25 November 2013

Two Filofax Morton...

With Anita hopping back and forth between A5 and Personal size and a few others (no names no pack drill) still trying to decide which size would work for them... me I use both sizes at the same time!! A rebel with a cause me!

So I use an A5 at my desk and I supplement it with a Personal size, which I carry with me away from the house/office.  So with the A5 I have the space I need at my desk and the portability away from home and when I'm out and about, but I carry my 'stuff' in a 'man bag/messenger bag' anyway. I rarely if ever carry both at the same time.... although I have a slightly larger bag that could carry both...

How do I get two organisers to work?

The two obvious duplications are the diary insert (planner sections) and the A-Z contacts sections in both.

The contacts sections are essentially the same, except different in size. It contains about 150 names and addresses, I try to keep these up to date at least once a year and I use the Filofax Address Book software to be the common source for both sizes.

The planners are very different. In the A5, I use our own design Enhanced Time Manager insert to give me a week per view with appointments and tasks and reminders spread across the view.  I don't have a huge number of appointments each week, but I jot things in on specific days if I need reminding of events or something on TV, if the day isn't too busy already. I use the tasks and reminders a lot to keep me focused each day and remind me about what I should be doing today and not spending all day on Facebook!

Here is a random sample of the A5 planner.

Some weeks are busier obviously, this was a fairly quiet week. A few cryptic notes of course, which only make sense to me.... no one else refers to this planner except me!

Also in the A5 I have another section for a Month per Page insert which is used just for planning blog posts on Philofaxy and noting events when I'm not going to be at my desk and I need to do some forward planning of posts to keep you all happy!

The diary insert I use in my personal size is just a week per page insert again of our own design but printed on to Filofax cotton cream plain paper.

The notes/to-do sections tend to be individual, but not used too heavily.

Information sections also differ with the exception of the pages I've created myself which do appear in both sizes.

You must be wondering how I manage two organisers that have essentially the same contents, just different sizes... isn't it a lot of writing? Well yes and no. As my life is mainly task driven rather than appointments and meetings, the personal size only has a few appointments and travel dates and visits in it.

I tend to not copy across my to-do lists from one to the other. Sometimes a list will only exist in the Personal and not the A5 if it's something that is going to be happening when I'm away from home, so I will be using the Personal rather than the A5.

To give you an example of this. If I've got a meet up planned for a particular weekend. The date of that meet up will obviously go in to both organisers. But in the personal one I will also add in a To-Do list which I use as an attendance 'register' I add in the names and I might add in an extra column for additional tick boxes. This list will sit in the week of the meet up.

As new people request a place so they get added to the list or if someone drops out they come off of the list. I use the reverse side of the list as my reserve people list if we get a huge response.  I also have some 'Meet Up Packing Lists' I've created for myself that I also slot in to that week. Once the date has happened, I move the extra pages in to another section to keep the diary tidy.

If we are travelling back to UK for a long trip I use A5 To Do lists as a packing list, but as these tend to contain more items the A5 size is better and they will be taken out of the organiser and left behind... I don't need to carry those lists with me once everything is packed.  But I can slot these lists in close to the date of our trip and I can add things as I think of them. My memory and thought processes are so random and mixed up I need something like a list to bring a lot of things together in to their relevant areas, otherwise it all becomes a random mess... !!!

Which particular model of organiser I'm using in each size at any one time isn't important, it's the contents that are more important. I do swap and change organisers a fair bit though.

I've fine tuned the contents now so that I can swap between any of my A5's be it a 30 mm ring Malden or the more common 25mm ring Holborn or Original. The 30mm ring Holborn Zip is used when I'm travelling it carries things better as my mobile office.

Personal size can be anything from a Holborn, Malden, Launer or the Fusion depending on my mood! These vary between 23 and 30mm ring size the later being the Launer.

If I trim down the number of weeks of diary insert I'm carrying and reduce the number of spare pages I can squeeze in to a compact size, mainly the Holborn compact.

The contents of both organisers I'm using at any one time is always evolving, I review the contents fairly frequently to move out old notes and lists I no longer need to carry. However the sections and their order rarely changes, if it isn't broke don't fix it!


  1. I am not intending to use a filofax for planning next year, just one as a wallet. However the picture of your gorgeous ochre Maldens makes me wonder if I could have made it work. I must admit for the last few months I have sometimes missed being able to put extra pages in between the diary pages like you mentioned with the lists. Oh well there is always 2015!

    1. That is the thing I miss when ever I've tried to use something else. The flexibility of being able to move pages around, remove and update single pages without destroying the rest of a note book has been a key thing for me over the years.

      That said, I do use a bound planner as my journal, but everything else I use a Filofax!

  2. Love your Travel Checklist....any chance of making one to share, with headings only, to fit our filofaxes.
    I have a pocket and fear it will be far too small, but would love to print out any size, fill in my own necessaries and travel (few and far between) stresslessly :)
    I am absolutely useless with technology (hence my love of Filofaxes and paper) and wouldn´t know where to start to make my own page.
    Just a thought :)

    1. Hi Shelia
      Yes certainly I've shared the file but a blank version on the files page, but you can down load the Word version using this link:


      You can easily change the headings on the page. You will find the reverse side is labelled 'Things to do' I use this side as a set of reminders for things I have to do before leaving or in the case of a meet up a shopping list!

      I've been to meet ups with the intention of buying certain inserts and in the excitement of the afternoon completely forgotten to get them, so I now make a list in advance!

      The reverse of course could be a copy of the front of the form with different headings. Feel free to modify it as you wish.


    2. Many thanks Steve---I was looking in the wrong place.
      Now the fun (not!) part of playing around with it :)

    3. It wasn't there until I saw your comment! But I quickly added it..

    4. Thank you....and actually it IS fun filling in the spaces :)

  3. Loved the thoughts and ideas presented here...but I must ask: as someone who has to carry a FF planner be it A5 or personal and a folding cane I was wondering if you'd mind sharing the maker of that awesome black messenger bag you show here ? I believe it might fit both FF and cane ! It would be a win-win for me! Thank you!

    1. Hi Patricica,
      Yes it's a Filofax bag. I did a full review on our companion 'bag' site which you will find here:


      The bag is great it will take an A4 Filofax vertically and it is made of leather and I'm very pleased with it.


    2. Oh thanks much Steve...I love it! And I believe a sale is going on....oh my! Its' so perfect....well, lets see if I can budget this one. If not, its' on my very long FF wish list.
      As always a great detailed review of the bag and how it works with Filofaxes...a very big help in making my decision!

    3. Noooooooooooooo not a companion bag site. Since finding this site last week I've acquired two lovely new filofaxes and now you are tempting me with bags................


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