Tag Archives: accountability

How I Use my Filofax: time management for work/life balance

Back at the end of June I shared how I use my agenda to manage tasks for work and life. Since that time I have taken on a new job and encountered a stack of barriers regarding my academic life. I have had to adapt my agenda (and ‘one true Filofax’) to suit.

I still rely heavily on a two-pages-per-month calendar for scheduling tasks. And I still write things in black pen, then highlight over to define the task/event further (personal, health, uni, Guiding/work, bills, holidays). I also use this overview to keep track of what week it is in the school term (Guiding and work related) and in my pregnancy.


August 2012

In conjunction with this calendar I use a two-week timetable from Philofaxy to track recurring tasks. My work ‘week’ is actually a fortnight, which explains the need for two weeks of timetabling. This also allows me to track which rubbish bin goes out  and when (we have three bins now!)


Timetable (week 1)

My day-per-page diary has been replaced by Philofaxy’s enhanced TM two-pages-per-week calendar. This format works best for me as I am able to easily record the handful of appointments I have each week on the left-hand-page and daily (or weekly) must do tasks on the right-hand-page.


3-9 Sept 2012
(I don’t usually highlight my weekly calendar but did so to show the variety of appointments and tasks I track via this layout)

In each day box I also track my husband’s work schedule (above the day name), the start of my work ‘week’ (red dot sticker), what bin needs putting out (green or yellow dot sticker), the school term week (the number on Tuesday), and the current week in my pregnancy (the number on Wednesday).

Further to this system I have dedicated ‘running to do’ or ‘capture’ pages for the various aspects of my life. My MA has two (LitReview and Masters/general), one each for my work projects (tracking both my tasks and those assigned to other stakeholders), one for my Guide Unit (for program ideas, etc), and one for my OBP Award. These are simply downloaded from Philofaxy and edited (either by hand or in Word) to include the appropriate ‘document’ title.


LitReview running to do list

Although looking at my time-management system in this format it feels overly complicated, it really does help my manage my time efficiently in order to balance work and life. If I can see I have a work trip coming up, I ‘write off’ the next day (basically just to recover!) And if I am away or having visitors on the weekend, I know not to schedule big tasks for that time. And sticking with my ‘one true Filofax’ I know I always have all important information on hand to make notes, take calls, and run errands while I am out and about – meaning I rarely ‘waste time’ when I am out of the house.

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How I use my Filofax: goal tracking

In an effort to track the goals I set for myself this month, I printed a month-on-two-pages calendar insert from Philofaxy. I track my goal targets each day using coloured dot stickers and a monkey stamp.


Overview Week 3-9/9/12

  • Calm Birth practice 0/3
  • 1-2 hr of LitReview per day 1.5/7
  • Charlie (dog) walk 4.5/3
  • Wini walk 5.5/4
  • Antenatal fitness 1/1

So far, as you can see, I am on target for dog & Wini walking (thanks to continued Spring-like weather, yay!) and I’ve not yet skipped an antenatal fitness class (so proud of myself). I am, however, struggling with my LitReview daily target, but count any little bit I do towards it as an achievement (hence some of the half-circles). The plan is to make my LitReview my morning focus (generally after the ‘daily’ walk) and spend my afternoons ‘at’ work.

I have also managed to arrange for 1 of 4 library displays to go ahead. The second I need to book and numbers 3 and 4 are requiring the go ahead to be booked from other parties.

The nursery is still not set up (it requires a massive change around of two rooms in our house) but will likely start taking shape this weekend and be completed during the last weekend of September (we have our baby shower and a short trip planned for the intervening weekend).

Practicing my ‘Calm Birth’ techniques was added at the start of this week (8/9/12), to make sure I am continuing to not only physically but mentally prepare myself for the birth of BabyGirlC.

Pretty sure my next step should be looking at how to reward myself for ‘achieved’ goals (or a whole week of achieving goals).

How do you track your goals?
How do you reward yourself for completed goals?

Goal Setting: September 2012

Being accountable is my primary motivation for keeping to my goals. Thankfully I’ve the lovely Jenn keeping me on track (and enabling me to produce more Filofax inserts for keeping myself organised!)

This month I set my goals as part of the #Filofax 365/30 challenge. My goals include academic, personal, fitness, and work related tasks.

  • Do 1-2 hours of reading for my LitReview each day
  • Set up the nursery for BabyGirlC
  • Walk Charlie (the dog) 3+ times per week
  • Walk myself 4+ times per week (this can be doubled with dog walking)
  • Start attending antenatal fitness classes (each Wednesday)
  • Arrange library displays for my 4 work projects

Like the massive Filofax nerd I’ve become, I had to find a way to track my goals in my Filofax. I decided to do so on a month on two pages calendar (homemade insert from Philofaxy) using coloured dots to track the repetitive tasks.

So far so good! And knowing I need to ‘show’ my progress to Jenn each week keeps me accountable and motivated to complete my goals (and, hopefully, form some new habits).

Seeking #AcWri Motiviation: working outdoors

In an attempt to start working on the goals I set for myself for this month, I decided to trial reading outdoors in the sunshine.


I set myself up on a quilt in some dappled shade.

I managed to read my article in the allotted 1-1.5 hours and discovered some pros and cons of reading academic material outdoors:


PRO: It’s really pretty

PRO: This handsome fellow visited me a number of times


CON: This little lady decided to try napping on my  papers


CON: I kept getting cornered by green ants – and then one bit me!

Despite the scary green ants, I did succeed with my goal of finding reading motivation outdoors. I found the sunshine, fresh air, and new environment a nice change from my desk/couch.

Unfortunately Albury has turned off the sun for the next few days so I cannot repeat this #acwri adventure as soon as I would like to do so!