When my life changes, I change my Filofax with it! (Balmoral)

Recently, I was working a full-time job outside of my home. With that, I was running a few different Filos - a mini as my main life/me book (can read about that here), a work Filo for the office only, and another at home for projects and ideas and other creative endeavors attempts.

I have left my full-time job and now my life is, well, all mine again. Including my work, which I am now working on my own. I have decided that to best suit my new arrangements, I am moving back into the Personal size Filofax to have my personal life and work stuff all in one book. Even though I'm selling lots of my Filos right now, I am keeping the ones to which I'm truly attached. Maybe one day I can be more minimalistic when it comes to my Filos but there is something about these beauties I have that makes me keep them.

There was a time when I would get rid of a Filo when I got a new one. But I know myself well enough that I will want to change them up as needed based on my life's needs, or that ocd-season-texture-color issue of  mine I've mentioned before... (eye-roll). So I've found that my best move is to keep a few of my favorite-favorites.

That said, I return to the original point of moving into the Personal size. I have decided that among my few favorite-favorite Personal size, I'm going to use my caramel-tan-colored Balmoral. He is just about what I consider the perfect binder. Typically, I actually like plain, smooth leather, but other than that, this guy has a great format. I love the 2 pen loops. I also love the regular card slots on the front inside. Just the classic sideways ones - I don't know why lots of the newer models have the vertical card pockets  instead but they must work best for most folks since they seem to be the trend. Any-who, the guy is a tank. I don't know how many years old he is (I got him already used) but he still looks new. I don't think this model has been in production for at least 10 years. A long time ago, I had a Filofax catalog with this model in it, and I remember they were quite spendy!

I'm still settling on format - I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with my favorite which is 2 Days on a Page, but right now I'm just hand-writing the dates on some blank pages instead of ordering a full set.  I think I will continue to do this and save some cash.  When I get all settled in, I can do another post. In the meantime, here's a cover shot at least : )

 my personal size balmoral

balmoral inside cover

Please be assured the tiny black book mini will remain in my purse for notes on the go and stamps and receipts and all that good stuff. He is still very essential to the plan even without the calendar and to-do sheets.

The at-home projects book will stay as is for now. That's my older A5 Sandhurst - he really deserves his own post. Those big ol' pages and rambling notes don't belong in my Personal book and there is no reason to combine them into one. Really!

Thank you for reading : )

My tiny black book (my massive Mini Filofax)

Note: for 2017 update on mini planner setup - please see here. : )

Sometimes this little black book can get messy but it sure does work hard.

Currently, I'm running a Filofax mini Bloomsbury in black, and I have to say it's an amazing planner. It's a very soft leather and it lays flat. One quality I think I gravitate toward in the Filofax appreciation is the softer, more flexible (or even floppy binders - such as the Kensington).

Any-who, here is what currently lives in my mini.

Front: clear plastic pocket window. For some reason, the only ones I can find for the mini are the side-opening type, which means you have to remove it from the rings to put any bits in here. So, I sliced an (uneven) opening along the top. The goal was, of course, to be a perfectly straight slice but I have never been able to cut anything straight, so you can tell this binder is mine already from page one. The bits contained here include the standard fare: some stamps, some calling cards with my name, any thing attractive or cute that suits my fancy and is fun to look at. Sometimes I will affix a sticky note to the top with a reminder or something (the current sticky is a nice phrase I saw somewhere recently).

mini inside front cover

Next up, behind a clear plastic cover sheet is the monthly calendars for the year, which I explained recently in this post. One full year of months stays in the mini full-time. Instead of a page marker/ruler here, I just divide the pages with a colorful paperclip by clipping it over the months already past.

mini monthly feb 2013

Weekly sheets follow behind the monthly sheets. I only keep about 4-6 weeks of weeklies in there at a time, because the monthlies serves as my forward planning. The weeklies for days past get pulled out regularly, and go into a journal Filofax (you guessed it, another post coming!). I slip a yellow, lined note sheet in the middle of the current week and write down all those little things that need to be done now-ish and if the don't all get done, I simply move it to the next week and keep writing on it. From time-to-time, there is more than one yellow sheet inside of a week, and while there is little chance they will all get done in that week, they are on my mind right now so they stay here until done or not so pressing anymore. My 'today" marker is the brown one. I write grocery shopping or drug store lists onto tiny sticky notes and then tack them onto that today ruler and when I hit the store, I just take the sticky note out to take around the shop with me.

mini weekly

a past week - yellow sheet already moved to current week

After the weeklies, I have a blank tab (right now since I know what's behind the tabs  I don't label them), and behind this tab is, well, a lot. I list out what bills I have for the month and check those off as I pay them. Then there are 12 pages of to-do's and ideas of things I want to figure out, notes of what I'd like to blog, things my family and friends might like, etc.

Next section (another blank tab), is where I record my inspirational thoughts, things that matter to me, creative thoughts, stuff like that. A happy place. This drawing was attached to the store tag on a pair of handmade knit gloves I purchased a few years ago. It makes a nice first sheet in this section of my mini.

mini inspiration and creativity

Finally, the last (blank) tab is the info section. A few phone numbers here are written down even though they may be in my phone. Phones can be lost, batteries can die, other people talking on your phone, or when you are talking on your phone it makes it more difficult to access important numbers. So I have one page of places like car repair place, some doctors, and a few other key numbers, then a page of just my immediate family's numbers and one of closest friends.This section also contains a few notes of things I might need when out of the house: my HVAC filter size, my account numbers and telephone numbers for my bank. Stuff like that.

I also like to use another plastic pocket with a few snaps of family or friends.

The final section is not present on all Filofax models. It's the "wallet" pocket that, when you open the Filofax, creates a full-length wallet opening on the back. I only use pocket and mini Filofaxes with the wallet pocket as I've grown to rely on this section.  This is where I will put a receipt for an item that needs to go back to the store, some more snaps of loved ones, or anything else that seems right.I also keep a mini binder clip anchored there in case I need it for something.

mini top view of wallet pocket

That pretty much sums it up! Thank you for reading : )

How I migrated to my mini (filofax)

Through the years, I've used all the Filofax sizes (well, almost - I tend to forget about the A4 and the M2 which I've never seen, much less used). I go with the flow of my life and use what works at a certain time. I have always had a mini or a pocket size in my purse even if they weren't serving as the main planner at that time.

Up until last summer, I was using a personal size as my main planner for about 2 steady years. Then with a few adjustments in my life, I felt it was time to downsize to a pocket for daily use and to have my planner with me at all times in my purse (the personal size stayed at home most often). I used the pocket for a short while as my main planner, and then realized that for the amount I was actually writing per page in the pocket size, I could actually get by with the mini. I loved this idea because even with the pocket size, when I would occasionally use a tiny purse for going out somewhere I would usually leave the pocket at home (too large) and pop a mini in my tiny purse so that I would have pen and paper with me. Migrating to the mini full-time would immediately allow me to always have my planner with me.

So, I switched happily to the mini and it's been going very well for over half a year now. I have a few I rotate between depending upon my mood or seasons, etc. A few times in these months, I thought I might need the larger pocket size and made plans to swap up, but each time I've returned to my senses and stayed with the mini.


The pocket size is really large to me now. And the personal size is a behemoth. I've also shifted down down from an A5 at work to a personal size. The reason for this is I've become very aware of the sheets on which I write. I adore the A5 page size, as well as the pocket page size, but the bottom line is I realized that I wasn't filling up those page sizes consistently. So I figured it would be efficient and comfortable for me to use a smaller page size and of course if I start to overflow those I would simply up-size again.

Mini pages are soooo tiny but I am able to make very full lists and notes on them. I have a few minis that are in use right now, more on that in another post.

Thank you for reading : )

my mini - jan 2013 <3