Saturday, 15 September 2012

Inside My Filofax Finsbury

I have been reading the Philofaxy website religiously for a few weeks now, I find it so interesting to know what other people put in their Filofaxes and how they use them. It's an excellent blog with a very friendly community.

Although one thing you don't see enough of, is Filofaxes that are owned by creative people, who have lots of hobbies and have to customise everything they own! I am one of those people. I am a freelance interior designer, and my hobbies are scrapbooking, cardmaking, song writing, playing guitar and generally being an organisational freak. So you can understand why, when I got a Personal Finsbury in raspberry last year, I grew tired of it very quickly. This was because, apart from its' beautiful deep pink cover, it just wasn't 'me'.

So... after a few months of playing around with different ideas in my head, this is the (almost) finished project. Throughout you'll see I've used a lot of coloured paper but I had this in my stock and am just trying to use it up before I go on to cotton cream or white.

So enjoy, and I'd love to hear your comments!

About my Filofax Finsbury
As mentioned above, I bought her September 2011 and haven't used her much. It makes me a bit sad that the colour is wearing off on the front right corner, and would love to get a purple Malden, but they seem very rare. It means I'm not too scared to throw her in my handbag each morning! It's a personal size by the way, I have tried using a pocket Domino but it was just too small, and as I like to carry mine around with me, I thought A5 would be too bulky and heavy.
Organising Your SectionsThe first thing I did was create a list of all the different sections I would need, and the items I would include in these sections. This took a while, but was definitely worth it. It also helps you see how much you will have in your Filofax, and makes you think... do I really need that??

Section Tabs
I made some custom tabs on MS Word by using an image of an ornate label stamp, cropped it in half and resized them so they were the same size as the tabs on the standard Filofax dividers. I did try supergluing them to my dividers but they were quite delicate, so I staped them on and they don't look too bad. I laminated them as well, to make them more sturdy. The tabs are printed on turquoise scrapbooking cardstock from Basic Grey, which I love the colour of.  

Custom Dividers
I wanted colourful dividers, and I have loads of scrapbook papers and wallpaper samples I used. They were quite time consuming to make but look quite effective. I used one of the standard personal paper pages to trace round onto the back of the papers, cut them to size, hole punched the edges and stapled on the tabs. (I did all this without the use of a Filofax hole punch, as long as you have patience you can save a bit of money! Just take the back off your hole punch, use a piece of personal paper, draw on the holes and you can see where to punch!) I then laminated the dividers with the roll of sticky backed plastic you can buy in Wilko.

First Stop: Inspiration

At the front of my Filo I use the card holders to hold my sticky notes. Then I have a pocket transparent flyleaf which holds a picture of me and my boyfriend, and on the other side a picture of a tattoo I designed about 8 years ago but have never had done...

Section 1 - Diary
My first section is obviously the one which is most used, my Diary.  I love the yellow and turquoise paper, very cheery! I have the year to view page at the front so I can see at a glance my paydays etc., then I work on a week to two pages layout which I've found works very well, apart from the tiny spaces for the weekend! These inserts are from Paperchase. I much prefer using lined inserts as they keep my pages neater. I use the standard black ruler to mark my weeks. I onyl have up to December 2012 in here, any important dates I need to remember next year go on my sticky note at the back of the diary section.

Section 2 - Money
Pretty self-explanatory really, I HAVE to keep track of my finances as we have lots of outgoings each month and I tend to panic if I don't plan how much I have. We manage our money by working out how much is outgoing and incoming, calculating what we have left for food and spending money, and divide that by the number of weeks in the month. Friday is top-up day where we get our weekly allowance, so it's like a mini payday! 

At the front of this section I have a transparent flyleaf pocket for receipts that I need to remember to write down on my spending list, and behind that I have the list of our utility bills and how much they are each month.

I use squared paper and the headings are: date, tick box for 'yes this has been paid for', description, credit, debit, and remaining balance. Simples! Definite payments are in blue and additional spending is in black. Using a Frixion pen is brilliant in this section if I make a mistake or miscalculation, or if something unplanned comes up.

Section 3 - Notes

 Anything I need to jot down quickly goes in this section, and I can then move the pages into other sections if needed. I often have little ideas or thoughts that pop into my head so it's handy having a miscellaneous section where I can dump my brain!
Picture on the right is the other side of the tab, such beautiful paper with a Midsummer Nights Dream words printed onto it.

Section 4 - Useful

This section might not make sense to a lot of people, surely everything in your Filo is useful!! In here I have the front page of the Filofax diary you get where you can register your Filo, my personal details, and useful contact details in our town e.g post office, police station, and their opening times. For this info I use the address pages, it keeps it nice and tidy. I have tried printing my own inserts but it's too time consuming and I'm too impatient!

Section 5 - Bills

This section houses all the contact details for our utility companies. Sure, you can find this on the internet, but what if your electricity cuts out and your laptop has run out of battery, or it's your internet that is broken and you need a contact number to solve the issue? Enter Filo. Also in this section I have plain notepaper where I write down any phone conversations or emails I've received and sent from various suppliers.

 Section 6 - Contacts

More address pages with my personal contacts, not really in any order as I don't have that many. The divider is made from a wallpaper sample from Harlequin, just beautiful :)

Section 7 - Home

Home is very important to me. We moved into our own place a few months ago and some of this info came in very useful. I've got a list of local contacts in there on address paper for carpet cleaners, plumbers etc. in case of emergency,  a cleaning timetable so I make sure I keep on top of my chores, and furniture measurements for our main furniture items. I also put our moving schedule in here ready for moving day. The divider is from an advert in a magazine, the same colour scheme as our living room, plum and lime!

Section 8 - Crafts
I'm very into my crafty things, so I've got a section for all my little notes and ideas. I also always come across little papers and things on the internet that I can't afford at the time but want to purchase at a later date, so I have a wishlist in this section. I also have plain paper for sketches, and lined paper for notes and ideas. 

Section 9 - Freelance

At the moment this section is kind of a work in progress, I'm reading a book at the moment on how to set yourself up as a full time freelancer, so I'm taking notes in this section and making a list of things I need to research. Also in this section, I write down any potential projects and keep a list of invoices.

Section 10 - To-do

I LOVE LISTS. I have to write myself to-do lists because I'm actually very forgetful, so this is just a section with lined paper so I can jot down any things I need to do of a day, that don't go in my diary section. Rather than using expensive inserts I just use what I have at the moment, and it works perfectly fine! The divider is another beautiful soft wallpaper sample from Harlequin's Gardenia range. Nice and calming before you turn over and see all the things you have to do!

Section 11 - Music

 I record my songs at home using a track recorder but often if I move the recorder around the settings get lost. So in this section I've got a little diagram showing the settings which work the best for my recorder and my amp. Also I've got a list of music to discover on Spotify, and a wishlist.
Section 12 - Travel

We don't really go anywhere or do anything, but we're thinking about it...! So I've got a packing list and in this section I'll write any ideas we've found online for holiday destinations or hotels we'd like to stay at. The divider has an old map on which I thought was quite appropriate. (no ****....)

 Section 13 - Work

I use the year planner that came with my Paperchase diary insert to record month end at work, and any annual leave we have both booked throughout the year. It's a good layout as you can see everything at a glance. Also if we have to change our annual leave for any reason I can just rub it out! Ah Frixion, you're awesome.

Section 14 - Car

In this section I have my local MOT test centre details and opening times, also a record of my MOTs and how much it cost me, also my insurance details and emergency contact numbers are in this section in case I break down, have an accident, etc. I also have a maintenance checklist so I know when I need to check the oil, etc.

Section 15 - Food

Food rules in our house. My boyfriend is an excellent cook, and I'm an average baker but I really enjoy it. In this section, addresses and opening times for the restaurants we love,  meal plans for the week, and because we eat too much food I've got the weight watchers points system in there, too. The divider is a picture of teacups. I have a slight obsession with tea, I've got thirty different kinds... :D

Section 16 - Health

I'm trying to keep myself healthier these days, so I'd like to track my weight. I've not started yet, but I will. I promise... In this section I've got my doctor, dentist and optician details, and log of appointments I attended and what was wrong with me. 

Section 17 - Special Dates

As I am forgetful, I have a list of birthdays throughout the year. I also write in my main diary when to buy and send birthday cards to these people so I make sure their card arrives on time. I also have a list of gift ideas for the people I will buy presents for, and a Christmas card list.

Section 18 - Social 

Tweet! This is my social section, where I keep all my login details, blogs I like to read, and any ideas I have for blog posts.  

At the back of my Filo, I have some of my business cards, and an empty pocket flyleaf for... something...!

I hope you enjoyed my first Filofax blog post, and haven't fallen asleep yet...


Steve Morton said...

Great first Filofax post. Good work.

Angharad said...

Great post. I love how you've done your Filofax :)

Unknown said...

Oh, so much better than my little Finsbury! Wonderful, I'm going to have to re-read this and get some more ideas for mine :D x

laura jane said...

@Natalie, feel free to message me if you have any questions :) xx

Cheryl said...

Wow...very detailed! You stuff alot of sections in that Personal. Picked up some good tips, thanks!

Gerard said...

Wonderful - thanks for posting!

Romina said...

Thanks for detailing your set-up! Got some great ideas for new sections :)
Can you share the name of the freelance book you are reading? The topic interests me and i am looking for reading materials. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love this post! And wow - that's a lot of sections in your Filo

laura jane said...

@Romina, the book I'm reading is by Creative, Inc and is called The Ultimate Guide to Running A Successful Freelance Business. You can buy it here
Thank you so much for your comment =)

laura jane said...

Hi Romina, not sure if you saw the reply I just posted as a comment but the book is called Creative, Inc: the Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business. Hope it's useful to you! I found it very easy to read and a great help. Good tip is to make some little notes while reading it so you remember what you need to research =)

P.S You can buy it here...

laura jane said...

Thanks Steve! Really appreciate you posting this on your Web Finds yesterday! =)

Unknown said...

I love this post1 Super informative and of course everything is so cute! I used a filo years ago and have recently been inspired to haul it out and get creative :)