Tag Archives: personal Portland

How I use my Filofax: agenda

Last week I shared the general setup of my ‘new’ Filofax. I thought that this week I would share how I use my Filofax to track my appointments and daily to do lists.

In the past, I used a Kikki.K daily to do sticky note in conjunction with a monthly calendar. I would upload this to do list to Instagram on a(n almost) daily basis as a form of accountability.


One of the Kikki.K daily to do lists I uploaded to Instagram

I now use a day-per-page diary insert for tracking my daily to do lists. I don’t use the timed aspect of the page, but divide it as follows instead: at the top I write scheduled appointments (highlighted appropriately); from around the 11 o’clock mark, I write my daily to do list (when items are completed, I highlight them in yellow); in the ‘notes’ section I track my husband’s worked hours and pay.


Example daily diary page

I don’t prioritise my to do tasks – I have not found this method of ‘getting things done’ suits me. I know from looking at my to do list (and any scheduled appointments for the day) what needs doing the most and the order these tasks are completed is not so important as their being done by the end of the day.

On a (slightly) longer term, I have found the monthly view the best way for me to track appointments, due dates, and so on since I was a senior in high school (rather than yearly, which can be a little overwhelming for me). I would print out the current term/semester in months on A4 pages, tape them to my wall, and schedule myself appropriately. I would, occasionally, add a weekly planner page  to this system (but I usually abandon this layout quite quickly).

Since starting to use my Filofax regularly, I have continued using a monthly overview (two pages-per-month) to track important dates. I write just the skeleton of the scheduled tasks, as well as tracking my ‘pregnancy weeks’ (the purple numbers on Wednesdays) and the school term weeks for  Girl Guides(green numbers on Tuesdays). I use an Avery sticky tab to mark the current month and cross off each day in the morning.


June 2012 monthly overview

How do you track to do lists?
Do you integrate them into your planner/Filofax?

What is your preferred agenda layout?
Daily? Weekly? Monthly? A mix?

NB: Since I wrote my first Filofax post I have returned to Officeworks (in Albury) to try to buy more 50c Debden diary inserts. However, they are no longer available and are also unavailable online.

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’).