Sunday, September 4, 2011

Philofaxy All Stars: Susan about her Filofax

Here's the first guest post for Philofaxy All Stars and it's from Susan from Life Well Planned. 
Hope you enjoy this post and check back to see more guest posts! 

Sneak Peek Into My Compact Chameleon

Hello all!  Femke asked me to do a write up on what I have in my planner.  Below is a detailed look into what I have inside my binder.  But first a little background:

I have been using a Filofax for the past four years, which isn’t as long as it seems.  Maybe it seems longer to me because in that time I have bought so many.  My use of a Filo has expanded in so many different ways.  With my first Filo, I used it as a diary and a place to keep notes.  From there, I have changed my diary format many times, and each time thought I had the perfect system going.  I think many of us are on the perpetual search for “the perfect planner.”  But maybe there isn’t one because our needs are ever-changing.  But this is the reason that Filofax is the perfect brand to help us in our search—there are many products that allows us to easily adapt to our ever-changing needs.  I know that is the case for me.  I also use Filofax binders for specifics projects, like my Happiness Project and my knitting.

So how do I use my Compact Chameleon for everyday use?

I am currently using the Compact Chameleon because I want a binder that has smaller rings than the personal binder.  I love the personal size, but with the bigger binder, I tend to carry more stuff than I need, mainly old or too-far-away calendar inserts.  I love the compact for the reason that it forces me to limit what I carry with me.  My true-love binder is the Malden, but the Chameleon will work until Filofax comes out with a Compact Malden (I am determined to mention this on every guest post I do, hoping that someone somewhere will pick up the hint).

Let’s look inside my binder:

On the left, in the credit card slots, I keep any appointment cards I may have (seen at the top) and a jot pad (seen at the bottom).  I use the jot pad on days when I need a little extra room.  I find that the slots aren’t big enough to put the cards in properly, so I put them in long-ways.  This works fine, so long as I don’t have too many appointment cards at a time, which I usually don’t.  On the right I have my current Vermont postcard, with a transparent flyleaf over top to keep it looking nice.  I have several postcards that I swap out at different times of the year.

On the back of the postcard, I have a Post-it index card with quotes and information to keep in mind, something I refer to often.  This information will probably be switched out at the same time as the postcard.  After the postcard, I have the Filofax Post-it notes accessory.  I have switched out the plastic-y see-through flags for the larger paper flags.  I find these much easier to write on than the ones that come with the accessory.

Next I have my tabs.

You can see I could use some new tabs—these have some black markings on them from the Post-it accessory.  I’ve actually been toying with decorating my dividers a bit.  I haven’t come up with anything solid yet, but I have a few ideas.

In detail, the tabs contain the following:

1.  Contacts.  Here, I keep phone numbers only of contacts I call often.  I currently have three sheets—Emergency contacts (my husband, mother, sister, brother- and mother-in-law), Doctors, and Services (car repair, hotels I stay at often, my local spa, and vet).

2.  Notes.  This is where I keep random notes.  Right now, I have a sheet for fall allergies.  I am keeping a list of when I feel awful, what the ragweed level was for the day, what I took to alleviate symptoms.  I also have information on the current month’s Happiness Project information.

You can see I’m a little behind, as I’m still working on July.  Actually, I just never changed it for August.  But now it’s time to move on to September, so this will be updated and the July sheet will move to my Happiness Binder.  Since the idea is to refer to this sheet often, I use a top tab (marked “HP”) for easy access.  The tab marked “C” in the photo is information regarding my husband—things I would need to have on hand—what he is allergic to, for instance—should there be an emergency.

3.  Lists.  I have one sheet for each type of list—media items (music, books, movies) that will be transferred to their respective master list; items to buy at the pharmacy (this gets its own list because I’m there every one to two weeks); general to-do items; things to buy in general (not necessarily from the pharmacy); and things to do in regards to our house.

4.  Projects.  Here I use a different color note sheet for each individual project.  Anything that requires more than one to-do item will go here rather than on my general to-do list.  For example, I might have “plan party” on my general to-do list with “see list” next to it.  Then, I’d have a list behind the projects tab with all the to-dos that go along with planning a party (guest list, who responded, who’s bringing what, what food to buy, etc.).  One thing I’m currently planning is the second New York City Philofaxy meet-up.

I have a list of people who are planning to attend, and when we get closer to the date, I’ll add meeting time, places to eat, where to shop, and anything else that pertains to this event.

5.  Writing.  This is where all of my writing ideas go, including ideas for my blog.

I have a small list going for topics for the Philofaxy All Stars Blog Tour as well.  And since I journal, I also have a list of topics to write about there.  I don’t always get daily time to write, and I don’t want to forget what I wanted to write about.  So jotting down topics helps me to remember what to write about.

6.  Diary.  This is where all of my calendar items are housed.  I use a combination of layouts, five months of each.  First, I have a month on two pages.

Since Filofax includes dates from the previous and future months on the same page, I outline the current month with a yellow highlighter.  It just helps me to see the month better.  I use the orange, pink, and green highlighters as a quick reminder of certain things for each day.  I put all of my appointments here, but since there is only enough room to jot them down, I put all details on the weekly format (shown below).  Along the side, I keep a weekly track of my weight (I was not about to show you those details—who would?).  I use the clear today ruler to mark the current month.

After the monthly inserts, I have the lined week-on-two-pages inserts, each month marked by the monthly tabs.  I do find it annoying that they are just the tabs and not the actual months, but the blank tabs do allow me to use a DayTimer Self Stick Hot List for my monthly to-dos.

I put another top tab, marked “To Do” here to remind me that there are unfinished items on this to-do list.  Anything that’s in progress gets a check mark.  When it’s finished, it gets crossed out.  If in the event that everything for the month has been done, the To Do tab will be moved to the next month’s list, as does anything left undone at the end of the month.

My weekly pages are where all of the pertinent information lives.

I have all of my appointments and events written here with start times and anything else I need to know it (these are color coded with friXion pens—red: work; purple: personal; green: due dates; orange: general notes like birthdays; blue: exercise).  I also keep track of my planned daily exercise—what was actually done is highlighted in green with the amount of time I did the activity.  Items that pertain to my health/allergies are highlighted in orange.  Blog posts are highlighted in blue.  I write any day-specific to-dos here as well.  Weekly to-dos are listed on the DayTimer Hot Sheet.

These are great because I can move them from week to week, but also from side to side.  When I’m using the left side of the weekly layout (Monday – Wednesday), the hot sheet stays on the right.  When I’m using the right side of the weekly layout (Thursday – Sunday), the hot sheet goes to the left side.  Generally, I will use this sheet until there’s no more room left—I just change the date at the top.  I use the black Today ruler to mark the current week.

At the very back of my planner, I have my father’s funeral cards in a Filofax envelope.

The Chameleon has a zipped pocket at the back, which I’m not currently using.  If I have random pieces of paper or other objects, I might put them in here.

So that’s my Compact Chameleon in a nutshell.

The pen loop is too small to put my Uniball JetStream pen in, so I just put the pen hook inside the loop.  That seems to work fine, and when the binder is snapped, the pen is quite secure.  You can see from the picture that the compact is much slimmer than the personal binder, which is what I love about it.

I hope you enjoyed Susan's post about her Filofax! If you have a Filofax and you're interested in guestposting, please let me know in the comments! 

1 comment:

  1. Well done! I never would have thought so much could be effectively put in a compact Filofax.