Rocks in my bag

Every now and then, my friends will carry my handbag to pass it to me and the most common comment I hear is “What do you carry in there?!? Rocks??”

I gave up on the concept of carrying a small bag ages ago. For daily use, it can only be a tote or satchel. Baguettes and purses are lost on me.

My biggest problem is no matter what I do, I can’t seem to figure out a way to lighten the load.

So what do I carry?

I would like to think it’s only the most basic things.

  1. wallet
  2. keys
  3. make-up pouch
  4. Compact
  5. 2 cellphones
  6. Cellphone chargers (this has now become more necessary that the cellphone itself)
  7. Headphones
  8. Pens
  9. Wet tissue
  10. Filofax
  11. Card Holder
  12. Sunglasses
  13. Hair ties
  14. Car keys
  15. Papers (i always seems to have some)
  16. Passport (sometimes)
  17. Reading glasses (hardly use them, although I am supposed to)
  18. Book (sometimes, when I know I might be on the metro)
  19. French phrase book (i don’t know why)
  20. iPad (very very occasionally, it’s simply too heavy)

ok… so looking at the list, I realise that I actually carry to many things. Do I need all of these? Well, the answer is “yes”. I mostly always, have my car with me so why I can’t I just keep some of this stuff in the car? I don’t know. But the mission now, is to try and declutter. I’m getting more and more frustrated with all the stuff swimming around in my bag and just how heavy it makes it.

As a first step, I’m getting pouches. I’m going to put all my stuff in separate pouches. That way, I can change up bags quickly and easily. Many people like using a bag organiser, like the one below. That hasn’t worked too well for me since most of my bags are of various sizes.

Bag Organiser
Bag Organiser

I’m sure these work well for many people, they just don’t seem to do it for me.

So now, this is what I decided to get….. several pouches for everything. I plan to use one as a mini bag – to hold essentials like keys, card holder, passport. So I can just pick this up on the go when I quickly have to pop into a store. The rest two will hold all the other stuff I carry in my bag. I had actually bought a 3rd one as well, but my daughter decided that it was more suited for her. 🙂

Pouches.. pouches.. pouches...
Pouches.. pouches.. pouches…

This way I can leave out a couple of the non-essential pouches in my car when I decide to go shopping or doing a lot of walking around.

I am still open to suggestion on organising my bag… any thoughts?

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Size does matter

There is an age-old debate about the perfect sized Filofax. To an outsider, the answer would be as simple as “whatever works for you!”. For me, it’s never been that simple. From various blogs, I gather many are in the same boat as me.

I started to diligently use an organizer again mid-2012. I was in a personal size and it worked really well for a while. I was tempted to tinker but instead I stuck to the format and personalized it a bit. Then, I fell in love with Baroque and by that time there were none available, only one in a mini size. So I decided to get it and carried around two planners. But then I realized that the mini just didn’t work.

I got a pocket Chameleon in black and thought of downsizing for a while since my bag was getting too heavy. That didn’t work either. But let me tell you what the pocket is great for:

  • Great for a light schedule
  • Great to make grocery lists
  • Doubles as a wallet
  • Great for blog ideas

What the pocket is not great for:

  • A busy work schedule
  • Extensive note taking (difficult to write in a such a size and rings get in the way)
  • Meetings

So I stuck it out with my personal. It still works for me. Here is why:

  • Convenient to carry either in your bag or just in your hand
  • Just enough space for a relatively busy schedule (I have to have a weekly diary)
  • Can take notes during meetings or client visits
  • Doesn’t take too much space on the table in client meetings
  • Easier to refer to as there are fewer things written per page, as opposed to the A5 (somehow this makes sense to me. It’s like looking for something in a novel sized book rather than a text book)

I have a plum Osterly right now that I love and am happy with the set up (more on that in a separate post).

I have also tried a compact Chamelon in raspberry. Love the feel and the colour. Also loved the size, but the pages started to scuff up with the smaller rings and I couldn’t turn pages all that well. It was also a tad to bright for my job. So even though I loved it, it didn’t quite work.

I haven’t tried an A5 in a while. But I remember lugging it around was difficult and it did take up a lot of space everywhere. I recently bought an A5 but the verdict is still out on whether I will use it everyday or just use it as a journal.

Where does all my time go?

Some days it feels like I struggle to find time to do anything at all. A couple of months ago, there were quite a few people who quit in my team and I had to take over most of the work. I stepped in as acting team leader and my days were super busy. I worked almost 14 hours a day (and night). But somehow, I managed to get everything done. Now I’ve moved onto a different team and different projects. The work load is significantly lighter but for some reason, I still can’t seem to find time to finish things. Some days, I look at my watch and it’s already 5 pm and I end up wondering where the day went. I know the saying goes… “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”. But this inability to find time to do anything is worrying. I need to stop one day and write down how I spend my time. May be that will clue me in on where all my time goes…

Bouts of confusion with the filofax

I can usually make very quick decisions. For example, when I walk into a clothing store, it hardly takes me 10 min to walk around and choose what I like. I’m like a dream come true for anyone who goes shopping with me! 🙂

Yet there are times when I’m faced with utter confusion and I can’t make up my mind on what I want. For example, the kind of Filofax that I want to use. The personal vs A5 dilemma has been a long debate and the personal won every time. I used the Personal for almost 2 years and funnily enough that was during the most busy times in my work life. I carried it around everywhere and I was quite happy with the setup.

I recently bought an A5 and I think with more time on my hands, I am hankering to change my Filofax philosophy. I am no longer thinking about being in the “One Life, One Filofax” camp. I am inclined to use the A5 for work and a compact personal to carry in my purse. So this means I will be lugging around two filofaxes and none are super light. Still, it makes sense to at least try this approach. I have done it for two weeks and i’m already having second thoughts. But may be I should just stick it out. I love the space and freedom the A5 gives me. Also, i’m no longer inclined to carry around my work notes in my purse. My car is mostly with me all the time and that’s where the A5 lives outside of work (in my laptop case). I am still totally confused and just thinking it out aloud.