Welcome, fellow stationery geeks!

I shall be using this blog to witter on about my stationery finds in general and diaries/planners and Filofaxes in particular. Please feel free to witter along with me!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

My new Filofax setup with DIY templates

Hello all!

It seems there's quite a bit of interest in the 'new' (or not) compact sized Filofaxes that have come out in the 2012 range.  You'll know that I posted some pics of mine recently because I unfortunately received a faulty one.  Well . . . I got my replacement the very next day, so I thought I'd take some more pictures of it to show you now that it's in full-time use.

I have to say, if you can think of all my previous Filofaxes as one-night-stands, this is the one I'm going to marry!!  Read on . . .

As you can see, the colour of the Raspberry Finsbury is really beautiful and vivid.

The first area of my Filofax is my 'welcome mat', so to speak.  Not very welcoming I know!  Maybe I ought to do something about that.  Anyway, here is where I keep my library cards, driving licence card, a few of my business cards to give out and also the form I have to fill in if I get a call to my work phone when I'm on call.  In the top-opening plastic envelope, I keep receipts that I'm likely to need again soon: for example, receipts for my daughter's clothing that I may need to return due to size issues; proof of postage/recorded delivery receipts etc.  I also keep vouchers that I'm likely to use in here.  Since I took this photograph, I've started using some rather cool sticky notes that I got from TK Maxx and I now have one of them stuck to the front of this plastic envelope.  I use this to make notes of any shopping I need to buy (apart from things I would buy on my big weekly grocery shop).  So if I'm out and about, I can have a quick look here and be reminded of anything I said to myself that I needed to buy.  They are really useful - about 10.5cm by 7.5cm and lined.  But that's another post . . .

You will see that I use a purple Frixion pen.  I use the barrel of a 0.5 pen with a 0.7 refill in it.  I love to use Frixion pens because I like to keep my diary neat.  I hate having to cross things out and waste space!

In the 'Dairy' section, I have my 2012 year planner.  On here, I mark birthdays, important deadlines (ie: car tax/insurance etc), when I'm on call for work and my daughter's school holidays.

Next is a sample page of my diary.  It's a Cotton Cream week on two pages and I currently have March to December in my Filofax.  I use the first box ('this week') for any to dos that need completing some time during that week, or to remind me of somebody's birthday or a deadline coming up the following week.

I have marked a pencil line half way down each page (excluding the 'this week' box).  On the top left, I put 'to gos' with the time in a circle.  If I don't have a specific time, I would put AM, AFT, EVE or DAY in a circle, followed by what's happening.  When I'm working, I put a 'w' in a circle and then the time to and from.  I put my daughter's and husband's commitments in this way as well because if my daughter's out, I'll be taking/picking her up and if my husband's out, I need to be at home for my daughter.  If I have any meetings at work, I jot them down here (but I use a separate A6 ppd diary for work to dos which I leave at work), as well as noting down any freelance commitments so I can schedule around them.  Using this system is great because I can see at a very quick glance where I need to be and when.

I use the bottom left for reminders where I don't actually have to do anything.  I just put a small dash and then the reminder.  For example, my pay day would be marked here as well as somebody's birthday.  I wouldn't need to do anything about the birthday at this stage as I would have already sorted a card and present out by now.

I use the bottom right column for 'to dos'.  Here, I draw a small box and then write the 'to do' next to it.  When I've completed the item, I tick the box.

You will see at the top of both pages, it says SH.  This is where I write a note to remind me that it's my daughter's school holiday (hence SH) and I also mark when I'm on call here.

I love using this system because everything is so organised and I can see at a glance what needs to be done and where I need to be.  This was the problem I had with my old pocket Filofaxes - everything was all muddled together and messy and I didn't like it.  I have more room with the personal inserts to arrange everything neatly.
Next comes my 'Notes' section, which simply contains a selection of plain and lined note paper, for general jotting when required.  Then my 'Projects' section which contains my lists of 'to dos' such as decorating jobs, general long-term to dos, DIY jobs and ideas for blog posts.  I haven't bothered taking photos of these two sections because I'm sure you know what note paper and to do sheets look like!

In my 'Information' section, I have a template for important telephone numbers, in case I lose/forget my phone or the battery dies.

Next I have my 'Financial' section, which contains two financial pages: one for my spends (to make me feel guilty for putting too many things on it!) and the other for expenses (I'm Secretary for my husband's cricket club and have to claim any expenses back in that regard).  Again, not bothered with pictures of these.

Also in my Financial section I have another template I made myself for Petrol Usage.  This is just so I can make a note of when I buy petrol, how much it costs and how many miles I did.

Next in the 'Financial' section is another template, this time for Overtime.  It's quite self explanatory when you look at the photo.

Next I have my Sat Nav postcodes template.  Here I have a list of friends/family/shops/hospitals etc that I would visit and their house numbers and postcodes.  So if I'm ever out and about and need to visit them, I use this.  Or if I'm at work and need to post a birthday card, I can just go onto Royal Mail's website and look up the full postal address using this basic information.

Next in this section I have another template, this time for Holidays.  I take my work holidays in hours because I work part time, so here I keep a record of holiday I've booked, how many hours it cost me and when I've booked it for, as well as a running total.


My next template is simply a record of what handmade cards or jewellery I've sold for my Mum at work, so I know how much money I owe her.  I tick the final column of the row when I've paid her for that item.

My final template is for my Passwords.  Obviously I'm showing you a blank one here for security purposes, but I do write them all down in code so that nobody would be able to use them if I (GOD FORBID) lost my Filofax.  I do shorthand too so some of them are written down in shorthand, which hardly anybody understands these days!

The last thing in my Filofax is another top-opening plastic envelope.  This contains coloured dots for marking 'non-routine' items, as well as repeat prescriptions and other bits of paper that I need to keep with me.

Then in the zipped pocket at the back, I have my stamps, a couple of business cards I need to keep with me and an Ikea tape measure.  Often comes in handy!

And here's how fat it all is.  Not too bad really!

Well I hope you enjoyed my post about my Compact Filofax and how I use it.  I can't imaging using a different size now, it's perfect for me.  I actually don't find it any bigger than the pocket Filofax.  Yes, it's a different (taller) size but the pocket is quite stumpy and fat.  This is slim and . . . well . . . compact!  It fits better in my bag because of this.

I've got my eye on the Compact Luxe in Blackcurrent but that will have to wait for quite some time, unless I win the Lotto of course!  Otherwise, I think I've found my mate for life.

If you're interested in buying my jade / teal personal Finchley, click here!

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Click here for my recent post about bargain Filofaxes & diaries!


  1. Nice job. I've never kept contact info in my Filofax, but I can see the case for a simple phone list and I absolutely love the SatNav page.

  2. Thanks Ray! I've had my setup in use for about a month now and the SatNav page has come in very handy a few times already, for both birthday card addresses and actual SatNav postcodes!

  3. Thanks for sharing your compact with us & it's very organised!
    Do you find you have enough capacity for every thing you need? I love the idea of the personal size, but slimmer for taking out & about with you :)

  4. Hi Anita! Yes I have enough room for everything I need. I even have March to December WO2P in it which I think is pretty good! I love it.

    I think the main reason I got fed up with my pocket was simply because everything was all muddled up and written down in whatever space was available. I now have a system (circles, dashes and squares) which makes it so much easier to see what's going on at a glance, so I maaaaaay even go back to a pocket one day, using a similar system. But for now, I'm loving my compact!

  5. Love your set up, i'm thinking of trying a compact, think you've convinced me :) x

  6. Erm . . . *shuffles in seat looking sheepish* . . . I've actually moved on ALREADY! I loved loved loved my compact setup, but it was too heavy. I'm now in my raspberry Chameleon (a compact pocket) and I'm liking it so far. There will be a post about it coming up soon, watch this space!

  7. I really like your non color coded diary system. I was looking at multi pens but truth be told i dont think i could keep up with a rainbow of colors. Your system is so simple yet there is no room for confusion! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  8. My pleasure Romina! I do like the idea of colour coding but I don't want to be tied to either carrying more than one pen with me or using a multipen that might be too fat for the loop, depending on which Filofax I'm using at the time.

    Thanks for visiting my blog x

  9. I hadn't thought of doing my Passwords in code. So simple but brilliant.

  10. Thank you!

    As a tip - one of my logins is an 8 digit number, so I divided it by my Grandma's old telephone number from years ago and put the answer plus 'X G'ma's old tel no' next to it. Only my family and I will know the answer!

    I also do shorthand so there are a couple of bits in that section too, but it's mostly abbreviations and 'clues'.

    Thanks for reading my blog x