23 July 2015

Experienced User - Sarah

Sarah Newton, Atlanta, GA. Born in England. Lover of all things Filofax and addicted to planning, planners, and all things related!

1. When did you start using an organiser? 

In Jr High, back then it was more like a time capsule and a place to doodle what I did and who I hung out with. I was already decorating back then and saved these organizers until long in to my 20's. I used stickers and color codes, doodled with markers, had friends write notes on empty days, and occasionally stuck a school assignment in for good measure! As I passed in to my 30's I just recently recycled my planners from my 20's. They are so fun to look back and see how life was at a different time in my past.

2. How has your use of an organiser changed over the years? 

My handwriting has gotten neater or messier depending on the time. I am better at decorating because there are so many outlets and accessories to decorate with compared to when I started planning. Over the years, my planners have involved more detailed plans involving chores, college, work, appointments, and vacations.

I am still prone to incorporating a "scrapbooking" aspect to them though and love to incorporate pictures and write the who, what, where, when as a way to document my life at that time when I see open spaces in my planner.

3. Which diary format works best for you and why? 

A week on one page works best for my personal planner and a day on one page for my work planner. I have two Filofaxes that I carry with me always. A personal size as my everything planner and an A5 for work.

4. What other information do you keep and maintain in your organiser? 

My personal planner includes all appointments, work, pay dates, vacations, social events, bills, track my purchases, medical information, etc and whenever I find opening a "diary" sort of aspect that can include pictures from that time, quotes, doodles, etc. In my A5 planner, I have my daily to do lists which I try to block plan, reference information for my job, note pages for messages, contact information, and of course space to doodle and space out. I also keep an Alice in Wonderland picture in a top opening pocket to remind myself that not everything in life is to be taken so seriously.

5. Do you use a 'system' of organisation, and how does it work in your Filofax? 

First, I have a section for Notes. I keep a piece of paper in here with little notes from friends that I called a "Grafitti Page" that I love. I also keep journaling ideas, blog ideas, and notes to be filed elsewhere. Next is my calendar section where I keep my monthly overview schedule. I am currently using the monthly inserts from the color crush as they are sturdy and come with monthly tabs and a month on two pages. This is followed by my diary section which is my weekly scheduling with more detail. I am using the kikki k week on 2 pages currently that I decorate with washi tape and  minimal decoration in comparison to when I started! *Decoration overload!* My Lists section starts with an A-Z index and things such as passwords (in code), purchase, health info, football schedules for my favorite teams, grocery lists, purchase trackers, and bill pay tracker. Then I have a To Do section with a variety of blank to do pages. My last sections is titled "Bonkers" as my Filofax is Alice in Wonderland themed :) and I keep extra paper, post its, page flags, odds and ends, and a card holder with my business cards and health and car insurance cards.
I don't think I will ever find "planner peace" because I enjoy changing it up too much. :)

6. What routines and structures do you use? 

I try to use a bullet journal style in my planner to check off completed tasks. There is nothing more satisfying than checking off something from a to do list.

7. Do you use one binder or several, and if several, how do you use them? 

Overall, I own approximately 14 planners. I have two Domino A5's (one pink and one black), a Saffiano personal in Raspberry, a Saffiano A5 in aquamarine, a Domino personal size in black, a Domino personal size in purple, a Finsberry personal size in pink, a grey Filofax Flex, a gold Lovedoki, two Color Crush planners (white and gold), The Happiness Planner, a Get to Workbook, and the Passion Planner. *Phew*

I use one of my personal Filofaxes as my everyday planner switching it around every month or so. This is my go to everything planner that I carry everywhere. I use my A5 Saffiano for my fulltime job and a personal size Saffiano for my parttime job. I use one of my personal size Filofaxes for my Blog. The Happiness Planner is more for journaling and a gratitude type planner. The others come and go in my life depending on my spare time. I love writing and rewriting my planners out so I am constantly reorganizing and redecorating, especially when given any length of time on Pinterest to spark my creativity.

Thank you Sarah, I've had an excellent response from people wanting to take part in this series. I look forward to receiving responses back from people.

If you would like to take part in this series please email steve@philofaxy.com and mark your email 'Experienced Filofax User'


  1. I found this interview so fun to read! I noticed that Sara mentioned something about keeping a list of blog post ideas in her planner. Does she have a blog? I would love to check it out!

  2. So interesting! As a full time university student, even with plenty of appointments, deadlines, extra curriculars and the odd bit of babysitting work for family, I can quite comfortably fit everything I need in a Compact Filofax, but I can't believe I never thought so much into how I could use a work-only planner in future. It occurred to me having seen others do it many times, but I just couldn't figure out what could possibly go in there except work times, which I would much rather keep in a main planner anyway. Reference information, a place to space out, work-specific to-dos..... This is genuinely such a good insight, I'll definitely have to remember that for the future - although I feel like I need to live and breathe my studies since there are only a few hours of actual lectures, for someone like me, it would definitely help keep a work/life balance. I'd love to bring more of a scrapbooking aspect into my future personl planner, too, when I have the time.