Saturday 1 September 2012

All Stars Guest Post by Steve: The 2012 Steve Morton Filofax setup

Everyone knows Steve, the King of Philofaxy. I am delighted to host his All Stars guest post. I knew that Steve had been developing his setup this year, so I thought it would be nice to see where he is up to with it.  When you've read this post, be sure to check out Steve's posts on Philofaxy and at

Thanks to Ray for this chance to share with you the details of my current 2012 Filofax set up .

The current organiser is an A5 Malden Ochre and I love this colour. I bought it on Philofaxy Ad-Spot from a reader in UK. It didn’t come with any inserts or accessories, but that didn’t worry me; I just transferred the contents of my grey A5 to this organiser.

The set up has evolved this year; I’m quite content and happy about how it is now working for me. Most of the time my A5 sits on my desk to the left of where I sit, always open normally at the planner section for quick reference and to act as a reminder as to what I should be doing (I get easily side tracked!)

So starting at the front and working to through the different sections in the time honoured fashion!

You will notice I don’t keep any cards or stickers in the front pockets.  The flyleaf is also a tad plain vanilla too!

My first section is my ‘Notes In’ section. It contains a few sheets of lined paper and a couple of to-do sheets. I use this section to capture things if I have the organiser away from my desk and I just want to quickly jot something down if we are in a meeting or seeing clients or if I have a sudden brain wave and I don’t want to forget it in a blink of an eye… which happens too often these days.

Then we come to the planner section. This starts off with a 2012-year planner, I use this mainly for planning visits to UK, visitors to our house here in France and any other significant dates.

We then move in to the main core of my planning section my A5 Enhanced TM insert designed and created by Ray and myself. It’s been tweaked a couple of times since its original publication, I’m not even using the latest version myself yet!  But for me this has been working very well, with enough appointment space for my day-to-day requirements. I’m very task and reminder driven so the right hand page with all the reminders and to-do’s gets extensive use each day/week.  

I’ve made a personalised thin reoccurring tab that slots in neatly to remind me of site updates of which there are two each day. These are printed on 160 gsm card, so I rub out the ticks and they get reused each week. This saves me from having to write out the names of the sites each week.

I slot in a To do sheet for big events/projects such as Philofaxy meet ups, one side will be my packing list, the reverse the names of people attending and the reserve list with phone number details written on it in case of any last minute no shows.

Towards the end of my planner section I then have a 2013-year planner…empty at the moment.

Then I have a month per page insert purely for planning Philofaxy blog posts, this is a customised version of the A5 month per page insert created and published by Ray and myself. The customisation is the inclusion of the FFAT, FFAF rota, Web finds, Roundtable dates etc. These are already included to save me having to write them in.  I use a highlighter pen to show up dates that don’t currently have a post allocated to them.  Sometimes I also add notes to the days when I might not be about so if it happens to be a Tuesday or a Friday I will know to do Webfinds a bit earlier in the cycle of things.

Moving on to the third section this is my journal section this is just a standard Filofax week per view A5 insert, but the English only one as it has equal spaces per day including weekends. I’m not a big journaling person, but I am trying to get better, I’ve been following Ray’s excellent series on journaling to improve my skills….. work in progress as they say!

Next year I will print my own diary insert for my journal but on decent quality paper so I can use a gel pen or fountain pen without the issue of bleed through on the pages.

I should say at this point I use three Today markers, the first to indicate the current week in the planner section, the second to indicate the blog month planner, and the third is the current week in my journal section. These are just standard Filofax ordinary boring black today markers… no stickers or anything fancy!

My next section is my ‘To-do’ section it’s mainly used for long term to do planning and spare sheets, so it’s a fairly thin section.

Similarly the next section is devoted to Notes, where I jot things down in and then the notes get moved elsewhere or transferred in to the planner.

Next is my ‘Information’ section, it contains reference information such as the instructions for changing time zones on my over complicated watch! It’s a great watch being solar powered and also locked to the UK National Physical laboratory atomic clock frequency standard radio transmissions… but if I travel from UK to France or vice-versa I have to change the time zone, it’s quite straight forward to do, but I’ve messed it up too often, so I now carry the instructions in my Filofax!

I also have Tube maps, road maps, railway maps, and an A3street map of London, all self printed and they all fold neatly in to the A5.

The last section of my A5 is my Address/Site information section this is another busy section for me. The names and addresses I maintain using the FilofaxAddress book software and these are printed off on to A5 paper with 7 contacts per side and a new letter per sheet. I index these in standard A-Z two letter tabs.  I index all my contacts in first name order, for some reason I can remember someone’s first name but not always their second name (family name).  I update the database a couple of times a year and print off new sheets for my Filofax.

Between the first and second letter in each section  (A&B, C&D) I keep an Internet site information sheet one side for the first letter, the reverse for the second letter.  

These are sheets I created myself available on Philofaxy, They list the internet site, user name and password… but not the full password as I code all of my password entries so these just act as a reminder for the actual password. So if these sheets were lost or stolen my passwords would remain safe. As well as the password these sheets help me remember what username or email address I’ve used to access numerous sites that I use on a regular basis.  Setting up a new computer or device is infinitely easier when you have all of your account details to hand. I curse others that don’t record their account details in some shape or form!!

And we have now arrived at the back cover… I don’t use a note pad in the back cover of this Malden, I found I wasn’t using it that often and it just adds to the weight, which by the way is just a shade over 1 kg. It has been heavier than this but I archive pages these days to keep the weight down.

This year I have concentrated on getting a set up that works for me, especially the planner set up. I might tweak a few things for next year, but at the moment it’s working very good so far.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for this look inside your system, Steve.


Unknown said...

Steve, Loved seeing your set up, I love professional looking planners! Wish I could make the clean lines work for me but I need all the 'mess' to keep track of things!

Wonder if I should try a two page per day system though. I can see the benefit of it...


Cloudberry said...

Beautiful. Clean and functional.

That enhanced TM format works well - is it available in Personal?

As per your fold out map - I'm trying to fit my A4 Outlook monthly print out into a Personal - it's a game of origami!

I like the month to view for planning purposes and realise I am missing that element in my new Personal.

Unknown said...

Wonderful post and great idea about the passwords etc. I will do that myself.

Ray Blake said...

Oh yes. They are here. You can find the full list of available diary inserts here.

Anonymous said...

Great post Steve I love how professional it looks, i'm trying to get mine looking less busy, it's a work in progress!!

Hannah C. said...

Hmmm...the Philofaxy card is having a lot of fun popping into all the pictures. :)

Great post, Steve! Loved seeing this glimpse into your Filofax.


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