My 2012 Filo system finalized! (For sure this time)

Well, it's that time of year. The time of year where I am constantly scratching out 2011 every document that requires a date, replacing it with 2012. I can't believe another year has really already disappeared. Regardless, this time of year also means something else to me and my fellow paper planner nerds (I say nerds lovingly). January means time for a new planner set up, which for me is already working out very well!

I discussed my potential 2012 set up a while back here, and for the most part I've stuck with that system. The biggest difference is I removed my "blog" section. Don't worry, I don't plan to stop blogging anytime soon. But for the past year I've really been tracking what sections of my binder I use, and I found that the official blog section was regularly ignored, since I would just write upcoming post ideas on my diary pages. So in the mindset of having only what I actually need and use in my binder, the blog section was removed. I may add a blog tab to my lists section, but I haven't decided yet.

Before I started putting 2012 into the Malden, however, I had to remove and somehow "bind" 2011:

I ended up using some scrap yarn through the existing holes to bind my 2011 diary and other sections together. Not perfect, but it definitely works and still allows me to flip through the pages (I'm a dork that loves to look through past years of my life recorded in my various past planners). Then I threw in my set up for 2012 so I could play around and tweak everything. Warning (not necessarily a bad one): this is where this post gets picture heavy!

I'm still using my Malden personal for 2012. As one of my TWO Filofaxes (shocking, I know) this little binder still has me in planner nirvana. Yes, I am intrigued by the other binders, but never enough so to stray from this guy. Our one-year anniversary is coming up in May, and I can barely believe it. Maybe I should start a 12-step program for only having one Filo in use!

As I mentioned in the potential set up post, for 2012 I moved my diary section to the back of the binder since I am using the wider Franklin Covey pages. They are wider than my other sections and pages, but since I spent quite a bit of time customizing my tabs, I really didn't want to switch everything over to FC. Instead, I ignored the OCD side of my brain protesting, and stuck two different brands of inserts in my binder that are different widths! And it's working perfectly for me. You can see a bit better here how the diary pages stick out a bit further:

Different? Most definitely. But I'm really liking how it separates my diary from the rest of my sections. Speaking of which, here is a quick insanely long breakdown of the binder from front to back. The front cover still has my credit and debit cards and ID. The zipper pocket has a few bandages and paper clips. The only new items stored up here is my monthly train pass (I decided to commute by train from now on) and a city bus pass for days that are too crappy to walk from the train station to my office.

On the other side of the top opening envelope that has the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, I have a few mementos that I like carrying around with me: a photostrip of B and me at our friend's wedding, a phot of my parents, a few fortunes, and a real four leaf clover that I found years ago and laminated. On the right side you can see my Post-it insert flipped backwards to protect the sticky notes.

My first section is Lists. I love all types of media, so I have a books to read list, movies to watch list, wish lists (which are broken down by Filofax, inks to try, Subaru, and miscellaneous) and a tab for miscellaneous lists which usually are shopping lists, etc. This is where I might add a blog tab for future post ideas.

My next section is my Me section. Sounds a bit conceited, but it was the best word to explain what lives behind this tab. Plus, it is short, and fit perfectly. In this section I have my personal information sheet, Filofax registration number, insurance and blood type cards (which has a today marker in front of it for quick locating should there be an emergency). I keep two tabs in this section: Health (where I notate any doctor/dental appointments with any prescriptions, concerns, etc.) Under this tab I also have a section where I write any health concerns/symptoms/etc. so they can be updated and tracked. For example, when I sprained my ankle in early December, I put all the details here and update it from time to time so if it ever became a bigger issue, I could explain to my doctor exactly how the healing has progressed.

I also have a goals tab in the Me section, where I have financial, personal/health, and work goals.

Next is the Etc. section. Again, pretty vague, but I needed a place to dump everything that didn't fit anywhere else. This section has become home to a photo of my current crochet project for inspiration, a list of my stepdad's medication (he has unexplained seizures and I need to have this handy for those wonderful 4 a.m. trips to the hospital) and some blank paper. I also keep a few pages of stickers here, both Filofax and a sheet of star stickers I found at Target that have holes that perfectly align to the personal rings:

For this year I also brought back my credit card holder where I keep store discount cards, various business cards I've collected, and my work ID.

My final section is my Diary section. This section starts out with my 2012 Vertical Year Planner (I'm still debating if I like this or the horizontal version better). I keep another black page marker here for easy locating.

Behind this is my birthday and anniversary sheets, and behind that, my FC diary pages. I'm keeping the entire year of tabbed monthlies in here, and three months of daily pages. I LOVE that each month has a section for a monthly index plus a section for monthly task list for both personal and business:

Most of this month's personal goals are all wedding related- we really need to kick it into gear since we are getting married this year! But I digress. Next is the month on two pages spread for the current month, again with a today marker so I can easily locate these pages:

I'm trying to use stickers on these pages as much as possible so I don't have to worry about writing in the tiny spaces. It seems to be working well between the Filofax stickers, the Family Sticker pack I bought a while back, and some general stickers I've picked up here and there. I also might splurge on a sticker machine found here soon, since I just got a 50% off one item from JoAnn Fabrics coupon. Then I could turn anything I want into a sticker- could you imagine?

Next are my daily pages. I'm already getting spoiled by the wonderfully sectioned off pages FC offers, something that was sorely lacking in the Filofax dailies. Not to mention that Saturday and Sunday have a full page each! The only downside is that some days have way more to-dos than actual appointments, leaving the timed appointment slots pretty sparse. I've solved the problem by writing the to do in the appropriate section, then putting the store name in the timed slot at the time I go. Works pretty well, and makes the "I need to see a full page" monster in my head happy.

Plus, the notes section is perfect for general notes, my daily gratitude item, and my dinner tracking. And the little square of space at the top is ideal for my geeky habit of tracking the daily weather!

I mentioned earlier that I'm only keeping three months of daily pages in the binder at a time, even though I could probably fit four or five. I'm hoping this makes me use my monthly pages more for advanced planning, while slimming down the binder overall. I'll keep you updated on how that goes, since I do have a thing for a super fat planner!

Finally, I have my FC Swing Pad after the Diary section. I thought about removing it since it takes up valuable ring real estate, but I love the thing too darn much.

This thing is impossible to explain to those of you who have never seen one, so let's see if my terribly filmed video actually works!

Basically, the Swing Pad allows you to fully extend the notepad so you can still use it while freely flipping through the rest of your binder. Perfect when you have to take notes while at the same time check your Diary for future appointment availability, etc.

Since the traditional notepad pocket is now left blank, I've started to store odds and ends there. Right now I have a few note cards, hole reinforcing patches, stamps, and store coupons.

Whew! I warned you this would be a long one, but even I didn't know it would be that long! Hopefully I haven't lost too many of you...

I think that's about it for my 2012 set up- you know I'll keep you all posted if there are any changes. Have you made any big 2012 planner changes, either a new binder, size, insert style, or set up? Let me know in the comments- I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas!

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