11 November 2012

My 2013 set up...

I was very smug thinking I've got my 2013 set up all sorted, just a continuation this years set up..... or so I thought....

One day last week I spent a very productive morning printing my own diary inserts, so that in 2013 I would be using my own inserts and none bought from Filofax. 

This year I've only been using one of my own printed inserts the others have been Filofax ones on their thin paper.

In my A5 I carry two diary inserts one for planning and one for my journal. Although I might consider some way of combining those two functions in to one insert in the future.  The A5 tends to sit on my desk alongside me all the time.

In my personal size Filofax I have a simple week per page just to record my appointments so when I'm out and about I have the details of where I will be and I can add to this should I need to. Yes it does mean I'm keeping two (or three if you include iCal) diaries in sync manually, but I don't find this an issue.

For 2013 I am using the same basic format, but ones of my own designs, the TM Enhanced Week per View A5 insert as I have been using for most of this year. And a week per view journal insert which is a nice and simple layout. Both A5 inserts are printed on 80gsm A5 paper which goes through my laser printer just fine.

In the personal size for 2013 I have printed my own Week Per Page insert on to Filofax Cotton Cream plain note paper. After fanning the the pages these also feed through the printer just fine. I leave them for a few minutes to cool down and then print the reverse side. The Filofax cotton cream paper is thicker than the normal white Filofax note paper.

As you can see from the pictures the finished results do look very good and I'm really looking forward to using them next year.

When I added both A5 inserts to my A5 Malden I realised I might have a problem, being that the paper is thicker, it does take up more room on the rings. So I measured the thickness of the respective inserts:
  • A5 Filofax 4.25mm thick for a full 12 months
  • 80gsm plain paper 6mm thick for a full 12 months
With some archiving of past pages I was able to get both 12 month inserts in to the A5 Malden, but it is still looking a little fat! So I might have to take out 6 months from each insert to reduce the number of pages and store those until we get further in to the year and then archive the first few months etc.

Then I looked at the personal size:
  • Filofax white paper 2.25mm thick for a full 12 months
  • Filofax cotton cream 3.5mm thick for a full 12 months
It might not seem a very big difference, but at the moment I'm using a compact Malden with 15mm rings. But it's already more or less full to capacity and I only keep a couple of months of pages in it, plus my A-Z contacts and some note pages.

So I think I will be ok with the A5 with a bit of careful management, but I thought a bit about the Personal size and decided to pull all my personal size organisers out of the cupboard and assess them as alternatives.

I narrowed it down to the existing Malden compact zip (15mm rings), a normal Malden (23mm rings) or the big Cuban Zip (30mm rings), a stepped progression!

I found the best way to assess my real needs was to gather together all the pages I need on the desk, as well as dividers and other contents and then assemble the total fill in to each organiser in turn to see how well it all fits, what problems there are etc. 

Whilst I was doing this I also consolidated all my spare personal size pages in to one box rather than across several unused organisers, so it's not been a wasted exercise! 

In the end I've decided to give the normal non-zip Malden a try and I will see how that works for me for the first month or so. Going back up in ring size will allow me to also add things like maps and other information inserts in to my organiser that I've had to leave out in the compact Malden.

I might return to the compact zip Malden if I find I'm not using all of the pages. I might also enhance the diary by using some month to a page sheets as well as the weekly sheets so I can have the rest of the year in the organiser as well. I will print these on cotton cream paper as well.

So we don't have problems.... we only have solutions to our problems!


  1. But Letts/Filofax has a problem: More and more people will print their inserts so that the on-going cash flow from the consumables is dwindling.

  2. As is the brilliance of the ring-bound planner...you can make anything work for you.

  3. I was just researching this yesterday, printing out some personal Philofaxy formats to try and checking paper quality online. I was thinking about Clairfontaine 70g white paper or Clairfontaine 80g cream and I haven't decided yet. Does anyone know the heaviness of Franklin Covey inserts?

  4. Franklin Covey inserts are really thick. Also, their Personal size is wider, although the height and ring spacing are the same as Filofax's.

  5. Phew! Pleased that Houston has been stood down - Huston too!

    1. Both places exist, I did check.... just that one is better known than the other

  6. I've really enjoyed printing out some new diary pages recently. I decided to downsize to personal so have been experimenting with differing layouts. Unfortunately I get serious planner envy (and I am a Gemini) so just when I think I am settled another better idea comes along.

    The beauty of the ring binders is that it is easy to chop and change. If I'm very sensible I don't print too far ahead so if I want to change my mind (which is more or less inevitable) then I can do so.

    I tried really hard on the one life one binder thing, but I struggle to get it all in and of course why do I need (for example) my blogging schedule and blog ideas with me 24/7? Having the measurement of my freezer shelf so I can buy a basket for it is much more important when out and about! If my blog or work info is on my desk, I can access it easily and if I have an idea whilst out and about, I can simply make a note in my personal binder and deal with it when I get back to work.

    To buy all the permutations for both A5 and personal which I might dabble in over the year is eye wateringly expensive, but by printing them myself, and only going so far ahead, I can save a lot of money.

    I do think Filofax has shot themselves in the foot by not listening to us, and thus the resulting printing of our own inserts - they may use thinner paper so we can get more in a binder - but they need to talk to us about it and also offer a viable alternative - i.e. more choice in cotton cream.

  7. Where would I be able to buy A4 cream 80gsm paper please? I'm presently using white, but it's just not doing it for me.

    1. Amazon... Staples do pastel colours, Rymans, may be WH Smiths even

      I've just ordered some A5 paper from Amazon but in white, it saves having to cut it in two each time.

    2. Thanx Steve, found some on Amazon. I'm used to cutting paper with a knife for my notebooks.

  8. What brands have personal sized inserts, D2P with appointments and space for to-do's on the oeft and simple notepaper on the right?

  9. Just one additional point: I find myself carrying Moleskine books a lot. I like their feel, the paper quality is good, and if I want to slip a page from the moleskin to the binder, it's easy to do. There's always a pocket sized one on my jacket pocket, and I have a hard-covered grid-ruled 5x8 in my briefcase at all times. I'm using a Moleskine that has a week on a page on the left and plain lined paper on the right, for a specific long project. I somewhat question why I'm not using one as my regular appointment/address book.

  10. I saw your you-tube video on the Flex over on the U.S. Filofax site. They have a rotating selection of you tube videos that come up after you watch the flex demonstration. I imagine that it appears on other of their site pages as well. Also available were videos from Josh LaPorte and OrganizedLike Jen, and others. Is this part of their new program that you discussed with them? It does give a nice example of real life use . . .

  11. My home internet connection has been down and so I have missed Philofaxy dreadfully. Using a Wi- fi cafe and commenting to you over a yummy BLT sandwich today!! Just to say, Wilkinsons have some lovely thin squared paper mini notebooks, which fit perfectly into my A5 pocket slots at the front. They are 50p each and a super design- like the Filofax Olympic page marker/ruler design was, but in red. Bargain!! Also Home sense have their Christmas Filofaxes in, including Chameleons..... not that I am an enabler or anything!!!


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