Every paper planner nerd has heard about the Filofax. Essentially it’s a ring bound system of organisation that was really popular before technology such as smartphones and has made a really strong comeback in recent years. There’s just something about a paper planner that is just so much more appealing than a Google calendar on your smartphone…
I love the concept and the look of the Filofax, I really do. I find the Filofax to be so beautiful and really enjoy the Filofax-porn that comes up as soon as you search Pinterest or Instagram. Plus, the fact that the system has been around for years means that you can find hundreds of helpful inserts on Etsy and Filofax, or if you’re particularly creative you can even make your own.
The ring binder system means it’s really easy to add, remove or move pages, and there really isn’t another organising system that can do that. It’s fundamentally a mix between organisation and creativity. You can be as minimal or as decorative as you want and use it for anything, be it personal or work related. Business planners and doctor’s appointments all find their space in the Filofax, together with meal plans, shopping lists and doodle pages.
I’m a sucker for pretty and productive things, and pretty planners are the epitome of pretty and productive. Naturally, when I stumbled on the Filofax internet community, I started wanting one desperately. I ended up getting a Pocket Aqua Saffiano immediately, and an A5 turquoise domino about a year later. And then, when I realised both sizes weren’t working, I got a Personal sized Domino soft Filofax in duck egg.
So where does it go wrong for me?
Did I Pick the Right Size?
At first I thought it was the size. The first pocket Saffiano I got is gorgeous but I just don’t have enough space to write. It’s ok for appointments and tasks, but I still find it a little small.
However, as a songwriter, I need space where I can jot down random ideas or sentences that pop into my head, and I often end up crossing things out or writing multiple alternatives on the same line. There simply isn’t enough space for anything longer than a few words in a pocket Filofax. I like my lyrics to be on two pages max, so I can see the whole song at a glance as I’m working on it, and this usually doesn’t happen on the pocket Filofax.
On top of that (slight OCD alert), I’m faced with the choice of writing the lyrics on one single page front and back – which is annoying because I have to turn the page – or on two sides which face each other – equally annoying because if I want to move the song I have to move both pages and keep them in the same order.
Also, the rings annoy me so much…they’re always in the way and I simply can’t stand them!
With all of that in mind, I got an A5 domino planner a while later. The situation was better as the planner is definitely larger and has a lot of space to write. Another problem arose however: it’s just way way WAY too bulky. I hate how much space it takes up and can’t really be bothered to bring it with me…which is kind of the point of a planner! I usually don’t have multiple planners but if I do I can’t stand the fact that my main planner remains at home.
The Best Size Filofax
So then I got the personal size and I actually did like that more. It’s hands-down the best size and it lasted a whole year (the whole of 2018)…but in the end I just like how definitive a bound notebook feels, so as of 2019 I’ve gone back to the bullet journal system in a Rhodia Goalbook. Sometimes I see my Filofaxes sitting around on the shelf and I think they’re so pretty that I absolutely HAVE to give them another shot. Even as I’m writing this, I can feel the waves of Filofax coming and my irritation with them softening.
However, I know I can’t really make them work. I want to love them, but I think this isn’t really going to happen. I’m also really in love with my bullet journal(s) at the moment, and I find it to be the perfect solution for organisation, creativity and freedom. More on why I love my bullet journals in another post!
Still, I can’t stand to have a planner lying around and not use it. I might just start using one of the Domino Filofaxes as a blog planner. I write all my blog posts at home anyway, so it shouldn’t be an issue. As for the Pocket Filofax, I gave it away. It was just too small for me, but the person who I gave it to loved it! To each his own I guess…