Compact 2PPD Experiment

I love my planner set up.  Since coming up with it at the start of 2012, I haven’t changed it much.  There have been some tweaks just to streamline my system, but nothing major has changed since I started using the compact binder.  For me, the compact provides the best of both the personal planner world and the ability to keep it simple and light, though some may say that having to swap out inserts each month isn’t necessarily keeping it simple.  But for me, it is.  Yes, it’s a lot of maintenance to keep everything up to date, but that’s what allows me the ability to carry only what I need, which is what I have always wanted.  Then again, being super organized does mean a lot of required maintenance, and while sometimes it is annoying and tiresome, it is always worth in the end (for me) because I don’t waste time looking for everyday items.

During the last week or so, I’ve been contemplating going back to two pages per day inserts.  I have a pretty good system going with the day per page inserts, but I could use a little more room, especially when it comes to work items and the weekends (Saturday and Sunday share a page, and I often run out of room for proper details).

The issue with the two pages per day option of course is that I use a compact, which limits the amount of inserts I can carry at any given time.  Right now, with the day per page inserts, I can carry two full month’s worth of inserts in my binder (along with a year’s worth of monthly inserts; five other sections, a few pages behind each tab; and a couple of other random items).  To test how many of the two pages per day inserts I could fit comfortable in the compact, I pulled out my 2011 set and tried it.

First, I added the complete two month’s worth.  They do fit, but it is a little tight and makes the binder a bit fat.

While doable, turning the pages is tight, and I’m afraid that it will put too much strain on the rings and/or tear the pages.  So what are my options?

  • Use two month’s worth of 2PPD inserts and deal with whatever strain comes with it.
  • Put only a month’s worth of inserts in and rotate out pages weekly instead of monthly.
  • Use two month’s worth of 2PPD inserts and keep only six month’s worth of monthlies.
  • Stick with the day per page option like I’ve been doing.

My decision?  Well, I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that I ordered the 2PPD inserts. 

How I use them will depend on what fits my needs—it might require some experimentation.  However, at this point, I’m leaning towards rotating out inserts on a weekly basis rather than monthly, the way I do now. 

The reasons for that are:

  • With all the ring problems going around these days, I don’t want to give any binder a reason to crap out on me.  So the less strain I myself inflict on the rings, the better.
  • Since I can only carry a couple of month’s worth of daily sheets (at most), I need a full year of monthly sheets for forward planning, so the option of cutting back on how many I carry is not doable.  Plus, really, removing six sheets won’t making up for the fact that I’m adding 30 more (because with the 2PPD, compared with DPP, it’s like I’m carrying four month’s worth instead of two).
  • While the DPP option is working for me, I’m finding (almost every day) that I have to abbreviate my to dos, especially for work, just to make everything fit.  And that’s okay—I still know what needs to be done.  However, it could be better.  With 2PPD, I could put all of my work to do’s on the right side of the layout and keep the left side for my schedule and personal to dos and details.  And since I use a sticky to do sheet for random work things, I can put that on the right side, keeping all work items on one side of my day.  Right now, the sticky sheet covers the next day, and again, while this is doable, it’s not ideal, especially if I have to refer to “tomorrow” often.
  • All weekdays and week day to dos will be on the same side of the binder, making for consistency, which I love.  There won’t be any this-day-is-on-this-side-of-the-binder-and-that-day-on-that-side conflicts.
  • Saturday and Sunday will have their own full pages.  True, I won’t have to do pages like I do with the weekdays, but that’s okay since I don’t really need them.  Even if I work a Saturday or Sunday, I do so in order to cover the reference desk, which means that my priority is helping patrons, not working off of a to do list.  And on the rare occasion that I need a list, it’s a small one and can be kept on the day’s page itself.  One or two items won’t take up much space at all.
  • I have been using Day Planner pages for food and exercise information.  This has been working okay, except during the last week I gave up on it.  I found that accessing yet another set of pages was annoying at best and sometimes I forgot to do it completely.  With the 2PPD inserts, I will have enough room on my daily pages that I can keep that information right there on the day, giving me one less thing to access during the day and one less thing to prep each week, streamlining my system even more.

In the end, I don’t know how I’ll feel about rotating pages out each week and in what order exactly I will do it (keep a week of prior pages or have them all be future pages).  It’s rare that I need to look back at something from the past week, and when I do I’m almost always home, so accessing my personal Ochre Malden (which holds past and future inserts) isn’t an issue.  However, keeping maybe just one week of past inserts might be ideal.  I do need to have at least the first week of the next month for bill paying purposes, but I’m sure I can finagle some combination that fulfills the need for all of that.

Once I get the inserts and have them up and running, I will do another post showing how it all works out, because I am super hopeful (and excited) that it will!


  1. As we have seen pictures of your binders with the to-dos and sticky notes, I have to agree this sounds like a good system for you - theoretically. If it gets to be too cumbersome, is replacing the Sat/Sun DPP with the separate Sat and Sun 2PPD an option (if they are one page each in the 2PPD system)? I've never looked closely at them (using 2DPP myself). If Monday is on the back of every Sunday, maybe you could swap out Sat-Mon (the relevant half of Monday anyway)? I love your planning ideas! I hope this one works!!

    1. Hmm, I suppose I could swap out those days. The questionable pages would be Friday/Saturday - the front of Saturday's page will have the 2ppd Friday's second half. Sunday and Monday would be back to back in either set. This would work, I just don't know how my OCD will handle it. ;) I think the 2ppd will work, it's just a question of how I'll handle the rotation.

    2. Well, if you have a very full social calendar, an extra page for Friday might not hurt, but at that point, you'd only have Tuesday - Thursday that weren't swapped out. That, and I think my own OCD would be bothered by the two Friday inserts too. :-)

  2. I've been using the compact holborn with franklin covey's 2PPD system as those inserts have been the only system that truly works for me (sometimes I write nothing on a page, other days it's full....I can abide a bare page, I can't abide not having enough space).
    I use the full year of monthlies for forward planning and simply insert the 2PPD for the current month. True, not much else fits on the rings, but when I use a compact (rather than my personal holborn) it's usually because I want to streamline my content and keep it basic, &/or so that it takes up less room in my bag.

    My setup ends up being: personal data, addresses, some project pages, 12xmonthlies & 1xmonth's worth of 2PPD. It takes approximately 5 minutes to swap out the 2PPD at the end of each month and fill-in appointments/events from the monthlies, so I find it to be no inconvenience at all.

    1. I love the FC inserts, but I don't like how they stick out of the Filofax binder, and even though trimming them is possible (I've gone through the process several times), its a little finicky and I don't love that the repunched holes interfere with the writing space. Although I don't love the Filofax inserts, they work for me. I do need the first week of a month for bills due, so that's why I might rotate out weekly instead of monthly, but I think it will work. Now I just need to wait for them to arrive!

  3. Reading this with keen interest several weeks later as I'm contemplating moving back into a filofax after nearly two months in FC Compact size. I love how the FC pages work for me, and I love how easy it is to fit everything into the big rings, but I realize I don't need rings quite this big and I really miss my filofax! The problem is, I've never been happy with filofax inserts. The paper isn't what bothers me, it's the functional planning design. DPP almost works but doesn't run late enough to encompass my full work days (I run a small business and work a full time job primarily second shift) and the same goes for 2PPD. FC compact really works, plenty of to-do space and the scheduling block covers basically my full work day (FC covers from 5am through 10pm), plus the open notes page which is very handy to have. It's difficult; miss filofax, love functionality of FC. I could trim the pages and maintain the functionality but it always seems wrong to put other manufacturers paper into a filofax. Interested to see how the 2PPD works out for you. It seems like a well designed layout but I often wonder if I need the second page. Whenever I don't have it I tend to miss it, though.

  4. So far the FF 2PPD is working very well for me. I showed a little of how I'm using it here: , though I plan on doing a full review of the new layout in the near future. I agree that the FC layout has more functionality and allows for a longer day, as far as the time slots go. I did try the trimmed FC inserts, but couldn't get past the holes taking up too much writing room (for my taste). I've never really had a problem with the FF pages, but just figuring out how I would use them was the issue. Before I started putting my work to dos in my filo, there was definitely too much room with the 2ppd. But now it's working well since the right side is for work items only, leaving the left side for my schedule and all random things I want to jot down. Good luck with your search!


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