Friday, 19 October 2012

Time for a small rethink

I realised the other day that I’m carrying around a lot of stuff that I just don’t need out and about with me, and that it should all stay home in a non-planner filofax. Then maybe one of the ones partying languishing in the bottom drawer of my bureau could be in use.
I decided to go through my Mulberry and work out whether each page should be ‘home’ or ‘away’ (this is now sounding like a football fixture list, buy hey ho). ‘Home’ would indicate it could stay at home; away means I would want that information on me out and about so would stay in the Mulberry.

Section: Notes
Blank paper for jottings

Section: Goals
A list of all the projects I am currently working on, with a fabulous quote at the start then my Life Grid, then the projects for the Life Grid.

The quote is from the film Inception

Hmm. This could really stay at home, but I like to have all my ‘planning’ stuff in one place so that I could do my monthly and weekly plans anywhere. And I love having that quote with me…

Section: Months
Currently there are the monthly sheets for the rest of 2012, but nothing for 2013 yet.
I’ve recently tweaked the monthly pages so that each month has four sides of paper:
1: a list of to-do for the month, relating to my Life Grid projects
2 & 3: a month to view with important things indicated (birthdays, when I’m in Malawi, vet/doctor/dentist/hair etc. appointments) but not fine detail.
4: a page for reviewing the month
In this section, there is also a monthly review check sheet and a forward planner for noting down things for 2013 and 2014 (when the car-tax is due, when the broadband deal is up etc.)
Again, these could stay at home, but again, I would want them with me for planning.

Section: Diary
This has a general to-do list at the very start (with a tag on it so I don’t forget it’s there), then a week plus notes section, then a day per page section.

Section: Lists
This is where things could be pruned!!
First up is a ‘Waiting on’ page – where I’m supposed to list things I am waiting for (deliveries, payments etc), but I usually forget.

Then there is a list of potential blog-post topics. Since I only write blog posts at my desk and can add any jottings made out and about to this list when I come home, it can be removed.

Then comes a list of websites to look out for. Again, I do my browsing at home, so this can come out.

Then there is a list of books/ things to look for in shops, which obviously I need whilst out and about.
Away (but moved to another section otherwise there will be just one sheet in this section!)

Then there are lists of topics I have written about in letters to friends. I realise that probably sounds really bizarre, but I write to about 20 people and I can’t always remember what I last told them about, so I keep a list to stop me repeating myself! Now that I am also writing to people in the Filo-pal project, I am thinking of keeping a whole filofax just for correspondence – to keep the letters from people in that project and then also notes of other letters written.
Home/correspondence filofax

Section: Info
First up is a list of log-suppliers for feeding the wood-burning stove.
Erm… Home!

Then there is a list of meter readings (gas, solar PV and electricity).

A print-out of the maps you get on the UK on the back of an OS map, with all the maps I have ticked off, both for Landranger maps and for Explorer maps. These are so that if DH and I are out and about and see any on sale second-hand, I know if we already have them or not.

To help me know which maps I have

Then there is a list of Mulberry shops worldwide, a map of the world, an out of date tube map, conversion tables, travel stuff…
Other than the list of Mulberry shops worldwide (I’m not that obsessed with the thing!) most of the rest can stay as it’s useful enough.

Then I have my addresses section, which I do use out and about.

Right at the back are cards and money and in the zipped pocket are stamps and other bits and bobs, which all need to be with me.

What I do note is that there isn’t an ‘In an emergency, contact…’ page or even details of ‘If found…’ Something to remedy this afternoon!

Having cleared out the lists section almost in its entirety, I’ve freed up a bit of real estate. I have been dickering about (as I have before), over the diary section(s). Now that work is hotting up again, the week plus notes is not as useful as it was in the summer, as the diary side isn’t detailed enough and so I find I am flicking straight to the day per page sheets to see what I have on, not the weekly page. I rarely have to write an appointment in to my diary more than six months in advance and I am seriously considering shifting to the monthly sheets (in the format they are in now), then just a list of to-do for the week rather than the week plus notes, and six months of day per page diary. The page per day diary is the very cheap one I bought recently and the paper is thin, so six months isn’t that thick. Despite the thinness of the paper, it’s better quality than the filofax diary paper!

But… I have tried relying on the monthly view before and it failed miserably, so it may not be that long before I revert to monthly lists, weekly lists, a year of week to view and a week of day per page! Plus ça change…


  1. I find that as soon as I remove anything or leave it at home it becomes the ONLY thing I need. For example what will you do when you drive past a sign saying "logs on special offer" and you can't compare it to the price of your regular supplier ;-)

  2. I've recently moved into my slimline as I wanted to get rid of the extra rubbish I thought I didn't need. Recycled & shredded most of it & popped the rest into my in-tray to process later. Why is it that now I seem to want that stuff??