18 November 2022

Free for All Friday No. 732 by Nan

Plain or fancy? 

Do enjoy using organizer pages that feature graphics, art, inspirational quotes, and so on? Or do you find these features distracting and limiting?

I'm definitely in the second camp! I don't like it when my own writing space is taken away by pictures and superfluous formatting. I'm currently searching for a sparer, more flexible format for 2023. What about you? 

As always on Friday, please feel free to discuss anything organizer related!


  1. I'm the same as you, Nan, as I can easily find graphics or decoration too distracting, plus I like to write lots, so I prefer plain pages. However, I do enjoy having a colourful dashboard & dividers & also have some quotes on a separate page.

  2. I too prefer planning pages without decoration. I do a lot of color coding with highlighters and if the page is already busy, my own colors and writing end up looking completely crazy. I especially can't stand pages that have any kind of designs in the background of the writing space. Makes it difficult to read my writing and makes the page look too cluttered.

  3. I'm all for plain and as minimal as possible. I like my pages to change with my needs and though I tried the pre set layouts with to-do lists and habit trackers, I could never feel anything but trapped by them. I've even gone through phases of coloured pages but I always return to the tidy simplicity of black & white.
    The layout that currently works best for me is a minimalist week on the left where I not the essentials (work and appointments or events) and a blank grid on the right. Thank goodness for places like Etsy!!

  4. Today is already Saturday, but I hope I can still write something.
    I also belong to the second faction - I have used my planners purely functionally for about 25 years with a maximum of one photo.
    But now I also like at least a bit of color and recently discovered colored vinyl sheets with hologram stars. Actually, I don't like kitschy things, but these are my thing - and now, still completely unfamiliar, these sheets sparkle as registers in my one-for-all pocket planner.
    For the year 2023 I am also changing my calendar for the first time ever.
    I always used 1Wo2P, but sometimes days/weeks remained almost empty and sometimes there was not enough space.
    I thought about it for a long time and first wanted to use 1Wo1P plus a page for notes - but sometimes even this page won't be enough and I don't want to limit myself or overfill my planner, but I always need the whole year in the planner.
    I have now created my own calendar - 1Wo1P, dated, with calendar week, public holidays and phases of the moon (we live on the North Sea coast and that is sometimes important with regard to the tide).
    In a font weight and partly marked in color so that I can see and grasp everything on the small pages without reading glasses if necessary, which would not have been the case with the corresponding calendar from Filofax, for example.
    Nevertheless, I don't lack any space compared to this Filofax calendar.
    4 pages printed on 1 page DIN A4 - of course each with the appropriate reverse side.
    It was hard work 🙂, but it was worth it.
    If I have more to write than will fit on the week pages, put one ore more blank pages between the weeks and I will use a color code system.
    I also printed out the Philofaxy Mo1P for a quick overview - thank you very much for the template.

  5. I always wonder why you can find hundreds if not thousands of planner blogposts with highly decorated pages but very few about basic planners. I use very basic pages. Anything else just gets in the way for me.

    Put simply I don't understand the reason for flowery or decorated pages. Doesn't it just mean you're using up more pages than you need to because of it? Wasteful imho. Nothing to do with my zero artistic streak but everything to do with me being purposeful in being organised. I think if you want to be creative use a separate creative journal but that's kind of personal choice / opinion. I don't expect anyone to agree with me.

  6. Plain all the way. I have tried colour coding with sticky dots a few times but always end up peeling them all off. Too distracting.

  7. No decoration for me, only my untidy handwriting, which to some might look like art!

  8. I'm plain too, tho very occasionally I'll toss in a small sticker or a piece of washi tape just for a bit of color. I confine my creativity/ silliness to dividers and dashboards.

  9. Purely functional, plain for many years, main body is Wo1P, interleaved with disposable blank lined page with rt.margin for To Do etc. Highlighter using 3 colours, and occasional sticky tabs as required. Some dividers incorporate political satire/cartoons to keep me sane post-Brexit. I could not cope with something that resembles a pastel wallpaper catalogue, but everyone is different, thank goodness.

  10. I've started to develop cognitive issues where sometimes I simply cannot remember a word or the word gets twisted when I speak. Using small stickers with an icon has helped. No decorating though. That is a waste of space. My planner pages are messy and lived in.