09 March 2011

Setting up a new Filofax

As you all know, I'm in love with my new A5 Domino in Ultra Violet (which you can read about and see photos of here if you haven't already). I'm resisting the urge to fill it completely up right away.

Normally when I set up a new Filofax, I put into it everything I think I might possibly need. Maps, forms, papers of various types and colors, accessories, and tabbed dividers. Lots and lots of tabbed dividers, with labeled tabs for a range of topics. By the time I've got my new Filofax set up, its rings are nearly bursting and I haven't even started using it yet!

This time I'm holding back from doing that to my new Domino. I really like it in its simplified form.  It's not groaning at the seams like my other Filofaxes, which are laden down with things I rarely, or never, use but are in there "just in case."

This time I'm taking a new approach: If I discover I need something in my Filofax, THEN I'll put it in. I'll start with nothing, no labeled tabs, no reams of paper full of information.

But, this is ME we're talking about here. Some things are necessary.

For example, I've already added a World Map with time zones. That's a requirement in my Filofax. In fact, I've referred to it in there already.

I also added a zip-closure clear pouch, because the Domino doesn't have a zip pocket so anything that needs to be secured will go in there.

And, I added a business cards holder, because I use those.

I'll probably add a sticky notes accessory and my Filofax calculator eventually, because I find both of those very convenient to have.

For now I'm not adding any labeled tabbed dividers, which is a huge step for me. Usually I would've labeled and organized my usual tabs by now. But this time rather than prescribe my same-old setup for myself, I'm going free-form and seeing what I actually use and what's worthy of entering my Filofax. It's very liberating, like starting with a blank slate.

How do you set up a new Filofax? Do you transfer things over from your old Filofax, set up the tabs in a certain way, and load it up immediately? Or, do you prefer to start with a blank slate and let it grow organically?


  1. I just bought a metropol pocket over the weekend and I immediately put everything I needed right away and like you said, it's now bursting at the seams. I'm not sure I would be brave enough to start with nothing in it like you did. It would feel like jumping in the ocean with no life jacket... It does make sense though to start everything from scratch, still, probably not for the faint of heart!...

  2. I have re-setup my everyday Filofax when changing the diary for 2011. Although I have added a new tab, it's leaner than before. I was very surprised what was in it - and what I have hardly ever (let's say never) used. Now I try - as you described it very well - only to put in it what I really use...

    Kind regards, Thomas

  3. I have just bought a Domino Personal (LOVE IT!!) and have filled the diary but that's it. Am labeling the tabs with temporary post it notes until I have decided exactly how I want them. In just 3 days it is already filling up, am letting it happen naturally.

  4. I've always thought it's a good idea to set the filofax depending on what you want it for. However this is an interesting idea, because how I think I want it is not how it ends up! To grow it organically seems a really good idea!

  5. Ah... I started out like Alison - thinking I would set it up for what it was for...
    and then along the way I morphed into letting it sort itself out organically!
    And yes, I do realise I have now given the impression that my filofaxes are sentient beings...

  6. I tend to just move what I have in my current binder to the new one (since it works for me), unless it's a smaller binder, in which case I am forced to re-evaluate the system. I am actually contemplating going back to my slimline, however I tend to think that I'll end up right back where I am, with my personal malden. I love that binder but the slimness of the slimline, it just calls to me. We shall see what happens...


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