Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Use a Planner regularly (Filofax)

 The most EVER useful trick that I learned in organizing space, was "have things where you need them". Even if you need them in unconventional places!

If the only one place,  where you use your planner is a toilet,  have your planner suplies there. No, I'm not going to confess that I use it there. (No, I don't want to hear your confessions that you use it there too! Yes, you could make a secret toilet planner society and invite me there).
Your planner supplies could be:
-an archive box to store your future and past planner pages, as well as blank pages,
-pens, highliters, pensils, stensils, stamps, incs,
-stickers, flags, tabs, dividers.
The best way to use them is to have them all in one tote or in one rollable cart.
I am guilty in not using an archive box regularly,  which results in loosing my past pages because I can't remember where I left them and then I'm lazy to collect them to have one proper year archive. I cannot stress enough this! Have your supplies where you need them!
In different times I used to use my planner in different rooms and places, it was my kitchen, my living room, my bedside table, my bag. And if you notice that the place where you use your planner has changed, change your planner supplies place accordingly!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Classic GTD set up in a planner (Filofax)

In GTD, the productive workflow looks like that:
1.collect everything that is capturing your mental energy, and it literally means everything,  not just a part that you think that's worth collecting, 
2.process it to decide what is it and what to do with it, 
3.organize it, it, it.

Paper is the best tool for collecting all thoughts, ideas, things to do. It's the quickest tool ever. Try to open up an app, and write several words on paper,  what would be the quickest?  Paper!

To collect things on paper, the GTD advices an inbox tab or divider, whatever you prefer.

After that, you have to process it, or to clarify what is it and what to do with it:

-If it is a note that you will/might need in the future,  it should go to the "Reference" section. "Reference" section consists of an information that stays in your planner if you are referring to it often or will be referring in the near future (I.e. your children's school's bells schedule). In GTD, reference material also is needed to support the projects that you're working on currently, I.e. for a Vacation project, it might be geographical maps, my different brainstorming notes on where to go, schedules for planes, trains, busses, etc.,

-if it's a note that you won't need, just cross it off (or trash it as GTD refers to it), 

-if it's an idea that you might need in the future,  it goes to a "Someday/Maybe" list in the list section or to Tickler Files (it's a system that consists of 43 folders that are 12 folders for a year plus 31 folders for the days of a month, they are actual folders with papers that you will need in the future, and that stay at home or office, these folders do not live in your planner!),

-if it's something that you need to do, and it takes less than 2 minutes,  do it now!,

-if it's something that could/should someone else do, delegate it (the sooner, the better imho), and write it to calendar pages to the expected deadline. The classic GTD advices to put it to a "Waiting For" list, but, in my experience,  it should go to the calendar because you do have an end date in your mind by which you expect something to be done (I.e., a package to arrive), or you might miss a deadline, as I did several times! Don't forget to inform the one who does this to do to understand what kind of the end date you have in your mind!, 

-if it's something that you can't do now, and can't delegate, it goes to:

○"Projects" section (a project in GTD is any outcome that require more than one action step to achieve it. For each project you need one or several sheet of paper,  I write clearly the name of the project on the top of each page and number them, for instance, "Vacation-1" on the first page, "Vacation-2" on the second, etc. In the project section you describe this project in terms of the what is it, why you need to do it, how much it will cost you in terms of resources (time, money, people, etc),  how you will do it (actual next actions/steps/to do's), when you do it (a deadline) , where you do it,  contacts, etc.),

○"Calendar/diary" section (in GTD, you put there only things that HAVE to happen on this particular date, everything else goes to the "Next Actions" list or to the "Projects" section), 

○"Next Actions" list (any ONE step actions goes here. For everybody, it's the longest list, so you want to organize this list further and divide it by category: 
* by context in which you need to do it: @home, @work, @computer, @ the internet, @errands, etc.,
*by time required to do it (if you have just 15 minutes,  then choose only to do that requires 15 or fewer minutes to do), 
*by energy required to do it (for instance,  at the evening,  after work,  I most often don't have a lot of energy,  so I do tasks that I absolutely have to do only, and the things that don't require a lot of energy, as a computer work,   and on Sunday mornings,  I do physically demanding tasks, as cleaning the whole house.
I switch between having one long "Next Actions"list , where I write the next actions together with categories,  and the date when I have written them, and I also have tried to write them on separate pages by categories.  Try both methods and choose what works for you!).

Chances are, your head is spinning around by now, so I will summarize all sections in a planner in a logical order:
•Lists ("Someday/Maybe", "Waiting For" divided by the person or company who do the task, "Next Actions" divided by category),
•Reference divided by project reference pages and stand alone reference pages,

"Waiting for" list might describe everything that you expect from others in details, while "Calendar" have the deadlines for those to do's.

"Contacts" are phone numbers or addresses that you need most often. 

You might include your projects into the lists section because they do include your next action steps, but I prefer to keep them separately just to have a clear distinction between sections.

Also you might keep the "Reference" section pages, the ones, to which you need to refer in order to do a particular project, together with this project in the  "Reference" section.

 If you've been focused enough in reading my post, then you notice that "Next Actions" lists exist in two sections -"Projects" and "Next Actions". It's your preference, where to keep "Next Actions" list from the projects pages that you have - right in the "Projects" section , without rewriting them, or in the "Next Actions" lists, then you need to rewrite them there.  In my opinion,  rewriting them works better because this way you have ALL of your actions in one place!

Live doesn't stay in one place, it goes and changes, no matter if you are doing what you suppose to do or procrastinate.  So, to keep this system alive, you need to review it. 
You have to review your "Calendar" and "Next Actions" list, and "Inbox" every day. You have to review everything else weekly.
I do have a certain procedure for that, that I will describe it my later post because this post is already too long. (Update:  please require it if you want to read it!)

In terms of DOING part of the system,   GTD, in my opinion,  lacks the actual process. It's the weakest chain link in the whole system! David Allen describes that in order to do your next actions, you have to rely on your intuition, and then  choose between your next actions steps.

That's not all that I have kept in my planner. In GTD system, there are the levels of perspective,  on which you choose what to do first, what to do next, and what not to do at all:
 _ life purpose
_vision of yourself in the future, 
_medium-term goals
_areas of responsibility
_your current projects,  
_the actions you need to do every day.
 But about it in later posts also.

I do have a video that I made a while ago about a Classic GTD setup:

I hope you find my post useful. Please contact me if you want further explanations from me!
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#filogax with my routins according 5#gtd #post


Thursday, June 18, 2015

May Filofax, Midori, and Hobonichi Photo Challenges

The number of my Instagram subscribers have grown to 600!!
And the number of my blog followers have gone up also, I could see it on my post viewers! So here are my favorite pictures for this May!

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Monday, June 15, 2015

My Ideal Filofax

I have already made a video about how I invision my ideal binder. You could watch it here
But it was pretty long time ago. I'd like to dream about it now. Could I?
My ideal binder would be black. I like all things that look professional and business-like. Leather.  Two outside pockets, one for coins,  and one for cash. They need to be on the back of the outside cover, so the front cover would look clean and stylish.

The binder would have a back full lenght pocket, just like a pocket Malden has, so I could slip there a larger size paper without folding it. Yes, it means that the two outside coins and cash pockets would sit on the outside full lenght pocket. I don't know how it could be done in reality. But it should.
The strap will be exactly like a Malden's. Long and accomodating. In case you haven't seen a Malden Filofax yet, here is my review:
Two pen loops, on both sides of the cover, leather on the outside of tge loop, elastic on the inside to accomodate different kinds of pens. Pen loops need to be placed on the upper third part of the cover, not in the middle, to hold pens better.

Also the size of the paper of a personal size Filofax is weird to me. I have never written about it before, but now you know my biggest dirty secret. I'm not ok with filofax paper sizes. A5 is the right size, a6 is the right size, Franklin Covey Compact size is also the right size (wider than a personal size Filofax for 1 cm or 0.5 inch).
 A6 is ideal because it wouldn't let me cut and throw away the paper. I could cut an A4 sheet in four parts, and use up the whole sheet of paper,  and not throw away the rest of the paper.

But I continue. The inside of the left side of the cover will have 10 horizontal pockets for business cards or credit cards (my Franklin Covey Compact binder has them on the right inside cover. So much room for business cards without buying the extra special inserts!).

 Then, after the business cards slots, two vertical pockets, one after another. The first one will be a secretarial pocket to slip a bigger size paper, and the second one is a regular pocket, so I could slip a Midori passport size notebook inside.
The right side inside cover will have exactly the same pockets as a Malden. I love them as they are.

And, finally,  rings. Rings are REMOVABLE. Yes, as in my review of a Filofax Folio here
They have to be on a separate plastic sheet and be 30 mm. So I could remove them and insert smaller rings (23 mm). And the smallest too (19mm). It make the binder rather wide to physically accomodate the biggest rings. And I need it even wider in case I need to put a regular size Midori notebook if I need it!
And the ideal size of it would be... personal, A6, or a Midori regular size (21cm x 11cm)? Rather, the last one! I like the A5 narrow size! Then I could use Midori notebooks together with a Fofax! A Frankenstein Filofax!
How do you like this idea?
Do you know a company that would make it? Gillio? VDS?
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

How a Plannerneard goes to a Vacation.

If you follow me on my blog, and check out my photos that I post almost every day, you have noticed that I have posted very different photos lately. That's because I am on vacation.  And you should have seen me packing!
I am a plannerneard (like you don't know that already (don't you?). I live and breathe planners. I can't live without them. I sleep with them. I journal in them. I have all kinds of them. Every size and color... well..  not every color... but almost. ..

So what have I chosen to go with me? Well, first I have decided that I take just a passport size Midori with new notebooks and Hobonichi Weeks with me. It doesn't weight a lot, and portable. I could journal on the go, which I did right on the board of the plane. 

Then, I thought, what if... only if.. this is not going to work out, and I will absolutely need more space?
And I took my standard size Midori Traveler's Notebook. Without notebooks.  Because it's very easy for me to make them.  I just need to buy an A5 graphed notebook and cut it to the size!
Then I remembered that I have even a bigger Midori. An A5 size. It's not a real Midori, because a Midori doesn't have this size,  but it's just the same, only wider! And I love it! And it's even more space than a standard size!
Then I decided that I couldn't do without a Filofax. It must be a pocket Filofax. Because it's pretty.  It's Crimson. And Malden. And it's small and portable!  Oh, I can't do without it!
And I took it with me.
My heart was almost content. And then I thought about my aqua. Malden. How could I leave it behind? What if I suddenly have an urge to use it? It would be a catastrophe!
And what do you think?  Have I left it at home?  Of course,  not!
Well, to my defend, I am actually using it right now. With another ring binder. Not a filofax, but a personal size too. I'm not going to post a picture of it here. Search it on my blog!
P.S. Do you think that I am content now??? 
I actually think that I'm nuts that I left my pocket Holborn Filofax and my A5 purple Malden and personal ochre Malden!
P.P.S. It's not easy to be a plannernerd!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My #bag and #midoritravelersnotebook #post


Ringless Filofax-Does it Make Any Sense?

Most likely, you have already watched "ringless filofax" videos that people on YouTube are doing,  if not, check them out. I have seen also a number of photos on Instagram from people who are not making any videos. And on Facebook.
If you have not watched and seen anything, and don't have a clue what I'm writing about, there are people who are removing rings from Filofaxes. And making videos about it. Horror for Filofax lovers! Don't watch them if you have a weak heart! Most of them doing it on pocket Filofaxes, some on personals, and I have seen one without rings on an A5 with a Hobonichi Cousin insight.
In a pocket ringless Filofax Malden  would fit several field notes notebooks or two pocket Moleskines. If you have bought a Hobonichi Weeks, then it would fit also! I have almost forgot that I have it! Now I use a passport size Midori Traveler's Notebook,  and I fit there a pocket Moleskin replika notebook, a Hobonichi Weeks, and a field notes size Notebook that I made myself and are proud of it because it's beautyful and have not only a cover, but also a plastic cover on hard cover, so it's not wearing out quickly!  You could see it on the photo below:

All of what I have in my Midori could also fit in a ringless Malden. Which I have. In a delicious Crimson color. And I admit, I'm tempted to remove the rings.
The first thing that people are considering are: what would I do if I don't like it? The ringless filofax will lose it's value, and I'm going to be stuck with it. Well,  who said that it's going to loose it's value?  Maybe it's going to gain it's value because people are afraid removing rings by themselves?  What do you think?
And, finally,  would I do it?....drum roll,  please.... no! At least not in 2015. It's because I have a full 2015 calendar in my pocket filofax already and I don't want to print it again! And the second reason is that I couldn't find a passport dated inserts in a notebook format for printing. Have you seen them anywhere on the web? What do you think about ringless filifaxes? Would you buy one? Would you use one?

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