12 January 2011

Filofax Physics

I couldn't think of a better title for this post, so let me explain what I mean.

When I use a Filofax for keeping lists, notes, tracking projects etc. I tend to start writing on the front of a piece of paper and continue on the back side of the page, to keep each topic on its own distinct leaf of paper.  However, when I use a bound notebook I tend to write on the two-page spread.

Each method has its own freedoms and limitations:

The Filofax page method has the freedom of moving each page to a different location within the Filofax, archiving it elsewhere, or removing it altogether.  The limit is seeing thoughts and projects on only one side of a page at a time.

The bound book freedom is seeing thoughts stretched out across a larger spread.  The limit of course is that those pages aren't going anywhere.

Do you tend to write on the front and then the back of distinct leaves of paper in your Filofax? Or do you write across the two-page spread and then keep those pages together if you move them somewhere else?


  1. What an interesting question! In my Filo I write on the front then the back, mostly so I don't waste paper.

    For work I have to use a bound notebook, and there is an unwritten rule that there shouldn't be any blank space in your book between entries. In other words as you take notes in meetings, note emails, conversations etc, they should be chronological and nobody should be able to add entries in between other entries afterwards. The notebooks can then be used as evidence of agreements, discussions etc. I was taught this when I trained and qualified, and I have always done it. In fact on one occassion, copies of pages from one of my notebooks were taken and put on official file to show what was stated in a meeting alongside someone else's notebook which agreed with mine.

  2. I'm with Nellie on this. I use the front them the back in my filofax to conserve paper.

    Also I have what I call a 'day' book which I try to always use for notes, record of calls and so on. I don't have to do this, I just find it really useful to have everything in one place. It's easy then as I can just browse back to find info I need.

    The only exception will be where I have a major customer who with a substantial project - in this case it is easier for them to have their 'own' notebook - so I write everything for this customer in that notebook. Very useful when you go to meetings and have to look something up!

  3. In my Filo, I also use the front of one sheet and move to the back. Like Nellie and Alison, I do this to save paper, but also because when writing things down for a specific project, I use one color for it and another color for a different project, so each project gets its own color.

    I don't often use bound books, though my journals are bound. I start with the front page but that's what the first page is. When starting a new entry, I start it right underneath where the other ended, so there's never a blank page in my journals. I do that so that paper isn't wasted.

    For work, in the rare event that I use a bound book, I always start on the front page, even if there's a blank page in between. There's just something psychological with me that it's how it "should" be.

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  5. In my filofax, I use the front sheet, then the reverse, like others here, to save paper, but also so that if I re-file it, it's all together.
    At work (before I converted to using my filofax as my work notebook and diary combined) I used to have a notebook and, like others again, I just started on the next free bit of paper (which is partly why I prefer the filofax, because I generally find it easier to be able to re-file things, which a notebook doesn't allow).
    But, when I'm planning something I'm writing - article, paper, story, blog, whatever... I like to use two pages at a view to plan/brainstorm. Once all the brainstorming is done, I use the next bit of free space as it comes available though.

    Interesting to hear what others do!

  6. I also use the front and back (to save paper!) but colour code my paper for projects/groups so it is easy to find (& easy to move if I want to reshuffle).

    At work I have a scribble book by my computer and I use this in any form that is required. It tends to contain information that needs to be scribbled down or for brain storming my thoughts.

    If some-one else picked up my Filofax, the contents would probably make perfect sense to them. If they picked up my scribble book it would make no sense to any-one but me....!

  7. Interesting thought Laurie... but with diary inserts even Filofax follows the bound diary convention of having say a full week on view.

    The alternative of a diary insert that was a week on two pages, but the week started on on side of the page but continued on the reverse side, would allow greater flexibility of archiving weeks, because each week would be just one sheet not split over two.

    However, I very much doubt they will ever create such a refill because it's not conventional in it's layout.

    Rather amusingly one year I printed off my own A5 refill from Outlook and made the mistake of making it 1 week per sheet, so Monday started on the right hand page, Thursday was 'over the page' on the other side. I actually used it like that for quite a while before I noticed the mistake!

    With notebooks or Filofax pages I tend to just write on them without leaving space, again the usual discipline of gaps not allowed...

  8. Interesting thought Steve, I hadn't thought of diary pages starting on the front side of the page with the week continuing on the back side of the page. It would be a way to keep the weeks on distinct pages, although I think having the week visually broken up like that would be difficult to use.

    Two ways to have weeks that can be moved around intact is to have the week on one page, or to do the Franklin Covey method of having the back sides of the weeks pages lined for notes.

  9. For me the whole point of having a week over two pages is that I can view the whole week for planning purposes - probably to do with how my mind works! This is one of the reasons that I struggle with my iPhone diary - I can't see what is going on around the day for planning! Mind you I also struggle with putting my appointments in and syncing, but that is a whole other story! Surfices to say I have now gone back to using a 'proper' diary that I can update at any time!

  10. Diary and address pages -- front and back, as normal.

    ToDo and Notes pages: I write on the "front" (right hand page), then flip the pages when full. Thus, the front of the page always has space on it, even if the rulings are now upside down.


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