If It Ain’t Broke…

…fix it anyway.

When it comes to planners, I seem to have a very difficult time leaving well enough alone.

I’m not talking about tweaking it to accommodate life changes (which I also do and consider perfectly normal), I’m talking about messing with it for no apparent reason beyond boredom, curiosity, sadomasochism, or some combination of the three.

I change the binders themselves at whim, make no mistake about that…based on season, wardrobe, which handbag I’m carrying…you name it.  But the guts always stay the same.

Until last night.

I had made it halfway through the year with my beloved Franklin Covey 2 Page per Day inserts in the Original green & white design (with the tabbed months of course), making full use of the Task List and Daily Schedule on one page and logging my daily Gratitude Journal on the second page.


Except for the fact that I can only fit 3 months of the 2 Page per Day leaves in my Filofax at a time (along with all the rest of the stuff I keep in it).

While tolerable, I do a lot of long-term project planning for work and I would ideally like to see the entire year. But since I need more room than a Week on 2 Page format, I compromise and sacrifice having all 12 months at my fingertips for a page that allows for more detail.

As a side note, Franklin Covey used to make a 1 Page per Day annual pack with the tabbed months included in the Original design and they were my insert of choice…however they currently offer only ONE design in 1 Page  per Day and it is (in my humble opinion) ugly.  Too odd a tone of blue and waaaaaay too much of it on the page.

Trust me, I bought the pack thinking I could get used to it, but my dislike of the color got under my skin to the point that it made me want to open my planner as little as possible so I didn’t have to see it.

Kinda defeats the whole purpose.

So anyway, there I was last night, staring at my Personal Malden in Ochre laying open on my coffee table, contemplating how fast this year is going by, wondering what inserts I will choose for 2012 and wishing there was a 1 Page per Day format out there in the world that I actually, you know, liked.

Filofax, you ask? Nope.  I like to have a specific daily To Do section I can tick off and their pages are too free-form for my tastes.  Plus, I must have the tabbed months.  I simply must.

Day Runner maybe?  Nuh-uh.  While they did copy exactly the Franklin Covey layout for their 2 Page per Day inserts, the 1 Page per Day are basically the same as Filofax (except they are maroon shaded rather than white and you can tab the months, but still not enough to sell me on them).

DayTimer then? Same thing.  The 2 Page per Day format works (because again, they have copied Franklin Covey’s layout), but they chop up the 1 Page per Day pages in such a way that none of the sections seems to have room enough for what I need to write in them.

And they waste half the bottom on an Expense section. Yuk! How much I’ve gone & spent in a given day is the last thing I want to see when I open my precious Filo!

However, I did have a pack of DayTimer 1 Page per Day refills for 2011 lying around (bought ’em, opened ’em up, hated ’em, stuck ’em in my refill bin unused), so I figured what the hell and made the switch.

This time I only re-copied the first five daily pages for July and transferred future items, rather than redoing the entire year to date and risking it being for naught if I change back in a day or so.  Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt thank you very  much.

On the plus side, I can fit 6 months of inserts now, which certainly beats 3, and the pages are the same size as Filofax so I can mix & match without having a glaring width difference (which totally makes my OCD twitch so I don’t even try mixing FC pages with anything other brands for fear of an utter and complete nervous breakdown).

The downside is that, as I suspected, the page layout is rather annoying; it isn’t laid out nearly as intuitively as FC, and there is no denying FC’s paper is better quality.

Weary sigh.

Every year I spend an inordinate amount of money on refill options for my planner. Typically I buy annual packs of more than one brand, and often more than one format.  Hell, it’s not beyond me to stockpile more than one SIZE as well.

And every summer I hope beyond hope I can find one that I will like enough to make it all the way through ’till December.

This, my friends, is apparently not going to be that year.

I am going to give these pages the old college try though, if for no other reason than because I need something to blog about.

Here is how I am going to “hack” the page for my own, albeit quirky, use:

On the left side of the page is the “Appointment” section.  I will track meetings, appointments and any timed events here and just learn to cope with the fact that they put this bit on the wrong side of the page for my tastes.

To the right of the hourly ticks is the “Diary and Work Record”, which to be honest I am clueless as to what the intended function is,  given the shared use of the hour markers.  So I’m going to use it for miscellaneous notes and my gratitude list, thus ignoring the hours all- together.

I know, right?  I’m a total rebel!

The bottom left section marked “To Be Done” is self-explanatory (I only wish they gave me boxes to tick off…as that is SO freaking rewarding) and the bottom right section they designate as an “Expense Record” is going to become just plain “Record” and I will put my daily tracking items there (weather, mood, exercise, whether or not I flossed…you get the idea).

If it turns out that I like this new-fangled format, sweet – I’ll order up a set for 2012 and rejoice in the ability to fit half a year in my Filo.

If it drives me shithouse – no harm, no foul…I may try a pack of FC Her Point of View 2PPD inserts in that case, and learn to deal with only seeing a quarter at a time if I have everything else to my liking.

At any rate, this particular neurotic planner spasm gave me something to write about, so at least there’s that : )

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steve
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 17:26:10

    With that Day Timer format (which looks good) what is the format at weekends? The same or different?


  2. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 18:10:13

    the format is exactly the same as the other days (which is nice)…a full day for both weekend days.

  3. rorirants
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 23:00:58

    Good that full day on weekends! That is so so so stupid of Filofax to screw that up. Also, the no tabbed month thing is just dumb too.

    Any hoo, I like these inserts. I’ve recently found I need a little more structure than the Filofax dpp ones, and I like these. If you decide to go back to FC, can’t you just put the tabbed month in for future planning? Or that doesn’t work?

  4. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 07, 2011 @ 13:59:01

    unfortunately, FC inserts are 1/2″ wider than filofax, so while some people could deal with mixing them together, i sure couldn’t! FC annual sets do come with their own monthly tabs, so it would just be a matter of re-copying. again.

    i agree that filofax could solve a world of dilemmas by just offering more daily diary options and allowing for tabbed monthly inserts in between. but until that day comes, i will use one of the brands that does have them.

  5. Trackback: Sarah Winchester, Eat Your Heart Out « the zeitgeist of zoe
  6. kanalt
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 19:28:17

    Yay for a format you love! I so wished the FC inserts were for me. I still love them but they just weren’t doing what I needed them to do somehow. I tried ordering my Filofax 2PPD for 2012 and they are not available right now. I am on the list for them to email me when they are in stock, but if something happens with that I’ll be switching back to FC. It’s July man, how can they not have 2012 in??? 😉

  7. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 14:40:03

    i know right?! it’s july for crying out loud! for what it’s worth, FC doesn’t have any 2012 inserts in yet either.

  8. kanalt
    Jul 17, 2011 @ 21:47:54

    Whew! I feel better then. Though, I’m usually able to get my next year’s inserts from Filofax in July. They have the 2012 monthly layout available. I think they’re just toying with me…

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