Saturday, 15 October 2011

Time Management for university with 3 Filofaxes! Part 1

This might be a very in depth post, but I'll try to keep things simple :) First I will show you the set-up of each filo, and then I will discuss how I use them for time management in Part 2.

I know what you're thinking, 3 Filofaxes?? Well, yes, and I think it will really work for me!

My primary filofax is my personal filo. This changes between my personal-sized crimson Malden, ochre Malden and raspberry Chameleon as I feel like it. I spent a lot time setting this up, but now I think I have developed it into the set-up that really works for me. The fact that it hasn't changed in the last couple of months really tells me it's quite good for me!
Hello, Kitty!!

The set-up:
My weekly rota. This might change, as I might be getting a regular shift rota at work, and I think I will take Thursday nights off instead of Sundays from now on.
My uni timetable
MO2P diary, but I'm not really using it.
DPP planner. This is what I mostly use this filo for; each page is divided in half, so I have my appointments on the left and my to-dos/notes etc on the right. I have DPP until the end of term, and then I have...
WO2P until September 2012 (the end of my MA). This is for future planning for dates I don't have DPP in here for (which are stored in one of the personal filos I'm not currently using).
Then I have a couple of sections that don't really have a purpose at the moment, but I can't think of anything else I need in here!
The next section is for notes, this just has random things I think of and have to write down, and spare paper for more notes.
Then I have my finance section. I use this filo as my wallet when I take it out with me, so keeping my finance in here is handy. Specifically, I have:
Shopping list
Regular food shopping list, just to refer to when I go to Tesco and can't think of what I need
A chart where I record what money my mum has sent me, out of the loan she got me for my MA/1st year of PhD.
And then money I want my mum to transfer, to pay back what I have spent out of my own account for uni stuff
Something that's really important for me: a list of who owes me what money. I often buy things on behalf of people, and need to keep track of how much they owe me and for what.
Then I have my reference section:
My mum's working times
A list of things I have to consider taking with me when I go out on a daily basis. The first things are the most important: keys, glasses, money and cards, phone, Filofax, ipod!
A list of term dates 2011-2012
4 sheets of addresses: family; friends; work; and Egyptology!
Then at the back I have a notepad.

So this filo is for my diary (agenda) and for things I need when I'm out and about.

I knew I needed a separate planner for my university work, as it wouldn't fit into my personal. It's A5, which is the perfect size for this planning :) I'm using my gorgeous A5 red Amazona for this!
It has evolved quite naturally, and so I think it is going to work well for me. I made lots of inserts myself for this filo, which is the beauty of the A5 size!

First I have my list of work to do, on inserts I made myself. I have these sheets at the front of my filo so they are the first thing I see when I open my filo. I need to keep this list at the front of my mind.
A chart where I fill in how many hours I've worked for each module each day, to make sure I work hard enough each week.
A list of library books I have borrowed, and when they are due back, but I keep forgetting to update it because it's hidden behind other sheets. I might make a specific 'Library' section.
Then I have my dodo-acad pad. I didn't realise when I bought it that it had the same design on each page as the 2011 dodo-pad, which I already have. But oh well, it was cheap, and will last me until the end of my MA! I'll talk more about how I use it in a minute.
My WO2P columned appointments diary. I'm not really using this that much because I mostly use my DPP planner for this, but it's useful for a week's overview.
Then I have dividers for each module I have. In each section I have details about the module, info and planning for assignments, to-dos for that module, some notes from talking to lecturers etc. I DON'T put actual notes for assignments/lecture notes etc in here, I write so much it just wouldn't fit!

This filo has to stay at home now. For about 2 weeks I took it to uni with me and used every day, but the corners of my gorgeous Amazona started getting scuffed, and also it was heavy to carry around with me all the time. So instead, I have my new Filo:-

There's a LOT of red going on!!
My personal-sized Chilli red Cuban Zipped! I did a post about this filo earlier and I have spent all day setting it up, and I'm ready to tell you all about it! The set-up may seem strange at first, but read the time management post and hopefully it will make sense!

First up, I have a transparent fly-leaf. I'm using this to stop my first sheet in my filo being damaged by the cards I have opposite, which I think could dent it.
The first section I have is my 'Today' section. I'm not going to explain this here, but in the Time Management post, as that would make more sense with my explanation of my time management situation now.
Then I have my log book. I have such a bad memory, I really need somewhere to write things down. I find it really hard to recall things when people ask me when something happened, so this will help me as I can look back through the events of the previous days.
A to-do sheet for ASAP things; although this relies on me actually looking at regularly!!
Then I have my first divider: Uni work. This section is a mini-version of my Amazona, and basically will have a copy of my list of uni work to do, and information about assignments to refer to in the library/in class.
The next section is my 'organisation' section. This isn't fully developed yet, but has a couple of bits in it:
Library stuff- books to get, Interlibrary loan books, books borrowed and when they're due back.
Then I have lots of to-do sheets, which came with the filo.
Next I will have a section which is for fact-sheets about ancient Egypt, things I will frequently need to refer to or always forget, or I'm trying to learn.
Then I have the post-it note insert which came with the filo. This serves as a divider between my 'uni' half of my filo, and the general section of my filo.
I have a WO2P diary until October 2012 to note down any dates I find out when I'm away from my proper DPP diary.
Then I have a notes/lists section, including finance stuff I will add to my proper finance section in my other filo later.
My reference section comes next, a copy of what I have in the same place in my personal filo.
Then some spare paper,
and a notepad in the back!

In the next post, I will discuss how I use them both separately and together for time management.

Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend!


  1. Lovely detailed post and pictures! I look forward to reading how your system works for you. Take care!

  2. Thank you for this look into your filos! I wonder, if, as time goes on, your first filo won't start migrating into your cuban zip and you will unify your info there? Just a passing thought because so much fits in the 30 mm rings. Or maybe not, because the info in each binder is distinct.

    I look forward to seeing your time management system at work! Take care!

    p.s. Love the red of all three of your binders :) Do you naturally gravitate towards the red color?

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  4. @Sandra, thanks so much!

    @AspireToBe, thanks! I did briefly think that yesterday, but I love my existing filofaxes so much that when I buy a new one I always want to make sure they don't become redundant. My cuban zipped has practically the same contents as my Malden, and it could quite easily have the same if I moved my DPP diary over, which would easily fit. But I really don't want my personal Malden to sit on my filofax shelf feeling neglected and rejected... The only way I could do it would be to bring my cuban zipped into my personal filofax rotation (along with my crimson and ochre maldens and raspberry chameleon), and just use it for rainy periods of the year. Although when I move back to my unzipped, smaller-ringed personals during the sunnier seasons, I think I'd struggle to put everything on their 23mm rings after the 30mm rings. Oh well, it's something I'll seriously think about!
    I love red leather, but my first colour choice would be pink, as that is my favourite colour; but if there isn't a pink in that range, I'll go for the red, and after that, brown. There's a LOT of pink, red and brown in my collection!!

  5. That is what I was waiting for :) thank you, cant wait for part 2 :D

  6. Just thought I'd let you know that because of your posts, today I purchased my first filofax, and I've fallen in love with it already. It is my baby.

  7. Hi Lauren-Ella, I'm so happy you found my posts so helpful and I really hope you love your new filofax! Please blog about it for all of us :)

  8. Hi TPS

    Fab post I'm flitting between my Personal Panama which I've set up as my study planner and my Personal Deco which is my life bible :0) but there are some fantastic tips here that I'm going to steal. Plus I'm going to reread the time management posts as I ally do need to get my ass into gear and factor in far more study time than I am currently doing!!!


  9. I love your filofaxes! They are stunning. I look forward to reading the details in your next post!
    My crimson Malden is just perfect and has cured my Filofax addiction.