07 August 2011

A Pocket Full of Life - Guest Post - Jotje

Jotje's previous guest post is one of most popular posts on the site (watch it reappear in the popular posts list within a day or two of this post being published!), but when I heard that she had transferred from Personal size to Pocket size... I just had to go in to 'pester mode' "pretty please Jotje.... please up date us on your latest creation."

And it worked, I know it will cost me when we see each other in September, but I think you will agree with me, that it was worth the wait. Just sitting here inserting each photo, is like turning the pages and thinking 'how does Jotje manage to fit so much in to such a small organiser.... it is a tardis (bigger on the inside than it is on the outside)!

So enough of me rabbiting on.... over to Jotje....

Following Steve's repeated requests, here is my blogpost on the use of my Pocket Malden, which is currently my ONLY planner … plus wallet! I've been using the pocket since about May (which typically turns out to be my planner format changing months ;-)). The first spark of Pocket envy was kindled by Zoe, then Snarling and Oni, until Stirwise's post finally pushed me over the edge!

So, without further ado, please see and read for yourself what it's all about:

First here's a picture of the closed Pocket Malden in Vintage Pink. The colour in this picture resembles the real colour the best. You will have to ignore all the other pictures in this post as far as the colour is concerned. My iPod Touch is a great toy, but not so much a decent camera …

One note on the colour: If I were asked to name the colour I would describe it as meat colour. More specifically: the colour of a medium cooked steak. Okay, I see how this sounds less appealing than “vintage pink”, but at least it's the truth! I do love this colour (then again, I do love medium cooked steaks as well … LOL).

Next, the opened binder. I added tabs of a Dutch making, because they were so cheerful, and because they have an inner pocket (shown in another picture) for storing receipts or paper. As you can see I am using the purple FriXion point (0.5) which is a necessity with this binder: First of all this is the only FriXion that fits the Malden's penloop (the slimline is too thin, the Frixion Ball is too fat).

And this is why the Pocket Malden makes such a great purse: in the zipper I keep coins, in the card slots my cards, plus my drivers license and in the huge wallet pocket my money bills. Simple as that …

Here's a picture with some of the tabs I am using. I will explain them in further detail in a minute.

The first tab “Shops” contains A) my ongoing shopping list. I trim unused Daytimer Flavia pages for this purpose. Note the super handy pocket on the backside of the tabs!

And B) a list per shop of what I need or want to buy when I am there next time.

Next is the tab “Lists”. This contains various lists.

Lists like gift idea's (see picture below), books to read, movies to watch etc etc

In the back of this Lists section I have added To-do pages, sorted by category. I find these pages with the red Avery sticky tab (kindly sent to me by Nancy!). The brand of these pages are of the Dutch “Succes” planners. I like these because they have two lines per item.

Next is the Tab “Maand” (= Month), again from the Succes brand.

Behind this tab I have the month-on-2-pages inserts from Succes (for circ. 8 months), where I record my DH's working and appointment schedule. I love that the days have two lines. I use the lower line for day appointments/jobs and the top line for appointments at night. I have added a baby-blue Avery tab to immediately access the current month (again, courtesy of Nancy!).

Behind the monthly pages I have the weekly pages (circ. 6 months), the German Cotton Cream with lines. I use the pink BCC ruler as a page finder. I use my lime green BIC pen to colour code my entries:

Pink: reminders/events

Purple: appointments (this way I can also record them with my purple Frixion)

Babyblue for birthdays

Lime green for TV programs I don't want to miss.

As you can see I have added self adhesive monthly tabs to the weekly pages. I got these from Plannerpad.com. You will also notice that I attached them quite randomly and that they are not neatly aligned. But who cares, at least it works to find my month … ;-)

Now to the heart of my planner: the daily pages (about 1 month worth of pages). I am using the Day-per-page inserts from Succes. The lines are really tiny, but I need to have half-hour intervals. And as it turns out I can write very small as long as I use my Frixion Point!

In fact I can record all information that I previously had in my Personal sized 2-pages-per day inserts. The reason is quite simple: apart from writing smaller, I figured I don't need to write novels, when all I need is a quick reminder. For example, on my old ToDo pages I would write:

“Call GP for appointment for N.”

Now I simply write: “GP” under the PHONE section.

Another example:

“Mail quotation to (name customer)” can be abbreviated to “(name customer)” under the header EMAIL. Without any loss of vital information, I might add!

I used the preprinted thicker lines of the succes pages and added (in babyblue BIC pen ink) the headers EMAIL, TO DO and PHONE. An idea that I stole from Oni btw! I add small tick boxes, because I dislike crossed out lines on my calendar pages. The idea for the boxes are from Snarling and Stirwise!

As you can see I still assign time slots to my To do's, which is why I need the half-hour-intervals in my time line.

At the top of the page (hardly legible in this picture) I added my Flylady Routine reminders with boxes to tick off. A simplified version of the Woman's Success Planner principle that you need to track your routines.

The next picture is just for giggles and laughs. I trimmed the Personal sized 2PPD pages from Filofax and punched them for the Pocket binder. As you can see, all vital information and room is preserved. However, I decided I didn't need two pages per day, and that I'm way to lazy to do this for an entire year – thank you very much!

Next is the “Notes” tab, which – surprise! – contains nothing but a handful of lines notes pages.

Behind this section I have the address pages from Succes. Each address page is tabbed, and I use the front page for the first letter, and the back page for the last letter. I record all my login details and important phone numbers or insurance numbers here. Anything that I might need to refer to during a day, especially when I'm from home. No phone numbers from contacts, because those are all in my phone anyway ...

Next is the “Family” tab. This contains lists per family member with clothing sizes, and of clothing or other supplies that need to be bought. Also a list of birthday party ideas or websites.

A clear plastic envelope with bits and pieces and and a financial sheet (Succes again) with date and amount of the car fillups.

In the back I have the plastic card slot holder (with room for four cards).

The note pad pocket in the back finally holds some stamps

I love the pocket format! It is so easy to toss it in your handbag, or to just carry it in your hand during shopping (after all, it does contain all my shopping lists!).

Finally, here are a few more pics of my fat little life companion: a true Allrounder!

Once again thank you Jotje, that is quite a set up!


  1. Awesome post Jotje, thank you for sharing! Off to play with my Malden Pocket today and see if I can get it to work!

    Any chance you could share the link to the person with the dividers and some of your inserts, they look pretty cool!

    Again, thank you!

  2. Wow...I love how you have set up your Malden (it is on my wishlist!). I may redo my Filo now! I have just posted photos of mine on the Flickr group (I am sallyjh2011 there).

  3. Hi, Jotje, thank you very much for another FANTASTIC post!! I had to change from Personal to Pocket size about two months ago and am still working on the setup. Now I have some more ideas what to add..... I, too, like some of the Succes sheets, but I think the paper quality is somewhat less compared to Filofax, I like writing with a fountain pen and on the Succes paper it tends more to bleed. Also I like the idea of cutting the D2P to Pocket size ;-0! Aaaaaaand I definitely need those monthly stickers from plannerpad....
    Thank you very much again, I really admire your creativity!
    Greetings, Sari
    P.S. Do you think one day you ' ll be able to manage everything with a Mini?

  4. Fabulous post. I've been thinking about getting a pocket for day-to-day use as a wallet and I love your set-up.

    You may just have swung it for me! :)

  5. PS - I'd also like to know where you got your dividers. They're gorgeous!

  6. Wow! It's great to see everything can fit into a pocket! I wish I hadn't just spent the last 2 weeks setting up my personal now, or I would try it out in my pocket!!

  7. I really enjoyed this, and have been thinking about downsizing recently, and this has kinda tipped the table, looks like your going to be helping me choose which colour pocket malden to get ;-) hehe

  8. The dividers are apparently from here: http://www.hema.nl/ but that design is no longer available they change each year apparently.


  9. Jotje, this was a great post! I'm in the process of setting up my pocket Finsbury (my first filofax!) so it was perfect timing.

    Which size Success pages fit the pocket?

  10. Tonya: the Junior size pages fit the Pocket Filofax


  11. http://www.succes.com/fr-fr/page/5/product-info/de-agendaformaten.html in French is page gives the different page sizes

  12. Wow! I loved reading about what you've done and seeing all the creativity in the way you have set things up and pulled in bits and pieces from different places to create your dream set up!

  13. Jotje I can't wait to meet this planner (sorry you lol)in September. I am amazed you managed to fit all of this into a pocket size so I need to see it irl.
    Thanks for another AMAZING guest post!

  14. I have my pocket Fins and my personal Malden sitting open on the table next to me and I am AMAZED at how much you manage to have in your pocket, and how much functionality you're getting from it! I'm inspired!

  15. I have to say this is one of the most inspiring posts I have read for ages....keep coming back to the photos to look some more :) Have spent the evening with my craft knife copying those amazing pocketed dividers. Have just posted a photo on flickr showing what they look like (as yet unfinished and needing a decent photo!) Hope you like them!

  16. Love this post Jotje!

    Recently there has been so much buzz everywhere about the malden and I definately see why now! The thing I like most is the inside pocket layout because its quite unique.

    Ps. its also good to see some representation for the smaller organisers! :)

  17. Jotje, You Are The MASTER! This was wonderful in every way, and I thank you so much for taking the time and effort to make this post happen.

  18. So inspiring, wish I could make it work :O(

  19. I agree with Sally (and with all the others who have said similar things) - a really inspiring post. Thank you! I'm encouraged once again to believe that it really *is* possible to run a busy life, schedule and work from out of one of the smaller organisers (either Pocket or Personal, the latter being what I use). Truly amazing.

    What I also like is the way you have let the system evolve to be customised to your own lifestyle, rather than adopting an 'off the peg' method.

    Thanks again....I'm definitely going away to have another think about my own setup!

  20. I really loved this post - I love the fact that I can create my own inserts so easily in the A5, but I am so jealous of your portability! I just wonder if I could get it all in a small binder ....

  21. I agree, what an awesome post & thanks for sharing!
    In the past I'd considered using a pocket as a wallet, but assumed it was too small to use as my main filo. I think you've enabled lots of people to consider 'going pocket' now :)

  22. Thanks for sharing - loved your post. I am also back in a Pocket (grey Malden) from my Personal (various reasons for the smaller size!) and I am LOVING IT! Finding that I am fitting in all I need - adapted to my life and love the lightness and portability (also reminds me of my Pocket Cross I had in my early 20's when I was single and life was simpler in terms of organisation.... that in it-self puts a big grin on my face when I pull out my Filofax).

    LOVED reading your post and off to check out the dividers - nifty.

  23. Hooray for the pocket Malden!

  24. Loved this post! I was curious to see your set up in more detail than what I saw on the Philofaxy meet up!

    And mmmm pocket Malden.. tempting.

  25. Love this post! Great job, Jotje. I so wish I could downsize to the pocket. But I've tried it and it just could never work for me. Plus, I have so much money and time invested in the personal size, I just couldn't do it.

    One question though regarding the monthly tabs - "who cares" that they're not even? I WISH I couldn't care. If it were me, I'd have to sit there all day and night trying to get those things even. Though, I guess that's what happens when you're slightly OCD about these things. ;)

  26. Just looking through older posts as I haven't known about Philofaxy for long enough and now I REALLY want a pocket Malden - you have sold it so well Jotje! Think I am going to have to have a trip to France very soon to get my hands on a crimson one before they completely disappear as I think they look so lovely. Just wondering how long I can resist just buying a cheaper colour and making do in the mean time!