I’m excited to share an annual update on my Filofax, which is a critical piece of my time management. I not only use my agenda to keep track of my calendar, but it also houses my daily to-do lists, project management, and work notebook. This year I decided to literally pull the project management part out of the rings of the planner and into its very own notebook. I find the Large Moleskine Volant Notebooks fit perfectly in my A5 size Filofax. I also dedicated one to a new work notebook to help me keep track of my YouTube channels and blogs. I love having the option now to store these notebooks in the back of my Filofax or pull them out and keep them separate. It also makes it much easier to access these notes, since they had a tendency to get neglected in their old home clipped into the binder rings behind my hefty Day Per Page calendar.
I have a Filofax Finchley A5 Leather Organizer in the color Imperial Purple. Sadly, this model is no longer available, but Filofax makes beautiful agendas in other models and sizes as well. I prefer the A5 size, because I mostly use my planner at home and the larger size isn’t an issue since I don’t have to lug it around to school or an office every day. That being said, I probably would lug this size Filofax around if I did work outside the home just because I love it so much. It is small enough to manage, but large enough to accomodate three calendars, one of which is a Day Per Page where I keep track of my daily to-dos, as well as a pen pouch filled with office goodies, sticky notes galore, and the two aforementioned Moleskine Volant notebooks.
The planner comes with some built in pockets for quick access storage. I prefer to keep an array of sticky notes and labels in the interior front side. Lately, I’ve taken to using Post-it’s Full Adhesive Notes and Labels for additional note options on my Day Per Page calendar. I prefer the full-sticky-back Post-its because they stay put, but are still easy enough to move around if necessary. I even cut some down to make page marker sized versions for smaller note options. Additionally, I always keep some Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery Removable Color-Coding Labels tucked into a flap for easy task management. I’ve assigned each color to a different task I complete on a weekly basis around the house and affix them to the bottom of the calendar page to which they apply. It’s easy to move these labels around just like the full-sticky Post-its, because they’re removable and the tear drop shape makes it easy for someone like me with super short nails to pick them up off the page.
The Finchley comes with two pen loops built right into the planner, in which I keep a Jonathan Adler Pink Elephant Pen & Pencil Set I picked up at Barnes & Noble. I was using a lovely Vera Bradley set last year, but I prefer the Jonathan Adler ones because they are a bit larger and don’t accidentally slip out of the loops. I also keep a Filofax A5 Ziplock Envelope tucked into the front of my Filofax to house my essentiel supplies. I have a nice selection of Marvy Uchida LePen Fine Line Markers that I use for color coding my calendars and notebooks, as well as extra pencil lead, a large eraser, and Bic Wite-Out Mini Correction Tape. I prefer not to keep this pouch clipped in, because I always pull it out to the side whenever I am writing in my planner. It fits snugly inside when not in use.
I mentioned I use three calendars in my Filofax. I use the Month On Two Pages for general planning, including events, appointments, travel, birthdays, and holidays. I keep three Full Year Horizontal Planners specifically for travel. I have the current year as well as the previous and next year to help me in my trip planning process. The calendar I use most frequently is the Day Per Page. Each day of the week has its own page split into two columns. The lefthand column includes time increments. I use this side to keep track of appointments and events. There’s also usually room on any given day for sticky notes. I use the righthand column for my daily to-do list, which I generally work on the night before. I always write my to-do lists in pencil, because I find I often rearrange and change things as the day goes on. The weekend is arranged in the same way but takes up one page only (half for Saturday, half for Sunday). I keep past days of the Day Per Page together with a Tartan Oli Magnetic Paper Clip, which you can find at The Container Store. This three-calendar system works perfectly for me to help me keep on top of household and work-related tasks as well as travel, appointments, and special events. I use the iCal program on my iPhone as a general on-the-go calendar. I synch this up with my Month On Two Pages calendar once a week to make sure I don’t miss anything. It’s so convenient to be able to make appointments or dates on the go with just my iPhone and then pop them into my Filofax later on.
At the back of my Filofax, I keep a pad of paper tucked into a mesh pocked built into the agenda for notes and scribbles. My two Large Moleskine Volante Notebooks fit nicely back there as well. I love that I can just slide them out when I want to work on them or take them separately when traveling. I used decorative stickers to jazz them up a bit. Having cute organization tools helps me stay motivated to actually use them. Of course, this might not be as effective for everyone. My advice is always to find what works for you and stick with it, no matter how silly or impractical others might find it. I used a selection of the Martha Stewart Home Office With Avery NoteTabs to easily create categories and subcategories for my notebooks (These are sadly no longer available online. I found some at Staples on clearance a couple of months ago). Cute and functional? It’s hard to beat that in my opinion!
I go into much more detail in the coordinating video (show below), with closeup shots of each part of my Filofax (with the exception of the Full Year Horizontal Planners, which I forgot to include for some reason). I will be a sharing a follow-up blog post in the next day or two with a closer look at my CNP (CreativeNecessitiesPouch) and links to available products if you’re interested.
If you’d like to see the previous videos I’ve posted on my Filofax, I’m including links below:
I’d love to see photos of your Filofax or other type of agenda/planner. Feel free to tweet them to me @OrganizedJen if you care to share!
*I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post or video. All opinions are my own.*