Successfully downsized from personal to pocket size ring organiser

I always used to use an A5 for work – my favourites were my Kendal, Amazona, and Siena (all Filofax). I kept my notes, calendar, lesson plans, and all my client records in my binder (filed alphabetically using dividers). My organiser was enormous and weighed a lot, but everything was there – needs analyses, ideas for lessons, articles, contact details and bookings. I could write a lot on the A5 paper.  It also held to do lists and shopping lists. All I had to remember each day was to pick it up and take it with me. If I had it, I had everything I needed.

Over time though, the A5 became less useful because I would leave it at home if I had a light day and then not have something with me that I needed. It was heavy and unwieldy and at the end of a long day with lots of walking I would literally hate it. My bags had to be big and my back had to be strong!

So about three years ago I changed from A5 to personal. All my teaching papers went into an A4 plastic sleeve, and my wallet, bookings, and lists went into an personal sized ring organiser. Favourites were my Filofax Kensington, Buttercup Ostrich, Green Lizard, and my Van Der Spek Touch Me, Undyed and LV leather. And, who can forget my gorgeous purple Gillio Mia Cara.

Then the same thing started to happen. With the 30mm rings and full length back pocket, my Mia Cara and my VDS binders got bigger and unwieldier. I started to leave my binder behind when I went out for coffee or to grocery shop. Meaning I often needed my coffee card/loyalty card/discount vouchers/shopping list but did not have them. I disliked having to take a bag just to hold my binder. I started to resent having to carry it everywhere. But I couldn’t imagine having a separate wallet again. I like having my wallet + calendar + bits and bobs all in one place. I thought of shifting to a personal with smaller rings but decided to really downsize.

So about three weeks ago, I moved to pocket size. I waited to see if it was a success before writing about it and it is, so I am!

The primary reason for the success is that this binder is so well designed. The secondary reason is that my phone cover now holds my most commonly used cards.

I am using this binder, which is really well designed

I like it because, even though the rings are 15mm rather than 19mm, it is very well designed. It has:

  • Gusseted zipped pocket (coins, keys, pencil, supermarket trolley token, usb)
  • Full length back wallet pocket (receipts)
  • 10 horizontal credit card slots
  • 3 slip pockets
  • Burde vertical week to view calendar for my schedule – 12 months for bookings
  • Burde vertical week to view calendar for my daily to do lists – 3 months for lists
  • Cordwain Higgler blank and lined paper for notes
  • 5 clear plastic plastic envelopes (stamps, wifi passwords for different places, trinkets, hole reinforcers, cash, scraps of paper (addresses, directions etc)
  • rulers instead of dividers
  • 2 Filofax maps (I use maps a lot for work because my clients travel everywhere)

This is all it holds – plenty!

The only changes I made to downsize from personal to pocket were:

  • in my personal I had three back to back 12-month calendars (one for meeting bookings, one for daily to dos, and one for translation bookings and hours) and about 100 pages for notes, while in this one I have one 12-month calendar (bookings and translation hours), one three month calendar (daily to dos) and 30 pages for notes.
  • I have my most commonly used cards in my phone case.
  • I don’t use my mini atlas and stick to fold out maps instead.

I have not missed the bigger size because I never used to do much writing in my binder – just initials or a name for a booking and very short lists – items to buy, things to remember. It fits in my pocket and my smallest bag, and does not take much space.

You will notice that my favourite charm and my bookmarks from Nati and Ashley have followed me through many binders!

Given that it has been such a success, I have ordered a pocket size Van Der Spek Touch Me in the original black Touch Me leather.

Here is mine

Petra also had a few others still available. Aren’t they lovely? This old TM leather is my absolute favourite!

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

5 thoughts

  1. I love the pocket size, but I’m surprised that you can manage what with your massive workload. I hope it works for you as the size is so neat. It’s certainly my favourite. The Touch Me leather does look stunning, I really like the look of it, and I bet the quality is second to none. I have recently bought a pocket sized Classic Croc in chestnut brown and I think you would like that. Not that I would ever encourage you to spend more!!

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