28 February 2011

Filofax System Maintenance

I'm in the process of setting up several of my Filofaxes in a new way (as I blogged about here).  The time I'm spending doing this is making me wonder if other people spend so much time tweaking and maintaining their Filofax systems.

Here's a summary of my tweaking:  I'm revamping my Deco, which is my main Filofax.  I made the mistake of writing local addresses into the address pages in the back, instead of writing them into my Aberdeen section.  So now I've removed those address pages from the Addresses section, moved them into the Aberdeen section, and am re-writing permanent addresses only into new Address pages for that section.  (That way I don't have to create new Address pages every time I move, I'll keep local addresses with the local section and archive them together.)

Also in my Deco I'm creating an "Indonesia" section, and a "Move Scotland --> Indonesia 2011" section.  It's nice to have this information consolidated into my Filofax, but it involves a lot of re-copying from various sources.

In the end I'll have a completely updated Deco, a new Medical Journal Filofax with sections for each of us (which I'm currently working on too), my Urban Travel Filofax and my purple Finsbury Moving Filofax. 

As you might imagine, this process is proving to be quite time-consuming.  But I am taking the time to do it now, even though I'm already so busy, because I know once it's done I'll have the peace of mind of knowing exactly where to access all this information. I want to get it done before we move, to have these Filofaxes handy during and after my transition.

Putting these Filofaxes together made me wonder how much time, on average, people spend on "Filofax System Maintenance."  How much time does it take you to set up, and then maintain, your Filofax system?

I can image at the fastest end of the time spectrum the minimal amount of time it would take to remove a year's worth of diary pages and insert a new year's worth of pages. All done.

Then at the other end of the time spectrum...I see myself!  I can spend endless hours re-copying into diary pages, moving things around, expanding into other Filofaxes, and generally tweaking my system.  (And to be completely honest, I find it enjoyable and even relaxing.)

Where do you fall on the time spectrum?  Do you set up your Filofax once a year and you're done? Or, like many of us, does your Filofax system require maintenance throughout the year to update pages, glean unnecessary material, and other general upkeep?


  1. I am forever tweaking/changing/swopping my system in the Filofax as well as changing over binder (I've just transferred my contents from the Chameleon into my Magenta Adelphi for a bit of a change....and ive moved some sections around as well.

    I have the City Dweller diary insert coming as well so that will no doubt mean a happy evening writing in my diary dates and things - first thing on to do list is get a hobby clearly!!

    But I think even small things can change how you use your planner let alone the massive moves that you need to keep track of. I mean we all update our clothing according to the weather and the seasons so why not the adapting of your planner according to the seasonal changes as well.


  2. I also find the re-doing of tabs, inserts, whole binder, etc. very relaxing. One of my favorite pastimes.

  3. lol. i had to google "Aberdeen". i didn't realize it was a place, i was thinking to myself there was some section (notes, finances, personal, addresses) i had never seen in my filofax....good grief colie get it together!

  4. I couldn't agree more with the "fun" aspect of reorganization. It brings back memories of school where I could arrange my binder and all my papers and pens just so for the first day! I copied my class schedule endless amounts of time to make it look like something effortless I just happened to have taped inside my notebook.

    I think this is why I consider September as the "real" the New Year.

  5. Hi Laurie. I'm *always* changing my FF set-up ( and my implication the underlying system of managing tasks and time), which by all accounts makes me a very bad manager of time - but it seems to work for me. I have several different index options within my 'stock' of refills, and I tend to use them all, including the standard 5-part, a 1-6-part numbered which is Dutch but which I managed to get from Conduit St, and a 1-10, which a very nice man in the US kindly mailed over to me! Like you, I find it very relaxing and part of my 'personal maintenance' routine, which I think we all need - a time of reflection and re-ordering, getting things 'set back up' in a way which suits us.

    And hey! - now that I get to sit in the cafe area of the gym for 90 minutes each time my wife does her gym session, I get to do all this in a great, relaxing environment as well!

  6. @David: how can a numbered index be "Dutch"? We have the same numbers here, I assume ;-)

    My setup requires frequent maintaining. Once a month: a new month of DO2P, old one gets archived. Then the past month of weekly pages gets archived, and a new month (about 5 or 6 months from now) gets inserted. The sticky tab on the monthly pages gets moved. The journal pages get archived in my Journal Filofax, while new pages get added. Sounds like a lot of work, but takes me about 5 minutes to do it. Plus, I frequently change binders in between - just for the fun of it (though it's striking how fast I return to the Malden every time ... LOL).

  7. Hi Laurie

    Apologies...what I really meant to say was that the 1-6 numbered index is available through the Dutch website rather than in the UK, but that I managed to get a copy from the Conduit St store!

  8. I am always tweaking. I started with wo2p, now using the wo1p + notes, which works better. For busy days I use the day planner, as that's mostly my days off that I'm busy.

    I love doing it, and since I'm relatively new at the filofax system, I love exploring the different sizes & stuff I can add to it. Though it costs a lot of money at the moment ;)

  9. Does anyone have the hole layouts for a Mulberry Agenda, please? Trying to do this without buying the incredibly expensive paper!!!

  10. I am definitely part of the "Filo is constantly changing" party. Although my tabs have remained the same, I keep rearranging within the tabs and of course adding more! I too find it fun and relaxing- especially when I come across some new memento that will make me happy to see every time I open my Filo :)

    And don't worry colie- I didn't look it up, but it took me a while to figure out what "Aberdeen" was too! Glad I'm not alone on that one.

  11. LOL at "is Aberdeen a new category in filofax sections!!"

    But back to the question - I've just had a bit of a FF reshuffle - creating the book-o-fax, and re-jigging my work FF. My work FF is working well (now) but my home FF is a mess and I am hoping to sort it out this weekend.

    Always glad to know that I am not alone in my FF-world!

  12. I update my binder's inserts on a weekly basis, which takes me about 5 minutes or so. Plus, I do an archive twice a year when I add 6 months of new inserts and take out 6 months of old inserts. That takes a little more time, but still not a whole lot.

    I too find rearranging and updating tabs fun and relaxing. The biggest time consumer is when I update my tabbed sections and that's because I bring out the label maker. That takes more time than anything, mainly because I end up fighting with separating the labels from the backing and getting the labels perfectly on the tabs. Setting up a new binder takes a lot of time, mainly because I can't just sit down and do it from start to finish - I have to do it in chunks which irritates me - work really gets in the way of such fun activities!


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