can satisfy my obsessions with CNN, Law & Order, and the Red Sox. The restaurant has a satellite TV system whose channel numbers are completely different from our cable TV channels at home.

If you've read this far, you can probably see where I'm going with this. Yes, I have a page in my Personal Filofax, behind the Lists tab and in alphabetical order by the name of the restaurant, with the numbers for my favorite channels on the bar TV.

So, I got there the other night, and another solitarily dining woman was watching public TV and had taken dibs on the remote. When she was getting ready to leave, she offered me the opportunity to change the channel, and said she was looking for CNN. I whipped out my Filo and gave her the channel number.

She was grateful, but gave me a seriously funny look. In the end, she and I had a lovely conversation and made a good connection. I find that pulling out my Filo frequently turns out to be a conversation starter, usually beginning with someone remarking, "my, what a long to-do list you have." I'd appreciate hearing, in the comments, if anyone else has experienced this phenomenon.

And of course, feel free to tell me what a sick puppy I am for using my Filo to keep track of my favorite TV channels at the bar.

18 April 2008

It's my bag, baby

Some Philofaxers are into taking pictures of what's in their bags; i.e. pocketbook, briefcase, backpack, messenger bag, or whatever bag we carry through our day. I've been promising for a while to do my own. And now I have.

Please add yours to the Philofaxy pool!

Java Jive

Here's something I did in my Filo that seemed like a good idea at the time...but in retrospect I realize is incredibly goofy. You see, I got a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas one year, and it came with an assortment of sample K-cups (individual coffee charges). As I drank them, I made a list of which ones I did and didn't like, so I'd know which ones to buy when the samples ran out. You can see the result here:

Other things to note in this photo: You can see how I date my pages by year in the upper-right corner. Since this is a list, I keep it behind the List tab; also, lavender paper is my default color for lists. (But I've ended up with other colors mixed in as well.)

What brought up this topic today? I found my local supermarket now carries the K-cups! As I raised my eyes to see them on the top shelf, I swear the heavens opened with a Hallelujah!

Which means I get to throw away this page!

14 April 2008

Happens to the Best of Us

As the ringleader of a Filofax blog, I'm chagrined to admit what I'm about to admit. You see, I work in an office where we take turns bringing in bagels for the group every Monday. This week was my week to buy the bagels.

One would think that a big post-it note in my personal Filo saying "Bagels Monday," and an inscription in my work Filo saying "My Bagel Week" would be enough. It wasn't. I showed up at work this morning unbageled, and one of my coworkers had already gone out to get them in my stead.

It just goes to prove yet again that Filofaxes don't help us if we don't look at them. Usually, if there's something I need to remember 1st thing in the morning, I'll leave my Personal Filofax open to it on my night table, with my glasses hooked into the Filofax's rings, to ensure that I don't start my day until I've been reminded of what I need to be reminded of. (I'm not a morning person, OK?) I didn't do that this time, and it showed.

On the bright side, I did remember to get my taxes done.

12 April 2008

Filofax Fitness

In previous years, there was a wider variety of preprinted Filofax refills. Project and Meeting planners, Shopping list forms, and more. There was probably an exercise planner, too. I'm not sure about Filofax, actually, but Franklin Covey was great for stuff like that. Now that fewer people are buying these paper products, companies have stopped printing these forms. We're expected to use our home computers to print our own forms, using software provided by Franklin Covey or homegrown solutions like those found at DIY Planner.

I'm becoming a regular exerciser, and I need a way to record the name of exercise or machine used, minutes spent or sets/reps of each exercise. Spaces for heart rate and calories burned would be good, too. Not for each exercise, but perhaps for the entire session. My trainer is going to take me to a gym and show me a routine soon, and I need a way to write down what I'm supposed to do on each machine so I can remember it, and so I can create a record of the exercise I do on my own.

There isn't anything quite like this at DIY Planner, although the site has an incredible array of forms for tracking Weight Watchers points and special health conditions like diabetes and migraine headaches. There's even a Meditation form! People have done a lot of work designing these forms.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be something devoted solely to exercise and activity. Furthermore, DIY Planner devotees mostly seem to be using 8.5 x 11, 5.25 x 8.5, or 3 x 5 (index card) sized formats. If you use a Personal Filofax size (3.25 x 6.75 inch), you've got a lot of tweaking to do.

Has anyone figured out a good way to track exercise in a Filo?

Realistically, I will probably create my own Personal forms using lined or grid Filofax paper and a ruler. But I'd love to see what anyone else is having success with!

06 April 2008

Great Find - PerAnnum.com

In a recent comment, our reader Dewanna Walser turned us on to a new source of six-ring agendas compatible with the Filofax Personal size - PerAnnum.com.

In Dewanna's words, these organizers are "handcrafted here in the USA (rare these days) and the quality is exceptional! You won't be disappointed. The only thing is that all colors and finishes are not always available at the same time -- some are made as they are ordered and may take an additional four weeks."

The organizers and other accessories (photo albums, checkbook covers, and so on) are made from Italian leather.

Thanks, Dewanna, for the great find. Who knew?

03 April 2008

Guest Blog: A5 Solution...or Not

We're very pleased to post this followup to the guest blog A5 Quandry. So many of us are using A5 (5.8 x 8.3 in.) size Filofaxes, we're sure many of you can relate to Laurie Huff's words.

Congratulations on the green A5 Finsbury, Laurie! It's a beautiful organizer!

So to update everyone on my A5 quandary: I wound up getting the A5 Finsbury in green. I really like it. The color is nice, and the ring size is great. There is plenty of room for me to stick in all of my stuff. And I LOVE the calendar layout. It will be great when I am really busy and have a lot of things to schedule.

But, but… by the time I received my A5, I no longer needed it! I ordered it at an extremely busy time in my life, and by the time I got it (a month later, when I got back to the US) the busy time was over. It seems to be "too much planner" for me right now. I moved all of my info over into it anyway, because I was excited about it. Then I tried carrying it around in my purse for a couple of weeks. It is just too big to drag around with me everywhere every day. So it sits on my desk. Which is perfect when I am at home. But to be honest, if I have to carry something around with me everywhere I would rather carry my black Personal size Filo.

Which sends me right back to my original problem: the Personal size calendar doesn't give me enough room to write when things get busy. I'm thinking of using my day-per-page dated Moleskine (which I am currently successfully using as a journal) as my calendar, and my Personal sized Filo as my reference/ address/ information book. During the busiest week last month I was using my Moleskine as my planner and journal, with my appointments and to-dos in a narrow column on the left side of the page and the rest of the page open for journal-writing for that day. I was pretty happy with that.

At the moment my life has slowed down so much that I hardly need a calendar at all, which is a strange situation for me to be in. But in a couple of months I will be preparing for yet another move overseas (long story!) so I think at that time I will begin to appreciate the planning power of the A5 size. We'll see. For now I have just about every calendar permutation I could possibly need: A5, Personal size, and page per day. Every time my life changes, my planner needs change too. With these 3 types at my disposal, I can use whatever works for me at the time. In the meantime I'm trying to just go with the flow!