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.
My 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!
I 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.
The 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
There 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.
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. *