Using a Filofax To Balance Life

Those who have never grasped the concept of using a paper organizer don’t know the benefits of lugging around a leather booklet filled with lists are.  For me, it’s the thrill of pen on paper, physically checking off a task, opening the mind with a brainstorm or ‘mind dumping’ loads of ideas.  Those of us who are more visual, having a structured planner creates a repetitious schedule and keeps us accountable to achieving our goals.  I am not very good at sticking to a schedule without reminders in my calendar, so having a Filofax is very important to me.

I believe to strike the right balance in life, there are certain principles that one can follow – by visually seeing them as you plan out your weeks and months, you can really live your life on purpose.  The Filofax is the perfect place to divide them out in a visual space, and incorporate them into your life.  The basic life principles that I follow are:


ListPlanIt Template

1. Health & Fitness
2. Community
3. Relationships
4. Work / Career
5. Finances
6. Recreation & Free Time
7. Personal Goals

There are other scientific life principles, and I actually have 10 that I continually track in my own life, but this will give you a good idea of where to start.  These can be divided in your planner & then add paper behind them to create brainstorms, schedules or to do lists to fulfill this area of your life.

Some of the bigger categories such as Financial goals, (which you might want to track weekly) can be written on a word document.  I use pre-drafted forms from the ListPlanIt website to print and insert into my planner. My bills are listed and checked off each week as I pay them.  Then when a new month is coming up, I print a new one and replace it in that section.  My budget envelopes get pre-filled at the beginning of the month, and I track it all on my form which is neatly filed away behind the “Finances” tab. 

Another category that I use a lot is the “Meal Planning” tab.  I have printed out a “Frequent Grocery List” which I hole-punched & keep in my planner so that when I am ready to go grocery shopping I can look at my list & plan my meals using the list of foods my family loves.  I keep another sheet of paper to jot down grocery items as I think of them and then bring it with me to the store.  Why reinvent the wheel?  My weekly menus are picked from my 21 Favorite Meals Template - I choose seven to shop for the week, seven sides, and my breakfasts and lunches are always the same.

For my workouts, I have actually created an Excel spreadsheet with my weight goals, dates and workout schedule so that I can pre-plan my week at a glance, and I have no chance of skipping them because they are right there on my calendar.  I keep these under the “Health & Fitness” tab.  {It is really helpful to find a hole-punch that fits your particular size planner.  Many of my forms were already punched for my previous Franklin Covey so you can see I had to single punch them to fit my A5.}

How do you use your paper planner to help balance your life?  Have you found any fun printables that help you to track your goals?  Share them on our Facebook Page.

Websites I frequently use to find free or low-cost printable templates are:

- Philofaxy
- ListPlanIt
- DIY Planner
- Pinterest

(Note – I am not affiliated with Filofax or paid to endorse their products in any way)

Renee Weatherford

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