Planner Fail & Filofaxes

So, believe it or not, I think I’m in PLANNER FAIL!!! GASP!!!  I know that several of my Filofax friends on Philofaxy and other places have experienced the same thing.  I started really thinking about the fact that I’m in planner fail yesterday after I filmed my Filofax Organization Tote video.  I have spent so much time buying stickers, tape, inserts, dividers, and other stuff, that I have actually neglected my Filofax and really have no idea what I’m really using it for.  I watch Filofax videos quite a bit, and I am always on Instagram and Flickr looking at everyone else’s set up.  But I really don’t give much thought to my own set up and how it should be so that it really works for me.  I looked at my calendar and found out that I don’t really have a clue what I really want to use it for.  I write down random things that when I look back make no sense.  I desperately want to use my Filofaxes, which should be evident by the amount of them I own and keep buying…So, I thought about a post on Imysworld that I read a while back about the Filofax Circle of Life.  I thought, well, that’s a good place to start.  According to the ever-wise Imy, there are five stages to this circle of life:  (1) Baby Filofaxer, (2) Young Filofaxer, (3) Middle Age Filofaxer, (4) Mid-life Filofax Crisis, and (5) Mature Filofaxer.  So, I looked again at these stages to see where I stood in the Filofax Circle of Life.  I have decided that I am somewhere in a mix of Middle Age Filofaxer to Mid-life Filofax Crisis.  Why did I pick these?  Let me explain…I genuinely LOVE Filofaxes, I really do.  Even with all the ring issues and other Filofax problems, I really do love the Filofax lines and the binders and accessories.  And I love to be organized, but it seems that recently I’m so disorganized I don’t know what to do.  I’ve owned two (very expensive) Franklin Covey binders and several other cheaper binders in my time, and none really compare to the love I have for Filofaxes, but alas, I still can’t seem to find my groove with them.  I enjoy blogging about them and making videos and such and I love having one with me all the time.  But I can’t seem to find my true reason for using one.  I’m no longer in the administrative position I had at my job (really long story that I won’t get in to) so I don’t have appointments.  I never think to write down the fun things or not so fun things that happen in life randomly in my binder.  I keep buying journaling cards, sticky notes, washi tape, stickers, and the like to decorate and use in my binder, but I can’t seem to find the perfect way to use them.  I also keep buying Filofaxes, and if you are a Filofaxer, you know this is not a cheap hobby.  I have over 20.  Yep, over 20 Filofaxes.  Do I use them all?  Nope.  But I have managed to sell a few, but that only funded other Filofax purchases.  So what’s a girl to do?

I’ve decided that I’m going to sit for a few days and “research” exactly what I need a Filofax for.  Appointments? Family stuff? Journaling? What?  As I always do, I’ll be present on YouTube, blogs, Philofaxy, Facebook, Flickr, etc. looking at everyone else’s setups, uses, and Filofaxes, but I’m going to sort of sit and see…How do these folks use theirs and what do I really need mine for?  I’m hoping to also put a few ideas down on paper and brainstorm to see what I really need a Filofax for and what I like and don’t like to use them for and what I like and don’t like to keep inside mine.  I’m hoping I get a jolt of inspiration that leads me to a whole new way of Filofaxing, and if that happens, I’ll definitely share here and on YouTube!  Thanks for listening and if any of you are in planner fail, I can totally sympathize!  Happy Filofaxing!

  • I used to use my Filofax to keep track of university & life things, but I recently had to drop out for health reasons. Due to my ill health, I don't have many life things to put down. I've decided to start using my binder to track my daily achievements, health progress, household things (bills, income,etc) & a few other things. The moral of the story is to open your mind to perhaps unconventional ideas. Instead of using my FF in the professional way it is intended, I've altered it to my needs. One day I'll be able to flick through the diary & see the progress I made on my year out.
    Love Katie x

  • Yep it would!

  • deb

    I have this same issue. I don't really have many appts. but I do have different hobbies and to-do's to track and I wonder if a Filofax will work for that.

  • Sam

    I could have so written this myself! I am overrun with all the 'blingy' bits to put in it but they are all sat in the lovely storage boxes (that I have also bought for my filo obsession) doing nothing. I don't really have the kind of job that needs me to write anything down…I don't have the hectic social life that requires appointments booking in to avoid double booking anything…I don't really have hobbies or events that need documenting…I don't have nights out or nights in to schedule…I'm not on a health kick (although I really should be!) and nor do I have the need to keep a food log…but I really really really want to use at least one of my collection of filofaxes!!

    I spend so much time reading blogs, watching you-tube video's etc at how other people use theirs and to be honest they all seem so much busier than I am so I am amazed they find the time to do blogs or videos in the first place!!

    Maybe I just need to get a life…

  • I've been there! It's a good thing to analyze and it will definitely help you set up exactly what you need.

  • Your story is somewhat similar to mine. I guess I'm sort of at a loss since leaving my job. I hope to have one soon and I'll be back in my graduate classes in the fall so maybe that'll help. I'll definitely try some of your suggestions!! Thanks!!

  • Yep! I've done that!

  • I went through a similar thing when I left university. Here's my story, although it might not apply to you!
    At uni I used to use a DPP diary format in my filo, and although it didn't always get filled up every day, especially during exams and essay periods, it was very important for noting my lectures, meetings, work shifts, to-dos, uni work and deadlines. Then when I finished at uni and still wanted to use my DPP, suddenly I had nothing to write in it. I was still trying to use it the same way as I did at uni- but since then I have learned that it doesn't work like that for me, and I went through months of planner fail to try to work out the best way to organise my diary and my life with all the changes since I left uni, which was my life for 4 years. I went through lots of different types of planner and formats, and eventually I have found that the format that works for me is very different to the one that I used at uni, and when I tried to go back to DPP recently, it really didn't work for me any more! I had found my perfect set-up, and it works for me- and however tempting it is to try out something new, I mustn't!
    Stick with it!! You will come out of planner fail eventually! When you find the perfect set-up or perfect way of using your existing set-up, it might be a lightbulb moment, or you might not even notice because it is so perfect for you it just slots right into place! Try different formats- print off 1 week's worth of templates from Philofaxy, use one each for a week, and keep a page in your filo describing what worked and what didn't. Sketch out your perfect format yourself if it doesn't exist already and make it on the computer. Just stick with it! And don't spend any more money than you need to! I bought a lot of planners of different types to see if they would work for me- big expense! The good thing about you is that you already know filofaxes themselves work for you, and you have many lovely ones to choose from, so you can change them out when you like. But if you hit planner fail while trying out a new diary format, don't blame it on the binder, get rid of it and buy another filo, like other people have done (me included)- it's not the binder itself, it's the set-up which is important!
    As for buying lots of washi tape etc goodies, don't be ashamed of it. It's a legitimate hobby and you are allowed to treat yourself like other people do with new golf clubs or walking boots. But if you feel like you are spending too much, especially now that you are unemployed, go on a no-spend month and challenge yourself to use just what you have! That's what I'm having to do, haha!! But I understand what you mean about spending more time playing with your washi tape than actually using your planner! But I think the two go hand-in-hand. I tried recently to use my planner just for organising myself- no washi tape or stickers, just my normal colour-coding- and I didn't like it! I think if you have been using pretty things in your filo you should carry on using it, and count it as part of your planning time- because if you don't use it you won't love your filo as much! I think using washi tape etc to prettify your filo is all part of the bonding experience- it will make you love and — USE your filo more!
    Good luck!! 🙂

  • Don't worry…. We all go thru that phase… For a while I was just putting blank papers in it to jot down work notes!