The Filofax Experiment


Tweaking my systems is fun. Whether it’s productivity tools, development methods, photography workflow, whatever. Today I find myself messing with my personal notetaking, todo, and calendar system(s). I have both a lifelong love affair with paper and a deskload of electronic gadgets. I don’t consider this a contradiction. I call it using the best tool for the job. Except that’s not always how I decide. And I sometimes change my mind.

Calendars, for example, are perfectly suited for electronic devices. iCal and Google Calendars make it trivial to communicate my schedule to others. They also conveniently remind me of upcoming events. This all sounds great, but I hate using them. I find them clumsy and prone to sync errors. Entering events on my iPhone is an exercise in frustration. I mean really, how long must the poor girl at the salon wait while I fumble around trying to enter my next appointment into the damn phone? I’m sure others have no problems at all, and good for them. 

I decided to look for something else, so I bought a Filofax. You know, one of those old “day planner” things no one uses any more.

I’ve always wanted a Filofax. I can’t say why, as I’d never even seen one in person, but folks who use them seem to love them and keep them for years at a time. So, I got a personal-sized “Malden” in black leather. It does feel nice. I’ll spend some time over the next few days learning my way around. It’s already my calendar. With any luck, it will become something more. Of course the Filofax doesn’t sync worth a damn either. At least it’s not supposed to.

There are a surprising number of sites dedicated to Filofax specifically and paper planners in general. I started with the amazing philofaxy. Lots of stuff to take in there.

 I love trying stuff like this. Who knows how well it will work or how long it will last. Doesn’t matter, it’s an experiment.