Wednesday, 28 December 2011

One Life One Filofax... Really?

Hmm, I saw an interesting post re David Popely's GTD setup here and am now thrown into a quandary as to what to do.

As you will have previously seen, I own a number of Filofaxes in various sizes, and as simple as one life on Filofax sounds, I just don't know if I can do this...

Currently I am using a personal one for me, one to track my 101 in 1001 days challenge, a happiness binder (which will be used properly shortly), an A5 for the family (although I have to wonder if I am the only one who uses it...), an A5 for work, a mini as a wallet, and... I think that is it at the moment.

Now the idea is that all my planning should go into one binder, this would knock out the family binder, the work binder, the 101 in 1001 days binder, and my personal binder - and then all this would go into one place... can I do this?

There are three problems that I have to overcome to do this:

  1. My obsession with my filos means that I want to touch more than one each day - could I get round this by having a 10 minute gazing session at the end of each day? Or as suggested, I could swap the binder I am using regularly so that I don't feel that any of the binders are feeling left out.
  2. I temporarily used a personal size FF for work after my A5 went missing and found it very hard and it didn't really work for me, so I really need an A5 for work. However, I don't want to be carrying an A5 round with me everywhere and I only have 3 A5 binders.
  3. I like buying stationery, and want pretty things to go in my FFs as I am now at the stage where I can think about pimping them up (inserts only, I can't do anything to the outsides - that would just be weird), what will I do with fewer binders to play with?
Can I get round this by sticking with my A5 for work (this is kept mainly at work except when I have to do planning at home as I never have time to do it while I am in the office), whilst using one binder for everything else?

Clearly I will still try to use as many binders as possible for other things (eg the happiness binder, photo albums, recipe books - like I'll ever get round to doing that), but for planning purposes, can I manage to use just one for personal/family etc?

Hmmm... time to get my thinking cap on before I do my 2012 setup (although I think I may be going with the WO1P with notes so that should be able to cope anyway...)

Ooh - could a slimline cope with being a one file one life filo? Although having just got my Deco I think I can guess where I'll be heading first...

Any advice will be gratefully received.



  1. Right now I'm only using one but I'm not sure I'd want to combine and I can't see how it would all fit into a slimline? I switched from a finchley to a malden because of ring size and I only use one --- If you try and consolidate how will you go down in ring size and carry it all?

    Well, I guess you'd have to take some stuff out? But that's no fun :)


  2. I know!!! I want lots of fun stuff as at the moment they are beautiful but I haven't put my stamp on any of them yet...

  3. I keep work totally separate also with an A5 size, and then am just running the one Personal Deco for everything else planner wise. I do occasionally use my Pocket Deco for an on the go binder but it's not an everyday use...although need to order my 2012 inserts for it as I haven't done that yet!!!

    David's post was fab I just don't think the one binder could work for me with my life, however I totally want to steal some of his planner/diary tips as they were really good ideas!


  4. I kind of do what Louloudorset does - I have an A5 work filo (that is 100% exclusively work) and a personal filofax that is my everyday filo with diary, planner, goals, wallet, lists, contacts etc. in it.
    I do however use other filofaxes for other, very specific purposes. I have a book-o-fax (to record what I've read and what I thought of it); an 'interesting articles' filofax (A5. Does what it says...); plus two writing ones (one for general writing stuff, one for planning the current novel) etc. None of these others leave the house - they are all there with specific purposes and none of them are things I need to look at every day.
    I think you should use whatever system works for you and not feel bound to follow anyone else though. If having several binders with different purposes is working, then stick with it, I say!
    Anyway, enjoying your blog as ever!

  5. I am seriously considering trying to downsize to personal for work and at least attempt the one life one filo thing - although I found it daunting enough downsizing from A4 to A5... If I can get the right layout for me I think I may be able to do it as none of my planning filos are that full, it just seems to be paper size that's my issue.

    Maybe when the boys are a bit older I will need to consider having a separate family one again as they can write any info that I need into it themselves - that way if they miss something it will be their own fault for not adding it to the master scheduler - ha ha!!!

  6. I think it makes life a lot easier to have one diary for the whole of your life. However I can see the benefit of using more than one binder for other hobbies or interests. I use an A5 for my 'household' filo and it contains shopping lists, planner for meals, some recipes etc. I don't need to carry this stuff around with me so it can happily sit in a seperate binder.

  7. I think I have found a main format that may work for me to fit everything I need for planning purposes in. Going to set up a few makeshift ones manually to see how it goes, and if they work for me then I will get them set up in Excel - woop woop!!!

  8. I'm also having this quandary at the moment. It all started when I bought a red Pocket Amazona (for a wallet) but quite liked the idea of "one Filo, one life". I normally use a Personal for the day to day.

    Like you there's no way I could combine my work one; I'm a teacher so I have lesson plans, student data etc in my A5. But I seem to have a lot of info spread across another the other Filofaxes. But but but...which one would I use? It would have to be Personal. But then it would get so fat it would be hard to carry, and I always like to have one on me. Plus I'd worry about carrying so much of "me" about. What if I lost it? But I also like the idea of downsizing. Could I manage it? But what about my Personal Deco? When I first entered the bright and shiny world of Filofax addiction I never considered I'd get Filofax anxiety over which/how to use! My bf thinks I'm clinically insane.

  9. Being brave - going to try to combine work as well... And which one to use - my plan is to rotate regularly so none of my personals feel left out :o)

  10. Hey LJ. Thanks for your message on my post! I went fairly thick as Card goes, but that's because I needed strength there. The weight I've got is perfect. To be honest at the price paper can be per sheet and the amount you use just chuck it out if it doesn't work.

    If you wanted to do a swap for some paper I'd b more than happy to have a rummage round n send some your way.

    If your on twitter add me missoakden286.

  11. Ooh cunning plan - I have about 50 millon WO2P diary inserts if you need any of those (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration - it may only be 49 million!!!).

    I'm not on Twitter though, so can't add you :o(

  12. Use as many as you possibly can, or alternatively sit looking lovingly at them,once the Boys are in bed,not forgetting to stroke them now and then so that they do not feel unloved you have such Gorgeous ones. x

  13. I face the same dilemma. I am a teacher who uses an A5 for work carrying it back and forth from school, which I do not like at all as it is bulky and I use a compact for personal stuff. These holidays I decided to give moleskine large daily diary a try to see if I can combine all in one. But I miss the pockets and the pen loop of the filofax, although it is nicer to write on a bound book. What do you think?

  14. @ Mary - I would love to have a Moleskine, but have so far not found a need for one. Half a week into trying to fit everything into one personal filo and I am finding it surprisingly good (although to be fair it's yearend at work so I haven't actually had time to use it for any proper planning yet, so we'll see). The laptop bag feels so light now though, a huge bonus :o)

  15. I have been there, using one binder for everything. It was nice, and I can see why people prefer that method. But the truth is, I don't need half of what was in the all-inclusive binder when I'm not home, long-range calendar pages included. And so I switched to the compact, making it necessary to keep my "not needed" information at home. I have several binders going at once (mostly for specific purposes), but the compact is the only one I look at and use everyday. That's what works for me, so that's what I use. To have one binder again would be nice, but why carry the extra stuff when I don't need to? For me, it's all about streamlining and simplifying what goes with me everywhere.

  16. @ Kanalt - I have only just seen your comment here (not sure how I managed to miss it...). I have to admit that I love the idea of one life one filo possibly a little more than the practice. It's great, but it's just so heavy - although to be fair that could just be because I have so much spare paper in each section 'just in case'. I'm in my A5 which is lovely, but if I'm brutally honest I could probably get away with keeping standing info (eg addresses etc) in a file to keep at home (I would say in a separate address book, but that would be silly as I lose those), and then I would probably be able to get away with a compact and use the Flex for rough planning - I never seem to get round to doing proper planning in my Filofax anyway and do it all in random notepads and then write the bits I want to keep into my FF - is that weird?