The Crazy Suburban Mom: Philofaxy Question: How I use my Filofax Part 2

Friday, August 10, 2012

Philofaxy Question: How I use my Filofax Part 2

Today I'm doing Part 2, answering Philofaxy's Free For All Tuesday  questions about how people use their filofaxes, specifically.  (Part 1 is here.)

The questions as posted:
  1. "Do you open it the night before, for a review of the following day?
  2.  Open it first thing in the morning, to check what’s on your schedule? 
  3. Do you plan the day using your calendar and To Do list in the morning? 
  4. How often do people visit the diary and To Do pages daily, in whatever system they use?"

 I write in my Filofax though out the day and I (try to) write things down the second they occur to me; if I don't they are gone forever.  Everything goes on my daily sheets, even things meant for other days - I transfer the information later if need be but the process of writing something and dealing with it multiple times helps anchor it.  

Accomplishing anything is hard for me.  My working memory (holding onto information long enough to accomplish a goal) isn't great; a problem common for people with attention deficit disorder.  There is a lot of repetition in my lists; looking at (and writing) the same thing multiple times helps 'move' things from my short term memory - which is gone the second I have another thought - into a more permanent place.

I write things  down as they occur to me but there are two times I always check in; right before bed and first thing in the morning.   


I wake up crazy early; by 6 a.m. I've usually been up hours!  The first thing I do after getting out of bed is grab my Filofax and go downstairs to make coffee.  


I start my day in a big comfy chair; my Filofax open on an  ottoman before me and my coffee within arms reach.  I flesh out my daily to-do lists the night before and that's the first thing I look at.  Next, I go back through the past few days to see if there's anything I didn't get done and add anything that still needs to be addressed.


I use the Dodo week on a page to track things like vitamins/ health/ diet and the second thing I do is see how I did the day before.   I paperclip things to these weekly sheets that I need to handle on any given week; might be an expiring coupon, a prescription, a library book I need to return, a doctor's appointment, etc. 


How fun does next week look?


I use the Filofax branded to-do sheets for bigger projects.  While they don't work as a daily sheet they've been great for larger multi-part type projects.  This list was all the things I wanted to get done when my family was on vacation last week.  If I haven't completed everything I take a look and see if there's anything I can get done that day.


Keeping track of small things like stamps and business cards is impossible for me so I use A to Z dividers as a sort of Rolodex.  Stamps under 'S'...


Perfume sample reviews under 'P'...


I even put the tags from a shirt that fit my son wonderfully under 'B' - My son's name is Ben.


Keeping business cards this way has been great and even if I kept nothing in my A to Z section but cards it would be worth it.  


While an A5 Filofax is a bit of a brick to carry around, the size allows me space to keep all kinds of random things that have no other home.  With A.D.D.  finding homes for everything is my ultimate goal. 


The space in an A5 is luxury.  Without it all the tickets, tags, post-its and whatever bits I find to delicious to throw out  would be EVERYWHERE!  I've watched a lot of TV shows on organizing and am always struck by how much stuff people have all over. 

No one ever wants to get rid of it; it's all too important to them.  But as they say on the shows, if everything's important - Nothings important.  

Once you whittle down the things you love,  they deserve not to be buried under mountains of randomness. 


Really important things deserve space in your life.  I think that's true of things you want to accomplish also.  

For me an A5 Filofax allows me space to plan and acts as portable filing cabinet.  My main to-do sheets are plain graph paper and being unstructured I can write everything, anywhere.  I don't ever run out of room, which I would on a dated sheet, plus if I don't have much going on on a day I just start tomorrow's list on the same page.  

I've tried daily dated sheets but they frustrate me.  Either I waste paper on light days or don't have enough on busy days.  Undated to-do sheets are perfect.

The A5 has room for as many  pages as I need and is roomy enough to house small homeless things that would be turn into clutter in a hot minute.   

So how I use my Filofax is a big topic with a very long answer... While there are only two times during the day I specifically check it (first thing in the morning, last thing at night) it's almost always open,  in use, and within arm's reach.  


Mary 8/11/12, 11:17 AM  

Great use of your A-Z tabs! My A5 stays on my table or I'll throw my back out by carrying it in my purse! I love that size alot though, it's the best!


Lin 8/12/12, 8:44 PM  

With all that writing down stuff, how do you get anything done??? ;)

How's my dog friends?? I miss them!

Anonymous,  8/13/12, 4:56 PM  

Great post!! I'm like you and have to write everything down the minute it comes in my head otherwise it's completely lost, I review mine at night, in the morning and constantly jot things down in it throughout the day, i've now settled on A5 as my main Filofax, I just can't manage with anything less, i'd rather the weight in my bag than be without it :)

Songbird68 8/22/12, 4:36 PM  

I had a thought on how you might be able to keep even your A5 Filofaxes under control: have you considered making a separate "smash book" or scrapbook just for ephemera, and reserving the Filofax for daily planning? So for example, you could use the smash book/scrapbook for gluing in ticket stubs, cancelled stamps, tags, labels, postcards, etc. that you love, and maybe even journaling a bit around them. That way the Filofax doesn't get overstuffed with these things, and you use it just for to-do's, appointments, and just a few select ephemera that you want to look at daily. There are a ton of examples of this type of thing on youtube.

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