15 Oct 2012

guest post by Angel, all the way from Spain!

Today, I am featuring a post from one of my lovely readers: Ángel  from sunny Spain. He was actually the recipient of a set of late 2012 and 2013 white week on two page inserts and he has kindly agreed to do a post on how he manages his time and also a snapshot of his week.

Thank you, Ángel, for this guest post. It was a pleasure to read it (and the links are just brilliant!).


A few years ago I used to use a binder I got as a gift (a Finocam 500 organiser in brown) as my diary (planner), notebook, and reference book. I really liked it, although it was a bit too bulky and heavy to carry (paper insert size was 117x182 mm) and I often felt embarrassed to take it out in public. I guess I though I'd look too pretentious using such a cool organiser at my age then. At some point I decided it wasn't worth it carrying around with me to not really use it much, and I started leaving it at home until I stopped using it altogether.

For a few years I didn't use a planner or any other organisation system. Sometimes, I'd write things down on a piece of paper I'd keep in my wallet, in my pocket, or in a folder I was carrying around with me. Even though I usually remembered everything, and just keeping random information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.) in loose pieces of paper was usually fine, some times I would forget small things (not appointments, meetings, or anything really important) and eventually I decided that I needed to get more organised. I thought I could use my nice Finocam binder again, but since I remembered it was too bulky to carry it with me all the time and it already had some marks and the pen loop had almost fallen apart, I decided I would look for something else.

In my search for my ideal organisational system I came across the hipster PDA, with which I played around for a while, and then I found the PocketMod which I found a really cool idea. I've been making and using pocketmods as diaries (planners), reference booklets (phone numbers, English vocab I was trying to learn, information on places I was visiting...), small notebooks, etc. I still love them and always carry a few of them with me in a plastic A7 folder.

At some point during this summer I decided that I needed to get more organised and that I should seriously implement 'Getting Things Done' (GTD) in order to achieve it. I went back to the internet to learn about how other people where using binders (Filofax in particular) as part of their organisation systems. I specially enjoyed Neil's ideas and videos, but it was Imy's enthusiasm and lovely videos what inevitably drove me to Filofax and the incredible phILOFAXY community. I've been reading blogs, watching videos, and searching (and buying) for binders on Ebay since then (I guess you guys don't need details about that, do you? :-). It doesn't seem to be easy anymore to find Filofax (or nearly any ring organiser) products locally in Spain, or at least not in the city I live in.

After looking at so many, interesting setups, I thought that a slimline binder could work for me, and so I bought a quite nice (and very cheap) slim organizer (not a Filofax) to try it out without investing an extortionate amount of money. I was about to make my own inserts or try some of Ray and Steve's when I found out Angela was giving away a set of 2012 and 2013 personal sized white week on two pages inserts for free on the For sale section of her lovely blog. I emailed Angela and asked her whether she would post them internationally, which she kindly agreed to and she sent them my way immediately.

As soon as I got them, I inserted 2012 weeks 39-52 into my slim organiser, which I like very much, and I couldn't help transcribing week 39 from my PocketMod one week on a (mini)page into my new Filofax inserts. When I saw the two of them together, it became obvious to me that the best way for me to thank Angela was to offer her 'my week' for her to publish it as one of her 'my Filofax week' series of posts. I asked her what she thought, and she told me I was welcome to be her blog guest. And here I am, telling you about my transition from PocketMod (A7) to personal size. ¡Muchas gracias, Angela! :-)
I think the International Standard (ISO 216) of paper size series is brilliant and, honestly, I thought I wouldn't like the weird proportions of personal size, being so tall and narrow. It's not that I need much more paper real state. A7, in both, hipster and pocketmods forms, has been enough for me for a while, since I only write appointments, meetings, classes, talks, or any other dated events or pieces of information relevant on a particular day. After I transcribed week 39 to the one week on two pages and took some notes on a couple of personal size sheets (from a different brand, not Filofax) I was sold. I see no problem at all with the odd proportions of personal size inserts, and the size and weight of my nice slim organiser are fabulous. I'm very happy with this setup and I think it's going to work very nicely for me. At least for the time being. That might change in the future, when I'll expand on my small side business and I'll have more appointments with customers.

In relation to 'my Filofax week' (or my PocketMod-to-Filofax week, if you will) I have to say it doesn't look as nice and interesting as Angela's and other's featured in Angela's blog. I only write down time specific information, usually in blue (no color coding, or nice colourful stickers, or washi tape. Sorry! :-) Although this week I added some red ink to record a couple of thing, for example when I got the inserts from Angela (I like the contrast, so I might start using more than one colour). Coincidentally, it was on Ángela's birthday (also recorded on the same page), but that is a different Ángela, my five year old niece, who, in a picture, stars the dashboard of my slim binder, of course!

Fortunately, I usually don't have so many appointments with doctors, but this week I had a general checkup on Friday and a checkup to my ankle sprain on Wednesday. By the way, I felt over the moon when the doctor said my ankle was much better, that she didn't need to put the bandage on again, and that I could start walking on just one crutch... It was really liberating!

Finally, as you can see on the images (I tried to take pictures with my phone, but they were of such a bad quality that I ended up scanning the pages), I have some English related activities four days a week. I take English classes every Monday and Wednesday evening and I also attend, usually a couple of times a week, to an informal 'language exchange' group in a cool local bar (run by an lovely English lady), where locals and visitors meet to help each others practicing spoken English and Spanish, and sometimes other languages too. Make sure you don't miss it when you come to Granada if you want to meet some local people and practice your Spanish. :-) By the way, excuse my poor English. I started learning it only as an adult, although I like it a lot and I practice it in every occasion I have. As you can see on the pictures, I even write down things in English in my diary, my notes, and most places intended for my own use only.

I hope some of you might find this post interesting or somehow entertaining, even at a fraction of what I like reading other posts about Filofax, planning, organisation, etc. I've really enjoyed planning and writing this. Thank you for reading it, and thank you, Angela, for allowing me to post it on your fantastic blog.

-Ángel, aka NeonLicht@MyOpenId.com


Again, thank you, Ángel, for sending this in :) It was very interesting to read how you used your diary and also the different systems you have used in the past. Although the post does feature his Filofax week, I thought it would be better for it to be a standalone guest post due to the excellent content in it :)

Hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I did! 


  1. No need to apologize...you have to make it your own! I go back and forth from 'decorating' my pages with tape and color to going back to plain pages with no embellishments which is not as cluttered to me. Have fun with it and do what works for you! :)

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. That apology was kind of 'humorous', since I'll never make such colourful decorations on my diary. :-) After almost a month using the Wo2P in the slim binder it is still working very nicely for me. I find myself writing more than I used to write on the pocketmods (which I still use for other things). I have to say I like the thin Filofax paper other people hate so much. I don't use fountain pens, but Pilot Super Grip (ball) pens, which work just fine with the Filofax paper. The thin paper allows me to fit quite a bit of sheets in the 11mm rings.

      Regarding the binder, I have to say I just love it more every day. I keep an eye on Ebay for a slimline Filofax, but I'm not in a hurry, since I really like the one I'm using. At some point I might want to try a compact, too, but I'd definitely like it not to have a closing mechanism (clasp or zip) like the slim ones, so that it's smaller. I'm not sure if there are any? Perhaps I need to look for a Domino compact if they exist?