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November 29, 2013 at 11:26:30 AM CST To:
"Patricia Lear" Subject: RE: RE: your binders
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No one has been using your system longer than I have, almost anyway, and I am writing to beg you to make some cooler binders. Please!
I use your system everyday of my life, and since it is such a big part of my life, I want it to be something that I love.
I am very active on several Filofax forums on Facebook and even have my own blog about systems and time management, and I am in desperate need to love the planner I am working with.
Please, check out what Filofax is doing and also what Gillio is doing. Go to Italy and buy the very best leathers and get the very best designers, and do it. I will spend almost anything on a binder, and so will a LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE, and we want better.
Your pages and calendars happen to have the best layout, but your binders are, well, cheesy, and I own a lot of them. Check out Mulberry and aim for that quality. Please, please. Let me help you!! Let me and my fellow blogger Claudia help you with this.
If you want it to be really easy, then how about teaming up with Coach and doing some binders with them, in say, Saffiano leather? Keep some of your cheesy ones if you must, but please, let's have a higher end category. I know you have a few newer ones that are supposed to be higher end, but they are not what I want still. They just aren't. Partner with Coach, copy Filofax, copy Gillio, just do something BETTER.
[from Claudia: This form letter isn't much of an answer to Trish's plea, shared by so many of us ... Do you think FC might actually listen??
So... encouraged by so many Philofaxers who returned defective planners, I decided to contact Filofax USA regarding the issues with my personal Malden that I purchased in December. Right from the start, the leather was dry, cracked, the whole binder almost looked used. No new leather smell, for one thing. Within a few weeks, the little metal button on the clasp had discolored. Then the stitching pulled loose from the credit card slots on the inside front cover. I loved it anyway - but was it like the Velveteen Rabbit? No. It didn't get this way from my long-term use of it.
Finally I decided to order an Osterley from Pens and Leather (great price!). And then decided to email Filofax ... I had some correspondence from Frank there, who told me to send it back and they would determine whether to repair it, replace it, or give me a 15% discount toward something else. I told him I was pretty sure when he saw it, they would replace it. Long story short, they did! He called me personally and we had such a great conversation about Filofaxes in general. He is the epitome of what true customer service is. The replacement binder came in record time ... and it's pretty nearly perfect (I still think the leather is a tad dry).
But in the meantime I fell in love with the orange personal Osterley. DILEMMA! I think the answer is something Filo Cuteness posted - about how she regularly changes her planners. We'll see. What do you guys think? What are some pros and cons of the Malden vs. the Osterley?
[NOTE: Trish and I decided to share our email conversations with our readers, since we know we're not the only ones out there who care about this stuff! Plea]
Who else can I talk to but you about all this? No one.
Okay, here's the (latest) deal. Things are going along okay with my Filofax personal and my crap notebook, and then I started feeling antsy and unhinged.
What has been building up for a while now is that I really don't have a Project Notebook. I have my Crap Notebook which I use for everything, but I can't move the pages around and anyway I throw it out when I am done with it.
My little Filo is just the best calendar there is---with all the views I have there and it is so portable and small. Plus I just love it. Also been thinking about the Gillio and did you see that guy's post on why he doesn't want a Gillio? How its a copy of a Filofax and he wants real Filofaxes? He has a great point, and I suddenly agree with him. Unless its a Mulberry. Mulberry's are as good as Filofaxes but there is the paper problem.
I could use the sections in the back of my Filofax for my project plans, but they are too small, the rings get in my way when I write in them, and they aren't accessible enough to me, and mostly I won't dig back there and keep up with things, or even re-read them enough. Do you ever do that? File it and forget it?
A moleskine is perfect but you cant move the pages around and I like spiral so it lays flat.
I am going to use a Martha Stewart - Levenger thing, and maybe also set up one of the big ones too. I can move pages from the little one into the really big one as I want to, and also sketch out plans big if I want, and also make little vision board things in both the small portable and also the big notebook size one. Put lots of separators in both of them for various projects. Some of my projects are huge--like redecorating my house, or cleaning and culling my closets. Also my health and diet and get in shape projects, you know?
- On projects and life changes, first I sketch out the directions such as lose weight to 135, Finish book, Gorgeous house, Sleep better and have more energy. Another one is to figure out a process for achieving anything or doing anything.
- Then I make specific but loose projects from that list. I use pictures or quotes or whatever too.
- Then for each, or whatever ones I want, I sketch out loose steps.
- Then for each project that has loose steps, I make a more specific project description with the hard outcome.
- Then for each, I really chunk it down into chunks (mini projects).
- With the chunks, I make action steps. (Get out sorting boxes for charity, re-sale, ebay..etc)
- Then I put time guess to each of the chunks. 2 hours or whatever..
- Then I give myself a done date.
One other thing, I want to underdo--meaning not try and get stuff done in a week and kill myself and quit. I want to be able to see the path (now that is the big problem I have been having...see?), and also make the steps do-able, clear, and so I can time block them into my schedule.
I like the idea of the two (or 3) notebooks so I can have a place to image and use cut outs from magazines and sketches and inspiring quotes, you know? The regular size Levenger, I would carry around with me everywhere.
hugs to you, Trish
I so resonate with this! I have been thinking similar thoughts - I really LOVE my orange personal Osterley, and I think I have everything in there… except all the stuff that David Allen calls 20K ft and above! This is where I think I need a separate Filofax… I'm playing around with my A5 to see how this might work. I might have:
- Project Support - a more expanded section to store mindmaps, project breakdowns, future project planning
- Spiritual section
- Flylady section - with household routines thought out and checklists created
- Master address book - this will be in another A5, I think
- Yearly record of events- M2PP or W2PP to record an archive of important events
All of this might not work in my A5, though - maybe Circa is best for the project support stuff.
Thanks for being out there!
I was telling Claudia the other day about how I had started using colored pencils to highlight my appointments in my trusty old Franklin classic-sized planner. I had no idea I was going to like using these colored pencils so much, but I do.
In my planner I have the tabbed month overviews pages. And then I have the week view pages (two pages to a week) with appointment lines for every hour, and then I also have the two-page per day pages.
How I am using the week view pages is the big change. I try to have nothing on it but hard appointments. I outline or block off the time with my black pen, and then I color in the time with one of my colored pencils. I see what's up with the whole week at a glance and when I take a look at it, I can feel myself.....relax. Seriously. I calm down and feel centered in the most surprising way...surprising to me, anyway.
Then on my two-page per day page, I will write a to-do list, do a lot more time blocking, and here is another new thing: I am journaling daily on the notes page (instead of in my journal notebook). And looking back over the journal pages, I am getting many insights as to how and why etc my last week went.
This planner is becoming way less of a calendar or agenda (although it is certainly that) and moving towards becoming a Life Book for me. Who knew that coloring in my appointment time blocks for the week would be so calming? I am now going to add in stuff I cut out of magazines, quotes---add the Vision Board aspect to my Life Book because that is what is actually is now.
It's here! After quite a wait, finally my new Personal Orange Osterley has arrived! I love it - the picture doesn't do the color justice. Yes, it's orange, but it's not too bright, and not too dark - like my Purple Malden, which just felt drab to me, truth be told.
Immediately I knew - intuitively - I wanted to get another Osterley: the A5 in grey. I'm not even sure what I'll do with it yet. I like the personal size because I like having it with me all the time. It's on sale at Pens & Leather, and I'm learning the hard way that once certain models are gone, they're gone! The A5 Finchley in Imperial Purple, for example! (I really want one!)
And when my husband mentioned that he would really like a wallet/notebook, I was only to happy to add the mini Topaz in black to my order.
I'm happy about my growing collection. I am using them, for one thing. My system is pretty complete, in terms of getting things done at work and juggling my businesses. I don't have the sense that things are falling through the cracks, like I used to when using digital tools, or even a combo of digital and paper. But I think there's room for more long-range planning and goal setting, more dreaming and working things out on paper (as opposed to my head).
Another Filofax can only help, right?
I've had such a busy couple of weeks, and the last few days were especially hectic with some very tight deadlines on multiple projects. In fact, yesterday and today, I barely opened my planner. Finally today, I spent some time checking things off, updating my lists, and trying to get a handle on the rest of the week.
I'm glad I did, too, because I could feel that "slippery slope" approaching - you know the one. The one where you're disconnected from the whole thing and suddenly feel like you need something completely different. But it's amazing what even fifteen minutes of review will do!
How do you handle days or seasons that are beyond busy? Any tips?
Okay, guys, I have found just what I want. The perfect binder. It has everything. (Almost.) It is by Mulberry of London. I have several of their bags that I have collected over the years. They used to cost around $600 and now they can clock in easily at close to $2000, if not more. I have this amazing source where I can get them on sale—this dude emails me what they have that just has gone on sale—and then will ship them to me for about $10. But that is neither here nor there for this blog. What is HERE, is the new Mulberry binder I found this week on the Mulberry site. (My dude does not carry the binders and anyway if he did, they would never go on sale..) It is in shiny goat leather and the one I am jonesing over is FUSCIA.
Oh god, oh god, oh god! The Mulberry peeps want $600 for it, and I would actually happily pay them that, but I am getting a good grip on my life these days via my Compact (vinyl!!!! How lame can you get?) Franklin planner. In it I have daily, monthly, and even weekly sheets, and I use them all. Those of you who follow my blog (that would be about one person, Claudia), know that I have ADHD, which was diagnosed only 2 years ago, and that I am still in the process of acquiring the skills I need to offset my brain weaknesses and bomb on in life towards all the massive and amazing goals I have set for myself. So Franklin planner along with the skills I am learning from my ADD shrink and also these guys at Harvard who have this workbook/book called Mastering Your Adult ADHD (this is the best and most helpful book I have EVER encountered), I am really making some serious life progress here.
Now if I go out and buy this Mulberry agenda thing in fuscia shiny goat leather (oh my god, my god, I so want!!!!), here is the problem. The pages. Mulberry makes it so no other pages will fit in their binder. And their pages are really bare bones---a fold-out year view, and then a week view where you just write in anything anyway. Ha! Like that would work for me..not. Not saying their paper isn’t gorgeous, because it is---utterly gorgeous. But you pretty much just have a piece of paper with some lines on it. I am wondering a couple of things---if I can go to some printer and get them to do whatever paper or inserts I want that would fit? Or cut down my Franklin pages to fit? (The width is okay, but the length is ¾” too long.) (But problem number 2: I don’t even know if the rings are the same..) Or should I write Franklin and partner up with them to frigging make some binders that someone who goes around with $2000 Mulberry handbags on her arm would actually want to use?
I have been thinking this morning as I was writing my morning pages (Julia Cameron’s thing), that there are a couple of parts of my “system” that have always served me well and that I have never departed from. One is what I call my Crap Notebook. And the other is a larger version of my Crap Notebook which I use for my Morning Pages, or journal, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Julia Cameron.
I go on and on with my girl Claudia about how I want a planner with beautiful leather and thick fabulous paper – think Hermes or Prada or Mulberry—and I even have some of these, but they quickly become too heavy to carry around or I get my system set up in them (GTD for instance), and then by day 3, I am lost. The lists are all on different pages and the whole thing becomes a blur—to my ADHD mind anyway.
What I can always count on is my Crap Notebook. It’s cheap, spiraled, meant to be a mess—and since I am a little bit of a mess, we are apparently a match made in heaven. In it, I capture everything that comes through my mind—one thought or thing to do to a line. On other pages I start grocery lists, packing lists, errand lists.
On other pages still, I massage my captured items and my errand lists or whatever, into really workable, doable lists. And then I might massage them further on yet another page into a really cool and exciting day list. By then, I am pretty geared up about what I am going to do that day—after massaging my lists which is kind of like getting down and dirty with them—about as far from electronic as one could get, frankly. I feel like I ooze my lists through my fingers like mud, and I stay incredibly close to them that way. Refactoring them in this way totally prevents staleness which is the death of any system, in my opinion.
The journal or Morning Pages plays a big part in my “system” as well. It’s where all the excitement starts because it’s there that I write out the outcomes I am going for. What done looks like, to use a David Allen phrase. All levels will be captured here, and it’s here where the excitement starts. I will quickly go back and forth between my Morning Pages and my Crap Notebook processing in my own way my dreams, goals, must-dos.
PlannerChick Claudia here: WOW! I've known about Trish's "crap notebook" for as long as I've known Trish—but I've never actually understood how she uses it. What a great captu
I know lots of us are familiar with David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD), and many of us (the PlannerChicks included) have struggled with implementing it, or how to stick with it consistently. Here's a fun, visual description of the heart of David Allen's GTD methodology:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Xduzwk04l2E
Enjoy! (And feel free to post comments on your own GTD successes and struggles!)
Over the last few months, I've taken some time to think about what I really require from my planner. In the past I would find my planner stuffed with sections and pages I really wasn't using. Here's what I came up with:
- Tabbed month on two pages
- Day on two page OR Week on two pages (I can make both work)
- Inbox - Notes In section (D2PP's righthand page work for this)
- Next Actions section (personal/home, freelance, FT job, calls, errands, waiting fors, someday/maybe)
- Projects list
- Project support
- Finance section - place to track bills to pay and income received
- Blank lined pages for journaling, inspiration, etc.
- Index - a place to archive what happened when; in my FC this is built in to the D2PP at the beginning of each month.
When I get clear about the sections I need, I can basically replicate this setup in any planner, any size - from FC compact/FF personal to FC classic/FF A5 to Levenger Circa. Then it becomes a question of aesthetics: will I enjoy using this planner, taking it with me everywhere, for more than a few weeks?
Here are some pictures of my current setup in my compact FC Lucca binder, but I'd love to hear from others about what they find they need in a planner - what works and what doesn't! (The last photo shows a Waiting For list in my personal Malden...)
When I post again, I'll show some pictures of how the same system plays out in my Malden (which I still do like over the clunkiness of a FC binder, as cool as I think the Lucca is)
Next Action List