Jul 102014

I am in a [large] number of groups on Facebook all dedicated to ring bound planners. I frequently see posts in these groups asking

  • What should I get – A5 or Personal
  • Should I get a Finsbury or a Malden
  • Pink, purple or aqua
  • What should I have on my tabs
  • Should I use DO2P or DO1P or WO2P
  • How should I set up my planner
  • What pen should I use

…the list goes on.

Not wanting to offend anyone but really, all these choices should be yours and yours alone.   You know what your lifestyle is, your work requirements, your home life and planning.  How you set up your planner should be based on that.   You know what colours you like, what your budget is, whether you like the smell and feel of leather [ 🙂 ] and so on.

I do agree though that size can be an issue and if you’re new to planners you may benefit from seeing or hearing how others cope with the various sizes available.  Again, use this information as a guide not an instruction.  Do you have a job where you’re constantly arranging meetings?  Then you may need at least DO1P or even DO2P, but then how much other information do you need to write down on a daily basis?  Think about this and then you can make your decision based on your needs and preferences.

I would say that owning multiple planners is a current trend but then, back in 1993 when I acquired my first – an unbranded French “Agenda” that was a free gift with an order of cosmetics, I liked the idea of how it worked.  It also dispelled my visions of 80’s Yuppies as it was a pocket size, though taller and slimmer than i.e. the Filofax brand – and it had a pretty floral cover!


It wasn’t long before I had a personal sized Filofax as well.  I stayed with these for about 10 years or so, then got itchy fingers and found some lovely new planners.  I had a Franklin Covey Compact size, Day Timers Desk and Portable size.   Then I used to watch on Ebay for bargains and I did bag a few.    My current collection exceeds 20 but who’s counting?

There’s nothing wrong with having lots if you’re wired that way.  I’m like that with a lot of things.  I’ll buy something and like it so I’ll buy another 🙂   My husband would probably suggest that I have half of all china and tableware that was ever made in Stoke on Trent!  As long as you don’t break the bank, it’s pretty harmless fun.

But back to the main topic.  What I would suggest to those who are just discovering the world of Filofax and other planners is if you really can’t decide what you need to suit your requirements – buy a cheap one in the size you think you may need.  If that’s not for you, then you won’t be so much out of pocket as if you’d bought a brand new, top of the range one.  The same goes for inserts.  There are plenty of free printables around for you to download and print your own, and if that sounds too complicated, then get some blank inserts, get out your ruler and pen and create your own – just to try it out.   If your trials work – and give them a decent amount of time to try them – then all is good.  Go out and buy a new planner in your favourite style and colour and you don’t have to be influenced by what’s currently “trending”.  Then you can buy the right refills, you know, the ones that work for YOU.  Set up the tabbed sections to make your planner work for you and your shedule, your home and your family.  If you feel you may have too much information to fit into one planner then by all means use two [or more].  If your trial didn’t work out, no big deal.  Just get a different size, again, paying as little as possible and give that a go.  Eventually,you’ll find what fits in with what you want.  I’m not saying you’ll get what is termed as “planner peace” but you’ll have the right size planner, the right type of calendar, a good choice of other pages that are all geared towards you.

After all, a planner is a tool first and foremost, and we all need the right tools for the job.