26 October 2010

Two Pages Per Week

I've been happily using my Quo Vadis Timer 21(aka Trinote) for a few weeks now, pictured below. It does more or less everything I want for an A5 planner. The only niggle I have with the design is that Sunday is pushed in to a small box down in the corner where it is easy to miss.

Click on the picture to view it full size.

So the other day I started to 'sketch' how I would improve on the design. The one thing I wanted was to see all of the days across the page, but also retain an area for notes and to-do lists. What could be simpler!

It proved harder than I thought. But in the end I managed to come up with a compromise in the design that I think would work reasonably well. Again click on the picture to see it full size.

This is the prototype shown in undated format, but with space for you to be able to write the dates in next to the days, and the days next to the days of the month on the right hand edge. Does anyone know a Excel genius that could write a suitable macro to date the pages in a suitable way, so that a complete year could be created on double sided pages?

From the experience of the QV Timer 21, I've learnt that if I have more than 5 things on my to-do list then a lot of them don't get done! So I've limited it to just five, and if I have more than five I will use a separate list for that particular project.

After struggling with the design in various word-processing applications I resorted to doing the design in a spreadsheet, which is far easier to control the placing and sizing of columns and getting it to fit the page etc.

I will give this design a try for a couple of weeks to see how it works out.

You can download the page yourself it is in our files area. As it's intended for an A5, print out the page, cut it in half and punch in the middle of the page as shown above, not at the edges.  I will also make the Excel file available if people would like to modify the design at all for their own non-commercial use.


  1. This is excellent Steve! I too struggle with what I call the "Sunday situation." This looks like a great solution!

  2. Hi Steve,
    Finally something I can do. If you send me the excel file I could probably program something to give you a certain number of weeks from a starting date. Does that help? I think you can find my email address via my comment, but I will check back here to see if this is true.

  3. Hi Paulien
    That would be great. You can grab a copy of the Excel file from the files area.

    I cant see your email address. But if you manage to create a way of dating the file, please email it back to us philofaxy [at] gmail [dot] com


  4. This is really interesting Steve. I have ordered the Timer 17 for my slimline filofax (a scarlet Adelphi) which I keep in my bag. I thought about the small space for Sunday, but then decided that I didn't really have a problem with it because I rarely have more than one appointment on that day. If I have a list of tasks, I would probably keep that seperately anyway. I had refrained from the A5 size as it would be hard to carry around all the time. I'll be interested to see how this develops.

  5. Excellent, Steve!, but of course I just took the plunge yesterday ordering the whole kit from Time/system yesterday..... ;)

    So, Thursday a box of goodies should be here for balance of 2010 and 2011....

    Oh well....

  6. ArchiMark: What did you order? Did you order a binder as well, or just the refills? I'm still undecided on 2011, if I stick with A5 I'll probably order the T/D refill, but I really wish I could make Personal size work for me (if only filofax still had personal non-zip binders with larger rings!)

  7. @ plaiditude

    Got the 'whole enchilada' as we say here in sunny California.... ;)

    I called Time/Sys USA office (after I received some sample pages in the mail, which was very helpful, btw)...

    I wanted to clarify the differences between buying the 'annual refill' package or the 'time system kit' (something like that...).

    It seemed to make sense for the first purchase at least to buy the full package and as Nancy there pointed out, it was the same price with or without the vinyl binder, so, made sense to get it with the binder, even though I'll put pages into my A5 Cuban. As Nancy said might as well get it and if nothing else, you'll have a backup binder if (God forbid...) I lose the Cuban...

    As for size, I find A5 is not so big, maybe it's just that I came from using my letter size zipped Levenger circa binder the past year... ;)

  8. Hi Steve,
    I was inspired by your attempt to personalise the diary, and have sent a version I created myself to the Philofaxy email address. I think this may be a simple enough solution to your problem, using basic Excel formulae rather than a macro..


  9. Ian
    Many thanks, yes that would work quite well. I will reply to your email as there appears to be a minor problem with the file.


  10. Plaiditude,

    FYI, received my Time/System package today...quite the package!

    Will take a little while to sort through all the goodies included and get my A5 Cuban setup with this product. Comes with a nice 'Quick Start Guide' pamphlet and a CD....

    Looks great so far!


  11. ArchiMark: ooh, I'm curious as to what is on the CD. I've purchased most of the pieces of a full A5 system (I did purchase a full compact system at one point) but I have never seen a CD. I'm guessing that it might be the training they used to have available online.

  12. sigh, just spent another wack of money getting refills etc from Time/System for my A5 for next year (I blame that on you ArchiMark :) Meanwhile I'm waiting for more Personal size inserts that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. Will I ever decide on a size and format and stick to it more than a couple of weeks? I don't seem to be able to do the multi-filo thing no matter how I try, it's one planner at a time for me.

  13. Plaiditude: Congratz on your purchase!!! Given what I've seen today after opening up my big box I received from Time/system, think you made a good choice.

    So far, very impressed with the Time/system product...took a while but I've reorganized/refilled my A5 Cuban with the Time/system pages/dividers...

    Still need to spend some more time going through and familiarizing myself with all the various components...very nice, clean/clear looking graphics as well as useful content.

    As for the CD you asked about, yes, it's a training CD, haven't had time yet (hope to over weekend...) to check it out...

    FYI, for others, besides CD, package comes with a very nice Quick Start Guide pamphlett...

    Don't know if people here are interested, but I took a bunch of pics this morning at each step of opening up package, then inner boxes, then shrinkwrapped pages, page storage/archive box, etc...

  14. Plaiditude:

    PS. Forgot to say in last post, "Sorry, for inadvertently encouraging you to get Time/system product.."


    PPS. For others here, just thought I'd mention in case some are wondering why I didn't get Filofax product now, that I do like Filofax pages and did consider Filofax Time Mgmt system product, but since it's not offered here in US now, I decided I didn't want to deal with overseas shipping right now...

  15. ArchiMark, I'd love to see the pics. Perhaps you could post them on the plannerista flickr page since it's not filofax brand

  16. Plaiditude: Glad to....
    Will try to do that sometime soon either later today or tomorrow...have to upload pics from camera and edit them first...

  17. Plaiditude:

    Pics posted....quite a few....enjoy..