16 January 2011

My friend, Filofax

I just got back from a bachelorette ("hen") weekend in Edinburgh (which was awesome: hydrotherapy spa, constant champagne and delicious food all weekend long).  I purposely brought NO planner with me on my weekend away.  None at all.

For those of you who haven't been following, I am on a quest to decide by the end of the month what planner I will use for all of 2011.  Those of you who are interested can look at Plannerisms to see the ongoing saga.

I thought a weekend completely away from planners would clear my mind and help me decide. And you know what?  The entire weekend, I missed my Deco Filofax.
Here it is with the awesome celtic-design pen my kids got me for Christmas!

I wished I'd brought my Deco with me to keep me company on the two hour train ride there and back.  One of the restaurants we went to this weekend was Art Deco style, and I LOVE anything Art Deco (thus my adoration of my Deco Filo), and I thought how glamorous my Filofax would have looked in those surroundings.  All weekend I wished I had it with me to write in addresses, websites people mentioned, reference my maps, and everything really.

I missed it like I would miss a trusted friend.  My Filofax (this one or one of my several others) has been my faithful travel companion for so many years, I felt lost without it.

I've had numerous failed attempts at making my Filofax work for me as a planner.  Most recently I failed at using daily and weekly pages at the same time, and using the two days per page format. Both seemed like great ideas at the time, but both quickly crashed and burned.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  About a week ago I made my own planner.  I'll post more about it in a few days on Plannerisms.  I used it all last week (Calling the Dog with it and my WeekDate planner).  When I used it, I got tons done. I focused on my goals, I was very task oriented, and each day I blazed through my to-do list with blistering efficiency.

And it was no fun AT ALL.

I was grumpy all the time and constantly checking my list for what task I had to complete next so I could cross it off.  Even though I got a lot done, it was not the recipe for happiness that I thought it would be.

So this week I'm trying another experiment.  I will use my Filofax with the normal Week on 2 Pages planner insert.  But the difference is this: I'm not going to try to make it more efficient. I'm not going to figure out ways to use it better. I'm just going to use it in a normal, basic way.  And if I don't get everything done this week, I'm not going to be hard on myself.

I've always loved absolutely everything about my Filofax except for the lack of functionality of the weekly pages (specifically that the day spaces are too small).  I wonder if this time it will work, not by making it more efficient, but by purposely NOT trying to be so efficient.  I really want to use my Filofax.

Because, I miss my friend.


  1. oh Laurie. I love your filofax too! the Deco remains my dream filo. I enjoy using my Adelphi and I am quire attached to it, maybe because it records aspects of my life and I love life! Have fun, and use your filofax. Life is not only about lists and efficiency!

  2. There is something comforting about always having a Filofax with you, although I can understand why you didn't take it with you this weekend. Sounds like a great time!!

    Look forward to the next episode of 'which planner' will you use....

  3. CP, exactly. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and my planner should help me do that. What good is efficiency if I hate it?

    Steve, I thought about bringing my Filofax with me (and wished I had) but didn't because I was afraid of losing it or having it stolen. Of course the way to avoid that is to keep it with me constantly, duh! Silly me.

  4. I spent today reorganising my work A5 bronze snakeskin Domino while making more lists in my new pocket Deco (thank you for convincing me to purchase that one as it is just gorgeous) of all the fun stuff I want to get done this week/year

    Part of the fun of doing any activity for me is the writing it in the planner so I can look forward to it :)

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  6. you come back to your deco every time you have a planner crisis - its like the ex- boyfriend who's bad for you but at the same time more attractive than anyone else... i say to hell with efficiency and have fun with it!

  7. I just don't leave home without my Filo. I was taught from a very early age living on a ranch in the American West, that there were just certain things you didn't leave home without; a jacket, something to eat, and a roll of TP, because you had no idea if you were going to be home that night or not.

    Well, add to that my Filo, either a pocket or slimline, there seems to be many things everyday that I need to make notes on, and this is my favorite vessel to store them in.

    I guess it is like a security blanket, but they do serve me well.

  8. Very perceptive Jess! I did indeed have a planner crisis, due to yet another change in life circumstances. I found out that it is extremely likely that we will have yet another international move this year (already!!!). And in times like these, I tend to turn to my Filofax. Will it be able to handle the move-planning load?? The answer is, probably yes as long as I'm normal about things and don't try to over-organize like I usually do!!!

  9. CP, I just read through your Adelphi post on your blog (again), but there's not much detail on how you use your week on 2 pages diary insert. I'm curious how you manage such a busy schedule with small daily spaces. Do you only write appointments into the day spaces and keep your to-dos someplace else? Any tips or advice you can give me for using the WO2P during busy times would be greatly appreciated! If you want you can email me: laurie758@gmail.com Thank you!!!

  10. Hi Laurie,
    I know you were asking Caribbean Princess about her WO2P during busy times, and I know I am a committed A5 user, but even then, my schedule gets too busy to put anything other than appointments in the diary bit, with my 'To-Do' list on a separate page between the two week pages. I have been known to use a Personal size page, so I can still see the week (on A5) underneath, but maybe the other pages sizes (smaller than the personal) would work in the same way?
    I write Mon-Wed's 'to-do' on the RHS and then the Thurs-Weekend's 'to-do' on the LHS so I can see the days and the to-do at the same time.
    Hope that helps??

  11. Amanda, thank you for your suggestion. It is a really good idea. I've actually done that before, but got quickly frustrated with it because I couldn't see my entire week at once. I'm very picky!

  12. Hmmm... if none of the smaller Ff paper fits the rings in the Personal the way you can slot personal pages into an A5, you could try this:
    If you cut some note-paper in half, vertically, then you could use it as your To-Do paper and still be able to see the week underneath. If you have a personal hole-punch, it wouldn't waste the paper as you could use it for the next week, but maybe it's too much of a pain and too fiddly.

    Hope you find a solution!

  13. Oh just catching up on blog comments. Laurie usually I would just write meeting appointments on my week on 2 pages and probably scribble in the most important to dos in pencil. I do use large post it notes and write all my to dos for the week on that. I have to admit that I enjoy crossing out the tasks as they are done! This has worked well until now when I have started my PhD because instead of throwing away my to dos I want to keep a record of what I get done each day for better time management. hence my most recent post on how to organise a PhD planner :-( http://caribbeanprincessmusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-need-your-help-how-should-i-organise.html
    I will be trialling week date and set up on the weekend. However I prefer to use a filofax so after chatting with Steve earlier and reading some of Kanalt's posts I have some ideas........

  14. PS Laurie I use post its so they can be moved around easily as I need to be able to see my week on 2pages at a glance!

  15. Hi Laurie,
    I've been away and too busy to check your blog, so imagine my surprise when I noticed your current planner is your Filo! Trusted friend indeed! I know what you mean! I am using my vintage Filo as my wallet cuz I love to hold it in my hands! My FC is my brain, but my Filo is my heart :-) And I can't wait to read about your handmade planner.