Here Doggie, Doggie, Doggie…

calling the dog

I’m doing it again.


As you know, I’ve been using a lovely new Filofax “Original” in drool-worthy fuchsia patent leather. My black little heart goes pitter-patt even just saying the words, “fuchsia patent leather”. Heaven.


(And you know there is always a but with me)

As we have discussed in the comments to my last post, the inside of my beloved little patent fuchsia dream is proving to be somewhat disastrous the more I use her.

The elastic thingie is driving me bat shit crazy. Yeah, okay, I can use it to carry my Coleto multi-pen, but why oh why couldn’t they have put that first loop a wee bit further out? Even a skinny pen will bend my tabs. The fat Coleto is wreaking havoc with them.

Then there is the utter and complete nonsense that is the other part of the band. You can’t really PUT anything in those bits unless it is something flat (like papers…but you’d better hope they don’t slip out). More pens or do-dads or whatever will only make your left hand page lumpy to write on.

And putting a 2nd pen or mechanical pencil in the right-most “loop” does the same thing.

Bulge city.

And not the fun kind.

Add to that my desire to do more than just track my Weight Watchers points on the end page of every month’s tab and yet more changes to my life over the last week, and this weekend found me experimenting with alternative planners.

Big ones.

Thing is, there are TWO bigger planning systems that I like. And now I find myself lugging three planners around, doing some hardcore dog calling. Again. Still. Whatever.

1. The lovely yet vapid Original patent fuchsia in Personal size (even despite her flaws, I can’t quite let her go…)

2. A Filofax A5 Chameleon in Spring Green

3. A Levenger Circa in Junior size

I know, “one of these things is not like the others…” but I have to admit that, in my time playing with Circa (or Arc, or whatever) I have really liked the system and found some things I even like better than Filofax.

For today’s purposes, let me illustrate my Fitness section in both and maybe you can see my dilemma.

This is actually Part 1 of a two part post. Both systems obviously have plusses and minuses. I’m just showing you one section of what I use my planner for; sort of a microcosmic view into a macrocosmic problem.

The rest of which will come later on this week.

First the A5 Chameleon:

FF A5 fitness tab
Here is the Fitness tab in my Filofax A5. Your average, every day Filofax tab. I’ve jazzed it up with an inspirational Life is Good sticker, but it’s still pretty…blah. I’m not clever enough to make my own tabs, so this is pretty much the best that I can do.

And below is my Weight Watchers point tracking page. It’s just Filofax graph paper and it’s not meant to be frilly – just serve the purpose. Which it does.

FF tracking pg
Now for the Circa:

circa fitness tab
Here’s the tab. Lime green baby! I actually think the tabs are from an Arc set from Staples, but Levenger has colorful tabs too (they’re just more expensive). Fun, right?

circa tracking pg
Here’s the tracking page.  Pretty much the same deal as the Filofax page…just graph paper.

And here, just because I haven’t copied it yet (yes, I am copying everything so that I have 2 identical binders going…one Filofax A5 and the other Levenger Circa. And yes, I realize that is insane) is my workout page.

Just another graph paper sheet. But what I like is that Circa’s fold over on themselves, so writing on the back of the sheet is super easy. No rings to get in the way. I went straight for the Circa to log my workout because I knew it would be easier to write on both front & back of the page.

Just sayin’.

circa workout

Please don’t guffaw at my light weights…it was my first workout in ages.

And here is kind of the kicker…

ww pages circa

Weight Watchers Cheat Sheets fit!

Because Circa Junior pages are 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ (a letter sized piece of paper folded exactly in half), my little Weight Watchers handouts can easily be punched and put right into it.

And the page size matches the refill page size too, so that pleases the OCD.

Check out the same WW page in my A5.

FF ww page in holder
The WW pages are smaller than Filofax pages (which are 5 1/4″ x 8 1/4″), so I have to put them in clear plastic envelopes. This has the advantage of protecting them from my grimy fingers if I want to reference them while cooking.

Stop laughing…I cook occasionally.

Okay, I have cooked. In my life. Before. And I may again someday.

Anyway, the envelope has the disadvantage of sticking out just over 1/2″ beyond the rest of the pages, which means it will block my other tabs and would have to go in the way-back of my binder in order to not tweak the OCD into homicidal rage.

WW in original
As you know if you follow me on Flickr, I also track my WW points in my Original, but there is no way I’d ever go to the trouble of trying to make inserts or cut down existing articles, etc for a Personal size.

Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

Plus, as I was starting to say, life is changing yet again and I’m feeling the need for additional room in my planner. As in, page size, not ring girth.

: ) I said girth

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I talk more about said life changes and why I’m toying with bigger planners, also I’ll include an in-depth pro/con list for the Circa and the A5.

For now I am, once again, torn between systems. I can count carrying three planners around as a workout…right?!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claudia
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 16:32:28

    Sadly I can so resonate with this post! Reading your thoughts and seeing pics of your Circa make me want to run and dig all my Circa stuff out. But the one thing that has never been satisfying to me is the Circa binders themselves. The leather ones (I have a hot pink Arc and a Levenger bomber jacket) seem too thick… or something. The plastic ones are okay but… not leather. Anyway – I’m very much looking forward to your next posts on this!

  2. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 19:39:17

    right?! so frustrating.

    both have aspects i like and ones i don’t. my thing with the circa’s isn’t so much the covers (though, they do lack all the cool pockets filofax have – when they have them – **cough** original) it’s the discs. something about actual rings (though they get in the way sometimes when writing) screams security to me. the only thing keeping the pages in the discs are those little mushroom heads…and every time i turn a page i wonder if they are weakening.

    i don’t know. i guess that’s why i’m lugging them both around this week!!

  3. Claudia
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 21:38:12

    I do the same – though lately with both a personal and A5 Filofax!

  4. Josh LaPorte
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 21:19:02

    Um, you said “Bulge city. And not the fun kind.”

    And then later, “girth”.

    Plus “fuchsia patent leather” and “elastic.” Interesting.

  5. Christine Cortese
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 02:15:21

    HA HA HA Josh! Zoe, I just gave all my Arc away after a year of going back and forth. The “smurfs” (what they call the punched taglet things) are so testy and require so much smoothing and soothing and then when you take them out they mess with everything. After a year fussing with this just drove me insane. I now use a personal size binder (an Aurora, inspired by your post) as my wallet, “today” list (if out), shopping list, capture and account/model numbers while I must have a spiral bound weekly planner with vertical columns and a good to do section just so I can fold it back on itself. Am happy with Erin Condren right now.

  6. Robyn
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 06:30:03

    The Circa is a great system and I have used it quite a bit. But I always seem to come back to a ring bound system. I think partially for the same reason Zoe mentioned, I worry about the security of the discs. But also, I need my system to be attractive, and even when I made my own pretty covers for the Circa system, it just didn’t look as clean, professional, and attractive as a nice leather binder. I do still use the Circa system for note taking though. I LOVE the way it folds over on itself and the discs never get in the way.

  7. LJ
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 07:10:49

    Girth!!! Ha ha ha!!!

  8. joshua laporte
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 11:58:15

    It came to me last night. That elastic thing, in the original. It’s like an organizer with a girdle. How absurd.

  9. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 13:50:16

    @joshua the band is weird and pointless, that’s for sure. absurd is a great way to describe it! i’m STILL trying to find something useful to do with it!

    @christine yeah, the aurora…i had that out the other night, pondering how much i love it and why i put it away, lol! i wish the hardware were silver…we managed to change out the rings to silver ones, but the grommets on the front and the zipper pull hardware are still gold and it makes my ocd CRAZY. sigh.

    @robyn i am oddly drawn to the circa system despite not being completely at ease with the discs and definitely seeing how the “smurfs” could get frayed and annoying as all get out eventually. i really do think it’s the fact that they can fold over on themselves. like a spiral notebook but more substantial and customizable. i can’t seem to break my one book for everything habit, or i suppose it wouldn’t be an issue.


  10. Cruz
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 07:00:59

    I love the ‘let’s go old-school’ motif of the Original, with its single piece of thick leather and simple design, but I really have to ask who came up with that weird pen loop/phone holder thingy. That and the non-standard notepad slot are the two reasons I’ll never buy an Original.

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