Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Wanna join the Franklin Covey frenzy...?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have noticed that Filofax is loosing a lot of its customers to their competitor Franklin Covey (amongst others, I might add). Filofax may have all the pretty binders, but FC really rocks when it comes to diary inserts. Or so I have heard.

However, if you "like" the idea of new inserts, but feel hesitant to splurge yet more money on inserts that you might not like after all, I suggest a thorough test drive!

If you are using an A5 Filofax at the moment, head over to franklincovey.com to download their free undated sample planner. This PDF includes are 31 day planner, numbered from 1 to 31. You only need to print it out and add the month and day of the week. Unfortunately, FC made a big mistake here, because they chose a two-day spread as one PDF-page, which makes it impossible to print the planner pages in booklet mode. Missed opportunity! I ended up printing the lot on A4 sheets and cut them. It was not possible to align the numbers properly (I wish they had left the Date empty as well!), but with a bit of fat black pen, I worked around it.

Here's an example of such a daily spread:
Franklin Covey Sample Pages in A5 Filofax

 As you can see, this layout gives you a lot of writing real estate and lots of freedom aswell.

But, what if you want to print out and try out their Compact pages? The Compact refills have the same hole spacing as Filofax Personal, but are half an inch wider. This doesn't need to be a problem, if you use one of the wider Filofaxes, like the Malden. But where can you get free planner pages? I tried to shrink the above free sample pages to Compact size (which is 10.8 x 17.1 cm), but that only resulted in a minitiature line spacing. Idiotic really. Don't try this at home!

However, there's another wonderful solution. If you go to DIYplanner.com you can download your own Dynamic Templates Kit to make your very own inserts. This kit is available for both Windows and Mac computers. It lets you customize your page view, and you choose if you want to print a year worth of pages, or just a few weeks. The basic layout is based on the Frankly Covey layout. Since you can also customize the page size, it is very easy to define the Compact page size with your desired daily (or weekly or monthly) spread and then print it out.

I've tried it out myself and here is the result:

DIY in Compact FC size in my Personal Malden

I first cut out a stack of paper to Compact size, then fed them through my printer. Bit cumbersome, yes, but if you really consider spending lots of money on international shipping of inserts, it might be worthwhile to try that format out first.

By the way: in my research of different refill options I also discovered that Exatime 17 binders are also half an inch wider than a Personal Filofax. Be careful though, because they also have a "Exatime 17 light" version, which is the exact same size as FF Personal and thus less useable for FC sized inserts.

Whatever inserts you choose or already have chosen for next year: have fun using them!!!


24 comments:

  1. Word of warning the Dynamic Templates kit only works on old Macs... one reason for keeping my PowerMac G4 !

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out, Steve! I'm not a Mac user myself, so wouldn't have noticed that OS 10.4.11 is an older Mac Version. The Windows version works fine though ...

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  2. Great post, heading off to DIYplanner now x

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  3. Let go of the past and join the Franklin frenzy for real. I've been here for 22 years. It's a good place to be. :)

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    1. Nice! What binder/format are you using if I may ask?

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  4. Just looked at the PDF and see what you mean! Now how can I print that to A5 paper?!? Silly! Lol! Might give it a go, like you on A4, slice it then correct it with a fat black pen or something... :)

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  5. I'm finding this FC frenzy amusing! I was a FC fan for as long as they've been in existence and at one time probably purchased 25+ binders, most of which I've given away or donated. I think I have 2 left. For years I've wanted a Filofax so late last year I bought my first one; now I have 10. I think I'll stick with Filofax for now but I will always have a soft spot for FC. My original Franklin planner (as they were originally called) was an ugly plain navy so so leather one with no zips pockets, only 1 credit card pocket inside each cover and no clasp. Followed by an equally boring, plain burgandy one. But through the years I had some lovely colors and leathers and would go back and forth from classic to compact size. Have fun with your FC! (As with anything paper, the selection of inserts and binders has dwindled, such a shame.)

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    1. Although I am testdriving the sample pages in my A5 Filofax, I am not ready to leave my beloved Filofax binders behind. I'm way too addicted to my Maldens (to name but one model) ... It's just the Filofax inserts on poor paper quality that drive me nuts!

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    2. Cheryl:

      I had those same binders. Open vinyl binders. They weren't too bad but I was definitely excited when FC started coming out with binders a little more colorful. And I really do love leather!

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  6. I like the FC pages but am not crazy about their binders. Seems a good idea to try the planner format out first.

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  7. I have been using Franklin Covey since 1993. I love the binders and the inserts. I'm lucky in that I have a store only 10 miles away so I can check things out before I buy.

    The selection has indeed dwindled in past years but I think that's true of all paper planner companies. People aren't buying quite as many as they used to.

    But when I was in the Franklin Covey store a few days ago, there were quite a few new compact binders. I didn't buy one because there weren't any I had to have. I just pop in every now and then and see what I have and when I find one I can't live without, I'll buy it. In the meantime, I've had the same one for many years and it's holding up great.

    I use compact 2 pages per day and always have. My daughter uses vertical week-at-a-glance in classic size. I've tried switching to the classic but can't do it. The compact is just so portable!

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    1. We still have one store left in my area as well (there used to be 3!). My favorite one closed a few years ago and was closer to my house so I used to stop in at least once a month if not more just to browse and chat with the staff. Now the one remaining store is about 27 miles from me at a mall that I do shop at but not as frequently because its not the closest mall to me. But I do manage to get in there at least a few times a year. Even though I'm using Filofax more at the present, I would be so bummed if the FC store closed!

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  8. Thanks for the tips and hints. Really need some more structure to my planning pages, and the FF ones are not meeting my needs. But I like the looks and feel of the FF ones over the FC ones. Just me. Keeping the Domino A5 (I cycle to work and have since upsized from a Personal and like the fact that the Domino is pretty light) but will try out the FC inserts.

    My problem is compounded by the fact that I am in the US. Big challenges in printing. I get blank stares when I say A5 is an ISO standard.

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    1. We have the same here with the US letter size. This side of Europe only does DIN A sizes. It's a miracle that the Personal size has found its way in almost all non-brand planner inserts, LOL

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  9. I like that idea, testing the format first. I've done this with Day Timer inserts and it saved me money and dissappointment. To really get a feel for the pleasure of using a Franklin planner you have to use their paper. I find the original greeen and white paper the least pleasing to write on but thats just my opinion.

    I remember checking a European FC website once to see it they made A5 page size. It was available in the original style. I suppose they don't offer it anymore?

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    1. Well, if the do, I haven't found it ;-) I only know the UK Franklin site, all the others seem to be located in Eastern Europe. The UK site does ship anywhere though.

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  10. i am using the FC her point of view inserts in a plum(brown if you ask me) Daytimer Malibu binder (perfect fit) and I love it.

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    1. Hi! Wow, I'd love to see that! You don't happen to have a blog, do you?
      Is the Malibu binder so wide that it accomodates FC compact pages? That's remarkable, given that the Daytimer pages are the exact same (narrow) size as Filofax Personal ...

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    2. Yes, the DayTimer portable size Malibu is slightly wider than their other portable binders, so it easily accommodates compact size Franklin Covey inserts, with no tab overhang. :)

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  11. Beautiful planner. I love the look of the leather and the pockets. I still doubt if I am going to use a Filofax as a wallet. But I like your set up. Super!

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  12. I just ordered a FC 2PPD refill for my Filofax yesterday (Friday). Just a quick word on the international shipping. I bought it from Staples and not only was the shipping free, I expect it to arrive on Monday. I have a personal Holborn and am note sure if it will be wide enough. Oh well, I've been wanting a reason to buy a Malden :)

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    1. Hi RBB, I'm afraid neither Staples UK nor Staples US will do a free international shipment to Europe ...
      As for the inserts fitting the Holborn: I think that will be a very tight fit. But like you said: very valid excuse to buy yourself a Malden ( or a Daytimer Malibu hehe)

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  13. I am a Franklin Covey user as well and love the binders and inserts, I am also fortunate that they are available in common stores such as Walmart and Staples here and are inexpensive. The variety here is fairly decent, this past week alone I have seen, some lime green, raspberry, and turquoise coloured in the personal and 5.5 x 8.5 sizes in stores. I myself currently have a pink and chocolate zipper personal and a big black leather one.

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  14. I am a Franklin Covey user as well and love the binders and inserts, I am also fortunate that they are available in common stores such as Walmart and Staples here and are inexpensive. The variety here is fairly decent, this past week alone I have seen, some lime green, raspberry, and turquoise coloured in the personal and 5.5 x 8.5 sizes in stores. I myself currently have a pink and chocolate zipper personal and a big black leather one.

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