22 August 2014

(Full disclosure: major Filofax geekery ahead.)

There's something delightful about pens and paper. Kobos, iPads and laptops are amazing and convenient, but they lack a certain quality that can only really be captured with paper.

Over the years, I've used many different forms of agendas. In junior high, our school gave us each spiral-bound paper agendas customized to our school board. I loved being able to glance at a visual layout of my schedule and the things I needed to do. I think even more, I enjoyed looking back through my year and remembering events.

Since those days of the spiral-bound agendas, I've cycled through different tools. I've printed out blank calendars to keep in binders, I've lugged around gigantic Franklin Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People binders, and I've gone completely digital with my phone. Through it all I've always cherished having a great wall calendar where I could glance at a representation of my life, and which I could set out on the table each month to fill out.

I wasn't entirely dissatisfied with the calendar app I was using on my Android when I came across a picture of someone's Filofax set up and began to mentally salivate. I loved the concept of my own little book where I could keep track of not only my schedule but all sorts of things. The Filofax binders are beautiful and as I investigated further online I learned that their uses were as endless as people's creativity.

After much internal debate about if I was ready to make the leap back away from a virtual calendar, I settled on purchasing a personal sized Filofax in the Malden style. After much anticipation in parcel tracking (and maybe a few hours of perusing Pinterest and YouTube...), my Filofax arrived. I excitedly opened it up...and realized I'd ordered the wrong size. D'oh. Somewhere in my excitement, I'd clicked on a pocket sized Malden (81mm x 120 mm) instead of a personal sized Malden (95mm x 171mm).

Purple pocket Malden
Rather than going through the process of shipping it back and ordering another, I decided to make a go of it with the smaller size even though I was worried the pages would be just too small for fitting everything in. Fast forward a bit, and I admitted defeat over the size, Liam offered to use the Malden as his own organizer, and I purchased a different Filofax that was finally a personal size.

Plum personal Osterley
It's been almost exactly a year since I've been using my personal Osterley Filofax and I love it. Like, love love love it. I can easily keep track of appointments, classes, plans with friends, and other events in the calendar. I write out to do lists in my calendar to keep myself on track with housework, or list the stops I need to make when I'm running errands. I jot down the things I need to have with us when we're heading out the door, which is especially handy on days I've had to bring bags packed for back to back activities and could easily forget something that would throw a wrench into our plans. I also write down my workouts I've completed both to keep track of what I've done and to motivate myself to stick with it.

Because everything is better with paper ninjas and pink glitter tape.
I have different sections where I track things like work notes, grocery shopping lists, to do's, a journal of what/when I planted things for the garden, a food log, my progress with a correspondence course I'm taking, and the books I've read. My Filofax is instrumental to maintaining my sanity when we prepare for travel. I write down everything I can think of that needs to be done and packed, and I transfer these lists onto my calendar days so I can chip away at the work in manageable bits.
A travel week, with meal plans, to do lists, packing lists
For a while I've been contemplating adding a larger Filofax to my life. The A5 is 148mm x 210mm and I love the idea of having all that paper space to spread out on, but I'd shied away because I couldn't see myself carting something so heavy around in my purse (especially since I've actually been using the Malden again as my wallet and only sometimes keeping the Osterley in my purse when I go out).

Recently, I've been feeling the need to build in more structure in our home and work towards growing homeschool portfolios for the kids. And then I realized...my perfect reason for getting an A5! A homeschool/home-specific book would need a lot of space for writing, and I wouldn't have to lug it around everywhere with me.

And so, I'm now happily awaiting the arrival of a Finsbury A5, which is currently hanging out in Miami and really needs to get its butt en route to me. I've been collecting homeschool planner printables and narrowing down which pages I want to include in my planner. A lot of planners include pages that I don't need (like attendance records which are required by some states in the U.S.) or want (like test result records and report cards). My top priorities include an area to jot notes about daily happenings that can be recorded more formally in a portfolio, the actual portfolios, goals, book logs, completed curriculum, and daily routines.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on my new pretty and seeing what fun things we can do!


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