Category Archives: organizer

Filofax Swap!

I have been constantly complaining about my unsettled set-up. My past post was about how overwhelmed I am feeling by my enthusiasm; I have so many ideas and potential uses for my Filofaxes but can’t seem to finish or use at least one to its full potential.

Ok, backing up a bit.  There is one, ONE of them that has been performing better than the rest. So here I am today to talk about it. That one is my lovely Pocket Finsbury Antique Rose:

Pretty handsome, huh? 🙂

Interestlying enough this one was not like my other ones that were avidly researched and adored thru online pictures and reviews for weeks. No, that one was an impulse purchase.

He popped into my life right after I scored a bargain on Ebay!

Did you notice the “right after”? Expedite shipping? I wish!
After a few days of my Ebay purchase I painfully realized that I was about to start 2012 without that juicy Filofax bargain. My two small but crucial points to get to that conclusion were:

1- I got the bargain from Ebay (where else?)…… but Ebay from UK! (I’m in US)
2- I got it two weeks before Christmas.

Could have I had picked a worse time to wait around for a Filofax? oh! Torture!

Anyways, continuing with my justification explanation of that handsome impulse purchase.

My Domino was supposed to be the main organizer but I needed something on-the-go. And that HAD to have a money slot across, remember? Me and my silly reasoning on getting a Filofax with a cash slot.
(I admitted learned pretty quickly that I don’t use cash at all, never have any with me and my debit card is the man to go for the tough job!)

So it was a non-planned affair. I “needed” to start the year with a wallet/ calendar that I could stuff all the humongous amount of dollar bills I carry around everyday. I then decided to go to one of the few stores that sell Filofaxes where I live and get me one right there on the spot. Fearlessly just like that! And here we are unexpectedly working well together all those months.

After two months of Filofax drulling-ordering-reselling-and-keeping-some, my handsome Fins has been hanging in there with me through all the process; watching carefully and helping me keep the Filo team together by choosing the ones we had affinity with and letting go of the ones we didn’t bond well. So, Fins has been a great companion and quietly settled down and developed its own way of living. Nothing could be more fair than to present the set-up that we both feel comfortable using.
It is far from complete, I warn you! (And there are a lot of pics on this post, I should warn you about that too!)

Doesn’t he look cute in that corner all pensive?

It is a real “on-the-go” planner. Very easy to carry around.

The BEST part of it is a very unexpected one. See him inside my purse? So, my debit card is right there on the top slot. I NEVER have to take the whole binder out to get the card. It just slides in-and-out with no fuss.

How convenient is that?

Ok, now the set-up which is pretty straight forward:

Can’t get any simpler than that, really!
ID, Debit Card and Starbucks card. All the important stuff up front! 🙂

Under the “To-Do” tab I also have a shopping list separated by the stores I visit more frequently. Those are usually not urgent tasks so if I happen to be around those stores I check to see if that is something still pending.

Yeah, barely see the tabs. Somehow I manage to guess the right page. 

Than comes appointments & reminders

Appointments and Reminders in a two week per view

Then, the daily stuff.
Left side I try to break down activities for the day. On the right side on top, general to-dos, at the bottom left, school to-dos and bottom right emails and such. In the middle I keep my food log and respective points.

Daily stuff.

BTW if you noticed I had trimmed down a month worth of Flavia Day-Timer personal size inserts to fit Fins. Very annoying task, but I didn’t want to NOT use them. If you see in the second picture at the beginning, the transparent pocket has the bottom part of the Flavia inserts that I trimmed down. Those are cute scrap papers.

Did you notice all that under the “to-do” tab? Well, not really, I just use the ruler to find the day I am in. I didn’t see a need to have a “calendar” tab with the rulers.

After that comes the “notes” tab which i just realized now that I don’t have a picture of the pages. Nothing surprising thou, just colored paper and random thoughts written down.

Next section is “WW” which stands for WeightWatchers.
I used to track my food intake using jot pads sheets but didn’t work that well. The wholes are very big and the pages kept moving around a lot. It looked and felt very messy.

Previous log food system

Then, still under “WW” tab there is the month view. I track the total daily points, weekly weight in (no, it won’t go public yet!) and exercise for the week. I use color-coded circles to identify what exercise I did for day; Cardio, Yoga or PT.

Than comes the tab “Class”. So, am I  that great of student, huh? One single tab with a few pocket size sheets is all I need for my classes! hehe certainly not. I use the Circa Levenger system for all my classes which I am hoping to write a post about it at some point. That single tab there is exactly for those moments when I don’t have my circa notebooks with me and remember something pertinent to school. There you go. Questions and random thoughts about class subjects:

The last part of it are the card slots and the back pocket. Can you see my coins in there? That’s all the cash I usually carry. Just to make it more “walletish”.

Oh, and there you go! The so-crucial bills slot. Full of receipts from my debit card swipes!

Not bad, huh? Not too bulky.


All is well, right?    Nah.
It’s working after all, right?   Nah.

I can’t settle with an “ok” layout (big news!) so I need to experiment again.
Considering this is the best set-up I had so far and that I may want to come back to it later, just in case, I decided to use this post as a way to keep a record with pictures and (ahem) a “few” words. 
It is a very straight forward set-up as you saw but I still needed to “save” it somehow.

In the upcoming weeks I will be pulling apart the set-up to try to find my path in some other way……
Fins is going to relax some and a different Filofax will come in place……

—————–> Keep tuned to Filofax Swap 2 – The Attempt! ————–>

Filofax Overload

I have been very, VERY, indecisive about my Filofaxes set-up. I first had decided that the personal size would be best for me so I bought my first Filofax in a personal size. Than I felt it wasn’t big enough to carry all the notes, thoughts, personal paperwork, family planning and school stuff that I wanted. Plus that would require a huge amount of scanning-shrinking-trimming-and-punching that I wasn’t willing to put up with.

Ok, A5 it was then.

Later on came the idea of the much needed personal Happiness Project.  It is a huge project of its own. And the Domino was already in use, right?

Ok, another Personal size then.

My unwillingness to use, as a wallet, an organizer that doesn’t have the cash pocket across it made me disregard my Domino for this purpose as well. Very reasonable requirement, don’t you think? After all in today’s world, EVERY single transaction is made with cold, hard cash, right? Who pays bills on their iPhone or use debit card those days? Well, so that “cash-pocket” feature is extremely important!

Ok, Mini size with a cash slot then.

DH told me that he was jealous of my pretty Filofaxes. He really told me. He was unaware of it, but he told me.  I am good at interpreting his signals! Ha!  I “notice” that he wanted one for his birthday. *sight*

Ok, A5 for him then.

(How many more excuses can a person invent to justify madness Filofax purchases in a two month time-frame, you ask.  Possibilities are endless I admit!)

Anyhow, here they aaaarrrreee! Drum rolls again please!!!!
 ***** my current lovely Filofax collection**** – minus two of them that I didn’t bond and already sold on Ebay and DH’s that I purchased but it is not mine:

Don’t they look pretty all together like that? 🙂 hehe
Well, although all them are here and I have tons of ideas populating my mind that need to get down on paper, I just can’t find a set-up that works well for all of them (and for me of course, ha!).
I may just have to accept the fact that I went overboard and I am not going to use all them at the same time – and that hurts! :-/ Why? Well, they are so pretty and are not been used. Specially after reading at Philophaxy that the non-use of a Filofax almost ruined it! 
But I just can’t part with them. Can’t make myself sell any of them. 
The mini Finsbury is the only one REALLY not in use and that never was. It was supposed to be my wallet but took so long to arrive that I *aham* had to get some other small Filofax to start the year in an more organized fashion. My idea was to return the “provisory” one once the mini arrived but sure thing, that didn’t happened. 
The Classic one I started using as a work/career planning organizer but decided to move it to the A5 (once it gets here) as it fits the purpose of big picture planning. So right now it is just there, sitting pretty. 
The Belmont…oh, I love it so much! The leather is so soft and so smooth! So flat and feels so good to the touch! I scored it on Ebay for less than $20 and was using it as my work Filofax (taking it to work). Turned out too small. What was I thinking trying to squeeze in all the information overload that I daily receive as a new employee into a pocket size Filofax? Tsc,tsc. Didn’t work well. But I love it so much! Right now it is just hanging around at home with Ms. Baby-Fins and Mr. Pocket-Cross.
I have been checking all over the place other people’s blog to find ideas of uses for them but painfully I may just have to settle with the fact that having that many is NOT practical. Like Jotje on Philophaxy said on her amazingly insightful post: “ONE life, ONE planner” 🙂

New Filofax is here!

Happiness Project Binder is here! That means the Personal Baroque Turquoise arrived! Straight from France after ONLY SIX days of the shipping date! Unbelivable! Their time-frame was up to 25 days. I stuck with that so I wouldn’t be too anxious waiting around (yeah, right! Sure I didn’t! Who said I wasn’t refreshing the shipping tracking page everyday?). Well, it is finally here!

If you can recall I got spoiled checking pics of people getting their filofaxes in lovely black boxes. It is a small detail but what can I say? I got hooked on that! My first Filofax came from Filofax USA and I was all expectations about seeing that black box. It came straight out of a shipping box! Argh! Cheap and upsetting! So there I was excited to open the package from Filofax France. This time it couldn’t be straight out of a shipping box, right? After all, it wasn’t the cheapest Filofax they had available anyway (yeah, it was on sale, I admit!) Here is the appealing shipping box that I am sure you all came here to see 🙂

Then after opening the side of it, I see this:

ooowww, really? REALLY? I was so disappointed that I sat down and starred at it for a sec thinking “Why on earth do I keep getting organizers carelessly tossed into shipping boxes? Why not some thought when packing it? It could have scratched my lovely new Baroque if it was rubbing against that tough box! Why? Why?” I know it is not supposed to be a big deal but it bugs me to imagine a fancy Filofax organizer having the same packaging as a notebook ordered from Target. As I tried to get over my disappointment I carefully open the other side of the shipping box thinking that I would just see scratches all over and then I see this:

ooooowww such a relief!!! ok,ok, now makes sense! A Filofax box with a SIDE opening! Of course! I had seen some of those around! Why I didn’t think of it? Oh, man, I GLADLY didn’t see that coming! 😀
Here it is, a real Filofax box for me:

Now, enough with the box craziness and let’s get to the fun part! Shall we?

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you WITHOUT the scratches painfully visualized, the organizer in its whole glory:

***** The Filofax Personal Baroque in Turquoise ****** ta-daaaaaaa:

and THAT is a smooth cover
Lovely zipped pocket. I just realized that it has the same layout as the Malden. 

The details are so beautiful!
A whole cover of curves
One of my favorites 
The pics are showing the leather very “plastic-like” for some reason. It really is not.

From side to side

 As I mentioned earlier this Filofax is intended to be my Happiness Project. I have been devouring Gretchen Rubin’s book and thought I needed to give it a try. Then to make things better I stumbled upon Leonie Dawnson’s website and her lovely downloadable year planning workbook/calendar for 2012 and there it is! Incorporated into my Happiness Binder. Has cute pictures too! All her own art:

Super cute cover but printed in the Filofax white blank pages didn’t cut it. Very thin and see-through.
I’ll need to invest in a better paper and reprint later on
Lists! I love lists!
Goals for the year divided by areas.

My Happiness Binder is far from been complete, it has barely a few tabs on it so I will be posting again to show the progress. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Oh! Dilemma…

I just can’t settle with a set-up or decide on an organizer. It’s driving me nuts. Seriously.
I am enjoying my Domino but turns out it has a life of its own! It just doesn’t want to be used for serious planning, just journaling, scribbles, thoughts, aspirations, ideas and such. My 2DPP Day-timer Flavia refills are not helping with that either. There is so much room to write! It forces me to put down just about any random thought! Don’t get me wrong, I am loving that connection we are having (Domino and I). I love to have a place to jot down ideas carelessly. I am just not getting myself organized rather distracted!
So I am back to the quest of a new organizer and a new dairy refill set-up.
Why a new organizer, you ask, if I already have one? Well, that bright pinkness of my Domino will manipulate me into its same purpose again, I am pretty sure! Can’t force its nature, it is destined for fun, journaling and doodling.

Anyway here are my thoughts that just get more confusing every minute:

  • 1st – I need an A5. I am not juggling well all 5 FF I have right now and am hoping to combine three of them in one. (not the Domino, of course!);
  • 2nd – I experimented over the holidays with a FC classic 2WP inserts – which fits an A5 I heard – and I really liked it overall but the fact that appointments are so roomy and tasks are not. My schedule doesn’t change much so I don’t need that much scheduling room rather tasks to be accomplished throughout my “set-in-stone” daily routine.
  • 3rd –  I want something nicer than Domino to be my main organizer
  • 4th –  Something smooth and sleek
  • 5th – The worse of it all: I feel soooo guilty of spending money on Filofaxes again! :-/ Most of my stuff I got on sale or on Ebay, but even thou doesn’t sit well to spend more. DH has been an enabler in this case actually. He says I keep trying to spend as minimum as possible and than I get “great deals stuff” which  are not exactly what I wanted and I end up getting frustrated. Well, he is right. The best of all is him enabling me even more by saying “Don’t try to find a deal and THEN find what you want within the deal. Just get exactly what you are looking for this time.” oooohhh, I love that he is right! 🙂

So here are my visual reproductions of my 2nd, 4th and 5th points:

2nd: I like the tasks at the bottom of the page. Gives me a feeling that I am supposed to work on them after work at the end of the day which is what actually happens anyway. Just wish the space distribution was the other way around – more tasks, less appointments (and weekends evenly spaced with weekdays):

Layout I tried out over the Holidays

4th: It would be sooooo perfect to find that gorgeous Panama in A5!

Can’t get smoother or sleeker than that!

5th: There goes the ultimate guiltiness pleasure (inspired by DH):

So beautiful!

and that one:

All the cool kids have it!
Seriously, all the Filofax experts fall in love with it. Should I dare?
Well, will see how everything unfolds. One thing is for sure, I need to get some system going and quick!


My lovely first Filo hanging by the vanity…still waiting for my inserts from Day-timer… to hopefully finalize my 2012 setup!

Meanwhile I have been buying Filofaxes from Ebay like crazy! Well, the deals were good, what can I say? 🙂
I got a gorgeous Belmont pocket size that is so pretty I was afraid to use it. The leather is so soft and smooth! I got two personal Finsburys although I decided that one of them will go for sale pretty soon as we didn’t “click” as well. Also I purchased a pocket classic that I am very content and has been filling its purpose wonderfully! Anyway, pretty soon I am hoping to upload some pics of my setup for those other ones as well.

It has been a very good process for me to sort out and experiment with different organizers, purposes and layouts. Feeling very content and peaceful those days! A big thanks to my organizers helping me achieve a more well-ran life!

An Unusual Planner

As my big resolution at the end of 2011 I am on my quest to have a much better planned and organized life in 2012. After much research I ended up purchasing a couple of Franklin Coveys and my first Filofax (all about it here). Although I abandoned the FC binders shortly after and am still working on the set up of my Filofax, the one thing I was sure was that I couldn’t put all my plans in one single organizer.

After reading about WeekDate calendars at Plannerisms AND reading in someone’s blog (sorry, no link this time. I don’t remember where I read it) that the FlyLady system is very compatible with WeekDate, I decided to go for it! That planner would be just for house chores/work.

Throughout my digging here and there searching for a “perfect” organizational set up, I found this lovely idea by Jen Hewett.  Her concept is based on post-it reminders that we all once had placed around our monitors in an attempt to not forget tasks (important or not). You can read more about it on her own blog.

So… I decided to incorporate it to my WeekDate planner. 

On the left side – better saying on the back side – of the calendar I will stock up all the chores/ tasks that come to mind in no specific order like this:

Throughout the daily calendar then I will move and spread those tasks/chores into specific days like that:

If something can’t be done as planned I just move the sticker to another day. I am really making WeekDate’s “only write it once” motto happens!
Anyway, I hadn’t color coded anything yet as I want to make it as simple as possible but I may have to do it. I have been experimenting with it this past week and will be bringing my updates on that system pretty soon!
One more pic just for the fun of it and thanks again for reading my blog!

Filofax First Moments!

Here I am, last day of the year and finally putting together my very first post on my new blog. Excellent 2011 wrap up! This first one will be an homage to a bright insight regarding my new organizational tool! Better saying an homage to awareness of how I looooove paper & pen!  I am so excited with this discovery! I always loved it but just recently realized I have that special bond with paper & pen.
 I have been using solemnly my ICal to organize my live thru the past two years and I don’t know how I survived!

I just finished my first semester in grad school, and oh boy! How chaotic that was! I am glad it was like that so I could finally see how I need to update myself in organizational methods!
And by update I mean going back to paper & pen, yay!
Also this Christmas was the first one we had out-of-town family coming over. I also started a new job in the midst of it. So many little projects to be done and things to get prepared. If I had been just a little more *organized* throughout the year, we would had gone thru the Holidays much merrier and joyful. What a mess the last few months! Enough with the complaining, I got THE solution:
(drum-rolls) taaa-daaaaaaaaaa: 
Exits IPhone enters Filofax!
Oh boy, I am so excited! I am so excited! I ordered my first one! But I am getting ahead of myself, let me back up some…
First of all, right at the beginning of my research for the perfect system to get me on “top of things” I landed on this lovely website:
My stomach went upside down! How could I gave up paper? Look at all that fun! 
I continued thru the past few weeks avidly discovering and reading blogs on the subject as well as doing some experiments of my own. I ended up purchasing two Franklin Covey from Ebay, one classic size and one pocket size. I played around with them and found pros and cons. Hence, many cons came to my mind – ugliness, bulkiness, etcetc – after digging in deeper into Filofax’s blogs! In special the expert folks from Philofaxy and the inspiring ladies at Caribbean Princess and Gala Darling! Oh, how could I dare not try one out? Yes, I have NEVER used a Filofax! I dearly remember my mom caring it around everywhere she went thou! Good memories. Mom can’t be wrong. And then I went in the quest of my first Filo!

Ebay didn’t cut it. I wanted the feeling of getting my first one from the real store. In my case “real store” means because there is no actual Filofax store in my city. 
After days of browsing, searching, reading, searching some more, checking blogs, pictures of wonderfully organized Filofax I purchase my very first one! A personal pink Domino! I am so excited that hurts! It was a long week waiting for that FedEx…
I ended up choosing that one for two good reasons: 1-Very affordable, hence SALE; 2-According to my blog research this one has good size rings that can handle tons of fun sheets and inserts.
Well,well, the long torturous week pass by and finally it arrived! I must say I got spoiled looking at pictures of Filofaxes online and the lovely black box they come in. Mine didn’t! :-/ Argh! Disappointment! Certainly, SALE and AFFORDABLE mean less fancy so no black cute box to open. Straight out of the shipping box:

Oh it’s fine! Details, details! That doesn’t really matter! 🙂 Moving on, here is the full view of my first Filofax beauty:

So pretty! Now other angles & views:

I have tons of idea on how to use my new cutie to help me get organized with school, house and work but hadn’t settled in one format yet. I did however purchased a few supplies for it:
And how fun is that? I am so excited! look at that “bandage memo” post-it thingy! And all the pen colors from that german brand that I just found! Oh, boy! 
Now one thing I must mentioned that disappointed me, and I gave to it more importance than the lack of a black box: When totally opened, the back of the cover forms some “bubbles”. It doesn’t maintain the cover smooth when opened flat. Sure, if the binder is opened I will be writing or reading it and won’t look at the back…but even thou, I didn’t like it, seemed not well crafted or something. Here is a pic of that “bubbled” back part, but it is not showing them very well:
Oh well! Moving on! 🙂 I can’t help but feel extremely excited and happy with my Filofax overall and here goes some more pics, heehee:

Ok, enough with the silliness. 
As I mentioned earlier I have been researching some organization systems and tools and ended up purchasing two Frankley Covey binders. I didn’t like the binders but loved some of the inserts. One of them, shown below, is a ongoing to-do list that can move around with the Filofax ruler:

At that moment – as I tried to figure out how to organize my tabs – I had no problem setting up the stickers and jot pad handy in the plastic sheet and pocket respectively. Here it is how it was looking like that day:
And my first entry:
So since the 17th I have been changing things, moving around some others, and having tons of fun! I will post another update of it once I settle down on a layout!
As I am an pic freak, just for “funzies” here are some more:
Have a fun, colorful and exciting New Year’s Eve everyone! Thanks for reading!