28 September 2015

Managing Multiple Diary Inserts

Do you use more than one diary insert in your organiser?

There are various reasons why you might use more than one diary insert in the same organiser, but without adding additional bulk to your organiser.

In my A5 'stay at home' organiser I use a Week per View insert (the Philofaxy Enhanced TM .docx .pdf)  for all of my weekly tasks and appointments. I like this insert because I can clearly see what is going on during the week and what I should be doing at any time during the week or on specific days of the week.

I also use a Month per Page insert (again from the Philofaxy collection .docx .pdf) to plan and record the blog posts here on Philofaxy. I find that type of visual presentation of a month easier to spot days when we don't have a blog post written for, or if I am planning two or three posts about a similar topic and I want them to run in the same week, then it is easier to spot where there is a gap and more importantly what the dates are so I can then schedule the posts accordingly. I've had a couple of instances of nearly having two posts published on the same day at the same time! So hence this insert to avoid that!

There are other ways of using multiple inserts. In some ways using more than one insert can reduce the number of pages you are carrying. Let me explain.

We all have appointments and events in our lives, these can be within the next few days, weeks, months or even years ahead of 'today'

So in this example I will assume you use a day per page insert as your main detailed planning tool, you are a busy person and you want to get the maximum out of every hour in the day.

Carrying a years worth of day per page inserts is quite a lot of paper what ever size you use, but do you need to carry a full 12 months worth at one time?

Given the flexibility of a ring bound organiser, it allows you to mix pages so easily.  So in this example I am going to say that you only keep in your organiser the last two weeks of daily pages and say the next two months worth of daily pages. So as each week passes you archive a week and add another week.

We all have events beyond two months though... what about those? This is where you can bring a monthly insert in to play and add monthly inserts for the period beyond two months to a year ahead. That far ahead you might not need the detail of an event or know the detail of a particular event other than a date and time.

If you have lots of details for an event say 6 months from now, then use an undated daily planning page to record all of those details and keep that between your daily and monthly pages. (Personal  - .doc .pdf or A5 - .doc .pdf)

Going beyond 12 months from now you can use a year planner or again undated diary pages to detail events, cross referencing them on a year planner insert to keep everything in check.

To explain this method in a slightly different way let me work through an example of planning a get together with friends that only takes place once or twice a year.

You have all decided to meet up, that's a good starting point! But when, you all work through possible months. 'What days are good for you?' "Well Saturdays really"  So you look at all the Saturdays looking for ones that are clear in all of your calendars.

Some people respond quicker than others. so you notionally pencil in a holding event on 4 or 5 Saturdays to keep them clear. You might do this on a monthly insert because we are talking say 6 months from now.

Finally you all find a suitable date to meet up on. So you ink in that date to keep it clear. It's still six months from now so there's no big rush to get in to the details.

As the date of your meet up gets closer you all start to talk about where you should meet up and what sort of place (restaurant, pub, museum etc) if this is happening say 3 months from the current time then you might not be in your 2 month daily window that you are storing in your organiser.

If you need to record more details about the event you could use an undated page, or take the page you have printed for the date of the event and record the details on that, this will save you from having to rewrite the information later.

As the date gets closer and it is now say 2 weeks from now, the page will now be in your planner, you might want to put a flag sticker on the edge of that page to make it easier to find. You might start to add information to the page with details of the address you are meeting at. Where is the nearest car park, the details of your restaurant phone number and reservation number.

So as the day gets closer so there is an increase in the information you record. Now I've only given an example of one event that you planned ahead of time, but imagine several events at various time intervals in the future. Your organiser would certainly help you plan multiple events without having to remember lots of details in your head.

The more you write down the less you have to remember, therefore the more relaxed you will be?

Would this work for you? Try it... of course if it doesn't work you can easily revert back to carrying all of the pages of just one insert... that is of course the great thing about a ring bound organiser. Flexibility.

Don't forget Philofaxy has a large range of diary inserts you can download and customise as well as a large number of other templates which you can also download/customise/use.


  1. Genious! Its so simple yet i hadnt thought about it myself! Thanks!

  2. I have monthly for 2016 weekly until November 2015. Still need to finish punching the rest but at least I have found an insert I like.

  3. I've been using M2P plus 2-3 months worth of DpP (current plus upcoming) for years - works for me.

  4. Thanks, Steve. Very useful!

  5. I print the monthly pages from here as MO2P and cut and paste them the old fashioned way (by the use of scissors and tape) as a foldable to a blank Filofax page.Depending on a time of the year I carry either the year in question or then at least 6 following months of the next year (I will make new batch of monthlies as I know that next week I know that I will already need next year´s calendar pages). This way I can write down on the blank page random extra notes- because there always are those and dates are being marked on the actual calendar pages to the monthlies. If they are not set in stone, they get inked in either pencil or a Frixion pen for convenience. I also have made blank WO2P in chronodexes that I use for weeklies. These I have the whole year´s worth of- but needed I thin out my planner, these pages would not be necessary for the entire year, perhaps for a month or few because I already have the blank page next to my monthly fold out and the blank space behind it (I don´t decorate because I need maximum space for planning) to use for notes pertaining that month in question. I also print daily pages with a chronodex for planning and add pages (Hear ye, hear ye! The joys of ring binders!) as need arises.Usually when a new month waltzes in, I archive the pages of previous month. I now carry two and a half months of dailies but only because for me the busiest time of the year have started, so these last months are exceptional indeed.
    There was a time of my life when I needed to carry dailies for the entire month alongside with the rest of the calendar pages (I used a5 Balmoral then and I was deliriously efficient in everything and anything I that was tossed my way) and it worked marvellously, so much so that it still intrigues me but would take too much space and seriously, I don´t need it either. Besides, I am living in personal Malden now and refuse to leave it despite its size restrictions... so when the need arises, I just hoist extra pages to the dailies and tell myself to be happy with it.

    I enjoyed this post and this topic very much, indeed!

    1. I meant to write that "There was a time in my life, when I needed to carry dailies for the entire *year* (instead of a month or few like these days)...

  6. I use the undated Mo2P and Wo2P. Since I began my binder in July, I had kept all of the (undated) monthlies through December, but only the current and previous of weeklies. Anything prior to that I had pulled out and archived. The planner doesn't have very large rings so this method kept it from getting too bulky

  7. I use a foldout monthly calendar, WO2P, and blank pages within the weeklies as needed for any required detail, in a similar manner. If planning a major event, I set up a separate, tabbed section for that event to keep a running archive for the past note sheets and the event's completed to-do lists. The appointments for the event are written in the main calendar, with related notes moved into the tabbed section. Working well for planning my daughter's wedding so far. Great post.

  8. Thanks Steve! Very informative as I am now planning my 2016 agenda with 30mm rings!!!!

  9. Great topic thanks Steve.
    I'm using zipped Malden as wallet with a year of month to page, 6 months of week on 2 pages and 2 weeks of DO2P (timesystem repunched)
    This is backed up by Cuban zipped in briefcase which acts as supply and archive.
    Limitation of space and need to cleanse regularly forces review which is key to successful implementation of any system. .