The State of Grace

My Filofax

Posted on: May 4, 2011

 I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately looking for a way to organize my filofax.  I especially am enjoying Laurie’s blog,  Her inability to find a perfect planner mirrors my life.  I’ve tried Franklin Covey, DayRunner, Moleskine, and now Filofax.  And I’m still searching.  At this moment I’m using a Filofax A5 Domino.   But, I’m so frustrated that I can’t carry it around with me everywhere.  And it always turns out that I need it most the times I don’t have it.  

 I really love the size of the Dayrunner , but I find the binders to be too manly and not as durable as a Filofax.  I can also easily purchase refills in any Office Depot or Staples in the U.S. and they fit (rather than having to order online for Filofax).  Plus, I can buy archival binders easily in Office Depot without having to re-punch.  Maybe one day Dayrunner will get on board and make a better variety of binders, but until then I’m sticking with Filofax.

I am a court reporting student and I have to carry a steno machine, laptop and book bag everywhere, so the added weight of my A5 can be a bit much, especially since I don’t open it often at school.  So, it mainly stays at home; and I write anything I need in a notebook and transfer it later.  I just hate it when I’m running errands and my lists are in my Filo at home. 

My DREAM planner would be a Filofax that is a size between the Personal and the A5.  That would be my ideal planner or maybe in the U.S. size (8.5 x 5.5). 

Well, here is my set-up so far (it’s always in constant tweaking-mode):

As I said earlier, I am using an A5 Domino.  I chose this over my A5 Finchley because I am usually writing on my lap (while watching television, in a sitting room for kids’ doctor’s appointments, practices, etc.) and the Finchley was too flimsy.  The leather is great, but I needed more support when writing .

Monthly:  I currently am using the Dayrunner month on two pages because I had these on-hand. 

Future Planning:  I have a sheet in the back of the year for dates or notes to add to 2012 planner.  [Yes, I have to jot down where I store things because I hide them away and then forget where they are.]   

Week on 2 Pages:  I love how much white space there is on my pages.  It’s not so overwhelming.  And I have to write everything down.  

I use a post-it note for immediate to-do list.  (I’m still working on this system.  I was writing my to-do list on my weekly pages, but if it didn’t get done, I had to transfer the entries to the next week.)

 I also have to have my husband’s work schedule (highlighted in orange) since he works shift work, I need to know what he’s working each day so I can plan my schedule around his.

[Yes, I do doodle sometimes when I’m waiting around and have it open….not the best doodler, I know, but I like looking back and seeing some color there.  Of course, I always feel like a 40-year-old with a coloring book!!]

This is what my planner looked like in a personal – very crammed with little white space.

Tab 1 (TO-DO LIST) — I put a tabbed marker here to just jot down my list as it comes to mind.  I don’t distinguish between long term and short term because (1) I need the immediate to do stuff on my week and (2) it helps to read everything every day to keep it fresh in my mind.  I find if I separate long-term lists, I never turn to that page and it doesn’t ever get done.  Sometimes I just do the task just to mark it off my list.  So, I guess in a way it makes me more productive.


Tab 2 (LISTS) – This is self-explanatory.  My lists include:  Books, Music, Shopping, Websites/Blogs, Notes, journal, Movies, and Quotes. 


Tab 3 (MEAL PLANS AND QUICK RECIPES) — I have no imagination when it comes to cooking.  I need a plan; otherwise, I will resort to an old recipe and then the family starts getting tired of the same things.  I decided I needed to plan our meals out just like everything else.  This is new, so I don’t have anything yet.  I probably will just glue in recipes or rewrite them.  The problem is that I will really have to plan my shopping.  I can’t just drop buy the grocery store when I’m out and about because more than likely my A5 will be at home.  Then of course, I’ll resort to an old boring recipe.   I’ll have to think this one through.

Tab 4 (JOURNAL) — This is my journal.  I have tried to keep a journal since my kids were born; but when life gets busy, I forget and then days go by and the moment and emotion is gone.  So, I’ve decided to jot down my journal entries in my planner and one day I can go back and fill in the gaps.  As long as I capture my emotion, I will have that to trigger my memory later.  I’ve been using a Moleskine as my journal and don’t want to change that up.  I like the uniformity of them and picture my kids reading them later in life

Tab 5 is empty at the moment. 

 Tab 6 (BRAIN DUMP) — This has all my spare paper and I use this as my “Brain Dump.”   When I’m watching Oprah and she says a quote or something inspirational, I have a TODAY marker on a clean sheet and I can quickly jot it down.  Or reading a magazine and I find an article on “the best jeans for your shape” and, of course, I don’t want to save the whole magazine for that one article, so I jot it down here. 

Eventually, this section will get huge so I plan on archiving them on regular 8.5 x 5.5 binders from Office Depot.  I’ll have to re-punch the paper, but at least it will all be in one place instead of different notebooks I have all over the place.  [I went to a court reporting seminar and took some amazing notes, I’m still searching through all my notebooks for those notes. ]   At least, I’ll have these dated and archived in one place.  Well, that’s my plan for now at least. 

So, that is what’s inside my Filofax.  I hope you enjoyed it! 

[I’m totally considering going back to a personal – trying day per page – so stay tuned for a possible update.]


13 Responses to "My Filofax"

OHMIGOSH! I love this post. I especially love the artwork, and the bubble letters and bubbles you put around things! I think the personal pages look FABULOUS! I love when mine fill up like that and have drawings and clouds around stuff, etc.

I wish Filofax made a size in between personal and A5 also, although I have to say, I’ve gotten used to the personal and it is working fine for me right now (size wise any way) As per your comment on my blog, (thanks btw!), maybe try the personal again and just throw some note paper in there until you decide if the dailies will work.

(So, is the “Dinner for Schmucks” when your family complains about old recipes? ;O)

Thanks!! “Dinner for Schmucks” is a movie but can describe my cooking for sure (hehe). I ordered my daily pages and can’t wait to move into my personal soon. And the notepaper idea is perfect. I also got another idea from ( on a fold out monthly calendar. I post pics soon.

Hi Grace! I came over from flickr! Thanks for sharing your filofax with me … I love to peer into how others use theirs – I get good ideas from all of you (and I, too, love Laurie’s blog among others).

I am a die-hard personal size fan – but then again, I think my life is not as busy as most people. However, that dinner plan thing? Brilliant. I just read a book “Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin and one of the things I decided to do (just last week) was a meal plan/shopping-plan-for-that-meal section, too. As with most moms, I think I fall into a rut where the same dinner gets made or takeout becomes a habit so with this new resolution, I am going to do what you do! Plan my Meals for my family!

Really, thanks for sharing! I love to see all these photos here on the blog and over at flickr. I hope to read more of how things are working out for you as you continue to tweak your filofax system!

Take care!

Thanks! I’m still tweaking my system, but hope to update soon.

Thanks for the mention! I’m glad you like my blog. 🙂

I love seeing your setup here! And, I had tidy handwriting like you have! My notes would be much more legible than they are. 😉

That’s I WISH I had tidy handwriting! Duh!

BTW this post is going straight into my Filofax Love posts on Plannerisms!

Thanks Laurie! I am so excited about moving into my personal after seeing your post on your journal/logbook. I’ve had a good time today looking for a nice notebook to be my logbook. Now, I’m wondering where to keep a brain dump or should I even keep all this useless info? Any suggestions?

If you move back to personal it is SO much easier to find inserts from other systems (Dayrunner, etc.) in U.S. stores. I think I have a personal binder with 4 different brands of inserts. My only gripe is that some of the other fillers are wider because their binders are more square, so you don’t have to repunch, but I like to cut them down to size. Great post. 🙂

I loved looking inside your planner. Thanks. I have a menu/shopping sction in my personal kendal. Below is the link to one idea that has helped me so many times, and the other is the divider I made and use to easily access this section. Feel free to look around for ideas.
Menu Ideas
Shopping Menu Tab

I think I am the only person in the world who wants a dayplanner that does not have a closer…no zipper no snap, one that just opens like a book

There is a dayplanner with the GTD system in it without a closer at Staples. I’m tempted to purchase but I have too many just left aside and I think that is what will happen to this one.

I just bought the A5 filofax. It was driving me crazy that I could not fund anything to fit at office depot. What did you use to hole punch? When you put holes, it over laps near the bottom, does this cause a problem and make the papers stick out from your filofax? dayrunner is the brand you use to fill your filofax?
Thank you, I do not want to end up wasting a bunch of money trying to make my planner adapt to US styles.

I use a handheld punch (with one punch). It’s tedious but worth it. It does overlap at the bottom but does not interfere with anything. In fact, I don’t notice it after awhile. I have various sized pages in my filofax but it doesn’t seem to bother me when it’s working for me. For scratch paper, I fold 8 x 11 computer paper in half, cut it, and hole punch. I use that instead of buying the expensive Filofax blank paper. It works well for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • None
  • Grace: I use a handheld punch (with one punch). It's tedious but worth it. It does overlap at the bottom but does not interfere with anything. In fact, I
  • Kristy: I just bought the A5 filofax. It was driving me crazy that I could not fund anything to fit at office depot. What did you use to hole punch? When you
  • ~AspireToBe: Absolutely inspired! I cannot believe you are a beginner in this art form - to me, your capture of your day is brilliant! An amazing way to record t


%d bloggers like this: