Sunday, June 30, 2013

Is a Planner a Planner with no Calendar?

If you have been reading my recent blog posts (and who hasn’t?!) you know that I have been struggling (for months) with the A5 vs. Personal issue. Instead of constantly changing back and forth, I decided it was time to “have a think”. (No, I am not from the UK, never even been there. But being obsessed with all things Filofax for the last 6 months, including Philofaxy, I have all of these lovely English expressions in my brain. So far, I haven’t pulled a Madonna, with the fake accent.)

In my last post I mentioned how I love the Filofax A5 WO2P vertical calendar, which I now call a diary (UK speak again?). The size is perfect for my large handwriting.

I even like the feel of the paper. I don’t know what the paper weight is, but I like that it is not as thick as cotton cream. I know, I know, everybody loves the cotton cream. Not me…don’t like the feel, don’t like the color, don’t like anything about it. And ironically, every FF I order seems to come with cc inserts!

Since A5 is too big and heavy to carry everywhere, I carry a Personal. In my futile attempts to use both, regardless of the diary format du jour, I have to “sync” them everyday. I use a monthly and a weekly (or daily) diary. That means I have 4 calendars to sync! Who has time for that?!

So here’s my latest plan. No calendar in the Personal! Blasphemy! Isn’t a calendar part of the definition of a “Planner”? It is. Until it becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

I have a typical office job…Monday-Friday, 9-5. My work calendar/notes/to do is kept, at work, on my work computer. So my Personal FF is just that, for personal stuff. While I am at work, do I really need to know what my weight was last Wednesday? Or what day I vacuumed the lampshades? Or even what days my migraines decide to mess with me? No, no and no. Many of the things on my calendar are things I need to know…when I am at home. And the other things? Well, I would know beforehand that I have a doctor’s appointment and can bring the A5 on that day.

What I need, when away from home, is lists and notes. I need a To Do list of things to do while at work (not that I would ever do personal things on company time J), of things to do & errands to run after work. I need information while I am shopping online or locally…that’s a nice rug, but will it fit in my kitchen…is that really a good deal on printer ink, how much did I pay last time…I think I already have this cookbook.

I need a place to corral all of the genius ideas that pop in (and oh so quickly out of) my head, instead of having sticky notes stuck to other sticky notes.

What I don’t think I need is a calendar. When I am sitting at my desk at work, I am surrounded by calendars…one on my computer that is always open, one on my physical desk top and one hanging on the wall. And if I get up and walk 8 ft. there is another one hanging in the hallway. When I am out ‘n about, my iPhone has a calendar (useless as it may be).

So I have pulled both calendars from my Personal. This may not be a traditional way to use a Planner, but this is my plan and I’m sticking with it…at least for this week…

Monday, June 24, 2013

Personal or A5…Why Can’t I Make Up My Mind?!

When I decided to go back to a paper planner, specifically Filofax, I kinda thought it was a no-brainer. I have big, sprawling handwriting so the Mini and Pocket sizes were not even a consideration. The A5 is the perfect size, writing-wise, but just way too heavy. I carry large handbags so it would fit. But many of my bags are 2-3 lbs, empty. By the time I add all my junk, we’re up in the 5-6 lb range. To add an A5 to that would be like carrying luggage everywhere. So that leaves the Personal…like I said, a no-brainer.

Could I be any more wrong?!

Over the past few months, I have switched back and forth between different models of Personal FF and between different calendar formats. Don’t moan, I am not going to chronicle all that here. I will, however, show you a couple of pages so you can see my dilemma with the calendar formats:

Here is a sample of my writing on a Personal size blank sheet:

I wasn’t kidding. That is my normal handwriting…I’m lucky to get 3 words on a line. Now I can write smaller if I am forced to. But I enjoy the writing experience and when I have to write small…no joy. So the Week on One Page didn’t work at all. Here’s the Week on Two Pages:

Yes, I can make this work, but no joy! And I have to use a Notes page in between for those days when a lot is going on. AND, Filofax, what’s up with Saturday and Sunday?! I have more going on on those days, not less! NEXT! Day on a Page:

I spent way too much money on this one…and I don’t like it! I don’t like the feel of the paper and the lines are too close together. I bought this one because I love color, but these colors don’t do it for me.

Maybe I need to just suck it up and carry the A5. LOVE the space:

Oh, this is nice! Plenty of room to write. I even like the feel of this FF paper.

But it’s sooo heavy!  Do I really want to carry that around everywhere? And whip it out in a store when I need a quick measurement? That’s like whipping out a phonebook! (Ok, that reference may not make sense to some of you…Phonebooks used to be made of paper and delivered to your house. Everyone had one.)

I then went through a frenzy of weighing everything. Different Personals...empty, full, ½ full.  A5, same thing.  Different handbags...with the Personal, with the A5, with no planner. Did this help me make a decision? NO. I am still switching. And, frankly, I am a little tired of it. I know from reading other blogs and watching videos, that this is a common problem. But I don’t want it to be my problem. I want to be part of that Filofax group that has found the perfect planner with the perfect format. If such a thing really exists…

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Filofax Collection – How Does One Person End Up With So Many?

Easy…I have a problem. I want. I want. I want. So I buy.

I tend to “collect” things. No, not valuable things that might appreciate in value, like paintings or antiques. Or even series collectibles, like dolls or comic books. No, I “collect” things like handbags, shoes, watches… and now, Filofaxes. But I didn’t start out with this in mind…

When I decided to move back to a paper planner, I was thinking of getting just one and it was going to be red (my favorite color) and the Personal size. Period. The End. Then the enablers over at Philofaxy and on You Tube pulled me in.

Chameleon or Finsbury? No, a Malden. Ooh, that Classic looks nice!
Are you sure about the Personal size? Those A5s have a lot of space to write (and I do have big handwriting).

I know, let’s get one of each! The A5 is too heavy to carry every day so that will be your Home Management Binder and the Personal will go in your handbag every day. Problem solved.

Except it wasn’t. Just my luck, as I started shopping, every one I wanted was being discontinued. And if the model wasn’t, the color in that model was. I don’t have a store near me to go and eyeball and hold these babies to make a decision. And I couldn’t buy one and if I didn’t like it, buy a different one later. I had to act fast before they were gone, right? Right?!  So the online order-fest began. And here is what I ended up with:

And here are my thoughts on each (Left to Right, Top to Bottom):

1. A5 Red Adelphi - Love, love, love the color! THIS is the perfect shade of red! (Or damn close). However, who was the genius that put large pockets on a FF with 20mm rings? The pockets aren’t gusseted, so you can’t fit much in and they add unnecessary bulk. Fail!
2. A5 Red Chameleon - The color is ok. I can live with it, but I don’t love it. (Color is a very big thing to me.)
3. Personal Red Finsbury - The color is better than the Chameleon, barely. But this one doesn’t lay flat. (Flatness is another big thing to me.)
4. Personal red Metropol - Love the shade of red, but it’s not leather and that is pretty obvious. AND, it doesn’t lay flat.
5. Personal Crimson Piazza - "Crimson," really?! The genius behind the Adelphi must be picking name colors. This is not Crimson in anybody’s world. Can you say Coral?
6. Personal Crimson Malden - Love the floppiness, the feel of the leather and it lays FLAT! Is this it? Is this the one? Well, it would be if it were the right shade of red. It’s way too dark and burgundyish.
7. Personal Vintage Pink Malden - Again, love everything except the color. (Pink is a close second to Red in my color world.) This is not pink.
8.     Personal Orange Osterley - Love the color, the feel of the leather, the size (even though it is not a Compact & has the same size rings as the Malden, it feels more compact). If only it came it red! Or pink.
9. Personal Compact Pink Finsbury - Love the color. But appears to be untrainable. And just don't think the Compact holds enough for me.
10. Personal Slimline Pink Classic - Love the color (This is my idea of pink!) Teeny, tiny rings.
11. Flex Slimline Red - What was I thinking?!
12. Mini Pink Classic - Perfect credit card holder. Love it!
13. Mini Red Finsbury - So over the Finsbury line.

I think you will agree. I do have a problem. I probably should just sell all these…then I can buy the perfect one…

Coming up: Personal or Compact? Or Maybe A5???

                        How to make credit card holders for your Mini

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Journey from Filofax to Digital…back to Filofax

Why would a self-described gadget girl be using a Filofax? Why would anyone be using a Filofax in 2013? Isn’t that akin to using a typewriter instead of a computer? Or backing up to a floppy disk? Do they even make Filofaxes anymore?

Back in the 80s, I was introduced to the Franklin Day Planner through one of their time management workshops. Organization and color-coding have permeated my life, so this was right up my alley. (My future ex-husband knew there were 2 places not to go--bookstores and stationery stores. I could spend hours looking at the pens and notebooks and folders and paper...) Since I never do anything halfway, I jumped in with both feet. At some point, I tried out some of the other systems that came along, Day Runner, Day-Timer and Filofax. Right on up until the invention of the Palm Pilot, I used some variation of the paper planner. The ABC, 123 thing that Franklin used as the basis of their system, it didn’t really work for me. So I came up with my own system, with pretty colored pens as the basis.

Now we are in the 90s. I had been an amateur tech geek for about 10 years so when the Palm Pilot came out, once again, in with both feet. I loved many things about the Palm, except no color. Color is very important to me. So when the PDAs with color screens came out, I was in heaven. And that is where I stayed, through many PDAs and then smartphones...
But throughout this time, something was not quite right. I always had to make my life fit into the design of these devices/apps. Just since the iPhone came on the scene, I have tried out hundreds of apps, with a good percentage of those being To Do Lists or Notes or Calendars. Some easy to use but without a lot of flexibility, others with some flexibility but way too complicated. And there was no one app that could do it all. So I found myself with different lists and notes in different apps. What a pain! Then there were the times when I couldn’t access my info (for a variety of reasons). That didn’t make me happy. AND all along, with all this technology, I still found myself jotting down paper lists and notes. What’s a girl to do?!

OK 2013. There’s gotta be a better way. One day, while wasting time on YouTube, I searched Day Timer, not expecting much. Was I surprised to find a whole community of Planner people!  And you know how that goes…one video leads to another. At some point, I found the Philofaxy blog…a friendly, helpful like-minded group. As I continued watching hours (and hours) of video, I saw this new (to me) way to use a planner…Filoscrapping. Many of the YouTubers and Bloggers had combined scrapbooking and Filofaxing. To a pen-obsessed, paper-lovin’ color-coder, it’s a thing of beauty…

Coming up: My Filofax collection-How many planners does one person need?!

                     Personal or Compact? Or maybe A5???

Sunday, June 2, 2013

“So What's Your Blog Gonna be About?”

I have had many questions on this. OK, not really, no one has asked. Although my dog appears interested. Oh wait, she just wants a cookie.

Well, just in case anyone is wondering, here’s the answer…I don’t know. Back in 2010ish, I planned to start a blog to coordinate with my YouTube channel that was mainly about makeup and related accoutrements. (Hah! How often do you get to use that word?!)  But I don’t see my blog going in that direction now. Sure there will probably be the occasional product review/rant/rave and maybe an occasional haul, but that won’t be the focus.

I have a lot of different interests. So I think I will just be writing about the hobby du jour. My current obsession is Filofax, so you will see posts about that.

I’m an organizer so (since there aren’t enough blogs about organizing) I’ll be hitting that topic.

Other interests: reading (maybe some book reviews?), cooking (former Personal Chef, so should be able to do something with that), gadget girl (gotta at least do favorite/worst apps and my latest “toys”). I’m an Accountant by trade (nah, nothing there). Althooough I mostly worked in Media (Advertising, Television, Radio), so maybe some stories…

So what have we learned? Even though you now have a glimpse into my world, there is still no definitive answer to the original question. I can tell what you won’t find here. Religion and politics. Not goin’ there. Oh, and kids. I don’t have any, so no cutesy pictures or stories. KIDS! How could I forget?! My pets…you will definitely be hearing from about them…