Recently, I've made several posts referencing my love for my filofax. Before studying in England I had no clue what filofaxes were, they just aren't all that common in America. You can find them everywhere in England. They have them at fancy stationary stores, at Rymans (like Staples) and at cool stationers like Paperchase. Lots of people have them too, meaning you see them during lectures all the time. After seeing people using them, I quickly fell in love and knew I needed to get one.
The most common size is personal, which is great for carrying around if you plan to use it only as a daybook. I wasn't interested in such single usage, however, and decided on an A5. The A5 is quite big, nearly the size of a traditional composition book. Even though this can be bulky to carry around, the function is unparalleled. I have an entire agenda, address book, to do lists and four different sections to write in, not to mention the notepad in the back.
Upon first receiving this beauty, I was a bit miffed about how much space the agenda part took up. I hadn't been planning to use it as a place to keep my schedule because I already had a perfectly functioning diary. Once I began using this section, I realized that it worked much better than what I previously had.
I didn't get to choose the agenda section, it came with the filofax, but I love the way it's laid out. The days are in columns that are divided up by hour. This lets me write down not only what I want to do during a day, but when I want to do it. No, I don't stick exactly to such a plan, but I do use it to guide me. This proved very helpful when I was juggling a million things at the end of last term.
Another section that I didn't anticipate, but adore using, is the To-Do list. I used to make small little lists of what I wanted to accomplish during a given day and leave them on the top of my desk. Sure it was useful, but it only allowed me to plan out a very limited time period. If that list was for more than one day, I would have very quickly forgotten about it. With the spiffy to-do lists in my filofax, I am able to plan for weeks in advance. I love crossing something off my to-do list and writing down what I want to do keeps me accountable while preventing me from forgetting.
Then there are the sections I did anticipate. There are four sections that I put lined paper in. My planner came with different colored A5 pages. I adore the different colors, even though I haven't been able to find refills of the colors. I have been able to find normal white refills, which work just as well, though a little less pretty. It's still useful though.
I've divided the sections into lists, stories, "business" (which is really house/organization papers and notes) and journal. Having all of these different sections together in one place was the main reason I wanted a filofax. Previously I had a notebook for each section, which just got bulky. No, I never actually carried around that many notebooks, but I did keep have them all on my desk. Which was messy enough with all of my uni books on it.
Finally, there are the alphabet tabs. I knew that I wanted to keep an address book in my filofax. My A5 didn't come with the proper address pages, however, so I bought some from Paperchase in England. They work very well so far, I get a page per letter, which is plenty for me. I wanted a paper address book so I could have all my numbers in one place. Now when I'm in New York I don't have to turn on my English phone to get my friends' numbers and vice versa.
The only downside to my filofax? This thing is heavy and big. I've gotten into the habit of carrying it everywhere, which was extremely uncomfortable when I was also having to carry my Italian textbook to lectures. On its own, or with a novel, it's not too bad, but if you don't want something too heavy I wouldn't recommend the A5 size, personal would probably work best.
Ultimately, I'm very pleased with the functionality of my filofax and the design. It looks pretty and I enjoy having it out on my desk all the time. Already it's become part of my life and I can see myself using it for years and years to come.
How do you stay organized? Do you use a diary/agenda?