Sunday, 6 July 2014

de Villiers set-up (aka: have I found planner Nirvana?)

"New" de Villiers - front
"New" de Villiers - interior

I have moved in! I thought I would have to tweak and fiddle with my set-up in a major way in order to fit into the small rings, but actually, the thing is like a Tardis!

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to keep all of the rest of 2014’s week on two pages diary and so set about creating monthly sheets which had a list of ‘things to do this month’ as the first side, a double-spread of month to view, then the last side for a review (four sides in total; two pages per month).

I also thought I might not have space to have my contacts on the rings and rummaged around to find a satellite address-book that could slot into a pocket in the binder. I found three – the pocket-filofax size one that came with the pocket flex, a filofax one I had been given that was Swedish (?) and which also slightly bizarrely seems to run in reverse order and have some extra letters, and a Paperblanks one that came with a diary and which is a bit of a tight fit.

Satellite address book options

In the end, I needed neither of these alterations! I had a good long look at what I carry around and wondered – do I really need to cart all this around with me?? The answer was no, and so I could fit all that I wanted onto the rings!

Things that have stayed and where they have gone:
  • My cards – all in the ten slots in the front cover
  • Stamps (tucked into the vertical pocket behind the cards)
  • Plastic cover sheet to protect the pages
  • To do sheets (see this post about the latest tweaks)
  • Week to view diary (June to December, though still space for the whole year if needed I think)
  • Today marker (in the current week for once!)
  • Information tab
    • Personal information sheets
    • Books to look for
    • List of OS maps we have
    • A chart of my weight
  • Addresses tab
    • Lists of contacts
  • Notes tab
    • 5 sheets of paper
  • Zipped pencil case with coins in it
  • Paper money in the outer of the two vertical pockets in the back cover
To Do now up front and in my face
...including reminders to turn the page! I can see the next actions I should be doing!
Notes section tucked behind notes tab behind To Do
zipped pencil case from Tesco for coins
Paper money in vertical pocket

Things that have not been moved across (all have been transferred to the planning filofax):
  • General to-do sheet of big house-stuff things
  • Notes from Rotary Committees (it is the end of the Rotary year and the information has gone into the report!)
  • Year planner
  • Important dates sheet
  • Timetable pages (none of these last three things of these were filled in!)
  • Information pages – web things to look for; general other notes no longer needed; list of shopping sites; list of apps to look at; names/contacts for getting logs; random other bits of information like meter readings; maps; packing lists
  • Card holder

So what has changed in the de Villiers in comparison with the Baroque?
  • All of the cards are in the inside left cover rather than there being six there and the rest in a card-holder on the rings at the back
  • Up front (and in my face!) is my to-do list, with my next action sheet behind (see my last post for why this is here)
  • The notes section is now behind the to-do
  • The monthly sheets have gone (with the hope that their contents will get added to the to do lists a tad more regularly than the last few months)
  • I have removed both the planner tab and the diary tab, since the Today marker is all that is needed
  • Week on two pages is as it was (with the Today marker in the right place)
  • There is a slimmed down information section behind the tab
  • Addresses are as they were, behind the tab
  • The zipped pencil case for coins has moved to the back so that when I open the planner, the to-do list is the first thing there

I weighed the de Villiers, loaded up and it came in at 377g. If you recall, the Holborn and the Portland were weighing in at 530g. The de Villiers is MUCH less brick-like!

In summary, I have all my cards in, I have my paper and coins in (so wallet functions are covered); I have to-do, notes, diary, information and addresses in there (so planner functions are covered); it weighs ~30% less than the previous format. Oh, and it is blood-red (I realise this possibly only appeals to me...).

So, have I reached planner Nirvana?


The tabs stick out a bit beyond the cover, but nothing too drastic and there is no pen loop. However, I have ordered a Leuchtturm1917 pen loop in black which I will stick to the plastic cover sheet at the front.

Could this finally be planner heaven? I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Hi Amanda
    Have you worked out how to carry a pen yet? I only noticed the lack of a pen loop the other night! Sorry we have had visitors all week, not had a chance to try it out properly yet!

    1. Hi Steve,
      I got a Leuchtturm stick-on pen loop in black and attached it to the plastic cover page - it's a small loop but perfect for my Zebra diary pen/pencil combo! The pen sticks out beyond the cover a bit, but it's fine.

  2. It looks amazing. Maybe you could adjust the dividers by sticking some tape over the holes, splicing off a tad and then re-punching? Just a thought, it's how I converted some old FC dividers to FFA5.