03 December 2010

Free For All Friday No 107.

So December has arrived, although to me Winter seems to have come early this year, even here in France we have had some cold frosty mornings. Plans for our Christmas are coming together and may be it's time to think about any changes to the format of diary you are using in your Filofax.

I find it quite a difficult decision to make at the start of each year, mainly because I don't like changing mid year. As you will have seen I've been using some Quo Vadis inserts for the last four months, this has been a good trial to have done ahead of the start of the new year. So far no issues so I will stick with my A5 Timer 21 which is a QV Trinote look alike!

So have you decided on which format to use next year yet?  But as it's a Friday we open the door for you to discuss anything Filofax related.


  1. Hi Steve

    I'm still undecided about 2011 diaries - because I'm undecided about whether to use my Personal or my A5 as my main system for next year. I constantly find the Personal too small for business, while the A5 leaves me looking like a dork when I carry it around at the weekend - and its *heavy*, and I'm trying to minimise (or minimalise) my 'stuff' at the moment.

    I already have the week on two pages with appointments inserts for the A5 and the week on two pages (no appts) for the Personal, so it will be one of them. Whenever I get tempted to use the day-per-page 'professional' A5 set (which I do from time to time) I remind myself that they give me no sense at all of the 'landscape' of the week, and so am able to lie down until the temptation passes!

    So at this moment in time the jury is out on 2011.

    I also have an issue with task management. I think I'm a pretty good manager of time, but tasks really give me a problem. I run my own business with a *lot* of small tasks, large tasks, tasks which need to be broken down into stages, deadlined tasks, future tasks not yet started but which I cannot forget.....etc. Does anyone else have a similar situation, and if so, what specifics do you use to manage your task-load? Although I'm an accountant, I think someone like a social worker might have a similar task-load scenario.

    Would be interested to hear from such an august and knowledegable bunch of people!


  2. I have the same problem as you David with tasks and projects so I will await comments from others in a hopeful frame of mind!

    I have more 2011 diaries than days of the week. However as I work for myself and have two businesses it is important that I only use one diary. I have an iPhone and have recently discovered an app which shows a weekly view - something the original diary didn't have. I plan to use this for my diary, and also use outlook synced to my iPhone for contacts. I'll then probably use a page a day sheet for daily planning.

    The main use I want to put my filofax(s) to is for planning (any ideas for tips for this would be welcome) and to store goals, inspiration, tasks and so on. I've recently decided to use one for work and one for home so I am busy setting these up.

    Really hope to get some tips on planning and task/project management.

  3. I am still in a 2011 planner quandary myself.

    Half of me wants to simplify and have only one planner for both work and home, and have it portable enough to be w/me 24/7.

    For this I have a personal set up with Day Timer's 2 Pages Per Day inserts, so I can use the right hand page for ALL my lists, action items, notes, etc. but this leaves virtually no room for tabs, so everything must go on the daily pages. Which will keep them fresh in mind I suppose.

    The other half wants to break my life into two planners - one to carry around and one master planner to leave at home, so I have a pocket set up (also with Day Timer inserts since you can tab the months) AND a Franklin Covey "Classic" (A5 size) with Week on 2 Pages and lots of tabbed sections.

    I am toying with running all three systems beginning January until I can see how it all flows.

    But that is clearly insane, right???

  4. I t may not be insance but it would certainly be impossible for me to manage without my life descending into chaos.

    I'm going to be revisiting David Allen's GTD system over the weekend to see if i can make that work within the confines of my A5 FF...but that will call for a set of the DPP 'professional' pages...and I already have the WOTP...and that still doesn't address my task management issues......AAAAARRRRGH!

  5. Hello All: Happy Friday!
    Nope, Yvotchka, as we've talked about it's not insane to keep 2 or 3 systems. I do fear that I will get confused or end up just grabbing one all the time out of ease, but I'm doing an experiment this year between A5 and the personal because I am ALWAYS switching between the 2. I thought if I try both, I can see which one I like the best and which one I gravitate towards. Crazy I know and my hubby just shakes his head! I am using 2 pages per week for both formats. David, to answer your question, I am a social worker and am a BIG list maker, especially when I have to get a multi-tasked project done. That helps me a lot.

    And, Yvotchka, WHO is that picture of on your post?!

  6. I've finally decided to stay with the Personal size (I'm coming from the A5). Plus, I have decided that I should have only ONE planner, since I only have ONE life ;-)

    I run 2 businesses, do volunteer work at school, we have dog, household - and let's not forget: four kids. I have a whole time/task management system set up, using WO2P for the global overview and 2PPD for in-depth planning. Plus 2PPMonth for DH's irregular and crazy work schedule. Together with Todo-lists, goals and notes all packed into my lovely Crimson Malden.

    I would need to write a post on its own to break the system down, I'm afraid ... ;-)

  7. One FF personal Scanda with a week on a page with notes on the opposite page. One bag also. I'm done carrying around a laptop bag, a briefcase, and an A5 or FC classic planner. Too much and too confusing. I've been practicing with my Finchley personal since the beginning of November. I also have a Moleskine thin note book kind of like the "field notes" brand tucked in the FF personal and it fits perfectly. Hope this works!

  8. I'm just starting to wonder if I should move up to A5 . . . I'm using personal now with some very nice Japanese PPD sheets. I can get them for A5 so that's not a big concern. Size and convenience, however, is. The A5 Adelphi seems to be calling to me, as it has every once in a while since they introduced it. I'd feel like a fool, though, changing formats after building up so much Personal-sized stuff, including reams of pages and 8 binders. I'm not the kind of person who needs multiple binders for multiple sides of life, I like everything in one place (which is part of why I switched from a work-dedicated bound Moleskine to Filofax), so I can't see using both sizes simultaneously.

  9. I find that I need to use several planners as I need to compartmentalise my life! Two keep my work diary (one personal and the pocket mirrors this but is useful when I am travelling/out of office). And one for my outside work life (real life). I use filos for scrapbooking, inspiration but only the work and fun ones have diaries. the others are basically notebooks.
    And Yvotcha like Jotje I am curious to know about the picture!

  10. Jotje - Please, please tell us about your system - it sounds like I could learn a lot from you which would be hugely helpful!

  11. Just a last thing at night thought....

    I wonder if those of us that use WOTP (Week on Two Pages) format don't focus on our tasks at hand on any particular day?

    Would we become more focused if we used DOTP (Day on Two Pages)? With appointments on the left and tasks etc on the right.

    Also if you are a personal size user. Check out this format on the German Filofax site:



  12. I have different ones also so I get to enjoy them all!

    I have a Personal size for just me and my life (not work). Here I use a 2-days-per page format which is plenty of room to write in a personal appointment or event as well as some personal tasks plus random doodles and any journal-type notes at day's end (I love looking back to see what I was doing when!). I will also stuff ticket stubs and the like in the pages relevant to dates for any events I attended. I will only add something related to work if it impacts my time at home, such as if we have a client coming in and we need to dress up, etc. I never take this Filofax to work, I only use it in my personal life. Most of the time it stays at home.

    I use an A5 for office and work. I use a week-to-page with columns. I ignore the timestamps most of the time and write deadlines in the day's column wherever I like. I use it more of a planner than an appointment book. I will only write in a personal item if it impacts my work schedule (such as a doctor's appointment). Additionally, I stick a large 4"x6" sticky note on the week and I write in there anything that must be done or remembered that week. Every week gets a fresh sticky. I stuff a plain old steno pad in the A5 (perfect fit). The steno is my "daily planner." Each day I write the date across the top a fresh page and fill in the musts for the day (many of which were deadlines or tasks already recorded ahead of time in the weekly planner). The steno is also what I carry with me everywhere in the office and jot down the zillion little things that come up. At day's end, or in the morning, I transfer any of these things that are still undone to where they belong (the weekly planner or the next day's list or into a future date or project list or whatever). The key to this and any planning system is to review everything and make sure anything undone is recorded where appropriate and not left behind once the pages are turned.

    I keep a Pocket size in my purse. It carries temporary notes from home to work, or work to home. It also has stamps, insurance cards, receipts, emergency numbers and some family contacts, and things like that in it. It provides paper to write on when needed when out and about. I know that I will review it regularly to transfer anything important into my work or home system as needed.

    Well I think that's it, I hope someone finds that helpful. Thanks to everyone for all the great ideas.

  13. Steve that day on 2 pages layout is similar to the Franklin Covey day on 2 pages that many Filofax users love because it keeps them so organized.

    I know I am much more focused on daily priorities when I use a day per page planner. But the danger is, anything that doesn't get done that day falls into the abyss once the page is turned. To avoid this I usually put traveling to-dos on a sticky note and move them along the pages until completed.

  14. Steve I find the DOTP would be too much for me. I need to be able to see the entire week at a glance. However I do find using a large sticky note with my to do list written on it really helps as I can move it around and add or subtract things from it without messing up my appointments. I have been doing this for the last 2 months as I have had to juggle much more recently with a heavier teaching workload, project management and research on top of my public health training so this latest revamp is really helping!
    Also when everything has been done I can get rid of the sticky notes and my Adelphi is back to looking lovely......

  15. Jotje, I too would love to hear and see a full description of your system!

  16. Luminosity6, I like your system and have something similar, with A5 (well, the DayTimer version) for work and personal for home life and pocket for out and about. Thanks for posting the details of your system - there are some helpful points that I'm going to borrow!


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