Welcome to Plannerisms

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest post: How Stephanie uses her Filofax and Plannerisms planner together

Many thanks to Stephanie for this post (with so many detailed photos!) on how she is using her Filofax and Plannerisms planner together!

I've been a loyal (aka fanatic) filofax user for over a year but at the beginning of 2013 I decided to give the Plannerisms planner a try after reading about all it’s goal planning pages. It's been in use along with my personal sized filofax since the beginning of the year and I couldn't be happier with my new system. I use both books on a daily basis and I feel like my organization and productivity is improved rather than hindered by keeping a two-book system.

So without further ado here are the two planners and how they work together (the third book in the photo, the brown notebook is where I planned out my goals at the beginning of the year with lots of writing and planning and notetaking. It only gets pulled out from time to time when I update goals).

First up is the beautiful Adelphi Filofax. I got it second-hand for $40 dollars, it still had the $100 price tag on it when I purchased it, score!

I have a 9-5 day job as a project analyst/technical writer, write a baking column for The Globe and Mail, run my baking blog Clockwork Lemon, and manage a 4-plex building with my boyfriend. I need my filofax everyday to help keep all my tasks and to-dos sorted out. It comes with me everywhere and lives in my purse or on my desk

When I first open the filo it has my zippered pocket that I added fabric to and keep all of the fortune cookie fortunes that I like in. Then the filo is organized with top tabs and side tabs. The top tabs have the category and the side tabs break them down into smaller topics to make everything easy to find:

Top Tab:

Month: monthy pages. I transfer any info on these over to my Plannerisms planner if I need to write down a date while I'm out and about 

Weekly: weekly pages. I only use these pages on Monday when I make a big list of all the tasks that need to get done. It's like a weekly to-do list. Then I sort out the tasks and slot them on to the weekly pages of my plannerisms book.

Daily: The most used pages in my filofax. Its just cotton cream filo paper that I stamped with a to-do stamp and a frame stamp where I write the date. I didn't pre-date the pages because sometimes the tasks span a couple of pages. I make a new list everyday and they just contain the tasks that need to get done that day. If something doesn't get completed I cross a line through it and write it out on the next page to be completed tomorrow.

I only keep about 10 - 15 To-Do pages in my filo. When it starts feeling too full I take out the used ones, make sure they don't have phone numbers or dates on them that I need, and then recycle them.

 Blog: The section used for planning blog posts. It's separated into side tabs for:

  •     Future: Pages and pages of ideas for future posts, flavor combinations, notes
  •     Upgrades: Master to-do list of upgrades that need to be done to my blog, corrections to old blog posts ect.
  •     To-Do: Homemade To-Do sheets that help me keep track of my posts. I often bake and photograph posts ahead of time. There are usually a couple of posts in progress at anytime and it's nice to see at a glance where they are at.

Column: broken into side tabs for

  •     Future: Future column ideas and any notes from emails with my editor
  •     Invoices: A finance sheet for tracking my invoices.

Work: broken into side tabs for

  •     Finances: some of my projects are commission based so there are sheet tracking commission project and upcoming audits
  •     Tenants: General info sheets such as mailing addresses, phone numbers, at-a-glance lease information for our tenants
  •     General Info: Sheets for my most-used phone numbers, wireless passwords, printed out schedules for the fitness classes I like

Next up is my Plannerisms planner. I chose the basic black and then coloured the sides of the paper silver with a large metallic marker..

.. and used a gold marker to doodle a bit on the inside as well.
The plannerisms planner lives in my laptop bag or in my desk. It doesn't get carried around in my purse but I do use it every day including weekends.
The yearly and quarterly goal pages were filled out at the beginning of the year and I reference them each month when I'm making my monthly goals.

I love having the big monthly pages in the plannerisms planner. My biggest gripe with my filo had always been the small boxes in the personal sized monthly pages. I use the monthly pages to plan out when I'm away for meetings, my test-batch baking for recipe development, which days I'm photographing food, blog post dates, and column deadlines etc.
On the grey side bar I put which projects I need to complete for my day job during the week.

On the monthly goals page I plan out how many commission projects I want to complete, blog posts, social media, big tasks that need to get done that month etc. At the end of the month I review which goals I completed and fill them out on a piece of notepaper that gets attached with a piece of washi tape. It's a good way to see what was acheived at a glance, plus I use the notepaper to make a little tab that says the name of the month on it for easy reference.

I use the weekly pages along with my daily filo pages. The filo pages contain the tasks specific to that day while the plannerisms pages have appointments and the tasks that I do over and over on a daily and weekly basis.

The sidebar breaks up each day into sections with tasks that need to be done each week. The sections are:

Health: Tracking water, what fitness class I'm taking and when, if we ate at home or not

Baking: Which recipes need to be tested and on which days

Blog+ Column: what I need to photograph, write, and which social media I need to check in with

Work Tasks: Any major tasks/deadlines for the week

Productivity: One of my major goals for the year is being productive as possible so I rate my morning and afternoon productivity Monday-Friday

Cleaning: which room in the needs cleaning/has been cleaned so that our poor bathroom doesn't end up going a month without being cleaned. As you can see, this week nothing has been cleaned .. sigh.

Evening Tasks/Prepping: If I need to buy ingredients for baking the next day, pack my camera, workout bag, or if I'm meeting people in the evening. I fill these in on Monday and then update them during the week.

The bottom part of the pages are used to list upcoming deadlines and which Chinese dishes I'm making that week. I'm learning how to cook Chinese food and my goal has been to make two new dishes each week. I keep notes on how the dishes turned out and whether we liked the recipe or not.

In the back pocket of the planner I keep sheets of stickers that I use when my rolls of washi tape aren't on hand and I need to block off dates for out-of-town meetings.

When I write in the plannerisms planner I always ALWAYS use my Frixion pen (the blue flowered pen in the photo) because it's erasable and it makes moving dates and tasks around a breeze. I had doubts about how well it would erase, but it works perfectly.. if I could buy these pens in bulk I would. In the filofax I use my favorite pen which was handmade from pinewood.

Dream team! I love using the two books together. In the past I really found it hard to keep track of goals and forward plan in my filofax, but a bound book didn't have the flexibilty to keep track of all the information for my different jobs. They rarely get carried together in the same bag (filo in my purse, plannerisms with my laptop) so it's not a chore to have two books with me. It's been almost two months and I don't feel like the system needs any tweaking or changing and I've noticed that weekly tasks no longer fall to the wayside when I'm working on a deadline because the plannerisms pages remind me that they need to be fitted in. Thanks for the great planner Laurie!

Many thanks again to Stephanie! I love seeing how people use the Plannerisms planner, everyone uses it differently and it's exciting to me to see how people use my design.


  1. What a fabulous post. Thank you!

  2. You are so organised and efficient! I say that and then I turn green with envy. I can't keep track of anything and even if I got a Plannerism Planner I'd probably lose it. So very practical though. I'm almost tempted.

  3. What a great post. I really enjoy seeing how folk use their planners. Thanks for taking the time to show us your set up.


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