Sunday, February 13, 2011

Here's how I use my Urban Filofax.

Upon opening, my pocket-sized FF looks like this: This is how my Urban Filofax looks upon opening. I keep a uni-ball KuruToga Twist and Turn 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil in the rings, and a Foray medium pt. pink (pink ink!) retractable pen in the FF clip.

I have seven parts to the planner (well, eight, really, because it's my wallet!):

  1. Blank index cards - used for writing down ideas for a book I'm working on and for disposable notations. (I also use them for the two upcoming sections to be described below.)You would not BELIEVE the hunt I went on to end up with 500 6-hole-punched index cards!! That's a story for another post. In sum, victory was mine... after writing on a note, I move the Avery Write-On Tab so I can just flip to a blank card the next time I pick up my FF. I put the tab on the index card I wrote on last.

  2. A couple of cards to track eating out expenses. Very informal, and I don't bash myself over the head if I don't track everything. It's more of a way to raise my awareness about the cost of eating out/fast food. I realized lately that my family was spending a lot of money eating out and I wanted to cut back. I don't save these notations, I throw them away or, if it's not a hassle, I write them down on the weekly planner (and it's a beauty, by Taschen!) which I use for planning and recording meals (my Taschen lays open on top of the microwave next to a cups of pens).
  3. A couple of cards to write notes about what I want for my planner and organizing needs!! Ha-ha-ha! A wish list, essentially. Writing things down allows me to mull them over and decide if it's worth the responsibility! Ha-ha-ha! Seriously, though, every single thing we buy becomes a responsibility and requires care. I was stressing today as my husband and I cleaned out part of the garage and my footprint on our nation's landfill increased. :-( But, back to happier things... one of my wish list items is a pencil highlighter to use in my beautiful Paperblanks journal!
  4. My weekly appointments.
  5. My monthly tasks sheet.
  6. My monthly calendar for project planning.
  7. My Moleskine Plain Cahier Journal, which I use as a daily planner.

Keep reading for more pics and obsessive details.

I recently found some planner refills made by Midori that fit my Filofax. They are slightly taller, so they line up better with my index cards and allow for more room to write. I found them at a tiny Japanese stationery store inside a Japanese marketplace. They are BEAUTIFUL. Delicate watercolors with a different design for each week. I'm almost sorry to share them with you because you might want to try to find some online and THEY ARE NOT THERE!!! Believe me, I tried!!

This is my BEAUTIFUL Japanese-made one-week-per day planner refills.

The weekly calendar goes through January 2012.

The Midori refill goes all the way thru January 2012.

Here's a page from April (below). I use carats to encase items on my planner that are important, but do not have a time associated with them. I also stuck my monthly tracker sheet in here just so you could see it; obviously it's in the wrong spot, but I didn't want you to read my current pages because they are embarrassingly boring. My monthly tasks page is a mess, I have to re-do it. I only recently decided to undertake the creation of a monthly task list and over-booked myself right away. I figure it might take me a number of months to figure it out, it doesn't really matter. Eventually I'll work it out and be able to live with it. I keep in in the plastic page-holder so I can remove the list and flip it around to face the proper page each week.

Here's a sample with my monthly tasks (which needs to be re-done).

Here's a page from my monthly planner section(below). I was using it to track calories and exercise (y/n) plus symptoms of a chronic condition I battle, but decided to move that information to my extra-small pink moleskine because, wanting to track a couple of other items related to staying healthy and super-fit, I needed more room (and I just ordered a custom stamp today for that purpose -- I can't wait to see it!). Again, this calendar is a beautiful creation by Midori, with different colors and designs for each month. They are also considerate enough to go all the way through March 2012! I'm going to see if it makes sense as a tool to sketch out big projects. I'm not sure if I'll like that, because I don't like to look in more than one place to plan out my day (right now I just have to look at the weekly planner as I plan out each day). I'm going to add a 'Projects' section using index cards and then marry it with the monthly calendar. We'll see. I just hate to remove these pages because they are so pretty and I DO need to figure out how to make these multi-part, back-burner projects happen.

MONTHLY Midori refill.

And last, but not least, is the moleskine cahier pocket notebook I keep at the back as a day planner. It's blank, which I love, and flexible in that I can use as many pages per day as I want! I typically use two, however, with tasks on the right-hand side and notes/post-it's on the left. Once, however, I was feeling very inspired on how to improve my life so I wrote, freely, on the left-hand pages for five or six pages. I then planned my day using the right-hand pages and, amused, I re-read my heart-felt out-pouring, in one-page fragments, as I prepped for each day. It was actually helpful and kept me more easily focused on my over-arching goals.

Moleskine cahier as a daily planner.

Note that I keep the clip at the top now, instead of the bottom. Makes a lot more sense.

Note that I'm keeping the clip at the top now instead of the bottom.

And here's my customized cover:

Customized Urban Pocket-sized Filofax, front

Here's the back:

Customized Urban Pocket-sized Filofax, back

I bought the Urban because it was cheaper than the rest and more flexible, laying flat easily, and because I liked that the change pocket is on the back. However, the gray denim came off as a little too conservative for me, so I decided to jazz it up with some stencils from Office Depot and a couple of pens. I plotted the spacing, then taped the stencil in place. I then used the fine black marker to do the outline, then the Pilot silver marker to fill in the letters. I didn't realize when I bought the Pilot that it is actually a paint marker (when you shake it you can hear the metal ball rolling around instead), but I think it was for the best.

Tools used to customize my Filofax.

If you've read this far, you are a FANATIC and I recognize you as part of my tribe! A BIG THANK YOU to Laurie at Plannerisms for posting pics of my Filofax; her enthusiasm encouraged me to finally let my freak flag fly.



  1. Nancy I love this. You have inspired me to try out a similar set up. Previously I used a Finsbury mini as my wallet and a large Moleskine Weekly Notes planner but TBH the Moleskine is getting neglected so I've been looking for something new

  2. Karen - that's great! Check back in a let me know how it works out for you!

  3. I really want those Midori calendar pages. They are beautiful.

  4. And I hate to say it, Savannah, but they are more beautiful in person! My older son said that when he comes home from college for spring break (in three weeks!) he will hunt down the online outlet for these. If so, I will post the link.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Nancy! This is a brilliant setup. Do you also use your Urban as a wallet? Cos that would mean that your Pocket carries what I have to divide over a Mini, a Slimline and a Personal. And makes me feel like an Idiot ... LOL

  6. Jotje - yes, I use it as my wallet, too, which in turn allows me to always have it at hand when I'm out and about. I tend to use it a lot standing in line at the post office! And I guess we are all required to feel our fair share of idiocy because I have a box full of Misfit Planners!

    Keep on truckin'.

  7. Fanatic here! :D

    I love this!! I hugely admire your stencil job on the cover. So creative!

    I love the idea of an all-in-one planner/ record book/ wallet. How amazing to hold one thing in your hands that serves all purposes!

  8. Hey, all, today's post - Feb 24, 2011 - shows how I stripped down my FF to featherweight fighting shape. Enjoy, and thank you SO much for your comments.