Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Filofax for over Fifties

My working life is over. No longer do I have to juggle timetables, schedules and attend meetings, seminars and events. I don't have to plan my day to the hour or minute, nor do I have to organise working life around family life with children and their commitments. 

This new retired life does not involve the stress of trying to fit everything in, only the joy of organising the things I want to do and the smooth running of my home.

Do retired people, therefore, need to use a Filofax? Should there be that much organising and planning? Perhaps not but I've been drawn back into the old habits of planning my days and organising my life so the Filofax (es) come in very handy.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a FB group for people of the older generation who still have a hankering to write down 'stuff' to keep their lives in order.

'Filofax for over fifties' sounded good. 

But is it needed? Maybe, maybe not. When I first started this planner journey I only found one lady who had done some YT videos about Filofax for oldies and some of her ideas were extremely interesting and helpful, but most of the information I could glean came from young and middle aged working people or students. I'm sure there are many in retirement who like to organise and plan their lives, recording their hobbies, homelife, travel and interests in a binder, planner or organiser.

Perhaps there may be a place for a  'Planning for Pensioners' group or 'Organising for Oldies'. Who knows? I do know that I'd like to see more ideas from the older generation, the baby boomers who are still booming and blooming.

Happy Planning

Monday, 27 June 2016

Are you in charge of your Filofax?

Or is your Filofax in charge of you?

"Well, of course I'm in charge of my Filofax. I'm the one that writes in it and works out schedules. It's me who works out what tasks need to be done at particular times and on particular days so that I am working at my optimum productivity. My day will run much more smoothly if I organise my day so that not a minute is lost. The future is now known because I have planned it beforehand - I will be prepared. Yes, I'm definitely in charge and all the better for it - a whizz at organisation, an answer for every eventuality and the person to come to in case of emergency. My Filofax will give me the answers."

"Well, maybe I'm not in charge - I worry because I've neglected to hoover the stairs and I should have done today, you know - it says so here on the Wednesday! Sorry, can't do that, I have to weed the garden. I'm doing my planning of the week this evening so it's not convenient for me to go out for a walk. I can't do planning on a Monday - it's got to be Sunday night. I plan for the week, see, and my week begins on a Monday. Yes, always a Monday. Now look, the line I've drawn is not straight. My colours don't co-ordinate - I'll have to start again!"

Yes, I am in charge of my Filofax and no, I will not let it get in charge of me. If I don't keep to schedule - tough. If I haven't crossed off all my tasks - hard luck. I'll embrace spontaneity and creativity whenever the fancy takes me rather than rigidly sticking to the 'orders' I have written down. I will not fret because the loos weren't cleaned today nor will I worry that I've not succeeded in finishing my book this week. I shall live life in the here and now and not through my Filofax. 

There I've been assertive. Now where's my Filofax I'd better plan in this creativity and spontaneity lark so I'm prepared for the next time!

Happy Planning

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Uses for a Filofax

The most obvious use for a Filofax is as a diary but sometimes it can be difficult to fit everything in if the owner has a busy life with many interests. Multiple planners are an ideal solution and can be used in lots of different ways. I have started to make a list, having viewed videos, read blogs and questioned Facebook groups about this very subject. My thanks to all who have inspired me and if anyone can add to this list please leave a comment below. I have suggested possible tabs to go with some of the titles and again if others can suggest more I'm sure they would be of help to people researching this subject.

1. Tracking a learning course
Books needed, Dates, Exercises, Essays, Exam examples

2. Job, Work, Business

3. Goals
Home, Personal, Professional, Family

4. Projects
Decorating, Garden, House building

5. Finances
Money in, Money out, Debt repayment

6. Lists
Grocery, Book, Birthdays, Anniversaries

7. Recipes

8. Meal planning
Weekly meals, Shopping List, Meals to try

9. Unused inserts

10. Stickers

11. Journalling
Travel, Daily

12. Car
Emergency Numbers, Roadside assistance, Insurance, Family Contacts, Service Details, Donor Card

13. Books
To Read, Read, Authors, Reviews

14. Songbook

15. Hobbies
Knitting, Fishing, Golf, Craft

16. GTD
Capture, Clarify, Organise, Reflect, Engage

17. Health and Fitness

18. Home
Inventory, Budget, Finances, Medical Histories

19. Addresses
Friends, Colleagues, Relatives, Business

20. Archive
Monthly, Weekly, Daily pages

21. Social Media
Blog, Vlog, Pinterest, Facebook

22. Occasion and Event planning
Birthdays, Anniversaries, Wedding, Visitors, Picnics, Fayres

23. Passwords
Email, Social Media, Shopping

24. Affirmations and Quotes

25. 43 Folders System or 17 Dividers System
A-Z, Months

26. A - Z / Information / Lists 

27. Notes

28. Wallet
Cards, Notes, Lists, Bus Times

29. Bucket List with ways to achieve everything

30. Music

31. Travel Planner
Documents, Packing List, Daily Log, Places to Visit

32. Christmas
Card List, Countdown, Present List

33. My Locality
Restaurants, Places to go, Places visited

34. Spare Paper
Grid, Lined, Plain

35. House Hunting

36. Tracking
Sleep, Weight, Health condition, Mood

37. Garden

38. Family History

39. Family
Life events, Clothes sizes

40. Baby Binder

41. Reference

42. Diary/Personal/Professional

43. Brain Dump/Bullet Journal

Please leave a comment, also, if you use any of these suggestions for your own planners or organisers. I  have a personal diary, hobbies, spare paper, Christmas, home, wallet, Brain Dump, travel and an A-Z Filofax.

Happy Planning

Crochet cover for my Craft Organiser

Here's cover number 2 this time for my fluro pink A5 Original. It's a different style in that ...

the Filofax is inserted from the side into a bag style cover.

The stitch is box stitch with a UK double crochet border of 3 rounds. A crocheted strap holds the cover in place.

This cover is much better than my prototype as it does not flap about because the edges are sewn together.

I'm quite pleased with this one and if I can find some Dark Aqua or Fuchsia pink wool ...

I shall be crocheting another and learning different stitch at the same time. I think this Fluro pink Original will become my Craft Organiser containing crochet, knitting and sewing information with pages for - 

Works in Progress

Library of Future Projects

and a

Supplies List.

Happy Planning

Friday, 24 June 2016

Filofax Finking Friday 2

My new to me A5 lilac Original arrived and joined the family. I've made it a cover but stilI wonder how I'll use it. Perhaps I'll just look at it first.

There's lots of different ways of using a Filofax.

Hobbies file
Health and fitness
Home Binder
Travel Journal
Buying and Selling
Blogging and Vlogging

I'm sure I can think of more.

Now how I can utilise the diary pages?

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Filofax crocheted cover

I read somewhere on the web (Philofaxy Facebook group, I think) about one person who had crocheted a cover for her personal Original lilac Filofax. I thought it was wonderful and wondered if I could do one of my own - not that I take my planner anywhere. I duly set to and started hooking. Here's the result - my lilac A5 Original Filofax crochet cover.

It's basically a rectangle done in any stitch and then I put on a border (because my rectangle was too small)! To finish off I crocheted a strap to hold the cover in place around the planner.

By adding buttons I could make the cover similar to the real thing.

Here it is in all its glory but I doubt if I will use it as the Filofax stays at home on my shelf. I'll put its outdoor coat away for now but my crochet mojo is still strong and another coat may soon be hot off the press. I've got some bright pink yarn and a pink Original is winging its way towards me and should arrive anytime soon. :)

Happy Planning

Favourite pens for my Filofax

Once a favourite pen is found then writing in a Filofax is a delight. The pen that works for me for writing in my Filofax is the Pilot Frixion pen in the colour black. These pens are extremely convenient in that if a mistake is made the ink can be rubbed out by friction with the other end of the pen. My first pens came from B&M Bargains and were £4.99 for two. One day I found a  packet containing the same pen but with a clicker to bring down the nib. The pack also contained 2 refills. I think that pack cost £5.99. This clicker pen is now my favourite and is housed through the rings in my pocket Malden Brain Dump.

In order to satisfy the collecting addiction I ordered some coloured Pilot Frixion Pens off Ebay but at the moment I'm just testing them out and they are not part of my daily jottings. I've tried colour coding things in my organiser and it's too much of a put down, pick up ritual that I've stuck to the black and stubbornly refuse to move until I find a way of using the colours with the least amount of faff.

Happy Planning.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Colour Coding

Colour coding stops my creative flow and is not for me as this Haiku poem illustrates.

Idea flits in

Use blue pen? Red pen? Green pen?

Idea flits out

Happy Planning

Recording Information using a Filofax

* I use an A-Z system in my Microfile for recording small pieces of information. Since my last post on this planner I have added a few more pages and taken a few away. Here are my additions.
Various room cleaning pages so I know which bits of a room have had a thorough clean.

* Some information about my day is put onto my Monthly Pages in my Personal ochre Malden just to fill in the gaps.

My Fuscia A5 Original used to hold information on my hobbies. Now it just holds information on buying and selling on Ebay. 

My Aqua A5 holds information on my other hobbies - language learning and dancing.

A Red Piazza personal holds my Christmas preparation information including addresses.

My Pennybridge holds emergency information.

My Finsbury A4 is my Home Binder in progress and holds information on household matters.

My Brain Dump in my Pocket ochre Malden holds the information that spills from my brain and 

My Mini ochre Malden holds information about my diet.

I suppose everything that is written down in a planner is information of one sort or another but each of these systems of holding information in multiple planners seems to work for me at the moment.

Happy Planning

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Bullet Journal and Filofax

I use my pocket Malden as a Brain Dump and it is set out in Bullet Journal style. It captures thoughts, reflections, don't forgets and ideas, all of which transfer to my different Filofaxes. As soon as an entry is done, scheduled or forwarded then it is crossed off. Once I have finished writing a 2 page spread I move any un-ticked entries on to the next page. (This helps me to increase my productivity and I'd like to finish most of the tasks before I turn over and then I won't have to repeat an entry.)

When all entries are completed the whole page is crossed out.

I don't need an Index page in my Bullet Journal as I don't need to reference any particular page regularly except the current one and that page I mark with a sticky tab. When I finish all the pages in the planner I shall compost all the pages that are crossed out and deal with any Topic or Collection pages that are left.

Happy Planning

PS I've just looked through my BJ and found some Topic pages I've not crossed. One is of my veggie garden layout and I shall be transferring this information to my new (to me) Filofax which should be arriving soon. Yippee!

Another is the Shipping Forecast areas - Viking, N. Utsire, S. Utsire etc. I shall keep this page for a while longer until I can recite them all! :)

A third is some Pimms recipes. I shall transfer these to my recipe book.

I did try forming a Yearly Plan. That one's going!

Meal Suggestions will go in my Home Binder.

Well that's all the pages sorted now. Time for some big crossings out! Perhaps I need a stamp that says - 


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fellow Filofax Followers and Fanatics

It's lovely to have comments from people who have the same Filofax addiction, hobby, fascination, interest as I have. My family and friends look on with gentle and kindly disbelief and DH generously tolerates my habit. My Filofax collection is steadily growing, fuelling my hunting and gathering instincts - hunting down new to me planners on auction sites, car boots and charity shops, gathering together different sizes, styles and colours.

My latest addition is an A5 Original in lilac,

a colour that sits well with my other Originals,

a patent Fuchsia and a Dark Aqua.

I've found a use for the pen elastic already, using it to store my Pilot Frixion coloured pens. I don't put them through the loop but just catch them on with their pen top clips. That way I don't stretch any loops.

I saw a crocheted cover on a Facebook page and found exactly the same colour yarn in my stash (another collection) so I'm busy now crocheting a coat for this beauty. Can't have it scratched when I take it out, now can we?

This planner is currently housing a little bit of journalling recording 'what I did today' because I don't like wasting the 2016 weekly pages that came with it. At the moment it is sitting beside me, as new planners do, keeping me company with its bright personality.

So, Fellow Filofax Followers and Fanatics, another thank you from me - I mustn't keep you from your 'Filofax Fix' a moment longer.

Happy Planning

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Systems in a Filofax

My Filofaxes enable me to put various systems into operation, systems that help in the smooth running of my life. Having, or devising a system to help or overcome a problem allows some form of control to take place so relieving stress and worry about how to cope. The following systems are used in my planning and organising. By clicking on the relevant side labels more information can be found about my systems.

1. GTD - Most people like to Get Things Done and out of the way and then they can relax. 
My GTD system is in my pocket Malden.

2. Tracking - A greater insight into the whys, wherefores and whens can be gained with tracking. I have tracked, am tracking or am forming a tracking system for the following:-
a. Habits eg. Am I drinking enough water? Why do I sometime have Restless Legs? Am I eating enough fruit and veg?
b. Targets eg. Have I reached my goal weight? I'd like to finish my current crochet project by the end of the month. I'd like all the fences painted by the end of Spring.
c. Tasks - eg. Are we keeping up with the housework and gardening? When do the potatoes have to be harvested?
d. Finance eg. Am I overspending? How much do I have left in the food budget? What's my average spend on food per month?
My tracking is found in my personal Malden, my mini Malden and my A-Z Microfile

3. Recording information eg. Addresses, Birthdays, Car information
My recording of information is found in my personal Malden, my A5 Originals, my Travel Planner and my A-Z Microfile.

4. Appointments e.g. Doctor's, Dentist's, visits
My appointments are in my personal Malden.

Happy Planning

Friday, 17 June 2016

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

What's not in my Filofax

Having viewed numerous videos on Filofaxes, planners and organisers I've come to the conclusion that there's an awful lot of stuff that goes into other people's Filofaxes which does not feature in mine.

Stickers - I've tried, yes I've tried (not very hard though) to have a few stickers here and there but as an eco warrior most of my diary pages will be composted at the end of the year and the addition of more paper goes against the grain. It's also a chore to me to decorate pages. The simpler my systems the better.

Washi tape - I've tried, yes I've tried and got the tape to prove it. I've edged and bordered, topped and tailed but again it's rather a chore unless I'm in the mood to be artistic.

Sticky notes - I use them very rarely and don't keep them with my Filofax as invariably they curl up or mess up. Other people can keep them in the pockets straight and pretty but mine just look crammed in so I don't like them there. When I do need a sticky note to jot down something I can never find them now.

There must be some videos out there that don't start off with a talk about stickers, paperclips and dingly dangly things (pretty as they are). The ones that are about using a Filofax showing systems in action seem few and far between.

I'm not knocking the 'let me show you the decorated pages of my planner' vids at all as there are some very creative and talented people out there - my feeble attempts at decoration leave a lot to be desired! I'd just like to see some creative ideas that are not just to do with the look of a page.

My planner journey has seen me trying to tailor a system of planning that works for me using multiple planners, (My name is mum and I'm a Filoholic!), and I'd love to find videos and blogs that show and share similar journeys.

Happy Planning

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Where to put old diary pages

Being an 'Eco Warrior' I hate waste of any kind and therefore I like to re-use and adapt pages rather than buy them new. This is probably why my planners are such a hotch potch of different papers. Also being a functional planner not much in the way of decoration or art features either. I started out trying to pretty up my pages but then I thought - "What am I going to do with them at the end of the year?" Is there any reason to keep any of my pages? I made a decision just to keep the monthly overview pages in another binder and dispose of the rest in the compost bin.

My Bullet Journal pages go the same way. Once a page is completed the whole page is crossed out. At the end of the year or even before the crossed out pages will be torn up and composted. Everything will have been done or sorted on them so I will have no further use for them. They might as well make themselves useful and help improve my soil!

If you have a journal or diary pages what happens to them at the end of the year - recycled, composted, shredded, archived (and for how long?) or tossed?

Happy Planning

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Morning Routine and Filofax Routine

My Morning Routine does not need to be written down in my planner as it is more or less the same every day involving breakfast, getting up, washing, tidying etc. As for the Filofax I just have a quick look at what is written for the day to remind me of the tasks that need to be tackled, the appointments to keep and the errands to run.

It's in the evening when I have the time to sit down that my Filofax Routine takes place. Armed with any receipts, my Brain Dump Bullet Journal and my in-tray.

I first of all sort out my cash tracking and note down any further actions on the finance front.

From my Brain Dump Filo inspirations are transformed into tasks and to-dos or scheduled on the calendar.

A check on the meal plan is next so I know what to take out of the freezer for the next day. If I've put something in the freezer such as leftover meals this will be noted down in the relevant place.

I look at yesterday's entry and tick off tasks and to-dos etc. and check my calendar to look at anything that needs to be noted in the weekly pages.

I like to record, in one sentence, the Best Bit of the Day and this goes in my Best Bit Book which has dates for the next 5 years. In future years I can compare what I've liked on any particular day. There's always at least one 'Best Bit' in the day even if it's just - "Turned over and snatched 5 minutes more sleep this morning."

I note in my mind any tasks, appointments or errands, even though I look at them again in the morning and I record or note, if necessary, any follow ups to the tasks of my day such as - details of any medical appointments.

Finally I tackle any stray pieces of paper from my in-tray and note, recycle or file the papers.

Really it's just taking stock of the day and preparing for the next and the chore becomes a hobby when using a Filofax.

Happy Planning

PS A click on the labels at the side or under the post will give more detail on the Bullet Journal.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Filofax Pennybridge zipped pocket used as a wallet

I've finally found a use for my red Pennybridge which has been patiently sitting on a shelf just waiting to be useful. I'm going to use it as my purse/wallet instead of my raspberry mini Finsbury. My mini Finsbury has been a constant companion on my shopping expeditions holding all I needed for 'going out' but recently I've been hankering after a change and have decided to put the mini aside and see how a pocket size copes with the demands of being lugged about in the outside world. My mini Finsbury stood up really well and there's not a mark on it even after being shoved in bum bags, baskets and totes.
Pennybridge, you have a lot to live up to. Here's a tour. 

The outside is smooth and colourful and I've embellished it with my bag bells and a shopping cart token.

I may put my bus pass in the outside pocket to keep it to hand.

Inside are some bus timetables and a place to put receipts. My pen of choice is a Pilot Frixion.

I've a list of bus times from places where I hop on and off.

The times of minutes past the hour are very handy when I'm setting out for a journey.

Following on I have some blank pages to jot down notes or lists. I don't keep a diary in here as anything I write will get transferred to my diary at home if need be. There's a page for emergency numbers and a list of my medication.

The back section houses my debit card and ...

the purse section is home to more cards - membership and business cards.

The Pennybridge has a real purse like section and there's plenty of room for change.

Having loads of card slots means I can put in 'loads' of cards. In the back section I have some Ikea measuring tapes in case I want to measure anything. I've also put a tissue in there.

Oh my it looks stuffed, doesn't it. Just a shake of the loose change will even out the coins and straighten it up.

I have only just set up this wallet and it still has to prove itself but it feels good in my hands, holds what I want and because it is zipped I feel my cards are a little more secure.

Happy Planning.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Pockets, slots and fasteners

What's in my pockets?

In my mini Finsbury  - paper money and a bus timetable
In my pocket Malden - nothing
In my personal Malden - nothing
In my A5 Originals - nothing
I started out by trying to fill these pockets in the organisers but I found that stickers got lost, untidy, dirty or bent and anything else I put in I forgot about!

What's in the slots?

In my mini Finsbury  - debit and store card
In my pocket Malden - nothing
In my personal Malden - nothing
In my A5 Originals - a note book

It's the same with the slots - I don't fill them for the sake of filling them.

Which organisers are fastened?

Only the mini Finsbury which goes shopping with me, the others I leave unfastened as I don't want to put wear on the strap by pressing and pulling. This may seem silly but I've seen the damage that can be done with dirty mits leading to greasy and worn marks on the end of the fastener. I'd rather try to keep them looking new. If they don't need to be fastened, I don't fasten.

What's in your pockets and are they useful? Do you try to fill every pocket and slot and do you always fasten up your Filofax with that reassuring click!

Happy Planning.

Monday, 6 June 2016

What has your planner done for you?

My planner has allowed me to organise my days productively. I am now able to get more things done, the things I want to do and also the things I have been avoiding. It has helped me to menu plan and shop without waste, keep track of my health issues, organise a cleaning schedule, gather my thoughts, achieve movement towards my goals and carry out my yearly, weekly and daily tasks. My ideas can be brought to fruition or ruled out completely. My planner stores information which can be accessed easily using simple systems to make sure nothing is overlooked. My planner is constantly evolving in response to improved efficiency so making my life more productive.

What has your planner done for you?

Happy Planning.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Hole punches for my DIY Filofax pages

Making DIY pages for my Filofax meant punching my own holes in the paper. My first hole punching tool was this single hole punch which I found in our office. It worked but I always had to mark where the holes were to go by laying over another sheet that had the holes already punched. It was very time consuming to do this but I did until ...

I saw on a Y Tube video a way to punch single holes with an ordinary hole punch. Brilliant but still time consuming until ...

I read about this punch and saw one for sale on Ebay. I paid £25 for this new punch and it's worth every penny. It punches holes for mini, pocket and personal sized pages.

The adjustments are made at the back of the punch by simply moving the springy posts. It's so quick and easy to punch correctly spaced holes now. 

Unfortunately it did not punch holes for A4 Filofaxes which have just 4 holes. Each pair of holes can be punched separately with a normal hole punch but it meant lining up with another sheet of paper and was very fiddly until ...

I found this giant at a Car Boot Sale which punched 4 holes. 

It looks like a pair of 'conjoined' normal hole punches and works a treat for punching the correctly spaced holes for the A4 pages. A bargain at £2.

Happy Planning.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Habit Tracking

I use a few systems in my Filofax to help me make and track habits. One of the first habits I wanted to make sure I was doing was drinking enough water throughout the day. Many people put a water tracker on their daily page, which consists of an outline of 8 glasses or just a rectangle of 8 squares, and then colour in a square or glass for each 250ml of water drunk that day. By the end of the day the recommended 2 litres of water should have been consumed. Easy to tell when all the squares are coloured. Once I knew that I was regularly colouring in 8 squares I saw no need to track this habit as it had become part of my day - no point in tracking what I was already doing.

Setting up a cleaning system in my organiser enabled me to tidy and clean all areas of my home and then keep them that way. Once this habit of cleaning and tidying was regular then the prompts in my diary did not need to be there. Habit learned and in progress so no need to record anything. (My first cleaning system can be seen here.)

At the moment I'm trying to lose a little weight so again a system has been set up in my mini Filofax to enable me to get into the habit of eating to lose weight. Once the required weight has been achieved I shall alter this system so that I maintain that weight and don't go over. Again when all this becomes a regular habit I shall have no need to record any information and that tracking will cease. (Please click on the 'diet and weightless planner' label for more information.)

So my Filofaxes are used to help me form a habit, maintain a habit and then the tracking stops. (Please click on the 'tracking' label for more information.)

Friday, 3 June 2016

Thoughts on Planner Peace

I'm sure Planner Peace is different for each person who uses a planner. Here are my thoughts in no particular order.

Planner Peace
5 different perspectives

1. When a planner works for you. Your days run smoothly and are productive with both work, rest and play at optimum levels.

2. When the planner you have wanted for ages is now in your hands.

3. When you've completed a section of your  planner collection e.g. all the colours of a certain type of planner, all the sizes of a certain type of planner, one of each size of a certain type of planner …..

4. When a planner makes you feel as though you want to carry it around with you all the time.

5. When all your planners are being used and all improve or enhance your life.


1. Life changes and so too does the planner so new systems have to be worked out.

2. Once you've got the planner you wanted there's always the next one on the horizon and so the collection grows and the searches and researches continue.

3. Once you have a collection of a certain type then the mind begins to want another collection of a different type. The grass is always greener on the other side.

4. Familiarity breeds contempt and a change is as good as a rest.

5. Many people have multiple planners which they don't use.

So, is there such a thing as Planner Peace?

My conclusion is yes and no. Yes for a short time and no, because we are all creative and want to keep acquiring planners and inventing systems for our planners. Once something works then it's only natural that we want to improve on that enabling our planning systems to evolve and improve.

Planner Peace? Are all your planners making you happy and content? Which numbers apply to you and your planners?

Happy Planning.