14 February 2011

Time Management from Filofax

So continuing with our Task and Time Management theme. As well as all the inserts we are familiar with and the organisers themselves, Filofax you might not have realised have a Time Management range of inserts, these fit in to any A5 Filofax organiser.

If you didn't know about these, it's most probably because the link to this section of their UK website is not very obvious, see the picture below.

Click on the Time Management link and it's like going through a Worm Hole in to another dimension!

What you will find is their range of Time Management inserts. Details of the training courses they run in conjunction with an external training company, Time Workshops.  Has any of our readers ever attended one of these courses? 

The TM inserts are quite different to the usual ones you can buy from Filofax. They are sold as annual update packs with the option of a Week to View Dated, or Day to View Dated, both in A5 format. Also included in the packs are various monthly, yearly and project planners. 

There are also Undated Packs available that contain some of the usual pages you will find in a regular Filofax fill, but there are some additional ones that aren't on the normal part of the site that are dedicated to project planning and performance monitoring etc. Check out the To-Do lists, very different to the normal ones.

If you click through to the Filofax site from the links above and then click on the various links you will see all the pictures of these different packs.

You can also buy some of the sheets individually on the Refill Stationary page.

Do any of our readers use these Time Management Packs? What is your experience of using them? Please share your experience with us via the comments or please consider sending us a Guest Post by email. Thank you.

Then I remembered this photo from our November 2010 meet up... 

That if I'm not mistaken that is Oni looking at Adam's A5 Filofax and he appears to be using the Day to a View TM pack?


  1. PERFECT example of why they need to update their website. I swear my browser laughs at me when I go to their sites. "Ha! Good luck here! Maybe you can update your Geocities site while you are at it!"

  2. I was really glad you put up the links to the UK site - otherwise I would have been in the dark over "time management," which apparently doesn't exist in the US. (OK - *time management* exists ... just not the FF inserts. Ha!)

    I did like the meeting planner I saw, but I must say I *love* the setup and paper quality of the Rhodia Meeting Book - http://rhodiadrive.com/2007/06/15/rhodia-meeting-book/ This is something I would like to see in a FF-compatible refill format.

  3. One of the reasons I decided to downsize from A5 to Personal, was the lack of 2PPD-refills from Filofax in A5. I did complain about this several(!) times on the Filofax facebook page. Not once did anybody point out that those refills already existed!! Which makes you wonder if the personnel even knows that there is a Time-Management worm hole????
    I found this when I was just "clicking" away on their site. Of couse I had already done the switch Personal by then. The latter offered several additional advantages, such as improved portability, greater range of nice binders etc. So I'll stay with the Personal.

  4. I'm personally really bemused by Filofax's attitude towards the TM inserts....it's as if they are slightly ashamed of them, when in fact they could be one of their *major* USPs.

    I find myself gradually being dragged back into the A5/Personal dilemma, feeling constricted by the size of the page, etc etc. Might call in at Neal St on Friday and chat to the people there re adopting the TM inserts - IF they can give me a coherent explanation of how they are meant to work together as a whole. I'm still committed to GTD as a philosophy (I'm on their 'GTD and paper planners' webinar on Thursday), so maybe all of this will come together into some kind of new, more coherent system (although I think my system isn't bad as it stands!).

  5. Just revisiting the FF TM inserts as shown on the website, it strikes me that they are pretty useful, especially in a GTD context, maybe with a few minor gripes, such as expenses - 4 lines for a week on the weekly dated pages. I rack up more than four lines' worth of expenses a *day*, never mind a *week*, and I would think most busy business-people do as well. Four lines of delegation reminders? I guess that would work for me, but then I only have one person I delegate to!

    The 2PPD inserst look pretty good - much more sensible space allocations for expenses and delegation reminders, and obviously more space all round, but I do worry about losing perspective when using daily views. My preferred unit of time for working with in a planning phase is a week, so I'm not sure how this would work for me.....a combination of the two maybe? The year plan and project plan matrix look to have been lifted more or less as they stand from my old TMI templates, which is fine by me, because they work! I could see myself using those.....

    Generally I'm not unimpressed, and strongly tempted to pop along to either Neal or Conduit St on Friday.

    This migh mean a binder upgrade given the parlous state of my A5 Strata. I know Conduit St will discount the binder if bought empty - does anyone know if Neal St will do the same?

  6. I've used the Time Management dividers and pages since they first launched about 5 years ago. I find the week to a view and general structure much better than the standard Filofax A5 products. Also, the dividers are plastic and last much longer than the normal card ones. Recommended!

  7. I've already got the TM dividers, and I have to agree - they are far more durable than the usual card ones, and they seem to form the basis of some kind of 'system' within the covers. I would also recommend, even if you're not using the whole of the TM range.

  8. Tim, how do you set up your system within the 'confines' of the TM plastoc dividers? I'd be interested to know.....

  9. Filofax Germany sells a similar range called Professional that is available in Pocket, Personal and A5.

  10. I wonder if Filofax Time Management is run under a different company which would explain why it seems to be treated differently.

    The whole things is presented in a way that is difficult to understand or figure out how it should be used. I feel like that part of the website needs a total overhaul. Perhaps they are just hoping people give up and book on one of the courses!

    Tim - I'm also interested in how you setup and use these pages.

  11. Just been thinking - they could do a great job of building a time management community if they published an ebook on how to use their time management inserts in exchange for your email address - then they could market directly to really interested parties!

  12. @Tim/David
    What are the TM dividers like? How are they labelled? In a stunning (lack of) sales pitch - you cannot get any images of them off the Filofax site.

  13. They should be selling these refills in the US. I would def use the notes, the project/mind planner, and the enhanced todo lists.

  14. I've been using the 2PPD inserts since about 2002, and I love this format. Initially, I used it solely for work, but now I use it as a combined home / work diary and it works really well. I keep a year's worth of the monthly objective sheets in the diary and 2 months of the 2PPD insert (usually about a week or so in the past to pick up on tasks that still need to be followed up, and 6 - 7 weeks in the future.

    I like the A5 size anyway, and the 2PPD is really the icing on the cake!

  15. FWIW, since I could not find the Filofax TM pages here in the USA...I searched and found/purchased the excellent TimeSystem pages for this purpose.

    Very pleased with their system.

    They fit perfectly in my A5 Filofax Cuban....

    Check out their US website at:


    FYI, I called the US office to find out where to buy them locally. They don't have it at retail stores in US, but the woman I spoke with was very nice and helpful. She said she'd put together a set of sample pages and send them to me.

    Was pleasantly surprised at the generous amount of samples I received. This helped convince me to order their kit....

    For those of you in Europe, there's a European website. As I recall this system started in Europe
    (Germany?) and then opened US office. Now, I think US is it's own business entity...

    Think it's worth comparing....especially, if you're busy at work with lots of projects..

  16. I have used the Time Management Stationery since it came out. The diary inserts are a bit labourious - I prefer the business day per page, slightly modified.

    I use the To Do, Results Planner, and a stack of undated project planners that I bought from the Neal Street shop before they stopped selling them as individual packs.

    The most useful inserts are the monthly fold overs but you cannot buy these sperately any more.

    Nor can you buy the little pocket book or the Time Mangement book that goes with the series. I got fed up writing to Filofax about the stationery. The pocket book was stupid - a bound diary??? - what possesed them? - I used to take the pages out, punch holes in them and use them in a pocket filofax. Never understood why Filofax didn't do this themselves.

  17. I emailed the time management email address at Filofax to ask what the dividers were like and have had no reply...

    Do they really want to sell this stuff? I'm generally a patient woman, but when I want to get something, I want to get it and if the website doesn't show me enough detail and the 'sales' team don't reply to queries... well, frankly, I take my business elsewhere!

    Does anyone know what the time management dividers from filofax look like?

  18. Amanda, I've got a set of TM dividers and they are in grey and dark blue polypropylene - much more substantial than the standard card ones. The first set of dividers (grey) are 'Plan', 'Diary', 'Notes', 'File', 'Expenses' and 'Directory'. Behind these lie a secondary set, 9-part, in blue, labelled 1-7 plus 'Ideas' and 'Personal'. Then there is a set of 13 dividers back in grey which are basically an A-Z, which I suspect is really designed to fit behind the 'directory' tab.

    Hope this helps. They're difficult to photograph adequately in use, but I'll have a go if you want me to

    If you really want to know anything about FF stuff, I would strongly recommend calling either Neal St or Conduit St in London, as the staff there are a hundred times more helpful, and I suspect more knowledgeable, than FF themselves. Personally I think FF are all at sea without any kind of coherent sales policy or strategy for the future, and that all they are now interested in is basking in their current 'fashion icon' status, which is so short-sighted s to be almost suicidal (if it isn't, actually). I despair - really.


  19. ...and while I'm in 'rant mode'....I just looked up the price of what I want/need to do with my A5 in terms of getting a better binder (one that closes!) and TM inserts, and realised what a heck of a good deal the TMI annual refills are at £32 for the whole lot. Buying the FF daily and weekly sets would cost way more on their own, without them forming part of a cohesive, joined-up system that links task management to diary, as does the TMI stuff. *And* the binders are streets ahead for style and quality.

    Think I'll be heading off to the TMI website very soon.......

  20. @David
    Thanks for letting me know about the inserts - that's really helpful!
    I too had a look at the TM annual inserts and thought they were good value (even adding in VAT at 20%!). Does anyone know what they are like to write on with fountain pen? Maybe these are the things to convert me to personal size (though tbh I'm not averse to re-punching the A5 to fit my A5 binder!)?
    I really can't imagine that producing well-researched 'productivity inserts' (for want of a better phrase) would be a major financial risk for FF. Surely that would then extend the range of FF products, rather than limit it??
    Just a thought...

  21. @ArchiMark - thanks for the information about TimeSystem. I found their UK site and ordered a load of A5 refills there. Looking forward to trying them all...

  22. Incidentally, don't waste your time emailing the email address on the Filofax Time Management part of the site. It would appear that it is either not staffed or that they just ignore ANY emails that come in. I have chivvied them three times about a query (that thankfully David answered for me on here) and have never had a reply.
    Utterly terrible customer service. Makes me think I would rather have nothing to do with their products if they can't even answer an email (or 4).
    Okay. Rant over.

  23. Which possibly explains why I've not heard back from them either!

    As a company they aren't doing themselves a lot of favours at the moment.

  24. I'm desperate for the dated inserts - but without the diary part! Can you order them like that? I can only see the undated pack for sale without the dairy parts.

  25. Great to see Filofax has made a Time Management-inserts. Starnge though that they are hiding it.

    I first got interested in the Time/Design-system when David Allan mentioned it in one of the podcasts on iTunes. It´s a company founded in Denmark (my homecountry) so I had to check it out. Unfortunately I found the the Time/System (they changed their name when they came to the US) didn´t fit in the personal sized Filofax. I got sample-pages from the Time/System compact size sent to me to try it out and the holes do NOT fit.

    The Filofax TM-inserts seems to be the same or at least very very inspired by Time/System.
    Could be the way to go for my to-be-A5-Filo...

  26. Ooops! Just realised I was asked some questions back in February! Most points have been answered by David and others regarding the Time Management Professional system. Filofax launched it around 2006 - I've got the brochure from that year. If you click on "Stockists" at the bottom of the UK page you can find all who stock (or who deal in) the Time Management range. They are indicated by a clock symbol. After an intial flurry, any promotion petered out and I bet they haven't held any courses for a while! The TM Pro System is (or was) definitely run in house from Burgess Hill (Unit 3 Victoria Gardens, RH15 9NB as I understand).

    I use it very much as the booklet that comes with the system advises. Advanced monthly planners under "Plan". The next few weeks (week to a view)under "Diary". Blank pages under "Notes". Current projects under "File" sub-divided into the 7 key areas plus "Personal" plus "Ideas". I don't use the Expenses tab (I work from home) and finally there's a "Directory" section.

    By the way, beware that A5 Time Manager pages have a very different hole configuration to A5 Filofax.

  27. Tim
    In what way is the hole configuration different in the Time Manager A5 pages to those of a conventional A5 Filofax?

    Dimensions of hole spacing would be useful to compare them. Assuming it's two groups of three, what is the spacing within the groups of 3 (hole 1-2 2-3 etc and then what is the spacing between 3-4, measuring where possible between hole centres.


  28. Time Manager refers to the system sold in two sizes by TMI. Their "original" page size is 180 mm x 110 mm with hole spacing identical to Filofax Personal. That is 6 holes - the first centered 25mm from the page centre and then 19mm and a further 19mm.

    Time Manager's A5 size is 210mm x 148mm. They use 4 holes, identical to Time Manger original (and therefore Filofax personal) but without the middle holes.

    Time Management Professional (as opposed to Time Manager)is the system sold by Filofax in standard A5 only. So that's 6 holes, but with the first 35mm from the page centre and then 19mm and a further 19mm.

    The only paper I've ever seen that will fit in all A5 binders is the Oxford International A5 Detachable Notebook (model 01212). This has TWELVE punched holes (2 x 6) on each A5 sheet, although I notice that the latest production run has merged a couple of these.

    Hope this helps!


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