About to move back to GTD on paper - what folder/paper-binding system to use?

Geeko

GTD since 2017
I blame you all. I caved and am now an owner of a Filofax.



If you end up unable to find one you like, let me know. Now that I own a Filofax, I'm going to be making some inserts of my own and am happy to make a layout like this if you like. When I get home this evening I'll link to ones I've made before for my ARC (dingdong me only saved them as Illustrator files, and I've moved on from Adobe at work but not at home).
Thanks for the offer but I think I will keep my beautiful filofax malden :)
The main downside was the size but maybe it is just time for another (bigger) bag :D
I made some custom dividers in A5, too. Maybe you could try Inkscape to open your Illustrator files (https://inkscape.org/). If you have any trouble regarding this, feel free to drop me a line :)

Cheers,
Tristan
 

chirmer

Registered
Thanks for the offer but I think I will keep my beautiful filofax malden :)
The main downside was the size but maybe it is just time for another (bigger) bag :D
I made some custom dividers in A5, too. Maybe you could try Inkscape to open your Illustrator files (https://inkscape.org/). If you have any trouble regarding this, feel free to drop me a line :)

Cheers,
Tristan
Oh, I don't think I was very clear in my post, haha - I meant if you can't find any inserts with the calendar layout you like, not to suggest getting a whole new Filofax! ;) These things are too expensive to replace that easily...
 

Geeko

GTD since 2017
Oh, I don't think I was very clear in my post, haha - I meant if you can't find any inserts with the calendar layout you like, not to suggest getting a whole new Filofax! ;) These things are too expensive to replace that easily...
I think we actually were on the same page ;) I was thinking about switching from Filofax to Staples ARC so your post made perfectly sense. And as you say, a Filofax is too expensive to get dusty on my bookshelf. So I will live with the downsides (no compatibility in size) and make the best of it :)
BTW: Filofax offers exactly the inserts I like and I already made some dividers with pages of the GTD methodology guide on the back :) I hope you will be able to recover your inserts.

Cheers,
Tristan
 

mcogilvie

Registered
That’s true but structure is very limited. Paper allows you to create lists, mindmaps, drawings, visual notetaking and so on with the exactly same set of tools. I don’t know any app that is as versatile as paper is. But the biggest downside of paper is that it is not easily searchable.

Cheers,
Tristan
I find that the biggest downside of paper is the lack of easy revision, but search might be #2. It’s common for me to revise my next actions to sharpen them.
 

Oogiem

Registered
But the biggest downside of paper is that it is not easily searchable.
I admit that I shudder to even consider using paper for implementing GTD.

For me the biggest downsides include more difficult to impossible backups, sheer volume if I include everything I have in my existing system, inability to easily modify and edit the exact wording of projects and actions, no search, and no ability to easily change the structure if my life changes.

I admire folks who make it work, but I know I could never do that. My paper implementation lasted less than a week, years ago. Now I doubt I'd even last a day using paper before I went totally nuts.
 

Geeko

GTD since 2017
Thanks! I did and they're good to go... for ARCs heh. I actually made my first Filofax insert already—an improved To Do list page. The ones that only fit 11/page just aren't cutting it for me, haha. And so it begins...
I switched to plain Paper for my TODOs and simply rule out the tasks that are done (feels very satisfying :D). I had some trouble with the personal size but I still think it is a good compromise between size and space. Well, at the moment I prefer my A5 sized planner :)
Cheers,
Tristan
 

David Popely

Registered
I don't mind it being expensive because I won't be using fast numbers of pages at a vast rate.

Thanks. It does look like the paper would either tear too easily during removal and replacement, and/or that would fall out too easily and/or that it might be quite high friction (compared to a spiral bound note book) when turning the pages... but I shall investigate further.

To me the ideal thing would be an open+shut ring binder that allows you to fold pages right back on themselves. But maybe that doesn't exist...

Thanx
I've been running GTD out of a Filofax ring bound binder for about 8 years and I have a couple of blog posts detailing my setup if you're interested
 

Geeko

GTD since 2017
I've been running GTD out of a Filofax ring bound binder for about 8 years and I have a couple of blog posts detailing my setup if you're interested
That sounds interesting :) It would be nice if you could share a few links.

Cheers,
Tristan
 

David Popely

Registered
That sounds interesting :) It would be nice if you could share a few links.

Cheers,
Tristan
Hi Tristan

I'm a member of the Philofaxy Facebook group (and several others), and a regular on the Philofaxy website at https://philofaxy.blogspot.com/

You can find posts on the Philofaxy website about how I use my system, both the setup and the routines which lie behind it. I think it's important to remember that whether analog or digital, no app/binder/whatever is going to make GTD work - only the user can make it work, and then only by following the routines which underlie the system - weekly review done with no excuses or cop-outs, plus other reviews as may be necessary. For what it's worth check out my posts as follows:-

https://philofaxy.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-gtd-set-up-david-popely-guest-post.html

https://philofaxy.blogspot.com/2013/11/guest-post-my-current-gtd-based-filofax.html

https://philofaxy.blogspot.com/2014/08/guest-post-how-i-use-my-personal.html

Best wishes

David
 

JShank

Registered
Sadly, Time Manager no longer exists. They went out of business earlier this year, very quickly. It started with all forms and books at 50% off. One knew at that time something was up. Too bad. I wrote them a note, saying that they never really marketed their products well here on the states, and had they done so, they would have been better competition for Franklin for sure. The planner was laid out so well, with colored plastic dividers, a green colored section for daily and weekly plans as well as long term planning calendars, a central section in red called Key Areas, which was divided in to 9 sections that allowed the user to list out the 9 major subsets of his professional and personal life and use 'task' and 'activities' forms to list out all actions associated with the 9 subjects, phone/address section, and information section. Jeez, what an awesome planner. Like Time System, it utilized a folding form, for them called the Weekly Plan, which could list out all weekly planning notes and needs, and then fold inside of it your daily sheets as the day ended. It was so well thought out.

I am using the 2019 planner now, and purchased an additional one for 2020, even though they are now out of print totally. I just plan on rewriting the dates on the 2019 pages for 2020. Yes, I know that sounds like a lot of work, but I think as many on this forum would agree, once you find something you really like it is tough to break away from it.


I am thinking about finding a printer locally who can print up and punch the forms that I use the most. After 2020, I'll have no more datedforms, and I was not able to purchase non dated ones since they were sold out by the time I got around to it. The size is different than Filofax and the smaller Franklin. That is what was so appealing in part. You could have a smaller binder, with great flexibility, and have more room to write. The holes are the same as Filofax.

I hear that paper planners are making a rebound. Certainly Hobinichi is up and coming. But this product, while it looks great, would not fit my needs, since I do lot of writing, an need to be able to insert or remove sheets as required.

I have no idea what I'll do after 2020. Unless they re-start production...or someone else buys it all and publishes it again under another name, I guess I'll have to find another planner.
 

JShank

Registered
I have been a huge fan of the Time/System products! (Formerly called "TimeDesign").
David mentions them in some of his earlier talks and this is the system he used for 18 years:

http://www.timesystem.us/A5_Day_Planner_Binders_s/29.htm

It is elegant, intuitive and covers many of the bases needed for a functional GTD system. It comes in two sizes. I've always used the larger business size instead of the compact size. I paid about $150+ for my binder (which still looks great a decade later) and then about $45 per year for the annual set of refills. I confess, however, that I feel a bit in limbo between electronic and paper. I've been primarily paper-oriented for over a decade but would like to find some middle ground between the two. I recently started working for a much larger company where appointments are being changed constantly, so a paper calendar just isn't as functional anymore. I'm in the process of researching the right set of tools. Grateful to have found these discussion threads.
Time system is a great product. Unfortunately they recently closed their US operation, and were sending everything from their HQ in Germany. However, the feedback I received from a rep there was that they were looking again at a US distributor. The pricing on their website is all in Euro's, not Dollars, so you have to do the conversion yourself. Waste of time for sure. If you call now, the number listed, which has been associated with T/S since the 80's, is now like a chat line, I believe!! The forms for the US market are different than any other forms. They are much more professional, and laid out with far greater taste in my opinion. They look totally different than all others. And in my opinion, that is a good thing. You can go online at the link above and get the annual refill now, but you have to go on to the main website for all other purchases, like dividers, binders, etc. etc. I sure hope they can quickly nail down a distributor here in the states as soon as possible. The rep I emailed back and forth with said that they are actively looking for one. That's a good thing.

I have been a huge fan of the Time/System products! (Formerly called "TimeDesign").
David mentions them in some of his earlier talks and this is the system he used for 18 years:

http://www.timesystem.us/A5_Day_Planner_Binders_s/29.htm

It is elegant, intuitive and covers many of the bases needed for a functional GTD system. It comes in two sizes. I've always used the larger business size instead of the compact size. I paid about $150+ for my binder (which still looks great a decade later) and then about $45 per year for the annual set of refills. I confess, however, that I feel a bit in limbo between electronic and paper. I've been primarily paper-oriented for over a decade but would like to find some middle ground between the two. I recently started working for a much larger company where appointments are being changed constantly, so a paper calendar just isn't as functional anymore. I'm in the process of researching the right set of tools. Grateful to have found these discussion threads.
 

JShank

Registered
Time/System in the US looks defunct. I ordered my refills from Germany. Took about 12 days or so. Exchange rate is not too bad for pricing.

Hi there, enjoy this thread. I've been a user of Time Manager and Time System since 1988.

I emailed back and forth with a Time System customer service rep. in Germany, and she noted that the company is actively looking for another distributor here in the states. Jeez, I wish I had the money to do that!! Anyways, it is a pain right now as stated. You can get the annual refills off the US site, but all other items must be ordered thru the main website. And to be honest, that site is poorly done. It's funny. They have a image on their front page of someone sitting at a computer screen, with their planner book open. But the planner they are using is not even a Time System product!! You think that they would have a photo of someone using their own product, right?!?

I wish they can make a full out come back. And it would also be great to see Time Manager get re-published by someone else, since they closed their in July of this year. Real sad, but I guess it all comes down to economics.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Sadly, Time Manager no longer exists. They went out of business earlier this year, very quickly....
I have no idea what I'll do after 2020. Unless they re-start production...or someone else buys it all and publishes it again under another name, I guess I'll have to find another planner.
Thanks for sharing your research about Time System. And good luck finding something you like for 2021 and beyond.
 

John Ismyname

Registered
I currently do a hybrid system and it's really taxing some days.
I use a hybrid system as well. My word for "taxing" is friction. It's always going to be there! As GTD is non-platform specific, it makes sense to find the best platform for each GTD component. As long as the cost of this friction is offset by the benefit of greater efficiency, it is worth it!

For weekly and longer term paper works well. Its Sunday morning and I'm about to start my weekly revue. I am looking at my weekly plan that I wrote on paper in black ink. A red line goes through what I didn't get done, a green line goes through what I did get done and notes are in blue ink. I keep my weekly plans in a fancy 3-ring binder (along monthly, yearly and longer term planning documents.)


For daily operational=GTD, I need my digital platform. 90% of my inbox is e-mail and a paper-based system can't keep up.

We can't deny, its still a 8.5 x 11" inch world. (An A4 world for our European members) One must have a GTD system and life system to deal with paper coming at us.
 
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