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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Filofax poll result and update

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. ;)


  1. Laurie, this is epic! I'm glad to hear that you're refining your system as you go. Good luck with finding your ideal weekly planner.

    I also prefer carrying two or three smaller books over one larger one in my bag. I think the larger books are just unwieldy, which can be more annoying than a few extra ounces of weight.

  2. I so didn't expect this to be the result!

    That made me sad about Filofax. I loved the idea of having lists of things behind tabs, but then the tabs got like NO use because I forgot what was even in there...

    OH NO it scratched? I assumed it would be so hardy! Excellent thing about Dominos, the beating they can take.

    How do you keep your Moleskine with the Indonesia info organized? Do you make sections and tab them?Do those Ren. Art covers have a pen loop of any kind?

    Love the "permanence factor" of spiral bound and hard bound books! SO easy to archive..no looking for something to put the pages into to archive.

    So, I have a question: How do you make do with the size of the WeekDate? I should think that the size difference between the writing spaces in it and the Moleskine x large has to be pretty significant. ??

    (BTW, another neat planner to look at, just for funzies=http://www.bizzimom.com/) I'm thinking about using this one with my Piccadilly "log" book. The Uncalendar just isn't going to make it as a planner.

  3. Rori!

    So, the WeekDate: I'm thinking that since I write my daily details in my Moleskine, all I'll need to write in the WeekDate are scheduled events/ appointments and any specific tasks that must be done that particular day. Then I can record all the little details of my days in my daily Mole. The backside of the weekly pages (WeekDate Whatever) is plenty of space to write my weekly lists. I'm brimming with all these ideas of how to use my WeekDate and I'm very frustrated that I am still waiting for it (and the rest of my worldly possessions) to be delivered! So once I actually have it, we'll see how it works for me.

    I have seen the BizziMom website before but I've never taken the plunge and ordered it up. I'm so sorry the Un isn't working out for you!!

    So, my Moleskine Indonesia notebook: The Moleskine Info Book has pre-cut tabbed sections that are labeled: Bed, Food, People, Sights, and Facilities. I changed the labels slightly to: Clubs & Organizations (because there are so many here they need their own section); Food & Shopping; People; Sights & Lodging (because wherever we go to see sights we'll need lodging there too); and Facilities is where I write doctor, dentist, school info etc. This is working brilliantly to help me keep local info categorized and accessible. The leather cover does have a pen loop so I'm ready to capture a number or address at a moment's notice!

  4. WeekDate: ahh, that makes sense.

    Uncalendar: Your fault it isn't working....JUST KIDDING. Actually, it was your suggestion about using a Mole (I had a Piccadilly on hand) as a log book has worked out REALLY REALLY well, and I've even abandoned my Planner Pad. Are you happy with the Moleskine paper? I don't actually have a Mole, and so don't know how the paper holds up to fountain pens/Le Pens. The Piccadilly had decent paper.

    Moleskine Indonesia notebook:Ah! I see. What a great idea! I'll have to look into those Ren. Art covers more. Just saw the Quiver (yep, I live under a rock), and I love how that keeps a pen close.

    Thanks for the reply!

  5. LOL! I'm willing to take the blame for your failed Uncalendar experiment. I do get evangelical about the Uncalendar system because I think it's great, but it's definitely not for everybody!

    WARNING: From what I have read online, Moleskine paper is notoriously crappy with fountain pens and wet inks bleed through like the dickens. I don't use FPs or particularly wet pens, so the paper works fine for me.

  6. Ha!(Remembering the Darth Vader replies from your sister on your Un posts) I was just joshin' ya--I thought it looked great, and I'm still going to use it, just not as my main planner. I think the bigger problem with it is that at the same time I tried the Mole/logbook idea--and a smashing idea it was--because I haven't used any other planner since I started using the Piccadilly.

    Not nearly as "sexy" as my Filofax, not as large as my Planner Pad, or as unique as the Uncalendar, but BRILLIANT nonetheless!

    I loved Dora's guest post so much, what with her Mole all stuffy and fluffy, and then you talked about the "log book" idea in several posts, and I realized that that was how I was using both my Filofax and my Planner Pad any way, why not actually just use a plain, ruled notebook? (Wow could I use any more commas??)

    I will still have a gap when summer is over, and I've decided that what I need is a monthly overview with honkin' big blocks. I just don't need weekly space, it doesn't get used. So I'm still looking for something about the size of the Piccadilly that fits the bill.

    Thanks for the note about the Moleskine paper! I won't even bother with them then. I was looking at the Ecosystem notebooks, because I like the white paper. Are they more wet ink friendly?

    Thanks again!!

  7. Quick reply before I go to bed: the Ecosystem paper is thicker than Moleskine, but also more porous so ink feathers more. I haven't tried it with FP, can anybody verify performance? Actually now that I think about it, seems like there was a blogger who reviewed Ecosystem and used FP or wet inks, but I can't remember the result. I think it was Biffybeans? You might try googling it. Sorry, I would look it up but I'm off to bed before I fall asleep at the computer!

  8. I've got both papers here - I'll try with a FP and put pics on Flickr this aft.

  9. I checked on the bean's site and she did a review here: http://www.biffybeans.com/2010/03/review-ecosystem-blank-journal.html Found a couple of other ones: http://www.carpedavid.com/2011/02/paper-review-ecosystem-sketchbook.html and http://ladykayfromca.blogspot.com/2010/12/ecosystem-and-fieldnotes.html (scroll down). From what I see here with my EcoSystem book vs. the Moleskine, the Mole paper is much thinner and has a lot more bleedthrough. The EcoSystem had a little bit for me, actually not really bleedthrough, but you could see something was written on the reverse side. I was using cheapo Sheaffer Skrip ink, so bear that in mind. Very wet and smeary.

  10. and one more thing (nothing like bombarding you with comments!) @Rori, that post of Dora's really tempted me back to a bound format. That's how my bound books looked like, all roughed up and stuffed with papers and highlighters all over. And I, too, have more of a logbook mind set. Sigh. What's a girl to do?

  11. @terriknits Thanks for the links, and for the experiement!!
    Bound books..aahhhh. You can always cram one into the back of your Filofax...I think you're going to like the Planner Pad!


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