03 October 2008

Free for All Friday No. 14

The Franklin Covey system I posted about earlier this week has a special plastic page bookmark. Instead of being a single panel of plastic, it's two-layered. It lets you slip in a paper bookmark on which you list weekly goals. It helps keep the important things in front of your eyes whether you use a daily or weekly diary format.

I find during busy times of my life, I can forget the most important things first. Is anyone using a Franklin Covey bookmark (I believe it's called a Weekly Compass), or a similar idea of your own invention?



  1. I don't use the bookmark style, but I do make designated lists on my weekly Notes page (I am using the week + notes format) to keep my eye on my goals. I have personal goals for the week (exercise 3x/week, what I want to read, etc). Also, long-term project goals that I want to continue working on, (which I tend to forget about if I don't see a reminder often) so I can chip away at them when I have a moment. I have to be careful about keeping these Goals lists short and manageable for the week, otherwise they seem like just more To Dos to try to accomplish, and I get overwhelmed with all I have to do in the week. This was my downfall with the Franklin "sharpening the saw" tactic, I felt like I had to fill in several things for each category, which wound up to be more exhausting than rejuvenating like it's intended to be!

    I have found my adaptation to be a great way of reminding myself of what is important and to make sure I get to do at least some of the things that I want to do for myself.

  2. Filofax has those plastic things too. i have one in my filo. i use it for things like memo's, money and other stuff.

    greets Rose

  3. Hello, I went to the Filofax website and did not see one of those clear plastic weekly "compass" accessories. The best I can come up with is a clear plastic sleeve with top opening, for the insertion of a weekly goals list. Is this the slickest way to go, or am I missing an accessory? Thanks.

    Oh, at the moment, I am using the notepad at the back of my Filo to keep a running list. I'm using the personal Denim, which has the back inside cover designed for the notepad. I can keep my daily diary pages fairly clean because my "brain dump" is happening on the notepad in back.

    And yet, my "to do" list can get very clogged with mundane items. It would be nice to keep my current short-term goals in plain view, along with a list of clearly defined steps to achieve them. And this "goals device" should be movable, from week to week, since I regularly fail to get these things done during any one-week period.

    Would appreciate hearing more ideas for making my Filo more Covey-like.


  4. I make a sticky note for my "important this week" to-do's and affix it to one side of my weekly calendar pages. I use the 2-page per week, so I just stick it on the side that doesn't cover up today's date. My trick is that it really has to be just items important for the current week.

    Great site, and thanks to everyone for all the great ideas and thoughts.

  5. Hi Anonymous, about the goals: what works for me is to have a Goals tab in my Filo with my main big goals, divided into categories: Personal, Financial, Home, etc. Then I break those up into monthly goals (which you can either keep in your goals section or write onto your month-view calendar, which is what I do). Then when I am planning my week, I look at my monthly goals and decide what of those I can accomplish this week. This monthly breakdown and weekly selection process keeps me from getting overwhelmed seeing a big list of multi-step goals all at once. I hope this made sense!

  6. Hi, I too use a Filofax and have a mechanism similar to Muse924's. I write a new post-it each week with my top 6 to-dos (3 for work, 3 personal) & then stick this to the ruler/bookmark. It is therefore at the forefront of my mind at all times. And it is very satisfying to see them being scored off one-by-one.

  7. Thank you Anon and Laurie, I feel prompted to reorganize my Filo anew...fresh sheets, re-allocating tabbed sections, and a stash of post-it notes for goal-setting.

    I sometimes wish I'd just leave my book alone, though, not fuss with it, and let it go for a whole year - organically, so to speak. I see old, tattered, well-worn books crammed with personal notes and I love the look.

    I keep fussing with mine and editing things out, so by the end of the year, all the juicy tidbits are gone.

    Here's the rub: one part of me wants to keep things sanitized in case I lose it and someone flips through it. The other part of me wants to personalize it to such an extent that I'd DIE if anyone ever picked it up and read it.

    I'm a writer, and my crappy first drafts go into my Filo, causing me to be overly protective of it.

    Honestly, even if I run to the Ladies room at work, I freak out if I leave my book on my desk.

    What I wouldn't give for magical invisible ink that only I could read.

    Thanks again.

  8. I solve your issue by using an archive binder throughout the year. When something is no longer relevant to my day to day life, I put it in that year's archive binder. That way I still get to keep all those "juicy tidbits" without worrying about anybody getting ahold of them or having to throw it away.

  9. I'm re-posting this question on this fresh thread -- sorry this is a bit off topic.

    Question--What free gift does Filofax provide for people who return a lost planner?

    I registered my planner and have my name and phone number displayed prominently with "Reward for Return." I'm wondering what kind of incentive the free gift is, or if I should list a specific amount for a reward, like $50 (or more? or less?).

    I didn't use to carry my filofax around with me, but now that I do, I'd like to be sure there's an incentive to return it.

    I have one of the Franklin compass bookmarks, too. I used to use it for reminders, like important recurring monthly dates, like bill due dates, but now I put those in my cell phone.

    Nowadays I don't use it at all, but maybe this week I'll get some inspiration.

    I can't figure out what to do with that vertical daily space at the left of the monthly calendars. I've thought of putting billable hours, or deposits, or minutes exercised, or blood sugar readings, or calories consumed, or steps walked. But I've never decided, so I just don't use it at all. Would anyone care to share what they do?

    I like to use post-it notes for goals, appointments, notes about appointments, etc, because I use the pocket size filo and there's not much extra space. And I like to have post-its sticking out for important appointment or deadline reminders. I try to color code them too, but haven't really got myself trained on that yet.


  10. gg: Those vertical spaces on the monthly calendar--I gave up trying to use them as days, it felt redundant to me to have things written as days there and also on the calendar itself. Although I really like your idea of having it be a quick-reference for a daily summary of whatever--miles run, expenditures, etc. It would be great for that. I just use those lines as a list for things that come up annually or semi-annually that need to be done that month, like paying my car insurance, when I'm due for a doctor or dentist appointment, when my kids need vaccines, etc.

    I also have registered my Filos on the website but I have no idea what the "reward" is.

  11. Hi everybody - Thanks for your wonderful comments!

    @Laurie - I know you've commented about the Weekly Compass before. Once again, you were my inspiration! You have a simply elegant system for goal planning. (I had the same problem with the Weekly Compass, too...it caused me to plan TOO many things which would have been lovely to do in each category...which took me away from true prioritization!)

    @anonymous - You didn't find the Weekly Compass on the Filofax website because it's specifically a Franklin Covey product. But it looks as if you've found something very similar from Filofax.

    What I'm reading here is that most of us need to keep relevant short-term goals/projects/priorities in view, and that we're finding ways of doing it (or struggling to). Me, I'm a struggler!

  12. @gg - I don't know what the free gift for returning a planner is. I would guess it's a lower-priced Filofax brand product - perhaps a pen or other accessory.

    I've registered the Personal and A5 Filos that I'm currently using. I feel it increases my chances of getting it back if lost.

    I don't think the reward is what motivates people to return Filofaxes. Most people do so out of a conscientious desire to do the right thing.

    When I first began using a Filo, I always imagined someone reading it, and was accordingly careful about what I wrote. Over the course of many years, that feeling has diminished until now I don't really care. We're all human, I believe, and liable to write equally goofy things in our Filofaxes.

  13. I list the top five work and personal life goals for the week on my weekly compass. These are things I need to get done, they may not apply to specific roles or goals.

    I had a less productive week, I've noticed they come in waves. I had about a month of serious productivity, then I finished a big project and am coasting a bit right now. I'm also still adjusting to having Dave around full time-- I've been much less likely lately to come home and make phone calls or work on projects, we usually just cook dinner then watch a movie or read together.

    I've gotten alot more philosophical about the downtimes because I can flip back through my Filo and see that it goes in cycles and within a week or two I'll be back to my usual productive self!

    I'm debating retiring my red Lizell for one of the brown ones I bought a few years ago before Lizell discontinued them. I really want a Pocket Finchley to match my Personal, but I prefer the number of card slots in the Lizells and they have the coin pocket on the outside, not the inside. They're much bulkier than the Pocket Filos, but they fit my needs better and I'll use them until I've worn them out (or the temptation to have matching Filos overwhelms me!)

  14. Anonymous and Inky, I ment the plastic sleeve, i use it a lot.

    I am not formiliar with Franklin Covey. What are the Pros and Cons of Franklin Covey end Filofax?

    I'm triying to find a way to put grocery lists in my filo without using the expensive Filofax paper. Has anyone an idea?

    I've noticed that Filofax doesn't update the dutch website www.filofax.nl

    Í even can't find the new refills for 2009.

    greets Rose

  15. Lovely-rose, Here's what I do about the grocery list: I keep a stash of note paper (slightly taller than a business card, square) in the business card slots inside the front cover. So, when I make out my list of errands and things to pick up at the market, I pull out a blank note card and scribble away: post office, gas station, bank, paper towels, FedEx...and so on. Then I tuck it back in the slot. Throw Filo in my purse, pull out my list once I'm in the car, put it in my pocket once I'm in the market. A friend gave me a little box of small note paper (about the size of the standard sticky note) and it works just fine. Then I throw it away. I also use the business card slots for dry cleaning stubs, receipts (especially for something I might want to return)...little bits of paper that would otherwise clog up my wallet.

    All best...

  16. The discussion of goals here has started me thinking. Whew, I'm glad it's the weekend and I have some free time. Do you ever feel like saying, "Don't ask me to think! I don't have time to stop and think!"

    The Day Runner Pro series two page per month tabbed calendars used to come with planning calendars -- there were three months per page, just blank blocks, for noting goals, and developing steps to achieving them. I especially liked them because the three-month-to-a-page layout accords with my business life, which is ruled by quarterly tasks. I got these for several years but then one year maybe I got the wrong one, or maybe they don't have the planning pages any more. They were nice, heavy paper, very pleasant to write on.

    The blocks let me develop my goals, for instance I might have a goal of walking two miles per day. I might make a note that in January I would try to walk half a mile, and in February a mile, and finally in March would hopefully get to two miles per day. I like to be able to see lots of things laid out visibly like that, and also to have enough space to see how many things I'm trying to focus on at the same time.

    I like to be able to see an entire week at once when setting appointments or planning my days, and I also like to see more than one month at a time, and with the three-months-per-page view, I can even see six months at a time.

    I'm thinking of setting up a landscape view of the year, three months to a column, four columns to a letter-size page, for setting goals and having a view of what I want to accomplish in the coming year. The only problem with this is that instead of having just the calendar year on one page, I'm going to want to re-print it every quarter to have the next 12 months on one page, so I have an ongoing scope of twelve months. I guess that's not so bad, but then I wouldn't be able to see how the past quarter went, which would reduce the usefulness. Any suggestions about this?

  17. For grocery lists I use 4x6 index cards that I keep in the front pocket. I find these stiff enough for use in the grocery store where I pull it out and cross items off as I find them. I really like the idea of using the credit card slots though. I usually don't use them except to keep a couple of banadaids handy. I think I'll chop up some index cards today. Anyone go absolutely batty waiting for a new filofax order? I ordered a new filofax directly from filofax. Their delivery takes so long to Canada and I'm going nuts waiting for it.

  18. gg, I wonder if the Filofax vertical year calendar (link:
    would fit your needs for this. The page folds out to see 6 months in one view with the other 6 months on the other side. I have these in this year's, next year's and also 2010 already for long-range planning. Depending on what size Filo you use, it might be enough room for long-range goals.

  19. Hi, Laurie--
    Yes, I love the vertical year calendars for tracking progress towards my goals. But for planning what I'm going to try to do, and reminders of important dates, I also like the larger writing spaces on a block calendar.

    Probably will use the larger block year calendar to plan out my goals and will use your idea for keeping the goals in view on my weekly notes page, and then also record my exercise, steps, etc in a vertical year calendar. Just am hoping I keep up with all those calendars!

  20. As a devoted Filofax-er who was (VERY briefly) seduced by Franklin-Covey, I have to remark that this wonderful blog is full proof that only Filofax, among its sad competitors, can inspire the devotion seen in this blog.

    Thank God for Filofax!

  21. I've bought my 2009 Refill (A5 week on two pages, in 5 languages)and a small notepad wich fits in the businesscard section in my binder.

    Now i have november and december 2007, the year 2008 and the year 2009 in my filo. in January i will remove 2007 and 2008 and put them in a storage binder.

    i also rewrote my personal info.

    love, Rose

  22. I know I'm late to this post, but here's what I do: I'm a law student, and I use the Filofax JotPads to keep track of my daily assignments. I use the week-on-two-pages format, and I just use one JotPad paper per week. I stick it in just behind the bookmark/ruler, and then each day I record the class and the corresponding pages to read. I find it works really well to keep the assignments always visible, but not intrusive or taking up too much room.

  23. I'm impressed by gg, Laurie, Lovely Rose, and those who do long-range planning. It's been beyond me lately!

    @neo - Thanks for the compliment. I'll be writing about the various Franklin Covey products I still have from time to time.

    @jamie - The jot pad is a great idea. I use those, too, but not as well as you do.

    Often, you can just use a smaller Filofax page size, too, like a Pocket in an A5 or Personal, as a temporary priority list. It's been a challenge for me, though.

  24. I have traditionally not been a FC fan because they smack a bit cultish to me, however I did order myself one of the compass page markers last night. Thanks for the tip!!

    I just found this site yesterday...I confess I'm hooked!