30 June 2009

Is it too early to buy next year's diary refill?

Last year I made the mistake of buying the wrong format diary refill for my A5 Filofax. I made too hasty a decision in December, and by the time I realised I had made the wrong choice it was too late to get the format I wanted.

So I noticed that it's possible to buy 2010 refills 6 months before the end of the year... but I'm not going to rush into buying my refill for another couple of months yet.

So which format to go for? Obviously your first decision will be what size to match your binder... OK, that was the easy bit!

If you're just going to stay with the same format as this year, then your task is very easy. Filofax have standardised on the product reference code for their diary pages. This page has all the details. If you're buying from an alternative supplier, you should be able to check the product reference code against the ones shown on the Filofax site.

Looking at the catalogue on the Filofax website, you will notice that there are more different formats for personal or slimline size (95mm x 171mm) than any of the others.

The choice of refill will be a bit of a compromise between writing space and the bulk of number of pages for just your diary section. We all like to have plenty of other pages in other sections, don't we?

There are even choices to be made even for what seems to be the same format. For instance, in 'two pages per week' format, the multi-language version starts the week on a Monday and has reduced space for Saturday and Sunday. Or go for the English-only version, which starts on Sunday and gives each day the same amount of space, with a notes section at the end of the week. There are other variations as well, so take a look at all the options open to you.

Some of the larger formats offer additional planning tools in addition to appointments, as with the A4 Business Diary. This refill is quite expensive, and it's in 'page per day' format. Half of the page is dedicated to appointments, whilst the other half covers To do, Reminders, Phone calls/correspondence, Things to delegate. This would have everything for the serious 'GTD' (Getting Things Done) devotee.

If you find that some days or weeks that you need more space to write notes of a special occasion or a meeting, then you can easily slip in a sheet of ruled or plain paper. I tend to put a to-do list in to my diary in the week I'm going away so I can add things to the list for things to take away with me.

There are also choices on some formats on the colour of the paper; most are white only, but some come in cotton cream (a favourite of Inky's I recall) and also pink (to match the pink breast cancer edition binders, I presume).

I think we now know why Filofax place their diary refills on sale so early! Have fun choosing your next refill.


  1. also if you need more room a particular week or day they have "day planner" sheets. these sheets have one side with an appoinment slot, a to do list, and a don't forget section. then on the back there is a notes section.

    the refill number is 131319 and they are a must have

  2. I like to get my refills as early as possible. I use my diary section as a perpetual diary of sorts: rather than keep one year in, fill it, and replace it with another year, I rotate pages in and out keeping at least 6 months future and several months past in my Filo at all times. As Inky once put it so well, I like to write in events, once, on the day they will occur.

    But every year I agonize over which format to use! My needs change and what worked for me this year might not necessarily work for me next year. I usually wind up getting a few different formats, for flexibility and to satisfy my own fickleness! I always get a couple of different weekly formats, the monthly (which I use extensively) and the pull-out year for long-range planning. And, I always have on hand the day planner sheets that nicolle referred to, they are very useful when I'm having an especially busy day.

  3. Oh and by the way, I've just noticed on Filofaxusa.com the A5 Family Organizer Refill for 2009 is 50% off. So for those of you who have been curious about the format and all the forms it contains, but have been wary of shelling out the bucks for it, this might be a good time to satisfy that curiosity and spring for it!

  4. I've never heard of the day planner sheets. do they only come in large formats as the A5? or are they also available in pocket size?

  5. I plan to revamp my own design day-to-view A5 sheets for the autumn, and then use a week-to-view vertical diary in the section after that, for appointments etc.

    If I get anything I'm totally happy with, I'll post a pic!

    I can't imagine going back to their off-the-peg :o) diary inserts any more.