04 January 2013

Free For All Friday No. 216

Now that the holidays are over and the dust is starting to settle, life is returning to normal bit by bit. Many of us have been working on our goals and resolutions for 2013, starting up new planner systems or tweaking what we've been using.

How are things going for you? Is your 2013 system up and running, or are you still trying to settle on what you will use this year?

As always on Fridays, please feel free to discuss anything ring-binder related!


  1. Well for me this year it's full of challenges and my organizer system it's one of them. I have just change from DPP to WO2P because there was too many blank space left on the paper.

    Another thing... I'm going on a trip to Brazil with my parents and don't want to ruin my Domino with the salty air so I don't know what to take with me.

    And finaly... FILOFAX USA 60% SALE!
    just have to say that for the record LOL

    1. That 60% off sale is killing me! But I'm staying firm on not buying anything new.

      This year I'm using my personal fushia adelphi for daily planning, lists, blogging, and finance tracking. Then I have a beautiful peter pauper press notebook for writing out all of my goals in full (this is the notebook http://www.peterpauper.com/wildflowers-journal-2346)

      For goal tracking and forward planning I have a black plannerisms planner on the way. Can't wait to get it. The monthly pages look so nice and big compared to my personal sized filo ones

    2. I doubt a Domino would be adversely impacted by salt air while on a trip to Brazil, unless you're planning to take it swimming I think it should be ok!

      Interesting that you're going to weekly views and I'm going back to days. I love the perspective of the weekly view, being able to see, at a glance, the coming days and what's going on. Really helpful. On the other hand, on busy weeks it can easily become so busy and jumbled it's hard to see anything! I hope the weekly view works well for you!

      60% off? Wow. I wonder if they are trying to clear stock? Does this mean their holiday sales were disappointing?

    3. The Cuban is 60% off! The Personal is $39.40 and the Slimline is $38.00! At that price, I might get get one in black and one in chestnut!

    4. I did! I got the Chestnut in Personal. Was tempted by the A5 also at a good price but ... had to resist. I think the Chestnut looks like a lovely color.

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. My guess is that the Cuban is discontinued in the US, as only the discounted ones are listed. It looks like the Cuban Personals and Slimlines are sold out.

    7. That sale is killing me too - the prices are great! But the are no compacts included, and that's what I'm looking for. I briefly contemplated a mini for my store cards, but even at just under $10 I can't justify it since I have a mini domino that I never use. Oh well. I hope someone else can take advantage of that great sale!

  2. I was working happily for months with a two-pages-per-week with a to-do page filed between the week view. I had planned to continue into 2013 with the same setup, substituting the marvelous DodoPad insert for the filofax diary. But it's not working very well anymore. I'm entering an exceptionally busy period at work and am finding the setup inadequate for my planning needs. Plus, I realized that this slimmed down planner format, which seemed to be working well, was actually allowing lots of stray details fall through the cracks. I was reviewing the quarter last week and found a large number of unfinished tasks unaccounted for. I never missed so much with two-pages-per-day, as it was SO obvious when something was unfinished and/or I had plenty of space to summarize what I did do and what needs further attention. So now, only three days in, I'm planning to completely redo my setup! And, in addition to switching from 2ppw to 2ppd, I plan to do some fairly radical reformatting of my overall system to try to make it more linear and intuitive to use. These are ideas I've been pondering for months and figure I might as well do them now.

    On another note, I'm very interested to know how others are using their planners to track finances. I have fairly straight-forward personal finances but also own two rental units, who's books need to be properly managed. I've not a clue how to "do the books" and know that stuff is falling through the cracks here. I need to track income and expenses, delineating which expenses are deductible and on which schedules (i.e. depreciation vs. straight business expense). I feel that if I keep this in my planner I'll manage it much better.

    Hope everyone's year is off to a smashing start!

    1. I also use the Filofax personal financial sheets, but I am going to change that. The reason for that is that the sheets are too small and very expensive. So I am going to my A5 and using graphic paper to track all my expensive (cash payments and also the bank payments) and putting them under the right categories. The categories are: groceries, mortgage, water, gas, electricity, clothing, etc. In Excel I am also copying the system and so I can easily see what I spent per categories per month. And then a total per year, per category.
      You mention you have rental units. Are these your units that you are renting out? If so, what I would do is keep is simple. In the Filofax make a section ‘rental’. You know what you are getting as rent on the units and when. So I would lay in out as follow: to pages left income right expenses. On the income site make columns: date (when the rent shout be paid), name (of the person that rent the unit) and amount. I do not know how you get the money (cash or on the bank) but when you receive the money make a check mark. On the expense site do the same. Make columns with date, what kind of expense have you made (repairing …. (mention the kind of repair), painting, etc) and the amount spent. Use an envelope to put your receipt in them and put this envelope behind your expense sheet. You can keep track of everything per month like this.
      If you have a lot of receipts, make a binder, add tabs per month and add the receipts in there. Code every receipt (for example 2013-01, 201302, etc). You can add a column on your expense sheet ‘invoice number’. If you have questions let me know. I am an auditor so I know a little bit about keep up finance.

    2. Thanks, Suus! I do the expense tracking already but I think the income side is important too (date paid, check number, amount) etc.

  3. My questions are for North Americans using the personal format and trying to print using "letter" paper, rather than the A4 size the majority of Philofaxers use.

    What layouts and printer settings do you use?
    Have you ever printed reduced versions of documents, such as a course syllabus, to insert in your personal Filofax?
    Does anybody have Excel layouts for printing on letter size paper?

    I have the US Filofax "Personal Organizer White Laser Paper" (ref 930200) which is set up for three per page (across in landscape mode) but I don't know the settings.

    1. Alan,
      I think the Laser Paper is A4 size (297mm by 210 mm) US letter size is not tall enough to get 3 personal size pages side by side on it. Personal being 171mm by 95mm
      Sorry I don't know the non-metric equivalents!

    2. They still have the 3-sheet laser printer paper, but the resulting sheets are only 3.67" instead of 3.75", which is 93mm instead of 95mm in metric.

    3. Alan,
      I found the easiest way to add various documents was to print and cut off the margins with the paper cutter, then punch the top edge of the sheet and fold it like an accordion to fit the width of the personal size page. This is not ideal but is much easier than trying to shrink and fit (not to mention the difficulties of trying to get things to print two sided correctly!).

    4. Hmm... my last reply disappeared!

      I appear to be having success with the Print to File software. I have had to modify layouts, which was a bit of a pain, but when I have worked the bugs out, I will update you all.

    5. My first taste of Success!

      I first tried the software with a Word document - a six page course syllabus for the up-coming term.

      To start with, even though I bought the Print to File software from the FilofaxUSA site, the default paper was A4. Second, the default was to stretch the Word page as formatted to fill the filofax page. An 8.5x11" page with one inch margins all around leaves 6.5x9, an H:W ratio of 1.385 while a Filofax Personal page has a H:W ratio of 1.8, which goes up as one allows for the margins and gutter. The stretch was unpalatable, in my view.

      So I started fiddling with the layout, using "Modify Layout" until the "Layout" menu item. I will spare you the iterations, but here is where I ended up:
      - I switched the "Printer Paper Size" to Letter.
      - I switched the scaling from "Stretch to fit" to "One to one"
      - (I also clicked on the choice for "Centred" which vertically centres the page so that the excess white space is distributed top and bottom)
      - I changed all the "Paper Margins" to 0.00 cm, except the top which I set to 4.45 cm
      - I saved this layout as "Word to Personal on Letter"
      - I closed the "Modify Layout" dialogue box and then closed the "Filofax Printer" dialogue box. It seems that changes only become available after you've closed and re-opened the Print dialogue.

      Learn your paper orientation by practicing with non-filofax paper! At 25 cents a sheet, you don't want to be messing up. In my case, the paper goes in the tray with the side that has the filofax imprint up, with the holes on the leading edge.

      Up next: Printing from Excel!

    6. No, this is not about printing in Excel - it is about the blasted Filofax "Personal Organizer White Laser Paper" (ref 930200)!

      Basking in my success, I decided to separate the sheets to put them in my binder. First I folded it into three along the perforations only to discover the the perforations are not in the right places! Going left to right (pages 1, then 3 then 5 on a double sided print job):
      - Page 1 is 91 mm across with the lead edge of the holes 2.5 cm from the left edge.
      - Page 3 is 93 mm across with the lead edge of the holes 5.5 cm from the left edge.
      - Page 5 is 96 mm across with the lead edge of the holes 5.0 cm from the left edge.

      How is anyone supposed to do a proper job when the materials are seriously flawed?

    7. I found this same problem with the Filofax printing paper. I stopped using it before I ever started. I had the change the margins for each sheet since they're not all the same width. Not to mention, some sheets are narrower than others and once in the binder, it's very easy to see. Once I realized that margins needed to be changed depending which section of the page you're printing on, I have up. So I have a nearly full pack of paper sitting in a bin that haven't been touched since.

    8. Interestingly, I sent this information/complaint to FilofaxUSA and got a reply same day - on a Saturday, no less!

  4. I have a tabs question. I currently (ineffectively) use the 5 generic tabs the Pocket Filo comes with. However, I think this affects me using the filo to its potential because i dont know where to file it so I dont write it. I have Diary (WO2P/MO2P) then information holds a few lists and pages but justa big jumble. Followed by notes (about 2 pages only) Finances (one post it note) and Addresses (one page of important addresses). I am feeling like I need to make better use of the tabs or ditch them altogether. I find if i want to write something but i dont know what tab to store it under I have a problem, and i then just dont use it. Can any one share some tab ideas with me?

    1. I would start by looking at what kind of information you have in your Pocket, what you need and then assigning them to the different sections. If you what to keep the Filofax tabs, stick on them Avery tabs or other post it flags and write done the section names.
      But mine advice is making your own tabs! It is fun and it makes your planner so personal. And you can change it every time (with the seasons). What I have done is make my own dividers, than stick post it flags on them (those are the tabs) and write down the sections. So if I change a section, I am flexible in changing the tabs. Just remove the tab and make a new one.
      And if you have a note and you do not know in which section it such go, put in in the front of your planner. I do that and when I am at home I can see the note and then decide where it goes.

    2. Start by making a list - what sort of things do you file in your FF?

      My tabs are ToDo, Shopping, Media, Notes, Important, House, Planner

      Once you know what sort of categories you want to use, it's very easy to make your own dividers

    3. Or what about using the A-Z tabs as an index, ie birthdays behind B, passwords behind P, wish list behind W and so on. This works for me as a lot of stuff I write doesn't merit a whole section.

    4. My tabs are.....

      Daily Ref (reference), storing menu plans, tv schedule, affirmations for meditation/prayers.

      Time Management diary- WPV 5 line

      Month on 2 pages- Contains monthly goals, Month on 2 pages calendar, and horizontal this month page, to list job applications I am doing.

      Annual- Contains annual block calendar for 2013 and 2014.... downloaded from time and date.com, a year plan, to list any work events,and a horizontal year plan, to list holidays, sickness absence, training days/courses done. Hopefully, I will get that job of my dreams and it will soon see more use!!

      Lists... Contains recycling postcard... what can be recycled in my wheelie bin, 2 pagesof most frequently used addresses/phone nos, passwords coded list, a list of books I want to read from Good Reads, My 2013 reading list of books read, library opening times, a fast book outliner by David Seah for non- fiction note, then medical stuff... my daily diabetes chart counts, a doctor and dentist page of treatments/ costs and medication prescribed, a water tracker, a salycilates allergy shopping page and shopping list for this week.

      Final section... Jottings, Notepaper, coloured grid paper, mind maps, a 10,10, 10 sheet (when making choices, impact on self and others in 10 weeks, 10 month and 10 year...for decision making,)
      a mind map and 1 sheet of this week's days for any work to dos. a 4 section wallet, to hold stamps and a recipts envelope...made from a plastic envelope from Staples.

      In the back slip pocket I don't use a pad, but slip in prescription renewal forms, library book ordering forms and any PRIORITY deal with letters... usually 2 max.

      PHEW!!!! More in my A5 30mm rings than I thought!!!!

      My organisation is therefore daily, weekly, monthly, annual, lists and jottings. Enjoy organising your tabs!!!I also have a post it dashboard at the front for vital reminders. xx

    5. Mine are;
      Info - for bus times, animal feeding sheets, addresses, my contact details etc
      Diary - WHSmith week to view
      Finances - with Pocket sheets and homemade receipts pockets etc
      Lists - to do, to buy, albums/book etc
      Notes - just coloured paper
      Stickers - which i use to mark birthdays deadlines etc and post-its.
      I made my own tabs, http://the-wonderful-life-of-alice.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/new-flofax-dividers.html

    6. I was having this same problem, so I took a look at what I really needed and ended up only having three tabs! While I felt a little strange having so few, it really works out well. Now I have:

      Diary: Pretty obvious, this has my monthly and daily views, plus my birthday/anniversary pages

      Me: This contains my personal info sheet, Filo registration sheet, insurance cards, and short blurbs about any medical appointments

      Etc: Literally everything else. I file most stuff on my daily pages, but in this section I have a list of blog post ideas, a few blank note pages, stickers, and store discount cards.

      Simple, but it works!

    7. Thank you for all the helpful replies. I am grateful for your time. I will start by making a list of what I want to get in the filofax and then work on how I would group them. I am sure some of your tab titles will be finding their way into my filo :)

    8. I have a ridiculous amount of tabs from last year but thinking of changing it to the a-z index for same reasons as cited above. Some of the sections are quite empty and I keep thinking of new info tabs I might want but already have way too many. I put an a-z double letter index tab to cut the bulk. My tabs from last year were:

      Diary (MO2P, WO2P)
      Notes (blank sheets for random notes)
      Information (bits of info such as hubby's work schedule, make/model of my laptop cuz I'm always calling Dell for repairs :(, appliance info, names of doctor's or repair people that other people refer or mention, etc.)
      Projects (generic big picture to do's only)
      Finance (not using right now)
      Addresses (only for web addresses and passwords)

      Then I have 6 tabs I made:
      Cheryl (bits about me, my wish list, doctor notes, etc.)
      House (paint colors, home repair to do's/notes)
      Media (Book, movie, music lists to read/buy/watch etc.)

      Then I have 2 small avery top tabs:
      Shop (shopping lists for groceries and other's birthdays, Christmas, etc.)
      Web (which is where my websites/passwords were before I moved them to the Addresses tab)

      Some of these tabs I will keep but I think most of this info will be moved to the a-z index and we'll see if that works better.

  5. My system is up and running... Monthly tabbed, week on one page with notes and then the French day on two pages which I have for the first time. Quite an investment but they are working brilliantly. It has two columns in the appointment page and I don't have that many appointments so I use the second for a noteform journal of the day before I go to bed. The other page has ten to dos of which I have many so being limited to ten a day is a good thing to keep me realistic. The small notes section is for my focus words for the day and, um, notes :) For the first time I am also decorating a little with some rather elegant Cavellini stickers and some washi tape. so thats sorted.
    The binder itself.. Less so! I had a compact regency all set up ready to go and I lasted to half four on New Years Day! I crammed everything in but it felt restrictive and I was in the moood for inclusive planning not choosing which pages to leave out. So I moved into my Graffiti non-filofax I blogged about. Perfect. But then yesterday a crimson Malden arrived. Also perfect in a different way so today I am in that. I reckon its a womans perogative....!

    1. I'm similar to Helen - month on two pages, week to view, then the day on two pages. I have to month to view for the whole year, week to view for three months ahead and the day on two pages just for the current / following week. I've also used Jan-Dec tabs. Then I basically have master todo sheets for personal and work (seperately), and then in the addresses section I have to a-z and I have listed all my web info and passwords.

      I can't get much more in, but I am investigating having a seperate little a-z notebook to jot in website details which I could pop into a pocket - this would save a lot of space. I ordered the leuchtturm1917 credit card size one, but it may be a little too small! Probably would prefer a field notes sized one. Just wondering it I could edit one of those to use?

      I had real planner fail last year, but am hoping that by making it more portable (i.e. using personal rather than A5) and making sure I get everything written down each day (which I find motivates me) it will work better.

      I'm using a Filofax Personal Belmont binder which I bought on adspot and really loving it - it's got a real 'western' feel to it - I feel like I should wear some cowboy boots when using it! Leather inside and out so it should be a long lasting binder. Does anyone know anything about the provenance of the Belmont binders?

    2. PS - regarding the day on two pages - I rarely have more than one or two appointments in my diary on any given day. I also run my own business, so I am using the 1-10 for my business tasks (write blog post, contact XYZ customer), and the other side of the appointments page for my personal todos (ironing, post letter).

    3. I've got the small Volante moleskine notebooks in the pockets of my peronal if that helps Alison. Even fts in the compact.

    4. Reading this thread made me smile...and even lol at one point! :)

    5. Helen - thanks I'll have a look at those!

      Cheryl- Glad we entertained you! ;-)

  6. Hey all, anyone ever see the Meeting Pages, in personal size? I only see A5. :(

  7. Well, I haven't set up 2013 as I was in a major planner fail for 2012. I have ordered a Personal Metropol and a Mini Identity. In the meanwhile I am planning out what I need in a DayRunner until they arrive.Crossing fingers!!

  8. I know how I want mine to set up in 2013... but I'm struggling to find a photocopy place nearby that will copy onto A5! It seems such a small thing to me - but massively impacts on my diary set up! You see - I really don't want to go for print outs, because I find that they get a bit "office" looking, but I need my own personal pages made up for my job (teacher - I need to include a lot of info in a lot of pages!). So I have a week on page with notes for all the bits I need to know (and notes for bits about school/classes etc) and then I need my own lesson planning space - I had the ones premade, but they just didn't suit me, so I've designed my own, just need them copied onto A5!

  9. So far in 2013 I've been planning my planner. I've decided I want to try a DO2P planner, as my current WO2P isn't working as effectively for me as I think it could.

    Today I'm planning to go to Staples to find the refills I want!

    1. 'Planning my planner'. Sounds about right. Me too! :)

  10. Are the any teachers out there using a Filofax as their main classroom & lesson planner? If so, what format do you use? Most teachers I know use some form of A4 planner but I have an A5 Malden which I really want to make workAlso, does anyone know if I would be able to fit a full academic year of 2 pages/day on the rings on an A5 Malden if there's nothing else in the Filofax?

    Thanks! :-)

    1. Hi Emily
      Take a look at the post here on Saz's blog she is a teacher and has created a set of files for teachers




    2. Hi,

      I'm using a filofax as my main planner! It has ended up quite hefty though - I have a 6 period day so I have a day on two pages, with each side having 3 periods to plan - but I only put in about a full terms worth of pages in, and keep the previous planning elsewhere. If Ofsted come in and want to see previous term planning I'm screwed really :/ except they just want to see evidence of planning now apparently - so hopefully my weekly timetable sheets (where I put in the title for each lesson for a full week) will be enough to suffice for the moment!

      I put everything in my filofax from seating plans, to homeworks, to marks and learning plans. And I teach 7 classes! My week WAS two weeks to view, but they seem to have stopped doing that and now doing week on one page with notes, which I am starting to use as of Monday I guess.

    3. I use an A4 Filofax for just day to day plans ie what I need this week, and a big arch lever file for past plans and records. I decant back and forth between the 2, as lugging big folders does not work for me!! I also keep a copy of my timetable... home made and overview of this week in my A5, just to look at at a glance.... so if I have a social night out in the week..... rare, but it happens.... I can plan ahead and also not double book say the theatre with a school function!!At the mo though my job was made redundant ... due to school merger. Can't wait to get a job and use my musical skills again!!!

  11. I have found a failing with my woap it is not enough space for me to put everyting i need to do. My filo was purchased for me as a christmas present, to help me achieve more. So now I have a vertical wo2p from filofax which seems to offer more than i need. What i would like to ask is yesterday whilst visiting my mothers I found my late fathers fountain pen "The conway stewart" No 28, just wondered if anyone could point in the direction of where to get this repaired in the UK, its ink sac has perished and the lever does not move very well.

    1. You could try Eric Wilson (website: eckiethump.webs.com ) for general restoration - he is in Edinburgh and has worked on several of my pens. If there is a problem with a nib then I highly recommend John Sorowka ( j dot f dot Sorowka at gmail dot com ) who is a genius with fountain pen nib repairs and adjustments.

  12. Well its January 4th already (Happy New Year by the way!) and I'm not even really set up yet for 2013. Right now I'm using my personal Malden in grey which I love with the WO2P and MO2P but am considering getting either the Day Timer or Day Runner Day on Two Pages. Though I love the WO2P spread, I find that I prefer my daily to do's and notes on the daily page not in another section. That is what I am used to after 20 years of FC DO2P format so this past year was a fumble.

    I still need to find a use for my A5's which I also love (Chameleon, Finchley, Malden) so I may use one of those as a 'home' binder, though not really sure I 'need' one of those. It would probably hold all the addresses I've gathered, friends and family birthdays on the MO2P diary, loose business cards that are in various other biz card holders at the moment, probably our paint colors and any maintenance on the house, stuff like that. But then, there's those 3 pockets I have and also love that I don't know what to use for (Finchley, Malden, Chameleon). I have one in my purse as a shopping/gift list but don't know if I'll continue with this use; seems silly to have that and my personal in my handbag (and a wallet!). I may put it on the table near the couch for random thoughts and notes. (Of course I'll probably be in another room when I have a random thought and forget it by the time I get back to the family room). Which is why that post yesterday about the mini was interesting. But no, I am not buying a mini even though you did a perfectly good job enabling! LOL

    I already did a crazy thing yesterday. I bought a Personal Cuban in Chestnut (which I don't need; I have 4 Personals and a Compact!) and was about to buy the A5 as well but stopped myself. Its hard to resist that 60% off sale! I almost bought an A5 Chameleon as well in Black which I love BUT I have 3-4 A5's now that I don't use. Had to force my credit card back in my wallet and shut off the computer. But then, I did stupidly purchase a Personal and an A5 Apex (yes. yes I did.) but only because at the price it was on sale for it was worth getting the inserts. I wanted the pastel colored tabs in both those sizes anyway plus I'll get extra diary's for my health and fitness Filo should I decide to set one up and will also have the other inserts that come inside even if I don't use the binders themselves. I can always use them for storage; I mean at $14 and $20 it was worth it for the inserts. I am willing myself to not go back to the Filofax USA website so I don't cave and buy those A5's that I DO NOT NEED!

    So, no, I'm not quite set up for 2013 and still in a quandry about the binders I have and how to use them. So starting off the year as confused as I ended it!

    On another note: read a lovely book over the holiday called Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher set in England and mostly Scotland. One of the pivotal characters was doing a bit of holiday shopping and the author wrote: 'In the stationer's he (Sam) chose a Mont Blanc fountain pen for Oscar, and a desk diary of the finest Italian leather.' Gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. :)

  13. Susan

    I've just started with Filofaxes, and I have an A5 in black, Metropol, and two Pocket sized ones, Finsbury in the most gorgeous Raspberry, and a Metropol in Kingfisher.

    I love the colour of the Finsbury, but I'm not sure it's as user friendly as the Metropol. I just can't get the Finsbury to even think about lying open, let alone flat.

    Anyone else have this problem? Any ways round it? Or there may be a gorgeous Finsbury for sale soonish.

    1. Susan: Give it time. My Finsbury Slimline is gradually getting better about lying flat. I only wish the rings were a bit easier to open.