30 January 2013


So Christmas is well out of the way, and I see that a lot of you (on Twitter) are doing Weight Watchers and other healthy and diet type things.

We all try to lose a few pounds after filling ourselves over Christmas with mince pies, Christmas cakes, Christmas pudding and custard... all those roast potatoes... that lovely stuffing and bacon wrapped sausages around the turkey...... And then there is the boxes of chocolates that seem to hang on that bit longer in to the new year... and they all become a memory when you put the boxes out in the recycling along with other discarded boxes from Christmas.

January arrives... new diary... new goals and all that stuff and it's 'Oh I must go on a diet' 'I can't get in any of my clothes' ..... where did I put my waist band extender...

But what else do you do at New Year.....???

Yes, you suddenly grab those nice new 2013 diary inserts that you have had since August. Click open your Filofax rings.... using both the tabs of course (yes Steve...always!!) and then you slot in the whole 12 months in one go.

Then you try and close the rings... using both hands (yes Steve is there any other way!!) and then there's a problem... your Filofax has now 'bulked up' like a Michelin Man....

Time to put your Filofax on a diet too.... here are some tips...
  1. Don't put in all of your diary insert, only put in as much as you need.. 3, 4, 6 months at a time. 
  2. Supplement your diary insert with a Year Planner for the more distant events and appointments. 
  3. Archive previous months as they pass.
  4. Don't carry lots and lots of spare pages, only enough for the time you will be away from your stash of inserts and goodies.
  5. How many sheets of stickers and sticky notes do you really need to carry? 
  6. Do you really need to carry maps and tube maps when you have no intention of going on the tube for several weeks?
  7. Do an annual or bi-annual review of all the pages you are carrying, check the names and addresses pages too. 
So, you have done all of that (nodding.... yes Steve...) But how much is too much in a Filofax? 

Good question... I don't have a definitive answer on this one.

If you open your Filofax with all the pages to one side and you can just see the join in the rings, then you are most probably ok.

Any more than that and you will start to have problems turning pages. If you are seeing the inside edge of the paper getting folded and creased that is another sign that you have too much paper in your Filofax.

If you are using Personal size, then remember you have quite a range of ring sizes from 11 mm in a Slimline to 30 mm in a Personal Zip to choose from for however many pages you want to carry.

I personally use a compact for most of the year, with a reduced set of pages I can just about manage with the 15 mm ring size. But if I'm travelling back to UK or for a few days if I am doing something different to the ordinary and I need to add in other pages etc to the set up I often go up a size to a normal 23mm Personal or to the extreme of the 30 mm Cuban Zip...

So don't be afraid about those 'other' unused Personal size organisers in the cupboard you can use them at other times of the year as you need to expand and contract your set up....

Oh and Mr Malden above has been relieved of all those excess pounds... sorry pages after the photo was taken!


  1. A very good post Steve! I am, alas, an overstuffer of note. 'Just in case' should be my epitaph.... I always start out so sleek and efficient and end up with an overstuffed brick.

  2. Some people just love to pack the 'kitchen sink' as my Dad would say. My OH is like this - he takes so much on holiday! I fondly call him Imelda Marcos! We were away last weekend and the level of packing was outrageous!

    Having said that I took my fully loaded personal FF and didn't look at it once! I had all our tickets and bookings in a little plastic envelope and our friends had already organised our travel routes whilst in London (by bus and tube). I'm thinking of just using a slimline in future with bare essentials when I travel.

  3. Another very good post, Steve. I'm currently struggling with my diet :-(

    I''ve often thought that, given that my requirements vary throught the year, is to carry two slimlines, which seem to occupy less space than a 30mm ring personal.

  4. I don't like my binder to be too full. I have to be able to easily open the rings to put things in or take things out. I usually have about 2 months of daily pages, sometimes only a month if I have a lot of other stuff in there. I do use monthly calendars for advance planning. My house is clutter-free (mostly) and so is my planner (mostly).

    Great post, Steve.

  5. It makes complete sense BUT...I can't help it! I love the look of a stuffed binder! My imagination starts wondering what interesting things must be in there and I almost never consider the fact that many of those things may not even be used. To me, an overstuffed binder means a busy life with lots to do and a very frequently used binder.

  6. Funny post, but good advice nonetheless. I'm an overstuffer, but try to make sure I don't crease the pages and am able to close the binder without much effort. My Malden and Baroque seem to be able to handle a ton of pages, which is why I love them.

  7. Thanks, Steve. In setting up my 2013 FF, I worked to get my binder functioning well, and an overstuffed binder would add stress to an already overstuffed life.

    I think I've found my "Goldilocks" Filofax set-up; it's just right for me. I pulled a few pages out last night because my plan is to insert a year planner, and then I should be set for a while. That said, I doubt I'd be able to get everything I want in a binder smaller than the A5. I love the Business Style PPD, so I keep three months in my binder and rotate one old/one new at the end of the month. When it is lying flat, my binder contents are about .25' shy of where the rings open, and I operate under the idea that if I put anything new in, something needs to go OUT. While I can't say the same system works for my closet or my bookshelves (sadly), it's working for my Filofax. Thank goodness.

  8. My planners always end up so full! At least I'm not alone :)

  9. Thanks for another great post, Steve.
    Weirdly enough, my Malden is looking quite empty at the moment after having had a clear out but it can so easily get full of out of date notes & rubbish.

  10. Yes I do need to carry all those stickers & pens & sticky notes!!! :-P

  11. I had to realize I CAN'T carry all of those pens... hrmph! But I've tamed my paper tiger & I do feel better :)