An introduction, A suggestion, A offer

Hi all,

First off I'd just like to introduce myself, I'm Alan, usually found lurking the net under the alias of votkov (only 3 votkovs on the web that I know of), I'm the chief of security for a international bed company & my life is gennerally all over the place.

Planners and me: I'm very much a digital person (guess that means I better get off the forum before someone kicks me off hehe) I recieved my first computer when I was only 4 years old, so pens & paper have never been much use to me, my hand writing proves that!! But now i'm starting to feel like I'm really missing out on the world of pens and paper so I wanted to give diy planners a go, that was before I came across this site and found a wealth of information to get me started! unfortunitly I discoverd the site the day after buying a Fiolofax personal with its iffy paper sizes!

My lifestyle: Well as stated I am the chief of security, how does that effect my life? 7 days on for 1 day off, the exact same grind everyday other than a 5 week rotation in shift. Next to no apointments to keep track of, next to no life outside of work to keep track of, Pretty much nothin to track at all. For example I've got a blog over on my website

Mods, incase you decide to delete that link, please look at it first so you can see its a personal site, not a commercial one. Anyway, you can see the spaces on my blog are large as there really is nothing to put in there other than how the last 5 weeks of rotation have gone.

Outside of work: I spend alot of my free time doing personal projects on my laptop, be it 3d/2d Art/Design, online gaming, keeping track of my friends (with my shifts I dont get chance to go out & have proper social time with them) other than that, I play Airsoft (kind of like paintball, google it) and generally catch up on a weeks worth of stuff that needs doing while I havent had the chance to.

A suggestion:

So at the beginning of this post (things have changed slighty now that i've given it some thought) I felt like I didnt really have anything I could put in a planner, so there really wasent much need to have one, but when I picked up the Filofax & had a flick through the pages it came with, I really liked the reference sheets for convertions, I'm forever getting the missus shout to me something like "the recipe says 400ml, how many pints is that?" so off I go to google with the convert commands, but having it on paper would save me the time of booting up the laptop, getting into google etc etc, so I have decided to make my planner contain a large reference section for things like that, maybe stick in some custom swatches from photoshop that I use & forever forgetting to back up so always losing (you design guru's will know what i'm on about) well, theres loads of small reference sheets that I would find usful to keep hold of for my computer projects, also its handy to know the ins & outs of my airsoft kit as quite often I need to know them without havng access to my hardcopys at home.

As for the callender side of it, I'm thinking of making a custom calender, week per page (as said, I dont have much to keep track of so its likly i would only need space for 1 memo per day) but I will encode my shifts into the design as my shifts change every week #& the missus always wants to know what i'm working 6 months down the line so having this info ready would make life easier.

Contact sheets, I'm gonna get some of these done, I keep it all in my phone anyway, but, I cat seem to stop fiddling with the settings so I alsways end up deleting them all by mistake & then have to run aboout trying to get peoples numbers again etc etc.

so looking at it all now, I suggest (I know many of you probally allready do) byt when I think of a planner I mostly just think of an overly elaberate diary, so maybe you can add a large refernce section to it also, I know when i'm finished with mine I will find it very handy rather than having to remember where that info it & then having to have 2 windows open on the laptop etc.

Finally, an offer:

Like I said before, I always have design projects on the go, but most of the time they are pointless things that when finished I just leave to rot away in the depths of my hard drive. I only do them because I enjoy it & it helps to pass time at work (yes work is mostly sat there watching cctv's which have motion detectors so make a noise if there is any movement) So if any of you would like any custom design work like logo's etc done, please feel free to send me a message & i'll see what I can do, free of charge of course, your payments are actully just giving me something to do at work, win / win

So anyways, thats me


p.s. maybe with my useless writing with a pen I wont ramble on so much hehe

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filofax personal..

I've been a user for 10 years, but it's only in the past year that I've started DIY-ing. If you have a paper trimmer and love graphic design, you should have no problem making customized filofax sheets. If you have some great reference sheets for filofax I'd be interested in seeing them.


Welcome Votkov!

It's your planner, you can do anything you want with it.

I really got into using a planner in 1996 when I switched away from the Dayrunner that I had been using for years (completely ineffective) to a Franklin Covey Collegiate planner. I liked the structure and methodology of the Franklin system to get me focused. I used that for quite a few years and it really helped, but I always had an odd feeling, kind of a mixture of guilt and annoyance, because the system didn't fit me perfectly and I felt it was somehow wrong to modify it. Then I came across David Allen (oddly enough in the old FC Yahoo users group) and then I found this site. Now I know that rule number one is 'whatever you use, make it YOURS!'

So, for you, I would take everything out of that filofax and start with an empty binder, then start filling it up with the things you want and need in there. Sounds like you need a section of completely blank pages, perhaps another section of graph pages, for your doodling and brainstorming, along with your monthly and weekly planners. If you have the time, browse through all of the user submitted templates here (my favorite section, I go there often). Even if you don't use any of the pages, they can be a good place to get ideas for things you might want to make yourself.

And always ask questions. There are a lot of smart people here with much wisdom to share. :)

FiloFax - make it your own

I am a happy user of FiloFax Personal as well and I fully agree with 'diamond66', 'AmyR' and others.

My FiloFax Kendal (Personal - black) was fully stocked when I bought it. I tried it out - never worked for me.
I knew about this site and had studied the "standard sets" to see what suited me.

I selected a range of forms I thought might do and redesigned them for the FF Personal format using PowerPoint. (Not as nice, but it works. Even designed a neat way of creating new forms in a flash using 'templates'. *pleased-with-oneself icon* )

I created new tabsets. Didn't work. Re-structured, re-created. Worked better.
Now I am on my third iteration of tabs and forms and it works way better than the two previous. Even designed a wrapping "personal forms only" folder for the FF.

Most of what I have done has been inspired by this site, links from this site, users and users' blogs - and slowly my own habits are forming my FF.

I am not done yet. Far from it - but for now it suits my needs.

I recommend you do the same. Experiment. Go back and forth. Clean out, re-furbish, iterate, whatever...

If there is a wish for it I could publish my templates here. If you have PowerPoint you can easily tweak them.



Lemme See 'Em

I'd very much like to see your templates! You can send them to me via PM or post them here



[admin edit: No open e-mail addresses. It attracts SPAM. Bloody Vikings !]

FiloFax templates


I will add them (or some of them) during the weekend. Please note that they have all been made to fit A4 as I am living in Europe.

BTW; "The middle of the Canadian Arctic" does sound interesting. I'd like to bring my camera and my templates if you make the coffee... ;-)



FiloFax templates are posted...

... but for some reason my answer about this does not show.

My first template-template for FiloFax Personal (three pages per A4) can be found in the templates directory:

Templates -> Templates Directory -> FiloFax Page Creator.

More templates to come



I don't have much to keep track of either...

...and I went years without having a planner at all because I could never find anything that suited me. Then a friend of mine on another site mentioned that she made her own, and it's as if the light came on. It never occurred to me to do it myself. After a google search, this site popped up and I LOVE it.

In any case, if you feel the need to get a planner, you probably do need one even if you're not the busiest person or have the most hectic job. As for myself, I'm hopelessly scatterbrained. Having a planner that SUITS ME and WHAT I USE IT FOR really helps me to organize my thoughts and remember things I have to do even if it's just "feed the cats" or "eat more vegetables." So DIY is really the best for folks like you and I.

And having the reference pages is a great idea!

Welcome to the community!

Welcome - I'm very new too - got a software tip you may like

I found this new program this weekend - I know this is a forum for writing and thinking with pen/pencil and paper - that's what interested me about the philosophy behind CollectedThought - They are trying to get the technology out of the way of the thinking/creating process.

They think you should be able to organize by project - not by tool -

It's in beta - and a 14 day trial is on the site for download. I won't post any link, but google collected thought or collectedthought - singular in both cases.

I'm not involved with this project except I downloaded and am trying the beta. As it is beta I wouldn't run it on any job critical system - just in case.

Here is what I have found so far

The idea for it was based on the fact that lots of creative ideas are first done on the "back of the knapkin" (I always thought "back of the envelope") Many creative people jot and doodle their way through the creative processes using scraps of paper or notebooks even when they have high powered computer programs at hand - just because the technology gets in the way of the flowing of the creative juices. Pencil and paper are transparent (their term for not being distracting) CollectedThought is designed to be more pencil-and-paper-like than existing programs.

The developer is a pioneer in computer aided design - wrote the precusor to AutoCad and still develops Cad software - so drawing elements of CollecteThought are well done. It's all object oriented - a paragraph has characteristics - a drawing doodle or sketch or web link has other characteristics - you can decide how to use them in your notebook (thier term for a document)

If you have lots of time, votkov let us know if the software has merit. I'm just beginning to look at it - some things don't work as expected yet - (did I mention it's Beta?), but I can see uses for something like this for the way I think.