11 December 2011

A-Z tabs

The humble A-Z tabs... we have come to think of them as just for sorting our names and addresses or our contacts. In a recent FFAF people freely admitted that they don't keep their contacts in their Filofax.

I was surprised by this, but I can see some people's reasoning for relying more and more on their phone which hopefully they have backed up on their PC or in the 'Cloud'

So some other ideas on how you could use the A-Z tabs which I'm sure you have still.

I use my 'Internet Site Info' sheets for recording Site, Username, Password details on and these are stored within my A-Z tabs based on the Site name.

I don't record the full password. As I use several similar passwords I might only record things like O.......79 the number of dots does not however match the number of letters. So anyone finding my Filofax would not have access to any of my passwords.

I tend to use similar letter patterns but just change the upper and lower case elements, so another site using the same phrase as above might be recorded as o.....U79, it just serves as a reminder to me.

When I was learning to use the command line version of the Linux Operating System. I had a series of note pages within my A-Z tabs to record the details of various commands and how I specifically needed to use them on my computer.

In my old job I was always being tripped up by abbreviations, military people have an annoying habit (to me that is!) of reusing abbreviations in common use, but for something completely different. Reading their reports was becoming a total headache trying to find what they met by NEC or TCM etc So I started another A-Z index of abbreviations to be able to look them up faster.

Our Philofaxy community has grown considerably in the past year or so, I'm thinking of using the A-Z tabs to create a 'User Index' so I can cross reference Comment Names vs Twitter Names vs Real Life Names... my poor grey matter tends to be a little forgetful at times when it comes to names!

If you use a Filofax to store recipes you could use the tabs to divide up the recipes by name or type.

Or if you keep your own personal reviews of books then may be use the A-Z to separate our your reviews by Author name.

I'm sure you can think of some more uses besides the ones I've outlined.


  1. Ooh - recipe Filofax, that would be a good one to have, although I may need to learn to cook... :o)

    I could probably use a filo for various websites. A section for each category and A-Z tabs for the individual websites within the sections - I know, it's overkill, but would make me smile until I got annoyed with so many tabs and never being able to find anything - ha ha ha!!!

  2. I use the A-Z tabs (131689) to write my numbers on the tabs and then I use the tabs for my information. I have my numbers in my Filo because I have had crashes and problems in the past with my phone. So now I have a permanent copy of them in my Filo. Fortunately they don't change much.
    Behind the tabs is my information. AB - I have a list of authors I like, so I can find something to read at the library. I also have a list of books I have read and books I want to get from the libray.
    CD - I have imformation about my computers, Centrelink info, a page I made up called Co-Deets (Company Details) which has info re all the companies I deal with should I need to call them when I am not at home - phone, gas, electricity, insurance, pay tv, mobile phone carrier. I have a 'Dad' page here too, so I can write down gift ideas for my Dad etc.
    EF - Here I just have a typed up page of info to make a Filo page on Excel. This is not so much needed now as I can print straight to Filo papges now. I also keep a list of the Filo refills I want with code references.
    GH - Here I have info regarding my home. The builders and their contact info. I also have the measurement of some drawers n cupboards so I can know if things (new rollers, draw lining plastic) will fit. My son's school starts with a G, so info re the school goes here - contat info, school routine and also a list of techers he has had.
    IJ- My son's name start with J, so here I keep a few small pictures he has drawn me, cute things he hasd said, spelling words from school, and a page for him to note gift ideas and things he needs.
    KL - pages for gift ideas re my brothers.
    MN - a page for my Mum. A page for my dog - date of birth, date i got her, vaccination dates, and a microchip number sticker. Also keep vet info here.I also have a list of movies I want to get.
    OPQ - lots of quotes in this section.
    RS - TU - VW - XYZ are empty at this point.

    I like being able to flick through and find things this way. I would like to have 26 tabs, but that is a lot of real estate. It would work if fixed into was written on to the tabs.

  3. I still use A-Z tabs a lot: as a 'multiple Filo user' I have a recipe-o-fax that lives beside the cook-books on a shelf, a garden-o-fax, a separate Filo with all my addresses printed out (due to bad experience - now they are safe in my beautiful Balmoral) and on the tabbed pages some passwords I tend to forget (written in exactly the same 'short-hand' like you, Steve); a knit-o-fax for all sorts of knitting information and I keep a slimline A-Z in my 'daily' Filo because I number my notes pages and use the register as an index for quick reference. ... now that I am writing it down I realize how many Filos I use - seems to be a bit of an obsession! ;-)

  4. Hey, I forgot one: I also keep a travel-o-fax with information about different places organized as well with the A-Z tabs..... really, I must be crazy......

  5. Does anyone have a formula for creating passwords? I have quite a narrow list of passwords I use which is not very sensible - but my memory fails me a lot these days so I want a formula that is easy to remember!

  6. @Alison
    One method I use is to have a sentence that makes sense to me such as (and this isn't a real one!):
    this is the password for the bank with my current account
    which could translate to a string of letters such as:

    Or, if you need to have numbers and other symbols in it you could have a sentence with things in like:
    my brother in law drank twelve gin and tonics last Chritmas

    Any help?

  7. I've just started setting up my Egyptology filofax in a personal ultra violet Domino. I've put in the pink-green-blue A-Z tabs I got with my raspberry Chameleon. I am going to use these to keep reference information in- e.g. a list of books I've scanned by author (I always forget and then scan them again!), Egyptologists' contact details etc. It will evolve as I think of more things to add. Outside of the A-Z tabs, I have a list of Egyptology Journal abbreviations and their full titles (there's loads of complicated ones and I always forget), and other reference things I will need to make my Egyptology life a bit easier!

  8. Also, I'm thinking about setting up a vocabulary Filofax for when I start learning German seriously in the summer! Will be A-Z with German in the left-hand column, English in the right-hand column :)

  9. @ The Perpetual Student TPS:
    I love your idea about the vocabulary Filo, - I think I am going to copy this.....

  10. In my home/diet(slimming world)/receipt filofax I'm thinking of setting up info regarding food and their sin values so I don't have to keep looking them up online.

  11. @alison, I use a similar format as the other Amanda- I pick a phrase from a song that I like, and use the first letter of each word in the phrase. Then I can remind myself of my password in my Filo or elsewhere by just noting the artist name. You'd do well to choose songs that aren't too catchy- or it will be in your head every time you type your password :-)

  12. I use the a-z tabs to make my own tabs. I bought some very colorful label tabs that can cover both sides of the a-z tab. I pick the a-z tabs according the to the "position" (up, middle, bottom,etc.) I want my new tabs, I print on two sides of my tab, and put them on to cover the a-z. Voila! Otherwise I don't have much use for them, I find them take too much space if I use them all in the address section, where I only have some emergency numbers. And I'd forget what each stand for if I just assign one for some purpose without putting a full name lable on. So with a self-made label is the only I find I can make use of them. I did this for my and DH's filos, works great.

  13. @alison,

    I have a set of word-number combo that I always use so I won't forget what it is, I just add additional letter or number before or after it. For the "set" I only record it in "XXX" but I write down the additional letters or numbers down as reminder. That way it's not too much of a threat if you lose it.

  14. I use my A-Z tabs for addresses... but reading all of your comments makes me think how much more I could use them for... I love to read so I am thinking a book list of some sort.

    @Amanda, Amanda & Alison, I saw a program about password security recently and the methods recommended by Amanda and Amanda of taking a sentence that means something to you and using the initials is one of the best ways to generate passwords according to the hacker interviewed these types of passwords take far longer to crack, especially if they are long. Its just a case of remembering the sentence.

  15. On the passwords - much food for thought - thanks guys!

  16. In my main 'Me&Mine' Binder (currently Cuban Zip - personal, saddle brown) I use the AZ tabs as a 'filing cabinet' of notes, i.e., I write (or append) a single subject note to a page (or more) and file it in the appropriate corresponding letter tab, e.g., a printout of an excel spreadsheet about my filofaxes are filed under the tab F; a legend containing abbreviations, acronyms, color coding and symbols used in this filofax are filed under the tab L; and a Positivity Journal is filed under the tab P. I also write on the divider tab per se - an Index itemizing all the subjects under that letter tab.

    I've done the 'filing cabinet' of notes method for decades so find that I am pretty consistent about the subjects.

    Several days prior to this post, I was detailing this exact subject here on flickr (http://tinyurl.com/cv9bbgm)!

  17. after conversing w/atb about her 'filing cabinet' and with my recent photoshop and illustrator classes coming to an end, i've decided to use the pocket malden for a reference tool guide with a-z tabs. so far, photoshop will have yellow sheets and illustrator will have blue sheets. WARP TOOL for example will be under "W" with a short but detailed explanation on how to use it. unfortunately i thought of doing this towards the end of classes - first i started using index cards punched for arc/circa discs but then i thought a nice binder would be nicer in the workplace. (Plus i just got this ochre pocket malden that had no real use except to have and to hold) I still have a bunch more classes to take so at least i can fill up my guide accordingly from now on!

  18. I use my A-Z tabs like Silver_Elixir and AspireToBe. In addition to all my lists filed behind the tabs, I also have contact info mixed in. I have the contacts (and passwords,too) written on florescent post-its which stand out from reference lists.