Adapting Your Filofax To Fit Your Needs

IMG_2936A month + after Christmas, I thought I’d post an update about how my new Filofax is coming along.

Organizing By Section

I am finding that I am not using as many of the sections as I originally thought that I would with my Filofax.  I’ve been shifting things around again since my last posting and can’t seem to bring myself to do the scrapbooking habit that so many women seem interested in (sorry!).

Inside the front flyleaf (reverse side), I’ve added a large post-it on which I’ve scribbled a sort of ‘section key’ to help me remember what dividers are what.  So far I’ve got:

  1. Filofax registration #, personal information & contacts
  2. Weekly agenda
  3. Charts
    (daily, weekly, monthly, also morning and evening routines)
  4. Lists
    (TBR, movie list, bucket list, etc.)
  5. My Personal ‘Life Accounts’, which are basically goals by category, based on Michael Hyatt’s system
  6. Targets, Milestones & Rewards
  7. Extra blank paper and such — I like to keep a little bit on hand, and some at home

Ideally, what will work best is a natural flow from section to section. For me, it makes sense to get the personal info. out of the way (or alternatively, at the very back), then launch directly into the agenda.  I’m using the calendar feature more than any other part of my Filofax.  I wish that I also had the horizontal yearly calendar add-on and the two-page monthly view.

Running Out of Room?

Some bloggers are reporting that they are running out of room to write in their agendas.  With my week-to-a-page (column view), I have not found that to be a problem.  It does seem to offer more room than the alternative format (horizontal view) but I also do far less decorating.  See how that works? Less decorating = more room for actual substance. 😀

I do wish that you had the option of replacing the size of the binder or the strap.  If Filofax had an interchangeable ring option (like Levenger) and/or an interchangeable binder strap, then it would be a bit more expandable.

Weight & Size

I’m finding that using my Filofax, the size (A5), is too large for my current purse size so I have to carry it by hand or carry a second bag.  I don’t mind either of these options really but I’ve noticed that the leather covers are rather thick (maybe to be more sturdy?) and that adds to the weight.

Has anyone else noticed this being a problem?

Maybe because of the weight issue, and less of the size itself, my Filofax isn’t as fleshed out as some people’s might be.  I need to find a work-around for that. Suggestions appreciated.  I have removed the month at a glance calendar completely to free up some space.  My earlier ventures to try labeling each section with my K&Co. label maker was in vain.  The labels don’t stick well to the pages and they add additional bulk between the pages.  I’ve removed almost every last label at this point (lol).

Future Ideas To Explore

I might further condense my Filofax by removing the “Life Account” sections entirely and have sort of a secondary binder as a Filofax Reference that I keep solely at the house.  I find that I’m using my Filofax for the agenda and the notes section and I’d like to create more room for those features.

I am debating between purchasing more paper refills for the notepaper or investing in a Filofax hole punch.  If you’re a Filofax user, how do you handle the refill dilemma? What are your recommendations?

Pinterest is a great resource for free printable ideas for your Filofax. Have you pinned any great finds?  I’ve seen a few ideas I want to explore but first… I need to buy some new color ink cartridges. ; More to come as the exploration continues!

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‘Surviving’ the Thundersnow of 2014

With the heavy snowstorm here in the Midwest, I’ve had a few days of extra R&R and with great timing, I’ve also had a head cold.  So, not to be deterred by the sniffles, I’ve been doing projects all weekend:

That pretzel-making kit sitting in the back of the pantry? Made and devoured!

Dishes piling up in the sink? Cleaned and dry.

My pile of organization books that need to be read/returned to the library?  Almost done going through the lot of them.  I’m still working my way through Sandra Felton (The Organizer Lady) and Marsha Sims’ book, Organizing Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work For You.

Not that that’s had anything to do with my progress.  I’d like to stave off cabin fever and -2 is TOOOO cold to be leaving the house. Period.

Did you happen to watch Downton Abbey’s 2-hour premiere last night?  Alas, we can’t get channel 9 on our antennae.  I know, there’s something wrong with it.  My friends tell me our TV is an antique.  It works, more is the point!  A TV is a TV is a TV. Unless your TV is broken … then it’s a really large paperweight.

Fortunately, we do have an Apple TV and it looks like PBS will let us watch it, the day after it airs.  Horray!  I can’t wait to see what happens post-Season 3.  No spoilers!!!

I’ve also been utilizing several scrapbook papers from Creative Memories to create my own DIY dividers (with pockets!!) for my new Filofax.  Here’s an example:

Image One thing that I love about the scrapbook papers is that they ARE reversible so you get two great-looking papers for the price of one.

I’ve uploaded photos of all of the dividers I’ve made on my Pinterest board (link).  Check it out if you like. I think that I’ll get some Washi tape later and go over the tape here to give it a punch of contrasting color.

I am amazed at how creative some of my friends have been over this “Thundersnow” we’ve had over the weekend.  Thanks Jennifer S. for introducing me to the term for our cross-over snowstorm/blizzard hybrid.

My sister and her husband walked to a local church instead of driving.  Dennis and I attended mass at an area church within walking distance.

One friend of mine recreated some of the snow scenes from LOTR in her backyard.

Another friend is using her sewing machine to create homemade diapers for her children using the most adorable fabrics.

Art is being made. Dogs and kitty-cats are getting more attention than usual, and tea and coffee are being consumed in mass quantities. Grin

Thundersnow 2014. It’s been fun.

My First Filofax – 2014 Setup

For Christmas this year, I received my very first Filofax.  As there are already a million blogs devoted to Filofax (I may be stretching the numbers a wee bit), my blog is NOT going to turn into a Filofax addict’s haven, but, I can’t let this momentous occasion of my first Filofax pass without at least a nod at how popular these things have become.

This is an A5 Filofax “The Original” in a color that I believe is called ‘Retro Yellow’:
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There’s branding on the spine of the exterior of the Filofax with an ‘f’ encircled, and a button clasp closure on the front that says “Filofax – The Original – Est. 1921”.

Inside the front cover is more of the Filofax branding in the bottom left-hand corner verifying that this is the real deal, made in the UK with real leather.  Although I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts and watching YouTube videos, I haven’t done much decorating yet so the setup’s pretty simple — but evolving.

In the photo below, you’ll notice the Filofax has a pen loop and a couple of smallish pockets (for business cards) that I am using to store removable, writable ‘flags’.  There is also a larger pocket that I have some post-its stuck inside for quick retrieval.

I’ve kept the flyleaf included with the product and created my own cover page (yellow):

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My understanding of the Filofax system is that it comes with different inserts and calendars.  Mine came with the week to two-page view, column style.  It also included a black ruler, 5 tabbed dividers (blue) and a variety of papers — blank, ruled, grid (white), and some ruled color papers too.

The Customer Service Dept. didn’t have quite the product that my gifter was looking for (a Personal size) so they supplemented with a bunch of freebie inserts. Super cool!  I’ve salvaged the packaging to create additional flyleafs throughout and some top-loading envelopes (see below).

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I am not much of a scrapbooker (yet) but I’ve always loved vision boards so I have been taking clippings out of my magazines and pasting them inside of some of the pages.  I tried a K&Co. label maker (Target) to name the dividers but found that the labels just limited the space I could be using for additional pages.

Since I didn’t know that I was receiving a Filofax, I’d bought an inspirational planner from B&N a couple of months ago.  I’ve salvaged several great photos from that into a Smashbooks-type of inspirational words and pages that I can scatter in my book (see hot air balloon photo –last image).IMG_2933

Other than the basic agendas, I am using the dividers to keep some categories — Focus, Capture, and Schedule, all based on Enjoyette’s system, check out Enjoyette’s great YouTube channel.

Additionally, I have a section of vision boards and goals under “My Life Accounts”, based on Michael Hyatt’s free e-book “Creating Your Personal Life Plan“.

I’ve also adapted Michael’s concept of weekly and quarterly reviews to fit my own needs. I’ve got my typed notes with my agenda so when I sit down to review my previous week’s activities and upcoming week’s plans, I can remember to follow the steps. 🙂

I am crazy for lists so I also have a section just for books to read, movies to see, things to do, etc. I also have a bucket list I call my “Life List”. Just at a glance, a couple of ideas I’d like to do are visiting the Crayola factory, going horseback riding, attending a Broadway show in NYC… modest goals, I think.

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Here’s hoping that 2014 will be a great new start to better things – and a Filofax to get me there!

Have a Filofax and want to share suggestions? Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas.  Got a question about the products shown or my setup?  Ask away. 🙂