03 November 2011

My Set Up for 2012

I've been doing a bit more on my set up for 2012. However, before I get stuck in to describing the new set up, please realise that I'm not advocating that this is the perfect configuration for everyone. We all have different requirements and needs in our Filofax configurations; this is just my own personal set up. It is really a development of what I've been using this year, but with some differences. One of the advantages of Filofax is you can tailor the contents to your own personal needs.

So where to start... OK well the organiser I am going to be using is my Malden A5 with the 30mm rings. You will see why the larger size Malden has been brought out of its tissue lined box to be pressed in to service, when I get in to the detail of each section of the set up. Then you will see how much paper is going to be in this organiser, which would be a struggle for the 25mm one, which I've been using this year.

Why A5? Well my organiser is mainly used when I'm at home in our home office, I don't go to meetings or travel around a lot or need to take my main Filofax everywhere with me. So my own preference to using an A5 is great, as I can create pages for it easily and there is plenty of room to work in it.

I'm using 6 standard cream blank dividers, which I've labelled up myself with my Dynmo Letratag labelling machine. I left these blank when I was sorting out the sections and put them in to logical places when I was dividing up my content and thinking about how I work. However, even now there's one section that might just get moved, I will have to see how it works out in the year.

So first up, my first section, is my Notes In section, this is a fairly thin section, it starts off with a year planner, that I printed off myself. It is the same format I've been using for about 6/7 years now.

I created it on Excel and it prints nicely on to A4, which I then 'Z fold' to fit in to the A5. I use this year planner mainly to highlight trips and holidays, also visitors etc and a handy first reference for dates etc. I normally have another of these stuck on the wall next to my computer because I'm terrible at working out dates!

Also in this section I have a few sheets of lined paper and a couple of to-do list pages. I have found that if I'm away from my desk with my Filofax and I need to make a quick note of something, then the Notes In section is the quickest way for me to gather information for processing and then writing it neatly in to the main body of the organiser later on.

My next section is my Planner section, for this I'm going to be using a Filofax Time Management Week on Two Pages diary insert. This has spaces for notes/action points, priority activities, phone email etc, and appointments.

This is a new insert to me, but as I don't have a huge number of appointments each day then I think this will work out ok for me. The Day per Page A5 insert I have been using this year I've really liked because it keeps my to-do's in front of me all the time. The difference with the Week on Two page will be that I will have less to carry forward each day, I will be able to see things more clearly and I will be separating tasks in to different 'zones' much better.

The next section is my Journal section, this is a standard A5 week on two page diary insert, but in English only. So each day has equal space, it's plain and it's simple. I'm not a big journal writer, but I hope to improve this coming year. This year I've been using a personal size week on two pages diary but the multi language one which doesn't have equal space for each day.

To keep my 'place' in both diaries I'm will be using two 'Today' markers, one in each diary insert to indicate the current week. So I will be able to flick between each one fairly easily.

I then have a To-Do section, this will only be a few sheets, it is really to capture long-term stuff, like in the 'next 6 months' or 'Future Purchases when I'm in UK'. The more detailed week on week tasks will go in to the planner section.

After the To-Do section I have a Notes section, which consists of lined paper and square graph paper and some plain blank paper. If I'm doing some website design or any alternations to a website or blog I like to jot down the things I've changed for future reference and this section comes in very handy for recording that type of detail.

My Information section is mainly maps, ones I've printed off myself, including my A3 size London street map, these have nearly all been transferred from my current A5, but I will have a review of them and source more up to date ones in the next few weeks.

I will also be adding my reading list page to this section. I like to keep a note of the books I've recently read, so I don't mistakenly buy the same one again!

The final section isn't labelled as such, but it is my Address section, in it I use the two letter A-Z dividers, and I have a page for each letter of the alphabet. I've printed off the sheets from the Filofax address book software, the sheets are printed on to A5 paper and then punched.

Note: The populated pages have the address details printed on to them.

I interleave these two sheets in each divider with an 'internet site information' sheet, I had these in my personal Malden this year, but Filofax don't do them for the A5, so I created my own. On these internet sheets I store user-names and coded password details for various sites,  this has been working well for me in this last few months and I will be transferring the info across from my personal in to the A5.

I will continue to use my Pilot Frixion pens, these have been a real boom for me, the allow me to alter appointments and changing things I've entered in the year. 

That is more or less the bulk of the set up. Of course I know it won't remain static during the year, one of the joys of Filofax ownership is the ability to adapt and change during the year. I suspect you are the same, adding and changing pages as your requirements change.

And if you are wondering, I put it on the scales and it weighs in at 1.3 kg!

Here are some of the things I used to put my set up together.


  1. I really enjoyed reading about your set-up thanks Steve and got some really good ideas for myself. Although I have also added some goals/projects/key areas info as well and currently don't journal - although perhaps I should!

    I wonder if you have made the internet template available? Also could you share the (London) map idea with us? I'm sure many of us would want to do that, or similar for somewhere we visit often. I have all the UK maps Filofax have produced, but this would be a useful addition. I only have an A4 printer not A3, but I'm sure I could stick two together to get the same effect, or get it printing somewhere as a one off.

  2. Nice set-up. I think my set-up has just about settled now too. I've got a notes-in bit (like you), then my goals and next-actions as a section, then my diary (a week of page per day and about 6 months of week to view), then lists, then information.
    Just downloaded the DIY planner thing and having a play (as I am off work, sick... thank you to all my students for so 'generously' sharing your germs!). Looks very interesting!

  3. hmmm....i don't recall seeing those time management refills before and i confess i am intrigued! i recently received a lovely domino snake in a5 as a gift that i wanted to use as a giant "me binder" and track all my (new) healthy habits, workouts, foods, etc in and these might be just the thing for it!

    great post steve : )

  4. @Alison R

    Yes the internet site info template is in the Files page already in the A4/A5 section.

    And the London Map idea is in an earlier post.


    It also works reasonably well with an A4 version which will fold in to A5 ok. I have one that size as well!

    @Amanda Sorry to hear your not well, get well soon and have fun with the Dynamic Template app, I loaded it on to my old Powermac G4 the other day, as the app won't work under OSX Lion

    @Zoe Many thanks, I really enjoyed writing this one. There will be a follow up in new year to show you all how it's working out.

  5. Steve, thanks for the inside look. I'm already looking at transitioning from a Personal to A5 for my primary carry in 2012. I've found myself writing more than ever this year, happily. I've chewed through hundreds of Personal pages with journaling and project ideas, to the point where it was difficult to keep everything I want to currently work on in the same book. The A5 will, in a sense, provide a sturdier foundation.

    Like you, I will have a 2DPP single-language calendar to track daily creative activities (like a training log; a journal section of white ruled paper; and a projects section of printed drafts and handwritten fragments, on blank and quadrille paper.

    One thing I've found - Rhodia Jot Pads in A5. Fit perfectly in the notepad pocket, excellent look and feel paper.

  6. Oooooh! I LOVE these pages! Too bad I love my personal Malden and already have my set up for next year.

    Plus, at almost 3 pounds, I don't think I'd be carrying that thing anywhere!

    Thanks for the look at your 2012 set up, Steve :)

  7. Thanks Steve. Love the set up. I would be very tempted to move to a time management diary when back at work. Do the pages always lie next to each other like you showed, ie side by side, or do they annoyingly split them. I like the hourly appointments one.... a lot bigger, but would be good as a pure diary A5. Would not bother if the pages split though..... but love the side by side day at a glance idea. Thanks for your advice. xx

  8. PS....Apologies. Late at night,so I'm tired.... forgot the question mark above..... ooops!! Typo errors creeping in....so.... time for jimmy jams and cocoa methinks!!!!! Let me check..... Did I Filofax that in? Heee Heeee!!

  9. I bought myself a Mulberry and although I really like it - I miss my Filofax!!!

  10. I am so jealous of that Wo2P insert! That is the one I really wanted for next year, but could not justify the shipping cost for the UK. Sigh.
    Anyway, looks great! I like the idea of journaling day to day as well. Looks like a great setup!

  11. love the post and set up! I am gonna take a few ideas for myself too.. made me want an A5 Malden too, but I will hold back from any more purchases this year! Plus I still want to give it another go at making a personal work for me for every day use.. I loved the book reading template and printed some for both my A5 and personal! thanx! :)

  12. I'm very interested in the time management week view, but it seems I cannot order from UK to Canada? The address forms appear to work, when I select Canada I get a list of provinces etc to choose from, everything seems to work, but I cannot advance to the next page - the "continue" button does nothing. I remember this happening a year ago when I was thinking of ordering something from the UK site. Grrrr. Any chance someone might be willing to get the time management weekly 2012 and mail it to me? I could do paypal. my-user-name + @ + gmail + .com

  13. Where did you get the standard A5 week on two page diary insert from? I could not locate it on the USA-Filofax.

  14. Steve, where did you get the standard A5 week on two page diary insert from? I can not locate it in USA-Filofax.

    1. Mine came from UK but it doesn't look like it's still available. I printed my own this year! From here:


      Week Per View Journal