Monday, May 17, 2010

Finsbury gets a make-over!

It is Saturday night and I finally decide to take action, Filofax-wise!
 I'm sitting with my dear 'Filito'  in my hand. The QuoVadis, the Moleskine, and the Kendal lie on the table, staring back at me in defiance.  I really don't know how to organise and coordinate my planners...I 've not used Filito for what seems like a very long time!
I blame it on my life, being currently as exciting as a coconut,  with a quantum of things to do, people to meet.
Mind you I have been very busy these past days working on a website, and next week will find me  working on the design of their stationery.
But let's not get side-tracked.

I started using the Quovadis with the purpose of organising and detailing every necessary aspect of our move to the UK. I would scribble daily to-do's, meetings, sales, pick-ups, packed items, etc. 
At the same time I would use my Finsbury as usual, with my appointments and journal, to do lists, notes, etc.
It helped me a lot keeping the moving separate from my life  and work aspects. This also kept me from oversaturating my Finsbury and I was actually getting things done from both planners.

But now my life is so quiet that keeping both journals is redundant.
This being the case, I quickly stopped writing  in my journal, thus not even opening my Finsbury in more than 4 days in a row. I hadn't even started writing new To do's since we got here, and I didn't even bother. I simply kept on using the Quovadis, but even this would remain unopened for two days straight.
To make matters worse, two weeks ago, in a bout of impulsiveness I  got a small  Moleskine 18 month  Weekly Notebook Diary, telling  myself that it was only for 'investigation' purposes when really I was beginning  to doubt  Filito's effectiveness for being such a complex system.

That is when I realised that it was MY system that had stopped working for me, not Filofax per se.  I had to find a new way to rearrange, to redesign my system so I would use it again.
I decided I would let Filito take a much deserved rest, and intentionally kept  it closed and without its pen to keep me from trying to fiddle with it. Once I set up my mind to redesign it, I would open it once again.
That time is now.

To start, I have put aside the other planners, and written down the sections I currently keep in my filo. Next, I sort them out into three categories:

Need: Journal, Calendar, To Do, Notes
Take out: Addresses, Financial, Japanese, Sudoku, Pictures and random stuff
What about?: Idea Catcher, Size charts (self made), Underground map, City map, World map, Post its (none atm), Plastic envelopes

Once that's been done I take all the sections out and place them on the table, and start revising the ones that fall in the 'Need' category and come up with a more logical order for them.

I also put back the important photos but in different order/parts, and add only one of the plastic envelopes which I have previously emptied out. This time I will try to use it sparingly.

From all the maps I decide to only keep the one of the world, the sizes chart will be recopied into the Kendal, which is where I most need it whenever I go shopping, as I've already done with the addresses.
The remaining sections I stack up neatly in order, wrap a rubberband around them and stash them away in the 'Filofax Box'. I shall find a use for them in the near future, I know.

I put back the four main sections in the following order: To do, Notes, Appointments, Diary (Journal). Here's a sneak peek into my tabs:

Now Filito is looking tidier and slimmer after getting rid of all the unused sections!

I have also gotten rid of the ugly home-made extra pen loop, and have assigned a new Pilot for it.

In order to not spend valuable time freaking out whether or not I'm coming up with the perfect set-up, I must remind myself that  it is JUST A PLANNER and that I actually CAN change my system as many times as I need to.

I am also keeping in mind that in order for my 'new' system to work, ultimately it is  me who has to work with it, otherwise it will still be useless. So I make a promise to Filito to try and update as often as possible, and to reactivate the To do's and Notes sections, so we can be inseparable once again as we used to be.

I am now excited to see how this week goes, hopefully I can stay on track and update it, and set up To Do lists that actually make sense!


Savannah said...

I think you hit the nail on the head here. Sometimes our planner confusion and sense that we need a newer or better planner can be resolved through time, thought and creativity using the one we already have. I'm curious. What do you use your journal/diary section for?

Laurie said...

Hi Oni! I love this post!!

Moving, in my experience, is the #1 cause of planner breakdown and confusion. Keep in mind, I move every 1-2 years, so this happens to me a lot. Currently, in fact. But that's another story!

I'm glad you went through this process. It was good for you to try the Quo Vadis and the Moleskine--you never know if something will work well for you until you try it! And after all, they are just planners so if it doesn't work you can change easily.

I like your system setup. And wow, your Filo is so much slimmer than it used to be!!

I have a suggestion though--you might want to put your City and Underground maps back in. You never know when you'll need them. Just a suggestion, only because I find mine absolutely necessary whenever I'm in London. But of course, I don't live there so you I'm sure are much more familiar with the city than I am!!

Keep us posted on your planner usage as it evolves! :)

Oni said...

Savannah: I use my journal section as the name says: every night (almost) I write down about my day, like places I've been, what I ate, etc. It helps me keep track of my life, basically.
How do you use yours, if you have one?

Laurie: Hello to you too and thank you for your compliment :)
Well, about the Mole, I did buy it but I haven't used it yet since it starts in July this year. I hope that by that time, I will be able to use it without neglecting my Filo. It does look tempting, especially all that space on the page next to the week... I read your review eagerly, as a matter of fact, is was you the reason I bought it :P

And as for the maps, I already have one(tube) in my Mini, although I don't use it as I currently get around just fine by bus or walking. And I didn't want to put the City map just yet, since I already have them in my Google phone :D

I hope all is going well with your moving!!

Savannah said...


I thought that was what you used it for. I currently use a bound journal that at times can be intimidating (I feel compelled to write legnthy entries), so I thought using my filofax as a daily journal would be an excellent idea. I can still use my bound journal when I feel a need to purge my mind at legnth. I currently use my diary section for to do lists:

Leisure- Like a book a want to read or some relaxing or fun activity. Don't want to forget to make time for relaxation and joy.

Tasks- things that need to be done in the near future.

Someday- things that are important but are not urgent.

Maybe- things I'd like to do but may nevery get around to.

Big Rocks- things that will require multiple blocks of time to complete.

I also have a sort of mind map that outlines the type of activities I would like to spend time on during certain times of the day. These follow my inner rythyms and productivity cycles.

The pictures and the process you used in this post has made it one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing!

Jotje said...

Oni, does this mean that you'll be carrying two Filofax with your? The Kendal as a wallet and - I assume - for notes, and the Finsbury for your diary? It does seem like a bit of an overkill, but maybe I'm misinterpreting.
Your "new" Finsbury looks so slim and well-organized. I hope it'll work out for you!

Post a Comment