My ‘New’ Filofax

Warning: (blurry) image heavy!

When I was nine, my brother and I flew to the UK (aka the motherland) for a two week holiday with my dad (who was working overseas for a few months). As a gift for my mum (all alone back in Australia), my dad sent us home with a personal sized, dark green Filofax – which  I seem to remember purchasing with him from a large department store, having found it on a square ‘sales’ table.

From that time, my mum always used her Filofax. Religiously. It went every with her throughout my entire childhood and adolescence. Even as I entered university, mum’s Filofax was still a key member of our family.*

So when I asked my mum at the start of this year “How’s your Filofax going?” it was with surprise that I heard that both my parents had been converted to the technological world of the iPhone since their respective retirements: my mother was no longer using her Filofax. Clearly this was the end of an era!!! But also my chance to indulge my organisational dreams of owning a Filofax.

And here it is, in all its 16 years of glory:


The markings inside read “Filofax / Personal Portland / Real Leather”

I’m still playing with the internal schematics of my ‘new’ Filofax but, for now, the (homemade) tabs and contents are as follows:


Tab 1: “Info”
Contains: personal profile (below), general dates (holidays, school terms), notes subsection, and shopping subsection.
The inside cover has a zippered pocket, which usually holds a yellow highlighter and some sticky notes.


Personal profile (including the ever important ‘reward’ statement)


Tab 2: “Agenda”

Being the middle of the year, 2012 Filofax inserts were on super sale at my local Officeworks. I purchased a set of two pages per month, two pages per week, and one page per day diary pages for 50c each (I can’t see this deal online, but it was definitely available at the Albury store). The only thing I ‘splurged’ on were the monthly dividers. I have been using the monthly and daily pages (stashing the weekly pages for later use – if needed/wanted):


Month on two pages
I write things in black pen, then highlight over to define the task/event further
(personal, medical, uni, Guiding, bills, holidays)


Day per page outline as follows:
– Scheduled events (appropriately highlighted) at the top of the page
– Daily to do list
– Bottom ‘notes’ regard my husband’s work

I have daily pages inserted for the current and following month. The rest of the months hold a blank sheet to jot reminders, events, etc. down on so I remember things more easily (baby brain is real, ya’ll!) – a bit like a GTD ‘tickler’ filing system, but more compact.


Tab 3: “OBPA” (or Olave Baden Powell Award)
The cover features my name tags from the last two NSW/ACT state Olave Program conferences


I have a basic overview of my Award progress and key contacts


I printed the Award checklist over two pages for easy reference


Second page of checklist | The current overview of my Award challenges

This section also has two subsections (labelled ‘1’ and ‘2’) to use for the current two challenges in progress (two being the maximum of the seven challenges I plan to work on at any given time).


Tab 4: “Thesis”
I made the cover for this tab from a suitable magazine advert


The ‘research overview’ page for my thesis
Includes info I might need readily on hand (topic, basic outline, my uni info, supervisor details)

This section isn’t yet ‘fleshed out’ – simply because I am still trying to figure out what thesis related items I want to be kept in my Filofax. A running to do list / capture page is behind the ‘research overview,’ and I have allowed two (currently blank) subsections in this tab for later use (probably for recording meeting notes and ethics details).

Tab 5: “Baby” — I haven’t decorated the tab for this section yet (waiting for the next scan!) This section contains a go-to page for my hospital/midwife, doctor (once I find one here!), and a brief overview of upcoming appointments.The two subsections are ‘Lists’ (running to do, shopping, wish list, etc.) and ‘Appointments’ (obvious).


The back cover features six card slots and a longer slot.
I keep general (non-everyday) cards in here, along with ‘next appointment’ cards.
In the long slot I have a pad of pre-punched note paper.


Side view of the main five tabs


View of the top tabs:
“Grocery” (my current grocery list)
“Month” (the current month)
“Today” (…)
“MCP” (‘Midwife Care Program’ appointments and notes)


And just for giggles, here’s Charlie ‘helping’ me with my Filofax.

* Not so much a ‘family member’ was dad’s Filofax, which was boring and ‘executive’ (in comparison to mum’s Filofax which reflected her roles as school teacher / principal, wife, mother, and friend). NB: I’ve also adopted this Filofax (an ancient black ‘Lincoln’) and intend to use it for my (potential) new job – mainly because it is more ‘professional’ looking (and, emotionally, it feels more ‘professional’).

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4 responses to “My ‘New’ Filofax

  1. Hi, I’ve been considering a “vintage” filo and the Portland is one of my options. Thanks for the look inside yours!

    • No worries – let me know if you want any further photos or details. The one I have is obviously very well-used, but also well-loved. It also holds a lot of sentimental value for me 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing your setup! It looks like it should work very well.

    I wrote my bachelor’s thesis while in my second and third trimesters of pregnancy with my first child. I was also taking a full load of classes. It was actually one of my less stressful semesters, which really surprised me! I do wish I’d had a Filofax back then. I had yet to discover how wonderful ring-bound planners are.

  3. Pingback: How I use my Filofax: agenda | The PostGrad Mama

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