Since it has been almost a year since I last shared my Filofax organization, I thought it was time to give you guys another peek into my planner setup. A lot of things have changed in my life since I first setup the contents of my Filofax. I have (finally) finished school, I started working from home, and I have setup multiple other planners to help me keep my life organized. So my old planner setup had quickly gotten outdated and in need of a facelift! And I’m so excited to share with you guys the result of my little planner re-organization.
My main purpose with this re-organization was to simplify my planner. Before I switched things up, I found that there were multiple sections in my planner that just were never getting used. For some (like the work and school tabs) I simply didn’t have those areas in my life anymore, so there was nothing or organize. For others (like the blog tab) I had set up a completely separate planner to organize all things that fell under that category.
So when I sat down to re-organize my Filofax, I wanted to remove any part of my planner that was not getting regular use, and just strip things down to the bare essentials. This will give me a clean slate to start with, and to possibly build and expand upon in the future should the need arise.
Simplifying my planner was such a freeing experience. It may sound silly, but as soon as I finished I felt instantly lighter. Even though I was simply removing the sections I no longer used, it felt so good to clear out the planner clutter, so I could really focus on the areas I truly used this planner for. So now, when you open up my planner, this is what you’re greeted with.
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Clean, simple and to the point. I made sure to only include the things I absolutely needed to keep my life organized. That started with a simple dashboard. My dashboard consists of a single piece of clear plastic with sets of sticky page flags adhered to it. I like having access to these page flags on the go, so I can jot a quick note or reminder to myself on a flag, then stick it into my calendar.
Behind the dashboard, I made up a brand new color coding cheat sheet. This page is super helpful, as it helps me remember which colors I assigned to different areas of my life. I love color coding my planner to help give me a quick over view of the different types of plans I have in a given month or week. For those of you who are curious, I use these pens in my Filofax, and I absolutely love them.
After the color coding cheat sheet comes the ‘meat’ of my planner. Since I was trying to keep it simple and to the point this time around, I limited myself to three sections. The sections I decided on for my Filofax are month, week and notes.
To make the dividers for my Filofax, I started by cutting down a piece of cardstock to the size of my inserts (3.72×6.75 for a personal Filofax). I then attached a Martha Stewart divider tab, and hand lettered the name for each section onto the tab.
My first section includes my monthly calendar. I used to have my monthly and weekly calendars combined into a ‘calendar’ section, but I found that it annoyed my to have to flip back a couple of pages to find my monthly calendar every time I needed it. So I moved the monthly pages into their own section, so it’ll always be easy to find and flip to.
My monthly calendar includes a brief overview of the month. I don’t include every last detail or plan on these pages, just enough to give me an idea of what major plans I have. You can read more about what I include on my monthly calendar here. You can get an undated version on my month on two pages inserts here.
Next up is my weekly section. This includes, you guessed it, my weekly planning inserts! This is really where I get most of my planning done. Each week, I sit down, and plan out everything that needs to happen in the upcoming week.
My weekly calendar is where I keep track of appointments, Melissa’s work and class schedules, any plans we’ve made with family or friends, extra reminders for bills due and anything else that is planned for that week. You can get an undated version of my week on two pages inserts here.
Inside each week’s spread, I also include a little notes page to write my to-do list for the week on. I used to include a page for every single day of the week, but in the interest of simplifying, I have since moved to a weekly to-do list format.
Each task that needs to be accomplished that week gets listed out with a little check box next to it. As I complete the task, I check of the box. If I get to the end of the week, and I haven’t finished something on my list, it gets a red arrow, and I immediately put in on next week’s to-do list.
At the end of my weekly section, I included a ‘future dashboard’. This is simply another divider, but used for a different purpose. Say I made an appointment for Dakota to get a vet check up in 6 months. Since I don’t print my monthly or weekly inserts that far in advance, I would have no where to record that appointment.
So that Dakota’s appointment doesn’t get forgotten, I stick the appointment card (or a written note on the page flags I mentioned above) onto my ‘future’ dashboard. Then, when I do finally print out calendar inserts for that month, I check to see if I have anything that needs to be written in from my future dashboard. It really is simple, and it is super helpful for those plans that get made way in advance.
Finally, my third and last section of my new Filofax setup is a notes section. This section is just filled with lined paper, and is handy for any notes or lists I want access to on the go. To ensure I can easily find any of the lists I’ve written, I number the pages and keep a table of contents in the front of the notes section.
And that finishes up the tour of my new Filofax organization! I hope you guys enjoyed taking a peek, and are inspired to re-organize and simplify your own planners! I can definitely tell you, I feel a million times better only having what I absolutely need included in my Filofax.
Have you done any planner organization recently? Anyone simplifying and going back to basics like I am? What sections do you find you must include in your planner?