Thursday, March 7, 2013

Planner Tour- Filofax Apex Personal, part 1

I have long been a paper loving planner.  For the past several years I have experimented with home management binders.  For some seasons they worked really well.  Lately, though, not so much.  So I went on a hunt for a new planner.  Little did I know I would find a sub-culture of planner lovers.  :)  There are even youtube videos and blogs dedicated to planners (I had no idea!!).
To make a long story short- I got one kind (Franklin Covey Classic) and loved it so much I wanted to carry it around with me.  But, it's just too big for all that.  My dream planner from the beginning is a Filofax Malden in ochre (I think... I am still deliberating).  Some obstacles to that right now:
1) $ I can't justify that expense right now (especially with a newish planner right by my side!)
2) I want a smaller size so I can carry it around with me, but not sure there will be enough room in it.
As I pondered I came across the Filofax USA site and saw they had a 60% off clearance.  Some of the lower end binders are really affordable on clearance.  I looked at a few, checked reviews, etc.  I settled on the Apex Personal.  I really couldn't find many reviews- serious Filofaxers are partial to their leather, I think :) But I liked the insert selection a little better (and figured if I did get another, I could reuse them).  So, I got one.  I have a very sweet & patient husband. :)

Without further ado...
I was really surprised at how nice it felt.  I guess I was expecting some cheap plastic cover.  It is vinyl or something, but very sturdy.

It lies flat right away (didn't expect that either!).  The inside cover has one card slot and a pocket.  Since I want to use this size as a wallet I would want more storage.  For now, I just have my 3 most-used cards in the pocket.  They all 3 fit with ease, probably room for one or 2 more.  The pocket holds some tabs I use for meal planning, a sticky note pad, a blank note card/envelope and a card I need to mail in the back.  The fly leaf holds a reminder note and another sticky pad for shopping lists.

There were no monthly planning pages.  I will have them at some point, but I don't want to spend any more money until I am sure of the size working for me.  
I do have the week on 2 pages for the rest of the year.  This layout is working for me right now.  I use the Martha Stewart tabs for weekly tasks I don't want to forget.  I move them to the next week when completed (idea from OrganizedJen).  I use colored dots to indicate recurring events during the week so I don't have to keep writing them out.  

Close-up of my meal planning tab.  I used a cut-down piece of scrapbook paper and made a column for the days.  Using the sticky tabs I wrote meal choices from my winter menu.  I like being able to swap them around.  Also, I take the tab off and put in in the menu section to use for next time.  

At the writing of this post I have made all the scheduled meals. :)
After my week on 2 pages I have a vinyl pocket with address labels in the front (not shown) and stickers and tabs on the other.  The heart stickers are to put on days I exercise (need all the incentive I can get!).

The divided sections are still under construction as I am taking my time thinking about what I want in there.  So far I have some lists, contact info and meal planning.

The back has a holder for the rest of my cards and stamps.  The zipper pouch holds extra tabs.

In the back of the zipper pouch I have money from Nicaragua (we are going there on a mission trip this summer and I love seeing it).
There is one slot that could hold a notepad.  In it I have my checkbook and a pouch with my son's birthday money (to open a savings account).  Clipped in the pocket I have a larger sticky notepad.  On it I write all my to-do items.  As I add them to my weekly pages I cross them off.  This keeps my daily notes from getting too messy and I don't have to flip back to the previous week if I didn't get to something.  
And the pen loop is elastic.

Overall, I am finding this planner to be very accommodating.  I almost got the pink.  I live with 3 little boys and a manly-man husband.  Sometimes a girl has to take pink where she can get it.  However, I am so glad I didn't.  Not only do I really like the gray, there is a certain someone who has claimed this planner in the event I do upgrade.

He loves leafing through the pages and keeps telling me I am using "his" planner.  I think it's quite adorable.

And what about the Franklin Covey, you might be wondering???  Oh, I have already put it to good use.     Another post coming on how I am using them together.    


  1. Ooh! I love your APEX! When I first started getting into Filofaxes, that was the first one I wanted but I ended up getting a Pocket Finsbury instead. Lol. I'm still lusting after an APEX but still can't decide which color I'd want. >_>

    1. It was a lot nicer than I expected. :) And can't beat the price!

  2. Love your menu planning tab. Great idea!

    1. Thanks! One of those spur of the moment ideas... I've seen similar menu planning cards that go with wall-mounted calendars. I wanted something to keep in my planner.

  3. I really like your menu planning idea as well! I might just have to borrow that. :)

    Your son is so cute. My little guy is four and he has a fascination with my Filofax as well. Perhaps they will both be future Filo fans!

  4. Whatever works to actually get the meals made! :)

  5. Your mean planning idea is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I keep flip-flopping between the fuchsia apex and personal size and the saffiano fuchsia personal size. There about the same price. One is leather and has the clasp and the other is not. It's hard for me to find many reviews on the apex. A lot of the blogs in YouTube pages I see I dedicate to the leather and higher end models. I really like this one especially because it has built-in pockets and I can add the little plastic sealable envelopes if need be. When you originally bought the apex did it come with any of the Calendar inserts? Does it have the month on two pages or just the weekly late out? I see you wrote this a year ago do you still use this model now or have you upgraded? Also online there are a lots of free and cheap printouts to help organize your filo.
    thank you for your wonderful pictures and review. I am pretty certain I will get this model. If I cannot decide I will draw from a hat to help me decide between the two models I like a lot.

    1. I just saw your comment, Bellas! Did you decide to get it?