A5 Filofax Planner (2014 Planner Update)

Last week I shared a look at my new Erin Condren Life Planner, which I am using this year to help me keep on top of my posting schedule.  This week’s Planner Update post is all about my Filofax, which I have been using and loving for several years now.  Everyone I know who uses a Filofax is pretty passionate about their planner.  In fact, there are manny planner blogs (Philofaxy is a great place to start if you’re interested), discussion forums, YouTubers (check out MyPurpleyLife for great Filofax videos)), and Facebook groups dedicated to the love of Filofax.  I’ve only recently become aware of this widespread community and have been so inspired by the Planner Enthusiasts I have started following.  I even shared a few of my favorite #PlannerAddicts on Instagram in my Week In Review post earlier this month.  The amount of creativity and expression so many find in their Filofax is amazing!  Mine looks rather utilitarian in comparison, although I do love to add color with my favorite pens and labels.  Regardless of how people choose to use their Filofax, the common thread is that it is an excellent planning tool that can be customized to suit different needs.  I’m all about flexible planning tools, which is why I love my Filofax and continue to use it with great success.

OJ_OLJ_02-21-2014_01My Filofax is an A5 Finchley in Imperial Purple, the same as I shared last year.  Sadly, this line has been discontinued and is nearly impossible to get your hands on unless you stalk the buy/trade/sell Filofax forums.  It is a beauty, made from a soft, pebbled leather and built to last.  I’ve used mine most every day stuffed to the brim for a few years now and it shows very minimal wear.  If you’re in the market for an A5 and are discouraged by the slim pickings right now, fear not, the majority of the 2014 line is set to release in the spring months and I’m told there will be some new leathers available in the summer.  Although I find the Filofax USA website very disappointing, a little bird told me that Filofax is hoping to overhaul the US website this year as well.  One can only hope it’s as beautiful, functional, and well stocked as the UK site!

OJ_OLJ_02-21-2014_02I keep three calendars in my A5, including a Day Per Page, Month on Two Pages, and Horizontal Year Planner.  I wish I could provide local link to these refills for you, but they appear to be sold out everywhere except on UK websites!  I believe they are discontinued now.  I use the Day Per Page to keep track of my daily to-do list.  The left column includes one-hour block time increments and is where I write in any appointments, events, or meetings using my color-coding system.  I usually have blank space to work with on this side, so I’ll fill that with my favorite labels to help me keep track of extra tasks or other lists.  The right column is where I pencil in my daily to-do list.  I like to plan my day out the night before, typically right before bed.  This allows my worrywart brain to rest easy knowing I have a plan for the next day.  I haven’t had any trouble falling asleep since starting my daily to-do list ritual a few years ago!  I treat my to-do list more as a guideline than a strict must-do-or-fail sort of thing.  It is a tool I use to help me make the most out of my day.  The Month on Two Pages calendar is where I keep track of important dates, appointments, and meetings more in advance than in my daily calendar.  I fill these in as they pop up so I don’t miss anything.  I typically copy over items from my monthly calendar to my daily pages for the week ahead every Sunday when I like to do some general weekly planning.  The last calendar I have is a Horizontal Year Planner, which I use specifically to keep track of travel and is also color-coordinated to match my coding system.  Each calendar type has it’s own section in my Filofax.

OJ_OLJ_02-21-2014_03The Finchley comes with some organizational elements built right in.  I stash some of my favorite accessories on the inside of the front cover, including labels, my Food & Fitness journal, and the always necessary tech cloth.  I keep most of my writing accessories in a vinyl zip pouch that I store loose in my Filofax.  I find that it stays put when I snap the binder shut, and it’s easier to access this way.


Here are some of my favorite Filofax accessories, listed in order (in the above image) from top to bottom, left to right:

Bic Wite-Out Mini Twist Correction Tape – Great for covering mistakes made in pen and not too bulky to store.

Vera Bradley Perfect Match Pen and Pencil Set – Beautiful set with an easy glide ballpoint black pen and refillable pencil.

LePen by Marvy/Uchida – My favorite color-coding pens of all time and I’ve tried many! Great colors and write like a dream.

Pentel Super High-Polymer Lead Refill, 0.7 mm – I go through quite a bit of lead since I write mostly in pencil.  These refills do the trick!

Paper Mate White Pearl Premium Eraser – I write in pencil for a reason.  A good eraser like this comes in handy!

Tartan Oli Magnetic Paper Clip – Perfect larger size (and cute, too!) for keeping my calendar pages together.

Oli Magnetic Paper Clips – I love these smaller magnetic clips to keep the pages together in my Food & Fitness journal and May Book Weekly Agenda.

Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Removable Color-Coding Labels – Removable labels in fun colors?  Can’t beat that!

Post-It Super Sticky Removable Patterned Label Pads – Full adhesive, bright colors, fun patterns, and removable! Basically the best labels ever.

Post-It Super Sticky Full Adhesive Notes – Love this small square size.  Perfect for lists that can go from my planner pages to the back of my phone on the go!

Toddy Gear Smart Cloth – I’ve talked about these so much, I know, but they really are the best screen/glasses cleaning cloths I’ve ever tried.

Moleskine Volant Pocket Ruled Notebook – The Moleskine Volant line has been my favorite for years for journals.  I use a white pocket size for my Food & Fitness journal.

Filofax A5 Zip Lock Envelope – The perfect spot to keep my writing tools.  I like that I can see through it for easy access.

Image sources can be found at included products links

OJ_OLJ_02-21-2014_05There are several other accessories that are new to my Filofax setup this year.  Charlotte from Handmade By Charlotte Victoria (CharlottesWeb86 on Etsy) very kindly sent me a set of six gorgeous handmade A5 dividers and matching bookmarks that color coordinate perfectly with my Finchley.  Not only are they beautiful, but they are extremely well made and durable.  I customized one of Charlotte’s bookmarks by adding a planner charm that Don bought for me from shellybelly4evr and a ribbon paperclip I fashioned myself and attached to the bookmark with tape.  I received another generous gift from an Etsy shop owner, as well.   Anna from Mrs Brimbles sent me one of her bright and cheery “Happy Flowers” dashboards, which I keep in the back of my Filofax for a bit of color and to protect the paper pages.  She also very kindly included her custom diary inserts in the Bumble Bee design (how fitting for this Busy Bee!).  I am currently using her Expenses and Passwords inserts in my Filofax (you can see these in my coordinating video below).  I am using my custom May Designs May Book Weekly Agenda for weekly planning every Sunday.  It is thin and light and tucks perfectly into the built-in mesh pocket on the back inside cover of my Filofax.  I also keep a pad of paper in there for additional notes.


There are some truly talented people selling their wares and creations on Etsy and I wanted to be sure to share a few of my favorite planner product providers (try to say that three times fast!) with you here:

Handmade By Charlotte Victoria – Handmade dividers, dashboards, and bookmarks for A5, personal, and pocket size.

Mrs Brimbles – Cute and functional inserts and dashboards for A5 and personal size planners.

shellybelly4evr – Cute handmade planner charms.

DIYfish – The most unique planner inserts I’ve seen.  Learn more about the Life Mapping System on her website.

If you’d like to get a closer look at my Filofax and accessories and hear more about how I use it and my thoughts on it, I recommend watching my coordinating video:

Be sure to check out my Erin Condren Life Planner post to enter my ErinCondren.com Gift Card Giveaway, which runs until Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6 PM CT.  Ten winners will each win $100 giftcard to use at ErinCondren.com! 

I hope you enjoyed my 2014 Planner Update.  I would love to see your planners if you care to share.  Feel free to tweet me a picture or post on my Facebook page if you’d like!  Or, leave me a comment describing what you’re using now and what you like about it.  Sharing is fun!
Happy Planning 🙂


* Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


39 thoughts on “A5 Filofax Planner (2014 Planner Update)”

  1. Do you have a blog on your Food and Fitness journal. Just want some ideas, plan on starting one. 🙂 thank you I LOVE Moleskin so I want to use that as well. Thank you! Loved this video! So helpful.

  2. Oh Goody! I was waiting for this. Drinking tea in my Emma Bridgewater mug as I watch. I understand now why you keep two. I like how you use this but glad I went with the Erin Condren one, based on your videos. I think that will suit me better. Plus as soon as I saw the Gold..well, shiny! Thanx. This is very helpful. I have too many post-it’s and notes allover the place. I hope it will help me to streamline. Watering plants. There are the types of things I forget to do.

  3. Great Video as always. Got some great ideas. I love the Orla Kiely for Target line and I am really enjoying using them with my planner.

  4. Oh my goodness Jen, I was so surprised to see my bits and bobs in your planner! I am usually several days behind on my YT subscriptions and then someone told me to watch this video ASAP. I always watch all three of your channels, I am hooked and my husband has also been hooked and now is catching up with Don’s videos. He loves all the finance stuff! You are so sweet and I am so glad you like them and they have found a great home, I can’t wait to see more of your Filofax journey. Lots of love xx

  5. Hi Jen. I have been following you for quite a while and every time each video is simply amazing. I live in a small country in Europe and it is so nice to watch what is going on on the other side of the world through your videos on all channels 🙂

    I was really waiting for your video relating to Filofax and I hope that you will keep us updated with your organization skills and your Filofax and project management. Yours was the first video of Filofax organization I ever watched on You tube and since then I just grew to become addicted to them. Thanks a lot and please don’t make us wait so much to watch videos of your planners 🙂 🙂


    1. I aim for a one a year update so as to not be too redundant, since I tend to stick with things when I find what works for me.

  6. Loved your video on your A5 planner. This is my second year using a Filofax (personal size) and this year I added an Erin Condren planner to use for my household planning. Seeing your A5 made me think that I might switch over to using that instead of the Erin Condren. I like adding pages to my planner so the Filofax would work better for me. I’ve posted some pics of my Filofax on instagram http://instagram.com/seauxphoteaux Love It!!! And I am really enjoying your organizing videos!! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Thank you Jen. I need either one of those planners. I am thinking the first one would be more for my use (one you showed last week). I have post it notes all over the place and usually miss what I needed to do because it got stuck to something else. I love these ideas. Thanks for all you info and what works and doesn’t. Love the magnet holders you used. You are a awesome. HUGS

  8. Question – Where/how do you store the pages you have removed? I just decided that I need to only keep a few months in my planner also but would like to save them just in case. Also where/how do you store your unused pages.

  9. Great video, thanks for sharing. Love the blog post with all of the links…will definitely be visiting the etsy shops. The dividers you have are beautiful. I am just beginning to get into the whole ‘decorating’ your Filofax and using a personal one as a daily tool. I have an A5 one which is used just for work really. Am following loads of people on instagram and love to see how you organise your days using your Filofax. Hoping to begin to blog about it when I get the chance. Thanks for showing your organisation….always gives me new ideas x

  10. Hi Jen,

    I really loved your Filofax video and was totally heartbroken when you said that it was sold out! Are there any other options you can suggest that is similar to the one you have? I was really keen on the inside front having the zippered storage. Unfortunately in Malaysia, the pickings are pretty slim with your standard run of the mill Filofaxes and unimaginative inserts, so thank you for opening me up to the world of accessories that are beautiful yet functional. Thanks!

  11. I got the Le Pens pens. I now understand why you use them. They are very small. I am a Sharpie person and so I am very used to that thick barrel but when it comes to travel, it’s a bit of a chore to take what is needed. I am working on streamlining what I take with me journalwise and this will help a lot. Based something I saw in a comment here, I did order the Kikki K. notebook (compendium). Not the planner (they were sold out). It’s A5 and I think that size will work well for mobility. It has a zipper. They also ship crazy fast. Okay, thank you.

  12. Can you explain what your color coding is? I have tried several and they don’t seem to “fit” and then I get confused on what my color coding is. I have school, work, my son, my husband, friends, family, Junior Achievement teaching, United Way events, exercising, then simply miscellaneous things. Do you just continue to use them and they become familiar? I know this sounds stupid, I calendar every day and am just starting this year with the color coding.

    1. My color coding system is second nature to me now. I think if you use something long enough it kind of sticks. It’s possible that color-coding is not for you, thought. Trial and error is great to find out!

  13. Hi Jen! THANK YOU, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!! I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR A VERY LONG TIME FOR THIS VIDEO/BLOG POST!!!! I have a question for you: I want to start reorganizing my bedroom wardrobe but I have no idea where to begin working. So I went and watched your old bedroom wardrobe videos from 3 years ago and I took some of your ideas and suggestions. After watching your Project Management video from last year earlier this past autumn, I became inspired to create my own and I wrote down my own plans and ideas for my wardrobe and also your ideas too. I also watched Elle Fowler’s wardrobe video that she posted last January and I found some great tips as well. Do you have any ideas on where I should start reorganizing; how to break up the project into small, manageable parts, and most importantly, how to stay motivated to work on the project. I’m a part-time student in college, I have a full-time job and I’m also a nanny. (My godmother works full-time as a middle school/high school teacher and she has 4 kids ages 5,3 and 1. Her husband also works full-time as a middle school/high school teacher.) I come home feeling exhausted from being at school, working and from nannying; and I’m always feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the GIANT MESS IN MY WARDROBE! Also, what are your tips for finding motivation when the weather is constantly grey and gloomy? I would really appreciate your help in this matter.
    P.S.: I’m half-English so please excuse my foreign sayings.

    1. I like to start with closet organization by weeding through all of my things and sorting out what to keep, donate, or give to family/friends. Maybe try setting a timer for 15 minutes every day to devote to your project. It’s just enough time to make a dent and after few days you’ll start to really see your progress which will hopefully motivate you to continue further. As for the dreary weather – I like focusing on simple pleasures that I know will pick me up, like reading a good book with a cup of tea in a warm bath. Allowing myself to enjoy the these moments feeds my happiness and helps keep me upbeat and positive even when the weather turns grey. Hope this helps!

  14. Jen, since you don’t keep note paper in your filofax where do you keep all your notes, lists and things you want to write down? In journals or pads of paper?

  15. Jen,
    Just wanted to say how much i am enjoying this new world that i have discovered, full of people who love all this stuff as much as me. I am a compulsive list writer, am as much in love with cute stationery and diaries as when i was a child. My inner-Monica i call it. But now since discovering all these people on pinterest and fellow viewers of your site, i am not alone! Loving this filofax update. I have recently bought an A5 planner from a shop here in the UK called Paperchase. If you aren’t aware of it already i think you would love it. I have to limit my visits there as i end up buying too much! They ship to the US i think. Anyway. Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. Am now really looking forward to lots more planning, making better use of my time on projects, making my house even nicer and generally doing stuff that makes me happy (without being embarrassed about it!) Keep up the good work.

  16. Dear Jen,

    I came across your site through Pinterest and this post kick started a new obsession for Filofaxes! I love, love, love how you’ve set up your filofax. Am definitely using a one for 2015. I hope you don’t mind but I shared the pix of how you’ve done up your Filofax on my blog. Thanks!

  17. Hi Jen!

    Loved the video on your A5 Filofax Finchley! I currently use a personal but am considering moving up to the A5. Since the Finchley has been discontinued, the only place I can find one is on the Austrailian site. Is there any way you would post the measurement of your imperial purple in inches? I would like to make sure that the A5 is not too large for my needs. Thanks and keep on posting…you are inspiration!


  18. I have been on an intense search for the perfect planner/organizer and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace when I saw the Finchley Imperial Purple! I am devastated they no longer make them 🙁

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