11 June 2024

Free For All Tuesday - No. 697

What questions or discussion points have you got for us today?

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a more experienced user of organisers, we want to hear your thoughts, questions, opinions etc.

We are here to answer your questions.

Make today the one day you post a comment or post a question. If you are commenting as 'Anonymous', please include your name in the text of your comment. 

It is Tuesday after all, so fire away with any questions and comments.

If you are commenting below, please include your first name at the end of the comment. Thank you. 

20 comments:

  1. Hello, I have used a personal filofax for over 10 years. The cover is denim black. I also have a Malden, Original and Domino.
    My Tuesday question: how can I track 270 clients on my caseload with a filofax? I realise this is probably a difficult question without going into the detail of my job.
    I have always used a personal filofax for work, because we also use the outlook calendar as a planning tool so the bosses can check what we’re doing 🙄

    How many dividers is too many?
    Should I change to an A5 for work (office based)?
    Any advice how to track tasks for a large caseload?



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    1. With an alphabetical index and file them by last name?

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  2. Should I be concerned about GDPR though?

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    1. That only applies for data stored on a computer not paper records in a Filofax

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  3. It would apply to paper records if part of a 'filing system' - which would include an alphabetical index in a binder.

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  4. I need tracking for 4&8 week deadlines, 16&20 week deadlines (different clients). A bring forward system for when replies are due at the 15 day deadline. I just need some help. I’m getting lost & overwhelmed.

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    1. I think you need to tell us a bit more about exactly what information you need to store in your Filofax, and the process you use to 'track' clients; what does this mean? Is it merely a diary entry for each client, where you record when you next expect to contact/meet/hear from them? Or does it require notes & other information? If information is required, then, let's say you have one leaf per client; that's 270 leaves, which is pushing how much you can get in a Filofax.

      If it's a simple 'meeting' diary, then some form of custom insert might be helpful, say a week per page, with client ID and one or more tick boxes to record whether contact has been made, and what the outcome was. Some colour coding for pass/fail/alert, with fluoro markers. If you need client information, you could rotate a week's client information pages, based on the expected 'meetings' for the upcoming week.

      With 270 clients, hopefully spread across the minimum 4-week period, you'd still have about 70 clients a week. So maybe more than one page per week... One page per day still would be 14 clients a day...

      Updating/pushing forward would be a process of copying an entry further forward in the diary, so a simple method of counting weeks would help. You'd use a system a bit like bullet journalling's 'migration'.

      Have a think about the process you use, and if you need help creating a custom insert, pop a message here, and I'll see if I can help.

      Kevin

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    2. Thank you Kevin. I shall have a think…

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    3. Wow! Thank you for your further thoughts. I’m so impressed.i also feel guilty because my job is more complicated. You asked for more detail, so I’ll explain my job, and also you will understand why I’m posting anonymously.

      My clients are aged between 0-25 years. I work as a SEND officer (special educational needs and disabilities). The 16 week deadline is the date in which the Local Authority (LA) have to respond to the assessment process. We issue a letter to parents and current school giving them 15 days to reply /comment. At the 20 week statutory deadline we have to issue a final plan and a letter.
      The plan is reviewed annually, which is where the 4 and 8 week statutory deadlines occur. Schools send in the meeting minutes which the LA reviews and responds to within 4 weeks of the date of the meeting, and then we must respond again with a final plan at the 8 week deadline. (8 weeks from the date of the meeting). Then in addition I have to consult schools asking for a place, negotiate funding, attend meetings, present my complex cases at panel, respond to the 50+ daily emails I, answer phone calls. I have to block timr in my calendar to do certain tasks as I have to be precious with my time.

      My deadlines are always rolling forwards and this is where tracking and monitoring comes in to play. . I’ve tried many recording systems overs the years; word list, excel spreadsheet but I always come back to pen and paper.

      I like to visually see my week; appointments and tasks and deadlines. I have colour coded the different deadlines and currently use a combination of week to view and daily. With additional dividers for my ‘lists’.
      I’m crazy busy!

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    4. Ah: that is more complicated... I guessed you might be a probation officer, needing to keep track of clients at regular intervals, with a 'grace' window beyond that interval.

      So your process starts with an assessment, on 'day 0'. The first deadline is at 16 weeks, to issue a response. There will surely be intermediate scheduling within that period to analyse the assessment, prepare, review & issue the response; a 'production line'. The second deadline is 15 days from issue of response, followed by a third at 20 weeks from day 0 (with some review of school/parent feedback, and, presumably, some negotiation to agreed provision).

      Essentially, these are 'production line' processes, each of which must follow a pipelined process. Not trying to diminish the task and effort here: just to understand the process. Just that there are hundreds of pipelines running in parallel...

      Now, in my day job, I sometimes implement digital filters in an FPGA, often, handling hundreds of channels at the same time. I spend time figuring out how to optimise resources shared across these channels, to achieve the required sample rate. Each channel provides a sample at a slow rate, but the filter runs much faster (#channels*#filter_taps times faster). Your pipeline is a bit like this; you get new information/have some analysis/proposal/review processes you need to run, and at the end, your 'filter' spits out the result. This has to be done for each client/channel. My optimisation analysis considers how many parallel processing pipelines are required, and how many channels each will handle serially. The equivalent for you is how many cases you run through each stage together, and how granular that process is; e,g, is one week devoted to analysis of x cases, and the next week the proposal for those x cases, or a smaller number of cases analysed in one day, proposed in one day, etc... i.e. how do you organise & schedule your production pipeline.

      I'm not sure that musing will have helped much...

      Kevin

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    5. Hi Kevin, I’ve read your message and I’m trying to work out numbers. I have to do a little bit of each process every week to keep on top of my caseload. We have between 60-80 new plans to write per year and the rest of my caseload has to be reviewed annually.

      I know the deadlines for the next 3 months at a time and I write out all the deadlines on 3 separate pages: for example June, July, August. A month overview. Then in my weekly view I write the child’s initials and the deadline it refers to - 4,8,16 or20.
      I have a separate list for consultations with schools/colleges and this grid is really to aid my memory of which school I’ve consulted, date sent, response due. Then I turn the whole entry green when a school/college has been secured. This client will remain on my books to be reviewed annually or until they turn 25 years old.

      I do appreciate you taking the time to help understand my work and offer strategies to help me better track my workload.
      Thank you
      Eliza


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  5. Iforgotmyname

    Could you assign a number to each client and label your dividers with the deadlines? Each section could start with a list of clients ( as numbers ).

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  6. Basically I need to track and monitor cases, with varying deadlines I plan 4 weeks in advance.

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  7. Iforgotmyname

    A Filofax is not a secure place to keep doxxing info. You could assign a number or letter to a category, and another number to each client in that category. Trackers could live behind their own dividers.

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    1. I only need very brief information about the person within my Filofax, the same as would keep in my notebook. There is a secure electronic system that contains the clients ID.

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    2. Iforgotmyname

      Hello again.

      I re-read this whole thread. What a juicy topic for Filofax enthusiasts!

      Maybe, before you decide on dividers ( and it’s probably less overwhelming to have very few of those ), you could take a stack of sticky-notes and make a flow-chart on a wall ( in your office, away from unauthorised eyes ).

      The stickies could portray the series of tasks for a typical client.

      At each point where you would need to “look something up,” you could write an exclamation-point or add a fluoro sticky with a list of what information you will need to gather.

      And then you might see what answers you need each morning.

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  8. On a different, but related topic, I printed out a whole bunch of different inserts yesterday, which are re-creations of old (up to ~1989, when they switched to a six-digit product code) Filofax inserts that I knocked up either in PostScript, or using my table-form insert generator script. A total of 84 leaves printed, including double, treble & quad pages. I think my favourite is Ref. 89, the three-page polar plot...

    Printed, cropped & punched, they only just fit into a recently acquired Personal Clipbook.

    Kevin

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  9. Sounds like a lot of pages needed. Norfolk A5 has 35mm rings might be needed.

    Have you considered discbound notebooks? They're as customisable as filofax William hannah are smart but Atoma do nice covers and large discs too. You can get dividers too. Atoma are a Belgian brand with very nice paper. A lot better than filofax own inserts!

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    1. I cannot afford a William Hannah although they look amazing. Thank you for taking the time to reply.

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