Monday, 20 February 2012

Oh Osterley How I Love Thee (and can you help out on this assignment?)

So it's been a while since I blogged about a Filofax set up - mainly as my systems had been working so well. However while the Personal Deco that is my everyday contains everything I'm supposed to be doing set up is working perfectly from an overview perspective - juggling my studies has become more and more difficult to schedule....

So I started thinking about how I could more efficiently track what I'm supposed to be doing and when!

In comes the return of an A5 Filofax. Now regular Filo-crack readers of my blog will know that for a long time I'd been using an A5 for work. Until last year when I switched to using an A5 Flex and combining it with an A4 notebook for meeting notes/to do's etc (I was getting through so much Filofax paper it was costing a fortune!!)

Now this system is working fine for just my work bits. I could see the week at a glance, I had room for priority tasks and had all the space I needed for lists and notes in the A4 notebook. BUT I missed the flexibility of the Filofax set up - being able to move sections, have pages inserted wherever I wanted them, you know the usual reasons for liking a Filofax system in the first place. So I got to thinking...

Could I return to the A5 and schedule my school work alongside my work work. This would have the added benefit of meaning that I could really start studying in the evening post work (at work) and achieve things before leaving to drive the commute home and being too tired by the time I got there! Something I'm really struggling with - the 70+ mile daily commute takes at least an hours drive each way and means I don't get home until gone 7pm. So by the time I've said hi to Mr P the earliest I could sit down would be 7.30 which is bang on dinner time...

Anyhoo as always I digress.

So with a new A5 Osterley just screaming to be used (I'm so in love she is so soft, lies flat straight out of the box and is that combination of cool but classic that I love and I got her for a bargain from City Organiser who not only are far cheaper than the official Filofax site their customer service and speed of delivery is amazing) I've mixed up my set up...warning lots of pictures incoming!

In it I've got 3 diary formats. Yep 3! This may sound mad but wait until you see why.....

So here she is:

Not a fantastic shot but you get the idea...

Really love the popper clasp and the feel of the leather
Inside front - lots of card pockets and a full length pocket currently holding a jot pad from my Flex
The obligatory post it note holder!
The start of the diary pages...note the Today marker and Pink top tab...
The Pink top tab takes you to my monthly view of the's January
The black Today marker is for a week on one page with notes format diary (this is a mock week)
Then a clear Today marker takes you to my appointment times week on two pages diary
The newly set up "Dashboard" for an almost GTD inspired section
Then it's my To Do's section - again this is a mock up 

And finally the back with A5 notebook pocket (and notepad) plus a clear top opening pocket

So my diary layouts and system runs thus:

  1. Month to view - long range planning, key meeting dates, holidays etc. Essential for me to see when things are scheduled in for the year (and once 2013's pages are released for next year!) I've got a 2013 year planner but the boxes are just too small for me :(
  2. Week on one page with notes format - this allows me to see the whole week, key meetings only and top priorities for the week and to do's. So if I'm in London I can note what I need to take with me. Plus my main priorities for the week are always in front of me!
  3. Week on two pages with appointment times - now this is new to me. I'm trying to use these pages to block out time when I can work on specific projects BUT also block out study time - so for example the time slots go up until 9pm meaning I can allocated 2 hours post work finishing at 5.30 on specific school work related items eg read X chapter or complete Y workshop project.My theory being if I'm staring at the appointment to do these things all day I won't a) forget to do them and b) will make time to complete them. Having these items in my Personal diary meant I didn't look at them enough and didn't update them enough...this way as I use this Filofax constantly during the day for notes etc I will always have these front of mind...
Will this system work? Who knows but I'll keep you posted :)

Of course what I really want to try are the Philofaxy print your own A5 time management inspired pages - but no printer access...darn!

Any tips for work/life/study scheduling gratefully received....



  1. If you tell me where to send it I'll print you a 2012 set of the Enhanced A5 TM. ray DOT blake AT gmail DOT com

  2. Lx - Great post, am interested in hearing how this works out for you!