30 September 2011

Free For All Friday No. 150

It's the end of the month! Can you believe tomorrow is October already?

For those of you who do Monthly Reviews, it's time to do those now. Look back over the past month and think about what worked well, what you need to carry over to next month, and what might no longer be relevant and can be eliminated from your to-do list.

This month I have used my Filofax to keep diligent records of expenditures. This weekend I will total up everything by category to see how much I have spent in September on groceries, entertainment, clothes and shoes, etc. I'm bracing myself for the result!

Do you do Monthly Reviews, Monthly Expense totals, or other monthly things in your Filofax (such as monthly maintenance lists, work reviews, etc.)?

As always on Fridays, feel free to discuss anything Filofax-related!


  1. I have a monthly budget sheet, which I then compare against a daily expenditures log at the end of the month. I use this system alongside the "money envelope" technique. It's been a great system so far ;o)

    OT: Finally saw an Osterley up close and personal. It's gorgeous and elegant-- not Kardashian-rrific like I expected it to be when I received the brochure a while back. I bought the personal-sized wine (as the "plum" is called here).

  2. Don't forget folks today is the last day for the 5% off promotion code:


    Also Filofax UK have a 4 for the price of 3 on paper and essentials

  3. @unchecked other - what is the money envelope technique?

  4. Does anyone else use an A4 binder? My A5 set up is not working very well for me so I am thinking of a change.

  5. I have just started using a month on 2 pages spread I printed out from Outlook, for recording deadlines and working out when I will work on which assignment. It's working out really well for me! I really think this will make me so much more organised during my MA!

  6. Hi Alison
    I have an A4 Classic. I bought it for less than half price on Amazon last year. It was too good an offer to miss. But if you fully load one of these beasts with paper it's heavy like as heavy as my camera! I'm not currently using it, it's tucked away in the cupboard for the time being. I might refine the set up so it's not so heavy.

    But the advantages of this size are of course the space you have for each day in terms of planner, or the fact it's so easy to produce any form or page you care to mention on a standard colour printer or laser printer. 4 hole paper punches are as cheap as chips and it then becomes quite cheap to maintain the A4 because you will rarely need to buy any inserts for it.

    As an experiment before you invest real money in an A4 Filofax, grab yourself a standard office A4 4 ring binder and populate it with the pages you need. Not as stylish but give it a try.


  7. Just as follow up to the discussion about Hole-punches the other day. Today I received a KW-Trio 6-hole punch from Holland that does A5 paper. It took less than a week to arrive. Bought this from www.Hummelman.com. The standard postage on the site is about 18 euros but on the advert they said they do it for 12. The honored the lower price and so the total price was 23.95 euros about 21 UKP. Cheaper than the offical filofax model!

  8. I do both monthly reviews and weekly reviews in my filofax (and quarterly and annual). I have my monthly goals sheet on pink paper (so I can find it more clearly) and have my weekly goals behind it. So today's a busy day as am doing both! Though better than end of August when I also had a quarterly review!
    Love using my filofax for it - not least because ticking achieved goals off on paper is SOOOO much more satisfying than electronically. I also like to be able to flick through goal lists and rearrange them. Scrolling through screens just isn't the same!

  9. @Gareth Buxton, thank you for the update.

  10. @Gareth - does the hole punch have a page guide?

  11. @UNchecked other - I'm jealous! I llove the Osterley in plum, but I just cannot justify another binder at the moment!!

    @Alison - I got an A4 in the Great German Sale to try it out, and I have to say it's HEAVY! I haven't had the time to sit down and organise it properly yet, but it is very big (sounds silly as I'm sure you know what A4 looks like!! But hopefully you'll know what I mean! LOL!)

    Back to FFAF ... Since using my pocket Amazona as a wallet, I've found the diary pages are PERFECT for keeping track of my spend. I'm finding it so much easier to track spends as it's there when I'm getting out cash or cards. The only downside is I can't keep coins in it, so I keep them separate. But it's no biggie.

    Finally ... I have a question ... How many sheets of paper is it possible to fit in a pocket filofax? Is there any way to work it out?!

  12. Sorry I meant to say I already have an A4 Classic in Red. I rarely need it outside of my desk so it's a possibility. It's a lovely binder and I have more affinity to A4 than A5 for some reason - however I reserve the right to change my mind!!!

    Off for the weekend now so see you guys on Monday!

  13. @Babs Your pocket question. Which size rings 15mm or 19mm, both sizes are used in the current pocket range. I can test both sizes for you and let you know how many pages fit each if need be.

  14. Oops. Sorry. I'm on my phone and I usually have to go through 2 screens before I post!!

    19mm please Steve. Just a rough idea would be great.


  15. @Babs, in a 19mm Malden Pocket I managed to fit 220 pages which is about 19mm thick. So the rings aren't bulging at that amount of paper.

    That is without section dividers or A-Z's which would add to the thickness, but 220 pages would still be possible I think.


  16. Brilliant. Thank you very much Steve. That's very helpful.

  17. At month end I do my invoicing for my two work contracts. I am pretty diligent about immediately logging my hours each day on a time tracker sheet on my computer, but when I'm going the invoicing, if there's a day that was missed or doesn't look like there was enough hours, I'll flip through both my personal and work FFs to see if I missed something.

    I have the financial pages in my personal Malden, but I use them only for allocation of funds in our savings account. The rest of my money tracking is done with MS Money on my laptop and I can click to get a quick report showing whichever thing I want tracked.

    Right now, I'm sitting in a beautiful ocean front resort, destressing (trying not to either work or think about work) and enjoying our vacation! woot!

  18. @Saffy Yes the hole-punch has a slide out page guide.

    Extra info- the holes it punches are 5.5mm diameter. and the widest "gap" between the holes near the centre of the page is 7cm (centre to centre of hole).

    For a better explanation with a picture see

  19. Hello Everyone
    This is my first tentative effort on the site. I have only one Filofax Metropol Personal in Red (nice colour)which I’ve owned for quite sometime
    Just recently have I discovered Philofaxy web site.I must add that it’s so wonderful to find like minded people. I have to confess that I like others are Filofax addicts.
    I’ve read many of the blogs and picked some useful tips and ideas.
    Last week I received a letter from Filofax UK in West Sussex thanking me for letting them know my thoughts on Filofax products all very complimentary of course :-)) As a token of their appreciation they enclosed a Gourmet Society membership card. This allows savings at over 3,500 restaurants in the UK. I have read that some members have received a gift pack which included the membership card, not tried out mine yet. On another topic the thought occurred to me how do other members recognise one another at the London Meet Up especially if it’s one’s first time.
    I have coveted for a long time a Deco (Personal) and was astonished to find four on Ebay some as low as £99, almost half price. Is this really the genuine article, the advert does state BNIB (brand new in box) what’s that cautionary phrase about something being too good to be true.
    Steve many thanks for your guidance.

  20. @Gareth - thank you for the info.

    @Anthony - the Neal Street store has a sale on tomorrow 50% off Deco, Amazona and Finchley. See newest post from Steve.

  21. Hi every one :)
    @ Alison Reeves - yes, I use an A4 Strata. However, it's my backup to my personal Malden, so has reading & project support material, planning notes etc. I had been stalking some Classics on eBay, but am glad I got the Strata as it doesn't weigh that much with a fair amount in.

    Just gave in to another filo which I'll have to see in the flesh to make my mind up on, a personal raspberry Metropol. £18 from WH Smiths! Planning on creating a happiness binder.

  22. After having bought some lavender oil, experimented with the size of material necessary to ensure a pleasant as opposed to overpowering scent, I have now inserted a lavender scented piece of cotton into a spare credit card slot that is inside my main fax. The fax smells lovely, but I get an extra special wave of peace and tranquillity when I open the fax. Maybe I’m mad, but I like it. When the “new leather” smell has gone, what is to lose?

  23. Oh I like the Lavendar idea, may I copy please?

  24. Scoot,
    Nice idea with the lavender. I've done the same with Trumper "Ajaccio Violets" cologne - yum!

  25. Thanks. What an idea. I must have been asleep to have missed using Cologne, so much more appropriate for a cleaner professional environment.

    I got the idea from scented bookmarks on the internet, but once I smelt the selection in a shop I thought it was just a re-hash of tacky car air fresheners. I therefore bought lavender oil to try; which I once used on a pillow to aid sleeping.

  26. @Scoot and Gerard - I have used dried lavender sprigs in two binders that have had a mildew odour to them (bought from Ebay.)

    Someone asked about getting rid of mildew smells recently.

    I stuff all the pockets and credit card slots with lavender sprigs then air pegged on the clothes line for a few days. So far seems to have worked a treat.

  27. You can get a alchohol shoe leather spray that kills mildew. I use bicarbonate of soda worked into materials, or a saucer of vinegar left next to/in a plastic bag with said item, to kill cause of smells.

  28. @Allison Reeves: I do a variation of this envelope budgeting system:


    One difference is that although my monthly budget is fixed, I allow myself to "borrow" from one envelope. For instance, if I am short $100 on groceries for the month, I can take $100 out of, say, my shopping fund. The next month, I "pay back" the shopping envelope with money from the grocery fund.

    Some envelopes (house, bills, etc) I leave at home. I use red money envelopes (lai seh) from Chinese New Year, so I can easily tuck five or six envelopes that I do need (shopping, entertainment) into my Filo. I've used this system since my undergrad years and it's worked really well.

    @Babs: I highly recommend the Osterley! The leather is much nicer than the Amazona (which my mom has). At the risk of being redundant, the leather is more leather-y than the Amazona. It lay flat right out of the box and despite its glamazon good looks, is able to withstand my penchant for turning Filos into an overstuffed burrito.

    A minor quibble I have is that you have to be very careful not to expose it to liquids and oils, lest the colour changes. It still rocks, though :o)

  29. Can you make suggestions for me please? I want to use my personal Filofax to it's max. Some of you had mentioned goals etc and I would like suggestions of websites or articles on how to really make the most of my time and planner.

  30. Hi Robbiegirl,
    Try searching the Philofaxy website for "task and time management" - there's a search window in the sidebar on the left-hand side of the homepage.

  31. Robbiegirl, you can also search Goals and there are several posts and mentions of goal setting. I wrote a brief post awhile back about using a Filofax for setting and tracking goals: http://www.plannerisms.com/2010/01/secrets-to-sucess.html

    There are loads of websites about time management, one of my favorites is Time Management Ninja.

    I haven't looked but Franklin Covey probably has some online info about using your planner for goals and task management.


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