Category Archives: Planner Decisions

How To Decide on Planner Sections (Ideas for Index Tab Names)

Planner Sections - Tab Name Ideas

One of the reasons we so love our Filofaxes, or other ring bound planners, is the ability to have control over what sections are within them.

What I need will be different to what you need and what you need will be different to the next person.

Now don’t worry naming them perfectly the first go round. I can almost guarantee you’ll set it up one way and then end up changing them around as you see how you use them! Don’t let not knowing your perfect tab names stop you from creating them though.

Make your first decision, start using the planner and then rename as you want. No need to over complicate thing Life Crafters!

Brainstorm Possible Sections

I like to start off with a bit of a brainstorm on the type of sections I think I’ll need and I ask myself questions such as:

  • what do I collect information about regularly? ie gift ideas, blog post ideas, books to read
  • What do I like or need to have on hand? ie personal information, to do lists, shopping list
  • What activities do I do on a regular basis? ie journalliing, note-taking
  • What do I refer to often? ie passwords, login details, addresses

This gives me some ideas of the types of pages I want and the sections they can go in.

Look At What Others Are Doing

Here is a list of planner section ideas:

COMMON SECTIONS

Personal Info
Reference
Goals
Projects
Contacts/Addresses
Calendar
Finance
Notes
Meetings
To Do

SPECIFIC SECTIONS

Routines
Timetables
Wellness
Health – Diet & Exercise
Health history/medication
Travel
Assignments
Family Information
Gardening
Blog
Ideas
Home Decoration
Housekeeping
Quotes & Inspiration
Journal
Shopping
Mileage
Time log
Habits
Your Hobby ie knitting, golfing, writing

Some of the above may just be pages that can be grouped together behind a single tab.

MY CURRENT SECTIONS

– Intro Section (personal info, contacts, account info, password reminders)
– Master To Do Lists
– Calendar Parts (with Jan-Dec Tabs)
– Notes
– Goals
– Projects
– Musings – Journaling pages
– Inspiration – Quotes and Lists such as I did it, Life Lessons, Life Highlights
– Lists – Wishlist, Giftlist, Places to Visit, Books to Read etc

Decide on Which Section Titles to Use

Decide which tab names suit your needs and would like to try out from your brainstorm and from looking at others. Implement them in your planner.

[an aside for perfectionists…if you can’t stand to write on your tabs when you are not sure if you’ll change them up soon, just cut down a post it note to size and put that on the tab until you are sure!]

You don’t want to have too many tabs in place or your binder will become too bulky! Between 4-10 is generally good. Consider using your other binders (for those addicts people that have lots of Filos!!)  for more specific areas or projects that you want to go into detail for. ie home journal, gardening, money matters, wedding etc

Tweak

After a few weeks or maybe only after a few days of use you’ll be able to see whether these sections are working for you. Change them up as you need.

Share what your sections are and you might give other people ideas!

Life is crafted. Craft yours,

Arienne

Binder-Style Organizer vs Bound Planner

Ring Binder vs Bound Planner

Pic above shows my A5 Filofax Chameleon in Raspberry and the Erin Condren 18 Month Planner

I have a colourful past. At least in regards to my planners hehe…I’ve tried a myriad of styles, brands, sizes and formats. One thing that I really do prefer and cannot let go of is the ring binder style of planner.

I’ve been asked quite a bit through comments on my Life is Crafted YouTube Channel, Facebook Page and emails about why I prefer Filofax to Erin Condren (which really translates to why I prefer Ring binder/loose leaf page organizers over bound planners).

I love the designs and colours of some brands of stationery notebooks and diary planners. Unfortunately, even though some of them are truly beautiful, they just aren’t functional for me. When I’ve used them in the past I just found myself ‘hacking’ them to suit my needs which often ended up messy and disorganised.

Here are some of the aspects to look at when choosing between a bound planner and a loose leaf ring binder organizer (and I admit I am totally writing this with an obvious bias…).

PORTABILITY

Okay this is where the bound planners could have an advantage! Bound planners are often thinner than ring binder folders because…they don’t have rings…it’s really just the width of the pages.

It can mean they are a bit more portable in relation to their similar-page-sized counterparts (ie an A5 Filofax is larger than A5 but an A5 bound diary is generally A5 plus a couple of millimetres). Unfortunately if they don’t have a section where you can write down your notes and lists you may end up carrying another notebook around with this information in it (or it could just be your phone!).

The bound planner below has 18 months worth of pages so it is thicker than normal!

Plannerboundring5

FLEXIBILITY

This is where I feel the main advantage lies in ring binders. We are all different and have different planner requirements. With a loose leaf planner you can add the pages you want and remove the ones that aren’t useful for you (which can make it lighter or perhaps heavier, to carry around).

CUSTOMISED PAGES

There are a lot of different types of pages out there. Packs for travel, medication, finance, health, menu planning, family specific pages etc are available.  Invite the ones into your life that are relevant and helpful.

PRINT YOURSELF PAGES

If a certain type of page that you would love to have doesn’t exist yet, you could put something together yourself. With just a little bit of creativity and something like word or excel you can have your own unique pages. All you need to do then is print, holepunch and add it to your loose leaf binder.

CONTROL OVER SECTIONS AND ORDER

Some people want note paper up the front. Others don’t need to have an addresses section. They want a fitness tab at the back and their goals section up the front. The ring binder planners allow you to organise and arrange the sections in an order that works for you.

Get some tabs and name them whatever you want them to be.

EASILY TRANSFERABLE

You finally have a place where you’ve collected everyone’s birthdays and special dates. Plus you’ve spent numerous days collating and brainstorming your lists. Then the year ends and you have to spend hours transferring all the info into your new bound planner. Arrrrrrrgh!

With a ring binder you keep all your carefully crafted birthday and life lists and just add in the new year’s calendar pages. Yippee!

LOOK & FEEL AND DECORATION

We love adding our own touches to things – we decorate with stickers, include pictures of loved ones, add gorgeous quotes that inspire us and have a page or two of our inspiration or mood boards. This is all more easily done in a binder.

ACCESSORIES

There are a lot of accessories you can add to your planner to make it what you need to be. Rulers, business card holders and index tabs are just some of the items you can add or take away as your needs change. I love having pictures in the business card holders and use a few rulers to bookmark important sections.

ARCHIVING/KEEPING RECORDS

I’ve found it hard – when I’ve jotted lists, scribbled notes and planned project on bound planner pages – to process and archive them . Bits of information that may still be relevant or could be better collated together with similar information, is all over the place. With the folder organizers I can just remove the relevant pages and put them in another part of the planner or in a separate file where they make more sense. Then I just archive the old calendar pages in another folder or box.

 

So, if you like being able to craft a planner to suit your individual needs I would recommend a binder style. Filofax is one brand of many, with its own pros and cons, but I love my Filofax Chameleon in A5!

I love you Filofax A5 Chameleon

 

Are there any advantages or disadvantages of bound vs ring planners that you’ve found? What do you prefer and why?

Life is crafted. Craft yours.
Arienne