16 November 2008

What / Where

As the year is drawing to a close, I've begun to think about what I'm going to do next year in my Filofax, and how well what I'm doing now is working for me. Today I took out the 2008 pages (I've been using Kate Spade, Personal size), except for November and December, and put in my 2009 diary (week per 2-pages, cotton cream - delicious!). It's scary how thin the rest of this year is, in terms of paper!

I'm reevaluating what I've been doing. This year, it's been a week-per-2-pages, followed by tabs marked To do, Projects, Ideas, Lists, and Tel.

To do - It's been ages since I wrote in or looked at this section. I guess I've been so busy that I only have time for must-dos, which get written on the weekly pages, like paying bills, renewing licenses, and so on. Things like getting a new cell phone or getting my car detailed are just sitting there on aging paper.

Projects - This once-active section, with one yellow lined page per project, has also become just bulky, unused paper. I've planned trips and special evenings in this section. Now it's just undone termite inspections and insurance reviews. Can I keep track of projects in a way that doesn't require as many leaves in my book?

Ideas - A couple of years ago, I had so many ideas I could spend hours writing them down. Now? I guess I've finished writing down that backlog of ideas and don't have any new ones. Maybe I'm also too busy to speculate about things. But will I ever see Elton John in Las Vegas? Will I ever get kayaks for my husband and I? Who knows -- but do I really need to carry these dreams everywhere I go?

Lists - The only page in this section that sees much action is my grocery shopping list. This section has various lists in alphabetical order (A5 paper sources, Bare Essentuals makeup I want to order, Beau Ties neckties to order for my father, books to read or to send to people, Christmas gift lists, etc.).

I've been thinking lately, what might work better is one-day-per-page plus A-Z pages, not all these other tabs. But one-day-per-page doesn't come in cotton cream, which I love! One thing's for sure, a lot of what I'm currently carrying can be pulled out and stored away.

When I reevaluate my system, I take some notebook pages and write "What" on the left side, and "Where" on the right side. This arrangement helps me figure out where I might put certain kinds of information. It helps clear my head. Then I build my Filofax system from the ground up.

The other night, I did this in my Miquelrius A5 notebook, using pencil and drawing lines between the different subjects, as shown in the picture. This is only one out of 3 page spreads.

I placed a Daily Planner order this weekend. They're having a sale, and I indulged in a personal Finchley with a chocolate cover and cotton cream filler inside!!! I also bought horizontal week-per-2-pages for my work and kitchen A5 Filos.


  1. Am re-posting this in case it can help someone else stock up on their Filofax needs for the new year -- seems relevant to this new posting.

    20% Off Coupon from the Container Store!

    Paste this into your browser's address bar and you'll get a page with a link for a coupon for in-store use and a code for use on internet orders etc.

    Good only through November 19.


    Looks like the Container Store doesn't carry A5 Filofax inserts or binders any more, but I'm going to get some Personal calendars, etc.

  2. i too have a chocolate finchley (personal) with cotton cream pages. i love the look and feel of the pages against the leather.

  3. I have a green leather finchley with cotton cream paper - it's GORGEOUS!!!

  4. Re New Year things--How do you clean your planner? Would like to get mine a bit cleaned up for the new year. There's a little ink mark on it and I don't want to do something that will mess up the dye on the leather (it's a nice red color). I googled "how to clean leather" last night and saw a recommendation for rubbing alcohol to remove the ink and to rub it with moisturized soap and water for general cleaning. Does that sound right?

    And do you recommend anything in particular to condition the leather? Keep it nice? I'd like this binder to last forever!

    I didn't see anything on the Filofax website about care instructions.

    Thx, GG

  5. Inky, I'll be very curious to find out if you wind up going with the page-per-day after all. I have used this format during times when my days are very busy and/or I have a lot to record each day. For me the biggest issue with the page per day is forward planning, but there are ways to deal with that. Maybe in your Projects section you can have your projects broken down into steps/ tasks, that you would then write on your daily pages on the day they need to get done, in order for you to stay on track with your timeline. What always helps me when I use a day per page (and even a week view to be honest) is to have a monthly calendar in a very visible place, usually on the wall next to my desk/ computer, where I can write all the upcoming deadlines, events, bills due, whatever for the month. That way I can reference my monthly calendar for upcoming things, and use my daily page for the day's tasks, lists and appointments.

    Let us know what you wind up going with!

  6. Oh and I forgot, another thing I have done when using a day per page format, rather than re-writing tasks that don't get done from day to day, I keep a post-it with the week's tasks that travels along page to page. That works well for me for things that I don't have to do on a particular day, but that I need to keep visible to take care of sometime that week.

  7. So I just recieved a Filofax for Christmas, it is a Personal size classic cross from Goldspot, however I am wondering if I should have gone with the A5 size? any thoughts on the versitility of either would be great...it will be for office use and reside in a briefcase most of the time.

  8. Hi Mathew J,

    Congratulations on your new Filofax! I know a lot of people use the A5 size for office use, due to the larger page layout and more room to write each day. But, the Personal size can work for office use as well, it just depends on how much you need to write each day. If you have a lot to write you can use a day per page, or even day over 2 pages layout. If you need more of an overview, they have a variety of weekly layouts to choose from. They also have pull-out year calendars to get a long-term overview. And there is a 4 year planner for longer-term planning, projects, etc.

    You can buy blank tabs to have sections for individual projects, directories, or topics. I like to use removable tape flags to label my tabs so I can move them around as needed.

    The Personal size is the most popular size, and so it has the widest selection of calendar formats, inserts and accessories.

    Since you plan to carry your Filofax in your briefcase, I think you will be pleased with the portability of the Personal size. The A5 size is nice if it will be sitting on a desk most of the time, but it can be heavy and bulky to carry around every day.

    Filofax is a very flexible system, but (as you can see from many of these posts) it can take some experimentation to figure out what works best for you. Good luck, and enjoy your new Filofax!

  9. Thanks for your interesting post. Personally, I find that the A-Z index adds a lot of bulk to my Filofax. I've tried other indices, and keep coming back to the 6-section index as being the one I like the best, but the beauty of Filofax is that you can make it your own.
    Using one page per project in the Project section works for me, but you have to remove them when the project is completed or inactive, just like you have to groom other sections of your Filofax. I archive removed pages in a second Filofax for the current year. Previous years are simply secured with an elastic band and I have a drawer full of them!

    BTW, I used to make long lists of things I might do, but found it somewhat overwhelming to look at. Definitely didn't need to carry them around. Just like work, you have to set priorities on how you will use your personal time and resources. That's what you need to carry around. Maybe these long lists of ideas belong in your archive Filofax as an Idea Bank?

    Best of luck with your Filofax!