Filofax: To Daily or not to Daily?!

I have talked before about my weekly layout with a square grid sheet of paper which is my current setup. Since writing my blog about my perfect layout I have seen this layout more and more and it is even for sale now – something that I didn’t see before I decided to make it.

However, for the past month since I have been doing my Page-Per-Day journalling challenge and I have been really drawn to the Franklin Covey Daytimer inserts, particularly the seasonal ones. They are really pretty and I really like the look of them.

Yet, I do have some reservations about them. Firstly they are American dated, so will have all the American holidays on them. I guess this isn’t too much of a big deal, but I would prefer it to be free of holidays.

Next, they are slightly bigger than filofax inserts, which means with dividers on them they stick out in a filofax, meaning the dividers will get bent, again not really too much of a big deal but I don’t know if it would annoy me.

I am also left handed, which is why I have my graph on the left hand side. This allows me to use the most use page, my graph paper, on a side where I am not leaning on or battling with rings. Ideally, if I was using these inserts I would like my writing side to be on the left. I could take them out and write and them put them back in afterwards, but would that just be obstacle to getting me to jot down quick quotes or something I like?! I feature I do love about the day on two pages is the bullet journal style margin where you can mark things with a code.

Finally, would I actually use a day or two pages?! I mean sure I would use the writing section, or a least hope to use it and this year would give me lots of practise to focus on writing everyday, so by next year when I buy them I will at least be using that side. Would I use the other half of the page though? I mean after all I only use a week on one page which does me fine. Would I just be carrying around a load of paper I won’t be using efficiently?

Perhaps, if I started using them I would find them even better than the week on one page I have now and would end up using the section to time journal my day. I could also really track more things and could even maybe use the time section to see how I am using my time and whether I could train myself to use me time more efficiently.

I suppose the solution to all of this would be to make inserts that are like the Frankin Covey inserts, but are tailored to exactly how I want them, but then there is the added hassle of having to print out seven times the volume of what I printed out before, which I guess if I am organised and do a bit each week in preparation for the new year would not be too difficult.

Decisions are hard!

Filofax: DIY Monthly Fold out

My last tutorial on how to make your own planner pages, namely a week on two page template was very popular and this is one of the other major inserts I have made and use in my planner. So I thought it was about time I showed everyone how to make it. If you didn’t catch my other post though you can find it here.


So if you’ve not guessed from the title already, the above photo shows you what this tutorial is going to make. A DIY fold out monthly calender. I think these are great because it allows me to see my week and my month at the same time, so when I am filling out my weekly page I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth. It is also great because I printed my months double sided so when I am on an even month, say October. I can move September/October to the front of my weekly inserts and open it out, whilst having November on the right behind my weekly inserts. It allows me to see two months at once – which is great for planning weekend trips away! Sadly the only downside is if it is an odd month, like November. I can’t see December because it’s on the back of November. It’s not too much of an issue and I’d rather conserve the paper bulk in my planner and so don’t keep one month to one page.

So like my previous post we’ll be using Microsoft Publisher again. It’s a great little program that’s probably on every windows pc/laptop, that you’ve probably never opened! I find it much easier to use than word for making templates. Like my last tutorial this is going to focus on a personal sized planner, but changing the dimensions up you can easily adapt this to other planner sizes.


First things first…we need to create the page size. Now this is an uncommon size. The standard size for a personal is 171mm x 95mm. (I like printing at 172mm –  I don’t know why, just do) In order to make a tri-fold you need to measure where your holes on your weekly layout come to. With my hole punch I lose about 8mm of space. so I rounded this up to 10mm, or 1 cm. Which means my first 1/3 of the page will be the standard 95mm, whilst the next two thirds will be 170mm, or 85mm each. So let’s get started.

Open Publisher > File > New > More Blank Pages and Sizes > Create new page size.

Width: 26.5cm

Height: 17.2cm

Margins: 0mm.

Ok > Open a new blank page with this template. 

Now you want to create a table, in this tutorial I’m going to show you with the columns being days of the week (you could easily adapt this to days as rows if you would prefer to do that). So we need to create seven columns. For the moment I recommend creating the table as a 7×1 and having the height of the table at 4mm.

Insert table > 7 x 1 >

Height: 0.5cm

Width: 16.8cm.

Now the size of the table is for a reason. You need to leave 95mm of space free. This will be the section you punch the hole in and when you put you’ll weekly pages on top of it, it’ll be the same size and so cover it. So the remaining 16.8cm is where we want to put the table. However, I’ve left 2mm off just to allow for folding and such.

Now we need more than one row so although this process seems to be long winded and time consuming I recommend doing it with way to get the best visual effect. But to make it simpler you could easily to add in another 7 rows and make the height of the table 17cm. Then just adjust the days of the week row and the month row to a smaller size. I like to be precise though so I’ll show you my way. First we need to align the table.

Select Table> Align > Relative to Margins > Align > Top > Align > Right

Next we are going to duplicate the rows until we reach 17cm in height.

Select table > Right click > Insert > Insert below

To make this process faster:

Ctrl A and repeat the above step (this will double the amount of rows per insert action).

Now we have our table properly established we are going to realign it but first we’re going to add some margins.

Page Designs > Margins > Custom Margins > Right: 0.1cm

Now align the page to the middle and to the right margin. This will give us 1mm of space to allow for printing and cutting error.

Now persuming I have counted correctly we have 34 lines. Now if you look at a calender there is sometimes the possibility that a month can stretch over six week, where part of the first and last week are incomplete weeks. When I looked at the calender for 2015 I think it happened about twice. So I made the decision to have six rows. This means alot of months you won’t use the bottom line – but that could always be used for notes or a quote or something and it just means those two months look neat. So 34 divided by 6 is 5.666. So we don’t have a nice round number to fit in the daily boxes but I want to use some as headers. So we are going to use five lines per box. Now if you would like your monthly calender to be lined you can skip this step. But if not we’re going to merge some cells, so starting at the bottom of your table,  count up five lines in the first column – and make sure only the first column is selected.

Layout > Merge cells.

This will create your daily box.


Keep repeating this step until you have six boxes in the first column. Once completed move onto the other columns. You should have four unused rows at the top. Starting with the fourth row from top, or the one immediately above your daily boxes you’re going to write the days of the week in each column. Pick whatever font you want. The one in this tutorial is Calibri font size ten – nothing special so get creative and do your own font style, but just to keep it within the 5mm box.

Next we’re going to do the month. I merged all the remaining three lines together across all the columns, if you want you could make the day headings a bit bigger and the month one smaller. In my tutorial the month is in Calibri front size 28.


To align the text within the box

Select box (Ctrl A or highlighting with a mouse for multiple boxes) > Layout > Select whatever design you want. I used Centre middle and Centre right.

Now it’s time to colour in some borders. Again this is can be done however you want to do it. I don’t really like borders around the Month or the Day headings…but if you do put them in. Now if you want lines in I recommend changing the colours of the lines. In my one I have showed the clear black borders and the lined grey with the black outside border.

Select the boxes for borders > highlight them > Design > Select line width > Select line colour > Select lines to be coloured.

For the black lines I picked, a width of 1/4 pt, the blackest black and I selected all borders. If you have kept you lines I suggest then selecting all your horizontal lines and changing the colour from black, mine are the second lightest grey.

filled in

Then you need to fill it in. Grab a calender, I use my mobile phone for this. Now November starts on a Sunday. So I’m going to go to the first of the box rows and the last column and put a 1. Going to repeat that until I put 30 on the last Monday row (November spans across 6 weeks so it’s great for this).

Now I don’t like the black borders being around ’empty days’. As Sunday is only filled on the first week I took out the vertical lines that weren’t in use. You can repeat the step above but just remove lines rather than adding them. I also centred my numbers to be top middle but repeating the steps like we did before.


And that is the month complete.

Now we are going to do the reverse month which is just a simple change. On the left hand side of the program you should see a miniature of your monthly page. Right click that and duplicate it, placing it below your November. This is going to be December. But it’s going to be reversed. So to do that we’re going to add a margin of 2 mm (this will onset the printer adjustment), and then move the table to the new position.

Page Design > Margins > Custom Margins > Left 0.2cm

Select Table > Align Left

Now I changed the November heading to December and also moved it to the left. Then just delete the numbers and reorder them to the correct days. Adjust the vertical lines to add them in and take them away at the right places and you are done making you’re monthly layout. Just repeat for the following months.

The next post will show you how to print them. If you have any queries please leave a comment below and I’ll answer them for you.

Filofax: Printing your own Inserts

This is a follow-on from my post on Wednesday, in which I showed you have to make your own inserts using Publisher. If you’ve not read that one you can find it here.


So the finished product of the last post is pictured above. Now I am going to show you how to print it out. What we are going to do to start with is get the crop marks which you can see in my above picture. These I had already set up before making this post and I didn’t turn them off for the photo, which is why you maybe wondering why they do not appear on yours.

Ctrl + P (or however you get into the print option > Select the down arrow on your printer > Advanced Output Settings… > Marks and Bleeds > Crop marks > Allow Bleeds (you’ll see why later).


Now because my filofax page is a personal size it shows up nicely on the page. As A4 is half of A5 – it’s slightly harder to see the crop marks and they are not as nicely laid on as with the personal (because there is not as much space room as there is on the personal sized print out).

Now you are probably looking at mine and wondering how I have my weekly the wrong way round in the second photo and not the first one. It’s all to do with the number of pages you have. On an a4 sheet of paper you can fit two personal sized inserts each side. In order to print them in the correct order we are going to set it up to print a booklet.

Ctrl + P > Under the pages section there is a tap to change the options, it should say One page per sheet change that to booklet side-fold > Make sure landscape is selected > change print one sided to Manual 2 sided Printer flip sheets on long side. 

Manual two sided printer flip basically tells the printer that you intend to have the paper landscape and flip on the longer side of the paper – it helps it to decide to position the inserts on the page.

Now a side booklet prints the inserts in a particularly way. If you imagine an a4 piece of paper folded in half it will start with page one, open fully to pages two and three and finish with page 4 on the back. However if you were to open that up and lie it flat. Page 4 would be on the left of page 1. So the print order is 4 and 1 on the front side, and 2 then 3 on the back. So we need to set it up to print in the same way.

So on the order of publisher your first page should really be your page 1 followed by 2, 3 and then 4. However if you want a week on two pages to open up are be a double spread…then monday needs to be pages 2 and 4, and the week with your tasks needs to be 1 and 3. So your page orientation should be

Page 1: Tasks and weekends

Page 2: Monday-Thursday

Page 3: Tasks and weekends

Page 4: Monday – Thursday

You can go ahead and print more than four pages – but that begins to complicate the system of where you place things and my printer is temperamental so I much prefer printing four at a time. Now from experience I have printed this and the alignment is out on my computer…the reason it is out if because a4 paper is measured at 210mm x 297 mm. so that 7mm gives a slight problem. The way round it is to add a mm to your 2nd and 3rd pages. The easiest way to do this is to add a margin of 1mm to the left.

Page Design > Margins > Custom Margins… Left 0.1cm.

Now we need to realign pages 2 and 3 only to the new left margin. So select page 2.

Home > Align > Relative to margins (if not already checked) > Left. 

Earlier in the post I told you to select allow bleeds, the reason for this is because now you have moved your layout design by 1mm, technically 1mm is not on your page…but by allowing that bleed it will still print the whole layout design.

Now you should be ready to print. Printing is more difficult to explain – because every printer is different – it takes some experimenting and I’ve been printing for about 3 months now and I still sometimes get it wrong when I go to print (I really should write it down but never do). So now is the time to experiment. The insert I made for this tutorial is not the one I actually use so rather than waste paper printing an insert for this tutorial – knowing I wouldn’t use it. I switched to printing the insert I do use. This is a square grid (which would be a Monday insert on this tutorial) and a week on one page (which would be a Task and weekend insert in this tutorial). I just did a tutorial for the most popular insert design, which is the insert most people are likely to use. The great thing about making your own inserts – you can personalise them to your taste!


My printer is an up and over printer so when I put the paper in the feed like this:


I use paper that is 100g, that’s a medium thickness paper, I use it because I have a Stabilo 68 pen, which I love but tends to shadow or bleed through on thinner papers, I also stamp in my planner. If you do not do either of those an 85g paper would work for you, you could even go lower too…but 85g is a pretty standard paper to buy. Next up you need to cut it. I don’t have a fancy guillotine and there is a reason for that. I found it cheaper to just use a Stanley Knife, cutting matt and a cork backed ruler. Also, when you are cutting you can just cut on the crop marks, but not all the way through the paper – meaning your crop makes stay when you cut the horizontal so they are there when you cut the vertical lines.


After freeing the paper from the scrap I have my personal sized sheets ready…this is the point I washi tape them. I use to use thinner paper, but when I started stamping I upgraded to a thicker quality. When I had thinner paper I liked to use washi tape to help strengthen the holes, which would become a weak point. Whilst I no longer really need to washi tape them, I still do for decoration and because I have a load of washi tape to use up.


Now all you need to do is punch your holes and put them in your planner and you’re done. I have a KW-trio hole punch. I like it before it does a5 to mini through the adjustable settings – so it works with all my planners. There you have it. Home-made diary page inserts that are tailor-made to exactly how you want them. It’s also great because if you get bored or are still finding an insert that works for you…you can print a few weeks off and then try something new. You are not committed to a whole using an insert you do not like and you’re not committed to buying say a whole years worth of a day on one page insert, when maybe you only use one a week. Just print a few out as and when you need them.

Filofax: Make your own Inserts

I hate filofax inserts, the paper quality – any ink just seems to bleed through or shadow, the calender on a Sunday and a split weekend – so if like me you use to work on the weekend you have no space to write anything. Now they have changed the week on two pages to have an equal sized Saturday and Sunday to match the rest of the week…I’m still not that keen on buying them. I have discovered a better insert for my filofax – ones I make on my own. This post is all about how I make my inserts and what software I use. I have tried a few products – Good old word, Gimp (it’s like Photoshop but free!); but the one I have found that I like the most is Microsoft Publisher. It’s very straight forward to use and the printing options in it are good.

So let’s get started with a basic lined week on two pages tutorial. Let’s open up Publisher.

Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Publisher

Next up you’ll want to create an insert that is the same size dimensions as your planner – for this tutorial I am working with a Personal sized filofax. The dimensions for a standard filofax personal page is 95mm (or 9.5cm) wide and 171mm (17.1 cm) tall. There is something about the 171mm I don’t like – probably because it is uneven…so I always make my insert 172mm – not that it probably makes any difference…it just makes me feel better!

The opening screen will be a page size selection screen. You’ll need to create your own template for a filofax.

More Black Page Sizes > Custom > Create new page size…

Width: 9.5cm

Height 17.2cm

Margin guides – set all to zero.

Now you have your blank template. Let’s jazz it up a bit with some lines. You’ll need to insert a table.

Insert > Table > 1×1 Table

Next double click on the table and alter the dimensions of the table. I put the width at 9.5 and I want my line thickness to b 4mm. However when I try to adjust the height I can’t go below 0.63cm. The trick is to unclick Grow to fit text (outlined in purple on the photo) and then adjust to 0.4cm. Next up you want to align this table to fit within the page (green in photo).

menu options

Align > Relative to Margins > Align > Center > Align > Top.

Now we need to add some more lines in.

Make sure the table is selected > Right click on mouse > Insert > Insert below.

A quick way to do this quickly is to press Ctrl + A together and this will select the whole table, meaning when you repeat the above step you double your lines each time. Eventually you’ll fill the complete page with lines. However, so far this table is invisible. So we need to add some lines to it.

On the design tab they’ll be a Borders option (blue on the photo). As I have 4mm spacing between my lines – I like my line to be quite thin, I’m also going to be blocking off the days to give them their own section – so I want to contrast writing lines and section lines. First I’m going to select Ctrl + A to highlight all the table and then I am going to adjust the settings to be 1/4 pt line, line colour to be the second grey from the top and select that only the inside horizontal lines are colour. Now if I want to have just lined paper – I can stop there.

We want to make this a diary insert though. So I am going to count the lines (I got 43). I’m going to leave the first two lines alone. That’s going to be where I put the month. I’ll move my cursor to the fourth line and count ten. With the ten lines highlight I’m going to go back to the borders section and change the colour of the line to be black. I’m then going to remove the Top and Bottom borders and then reapply them. This will remove the light grey line I have previously put there and replace it with a black line. After that I’ll count out another ten lines – but only adjust the bottom line to be black.

So now you’re diary insert is beginning to take shape – you have space for four days and a section for the month.

Next i’m going to work on the month bit. I’m going to select the first two lines then I’m going to merge the two lines together.

Higlight the first two lines > Layout > Merge Cells

Now the fun part – selecting your font, you can personalise your diary inserts to however you want them. For this tutorial I am going to use Copperplate Gothic Light. I’m just going to write the month and year in. I found with my font I could go up to 16 and it look nice. Next I’m going to write the days of the week in.


Now it looks like we have a problem because the line is covering the written days of the week and you cannot see the full type face. That’s not a problem because you can press Ctrl + P and see how it will print. Now with my font I can see that it sits right on the line and looks pretty good – I can see the whole word. I would leave it like that. However if yours does not look like that I would suggest changing the margins of your cell.

print preview

Select the whole table> Layout > Cell Margins > Custom Margins > Top 0cm > Bottom 0cm

If that still doesn’t solve your problem – drop a size down.

Now we have half a week and it looks good, so now we need to work on Friday-Sunday. If you want to have a notes section – you could use the 8th section for that. However, I’m going to show you how to make a daily tracker.

So on the left hand side you have a page selector – at the moment we only have one page. We’re going to right click on the first page and add a new blank page underneath the one we have.

Right click > Insert Page > 1 > After current page > Insert blank pages

We’re going to insert another table – but this time it’s going to be a grid. so follow the steps above but make the 1×1 table 0.4cm wide and 0.4cm tall. Now we’re going to fill the width of the page with squares to line our first line.

Ctrl + A > Right Click > Insert > Insert Right. 

Repeat until the width is covered. I added two more squares than I needed and centred it.

Now it’s important to remember that if you are going to punch this, you need to think where the holes are going to go. In the first page we aligned everything to the left and the holes will go to the right. In this second page, the hole will be on the left. So we need to optimise the right side of the space. I’m going to go to the first whole square on the right and add an S to it – to mark Sunday, and I’m going to go backwards writing the letter for the day of the week in each until I get to Monday. I’m then going to go to the next whole square after Monday and merge it – In this new line I’m going to write Tasks. Then I’m going to duplicate it once above the line we already have – this will put it in line with the month on the other page. and then 10 times below (this will but up in line with the end of Monday on the previous page).

So now we have a completed task section. I’m going to duplicate a line one more time…but this time merge the line with the days of the week in – so I get a complete line again. Then I will keep adding this line in until I reach the bottom of the page. So I start off with a 7 day grid but finish the page with lines. Now all you need to do is add your days of the week, add the line colours in and darken the section colours.


Now it looks almost complete except for the fact that the days of the week are not completely on the page. You’ll need to go into the cell margins and add 2mm onto the right side. So it puts the text back onto to the page – I selected 0.3016 cm for mine.

And that is it. You’ve got your layout – next post I’ll show you how to print it!