Laurie is back today with her fifth post for The Comparison Project!
Hello everyone – it’s hard to believe we’re here already, but this is my fifth and final post for The Filofax Project.
Once again I’d like to thank Janet Carr for creating this project and for her outstanding generosity in supplying the participants with Filofaxes. I’ve loved using the personal Belmont from Janet and will continue to use and enjoy it for years to come.
Big thanks also to Jordan Powers for keeping us all organized and on time and for posting all of our guest blog posts. I’ve loved reading everyone’s project posts and I hope some people will continue to blog on their own as I would love to keep reading!
For my final week I chose the day-on-two-pages inserts created and shared by Ray Blake. Thank you Ray!
After having worked with a week on two pages in various formats for the past month, using these inserts was like moving from a studio apartment into the penthouse. Lots of light and space and, as you can see, they are very elegantly designed and laid out.
The set I found and downloaded from MyLifeAllinOnePlace is for 2014. And, try as I might, I was unable to figure out how to modify these for 2013 or how to print them on the front and back of my paper. But I was so drawn to them and wanted to try them so much that I cropped the printouts and taped them back to back and used some washi tape to cover the 2014 days of the week. It’s clear that I’m not very crafty – but my interest here was function and not aesthetics! Looking at my photo now I see I forgot to cover the year on these 2 pages. Oy!!
These inserts worked so well for me – I loved being able to have my daily to-do list right next to my appointments for the day and for this week I did away with my separate daily to-do list. The obvious downside is that these are a bulky set of inserts – but if I carry just a couple of months at a time it will be very manageable. I think this format will be particularly useful for work – when appointments and to-dos may cover a variety of subjects.
Would love to try these in A5 size also.
I only printed out a week’s worth of Ray’s pages, but wanted to continue using something along these lines. I returned to the Filofax week-on-two-pages inserts in cream, which are the ones I customarily use:
I’ve used this format for a few days and love this too – it’s a workable compromise between the day-on-two-pages and the week-on-two pages. My to-do list stays with my week’s appointments AND can be moved if there are things I wanted to accomplish but didn’t. And keeping the inserted pages in different colors makes it easy to distinguish between calendar and to-do:
This has been a great project for me and I’ve loved every minute of it. Better still it made me get out of my rut, look at how I organize my days and try some new things – and some of those I will continue to work with going forward.
My twin goals in this project were to 1) compare various inserts to evaluate how well they helped me stay organized and 2) try and evaluate methods for keeping distraction at bay and staying focused on the day’s tasks.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
• Having multiple to-do lists based on deadlines – day, week, month, etc. helps me avoid feeling overwhelmed by an interminable number of tasks, not all of which need to be completed this minute. Separating out task lists by priority and timeframe keeps the lists shorter, the stress lower and helps me get more done.
• Vertical formats can work! I loved the overview that a vertical week-on-two pages gave me – a quick screen shot of the blocks of time I had committed to various things. I could not use this as my only diary – but in conjunction with a day or two days to a page it would be great. I’ve always avoided this format but now I will incorporate it. Who knew?
• Space is bliss but too much space can be heavy and bulky! I loved using Ray Blake’s day-on-two pages format – it felt so airy and once I had the pages open to the day I didn’t need to keep flipping to another to-do list to see what priority was up next. I loved the clean elegance of the pages. But – a year would require a bulky stack of pages and if you’re not comfortable only including a month or two at a time in your Filofax this may be too much space for you.
• Compromises can work. I’m very happy with the insertions of lined pages between the pages of the week-on-two-pages inserts. Filofax does something similar with A5 pages – with the difference that the task page is not freestanding (having a diary page on the reverse) and so it cannot be moved if you didn’t finish everything on your list. I’m experimenting with this in my A5 work binder also. I learned that I like the view of my day and my to-dos together.
• Finally, while I haven’t conquered the demons of distraction I’ve driven them back from the gate! The best and most obvious thing I did was to silence the alerts on my computer. Those little dings-of-distraction are focus killers. I highly recommend this to anyone who has not yet done this.
I hope that some of what I’ve learned may be helpful to some of you also!
Happy trails and happy organizing!