Saturday, 21 March 2015

Stop Being So FILOFUSSY!

Okay so you still decided to read this blog entry after reading the title. 

Well done. 

Sometimes I just have to put things into words that I've been thinking about for a very long time. 

For most of us who just love using a Filofax, there seems to be an ongoing journey where you're never satisfied with what we have. We're either trying to find the perfect binder for us, commonly known as the "Unicorn" or spending excessive amounts of time changing our binder into some amazing work of art.. If we're lucky enough to find "The One", we then spend time trying to work out how to use it. There are many creative people around who uses binders, and spend huge amounts of time each day or week placing decorations and redesigning their inserts and a whole range of different things in order to make it just right. 

I know, because I was like that. In the last few years I've spent hundreds of dollars, and thousands of hours I am sure, tweaking and redesigning and changing all of my planners and inserts but was never really been satisfied with what I had. If you been following my recent escapades, you would see that I have gone to some desperate measures to try and find something that would suit my daily needs. It's called "Planner Peace". I call it - unattainable!

But it's not just my daily needs, it is also what makes me happy. I have cut, pasted, printed, used washi tape, stamps, different coloured pens, different types of pens and the list goes on and on and on. In recent days I have made some fairly drastic modifications on my Filofax and the inserts I use. So now after some great moments of filocontemplation, I've made a decision that I may live to regret, but will try to stick to as best I can. Cross your fingers and wish me luck. 

So what I think we should do, that's you AND I, placing myself in the front of the line (but also wanting to encourage you as well and also on this journey), is to stop. 
Just stop. 
Stop the changing, stop the continual seeking for better and better and never really reaching it. 
Stop the endless decoration styles, the printing, the looking at various Facebook pages for hours and hours, trolling blogs and websites looking for what will make you ultimately happy. 
Just stop. 

Take a deep breath, and slowly and carefully, with consideration, have a good look at what you have right now. It may not be perfect but if you're saying to yourself it's good enough, It most likely is. 

So here's my challenge. Just stop being so cautious and careful and giving in to that endless longing and just use what you have. 

Use it.

Just for a month or two months or whatever it takes. But just stop seeking, stop redesigning, stop looking at other peoples setups with envious eyes, and just use what you have. Enjoy it. Slowly develop it to the best of your ability. Just accept what you have. 

Sometimes we spend so much energy wishing and desiring when in fact what you really need is something that is already in front of you. Just take some time out. Really look at it. Examine it. Get realistic. Let the binder and the setup you have right this very moment, lead you on a journey. 

Now at the end of this time you may not like where you are at, and that may be then the indicator to move forward or seek something that would better serve you. And that's okay. I think you will be surprised at how deep this will lead you and how more satisfied you may actually be with your existing primary planner. The Filofax you have right this very moment did not appear before as if by magic. You obviously wanted to buy it and those reasons were good. Although you may not be totally happy with that now, I really believe that you may find that you can have a peaceful existence with it. It's not that different to marriage. 

Reassess what you want out of it, and why you really are wanting this binder and the inserts that you have. 
Take stock of what your needs actually are. 
Is it an emotional response? 
Is it wanting to have something that will help you order your life and make things more efficient for you? 
Is it something that you just like to have with you? 
Whatever the reason is, take stock and stop all the changing of your set-up - the endless fidgety decorating (and the redecorating) in the never ending cycle of trying to create perfection. 
Apart from being a source of frustration, it will never end for us. If you are seriously looking for 'planner peace', you may already have it there before you. 

Imagine where you will be in three or five year's time? 
Will you still be chopping and changing planners on a regular basis? Always looking for a better way to design pages, or even worse, collecting so many that they are merely fillers for your bookshelf and really are not serving a lot of purpose except for being a expensive set of trophies of your filo-fetishes.

Harsh words I know, but I guess what I'm trying to do is to encourage people to have a really good look at why they want to use these amazing binders and stop looking over another person's fence. Get in touch with what you really want and work on making it work for you. Perfection will never be reached, but you can get pretty close. Just give it time. Give it your commitment and give yourself and your planner a break. 

So take up the challenge, put away your cheque-book, credit card, ebay browsing or Pinterest eyecandy sessions and see what is there before you. Waiting to be your very best work.

You may be surprised!


  1. Excellent post as always...

  2. This has made me think! I've recently been trying to force a larger planner/wallet combination I've seen working for others, but come to realise it doesn't actually suit me except for occasionally in my pocket planner. I'll stop looking at posts and videos on that now. I don't really need the lovely vintage models I see on ebay and elsewhere. For some things I hate to say but I could do just as well with a plain ring binder. Blasphemy, lol! But seriously you're right Kent - they're really tools to help us organise ourselves and I've often lost sight of that. I appreciate those who like them as outlets for creativity but I don't need that either. Thanks for your plain speaking.

  3. My sentiments exactly. Well said.

  4. Thank you for such honesty! I was desperately trying to organize mounds of stickers, fancy paper, pens, and washi tape, when I realized--this isn't me, and it has become a dreaded chore. Why have I spent money purchasing the unnecessary "trinkets"? I just needed someone to voice what I've already known. Now I'm just hoping someone else will be able to use my shopaholic finds!

  5. I've stopped. I just realized it's probably been a month since I've posted or looked at the 12 FB groups I belong to. (Found this article just scrolling through my news feed, thank goodness). I don't remember the last time I watched a video. I did tweak my set up a couple weeks ago but I basically lately just change binders because I have a few lovelies I like to rotate. But I also have some I need to part with. I can honestly say I'm over the frenzy of buying, selling, envying, chasing...finally after a two year frenzy. It's so freeing! My only remaining issue is still feeling unsettled about the size I prefer. I've been using personal size for 30 years (FC and Filofax) but I'm also very fond of the pocket size. When I'm in one I crave the other. So what I've done is I've actually boxed up my several pocket planners. One of the pockets is set up as a duplicate of my personal. That way, if I really feel a strong urge to give the pocket another go, I don't have to waste time setting it up. I just have to note a few dates in it. But most of the time I keeps the pockets boxed up and carry on with my personal planner. A lot of my stationary/stickers are going to my granddaughters.

    Filofussy is a great word!! great read as well!

    1. I hear you Cheryl.The word FRENZY you used is also quite applicable in this situation sometimes. Cheers. KFROZ.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸><(((ยบ>

  6. As a newbie, seeing all the decor and constant new stuff showing up on fb groups, can be overwhelming. I started my buying all sorts of items that I thought I would "need" when in reality, basic is really what will work for me.

    Don't get me wrong, the decor is beautiful, but if I'm going to use my filo as a planner for actual planning, I should come to tens with what really works for me :)

  7. I was thinking about writing a post exactly like this, you have said it far better than I ever could. I have never been a decorator, I can't see past all the decoration to plan. There may be the occasional doodle, but that's about it. I worry about the amount of angst some people have about it all. It is just a planner, a tool. A tool to make life more efficient so you have time to do the things you like, whatever they are.

  8. I LOVE this post!

  9. Excellent post as usual! I was like that when I first started and always felt unsettled. But after cutting back on the decorations and worrying about what the planner looks like, I'm a lot happier now. I've moved to the MTN and am quite satisfied with a simple setup.

  10. Controversial or what?!! You're absolutely right but you may need to lie low for a few days!

  11. I have this conversation with myself frequently but the next day i just "forget." Coming from you, perhaps it will sink it with greater permanence. I already consider last year my "lost year" and I'm not willing to lose any more.

  12. Well said.

    I fix things that are broken. I leave the rest of it be.

  13. YES! Thank you for the words. It is first and foremost a tool. When the day/week/month is safely in the past, then all the little "pretties" can come out to play.
    I have to admit though, I am one of those binder "switcher" people. The binder changes, but not the system. Took me awhile to hit that sweet spot, but I honestly think I've found it. Planner Peace.

  14. I have used various Filofaxes for years, since the early eighties. I have various sizes for different uses. I do literary research, notes being kept in an old A4, I attend lectures and use an A5, and use a pocket Ranger as my purse and diary. I also use an iPhone, but keep a paper diary too, since I had a phone go on me, thus losing all my data. I do little in the way of decoration, frankly, at 68, I can't be bothered. These things are tools fo me, so although I admire the prettiness of many of the planners, I could never do it. I loved your video. It seemed calm, sensible and practical. Thanks for showing the other side of Filofax use.