Monday, 25 June 2012

Is My Planner Failing...? And A Special Delivery To Make My Day!!!

Note: sorry, this is kinda long as it turned into two/three posts in one...

Hmmm... let me think about this question...

Is my planner actually failing, or am I just too distracted, trying to cram too many things in one place, and not using my system properly...?

So let's try and work this out:

          Do I love my current binder? Holborn Zip - yes, of course I do
Who wouldn't love this sleek baby?
             Do I love the inserts I have? Yes, yes, yes!!!

          Am I using the inserts appropriately? Well... I look at them and they make me smile...lots... does
          that count?   Heck - thought not :o(

OK, so I see the problem is me, not my inserts, so what am I doing wrong? Time for honesty - I am not being disciplined with regard to checking my personal items which need doing.

The last few weeks have been filled up with monthend (monthend tasks never go in my Filofax as we have a shared master checklist for this), writing up my 'Yellow Belt' project (a most hideous experience) and working on another project. The other main person working on this project was in our Z├╝rich office with me all last week and we had a brief run through of where we were and what we needed to achieve, and so my poor filo didn't get much action.

However, I had a HUGE list of personal to do's to get through, and even though my Holborn was open on my desk all week, I barely looked at him apart from to think how lovely he and his inserts looked, and that the list was huge and I really needed to get some of those tasks done TONIGHT... every night... It is now Sunday night, and although some of the tasks are done, there are still a lot not done (way too much to get through in one weekend). It didn't help that I left the beloved on my desk at work overnight on a few occasions, forgetting the fact that I have everything else in there that I need to do when I get home, so nothing gets done.
OK - it's quite a list that I need to get through...
Previously I had a set up with work to do sheets in one section, and personal ones in another - for me this required too much flipping backwards and forwards between sections, and invariably I wouldn't look at the personal ones at all.

Putting them all together seemed to work for a while, but recently things have been pretty hectic again, and the personal stuff always ends up taking a back seat to work stuff... I know, I know, that's not how it should be, but that's just how I roll.

So I got to thinking, what could make me start using me Filofax successfully again? Could I:

          a)    Just do it!!! Stop being so bloody lazy and get on with it...

          b)    Go back to my old set up of sensible, professional looking inserts, to stoop me being
                 distracted every time I open my filo (yes, I am frequently likened to Dory from Finding
Very clean and practical... and I do love them and writing on fresh clean sheets of paper
          c)    Re-consider my whole set up...

I have considered these options and have discovered some things about myself along the way:

          a)    until I have a major consequence of my failing to do a personal task I will probably continue
                 to leave these until they are late. I try really hard not to, but that's probably the truth. I am an
                 atrocious procrastinator. I probably spend more time planning to do things, and weighing up
                 whether I should do things or not, than I actually spend doing things.

          b)    this would probably help as with 'normal' paper I was more disciplined with the use of my
                 filo... but I like my funky paper... The nice paper that I have is pretty distracting, and as there
                 is less structure and the paper is so 'busy' it does make it more of a challenge to identify what
                 has been done and what still needs doing, and it does make it easier to get overwhelmed by
                 the sheer volume of tasks.
A bit on the busy side...
          c)    I have already mentioned in previous posts that I am considering giving up the 'one life, one  
                 filo' philosophy, not because it doesn't work for me, but because I don't feel that I need to
                 carry my work planning everywhere any more. I don't need to take it home every night. I
                 think that all I really need to have with me is my appointments info so I can easily check if I
                 am free on a particular day (though it is pretty rare for me to need to check anything like that
                 when I'm not at work).

Things I have discovered about myself:
                -     I procrastinate too much (I'm sure my DF has told me this before)
                -     I am easily distracted by random things (If I am 'in the zone' at work, nothing can distract
                      me, but if I'm having one of those days where I'm struggling to get into it properly, I get
                      distracted by everything).

So... what to do...?

Do I split my life between two filos, saving my pretty stuff for my personal filo... or do I stick with the one life one filo A5 for a bit longer with more appropriate inserts?

Well, monthend starts again soon, and then I'm on holiday for a couple of weeks, so I have to sort out a travel filo for the trip so don't really have time to set up two more filos from scratch.

Let's see what a streamlined A5 will look like...

Well, I started writing this last night and got into work this morning to receive my special delivery so I have to include that in this post before carrying on any further as it's just too exciting.

I have been waiting for these to come for the last week as I knew they had arrived with my friend but I couldn't actually get to them, no suspense in this one as I have already blogged about them as I was too excited to keep it to myself so without further ado, please welcome my two new babies:

Boxed and beautiful

Red personal Finchley

 The photo isn't doing the colour justice, it's actually a bit of a deeper red than this shows and is such a beautiful shade - nicer than I was expecting. I realised after I took the photo that I have taken a photo of the back of this for some reason - not sure what I was thinking, but it still looks lovely...maybe I got distracted by shiny things :o) 
A5 purple Malden
 Again, the camera doesn't do the colour justice. It's quite a strange colour in a way though, as it can vary so much depending on the light that it is in...

There's nothing wrong with these rings!!!
This is probably closer to the colour that I see in most lights...

Once I'd photographed these new darlings it was time to get back to the serious business of getting my filo set up sorted.

As you can see - it was getting a bit stuffed. It is a bit annoying when you can't add any more sheets to the front because the rings are too full and if you open them without going to the middle of the inserts then the front ones all fall off the rings...


But kinda full...
Clearly something needs to come out of there... have I made the right decision...?
 It was out with the huge number of sticky notes (I have used one since I put them in there), and the stickers (zero), the WO2P diary pages (ouch...), the timetables, the personal info pages and the International Info (none of which have been used at all yet) and out with my plans for my routines, they are not finished and were started months ago.

This means I am left with most of my set up left much as it was before, with the main change being that the WO2P has been moved out and the MO2P is now my main diary insert, with a few sheets of various random, non-matching sheets of paper in between... will stick with photos now as I have waffled for way too long...

No before pic for this one, but it's feeling quite skinny now

No more sticky notes - but I had to add a few sheets of Supercat to liven it up a bit

MO2P - will see how this works when I have to add appointments, but I don't usually have many, so it should be OK

Yes, I know it's still busy - but I'm going to give it a fair trial :o)
 OK, so that's done for now. Let's see how this works out - wish me luck!!!



  1. I suppose all you can do is give it a try and see how you go, I don't need my Filofax for work at all, I take my pocket with me and work on it in work time though, if that counts :o, so I've not really much advice to give really. I loved your set up with all your pretty paper and post it's etc, but if it's too distracting maybe a more business looking Filofax for work and a fun one for personal, I mean it's not like you don't have enough Filofaxes :)

    Loving the red Finchley, and i'm getting more and more tempted by the purple Malden every time I see it, would you recommend it?

    Hope you work out your issues :)

    1. I love my purple Malden, it is lovely. I moved everything into it after I changed my set up as I thought I'd use it for the next few days before I head to the UK, but as soon as I closed it, it just didn't feel right for some reason. I love the fact that you can actually fit A5 paper in the pocket (you can't in the Holborn, but with the Zip it's not important), but I just want to still be in my Holborn at the moment, so it all went straight back across.

      However, I am definitely going to be using an A5 as my Goddess Circle binder (I don't want to be printing everything out in A4 size if I can help it), and I'm not sure whether to use one of my Dominos for this, or my purple Malden... I think the Malden may win that one.

      I'm also toying with using a filo for my journalling when I get started, but am not sure if I'd be better off sticking with a bound book (Leuchturm...).


  2. I'm sure i'll give in at some point and get the purple malden in A5, i've no malden in my collection as yet, so i'm intrigued. I'd love the pocket zip as my purse too :o

    I think the Malden will be perfect for the Goddess Circle :)

    I've considered a Filofax as my Journal, I just can't make my mind up on this one though, it would be great until it comes to archiving, not as easy to look back on as a bound journal, and I do love the Leuchturm and Journal's in general. I'm still using my personal teal finchley alongside my journal and this is working out well :)

  3. I procrastinate and after a lot of thought realised it was mainly because I like a challenge, and this way any task becomes this big drama at which I can then "Win" (because I usually do) - it's not a thing I've seen mentioned in the various books I've read over the years, they usually assume it's an avoidance tactic or fear of failure (or success) etc, but with me it's because I actually enjoy the challenge and rush of completing successfully against the odds.

    I'm also very focused, so doing something solidly for 6 hours during the last day possible, with full permission to put other things on the back-burner, suits my working style better than doing those 6 hours spread over several weeks - again, not seen this mentioned.

    Hope you don't mind me posting this but you might want to take a look at your own thought processes and see if you can spot any of those traits: this level of self-knowledge is now helping me realise that 99% of the time, I'm not "procrastinating" (like there's this awesome way of doing things "normal" people do, that I don't) - I'm just working in a way that honours my values and preferred style.

    The downfalls, such as an unrelated emergency cropping up when I should be finishing a project and when I have no spare time left, are probably no worse in the long run than the issue of trying to battle myself to do things in a different way.

    ... AAAND, this might all be heading a bit too off-topic now, in which case apologies, and thanks for sharing your lovely Faxes!!

    I personally found after years of experimenting, that a visually pared-down Fax works better for me for work, less distracting and also doesn't get grubby and worn-looking as easily as when I had all sorts of doodads in there.

    1. See, I get you with the whole procrastination thing - I think I enjoy all the obsessing about how to do it, exactly how I want it to turn out and then eventually how best to actually do it :o)

      Even at school I hated doing coursework and loved exams - coursework = drawn out work, trickle fed into it, exam = intense pressure, masses of cramming the day before and 3 hours to finish the job!!!

      My partner tells me I'm borderline obsessive when it comes to doing things - the hours I spend researching things online before deciding which particular one to buy (it's a good job that pregnancy lasts for 9 months, I needed most of that just to decide which type of re-usable nappies I was going to buy) :o)

      I think I will probably discover that standard white paper works better for me (in fact, I think deep down I already know this), but it's fun to try the girlie stuff and see what happens..

      Longer term I am likely to end up back on the white stuff for all my work stuff and maybe keep the pretty stuff for fun things, like quotes to go in my happiness binder, chilled out scribblings to go in my Goddess Circle binder (when I get started) and just nice things. Who knows, maybe I'll actually start writing letters to people to use some of my fabulous writing sets :o)

  4. Red & purple are my two fave colors so needless to say, i LOVE both of your new filos. ;)

  5. With all this talk of beautiful Holbourn's they are now on my next list of 'I want' Filofaxes, sigh.

    1. They are beautiful - you should definitely get one :o)

  6. I love the fun paper, boring paper makes me not want to use it. And I had the same thing happen with post its and tabs, had a ton and they are bulky... took them out and havent missed them. Now stickers are another story!


    1. Ooh... stickers.... drool (I just need to get myself to use them instead of just looking at them) x

  7. Gorgeous Filofaxes. I'm normally not a purple person at all, but that Malden is tempting!

    The way I see it, your Filofax must serve two functions: it is a time and task management tool, AND it must be a pleasure to look through (otherwise you would never want to use it, right?) I love to flip through the pages of my Filofax, just so I can look at my pretty page dividers and colorful tabs. It seems that rather than get rid of all the pretty papers and bits, maybe you could just cut down--reduce the number of stickers and sticky notes you carry--you can always rotate them depending on your mood. As far as the procrastination goes, well, a tool will only take you so far. But the point of having a tool is to use it. And you would only use a tool that works for you. So the question would be: is your system simple and effective and does it work for you?

    I tried all kinds of complicated systems (for example, I tried the Franklin Covey prioritization codes and couldn't remember what any of it meant) and found that simple, color coded, and pretty works best for me. Also, this may sound ridiculous, but I discovered I love tick boxes and found that I am willing to complete the most unpleasant of tasks, simply to experience the joy of ticking a box in a colorful pen. Procrastination, no more! (Mostly.)

    Good luck! (I hope you keep the pretty!)

    1. I love tick boxes - the To Do lists are probably my favourite non-pretty inserts :o)