28 August 2011

All About Choices from a College Dropout


I have been a bit slack recently, and I haven't had much time for blogging, then today i got an email from the lovely Kanalt from Life Well Planned who we had agreed on a All Stars blog post, i had no time frame for it, and today she said it was ready, and i thought what perfect timing!!

As i don't have a desk at home i feel very unmotivated to type on my laptop!

I hope you really enjoy the post :-)

When Imy first mentioned her idea of teaching Filofax College, I thought, What a great idea!  I wanted to join but was a little leery about being able to do it—I was going on vacation, my days are packed enough as it is.  How was I supposed to put my all into it?  I’m a serious student.  When I start on an educational adventure, I’ll like to see it through to the end and to give it my all in the process.  And if I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, was it worth enrolling at all?  Imy assured me it would be fine, that I could start when I chose to and do the assignments I wanted to, that there’d be no pressure.

And she was right! 

She was right because I am a college dropout.  In fact, though I enrolled, I never showed up for the first class.  I had every intention of making up the assignments I missed while out on vacation.  But the truth is, I had so much other catching up to do that I dropped the ball on Filofax College.  I will never get my degree.

However, this is not to say that I haven’t been paying attention.  I have read the background information and instructions for all assignments.  I have thought about my projects seriously.  I just haven’t done any of the work.

But that all changes now.  I am writing up an extra credit report on how I choose the Filofaxes and inserts I buy.  It may not be the greatest makeup assignment in history, but this topic is something that is close to my heart.  I am always looking for the next best thing.  Imy’s write up on the topic was very concise—choosing the right size of the planner, what kind of opening it should have (zipper, snap, or open), the color, style, and inserts.  All of these factors are very important.  And should anyone ask me what kind of Filofax they should purchase, I would also offer these tips to help them choose the perfect planner.

However, in this area, I don’t always practice what I preach.  I do take into account all of the factors mentioned above.  But there is something else.  I also choose (some) planners and inserts based on what other people have purchased, how they feel about them, what they say and/or write about them, and how well they work for them.  I often have planner envy and will sometimes (so long as it’s workable for me and my needs) take into account other people’s systems and binders.

For example, back when I was having planner angst (though do we ever not have some kind of planner angst?), there were a number of posts about downsizing to pocket binders.  The Flickr photos posted were creating lust in my heart.  I thought perhaps I could do the same, that it would solve all of my problems.  But I just couldn’t make up my mind, and in the end, I had to let go of that dream.

Then, when the Malden was introduced, I wasn’t crazy about it.  I wasn’t sure that I liked the front zippered pocket.  It just wasn’t like anything I’d seen before.  But then I read a post on a friend’s blog (the post has since been made private, so I’m sorry to say that I cannot link back to it) about how wonderful the Malden is.  She included pictures.  She couldn’t say enough about it.  I loved what she had done.  All of the sudden, I had to have it.  And she was right—it’s a gorgeous binder, one I didn’t move out of for almost nine months.

When I was having an insert crisis, I scoured the web for advice and suggestions.  First, I came across this photo from Plaiditude and decided to try DayRunner inserts.  When that didn’t work, this post from Zoe helped me to give Franklin Covey a try.  For a while, I was in love, but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be.

Then, when I saw SNARLing’s three videos, I had to have the Compact Chameleon (to be fair though, I was looking for something a little thinner than the personal, and my slimline Guildford, beautiful as it is, was too small).  This was the only reason I moved out of my Malden.  But I am enjoying the sleekness of the compact binder, so it has been worth it.

My process in which I choose a binder and/or inserts is one of great difficulty—it’s a balance between what I need, what I want, and what works for others.  Like most things though, even if it looks good and works for someone else, it may not work for me, despite how wonderful it appears.  But seeing what other people have is a starting point.  It may make me question what I want and need, but I definitely know when I don’t like something.  And that is a help too.  It helps me save money by not buying something and it helps me to hone in on what I do like.

I have yet to achieve that ultimate planner nirvana where need and want and availability blend so perfectly.  But then, if we reached planner nirvana, we’d have nothing to strive for, nothing to write about, nothing to learn about.

So, my fellow Filofax College enrollees, may we never stop learning about Filofaxes, may we never stop learning from each other, and may we never stop striving for our goals.

Let the journey for ultimate planner perfection continue...

I am really enjoying the All Stars thing we have going on, its so fun to have people guest posting!!

And i will be blogging on Tuesday about a few subjects for you! I also will do lots on the train for you! P.s.  all the guest posts i am supposed to be doing will be typed this weekend!



  1. Thanks for letting me guest post, Imy! It was great fun! Now, to get to the other guest posts I've been neglecting...

  2. I am a college dropout too as I haven't submitted any homework! :-) But I do love the filofax college posts and I enjoyed your guest post Kanalt!

  3. Ah! Glad to hear I'm the only one. ;) And thanks!

  4. Also love the Filofax college posts (& your guest post). Thanks x

  5. I think maybe "ultimate planner nirvana" will never come but that might not be a bad thing for someone who loves planners... I just might love looking for the perfect perfect planner --- setting it up -- contemplating it --- and blogging about it MORE then I would actually enjoy finding it.

    Never to search again. Perhaps its the journey I love!