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Saturday, June 4, 2011

What I'm Using Update: Back to Filofax

I had a realization yesterday that I absolutely must have my Filofax on my person at all times. Never leave home without it.

Yesterday the school called to ask me to come get my daughter, because she was ill. I brought her home and took her temp, which was high. Just a month ago she had an extremely high fever caused by a major infection which got her 5 days of i.v. antibiotics, and I didn't want a repeat of that situation so straight to the SOS clinic we went. Luckily I grabbed my Filofax, which normally stays at home, before we left. I always need my Filofax in medical situations to reference information.

My husband came to meet us at the clinic and we spent a couple of tense hours there.  (She's ok but we are continuing to watch her, the doc is concerned about dengue fever which can come on gradually.)

I was glad I had my Filofax with me, and decided I needed to update it with everything we might need in any situation.  Later when everything calmed down, I talked to my husband about my Filofax idea. I said I would set it up with all our relevant medical info, vaccine information, medications (like the name of the i.v. antibiotics my daughter had during her infection last month), the F - C temp conversion chart I mentioned in my comment on Philofaxy, addresses and phone numbers, etc. He had a very good point, which he always does: "Long range planning--whatever. We need to have the information we need right now."  That settled it.

So now I've redone my tabs in my Filofax, added some info and taken out irrelevant things. I'll keep my Filofax in my bag at all times, no matter how bulky and heavy it is, so that we can go straight from the school to the doctor if we need to, or even grab our passports and jump on the plane if necessary.

I went back and forth over which of my Filofaxes to use. I decided to use one of my personal size Filofaxes so it could fit in my bag easily.  I thought of using my personal purple Finsbury or my Urban so that I wouldn't worry about getting it messy or scratched.

But then I thought, why rob myself of the opportunity to use my Deco on a daily basis? Yes I run the risk of marring its pristine beauty. But I like the idea of using it year after year and letting it age naturally. Deco and I can age together.

But using a personal size Filofax begs the question: what about those small planner pages? Those have always been my downfall with a personal Filo.

For now the planner page size is irrelevant. The Deco must go everywhere with me, without question, whether I'm using it as my planner too or not. But for now here is my solution:

I'm using the monthly and weekly pages in my Filofax the same way I used monthly and weekly pages in my self-made planner for the past couple of months. Those daily spaces were too small so for the past month I've been also using my pocket Moleskine daily planner to plan each day. This allows me to have plenty of room each day, and record details of my days.  And this system has the added benefit of allowing me to have my daily Mole and weekly Filo pages open alongside each other to see the daily details and weekly overview at once.

Whether I stick with this planner setup forever doesn't matter. What is now abundantly clear is that I can never be without my Filofax. After years of going back and forth, this decision brings me a lot of comfort. I've finally figured out one aspect, at least, of my planner needs. I don't know what planner I'll be using next month or next year, but I do know that I can't be without my Filofax.

But now my question is: should I use my Deco and a separate planner? Or should I use my big A5 Domino that can contain my planner plus everything else?

I've abandoned my A5 due to size before. Maybe I'll try carrying around each and see the difference.

I know! I'll do a poll!  Let me know what you think.


  1. Um, WOW. First, I hope this finds your daughter well and in fine spiriits and you and your husband rested and at ease!!

    My first instinct is to say put everything in the A5, then you have everything in one place and you can hit the deck running.

    However, the A5 will get heavy and you'll get tired of it. Besides, the Deco is so amazing...

    Geez, I don't even have a suggestion, but I will be glad to hear what you decide!

  2. Hope your daughter is okay and that you and your hubby are too.

    Have you tried the A5 domino before? It's lighter than the other binders so might not be such a problem? I agree with Rori that it would be just one thing to pick up and go with. If you weighed your Deco plus the Mole how much would that be? My feeling is it would be a tight race between an A5 Domino and the personal/Mole combo, but that the combo seems lighter just because it's 2 smaller things. Just a thought...

  3. Sorry to hear about your daughter Laurie, I hope she is feeling better and back to her normal self very very soon....now in fact...

    But which ever you choose to use, I know you will make sure you have all the right info in it and you will be ready for any eventuality, but lets hope you never have to use it....


  4. Thanks everyone! I think she will be okay but it is times like this that cut through all the extraneous b.s. and make me realize what's important! Like portable information.

    I have to admit, one thing that sways me to the Deco is that I can have all my info in it, and still be able to use (or switch around to) whatever planner I want.

    And yet, having everything all in one book is appealing too! I can see the advantages of each so it's hard to decide.

  5. I hope your daughter is feeling much better. It's always such a worry when someone is ill.

    I vote for the Deco. It is so beautiful and I think they are tougher than we give them credit for. Think how it will life your spirits every time you open your bag!

  6. Hopefully your daughter is feeling better!

    I'd say the personal size Filofax for everyday with the separate planner. After changing planners several times this year, that is what I've come to last few weeks and working great! My personal Malden goes everywhere and then I have separate planner calendars -> iPhone for on the go and an A5 Finchley with day per page for work. If needed, I pop out a To do page or other reference page from the personal and put into A5 (with bottom corner folded, per Steve's idea) when needed.

  7. P.S. Team Lee is me, Karensa. For some reason I wasn't able to post comment under normal Gmail account I use these days.

  8. Echoing everyone else in hoping your daughter is back to herself asap!

    I also feel the A5 might get too heavy for everyday, even though it is lighter than some. Plus, I think the Deco would actually be more damage resistant- my Domino scratched really badly in my handbag and hasn't looked the same since! I don't think they are as durable as they seem :(

    Can't wait to hear what you decide...

  9. Hope your daughter is on the mend must be so difficult facing scary diseases while being away so I think having your Deco as a ready to go now no matter what is a brilliant idea. Like you say you can still have other planners for the multiple daily tasks or all the extra stuff that is non essential but if for any rason you needed to dash in a hurry then you are sure that you have everything :0)

  10. Oh my! Sorry to hear about your daughter. That's scary!!

    I love having all my info in my A5. It makes it easy to know that I have everything, one place, easy to grab in an emergency. I've always liked having just one book for everything.

    But your Deco is so pretty....

  11. I hope your daughter is much better. We have dengue in Trinidad and it can be quite scary if you get infected with 2 different strains of the virus as the complications are much more severe.

    I am glad you were able to access all the medical information easily from your filofax. I do think you would find an A5 very heavy to take everywhere with you.... Unless of course you got an A5 flex!

  12. I've read this a couple of times and I've made my vote.
    I think you should stick with the Deco; 2 reasons:
    1. the A5 will be a pain to carry all of the time, and you'll get tired of it
    2. when you get the urge to change planners, or have different planning needs, the Deco is still good to go for the necessities.

    (Hope this doesn't sound bossy, I've just thought about it a lot today)
    Continued prayers and love to your family!

  13. Not bossy at all Rori, in fact that's exactly what I'm thinking.

    Update just since yesterday: I'm already upset not having a week + notes view. My Filofax week on 2 pages doesn't allow me to write weekly goals and tasks that must be done that week while still seeing the entire week at a glance.

    So I have ordered up the week per page inserts and will put a blank page between each week. I've used the week + notes inserts before but I can't stand all the extraneous languages taking up space in the already-tiny day spaces, which is why I went with the week per page instead. I've drawn up week views with a blank page in between to get me through until my inserts arrive.

    So I'll be able to see the week overview with my weekly goals and tasks with the week + notes in my Filofax, then I'll continue to use my daily Moleskine as I have been for the past month to plan and record daily details.

    I think this will be a great combination of permanence: my Filofax will contain reference pages year after year and weekly overviews, and my Moleskine will be a permanent bound-book record of my days.

    We may have a winning combination here! I'll keep you posted!

    Meanwhile, I'm still very interested in people's votes, and am still on the fence about putting everything together in my A5! What will the verdict be??

  14. Love this combination! Would you mind sharing what you've titled your tabs? I find such inspiration from you!

  15. Thanks Kelly! :)

    My tabs are:

    Emergency at the very front (behind my registration page) for quick-reference numbers to the clinic and hospital, with their addresses in case I have to tell a cab driver.

    Diary: behind this tab I have the year view on the right with my family's weekly schedule on the left taped to the tabbed divider. Following are monthly and week + notes views, then following years planners, then a page per month of birthdays and anniversaries.

    Sticky notes and Filofax stickers

    Lists where I keep longer-range to-dos, books to read, projects lists, gift ideas lists.

    Me where I keep goals, my strength training exercises, inspiring quotes etc.

    Kids where I keep charts of their height and weight, vaccines had and due, other medical info. Also I have a list of learning goals for my son before he starts kindergarten this fall.

    International And Conversion where I keep the F-C degree conversion chart, all the Filofax international holiday and dialing info that comes at the beginning of the diary pages, lists of frequent flier miles, maps, etc.

    Financial where I keep my calculator on the rings, financial totals (trying to save) etc.

    Notes where I keep blank paper to be able to jot things down quickly since there's no notepad in the back.

    Addresses where I keep my A-Z tabs.

    Behind that I have a top-opening clear envelope where I keep hole reinforcers and other important scraps, and a business card holder for cards.


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