Click on the chart for a larger view.
Filet crochet can be read from right to left, then left to right if you are right handed, left to right, then right to left if you are left handed. It really does not matter what side you start on as long as you keep track. What I have found that works well for me is to make a copy of the original pattern if it is coming from a book so you can mark and write on the paper without ruining your original pattern. Note* Copying for your own use is permissible. You can use a highlighting marker to mark off the rows you have completed. If you do not have the means to make your own copy, I have found that document protectors over your page work just as well. I use a grease pencil to mark the document protector. A cotton ball and baby oil will remove the grease pencil so you can use your document protector again. You can find grease pencils at your local office supply store. The purpose of marking your rows well are in case you need to rip out your work and see your chart again. This comes from my own experience of ripping out filet patterns several times. When I am done for the day or get distracted, I will put an asterisk next to the row that I will be starting next so I know exactly where I am on the chart. It is not necessary to put an asterisk on each row.
Another way to keep your sides straight is to see what side your tail is on. When you start the first row on your chart, your tail will be on the left side facing you and you will be working from the right side of your chart. As you progress in your work, you may find that you forgot which side you are coming from. If you tail is on the right side facing you, that means you are working from the left side of your chart. When you start your first row of mesh, count to make sure it is accurate. I have found that if your count is off, just by one square then it can throw the whole project out of wack. Sometimes it may not be caught until you are halfway through the project.