2012 Offerings

I am in a quandary. It is now almost August and I have yet to buy my refills for next year. Shocking, I know, since it is usually the first thing I purchase come July. That was my plan for this year, but Filofax has other ideas. The 2012 two-pages-per-day inserts are not yet available. And so I wait, having politely requested an email as soon as they become available. But as of today, I have not received that email.

However, this has turned out to be a good thing since I am contemplating revising my current system. Not just my system, but my entire planner. Don’t get me wrong—I love, love, love my Malden. Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to downsize, and after seeing SNARLing’s videos (parts one, two and three) about her Compact Chameleon, I can’t get it out of my head. Buying a binder with ½ inch rings would allow me to downsize without having to move down a size in paper—I would be forced to carry less in my binder, making me leave everything else at home in my beloved Malden. I did use a Slimline Guildford this way for a while and I loved the portability of the smaller binder. But at 11 mm in ring size, it was too small. I have a pocket Kendal with ½ rings—the problem there was not so much the ring size but the pocket size. So just maybe the Compact Chameleon would work. I could really just downsize what I carry and keep it all in the personal Malden. But the issue is that the ring size always stays the same and no matter how much or little I put in there, it will always be the same size. Plus, the more room I have, the more likely I am to stuff the thing. I still haven’t quite made up my mind though.

In addition to the binder, I am also thinking about changing up my inserts. I love the two-pages-per-day. It allows me to keep track of my appointments, my to-dos, plus any other additional notes I may want to keep track of during the day. This is how I currently use them:

I have noticed however, that I don’t have a lot to write in the time slots—generally I work the same schedule each week (though sometimes it varies), and I always work an 8-hour day. Only once in a blue moon will I have additional appointments during the day (not counting my yoga classes, which typically are the same days each week). Another thing that irks me with this layout is writing on the right side of the left page. The rings often get in the way, making my handwriting terrible and the information squished. Some days I have a lot of to-dos, mainly on the weekend when I’m trying to get as much done as possible. But Saturday and Sunday don’t have the to-do pages like the rest of the week so I end up putting in blank to-do inserts in between the two day. It works, but it annoys me. The daily pages are great for daily planning but I have to admit, I do miss seeing the week at a glance. It’s easier to plan my week with the weekly layout that I used to use.

I also use the two-page-monthly inserts. I absolutely must have a monthly layout, and since I started using a Filofax, this layout has always worked for me. But I do miss having the tabbed monthly inserts that I can interfile with the weeks/days of the month. Filofax has a “solution” to this problem—the tabbed monthly inserts. Yes, they are tabbed but the layout is a vertical listing of the days. I just don’t know if I can deal with a monthly layout that is not laid out like the actual month. Those of you who use these, how well do they work for you?

So, with the various discussions going on about what layouts other people use, I have been keeping a list of insert options in my Malden:

  • I could stay with the two-pages-per-day layout. The issues with this option are stated above. 
  • I could go back to the week-on-two-pages lined, using a Day Planner sheet for any given day for additional information and notes (I have used the Day Planner sheets before and liked them—the issue with them is that they are undated and come only 20 to a pack, making me buy out their entire stock for a year’s use). If I’m using the week-on-two-pages though I’ll end up copying much of the information to the DP sheets, which is why I stopped using them. 
  • I could be really radical and use week-on-one-page inserts, writing only appointments, birthdays, and short reminders on them and using the DP sheets for everything else. I would need to keep a stock of DP sheets in the planner in a different section so that I could add anything to any day at any given time. This may make my planner bulkier in the end though. 
  • I could combat that bulkiness with the week-on-one-page-with-notes inserts. I could write appointments, birthdays, and short reminders on the weekly part and any additional information on the notes parts, mainly things that I need to get done during the week. Then, when the week arrives, use the DP sheets for additional planning and record keeping. I wouldn’t necessarily need to keep blank DP sheets in my planner with this option, as my notes would be on the notes section—everything pertinent could be moved to the DP sheets once the day arrives. 
  • I could stick with my currently monthly layout. 
  • I could switch to the tabbed monthly layout. 
I need everyone’s opinions and suggestions here. Have any of you tried any of the above combinations? Would you recommend one option over the other? What about something I haven’t thought of? And what about the possible switch to the compact versus the personal? (I know it wouldn’t be a Malden, which I am sad about, but until Filofax makes a Compact Malden that’s what I would go with.) My goal is to try and keep things simple without a lot of copying and re-copying and moving pages every day. I do need both the monthly and weekly or daily layout. The daily is best for keeping additional information that is important to me.

So I guess the real questions are:

  • Personal Malden or Compact Chameleon? 
  • Tabbed vertical monthly inserts or untabbed monthly-layout monthly inserts? 
  • Weekly layout with DP pages for each day or the 2PPD inserts without a weekly view? 
I am giving myself until the end of August to decide. By then, I’m hoping the 2012 2PPD sheets are available (should I want them). And I’ll really start to need some kind of 2012 inserts by then…

I’m looking forward to any assistance with this big decision.


  1. thanks for the mentions again! i think you should get the comp cham if you have a plan b for it- you know in case you don't like it for the daily use. that way, it won't be a total loss if you don't like it. i do love the compactness of it plus the smaller ring size is easier to deal with for writing or drawing. snd yeah,


    you think 'anyone' heard that? heh heh. we'll see.

    as far as the monthlies are concerned, one thing you can do right now to see whether or not you like ff tabbed is try out the 2011 vertical year planner - it's on sale at daily planner for 3.30 (not sure what the postage will be tho):


    it's ok, but i like the ff grid better. you can always tab the ff ones yourself with postits. i was thinking of doing that too but rarely do i need to get to any other month except the current one so a flyleaf works great. when i used tabbed months, i liked daytimer green ones, but they start on sunday and i like monday start. plus they're thick and i wasn't using the front and back (i did at first but never looked at what i wrote there) but there are 33 lines on that front TO BE DONE page and the back "DIARY RECORD" page so it could be used for something else - like maybe birthdays and anniversaries or an exercise log, you know maybe separate things that you might not really need on your weekly calendar. or you can get the birthday and anniversaries sheets and use those so you don't have to recopy everything every year. that way, you can free up room for your weeklies and/or dailies.

    as far as weeklies are concerned - my vote is for the wpp (of course). you can draw a line down your week - one side for appts, one side for notes specific to the day. (i would suggest w/notes but they're multi-lingual and that takes up valuable space.) then you could put a lined sheet, a blank sheet, or a todo sheet next to it for your extras. the day planner sheet is different on both sides so it could be an issue since the week is on a different side every week. (w/notes the week is always going to be on the left, notes on the right but the damned multi-liguals - aaarrgh) i write small, though, and i don't mind the week shifting sides so this works for me. (if i could pick, however, i'd prefer the week always be on the right hand side, notes on the left, ENGLISH ONLY so wpp for me it is!). if i have any extra stuff, i use those neon yellow daytimer sticky hot notes that i'll stick onto the ruler in btw wpp & to do sheet - so it's kinda like an extra page. they also have those double punched sides short sheets that may be good as well.

    for dailies - i would use maybe for the more personal stuff. i use the graph sheets that i cut up in lieu of the ff dailies since i love graph paper and i didn't want to fork out the cash for ff dailies. plus my graph sheets are thinner so i could carry 8 pages (1 whole page (front & back) for each day + a weekly review page. plus i have 10 extra pages in my notes section in case i write/doodle a lot)

    one of the things i like about using the compact is that you need to change it around frequently so it makes you more aware of what information you really need on a daily/weekly basis. i sit down every sunday night, write about the week, change my daily graph sheets and whatever else needs to be changed and then plan the next week. when i change out my weeks and days i make sure anything important goes in my monthlies (which i carry the whole year) - that way important info is always there for reference. i actually like doing this so it's a nice habit to have. i think if you can figure out a way to separate your information that makes sense to you logically, then you might not have to recopy so much.

    anyway, good luck! i hope you find a system that works and most importantly that you enjoy using.

  2. I've made the switch to pocket size and I'm thrilled with it. But you know how much I love pocket and going to personal size was always a mistake for me. I like that it is smaller and... squarer. I don't use my filo for record keeping, just future planning. If I can't fit something I need to do in the space on a wotp calendar, either I need a separate to-do list for that day, or I'm over-scheduling myself (likely the latter). With that background, here is my advice:

    1. I don't like the leather on the Chameleon - it feels oddly flimsy (to me). I would wait until the other compact models are released if I were you - the Osterley looks promising to me, but I don't know if it's your style. The Luxe - which I saw in person in Paris - is kind of stiff.
    2. I switched to the pull out monthly vertical calendar in my pocket and after a few weeks of mind-set changing, I now prefer it to the squares.
    3. I'm honestly not sure why you need both layouts. It sounds like it just creates a whole lot of re-writing, which increases the possibility of errors and takes time away from catching up on those Real Simple magazines :)


  3. The tabbed monthly inserts are working really well for me. It didn't take me long to adjust to looking at the vertical view instead of the horizontal. The Sat/Sun lines are highlighted with grey to stand out from the week days. I love having the tabs and I actually prefer the vertical layout now - I seem to have more space to write on each day's slot than on a squared monthly.

    As to the rest of your dilemma, I can't really offer any advice. I'm using the two-days-per-page as I don't need a lot of space for my daily entries, and I then have more space in my personal Malden for subject tabs and paper for my various notes. It took me a few format changes to get to that - the week on two pages was just a little too small for me, the daily pages were too much. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for everyone's comments.

    SNARLing - You've given me a lot to think about. I'll get back to you as per my decision and all of your suggestions.

    Dasha - Hmm. I think I've decided to hold off on the compact chameleon, at least until I see it in person, both for financial reasons and maybe, just maybe, they'll come out with a Compact Malden (yeah, right). I didn't know if the other compact models would come to the US or not. I've been thinking about eliminating some of my steps/layouts. I have to give it a test run to see if it will work.

    Terri - Based on what you said, I just might try the tabbed monthly inserts and rather than use them as a double schedule (the way I do now), use them for due dates and health info. We'll see.

    I'll keep you all posted!


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