Could It Be? Planner Nirvana?

I have been using the Filofax 2 pages per day inserts since the beginning of 2011. And they have worked well for me. But then I came across the DayRunner 2 pages per day inserts and decided I liked that set up much better. However, upon receiving them, I decided the line spacing was too tight for my liking, even after forcing myself to use them for an entire week. Then, low and behold, my eyes were opened to Franklin Covey’s 2 pages per day.

I have seen Franklin Covey’s inserts before; I am no stranger to their website. However, I am also aware that while they fit into a personal size Filofax, they are wider, and therefore stick out beyond the Filofax inserts. This has always been what’s kept me from purchasing FC inserts. But then Zoe discussed how she’s using the FC inserts in her Malden and how well it works for her. So, I thought, why not?

Why not, indeed.

I ordered the FC inserts. I couldn’t wait for them to arrive, and of course, it seemed like forever before they finally came. But come they did. And I immediately added the inserts to my lovely Malden.

However, while I wanted to love them unconditionally, I had one major issue with them—they were wider than I could handle. I knew this going in of course, but they were so much wider. While they looked okay when the binder was open, when it was closed, they stuck out past the edge of the binder. I immediately disliked this. Also, the tabs butted up against my pen, making them bend a little. I like pristine tabs. Finally, the FC tabs looked ridiculous in my binder next to the Filofax inserts. I thought about switching over all of my notes and my tabs to the FC brand, but I stopped myself due to the fact that I have so much money and time invested in the Filofax version. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

However, an idea did spring to me: What if I trim the inserts and re-punch them? So I took one of the January sheets and tried it out. Low and behold, it worked like a charm. When cut and re-punched, the sheets are the exact same size as the Filofax inserts and tabs. You can see the difference between the original and new versions. The newly punched sheets are also more rectangular than the original sheets, which I like because I am so used to that from the Filofax sheets. The rounded edge of the original sheets bothers me for some reason.

Once I realized that this “updated” FC insert idea would actually work, I was so excited.

There are several reasons why I love these inserts:

  1. Even though the new punched holes run into the writing space a bit, it is well worth to it to me because there is enough room on them to keep all the information I keep in a day (to-dos, appointments, reminders, the weather, exercise, food diary, and general information I want to make a note of). 
  2. There is a monthly layout—with tabs!!! The daily boxes are bigger than the Filofax version. The only drawback is that FC will put the end of the month days at the top of the month. But that is better than splitting a box into two portions for two different days—that leaves virtually no writing room for either day. 
  3. The monthly layout for one month is separate from the next month. On the back/front of each month is a note section for financials and to-dos. Currently, I use the to-do section for the upcoming month, but not the financials section. This is a great feature because now I put the monthly pages right before the daily pages of the month begin, rather than having two separate sections for each. 
Out of the three options (Franklin Covey, Filofax, and DayRunner), this is the best choice. It gives me the space I need while providing enough space between lines. You can see the difference here.

I also ordered the FC blank tabs. I was drawn to the fact that you can color code them using stickers that come with the tabs. Also, there are 12 in a pack. However, for some reason, I thought it was two sets of six, rather than the entire 12 in one line. I don’t like that because the tabs are much smaller and I am not able to write anything (of use) on them. But this turned out not to be a problem since my inserts are now the same size as the Filofax tabs and nothing needs to change there.

This may well be the closest I will come to planner nirvana. I have the daily inserts I need. I have monthly inserts with tabs. And I have plenty of room to keep all of my information nice and organized.

So there you have it, my friends: the answer to the problem that has been plaguing me for nearly a month now. Happy planning!


  1. SO glad to see this post. I've been waiting forever! (Or you know, like 3 or 4 days or something...)
    1. Glad you found something that works for you!
    2. Again, that black Malden is stupendously gorgeous!
    3. Um, wow, A++ for ambitious cutting and punching!
    4. I think they looked really cool before and after cutting.
    5. Those color coded tabs are way groovy.
    6. These inserts are looking better and better...if I could only find a use for the appt. times.
    7. I wonder if their classic size inserts fit in the A5?
    8. How many months did you get into the Malden comfortably?
    9. Brilliant having the month with your dailies. What a concept! (FF, pay attention please!)
    10. You are an organizing genius.

    I loves it :O)

  2. Lol, Rori! Looking at your comment, I see I left out some important details:
    Yes, the cutting and punching does take extra effort on my part. But if this is what it takes to get the planner and inserts I need, then so be it. It really doesn't take that long to do it. It's just tedious.
    I don't really have a "need" for the time slots - I'm not crazy busy with strict appointments. However, I do need the extra space for all the other stuff I write down and this is the best way of organizing all of that.
    I have no idea about the Classic size and A5. Someone else might be able to answer that for you. I want to say that they're not the same, but I could be remembering incorrectly.
    I have the entire year's worth of daily inserts and 3 months of the daily (the current and 2 ahead). I have thought about keeping only 2 months, but the 3 fit fine with all my other lists, so why not, right?
    Thanks for the mention of "organizing genius." *takes bow*
    Sorry it took me so long to get an answer to you on this very important topic.

  3. Amazing! *slapping forehead as I should of thought of this simple, yet effective, solution*
    Rori is correct--you are an organizing genius!

    I use the appointment times in my soon-to-be-trimmed FC 365 vertical weekly pages to track appointments, time spent on projects, exercise, etc.

    The Classic FC inserts need to be repunched to work in the A5. That 7th ring FC has is so annoying. And I can't handle staring at a myriad of holes in my inserts. Ugh.

    I still want a black personal Malden to keep my crimson company. Your pics look so nice!

    Thanks for your post--off to trim some FC inserts and tabs...take care.

  4. Lol, Sandra - I'm glad I could help! =) I would love a Crimson Malden to keep my black one company. Maybe some day... Let me know how the re-punching of your FC inserts goes.

  5. Love this post! Ahhh, wait till you see my color coded tabs- I am loving them already :)

    Our mega organized Maldens are going to have so much fun in NYC!

  6. Bravo kanalt! This adaptation almost makes me want to go back to my personal size Filofax.

  7. Thanks Savannah! Do I really hold that kind of power in my hands? ;)

  8. i know, right? but i really do love the pocket. it's so freaking cute

  9. I would so buy the pocket Malden is I had a use for it. I did think about buying one just to have, but I can't really justify it. =( I'll just look at pictures of yours and dream.

  10. heh heh, dude. you should just buy it

  11. I'm holding out for more colors in the personal. If that doesn't happen, I'll reconsider the pocket.


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