We’re officially at that time of year called “back to school”, and whether you’re actually going back to school or if you left your last classroom behind five years ago (like I did) you are surely feeling the itch to plan, get organized, and structure your life a little bit more for fall and winter. I personally love nothing more than to walk past book shops and check out all the new note books, pens and calendars, but then again I always was and always have been a giant nerd. But alas, my daily work tool is a MacBook Pro and a pen tablet so I have no need for funky notebooks and colorful pens – I do, however, need to be organized.
Enter the Filofax. I have a theory that I must have been a yuppie stock broker in a past life (who died from a coke overdose in the early 80s so that I could be re-born in 1985, bien sûr), because I have always loved leather-bound planners. I know, I know, they are SO out of fashion. We have smart phones now! iPads! Google Calendar! Who needs paper anyway? I do. If I couldn’t jot down notes and plans and ideas on paper I would have a minor freakout. I just think better on paper. Paper doesn’t run out of batteries. It is aesthetically pleasing, the binders come in a variety of sizes and colors, and you can buy any kind of insert your heart desires (or make your own). Sure, it adds some weight to your handbag, but come on. This is so much cooler than an iPhone.
Filofax “The Original” in patent fuchsia
I have had my Filofax “The Original” in patent fuchsia leather for a handful of months now, and we are getting along splendidly. You can get it from Filofax US or Filofax UK, but I bought mine from Colemans at a much lower price than at the official sites. The fuchsia is lovely and bright and the leather is sturdy, and it lays completely flat on my desk when I open it up. Some planners don’t do this, and it gets very annoying in the long run. The pen that I use is a Pilot G-2 05, and yes, I chew it. Sue me.
The vertical year planner
A mandatory insert for me is the vertical year planner. This is where I write down any major events, trips, birthdays and holidays so that I have my year at a glance in a simple and easy way. Wondering whether you can squeeze in a weekend away in November, or if you’re just too busy? No need to go through your entire diary, just take a look at your November page. As you can see January was not a good month for The Poodle, as she had several vet visits and some major surgery. She’s doing fine now, thank goodness.
The fitness tracker
This is where I keep track of my health and fitness. I made this insert myself in Adobe InDesign because I couldn’t find anything in stores that looked the way I wanted. My system is simple – the day gets colored in yellow marker if my diet was clean or pink marker if I ate candy or junk food, and the goal is to only have one pink day each week. If I worked out the day gets a big X in black pen, and if I was sick, injured or anything else out of the ordinary it gets written down in the notes section at the bottom.
This is my day-to-day diary where I write down my plans, appointments and daily notes. I prefer a week-on-two pages setup, but there are plenty to choose from if this doesn’t fit your particular needs. I only recently discovered that you can’t buy re-fills of this particular diary setup, which annoyed me way more than it should have. I like it! It works for me! Oh well, I’m sure there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere. Don’t get too attached to your paper.
The to do lists
I don’t know where I’d be without to do lists, because I’d surely get nothing done. I prefer a separate sheet of paper for my to do list, so that I can move it over to the next week if I didn’t manage to finish everything in time.
The note paper
On the same note, make sure to carry some spare note paper with you, because you never know when you’ll need it.
Speaking of note paper, I didn’t photograph the lists that I keep in my Filofax. The content was just too personal to blog, but I can tell you what kind of lists they are: 2014 new year’s resolutions, general to do, stuff I will no longer buy, things to get rid of, books read in 2014, bad habits that I want to get rid of, habits I would like to have, things achieved in 2014, a list where I write down one good thing that happened every week, a list of dinners for when I can’t think of anything to cook, a list of stores that I like, a list of wines that I like, and a NYC 2015 shopping list.
The pen loop
Most Filofaxes come with pen loops and The Original is no exception, but I didn’t like the placement of them and ended up buying a separate pen loop from a brand called Leuchtturm1917. It is sticky, so you can put it anywhere you like, and they come in many different colors. I found mine on eBay.
The transparent envelope or pocket
And last but not least I would recommend to get a couple of transparent pockets or zip lock envelopes for things like stickers, receipts, or coins. I only carry a card holder on most days, so this is where I keep my change. I’m not the kind of girl who decorates her Filofax with stickers and washi tape, but you never know when you’ll need a burger with legs or a dog in goggles, right?
Plenty of sizes to choose from
This is not my first time around the planner block, oh no. I have had several, most of them worn out and discarded, but I still have my pocket sized planner from Grieg. It is beautiful, but I’m a wordy chick and I simply needed more space to write on. There are larger and smaller sizes as well – you can get planners as big as A4 and as small as a mini (for the über-minimalists out there).
I said I wasn’t big on washi tape or stickers, but I still have a small box of Filofax accessories on hand: extra paper, post-its, and sticky flags. The options are limitless, and if you get extra super duper excited about your new-found toy there are also web sites and Facebook groups for the hardcore Filofax aficionado. Or so I’ve heard. Cough.
How do you stay organized in your day-to-day life? Are you digital or analogue? And how badly do you want a Filofax right now?