22 June 2017

The Perfect Organiser - Part 2 (Inserts and Pens)


A perfect organiser isn't complete without inserts? Inserts that are right for your needs. Inserts printed on paper that work with your choice of pen or pencil.

Naturally I would say that Philofaxy has the perfect inserts for most peoples needs, but that might be a bit over ambitious. Yes of course I use them myself, but I do recognise that they aren't for everyone and we know some people don't like the printing themselves routine.

So putting the Philofaxy option to one side for a moment what other options are there? Surprisingly quite a lot of options these days, more so I would say than a few years ago. Paper planning is alive and well.
So there are a lot of options out there, but how do you pick the right one for you? Trail and error mainly, hopefully not too much of the later!

I always recommend getting some sheets of blank paper and cutting them to the size you wish to use (Personal, Pocket, A5 or whatever) and try out different hand drawn layouts for daily, weekly etc formats. Populate the pages with a typical weeks worth of tasks and activities and see how full or empty a typical week or day is. You might need to do this a few times until you find the optimum layout.

Then go looking for a similar layout in that size. You will find testing things out with plain paper first will save you a lot of wasted money/paper.

If you don't find the perfect insert first time around, try not to jump to something else until you have worked out exactly what doesn't work on the current layout after 2-3 weeks, give it time. No two weeks are the same so the 'loading' on your planner/diary might be very different from one week to the next.


Pens or writing instruments of some sort naturally are linked to inserts. The two have to be able to work together in terms of ink on the paper. If possible try to get a sample of the paper that is the same as the inserts to test out your pen of choice on.

If you are printing your own inserts, some stationery stores sometimes offer paper sample packs with one or two sheets of the different papers they stock. These can be useful to test out if fountain pen or gel ink soaks in to the paper too much or just sits on the surface and takes longer to dry.

Also remember to test or check that your preferred pen will fit the pen loop on your organiser. Some on-line stores give an indication of the diameter of the various pens, this is useful for organisers without elasticated pen loops. 

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