This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  HelofaMess 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #158331


    a quick update- my kitchen has been spotless for going on 6 days- and i’ve even been cooking and eating in it. i cried a little last night when i put the broom away and stood back just to look at it. absolutely amazing.

    now to business-
    i have always loved a day planner/ personal organizer- i’ve just never been really really consistant about using them.
    i ‘m thinking about investing in a filofax- in my dreams i’m the woman that everyone thinks is a nut because she is hyper- organized- the house is always clean- “please friend just stop by whenever,” im always on time “hey boss- i got here a little early so i finished up those whatchamacallthem that we talked about yesterday,” and i always know exactly what i am going to need and when im going to need it.
    i am hoping that if i treat myself to this nice thing that i will be encouraged to use it diligently. What do you think? is there system of personal planning that anyone thinks works better?

  • #162167



    Make sure you don’t convince yourself buying it is going to make you more organised. I fell for that for years.
    There is a huge difference between equipment and a system. I filofax is no more organised than a bunch of loose papers stapled together or put in a small binder. It’s just neater to have a filofax, or any other planner, with it’s pre-printed forms.

    There are many many systems out there, targeted at students, business people, homemakers etc. Find one that works for you, use it, then look for equipment that makes it even easier.

  • #162168



    Can you recommend some other students? I generally use the calender on my iPhone, but recently started grad school, on top of work and home obligations and feel like I could use something to physically write in.

  • #162169



    Thanks Linada,
    i guess i am a little over eager- given my recent little victories in the daily battle that is my home… but you’re right- the filofax is not a system, just a tool. i‘ll try to remember that while i’m salivating over a $300 binder- totally ridiculous- maybe I’ll start with something a little more reasonable.

  • #162170



    Hi kannie, I’m new here but thought I might as well jump in to this thread. I have used a paper planner for years. The two books that helped me were The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and To Do, Doing, Done. They are both getting a bit dated but have some good practical tips for using a dayplanner as well as actually getting to the core of your goals.

    I use a Franklin Covey dayplanner at work and it is great. I have fallen off the wagon a bit in terms of using it really effectivly but having a planner can be really useful.

  • #162171



    One of my friends is quite disorganized. She has a bulging Filofax, which is always in disarray and in need of updating. She doesn’t finish a task she entered for one day, so she has to cross it off and enter it on another day. She falls behind, and finds herself flipping through the Filofax to find the TO-DO items.

    My computer planner automates that. I just press one button to carry undone tasks from the previous day, or days, to today. Then I can decide whether to reschedule, or when.

    I spend a lot of time at home, so using a program on my desktop works for me. For someone who’s out and about, a smartphone (like a Blackberry or an iPhone) might be a better option.

    The cheapest way to keep track of things is using 3 x 5 cards. Not what you need for daily chores — for that you could just print out a chart, post it on your refrigerator, and tick off the chores you did. But for discrete tasks (drop off books at library), you write the task on a card and add it to your bundle of stuff to be done. When it’s done, you can throw away the card.

    The website 43 Folders introduced this idea years ago, calling it the Hipster PDA. A stack of index cards with a binder clip or clips. Cost you a few bucks. You can read more at:

    Me, I tend to just make lists on scrap paper. I cut used 8-1/2 x 11 sheets into quarters, roughly, and stick them in a cardboard holder I made. Very handy size for lists and reminders.

  • #162180



    Hello again!

    I am a Filofax FANATIC!!! I think that if the idea of the Filofax appeals to you strongly, it is probably a good idea for you. There is a filofax group on flickr, and I recommend that you check it out and see what specifically appeals to you. I just got a new one for the year – the Finsbury in Raspberry in the Personal size (I had used a pocket size since high school). There is also philofaxy, a blog about filofaxes (yes. you read that right). My tips (I hope these help someone out there because they are exhaustive to say the least)

    Figure out what you want the filofax to do. Do you want to have lists of chores? schedule? calendar? phone numbers/addresses? to do lists for ongoing projects? ideas? Make an exhaustive list of everything. Then go through the website and figure out what kind of inserts (or just lined paper and dividers) would work for the needs. Don’t be afraid to have multiple calendars if that is what you want! The vertical yearly calendar is incredibly useful for noting personal things – days you have your period, days you wore your contacts, number of hours of sleep or exercise, hours worked for timesheets,or other stuff you want for reference rather than forward looking whatever. You are not bound to the predetermined sections! I recommend having plenty of lined paper inserts and blank index tabs on hand while you figure out what organizational scheme works for you. You can make custom labels for them on a label maker (if you really want to maintain the so-organized-its-scary image). I happen to know someone (ahem) who happens to have an almost entire cartridge of black-on-clear tape for her brother label maker that she used for her tabs (they are beige, so you can’t use white tape! It wont match!) and no use for it (because white is better for everything else), who might be persuaded to send a few custom labels your way 🙂 Ok, I’m starting to scare MYSELF now….

    ALSO – consider the “family” refills – they are only sold in the UK (I think) but come with a calendar that has space for the “mom” and several other family members – this can be great to organize different areas of one person’s life – appointments in one box, chores in another, dinner menus in a third, misc to dos in a fourth…. (There are tons of similar products on the market – like the MomAgendas – that are meant for moms but can be used in the same way by others).

    Once you have an idea of what kind of information you want in there, figure out the size. Pocket is the smallest I would go, but personal fits more. If you aren’t going to carry it around much (or if you want an excuse to avoid working out), maybe consider the A5 (my dream – but I would go crazy having to lug that thing around!). Go to a store that carries them and play with them.

    3. BUY! Lol, this is the fun part. Filofaxes are not as expensive as they used to be. A domino binder is $30 in the personal size (and comes with all the basic pages). If you aren’t sure you want to make the plunge, get a cheaper binder- it costs no more than something you can get at staples (but is nicer I think). You can treat yourself to an upgrade later, once you are confident that you will use it, and just pop your stuff in (the cheaper one can then be used for storage of extra paper and anything you want to archive). Make sure you use a good mechanical pencil or pen with it – thicker inky pens tend to bleed or smudge. If you hate ball point pens with a passion and refuse to use them (ahem…), get pens that are .38 point – you can usually get them at art supply stores or asian or european stationary stores (look for japanese bookstores, they often have amazing stationary sections. Check out the craft books too!)

    4. start collecting your info! i highly recommend having a notepad or notebook throughout the process where you jot down whatever comes to mind that you want in there – then transfer it into your new system once you buy. When writing on the left side of a filofax (assuming you are a righty), the rings can sometimes get in the way, so if you have a lot of stuff to write in, i recommend you sit down at a desk, open up and rings and pop some of the pages out and then put them back in as you work. Its fine for entering stuff as it comes up, but gets annoying after 5 minutes.

    Like others said before, its merely a system. It only works if you use it. But you will use it more if its something you chose, that you like, and that you are EXCITED to use. If index cards etc work for you that’s great. You have an extra $100 that I don’t 🙂 But you have to be honest with yourself, and if buying something cute (or something that makes you feel like the organized person you want to be) will inspire you, then go for it! There’s no harm in that.

    @jennysbelly – I use my filofax for school (I’m in law school). If you are in more of a class based program, if might work to use a calendar based system where you can write specific tasks and appointments to specific days. I use week-on-two-pages lined for this, and write appointments and general to dos from the top down and reading assignments from the bottom up. I have a separate page that lists what classes I have to read for on what days, and over the weekend I just copy that into my week, then go through my syllabi and add the assignments in. In classes where the proff doesn’t stick to the syllabus much, I fill in the specific reading assignment during the week, but I have the space blocked out already so I remember to allot time for it. I write the important appointments in red so that they stand out, while everything else is in blue. (I can box things in in red too if I don’t happen to have a red pen nearby when I note it in).

    If you are in a more “open ended” program, where there is not much day-specific assignments (what I’d imagine the later parts of a phd are like) I would consider something like the week to a page (on the left) with a note page (right) in one view. Filofax makes these inserts and moleskin makes a notebook like this (it can be hard to find and sells out). Oh and Muji has them too (I think they only have stores in NYC in the US). Day specific stuff can go in the days and the note page is for task lists for the week (like research/writing goals).

    I think I’m going to end this novel here. For now. I have a hard time holding back when it comes to filofaxing.

  • #162181

    Another Deb


    @ MsDasha,

    Holey Moley! Now I want one! Thanks for sharing the ins and outs of this organizer. I picked up some ideas I can meld into my own system. The idea of buying two calendar inserts was a winner!

  • #162186



    Hi everyone, this is my first post but I’ve been hanging around the site for a while. All of these obviously only work if you USE them and keep on top of them.

    I used to use my iphones calender (and still do for alarms and warnings) but I find that the best thing for me is a paper calender that has all of the days of the week on one page and a page for notes on the other. I used to use one that just had a day per page but I found it hard to get an overview on what was coming up.

    My two favorites are the moleskin MsDasha suggests and the always great Dodo organizers. Don’t forget that moleskin can be ordered online.

    For me also I need something small to always keep with me as if it’s huge or heavy then I wont take it round with me and so it wont stay up to date.

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