Well over a year has passed since I got my personal-sized Filofax Malden planner. During this time I have slowly begun to figure out the style of this type of planner-keeping that works for me. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve had to admit is that functionality must come before appearance, otherwise the planner won’t serve its purpose. This is why, for the most part, the decorations on this planner have been stripped to the minimum (for now). The things that I keep in the planner have also been narrowed down somewhat (these things have their place elsewhere), and now only the most essential information, current events and thing related to everyday life are included.
Let’s take a look at what this Malden has eaten, shall we?
Ah. This should have been predictable. Of course the first thing to appear from the innards of this planner would be something creepy, like this skeleton here on the cover of the first divider. More of his kind lurk within, but he has the questionable honor of being the first one encountered. Besides this skeletal form there isn’t much to see; I still haven’t quite figured out what to use those pockets for, so they remain empty for now. (Hand-shaped metal clip included in the photograph to hold the front cover down; this Malden does not stay flat when opened, which is about the only thing that I don’t like about it.)
There are five different sections stuffed inside the planner, and this following tour will guide you through their essential features.
First tab: Information
Information! What would one do without it? Forget one’s own name and contact information, most likely, not to mention the birthdays and phone numbers of loved ones. Luckily, the contents of this section are here to remind me of these things. Besides the aforementioned, this section can also hold other information if needed. For now the section mostly consists of empty pages, waiting to be filled with things worth remembering.
Second tab: Finances
This rather boring (but very useful) section helps me to keep track of things related to my personal finances: upcoming bills and payments, mostly, but also a list for tracking online purchases. Above is a picture of the pages showing (or not showing, I have blurred out some information) the things that will eat away my precious money in the following two months. And look! The cover of this divider is even decorated with an inspirational quote of sorts. How are talking pigeons inspirational? We might never know. Points to whoever knows where this quote is from (without having google it)!
Third tab: Daily pages
The daily pages are sort of a “bullet journal”-esque to-do lists, showing the tasks that need to get done during the week but do not fit into the weekly calendar section (or are too trivial for it). In this section there are about two weeks worth of hand-scribbled daily pages at a time; the current week and the week after that. Pages older than that get removed. On the beginning of each week there is a page listing all the things that should be finished by the end of the week (if they are not, they’ll be transferred to the next week until they get done or become irrelevant).
An example page of week 48 of this year can be seen above, again with some of the information covered. Each day of the week are on their separate pages, where most of the space is reserved for the daily tasks, and on the bottom there is space for keeping track of my more or less daily activities (rehearsing the Dutch course in Duolingo, reading a book, playing the cello and/or the piano) and health-related stuff.
Fourth tab: Weekly calendar
This section, the weekly calendar, shows a week-on-two-pages style of a calendar, where I mark down all the appointments I have. And as you can observe, I have very few appointments and no social life at all – how sad! Behold, instead, the nifty page marker that I made with my own two hands. On the back of it there is yet another very inspirational quote: “It ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones” – a good reminder for all of us, I’m sure.
For 2017, I used a Filofax calendar that I decorated only every now and then, and as of late, not at all. But! For 2018, I got calendar pages from Webster’s Pages, because I like the look of them. The paper on this is so much thicker than the Filofax paper, and as they are devoid of everything else but date numbers, day names and such, they practically scream to be filled with decorations. I don’t know if this is good or not; on the other hand, I do like decorated pages, but then again, will the functionality of the planner be threatened by it? We shall see.
Fifth tab: Monthly calendar
The last page of the weekly calendar had some quote printed on it that was irrelevant to me, so I covered it up with hot-air balloons and skeletons, which there cannot too many, it appears; there are yet more of these on the cover of the last divider that separates the monthly calendar from the other sections. The monthly calendar will, I hope, prove to be valuable for seeing the bigger picture. Again, these pages are from Webster’s Pages. I will have to find a way to mask parts of these, however: the months all have four pages, one on each side of the paper, and the last pages have some pre-printed colorful images on them that are really not to my taste. I’ll figure out what to do with them, or I’ll learn to live with them. Either way, I look forward to seeing how I can make these monthly pages work.
Lastly, some sticky notes, and evidence of a happy, carefully-kept planner.
This is, more or less, the setup that I’ll be using in 2018. It may well change in some ways in the following months, but such is the beauty of versatility that ring bound planners provide. I have added a new category for these posts related to planners and journal keeping, so updates and new posts on the subject might well be expected.