Monday, 18 March 2013

FF Pro Wo2P part 1

This is a review of the Filofax A5 Professional Week on 2 Pages set of inserts. I have scoured the internet and have not found a single blogpost about it. 

First, according to best GTD practice, it's recommended that you have a "Capture Tool". A place to write down every piece of information which does not immediately have a home. In my A5 I've decided to use normal Filofax Quadrille paper. I'll go out on a limb here and say that I actually LIKE Filofax paper. It reminds me of India Paper. I know there are many who hate it, who say that it's no good for fountain pens for example. To me they are missing the point. It's a lightweight smooth paper on purpose so that more pages can be fitted into a corpulent binder without making the rings pop. Mostly, I use pencil anyway and I save my fountain pen for things that really matter, like love letters!

This whole GTD malarkey is new to me, so I'm just doing what the book says, and setting up a place to dump random information and ideas without being interrupted by the problem of where to put it.

There are two Year Plans, one for 2013 and a second for 2014. these are trifold, like a concertina. For the moment I have stored these at the back of my binder. There are printed with the months in columns (this is significant as we will see later).

There are twelve folded sheets, one for each month, and these serve four purposes.
When you open the binder you see the right hand page above. which is headed Notes and Priority.
The other side of the folded sheet is the left above entitle Performance Objectives and it's divided into four columns; Key Area, Objective, Target Date and Achieved.
I'm not sure if these pages, which are side by side when opened out, are meant to be used as one continuous sheet, or if this is a nifty way of making this side of the sheet serve two purposes.

When you open up the sheet there is a double page spread with a month overview which is this time in horizontal format. It's timed with the 24 hour clock along the top from 08:00 (if you don't count the first untimed column) through to 20:00.
So, this could be used to plot planned appointments if you have the sort of job which needs that kind of day division, or you could colour code various clients' work for billing purposes.
On the other hand it could perhaps retrospectively plot how you spent the working day (and how much accidental internet browsing crept in). Or maybe just a day record, two hours in the garden, one hour making dinner, three hours doing grocery shopping.

When the pack arrives, these twelve folded papers are together in one stack.

The Week on 2 Pages sections also come in one stack, from January to December.
It's not a conventional Wo2P.
The right and left hand pages are quite different.

On the top of the left page are two simple calendars for the current month and the next.
Below this two thirds of the page is used for Notes/Action points for the week. Narrow columns on the right of the page are titled Who, When and Done.

The bottom third of the page is divided into three sections. The Personal Reminders section has a thin column on the left (possibly for priority setting) and a Done column for ticking items off.
The Expenses section uses the continuation of the columns in the section above which is quite clever. Money In, Money Out, perhaps?

The right hand page is equally well thought out.
At the very top (cut off in the photo) three lines are given over to Main Goals for the week.
The first big column is a Time Plan, a priority setting ABC column and then five spaces per weekday and two per weekend and a Done column running the length of the page.

I don't think I will use this column as a Time Plan, I think it will be for my Big Rocks.

If you subscribe to the Big Rocks theory of getting things done, five spaces is plenty.
Some organisational gurus say that we should not make massive To Do lists each day, but rather that we should pick three Big Rocks and focus on those, only doing the smaller things once the big ones are done. The analogy is derived from putting things in a bucket.

Imagine you have three equally sized piles of rocks, gravel and sand and a bucket.

If you try to do all the things on your list, then the temptation is to do the small things first so that you can tick them off, so you "add the sand" to the bucket. Next you add either gravel or rocks, but usually, for the same reason, human nature tells us to add the middle sized tasks, the gravel. Only then do we do the Big Tasks, but by this time the bucket is two thirds full and the rocks won't fit.

If we add the Big Rocks first, and only after this we add the gravel then the smaller stones can fit in the spaces around the Rocks. Repeat this with the sand and you have a full bucket in which everything fits.

So, three big tasks which are the priority can go in the daily five line space, providing focus.

In the other main column are Priority Activities (with another tick-able mini-column) and a Phone/Write/Fax/E-mail section.

The last part of the "kit" is a tri-fold Project Plan. Or rather two, one each for 2013 and 2014
It features a vertical column for activities, with plenty of space to write properly, and after that a series of boxes, one for each week.

Like the Year Plan, I haven't decided what to use these for.
I'm wondering if it could be used both to plan and record my vegetable garden development.

I really want One Binder, so there will inevitably be crossover on my daily pages. I will have "take books back to the library" on the same two page spread as "phone the bank". I have plenty of tabbed dividers so it's fairly easy to divide the Filofax up, if I decide to use the Project plan as a gardening planner then I can simply add it to the section with seed records, vegetable bed doodles on squared paper and reminders to chit the potatoes in March.

A side view.
I have approximately divided the stack of Wo2P into months, and partnered it up with the relevant folded monthly sheet, so a month of "diary" is enveloped inside a fold. You can sort of see them in the picture above. I can easily flick ahead if I need to, but I don't feel overwhelmed with masses of diary pages.
This is the whole year in an A5 binder, plus the Month to a View I was using before and a few bits and pieces, meal planners and the like.

I don't want to show actual pages in use for confidentiality reasons, but I'm going to mock up a couple of options for the weekly views to help me work out how best to use it. This is one HUGE advantage of buying a diary in March, you get January and February to play with!

Finally, this is my Filofax pile.

The One Binder, a pocket binder (the original Little Black Filofax) and a new member of the family. In fact I am planning to sell the pocket size Filofax because I'm moving into a Mini as a wallet. 

So, what do you think? 
Have you used this Professional Pack?
I can't be the only one, surely?

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