organised with filofax

For about three years now, since I started my PhD research, I have been using a filofax. My first purchase of this was inspired by the blog, philofaxy, which was run by one man back then, but has since grown a lot with new contributors and more readers. It has been one of my favourite websites since 2007, though I am not a very regular commenter.

My first purchase a baby blue piazza, but when that turned ugly I moved on to a brown classic. Right now I use a finsburry in raspberry, a really delicious colour. This is the one you can see above. All of these are personal size. I am still learning and getting new ideas for using it, at the aforementioned philofaxy blog, but also on other ones. A few good posts are by the glamourous grad student, more magic always and the caribbean princess.

Following these great posts, I will tell something about how I use my filofax. In the first section, marked diary, I have my week on two pages diary. These pages are used for appointments, deadlines, for example abstract submissions, and things that have to be done on a particular day like returning library books. After that I have a month on two pages insert, that I use for tracking billable hours for my consultancy job, and for tracking the times I excercise, write and such things. I have only just started doing it, and it is very useful so far. At the back of this section I have day per page sheets for the coming week, I which I plan out daily task lists and time blocks for important projects. Every week I add in a new week of pages and take out the older ones. This is a new addition to my system since the start of this year, and I am not very good at using it yet.

Next I have my notes section, filled with coloured paper. I use this section for personal notes. At the moment it contains a list of resolutions and plans for the new year, a summary of what I like to do in my Sunday planning session (the page pictured above, in Dutch) and a book wish list for my Archimedes translation project which I plan to get started on. At the back of this section I have a post-its insert, a plastic sleeve containing photos and a motivating note a friend wrote for me when we were both working on our master’s thesis, and stickers to make my planner look nicer.

The next section, labeled projects, is for information on consultancy projects, research papers I am writing and my thesis. The dealine for my thesis is starting to get closer, so I hope this section will be well used. The information section is for lists like gift ideas and clothing items I need. The financial section is as yet unused and the adresses contains, uhm, adresses. In the front I have bits and pieces like train tickets I need to get a refund for, business cards from clients and stamps.

All in all I think a filofax is a great planner, as there are so many inserts and binders available that you can customise it completely. For example, last year I tried the week+notes format which resembles somewhat the moleskine weekly notebook and the quo vadis space 24. It did not work for me, but I like the fact that I could try it out without buying another planner for a whole year. And right now I have three different diary layouts in one book, try looking for that in a bound planner!

This has become quite a long post. I would love to hear how other people use their planners and which planners are useful. The blogs I have mentioned all have a lot of great posts, and another nice blog about planners is plannerisms by Laurie, whose love of planners puts mine to shame.



  1. I have a personal pink fins bury which is my life handbook. Wow I only discovered philofaxy last September so you are much more experienced than I am! I discovered Filofaxes in august 2008 when I started specialist training in public health but it is only after discovering philofaxy that I felt empowered enough to get more Filofaxes (as I finally realised there were many other Filofax fans out there so I wasn’t strange!)

  2. I just love my filofax- it works so well, and if I ever get bored, it’s so easy to switch up!

  3. Thank you for suh an interesting post, and very timely considering the lively discussion on Philofaxy this last two days arising from my comments on ‘form and function’.

    I’m about to submit a guest post to Philofaxy on this very subject, so this has given me excellent food for thought in addition to my own experience. Like you I am a Personal size Filofax user, and making it ‘work’ for me is always my main concern. So ‘Thank you’ again!

  4. Thanks for mentioning my blog, I’m glad you like it! 🙂 And, thanks for giving us a look inside your Filofax. I love seeing how other people use their Filofax! It’s such a flexible and customizable system, as you said.

    And I love your Raspberry Fins! What a gorgeous color!

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