Downsize and Colorize – Goodbye Comfort Zone

Remember how I once likened dubbing around with planners to meditation? Well, I’ve been doing some heavy duty meditating lately, lol!

Partly because I got a new phone and I found a great calendar and to do list app for it. Since then I have discovered that I really like having all my appointments and tasks sync between my laptop and whatever gadget I’m using on any given day. This definitely comes in handy on my phone, but since this app is for both Android and iOS, even my iPad gets in on the planning action.

As Stephen King once wrote, “Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?”

It seems that my schedule and the associated stuff I have to do changes almost constantly. Keeping the majority of it all digitally goes a long way in assuaging the part of my OCD that roils at scribbles and/or white out in my planner.

For those of you interested in such things, it’s called “Calengoo” and it syncs with Google Calendars and Google Tasks. It was spendy for an app ($5.99) but well worth it, IMO,  for functionality and customization options.

My awesome new Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a great native calendar app called “S Planner” (the S being for Samsung I assume?) which also talks to Google Calendar, however the task component of the app is stand alone and will not sync with Google Tasks. Or anything else for that matter.

The slow-witted, ginger stepchild of Epic Fails.

The phone, however is mind-blowingly fantastic, so I am excited to start using it more for planning & task management and not just dubbing around on the Internet, texting random strangers pictures of my boobs (just kidding of course – I wanted to see if you were paying attention) and whiling the day away on social media.

Oh, and making phone calls…whatever they are.

I soon figured out that, if I start migrating the majority of my tasks to an electronic format,  I could get away with a smaller (and therefore lighter) planner. When you lug your Filofax around with you 24/7 like I do, that’s a very good thing.

A while back I became enamoured with Pocket size and gave that a heroic effort. Which promptly crashed & burned. The page size was simply too small…for my eyes, for my loopy, juvenile handwriting and for the sheer number of stuff I need to cram onto a typical work day.

This time around I’m trying Compact size. Same page size as my beloved Personal, yet a thinner, sleeker, lighter, more portable binder. Could this model be my Goldilocks?

Let’s find out.

Ok, so this go ’round, I picked up a raspberry Compact Chameleon on clearance at Pens & Leather (my absolute favorite Filofax retailer. Richard, I’m talking to YOU). Gotta love clearance; if the idea goes down in flames, I’m only out a couple weeks of Starbucks breakfasts.

Raspberry compact Chameleon. The color makes me want to lick it. Because, you know, it looks like a Popsicle and stuff. Not because I’m weird.

A lot skinnier than a Personal.

Am I seriously going to be able to get away with so little in my planner??!! Place your bets now folks….

Ring size is 9/16″. Slightly larger than the 1/2″ rings of a Slimline, and just enough to make it workable, where a Slimline was not. For me anyway.

The Chameleon does not lay flat out of the box.  Cue sad trombone. I knew this going in because I also have a black Pocket and an aqua Personal, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it and can’t bitch about it.

My other gripe is that I find the 6 credit card pockets on the interior front to be all but useless because they are just a tad too small for business cards (although, true to their name, they will fit credit cards perfectly).

Business cards had to be trimmed to fit into the credit card pockets.

Keep in mind I had to re-jigger my inserts this time around, not only switch binders. I had to think about what I actually NEED in my planner from the ground up. Turns out the difference between a Personal and a Compact was, for me, pretty much a bunch of fluff.

Oh, and inspired by the amazing raspberry color, I’m also trying to jazz up the interior of my planner too. Summer color, good mood – positive crap like that. Stickers will no doubt be added shortly…

What I see when I open up my Filo : )

Lets start with my “Dashboard”. It is just a Filofax plastic multi-purpose holder with a pad of sticky notes in the lower (smaller) pocket and some of my favorite do-dads in the top pocket.  Tarot of Trees “Strength” card and a little token that says, “Well behaved women rarely make history” that my best friend gave me.

The other side of the plastic sheet protector. More happy and positive junk ; ) Also used as a dashboard for overflow from the front.

There are usually sticky notes with various notes on ’em attached to this (hence the dashboard funtion) but I took them off because they be private ; )

Then I have my 6 subject tabs. Although I only have a few sheets behind each, they do fit…which makes me happy. These are DayTimer Shadows & Light tabs (no longer available, sadly) but I am thinking of making some new ones to go along with the brighter color scheme of this Filo.

My current 6 subject tabs. Toying with culling these down to 3 (capture, lists and quotes…gotta keep quotes!)

Next come a set of DayTimer monthly tabs. In this case month on two pages. I can fit the entire year, which comes in handy for jotting down future events or checking back on past ones when I don’t have the weeklies in.

As you can see, on the front of each monthly tab is room to list items to be done that month.

Now comes the meat. Filofax Week on Two Pages – Lined inserts. With all of my aforementioned tabs, a half year of weeklies fits comfortably in the Compact.

Only appointments are in the daily boxes (because I write large and messily). The current day is highlighted with a movable green sticky flag and a DayTimer sticky Hot Sheet is stuck to the Today ruler with a running list of To Do items because I’m too chicken to go digital cold turkey right now.

The left weekly page. Today is marked with the lime green flag.

Until I can make a new habit of going entirely digital for tasks, my weekly to do’s are relegated to a Hot Sheet stuck to the ruler. Just items w/due dates noted. Pretty simple and not too obtrusive.

A busier week. Wish I could write smaller, but it is what it is. Some weeks are even fuller than this…others are so dead you can hear crickets chirping when you open up my book.

Currently I have June through December weeklies in. For the record, this configuration will fit only a single month of Two Page per Day inserts. I’d much rather have less space to write on a given day and be able to fit more pages in for an overview.

But that may change….

After my weeklies, I have a plastic page protector with more encouraging BS in it, and of course the Filofax sticky note accessory.


I know you will call this next bit sacriledge, but I have jazzed up the Chameleon with a Hawaiian Hello Kitty sticker stuck to the inside back cover zip pocket. Oh yes I did.

Makes me smile every time I see it!

You may have noticed the star cell phone charm…the zipper pull is so dinky on the Chameleon that I attached this so it is easier to find. I borrowed this trick from the days of the Aqua Finsbury. Same tiny zipper pull.

Plus, I thought it would look cute.

Size-wise I am THRILLED with the Compact. It’s such a nice, light change (it helps that I can fit it in every handbag I own…) and the color is very fun and perky too.  Although it will be a new habit to quit writing down every detail about every little thing on every single day, I also think it will be a healthy change for me. I tend to, you know, fixate on details.

After a mere three days I can honestly say that my psyche also feels lighter. More time spent living…less time spent obsessing.

If all goes well and I find even more that I can clean out of it, I have the goal of also making this thing my wallet (and using those damn credit card pockets for their intended purpose, lol!).

But one thing at a time.

Also in this order I got the Pocket Petal in mint green. All this color…who am I and what have I done with myself?! It’s so cute that I decided I must find a use for it, so since I can no longer fit my food & exercise on my daily pages, it’s going to be a Fitness Filo. Stay tuned for a blog post on that too : )

So, Compact users, chime in…which one do you have? How do you use your Compact? What diary inserts do you have and how many days/weeks/months or whatever can you fit? Do you use it as a purse/planner combo? Is the Compact your Goldilocks planner?

Talk to me, my Compact using peeps……

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kanalt17
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 10:39:29

    As you know, I’m using Reggie, the compact regency in black. Since acquiring him, I have neve looked back. There are some items that I want to have around that don’t fit into the compact, and those items stay in my personal black Malden, which always stays home. So in the compact I have 6 tabs with a few sheets behind each (contacts – emergency, services, and doctors only; writing – blog and journal topics; notes – just random thoughts and ideas; lists – shopping and book/movie/music lists; projects – anything that requires more than one or two action items; and diary – this is the meat of the compact, a years worth of monthly sheets and 3 – 4 month of dpp. I absolutely love the compact binder. I just bought a compact osterley, but more on that once it arrives!

  2. Romina
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 12:43:18

    I have a red compact Chameleon (my first Filo ever!) which i really like. The leather is gorgeous and the size is perfect. I did a video about my set up which was posted in last week’s Philofaxy web finds.

  3. edgar62
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 02:18:31

    I Like It! I have an Galaxy S2 (can you feel the envy?) and I use both my phone and my Filofax. I transfer all my writing,meetings, appointments etc. from the Filofax to the computer with Outlook and then scan this to the phone with Samsung Kies. I feel as if I have the best of both worlds, paper and electronic data. I hope to have a Samsung Galaxy S 3 later on this year – they have only just been released in Australia

  4. Josh
    Jul 24, 2012 @ 15:13:29

    I loved this post! After a flirtation with “Desk” size DayTimer inserts in a Success Choice leather binder, I’m about decided that I need to be in personal again. I still believe it to be the best compromise. I’ve not really considered a compact, as the only size improvement for my needs would be a filofax that fits in my pocket, and the only one which does is a mini. I love my mini but it’s just too small to manage my life out of and I don’t like to have two parallel planners; too easy to make a mistake.

    To make the personal work better for me, I’m planning to store work reference docs in my big Success Choice binder and leave it at work, and make a pdf copy of all these documents and upload them all to evernote. Then I can access them via my phone, tablet, home computer, if necessary but will have the easier-to-use paper copy at my fingertips at work, and in a package easy to lug into meetings and such. This will clear a good number of pages from my personal size planner.

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