25 December 2015

Free for All Friday No. 371 By Steve, Nan, Laurie and Anita

We would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and all the best for 2016.

From Anita
I seem to have had a busy and varied time this year with my binders. Looking back, I managed to purchase seven in the year (quite a lot for me), but have since sold four of those. Rather than buying and selling more like I normally do, my plan for now is to keep a small number of planners in different sizes for my changing needs and for when I fancy a change.

Therefore Santa won't be bringing me any binders. I'm currently using my black personal Dundee as my main binder, and a red vintage slimline as a notebook for some of my current projects.

From Laurie
For the past 6 months I've been using my A5 Boston Filofax with my own format printed pages. The A5 Boston is so much slimmer and lighter than any other A5 binder I've ever used, I'm actually able to take it with me in my bag (which I wasn't able to do with other A5 binders due to the size and weight).

My plan was to switch to a slim and lightweight bound planner for 2016 in an attempt to streamline my planning and lighten my load. I thought I could be more efficient by only using weekly pages. That lasted just a few days. I found myself referring to my Filofax over and over: the monthly pages, the info pages, my tabbed sections, etc. I decided to just stick with what works! Turns out it's simpler to work my existing setup than to try to minimize, which actually ended up being more complicated to use. So now I'm looking forward to another organized year with my lovely Boston!

From Nan
Comfort and Joy -- words of the season, and that's what my organisers are to me! I started out the year using 4 Personals: My main planner with 1DpP diary (Cuban), my fitness planner (Apex), a work planner/notetaker (Fusion), and another book for lists and projects (Original) (but mainly ended up being storage!). After a job change, I found the Personal was too small for work, so now I'm back to A5 (Classic) for work, and it's working really well. For journaling, I use large Moleskines.

For 2016, I'm toying around with integrating the fitness, lists, and projects into the main diary by using monthly tabs and carrying few daily pages. I'm also hoping Santa will bring a little extra Christmas money that I can invest in my first Van der Spek!

From Steve
For the last year I've continued to use two organisers an A5 and either a Personal or more recently an A6 size organiser. The A5 remains on my desk, rarely carried around although it did travel with me around the USA/Canada in Summer.

The A5 has been my Van der Spek A5, nice large rings, the complete opposite to Laurie's approach!  The carry around Personal has been a variety of different ones from a Filofax Cavendish, occasionally a Gillio Medium Mia Cara or my Van der Spek Touch Me Standard. More recently I've been using an A6 size as my portable organiser. I am loving this size although I do have occasions to want to go back to using Personal size...

Inserts wise in the A5 the same as I've been using for the past few years The Enhanced TM insert off our own Diary Inserts page... it works for me. And in Personal/A6 a Week on One Page + Notes, again it continues to work for me.

Journal wise I'm still using a bound Quo Vadis day per page planner, I love the paper and it works well with my fountain pens. I'm doing the QV 2016 Page Per Day Challenge next year.

We would all like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2016, thank you for all your continued support during 2015.

Oh did we forget.... it's Friday... so if you want to you are free to discuss anything ring bound organiser related....


  1. First comment! But that's what happens when you attend Christmas Eve Mass until 11:30 and then go out for Chinese food with friends.

  2. I love all your approaches to life-logging. Having been in the 80's when old school agendas were Queen, I did not know of Filofax. My intro to the Hardcopy Darlings was through the movie, "27 Dresses". The Filofax indetification was branded in my mind,thus,shortly after, I rescued my Mini Finsbury and my Slimeline Richmond from thrift stores.I am a minimalist and use my Mini as wallet and Brainbook.I love it to pieces! My Slim is my address book right now, but'am a breath away from adding addresses to Mini and journaling in Slim. Being not only a coffee snob, but a paper snob, I'm on a quest for the right paper, accomodating my fountain pen for my journaling. By the way, I love this site! I am not an embellisher, but adore seeing how others augment their planners. Thank you for providing a place for the old and new schoolers who prize hands on over high-tech.

    1. Try Davinci paper from Jet Pens. It is the Tomoe River from Japan. As a paper snob, you will love it!!!

    2. Writing with a fountain pen on Tomoe paper is very nice feeling.

      However, you should be aware that the paper is very thin. Not saying that is bad, just something to be aware of.

  3. Merry Christmas to everyone.

  4. Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year filled with lots of binders, journals, good paper (for fountain pens in my case...), and good writing....

    Really enjoy this site and appreciate all the work it takes by Steve and the gang to keep it fresh, lively, and very useful too.

    See you all here in 2016!

    As for my 2015 binder/journal journey, it was a real mixed bag, as they say.....

    In mid-February, my responsibilities for a team and projects expanded exponentially, leaving me feeling dazed and overwhelmed at first. After calming down after a few weeks, I started looking for some pen and paper tools to help me get and try to stay organized and feeling on top of things, knowing I had a system to keep track of priorities, tasks, etc.

    At the time I was using a bound journal that I had tabbed in a GTD like manner. Had been working well the prior several years, but had feeling that with new situation the system would not be able to keep up with the explosion of To Do's and 8 page project list (about 300 design & construciton projects in various phases...) that I now had to stay on top of with my team. For prior 7 years, my project list was only about 7 projects, albeit very large, complex ones.

    Seemed like returning to a ring-bound system was the answer. So, started buying up a bunch of Filofax binders and ordered several vdS custom binders. Look back on this period in March/April, I clearly was over-reacting and feeling desperate to find a quick solution.

    In addition to getting all the binders, I re-read several task management system books, thinking I needed to up my game, as they say....

    By last fall, I was getting used to the new situation and feeling much better overall about it. However, I did find myself missing my prior bound journal planner setup. Decided to return to that approach and see if would still work. Overall, it does. Hence, my recent adspot listings.

    Time will tell if I made the right choice. But I know I can always get more ring bound binders if I decide they are the better approach for my needs.

    Looking forward to more good times here in 2016.....

    All the best,