Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How To Set-Up Your First Filofax

Hello everyone! Now, you've probably clicked onto this post because you've just received your first ever Filofax, you're super excited to get started, but wait... How do you set it up for YOU?

All Filofaxes should come with a few pages of information, including time zones, weights and measurements, personal information, and contact pages. You can always take these out or keep them in, most people prefer to keep them in just in case they need them in the future. 
This is the registration page. To get your registration number you simply click here
These are the Address inserts which came with this A5 pink Finsbury, you can use these for phone numbers/addresses, or even your favourite blogs.
You may receive these address sheets, which personally I dislike as they're very small and quite 'messy' for my liking. The other ones are a lot more clean and simple to use and easy on the eye. You can also create your own address inserts on Microsoft Word, or with a piece of paper, or you can print off some downloadable files from Philofaxy
 I usually put the calendar at the front just after information, because my main purpose of my Filofax is to keep my week and schedule organized, to help me remember certain things and specific dates, of course you can put your calendar/s wherever you like. You'll want to decide which calendars you're going to need and use well. There are different types of calendars: yearly (horizontal and vertical), monthly, weekly (week on two pages, week on one page, these can be horizontal and vertical, lines or no lines) and daily (day per page, day on two pages).

This is the start of my calendar section, and I have the year at a glance up front just to remind me how far we're through that year. I put a round sticker from the masker sticker set to mark off each month which has gone. This also has the previous year and the upcoming year on the back (shown on the next page).
This is another year at a glance, but this is a pull out horizontal insert. I got this to mark off the days when I went to the gym, but at the end of May I had stomach surgery and haven't been able to go since so had to cancel my membership. Now I am going to use it to mark my attendance for college so I can keep track of how much I'm going. Some people like to use this for marking birthdays, appointments, school terms and so on. This usually doesn't come when you buy a Filofax, you have to buy this separately
This is the month on two pages insert and again this usually doesn't come with a new Filofax, I had to buy this separately. I use this for marking birthdays, anniversaries, appointments, when I work and the hours I've worked, paydays, holidays and so on. I've recently started to use a colour coding system that works for me, I tried using coloured pens but it looked messy and also bled through onto the next pages. So I ended up using these coloured heart stickers from Asda (300 stickers in a pack for 50p!). I will do another post on colour coding :) With the spare days, I have tried various ways of 'cutting' them out, such as putting stickers, colouring them, putting washi tape etc. I've settled with colouring the days so it doesn't look too messy and adds some colour to the pages
So these are my weekly pages. A new Filofax should come with diary inserts, but they won't come with these, these are the Paperchase inserts I bought and they come with a full 2014. I love these because you can't get A5 diary pages which are horizontal and lined, and they were more than half the price of the Filofax diary inserts. I use the week on two pages for writing down everything from events, days I work and the hours, weigh ins, reminders, birthdays, paydays etc.
These pages I made and printed out myself, they were meant to be the same as the Filofax ones but at the time I wasn't aware they sold their own in the A5 size. But when I found them in a store, I was so surprised at the actual quality, I didn't like their own ones, I preferred mine! It's basically got the date, what you bought, whether you bought it with card/cash, how much and the total left. I highlight every payday so I can see what I'm spending it on. I write on the bills there too. If you would like my own designs of this for you to print out for yourself, just email me at abbysterry@hotmail.com and I'll send them to you :) Also, I don't think a Filofax comes with these inserts, you have to buy them yourself. They come in either horizontal or vertical.

I keep a section in my Filofax all to do with my health. It has a weight chart, measurements chart, some notes like above (this is about clean eating, which means to eat foods in their most natural state; for example eating an apple is better than eating an apple flavored yogurt or juice). I'm playing around with this section at the moment, I want to make it fun and motivating. This obviously isn't necessary to have in your Filofax, but it's a good help if you're watching your weight. I used to keep a food diary just after the health section by using the vertical week on two pages diary inserts as a diary food diary but it just wasn't working for me, now I've switched to an A5 spiral bound notebook for it and it works great!

 Again this isn't necessary to have in your Filofax, but if you are attending some type of educational place such as school, college, or university, I would highly recommend having something in your Filofax to keep you on track with course work or home work. I didn't have this section when I started college, but this is my 3rd year in college and my 2nd year in my current college course, so this year I am all prepared as I've printed out all the pieces of work and what unit they come under so I know when I've finished a unit (shown on the right). I'll also but a list of all the half terms and days off in there for a reminder too (on the left - those sheets came with the Paperchase insert). I want to keep on top of all my college work this year and not fall behind. I'll also be using the pull out horizontal year diary insert to write down everyday I attend college and if I have any days off.
I also have this timetable sheet with the days of the week and time on them so I can write down my college schedule for the week (this came with the Paperchase insert). I'm not sure whether I will use these, because I plan to create my own table and print it off so I can keep it at the front for quick reference, but I think I will use this for extra information (class teacher, room, anything to bring). I would again recommend some sort of timetable for your classes, these will come in handy if you've forgotten which class you're in or what you need to bring on a certain day.

So under the lists and projects section I keep things such as reading lists (writing down what I read and when I finish it, I didn't have a goal of reading so many books but this year I've read over 10 books which is great for me!). I also have printed out the 100 top books to read and 250 top films to watch just as a reference if I am in the mood to watch/read something new.
This is the top 100 books to read list which I just copied and pasted into this little chart I made on Microsoft Word. I highlighted the ones which I would like to read, and ticked the ones I've already read.
This is the top 250 films to watch list which I've done exactly the same as the reading list above. You can find either of the lists on Google by searching up "top 250 films" or "top 100 books".
These are my little wish lists I've created from the Paperchase notes insert and the Filofax coloured lined paper which usually comes with all new Filofaxes in pink, purple, blue, yellow, and orange. On the left is my things I want from H&M and Staples, and on the right is my wish list (both I need to go over and change myself).
Notes just simple includes some spare paper to write or doodle on, as well as some spare to-do notes. All of this should come in your new Filofax, but you can buy more from their website, Amazon, WHSmith, Ryman, and eBay.

I used a flyleaf to create a page marker for my week. I can stick various sticky notes and reminders on both sides, and once the week is up I can then either stick them onto the week, or put them onto the next week. I also have stuck a note tab on the top with 'today' on it.
I don't think new Filofaxes come with the top opening pocket but I may be wrong, you can buy them from any Filofax selling store or website including eBay or amazon for a really good price. I currently have three and use two in my Filofax, one at the front for things I cannot/don't want to hole punch, and one at the back for stickers and to also keep all the pages straight when I close it so they don't bend. These are a really good investment, and you can also get the zip envelope also for pens and pencils etc
This is another top opening pocket which is at the front and holds my gym time table. When I get my college timetable I will put that at the back of this one :)
At the front of my Filofax, I used the business card holder which came with this Filofax to keep all my sticky notes in (and there is a blood donation card reminder in there too). In the left, I have a zip pocket which I keep the rest of my stickers and flags in. It's very useful to have a zip pocket in the Filofax, that's why I love the Finsbury so much!
To section your Filofax, you can put dividers in there. Your new Filofax should come with some sort of dividers, it may be the A-Z, monthly dividers, numbered, or plain. But you can always take them out, customize them, or make your own. I used to use dividers but I was never happy with them, I need my own sections, so I've currently got a Facebook friend making me my own :) If you're interested in someone making you some personalized dividers, ask someone on the Facebook Washi tape group
I currently use these Avery note tabs to section my Filofax. I love them and they look super pretty being coloured and not one colour, but I am scared to change them in case I run out of them. I've recently bought some Martha Stewart note tabs finally from a Instagram friend, but she didn't have any of the small ones so anyone who is willing to send me the small ones please email me - abbysterry@hotmail.com

So that was how I set-up my Filofax, remember you can change things to suit you. We all lead different lives and have various needs, so think about what you're going to use it for and what is going to work for you. Don't be scared to try out things and experiment what works for you and what doesn't. Have a go with decoration if that's your thing too! There are plenty of inspirational photos, videos, and blogs to find on Youtube and Philofaxy.

I got my pink A5 finsbury from Amazon
Let me know how you've set up your Filofax, and whether my post has helped you :)


  1. I just purchased a Filofax Domino personal size. Your post has been really helpful! The pictures are gorgeous and you have given me some great ideas.

    Oh - I found you through Philofaxy!

    1. Thank you Shannon, I'm glad it was helpful :)

    2. could u please tell me from where can i find the type of cover u r having in ajman,u.a.e.

  2. I definitely find posts like this very helpful!.. And I love your filofax! The color looks very similar, if not the same as my Piazza Pocket Filofax! LOVE the little page flags you got (4th photo up).. the PERFECT colors!!! ~tina

    1. Thank you :) I love Filofax set-up posts and videos, it's interesting seeing how people set theirs up and what some people come up with! I love the colour of my Finsbury, I fell in love with it when it arrived and was definitely the best choice for me :) Thank you again Tina x

  3. Great post. I'm going to get my first filofax very soon, have decided on the personal size and the Breast Cancer Awareness pink. There are so many ways to make it fun and I love the movies and books to read lists! That's something I will be adding to mine.

  4. I am so excited for getting my first filofax. Still debating size and model but this post was very helpful.

  5. Hi, I love your layout for this filofax. I just got my first for Christmas and I'm trying to work on a TBR list for books and films. Would you be able to share the Microsoft Word template/table that you made? Thanks for posting!

  6. Thanks for this post. It's been really helpful for me. I've not tried to do a custom planner before and have been swimming in you tube videos and suggestions, many of which didn't really keep it simple and basic. thanks so much.

  7. I have a question about printing your own pages. I have an inkjet printer and I don't want to spend the money on ink. I also wouldn't know what kind of paper to use. Regular typing paper seems too thin. And I want to buy some custom downloads from Etsy. Do you know if Kinkos or a place like that could print/cut them?

  8. Great post! Very inspiring :)

  9. Loved your article. It was really helpful as I am new to the filofax way of planning. I love scheduling and planning so I'm excited to start my own filofax. Thank you for the tutorial :)

  10. I'm lost..it appears you have to buy/order all the notes, stickers, etc. from somewhere. That doesn't seem clear to me. Do you have to buy a hole puncher for all the pages or do they come already with holes punched? It seems like some folk have printed their own pages or found cute sticky notes in local stores. Where do you order the Filofax from or can you buy it locally at an office supply place? I saw on another person's pin that she used APEX organizer..

  11. Hi Abby!you have such a wonderful planner,,,i'm new at this planner things so i wanted to know where do you recommend to buy the inserts for the filofax like card crafts and sticker(like the hearts you have(…i can’t buy in the UK or USA i am from asia…so all i know is the Ebay..i was wondering if you know some good shops online that’s are not expensive like ebay or shops inside ebay that you know’ thank you!!

  12. Really loved this post, found you via Pinterest !
    Can you refresh your link to the paper chase inserts? It's broken :( I need a 2015 diary as I only got my finsbury a5 this weekend . Thanks again ! xx