Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on the blog on 9/7/16, and I still love my Filofax Original A5; I carry it with me every day and use it as a calendar, daily planner, goal tracker, and list manager. It was one of my best purchases as a small business owner: it helps me keep it together; feels like a stylish accessory; and is a customizable system that I really enjoy using. I just buy fresh inserts every year, and I’m good to go!
As much as I’d love to be the kind of modern woman who can organize her entire life in her iPhone, I just can’t do it. I like my organization old-school: a classic day planner is my lifeline to my schedule, to-do lists, notes, and overall sanity. If I don’t physically write things down, they’re good as forgotten, and I like having everything in one convenient and portable place (otherwise, I’ll just scratch notes on old receipts and drink napkins and lose them forever in the detritus at the bottom of my handbag).
After trying many planners over the years, I found that the best options for me are customizable binder systems with a variety of separately-purchased inserts. This way I can buy exactly what I need, skip the extras I don’t — lookin’ at you, address book pages — and create my own tabs to build an organization system that’s perfect for me.
I invested in a leather Filofax A5 Personal Organizer in Patent Nude and my organization game feels all grown up and fancy.
(Leopard iPad sleeve is an beloved favorite from Hautelook, but you can find a similar one here!)
Filofax offers a range of binder sizes, from pocket-sized to portfolio. I went with the A5 because I have a lot of junk to keep track of; I wanted to have plenty of room for scheduling and writing, and also let it double as a daily bullet journal.
The quality leather binder is durable and the perfect size to carry around in a tote bag or backpack. I stash a few business cards in the credit card slot, keep a pretty Rifle Paper notebook in the pocket for all my wedding notes, and clip important things I don’t want to forget right to the front with a giant gold paperclip, like bank deposits, bills that are due, and flower/supply lists.
As far as the customizable inserts, I really like the Filofax Daily Business Style refill pack: there’s a full column to schedule your day, plus sections for your to-do list, phone/correspondence tasks, tasks to delegate, and personal reminders. I use the Filofax To Do List sheets to manage all my blog and personal tasks, and have a small section of plain ruled paper for miscellaneous notes.
Editor’s Note: This year, I upgraded my plain dividers with these marble dividers.
If you’re a fellow #planneraddict and it’s in your budget, I highly recommend investing in a Filofax. They last for years, and come in a range of colors and sizes to suit everyone’s planning style. Last year, they released a marble binder that I’m super into!