Filofax for dummies

Hey darlings! I know a lot of you reading my blog are experts on the subject (would love to hear your input in the comments btw), but since I started this blog I've been getting a lot of questions about filofaxing, inserts, and planners in general. So I've decided to write a more comprehensive post, not only for the planner-newbies out there, but to also shed a light on what's out there in terms of planner supplies. So, without further ado, let's talk a bit about the things you can choose from and how to use them. I'll be talking more about the stationery supplies used in planning in another post of the "Filofax for dummies" series, this one is all about setups and planning systems! In fact, to keep it short and sweet, today's all about the 1st section of our planners, where we usually store out most important information, in order to have it in an easily accessible spot! Check back tomorrow for my next post of the series, where I'll be talking about the second, agenda section!
Disclaimer: most of the things I'll list below can be implemented in any type and brand of planner!

1. Sizing
Filofax's official size-guide is the best way to go, so I don't want to ramble on this subject. Just a tip: if you have no idea what size to get, start off with a personal. (hint: if you're undecided about your planner size and setup, get a cheap ring-bound folder, or a faux leather ring binder before investing in a name brand planner!) A personal (or A6) size is kind of the middle-lane in terms of planner sizes: it's not too small but not too big either, so with this size, you'll quickly discover weather you need more or less space.

2. Setup
A Filofax setup is basically all the contents of your planner, including the system you use to plan. It's basically the most customizable part of your planner, and you should tailor it to fit your needs exactly. That being said, there are a few basic layouts that most people use as a cornerstone of their planners, customizing and pimping it up along the way. I've compiled a sample Filofax setup based on my own Filofax setup. It's quite simple and sleek, so it may help you start off.

A dashboard is just what it sounds and looks like. It is usually laminated, some people use it to stick quick notes on it, but it's also there to be pretty, and set the tone for the rest of your setup design.
The slots on the side of your planner can be used for a variety of things. People who use their planners as wallets usually put credit/debit cards, vouchers and receipts in them, but you can also use them to store the sticky notes your use in your planner, some sample washi tape or important business cards you may want to hold on to.

A quick to dos section is handy to write reminders or tasks that come up when you're on the go, so you won't have to think and flip to the appropriate section of your Filofax. It's also a way to quickly find the info you're looking for. Use different colored stickies if you use color coding as a planning system, and file away the info later, in the appropriate section of your setup.

The year at a glance page should also be somewhere at the beginning, ideally in the first section of your planner. Everyone has a calender section, which is more detailed and has inserts for every month, even for each week, but the year at a glance helps you make a somewhat outline of your year: you can write in things that are set in stone, like important holidays, trips, birthdays and deadlines. There's obviously no way of knowing what you'll be doing each day of the year in advance, but you can use these inserts to get a feel of when you'll be having more free time (so you can plan more stuff then, lol:), when is the time of the year you'll be most busy, and when are the times to start some holiday planning! Oh, and warning, TMI, I also use it to track my menstrual cycle, so I don't need a separate insert for that, because cluttering up my filofax is not my thing!

The year at a glance fold-out insert featured above is available in my Etsy store, so check that out if you liked what you see :)
Check out the next post in this series: Setting up your Filofax on a budget!
Also, stay tuned for my next post that will be up shortly, continuing this series, where I will go more in depth into the calender section, the types of inserts available, chronodexes and more!Subscribe to my newsletter to get a free stationery and planning printable, and a monthly recap of my latest posts!
Happy planning everyone!