An Exercise In Futility

Back when I discussed my 2012 setup, I mentioned that it is working well for me with the exception of the Filofax day per page inserts cramming Saturday and Sunday together on one page.  I also mentioned that I had something up my sleeve to combat this annoyance.

So what is this idea, you ask?

Ever since reading about J’s setup, I have been coveting the Franklin Covey day per page inserts.  The only problem with the FC inserts is that they are wider than the Filofax personal size binders and inserts, thus creating a slight overhang of the FC pages in any Filofax personal binder.  But I had a plan for that too—I decided I would trim and repunch the FC inserts.

“But wait,” I hear you say.  “Didn’t you do this already?”  To that I say, “Yes, I did.”  And now you say, “But didn’t you end up not liking them?”  And to that I say, “That is also correct.”  My main gripe with the first round of trimming and repunching FC inserts is that there ended up not being enough writing space because the new holes took up real estate, as seen here: 

A major contributor to the lack of space was the personal sized rings.  Because of the repunched holes, there was less space in certain areas to begin with.  Then, the personal size rings made it even more difficult to write on those smaller spaces.  But the compact has a smaller ring size than the personal, so I figured it would be easier to get to those smaller writing spaces because my hand wouldn’t be bumping into the larger rings.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The FC Monticello inserts upon arrival:

The first step was to trim off the excess paper, in this case, the blue inside border.  It’s really just there for decoration and color anyway.  It’s doesn’t provide much function.  For the trimming, I used my scrapbook cutter.  I already had marked the line at the top where I would need to place my paper in order to get the correct size.  Then, I did one smooth swift cut.

At first I trimmed only the monthly inserts and the February – April daily inserts.  I didn’t start off with the whole year, because this was the amount I needed to get started.  I figured I could do the rest as time went on.

Obviously, there is still the real estate issue—the new holes take up more space than I would like, but again, I figured I could work around that with the compact rings.

Even with the daily pages, the holes take up a little more room than I would like.  There is no longer that buffer between writing space and the edge of the paper that I had with the Filofax daily pages.

Once these sheets were done, I filled in all of my information, and popped them into the Compact Regency.  It was beautiful.  I had three months’ worth of dailies in there, starting with February, as well as the entire year of the monthly inserts.

I’m sure you all know where this story is going…

I didn’t even make it two days before deciding I didn’t like it.  I never even made it to February, so I didn’t even really use them.  But to say that I didn’t like is a bit of lie—I do like it.  It’s just… well… I’m not sure exactly.  It just didn’t feel right.  I think it just felt artificial and cheesy being trimmed and repunched.  If you look at the right side daily sheet, you can see that the top punch goes right through the text of “March.”  I hate that.  True, it doesn’t really mean anything because I don’t really use that area for much.  But it just looks stupid to me, though let’s be honest, it could just be my OCD talking here.  Plus, because the monthly sheets can be interfiled with the daily sheets (something I have longed for from Filofax for ever), there are more monthly sheets in total.  If I keep the entire year of monthlies in there, it bulks up the binder, making the slimness of the compact pointless.  I could put only six months’ worth of monthly inserts in there, but that defeats (one of) the purpose(s) of having monthlies in the first place.  With the Filofax monthly inserts, I can easily keep an entire year’s worth because they are printed back to back, making for fewer sheets in total.  (Again, this is one of my gripes with the Filofax monthly inserts—I do realize I’m being a bit two-faced about this issue here.)  Plus, if I kept only six months’ worth of monthly inserts in the binder, my OCD would be further tested.  The FC monthly tabs have the twelve tabs running down the length of the binder.  The Filofax monthly tabs consist of two sets of six.  So I can keep six months’ worth of the Filofax tabs and it’s still the entire length of the binder.  I don’t have to look at a partial tab set.  Stupid maybe, but it’s something that bugs the heck out of me.

So, I am back to my original setup.  My system isn’t perfect.  I’ll be the first to admit that.  I don’t like that Saturday and Sunday are crammed onto one sheet.  I have to flip between my monthly and daily inserts, causing a need for two page markers.  But even with its imperfections, the Filofax inserts are working for me.  I have come up with a way that they provide the room and space I need to keep track of what’s important to me.  I am used to how I use it.  During the two days I used the FC inserts, flipping from one section to another didn’t come naturally to me.  I had to first think about where I was and where I was going within the pages.  I shouldn’t have to do that—it should be second nature to me, to flip back and forth, especially at this advanced planner-using stage.

Now that my Filofax inserts are back where they belong, I feel at home and peaceful once again.  There are many things I would change about my setup if I could.  Even though it’s not perfect, it’s working for me, I’m used to it, I’m comfortable with it, and it fulfills my needs.  I may be drawn to something more fancy from time to time, but somehow, I always find my way home again.  And in the end, it’s always nice to come home.

The question is, will I ever learn that lesson?


  1. Bahahha! Why am I not surprised you tried this again??? And I guess I'm a bit sorry if I was the cause, lol.

    But, I'm glad that you are settled back into a system that works for you... until next time you decide to pull out the paper cutter!

  2. While I do not use a Filofax, I am very picky about my paper calendar. I had been using a Moleskine for the past few years but really wanted something different. This year I bought a personalized printable calendar from an Etsy shop. She didn't have exactly what I wanted so she customized it for me. The Etsy shop is You should check it out.

  3. J, lol! You are the reason for my insanity. ;) It's my own fault, of course. I almost knew before they arrived that I wouldn't stick with them. I was just hopeful that it would fulfill all of my needs perfectly. But I think all of us are in the same boat here - from what I hear, we're all looking for planner nirvana and very few of us have found it. I think I'm done with the paper cutter (hopefully) - for now.

    Elizabeth - I know a few people who use Etsy for their calendar, yet for some reason, I've never looked into it. Thanks for the link. I'll definitely check it out.

  4. The good news is, you know there is someone from Philofaxy saying "Dang, I sure wish I had FC inserts to try!" And you can sell the rest of yours! :D

  5. Lol, Rori! That's probably true, though if Filofax is going to eliminate some of their inserts, I might want to hold on to them so I get used to them before I'm forced to buy them. Plus, knowing myself as I do, I'm sure I'll think about switching again at some point. ;)

  6. It looks to me like you are trimming the wrong edges. Would it work if you left the blue so the holes are not in real estate and trim the outside margins?

  7. Helen - That might work for the daily pages, though it will depend on the amount that needs to be taken off versus how much is available to take off on the other side. It wouldn't work on the monthly pages though because then I'd lose the tabs, which is part of the draw to the FC pages. But I'll have to look at them again and see if that might work. Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. Just want to know what brand trimmer you're using. How many pieces of paper could you cut in one go and would you recommend it?

    1. The brand is Fiskars:

      I bought mine at Office Max, so I bought what they had. I don't know anything about that specific brand other than my cutter. I don't know how many pieces of paper it can cut at once - I've only ever just done one piece at a time. If you make your own inserts, I highly recommend a cutter, whether this brand or another. It's easy to cut everything the same size since there are length and width markers. Plus, for me, I always cut crooked when using scissors, so this makes for an accurate cut every time.


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