Continuing on with the show and tell series, this week is my Filofax. This baby is still very new to me, and although I’m very set on staying in her, I haven’t got too much filled in just yet.
I use my Filofax for my Get Things Done System. I like to be organised, but found myself struggling to plan and for big events in the future. I do use the bullet journal method, which I think is one of THE best planning methods EVER, but they only place it fails me is for future planning.
Now, don’t get me wrong.. I use the future log for events and planning in my bullet journal. But when it comes to storing information, filing things for a later date and holding myself accountable for bigger task lists which really can’t be filed away for later reference in the bullet journal, thats where the Filofax steps in.
Filofax Lockwood A5 Organiser – Cognac
Here is my beautiful buffalo leather Filofax. The smell is amazing, and it truly is a wonderful organiser. The organiser itself is a nice stiff leather with some beautiful markings. The stiffness allows for it to lay nice and flat and gives a good surface to write on however the rings are fairly small, so in my case, they’re pretty stuffed, but for others, it may be enough!
The front has a full height slip pocket where you could put some loose papers or notes into, if you weren’t in a position to actually file them away.
The back of the organiser has a full height and width zipper pocket for more private notes, but I don’t use this as the leather is reasonably pliable so I wouldn’t want to put anything too big or hard that could mould the leather!
Inside Front Cover
I keep this fairly simple. I don’t need a lot of accessories or paper as I keep this planner at home. Having said that, I do keep some stamps, cute sticky notes and some A6 blank and grid index cards in there for notes to slip into my envelopes. There is plenty of room for cards or stickers which is really nice but I just don’t need to use all the space.
I’m very proud of the way my tabs turned out! I used some cheaper ones I found on eBay as templates and used black card stock and my label maker to create the ‘perfect’ dividers’ for me. I just kept this part simple and gave myself an inbox, a monthly section, a yearly section and a debt snowball tracking section.
For the inbox, I’m following the rule of keeping things simple. I’ve got a top opening envelope first, then I’ve got a few sheets of A5 grid index cards. I just punched the holes in them, and now they’re nice and thick and make for a good place to scribble notes or tasks down. That’s it.
As and when I get letters which need action on in the future or I get statements which require payments, I’ll pop them in here until I get a change to sort them into their appropriate month.
An example here is when we got our car MOT’d we had an advisory for the breaks. We knew financially, with Christmas and birthdays, this wasn’t something we could do until the New Year. We took a note of the advisory and left this in the inbox until we knew when we’d be able to sort this out. Every time I opened my planner, I got a constant reminder to sort this out and action a plan. It was never forgotten about and it now has been actioned to an appropriate month, which you’ll see in a bit!
Monthly Get Things Done Section
Looking into my monthly section, I have monthly tabs down the right hand side. Within these, each month has a monthly overview calendar and a top opening envelope.
This is January, the inserts are from CrossbowPrintables on Etsy. They were simple to print out and very simple to punch and add to my Filofax. I just added some Filofax stickers to each date which indicated a birthday, and event or anything we needed to note. I keep the Filofax ruler on the middle of the month were on so I can easily flip to it.
Behind my monthly calendar is where I’ll put anything month specific. If I need to get something booked in for that month, a reminder will go here. If we’ve got something happening that month, I’ll keep the tickets or confirmation here. For birthdays, if the cards fit, I’ll pop them in here too. If they don’t fit, then a reminder on a index card gets added into the envelope.
We’re going on holiday next month, and we have to do our online check in this month. I’ve put a note, with all the details I need like flight reference number, dates and information required onto an index card and popped it into the envelope. Then, when I’m looking through this organiser every start of the week, I know that on that date, I need to do our check-in and there the details are for me.
Continuing my previous example or the car MOT advisory, the black envelope inside the Filofax envelope (it would seem I like envelopes!), contains the cash required for the repairs on our car (our garage only take cash or cheque and it’s just easier for us to pay upfront than wait for a cheque to clear). We know we can get the car fixed this month or next now we’ve got the money in place, but I don’t want to keep that cash in my purse or loose around the house. By keeping it in the monthly envelope, it’s safer, it’s all together and it also counts as a reminder to now get the repairs booked in.
Here’s that black envelope up close. It’s a large string and washer type envelope (making it reusable) and I’ve just used a large paperclip to attach the two quotes we got to the front. This keeps it all together and I know what the money refers too.
Here is February’s month. This is after the monthly calendar. I’ve punched an index card and written down all the details of our holiday. I have a separate packing list in my bullet journal and I also have all the hotel details, flight numbers etc. on the print outs from the provider, so the only information I needed on this card was flight times and dates and also key bits to ensure I gather. I’ve not put this into my envelope as it is something which doesn’t need doing on a certain day, it just needs gathering together when I get chance.
The yellow card in the envelope, however, is a doctors appointment for my jabs. I’ve booked it in, and have a date and time for this which is also in my bullet journal, but again this visual acts as a constant reminder that this is coming up.
Finally the lined paper in the envelope are some ideas and items I’d like to buy with birthday money or vouchers. My birthday is in February and I’ve asked for Amazon vouchers – what I’d like is to get this exact setup (with a few amends) again, but for work! I complied a list of what I’d like, where to buy it from and how much it would cost. Then if and when I do get vouchers for my birthday, I have a list I can refer to of the ideas I had!
This part is pretty bare and is yet to be filled in fully. Here is the yearly overview for 2016 and 2017 in a vertical planner format. These inserts are from Filofax and give me enough space to write any events down. Just behind these inserts I have a zip pouch for anything which needs storing or wont need referencing too until the next year – it keeps it all safe and together.
Debt Snowball Section
Finally, I have my debt snowball section. Straight after my top tab, I keep all the files I have and need for the snowball. This includes monthly payment amounts, monthly saving amounts, overall plan, budgets and big spends over the next 3 years. I’ve not shown these as they’re pretty private and although I’m one for sharing, it’s my partners financial information too and I don’t want to take away his privacy!
After these documents, I have a credit card holder, again from Filofax. We’re not using our separate current accounts to pay off debts and to keep our savings as it gets complicated so we opened (or rather I did) opened two savings accounts. Each month, we’ll pay ‘X’ into the debt snowball account and we’ll pay ‘X’ into the savings account.
We’ll then refer to our documents as to what amount needs paying from each debt, and use the associated debit card to pay it. Any big planned payments or even unexpected payments, come out of the savings account. We have cards for these as it means we are keeping our personal bills, debt payments and savings separate and allows me to keep a closer track of it.
We don’t need these cards every day and I don’t want to carry them in my purse, so we’ve popped them into the back of the organiser as then, we can make all of the payments in one swoop and it’s much easier to keep track of the payment made and where the cards are.
The blue A6 grid index cards at the back are for writing down these payments so we have a running list to refer back too. I used blue instead of white so we differentiate between personal tasks and the GTD system and then finances.
Inside Back Notebook
Finally, the inside back of the Filofax has 2 big pockets. One which runs the height, and the other which runs the width. The one which runs the width is originally for a notebook. Now, my plan for my work Filofax does include a notebook here, but as I don’t need that much writing space, I just went with using this as a pocket to store things.
I keep some note sheets, Filofax stickers and 3 more string envelopes here for quick access. I don’t need to route around looking for bits and they don’t add too much bulk so it just makes sense to leave them all together.
And that’s it for now. I’m still settling in fully, but it’s getting there! As we get further into the month, I’ll get more bits which come up which will need adding into the organiser, but it’s not too busy just now.
If you’d like to know anything more about my setup then let me know in the comments below and I’ll answer it if I can!
As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog and I’ll see you soon!