January 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm #159726
So after many unsuccessful tries at web/computer-based organisational tools I think I’d like to give paper a try. It’s helping that I’m getting a lovely Personal Metropol soon.
Except… after years of online systems, I’m a little intimidated by how complex the Filofax is. So many inserts and so many options! Does anyone have any tips for how to use a paper planner to organise one’s life? I’ve looked around the interwebs but I figured asking here couldn’t hurt.
(FWIW, I’m in my early twenties, single, and will soon be starting the job hunt. Any specific tips will be lovely.) TIA!
January 31, 2012 at 8:37 pm #203902
Filofax isn’t the only system out there, or the best in my opinion. You didn’t mention whether you were purchasing the Personal Metropol (and thus why you chose it) or were receiving it as a gift. The best paper system is the one that you will keep up with, use regularly, and understand how it works. That will be different for everyone.
Figure out what you want to organize on paper, or planner, and go from there. The needs of someone who wants carry around every tidbit of information will be different that someone who just wants to be able to jot down appointments and obligations on-the-go.
I have one planner for pretty much all my paper needs – it’s the Moleskin weekly planner (the one with seven days on one page and a lined page opposite)
The lined page allows me to keep a running to do list and jot down random notes. The day by day side starts on Monday and keeps Saturday and Sunday separate – plenty of room to note important meetings and social engagements. It’s all I need to stay organized in one easy-to-carry planner. For me, more categories means more opportunities to miss deadlines and forget things, so the simpler the better.
January 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm #203904
@smallLife thanks! you made me realize that I’ve left out quite a bit of information in my initial post.
I’m getting the Filofax as a gift. I need a planner that allows me to have both a detailed view of everyday tasks and a more long-range view, so definitely one with weekly and monthly views. Plus I would like all the things I need (calendar, to-do list, finances, lists, physical bits and bobs [cards, tickets, what not] for both home and work) to be in one place. And I need it to look professional- I’m a young woman in a profession traditionally dominated by older men, and looking younger will do me zero favours. Hence, the Filofax. I guess I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed because this is the first time I’m making a serious effort to be organized.
January 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm #203908
Hmm, well since you’re getting it as a gift my follow up advice (try something cheaper to see what works in general before investing in a Filofax) is nullified haha
That list of the things you need – those are the Filofax fillers you should get! I’d be wary of having my finances in my planner, but that’s just me. Don’t try and be fancy right off the bat, you’re more likely to give up entirely.
January 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm #203916
When I worked in an office, I used a Day Runner, which is less costly than Filofax, both the book itself and the refills. In 2004, I splurged on a Filofax. But the following year I started working entirely at home and didn’t even need to go to client meetings. So I switched to a simple notebook and online calendar.
During the time that I used the Day Runner and Filofax, these are the sections that I found most useful:
– “Week on two pages” calendar/diary for the year
– “Today” placeholder/ruler
– world map and city map
– address/contact info section
– blank ruled pages and graph paper pages for notes and sketches
– phone call record
– receipt envelope
– clear zip pouch for pens, clips, post-its
Beware of getting seduced by all the Filofax possibilities, which can easily become cluttery and very expensive. Also, don’t put any financial info or personal ID details, except your name and work contact info if the book is lost.
January 31, 2012 at 10:39 pm #203920
By the way, in my first Day Runner I listed my home address in case the book was lost. I wish I had listed only my work address instead. Here’s what happened…
I was mugged on my front porch, and my big tote purse containing my Day Runner was stolen. I think my assailant must have been hiding in the park across the street and followed me from parking my car to my front door. I was beaten unconscious with a hardwood baseball bat. I was hospitalized with a fractured skull for a few days, then sent home to recover. The day I got home, the doorbell rang and there stood a nice man from the neighborhood. He and his young son (maybe 6 years old) had found my Day Runner in the park. The father had evidently encouraged his son to proudly hold out the book to me. But when I swung open the door and they saw me, with my swollen head black and bruised and bloody, that poor little boy had such a look of horror on his face. I started to cry and tried to explain why I looked so awful, which made everything even worse for everyone. I fear the sight of me must have traumatized that poor child. I sooo wish I had put my company’s contact info for return.
February 1, 2012 at 9:26 am #203976
my god ella, i am so sorry that such a horrible thing happened to you.
ghastly. really it is amazing that you survived something so traumatic.
you must be a very tough cookie indeed!
February 2, 2012 at 6:50 am #204086
I am a huuuge fan of Filofax.
No online/electronic system was able to offer everything that Filofax did. I loved day on one page sheets (I would sometimes write my day summary there, and used it as a small journal as well, etc.)
I used budgeting sheets and I always made sure to have a lot of empty lined sheets for everything I may want to jot down, projects, TO do Lists, etc.
I also had the little paper cutter and hole punch so I was able to attach whatever other paper I wanted in it.
Now I see they have some type of electronic Tel Book (but haven’t tried that)
Now I just use one notebook for everything until I use it all up (usually a year)
But Filofax was great when I had a lot of meetings and deadlines for my work (in a different field now) It always looks so classy.
February 2, 2012 at 6:58 am #204087
Ella, that is awful!
I used to have a Filofax once and liked the way one could customise it, but there are indeed many inserts that seem to cater to just about any need, so I started out by buying only the calendar, address book and loose leaves with dividers. And I never bought more! I wouldn’t keep track of personal finances, any detailed personal stuff or such in a book that can simply be flipped open, so I’d most likely go with the setting described from my past again today.
February 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm #204137
Ella: what a horrific thing to happen to you 🙁
I have a small Filofax which I love. I started out with a week to a page but ended up with the landscape version of week to 2 pages, I need to see what I’m doing the whole week. I put my to do list on a post-it on that day and I have blank pages for jotting down stuff. That’s it, it needs to be simple to work for me.
February 12, 2012 at 7:59 pm #205429
Eeo, Ella! I’m so sorry that happened to you. And very glad you made it out okay.
Thanks very much for all the suggestions, everyone. I’m feeling a little bit better about coming down from the cloud now.
February 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #205485
Hello all & this is my first post 🙂
I’ve had a filofax since 2009 & am a big fan of them. I’d recommend you have a look at http://www.philofaxy.blogspot.com for lots of info about how people set up them up. It isn’t a commercial site & has a great friendly community feel to it.
Ella, I hope you’re fully recovered.
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