Zen and the Art of Filofax Maintenance


The thing that will never cease to amaze me about my Filofax, is the sheer size and scope of the community that revolves around planners. Weeks ago, when my curiosity was piqued yet again by Filofax and planner systems, I fell head first down the proverbial rabbit hole which is the universe of Filofax. Worldwide, these planners are a phenomena with endless websites, forums, Pinterest boards, Instagram accounts and even Facebook interest groups, all revolving around the topic of planners! The more I dug into the planners themselves, the array of inserts, accessories and yes, even planner charms (!), the more I felt an uncontrollable urge to join the club. So, I fell in love with a planner, and the rest as they say is history.

Since my planner arrived, and admittedly, even before it shipped, I was knee-deep in these sites and forums learning about the available means to customize my Filofax experience to my own needs and desires. I searched through hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures of Filofax set ups, analyzing how people arranged their tabs, how they set up their “dashboard” and how they decorated their planner. Remember, this isn’t just any leather-bound book filled with scribbles and scraps, this is MY LIFE inside these pages, so it was important that my Filofax reflect me and my tastes!


As my planner itself, I ended up buying the Large 2014 Kikki K Time Planner which is the equivalent of an A5 Filofax. It’s a beautiful mint/aqua color with gold polka dots. What drew me to this planner, other than the beautiful color and design, is that the planner closes via an elastic band which I really liked! I have a problem with planners that close with a zipper or have a button/magnetic closure because I feel like you have to be mindful of what you stuff inside or else the planner won’t close! With this elastic strap, I am confident that my planner will always be secure no matter how thick I stuff it! Now, I also went ahead and purchased some different supplies like stickers, page flags, a new matching pen (the Pilot Coleto 4 color pen in Mint with Black, Aqua, Pink, and Violet ink refills), washi tape, cute post-its, journaling cards, and pretty paper to make some new dividers! I also decided that I was crafty enough to try to create my own custom inserts and since my Kikki K didn’t come with a traditional fly-leaf, I made my own with some screen printed acrylic scrapbook paper! I recently also purchased a A5 6 Hole Punch from a seller overseas, and once that comes in, I won’t have to use my single hole punch that I am currently using! It does the job right now, but lining up the holes is a challenging task that I hope the 6 Hole Punch will simplify for me!


To give you an overview of my Filofax and how I choose to use it, let’s start with the different sections. I have my Filofax broken down by 6 dividers. The first is for my blog because my blog is probably the most important project in my life. I used to keep a loose printed editorial calendar, but now I have moved this into my planner. I use a month on 2 day spread that came with my Kikki K planner because I like the way it looks!


The next section is for my day job, and for this I use a week on two pages spread that came with the planner. Here I am able to list out meetings, events and reminders for work as well as other general life tasks. I also keep a few Expense and Address sheets within this section (marked off by Target page flags) for work!


The third divider is for my Blog Posts and Youtube Videos and those are divided once more by a Project Life card that I punched and inserted between the two sections. Here I list out ideas and keep track of the progress I have made for each with some inserts I designed specifically for this purpose!


The fourth divider is called my “Capture” section, and here I am using some more custom-made inserts that help me keep track of my Thoughts, Wish Lists, Plans and any Information I may need to keep. I love these pages because I have a Date section and can circle the type of note I am entering so I can keep a variety of info in this section without it feeling out-of-place! This section also has another vertical divider that I got from Project Life and cut to size for my planner. It separates my custom capture pages from my person To Do lists (these pages came with the planner).


The fifth divider is for all my Inspiration! Here I keep any printed bits that keep me motivated, including my 2014 Goals, some Bible verses, prayers and even a Mini Workout!


The final divided section is for miscellaneous items and right now it just has a punched pocket that holds all my decoration stickers! More items may find their way here eventually so this section is meant to grow!


So, now that you have a general idea as to how I organize my Filofax, let’s get into the accessories and juicy details that I know you are all dying to hear! The front inner cover of my planner has a bunch of slots and pockets where I like to keep post its, paper clips, as well as some frequently used stickers. I love the interior zippered pocket of my planner because this is a great place to store page flags and anything that is loose and I don’t want to fall out!


Also in the front of the planner, other than my custom fly-leaf, I have added a paper pocket where I keep my iPhone sticky notes. It came in a pack with the other pocket I mentioned above that stores my decoration stickers and I just love the personal touch these add to the planner. I originally wanted to use a zippered clear pocket, but the one I purchased from Staples did not fit my binder (so sad). So, these pockets are simple and custom punched and definitely hold all the bits that I need!


Finally, in the rear inner cover, my planner came with a nice sized notebook where I can jot quick notes and such. I ended up swapping this simple notepaper for my “iPad” style note tablet from Wal-Mart and I love the look of this so much! Of course, there is also a pen loop where I keep my mint Pilot Coleto 4 color pen as I mentioned above. I bought this from JetPens as it came highly recommended by other Filofax users. The 4 colors of ink that I chose make it easy for me to do a bit of color coding in my planner without having to carry lots of pens with me!


And, the final personal touch in my planner is my little planner charm which I love! Through my research online, I found that it was very common for people to put charms and such on their planners to decorate them and give them more personality. I decorated my Filofax with this custom charm I made using a Hand of Hamsa charm as well as a little laptop charm that I think screams ME!


Outside of my planner itself, I also have a few rolls of cute washi tape, more stickers and extra journaling cards that I keep at home in a bin filled with extra goodies for my Filofax. As you can see, I have quite a bit of extras, some of which I purchased for my planner and some of which I have had in my personal stock for a while, but I find that having everything in one place makes finding refills and such much easier for me!


I hope you all enjoyed this post, that should do it for now! I also made a video about my Filofax setup in case you want a more in-depth look! I have a few other planner related videos up on my YouTube channel right now, so make sure to stop by and check those out if you want more!! Also, be sure to check out my shop for more of my awesome custom printables!

If any of you, my lovely readers, have a Filofax set up post or video or pictures out there on the internet, please please PLEASE link it below! I am obsessed with these things now (and if you’re here, I bet you are too) and I want this post to be almost like a reference of sorts for those who read it! Thanks!

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54 comments on Zen and the Art of Filofax Maintenance

  1. Kristin - My Life as a Teacup
    February 10, 2014 at 11:40 am (4 years ago)

    I love all of your little bits and bobs! My Filofax got kind of pushed to the side this year as really, I was a) too lazy to buy a new 2014 calendar insert and b) felt overwhelmed by all of the personalization. But I need adorable paperclips and stickers in my life!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 10, 2014 at 11:57 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks so much Kristin! You know, I have been making my own custom inserts so if you want to chat, perhaps I can put something together for you as a print at home, that way you don’t have to buy new inserts and have a little craft project all at the same time!

  2. Cindy
    February 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm (4 years ago)

    I just found your blog via a kikki hashtag search, tres cute! I love this planner and it’s on sale right now, but says in-store only and I live in the US 🙁 I am so jealous! I never knew there was a community for planners either!!! I am so excited about starting to use one all the time again 🙂

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm (4 years ago)

      Welcome Cindy! I am glad you found me and my planner! The planner community is so awesome, isn’t it? I can’t believe there are so many wonderful and unique people who love their planners as much as I do! Good luck with your planner, I think its awesome using one all the time now!

    • rosebud
      April 6, 2014 at 7:52 pm (4 years ago)

      I live in Australia and have an extra one of these beautiful time planners if anyone wants. Don’t want it to go to waste and I know it is sold out online!

      • MissTrenchcoat
        April 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm (4 years ago)

        That’s awesome! Is it the large size or the personal size?

      • Jen
        April 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm (4 years ago)

        Hi, is your planner still available? I’m in NZ and would be interested in purchasing from you – is it exactly the same? Please email me if you’re still looking to sell! jennifer.morris.nz@gmail.com

        • MissTrenchcoat
          April 8, 2014 at 9:51 pm (4 years ago)

          This planner is no longer available on the Kikki K site and I am not looking to sell mine. Thanks though!

          • Jen
            April 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm (4 years ago)

            Sorry I meant ‘rosebud’ above – they said they had an extra one 🙂

      • Darla
        May 19, 2014 at 12:02 am (4 years ago)

        Rosebud are you still trying to sell your other planner?? I’m very interested!! Pleeeease email me!! Darla 1083 @ gmail. Com

  3. Angel Jem
    February 15, 2014 at 3:35 am (4 years ago)

    The mint Kikki k keeps catching my eye and I keep turning aside but your set up is so tempting…. I love the combination of mint and monochrome you have and the charms are gorgeous!

  4. Dawn
    February 15, 2014 at 6:45 am (4 years ago)

    Love your post. I am currently using a personal Malden Filofax but I am envying (in the nicest possible way of course) your beautiful binder. Feel a little spending spree coming on!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 15, 2014 at 8:17 am (4 years ago)

      I really really want a personal Aqua Malden, but I feel like that ship has sailed! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!

  5. Darlene
    February 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello–I found your post on Philofaxy and watched your video. Very well done and very helpful. Thank you.

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm (4 years ago)

      Well thank you for stopping by! Glad this was helpful to you!

  6. Michelle
    February 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm (4 years ago)

    I love your set up!!! I too have fallen head first into this whole filofax world. In the past 3 weeks, I have purchased the same large kikki k planner AND a personal finsbury filofax. Various other decorating goodies too!

  7. Becky
    February 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm (4 years ago)

    I love, love, LOVE your blog planning setup! I’ve been looking for something similar to plan my posts. Do you have any printables available?

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 20, 2014 at 7:55 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Becky! I plan to make some of my printables public shortly! Thanks for the comment!

  8. Karold
    February 20, 2014 at 4:24 am (4 years ago)

    How did you do your dividers? or please do a tutorial of how you did your dividers! I tried to cover mine, but it turned out so messy!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      February 20, 2014 at 7:54 am (4 years ago)

      All I did to make my dividers was glue pretty scrapbook paper to the dividers that came with the planner and then I trimmed the excess with an exact knife. There are a few tutorials online of how to do this already so I probably won’t make another, but do a quick search and you should be able to find something easy!

  9. Natalie
    March 4, 2014 at 9:15 am (4 years ago)

    I just found your blog via looking at filofax decorating and I am so inspired! Planning on heading out to Kikki K tomorrow to see if I can still get one of the mint organizers and then go nuts buying decorating stuff. I have used a planner in the past but never thought to decorate it as beautifully as you have done yours. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of where you found the templates for your custom insert pages? I love the idea of your “blog post” and “Youtube” pages to help me organize myself and help me post on a more regular basis and was wondering if you wouldn’t mind if I used the idea?

    Thanks so much for the inspiration 🙂

    • MissTrenchcoat
      March 4, 2014 at 3:15 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment Natalie! I’m so jealous that you live near a Kikki K! Good luck in your search for the planner, I hope you find it! Feel free to use my idea for the blog posts and youtube pages, but I will be releasing them soon to the public if you want my templates! Thanks again and I hope to see you around the comments again soon!

      • Natalie
        March 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm (4 years ago)

        There are a few Kikki K stores in my area. I almost missed out on the large day planner when I went on Tuesday to buy one and they were out of stock. The lady ordered one from the warehouse for me and it came in yesterday. I got 40% off it too so I was happy:)

        • MissTrenchcoat
          March 13, 2014 at 8:58 pm (4 years ago)

          Lucky!! I wish I had a Kikki K near me, but they don’t seem to have stores in the US 🙁 I love a lot of their stationary, especially the planners! Glad you were able to get your hands on one! Good luck with it!

  10. Jen
    April 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks so much for sharing this info! I’m interested in getting a Kikki K planner and using one of the filofax 6 hole punches to create my own pages. Has this worked well for you – does the filofax 6 hole punch fit the Kikki K planner? Or if it’s not a filofax 6 hole punch can you recommend which one best works with this Kikki K planner? I love what you’ve done – gorgeous!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      April 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm (4 years ago)

      The Large Kikki K is the same as a Filofax A5, so if you find an A5 6-hole punch that should do!

  11. becca lennette
    May 17, 2014 at 2:36 am (4 years ago)

    Hey doll! I was wondering if you know of anyone selling this ^^ Kikki k A5 planner or the mint A5 planner, preferably new? I fell in love with is but couldnt afford it before it was discontinued ): I am a new Air Force Bride (Husbands an Airman) and life is crazy hecktic so I need a planner!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      May 18, 2014 at 5:29 pm (4 years ago)

      I’m sorry, Becca, I do not. I would suggest for you to keep your eyes on eBay if you’re looking for one. Good luck!

  12. Jennifer
    May 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm (4 years ago)

    I love love love your filofax! I’ve always loved planners and never knew until the last two weeks that there was such a community out there for planners. I just ordered a patent pastel purple pocket sized organiser that I am waiting for UPS to bring me, it’s supposed to be here today and I can’t stop looking out the window! I am so excited it’s my first filo!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      June 6, 2014 at 10:06 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much Jennifer! Congrats on the purple patent! Make sure to share some photos in your social networks and feel free to tag me @MissTrenchcoat so I can see them!

  13. Abby
    July 28, 2014 at 12:44 pm (4 years ago)

    I LOVE your planner!! Thank you for sharing! I don’t have a Filofax, I’m still trying to see what works best for me. I’ve gone thru the ARC half-size, the ARC full size, Ordered the Martha Stewart but never used it. Now I have this zip-around (was left behind by an ex-employee at my job) that my boss let me have. It’s by Mundi, and looks kinda like a filo. Anyway, seems to be working quite well! But I agree with the zipper, it only holds so much.

    Thanks again!!

  14. Renee
    August 17, 2014 at 12:25 am (4 years ago)

    I love how this post starts – you’ve just described where I am now! I discovered planners online recently and definitely fell down the rabbit hole! I’ve just ordered my first kikki k planner and am waiting for it to arrive! In the meantime I am scouring the web for ideas about how I will customize it. thanks for the great post and fab ideas 🙂

    • MissTrenchcoat
      August 22, 2014 at 11:50 am (3 years ago)

      Congrats on the new planner! I’m glad that this post has given you some inspiration for yours!

  15. Sheridan
    September 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm (3 years ago)

    Just came across this post on Pinterest. I have the Grey kikki. K time planner and live it to pieces. I haven’t blogged about it yet but I’ve added a few pics on Instagram http://instagram.com/sheridananne_

    • Sheridan
      September 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm (3 years ago)

      Or love it to pieces haha

  16. pascha
    September 27, 2014 at 8:23 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am new to the amazing world of Filofax and enjoy picking tidbits I could use. xx

  17. Michelle
    October 3, 2014 at 11:53 am (3 years ago)

    Love this! Do you have a link or item # from the multi-ink pen? Not sure I’m finding this on the Jet-Pens web site? TIA

    • MissTrenchcoat
      October 7, 2014 at 10:21 am (3 years ago)

      Just search Hi-Tech C Coletto Mint… that should work!

  18. Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick
    October 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm (3 years ago)

    So… I just want you to give me your Filofax… I can’t find the one you purchased and it’s exactly the one I want! I love the color, I love the elastic strap! Help! I’m searching online and the internet must be intentionally blocking me from finding everything I want today, grrr. 🙂

    • MissTrenchcoat
      October 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm (3 years ago)

      LOL! Unfortunately, this planner is sold out and has been for a while now. You can sometimes find it on eBay or through planner groups on Facebook though! Kikki K does have their new Lilac and Gold Planner out right now for 2015, I love that one as well! Good luck on your planner search!

      • Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick
        October 9, 2014 at 10:27 am (3 years ago)

        Nooooo…..! I want that light blue, not pink! Argh. Okay. I will be patient. I will keep searching! 🙂 Do you know if there are other companies out there like Kikki K, and other than the Filofax site? Just curious if you recommend another site to purchase these! I am motivated!

  19. Monica
    November 6, 2014 at 11:35 pm (3 years ago)

    Can you provide a link for your pen (I know odd question but I love pens)… I’m planning on starting my own planner and I’m digging the color coding 🙂 I love the mint poka dot body and the ink colors you have for your pen, but I haven’t been able to find it yet? Please let me know where you got it and provide a link if you can? Thank you!

  20. sylvia pelletier
    December 8, 2014 at 7:31 pm (3 years ago)

    I lovee this blog! i have been wanting to get my own planner but have no idea where to start and what to do for the personalization part of it

  21. phoebe
    January 2, 2015 at 12:28 am (3 years ago)

    I’m in love your planner set up! I was just wondering where you got your 6 hole punch from? i have the lilac time planner and I really want to customize it, but i can’t find a 6 hole punch anywhere 🙁

  22. Ida Marie
    February 21, 2015 at 6:09 pm (3 years ago)

    I am soooo in love with your blog! Its so great, and its really helping me in my filofax journey!

    I would be very happy if you would visit my blog, http://www.idasplanner.wordpress.com

    Thank you so much!

  23. Maria
    June 29, 2015 at 9:36 am (3 years ago)

    love the kikki planner thank you maria trapanese

  24. Jen k
    July 15, 2015 at 11:59 pm (3 years ago)

    I love the title reference to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance!

  25. Anna
    July 31, 2015 at 8:32 pm (3 years ago)

    I know this post is from a long time ago, but I’ve just gotten my A5 planner, so I’m looking for inspiration in setting it up. I’ve just moved from a compact filo, so I only had space for 1-2 months in there, so the freedom with my new planner is paralysing!

  26. Margaret Ann
    August 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm (2 years ago)

    I ordered 2 of the latest large ice blue planners by mistake. I meant to order time planner. I’d love to sell in U.S. Shipping back is too expensive. I already ordered replacement time planner so I have too many for a beginner

  27. Hannah
    October 28, 2015 at 9:20 am (2 years ago)

    Hi There,

    I just wanted to say that i have just stumbled across the Planning Community this week! I’m a huge stationary lover and have been since i was a little one. “Where have i been?” I ask myself!
    I’m based in the UK not far from London and i am just setting up my own beauty business. So i thought after a 18 month break from my trusty Filofax id return to it… after looking for inspiration on Pinterest i found you… and THANK GOODNESS!
    Your Blog is inspiring and i love your YouTube Videos. I find the layout, consistency and explanation of your blogs and videos so thorough and easy to follow. I most certainly will be following and watching to get better organised and learn all of your tips and suggestions in the business world. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and knowledge!


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