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…


  1. Have you ever though of printing out the 2 days per page for personal size format from philofaxy? Solved my conundrum.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I love how Steve and Ray (and others) make their designs available for free. It is refreshing to see that level of sharing.

  3. Replies
    1. I am trying to follow your advice from your recent post about not being so quick to change. We'll see how it goes...

  4. Luckily, I have a tiny little handwriting. But I agree that yours is big enough to justify an A5.

    1. It causes me problems all the time. I just can't (or don't want to?) stay within the lines.

      And am I really saving any weight using a Personal if I have to use more pages than I would using A5? Hmmm, food for thought...

  5. I also have a lot of trouble deciding between sizes. My writing is fairly small, but I tend to write a lot on each page and have always found myself annoyed by the slightly-too-narrow writing width of the Personal size, particularly once the rings are taken into account. And yet I've always found A5 binders to be too big. I wish the Personal pages were a proper A6 instead.

    One option might be Franklin Covey's Compact organisers, whose pages are the same height as Filofax Personal but wider by 13 mm (1/2 inch). If your Personal binder is wide enough, you might even be able to fit the blank Franklin Covey pages in (though you'd have to do without side tabs). It's a small difference, but it just might be enough to do the trick.

    1. I don't think I could do without the side tabs...the organizer in me would revolt! And the FC organizers just aren't as pretty as the FF ones, although I admit I haven't spent a lot of time checking them out. Are you using FC? Which one?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. I think we all want the Harry Potter of filofaxes - pocket or mini for portability (or maybe that should be port-key-ability, I am such a geek)that when opened magically turns into A5 - my idea of heaven... Oh, and the rings? They should just be whatever size fits the amount of stuff you have in there at the time :-)

    1. Sounds perfect!

      On another note...are you f'ing kidding me? A FF display case with 42 (and I am sure a lot more by now)?! I bow down to you...My little collection of 17 (yes, I have added 4 more since I wrote about my collection less than a month ago!)seems rather puny now. I'd better start shopping...