The votes are in! Many thanks to everyone who cast their vote to help me decide which Filofax to use: my personal Deco as my info book with a separate planner, or my A5 Domino as my planner + info book all in one.
The voting results:
Personal Deco Filofax: 27 votes
A5 Domino Filofax: 26 votes
The Deco won by a (surprisingly narrow) margin!
But, you ask, which will I actually use? Well...
For the past week while the poll was going on, I used my Deco Filofax with self-drawn week + notes pages, and my pocket Moleskine daily diary as my day planner + logbook. I realized that two smaller books fit into my bag more easily than one huge book, so I used the Deco instead of the A5. I tried using the week + notes pages in the hopes that my Deco could be my planner + info book in one. But not surprisingly, the personal size week + notes was an epic fail, as all my personal size diary page experiments have been for the past few years.
Specifically what did it in was that the pages were too small to write everything I had to do during the week. I tried writing some lower-priority tasks and categorized lists (like blog topics) on separate pages behind my Lists tab. But, as you may know by now, I am Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind so in order to remember my tasks I felt like I had to flip through the pages constantly so that nothing would get forgotten for too long. As a result, I had too many places to look and couldn't keep on top of my tasks. I spent the week floundering and feeling like I didn't know what needed to be done. Classic Planner Fail.
So I went back to using my self-made planner.
Meanwhile, I still haven't answered your question: which Filofax am I using?
My Deco went everywhere with me all week, in and out of my bag, on my desk, out and about. After just the one week there are several scratches on the cover (*sob*). I decided to re-assess whether I need to have my Deco with me all the time. More than half its contents are better off at home. The beautiful leather binder is heavy. And if it were ever lost or stolen I'd be extremely upset.
I realized I'm happier keeping my Deco at home, and what I actually need to keep in my bag at all times is my Medical Filofax, which is a personal Domino in Grape. In it I have medical summaries for myself and each member of my family. I added Emergency and Insurance information, and updated the addresses and contacts in the A-Z tabbed section, and now it goes everywhere in my bag with me.
The Domino is very light, I don't mind if it gets scratched, and if it ever went missing it wouldn't be a huge loss (just of time to re-compile the information it contains).
So now you are probably wondering how many books I carry around in my bag with me. The answer, crazily, is 4. Here's what they are and why I like to carry so many separate books:
1) The one that lives in my bag constantly is my Moleskine info book, housed in my leather Renaissance Art cover. This is where I capture all Indonesia-related contacts, business cards, information etc. I've discovered that location-specific information is better off being captured in a bound book where pages can't get lost. Then when I move away from Indonesia I can archive the whole book.
2) My Medical Filofax so I'm prepared for any eventuality. This book is independent of Indonesia, so if we move away next year I don't have to dig through the pages to remove any location-specific information.
3) My daily Moleskine pocket size planner/ logbook. I adore this little planner. I'll write a post specifically about this book soon.
4) My weekly planner. Currently this is my self-made planner, but this will change soon.
So, my A5 Domino never even made it out of the gate. It's so big I can't even force myself to carry it in my bag. You are probably thinking, it's probably just as big/ heavy as all 4 of these books together. You might be right. But as it turns out, I prefer to have these books separately.
Part of the reason is because I like the permanence of a bound book as my planner and as my info/ reference book. I lose pages too easily when switching them around. So even though it would seem convenient to have my planner, logbook, local info, and medical all in one enormously fat book, I actually prefer the smaller, bound books. The one exception is my Medical Filofax which needs to be a ring binder so I can add to each person's section as needed.
So the only thing yet to settle on is which weekly planner I'll use. I'm (still!) waiting for my sea shipment to arrive, at which time I will grab my WeekDate planner and start using it. I've been pining for it for weeks now, and am very annoyed with myself for not putting it into my suitcase! I wonder if I will use it as my all-encompassing planner, or if I will prefer using it for FlyLady Zone work and household routines.
Runner-up as my weekly planner is my Extra-Large Moleskine weekly notebook, which starts in less than two weeks.
The WeekDate has the advantage of folding up super-slim and small, making it easy to carry in my bag (which is significant when I'm already carrying around a library!).
I'm getting happier and happier with my system, and once I get my weekly planner figured out I'll be all set! For awhile anyway. ;)