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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Filofax 2 Days Per Page Experiment Continued

It's Day 3 of my Filofax 2 Days Per Page diary experiment, and things are going well.  I thought I'd take the time to discuss why I decided to give my Filofax another try, and why this diary setup in particular might just be The One.

First of all, I experienced a Trinote Fail.  Imagine a 2-page spread, 14 inches across and 9 3/8 inches tall, filled top to bottom and side to side with writing. Really, the weekly pages were so full I didn't even know where to look first.  My day columns were filled with tasks and appointments in such a way that I could hardly see what needed to be done. Faced with all that writing, I couldn't even prioritize what to do next.

I actually went back to my Large Moleskine Day Per Page diary for a couple of days to try to regain some focus. But two days is about the longest that a DPP works for me due to the lack of forward planning.  The other issue I have with a large day per page is I tend to over-task myself and write more things on the page than I'm able to accomplish in the day.

Then the other day I was looking for planner inspiration by going through my favorite photos on Flickr and noticed that gcm2011 uses a 2 Days Per Page diary format in his personal Cuban.

I noticed that each day's space (half the page) is about the same size as a normal size Post-It note. And that made me think of the post If It Won't Fit On A Post-It, It Won't Fit In Your Day that I had on my post A Collection of To-Do Tips.  It occurred to me that this size for the day spaces might just be the ideal size: plenty of space to write details, but small enough to keep me realistic about what I can accomplish in one day.

When I posted my Philofaxy post Your Stories: Reaching Your Goals With Your Filofax, under You Might Also Like a post came up that I wrote in November 2009 called Goals and Tasks.  Obviously goals is a topic I come back to often.

But upon reading my Goals and Tasks post I discovered a recurring issue.  If you can sift through that wordy post you'll find that I wrote:

My problem is, I am terribly "out of sight, out of mind." So if my tasks are behind a tab somewhere, they are forgotten indefinitely. But if I write everything on my weekly pages that I want to do, the low-priority tasks mingle with the more urgent ones, my page fills up with tasks, and I get overwhelmed and don't know what to do next.

Obviously I was having this issue more than a year ago.  I need to figure out a system that allows me to see the important stuff, while having the lower-priority items off my weekly page but not lost forever.

So I have very high hopes for the 2DPP diary.  Big enough to record details.  Small enough to keep me from becoming overwhelmed. My Lists section can hold the lower-priority or long-term tasks so my weekly page doesn't get too full.  Sounds great!

Some potential pitfalls to look out for and figure out how to manage:

1) The 2DPP doesn't allow me to see the entire week in one view. It's Monday-Thursday on one two-page spread, then Friday-Sunday (plus a very handy notes space) on the next 2-page spread.  Also, the days are not columns, which has been my preferred format for awhile now.  Will this be a deal-breaker?

2) No specific place for task lists separate from the day spaces on the Mon-Thurs spread. I'll have to assign tasks to particular days.

3) I was really hoping I could find a bound-book planner that would serve my needs for 2011.  I tend to lose Filofax pages, and I really like the idea of having my entire year encapsulated and archived in one bound book.  But if I can be diligent about archiving, maybe I can almost recreate this effect.  The flexibility of the Filofax (being able to have my various sections, goals, add in pages as needed etc.) might just outweigh the archival qualities of a bound book.

I love everything about my Filofax except that I've had no luck finding a diary format that works for me for the past several years.  I've had enormous success with my Filofax in the past, so I know this system can work for me. But over the years as I've become busier the small day spaces failed, and day per page diaries don't work for me despite multiple attempts.

Could the 2 Days Per Page be the compromise that solves all of my Filofax issues once and for all??

Only time will tell!

But don't worry, I'll still do my WeekDate and Moleskine Vertical Weekly experiments in January. You know me, I can't pass up the opportunity to try a new planner! ;)


  1. I'm feeling so good about this setup that I went ahead and ordered the 2011 2 Days Per Page diary insert! I also got more blue lined paper for my Goals section, a vertical 2012 calendar for future planning, and some cotton cream to-do pages.

    I use my colored sticky flags a lot but don't like having to buy the insert often because it's somewhat expensive. I was thrilled to find replacement sticky flags at Tesco for cheap! It's not the entire insert like Filofax's, just the flags but they are exactly the same with the exact same colors! Hooray!

  2. Have you looked at Moleskine's weekly + notebook? I use it in a pocket size but it comes larger, too. I can write what HAS to be done on each day ie. dentist appointment and on the right hand notes page write thing to complete that week.A lot of things in my life belong on the right hand page. You can print off a week or two of templates from the Moleskine site to test drive it.

  3. Thanks for mentioning me in your blog. I am really sold on the 2 days per page format. When there is too much information for one day or I need to add some information outside of an individual day, then I use a Jot-Pad note. The Jot-Pads are a wonderful tools. Hope you are happy with your 2 days per page when they arrive and you plug them into your Filo.

  4. Laurie, here is a link to a Jot-Pad picture that I posted on Flickr.


  5. Or you could switch from Trinote to the mighty President to still have the weekly column overview with more space. I may be able to do a review once I receive mine from QV...:)

  6. Beverley--I used a large Moleskine weekly notebook for much of 2009, but the day spaces weren't big enough for me. You can read about that saga here:


    Thanks Greg! I love that Jot Pad photo, that would be a good option for overflow.

    Christine I think I would be even more overwhelmed with the huge President! I would love to see your review, would you like to post it here on Plannerisms or on the Quo Vadis blog?

  7. I am so with you on the out of sight out of mind and when things are behind tabs they are poof, gone. I found that out when I thought my problem was not having enough tabs so I customized them. wrong. It got harder.

    Ive yet to find 'perfect' And now Im afraid I dont even know where to begin.


  8. Yes, I found that tabs only work for me when they are big/long-term projects. I've got Party Planning, Home Projects, Christmas, Business, and Gratitude tabs. My mind appreciates having a landing page for these on-going parts of my life.

  9. Laurie,
    I will write a review in the new year once I have tested the planner! I'd like to post it with you, but if QV is interested, maybe with them as well (they seem to have the option of linking it to blogs). :)

  10. Laurie, how about the Hot Lists, in case the jot pads don't provide enough space?
    Here's a link:

  11. Actually, kanalt has a picture of the Hotlist "in action" on Flickr:

  12. Thanks Jotje, that reminded me that I have the Franklin Covey bookmark pocket with the inserts that function just like that. I might give those a try for my weekly lists. :)

  13. I'm very excited that my 2 Days Per Page diary insert arrived today! I'm disappointed that I can't fit the whole year's worth of pages into my Filofax at the same time. This insert is quite a bit thicker than the week on 2 pages. But, I managed to fit until August 2 in there, plus all of the 2011 month on 2 pages and the 2012 vertical pull-out calendar, as well as all my tabbed sections, calculator, maps etc. I could have fit the whole year in if I took some things out but I didn't want to go without anything, so I can't complain too much!

    I also ordered blue lined pages and was disappointed to discover they are light blue and not the bright blue that came in the multi-color pack I had before. Oh well.

    I'm excited to spend the evening writing in all of my birthdays and events for 2011 in my new 2DPP diary pages! This setup is a very real possibility for my choice as Planner of the Year 2011!

  14. I've been using the 2DPP mock-up format for a week now, and I've set up my 2DPP Filofax insert, written in all my events etc. Here's what's working for me, and some things I need to work on:

    The day spaces seem to be plenty big to write everything I need to without being too big (which causes me to overestimate how much I can do in one day).

    I love using my gorgeous Deco Filofax! It's a total sensory experience with its beautiful design, thick soft leather, and that nice leather smell. I love to hold it in my hands and use it.

    I've already had some issues with not being able to see the entire week at a time. While I was filling in the year by transferring info from my weekly view planner, I wrote things into the wrong dates a couple of times. For example, I wrote things into Sunday instead of Wednesday because these days each hold the same position on their page (top right). So I'll need to pay attention.

    Also I have issues visualizing this and subsequent weeks. When I'm flipping through a weekly planner, I can easily see what is coming up a week from now, two weeks from now etc. Having more pages to flip through makes timing of events not as obvious. I'll have to pay more attention to particular days, and make more use of my monthly calendars for forward planning.

    I've come to the realization that there is no Perfect Planner for me, it comes down to how I use my planner. Obviously some planners work better for me than others, but I don't think there's anything that is absolutely perfect. More on that in my next post!

  15. After only a week using the 2 Days Per Page planner, I've lost track of what day of the week it is without the layout of the entire week across the page. I need to be able to track my week across the page, and a weekly format with the days as columns allows me to do this best. Tomorrow I start my Moleskine Vertical Weekly experiment, and I have high hopes for it! I will post an update on my progress with it later in the week.

    The quest continues to find my planner for all of 2011 by the end of January!


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