28 January 2011

Free for All Friday No. 115

The inspiration for this Friday's Free for All comes from longtime reader Kerowyn, who is on a quest for a Personal Filofax that lies flat for ease of reading and writing. Of course, almost any Filofax will lie flat with enough wear, and A5s are more likely to lie flat by dint of size, but have any of you found a Personal that is designed to lie flat out of the box?

As always, feel free also to expound on any other topics that are on your mind.


  1. The Personal Domino! After I got mine I couldn't figure out what you were all talking about "training" your Filofax for!

    My Domino laid flat straight out of the box- no training required. Now if only the dog and the bf were that easy...

  2. The Mode Personal does lie flat too.

  3. I have a question for you all. I have received a nice sum of money because our company has had a good year. I will put most of it on my savings account, but I would like to treat myself a bit as well and thought of a new filofax.
    I am thinking of either a personal chameleon in raspberry, or a personal finchley in purple. Does anyone have these, and how nice are they? I have a raspberry chameleon in pocket, and the colour and leather are great. But I am also a fan of purple and the fincley seems a lovely model, and I also think this one would be more work-appropriate for a consultant. I am worried that the colour is too dark though. Does anyone have both and can share a picture of them?

  4. The Finchley is gorgeous. It's a true purple that looks businesslike as well as fun. And the leather is so soft. It's lovely to hold and use. It also lay flat right out the box. Highly recommended. Hope this helps.

  5. Girlin maths, look at pictures of my raspberry chameleon here
    Also one of my first year med students owns a personal purple finchley and I loved it so much I used to have to stroke it each class (she must have thought I was so weird). But anyways I think I may even prefer the Finchley to my Adelphi and that is saying a lot!
    I think the purple finchley will look more professional.
    Jotje has them both on her Flickr stream or you can access through the philofxy flickr group.
    hope that helps.

  6. And with respect to the lying flat question based on today's testing
    my pocket metropol lies flat with no problems
    my mini finchley is trying to close on me
    my personal and mini finsburys aren't staying open but I think that they need to be broken in
    my adelphi lies flat but then it gets used every day!
    My lavender personal domino wont lie flat either.
    chameleon personal lies flat.
    Ok now I need to get back to marking exam scripts!

  7. Thank you CP and Kate for your answers. I think I might go for the finchley.
    And sorry I forgot to answer the original question. I have a personal Siena and that lies flat too immediately.

  8. I just received a Personal Baroque at 50% off from France (thanks for your help Steve, embarrassed) and it lays flat 'out of the box' due to it being very soft and slouchy. Italy has them as well in all three colours. There is no stiffening to the cover so it is very pliable and lies completely flat as soon as you open it. With no stiffening it is also lighter than my other personal filo's. It is lovely and I am tempted to buy another in the Pocket size it looks and feels so nice. I think the Deco lies flat? My Panama lies flat and again it was straight out of the box too.

  9. I have Finsbury Filofaxes in personal and A5 sizes and all of them required training to lies flat, but they all did eventually.

    I have Domino binders in A5 and personal size too and they were pretty much flat right out of the box.

    My Buckingham was flat right out of the box too.

    And my personal Deco was flat right away too, superb construction.

  10. @girlinmaths: I have both, the Chameleon and the Finchley, my pics are on Flickr (Philofaxy pool). If you want to use it in a professional setting, I'd go for the Finchley.

    @ flat Personals: Domino, Finchley, Malden (!), Chameleon (after a few days), Kendal. These are the ones I have. The Cuban Slimline is also laying flat, wheres the regular Personal size isn't.

  11. I don't have any Personal filofaxes, but my Pocket Deco lies flat and I'm pretty sure the Personal Decos do too. The weight of having a pen in the pen loop seems to help.

  12. My slimline Amazona lies flat, again probably because there is nothing to stiffen it but the Personal and Pocket Amazona's don’t and look like they may need some serious training.

  13. Personal size Filos that lay flat:
    - Guildford
    - Urban
    - Metropol Slimline
    - Domino
    - Mode
    - Malden
    - Finchley
    - Fresco
    - Sketch Zip

    Those which don't, but stay open:
    - Indie
    - Metropol
    - Sketch

    The Classic is always trying to close and needs to be held open with one hand.

  14. my Domino laid flat right out of the box...I was SO happy about that since my Finsbury didn't and STILL won't.

  15. My Personal Chameleon and Adelphi, A5 Finchley and Domino and Pocket Deco all laid flat straight away :)

    My Finchley that I've had for 5 years still doesn't, neuter does my Pocket Domino :(

    Girlinmaths I have the Chameleon in Raspberry and I love it. It laid flat, looks so lovely and feels wonderful. I also love the colour of the Finchley in purple and it would be a really lovely one to use for work aas well, really professional as CP says.

    I'm toying with the idea of getting the A5 version at the meet up in March eeeeeeeeek am so excited about that!!

  16. My personal Malden lies flat (straight from the box)... (sorry, I seem to mention my Malden in every comment I post.... I do rather love it!!!).

  17. My Amazona lies flat from the box, but my Classic never did, even after years of use. My Deco also lies flat.

  18. Bit late to the party...
    @girlinmaths - I would go for the purple finchley - I have a red A5 finchley and it is absolutely gorgeous!!! I think it would look very professional.

    On an unrelated (but it is FFAF) I have just ordered the jade finchley from Filofax France (after all - after thinking I wouldn't!). Woo hoo!!!! Very excited!

  19. Does anyone know why the French Finchley comes with more useful stuff by the way? There are personal finance pages, daily planning pages and meeting management pages rather than the multi-coloured paper (more useful to me I guess - maybe others would prefer the coloured paper!).

  20. laying flat...never ever had that issue but then again i have used the same filofax for over ten years. it's understudy is a windsor and i bought it used so i have no idea what it was like out of the box.

    here is my question that i have been thinking about for a while. A) what leather color would you have filofax produce if it was in your power? AND B) what model would you bring back that has been discontinued?

    A) grey. with some sort of small texture to it.
    B) obviously the green piccadilly

  21. (first time post so, hello everyone)
    At about 16:00 (gmt) today I took my brand new Personal Graphic Zipped out of the box, unzipped it and it fell flat open (bit like my jaw) I own eight Filofax and this is the first that hasn't put up a fight.

  22. @colie
    A deep aquamarine for Finchley for the leather.

    Not been a filofax fan for long enough to know what to bring back. Maybe it's the same answer as my first!

  23. does anyone know how long an item is out of stock for on the filofax website? I want some paper inserts and one has the 'email me when the item becomes available'....should i wait to order once or go ahead and order the other stuff?? if only i had an idea how long it would be.

  24. Color: a medium royal purple. Not too dark, not bright. And SMOOTH leather. Not textured. Completely, buttery smooth and soft.

    Resurrection? I love my Buckingham and I don't understand why it was every discontinued. And I've never seen a Winchester but that seems to be everyone's Holy Grail Filofax.

  25. Just browsing the French FIlofax site and seen this A5 diary:
    which looks fabulous! Why don't they do this in the UK???

  26. This would be my choice for the A5: http://www.filofax.fr/store/diaryrefillsdetails.asp?productId=2398

    Never mind the binders, why oh why don't they do all their inserts in cotton cream? Especially for the A5? I've just bought a load of cream paper to make my own. Sadly a bit of a challenge for the personal!

  27. From my personal experience the Finchley, Fresco, Belmont, Ascot and the Adelphi lie flat. The Malden lies open but has a somewhat bumpy surface (zipper pocket on left side and some humping near the spine). The Finchley is the most pleasant Filofax leather binder to write in and use in my opinion. The leather is also wonderful to handle. The Kendal almost lies flat with a little coaching. If you would consider indulging in a Lizard it is awesome and also lies flat. Avoid the Classic and Finsbury.

  28. I am very new to Filofax and I have an a5 black Chameleon and it opens and stays pretty flat, especially when you flick through a few pages. I love it!

    I have a question now - Does Filofax France accept orders and ship anywhere? Does anyone know (Steve?) if I can order, pay and get an item shipped to Australia?

  29. I have just ordered a Imperial Purple Finchley in Personal. I cannot wait to get my hands on it!

    I have also won the bid on the Special Edition Swarovski Filofax which I want to use as a purse/wallet and financial Filofax.

    I hope they both lie flat.

    I didn't have too much trouble getting my Kendal to lie flat, but my Electric Blue Filofax almost lies flat, while the Ikon doesn't lie flat but would without much training. My Filofax Steel only lies flat with a balance of pages on both sides.

    My A5 City and Chocolate Domino both lie flat.

  30. Silver Elixir-

    You'll love how wonderfully flat the Finchley is. The Imperial purple, which is the one I own and use, is quite beautiful yet understated. I think you will be very pleased.

  31. Eeek! This blog is so bad for enabling purchases. I just bought an A5 Jade Finchley from Filofax France. Now for the agonising wait :)

  32. @Loulou: you have a Finchley Personal that does NOT lay flat? Sure, it's not a mini or pocket? Cos my Finchley lay flat after maybe 3 days of use.

    I believe FF France ships everywhere, and at very reasonable prices too!
    I wonder why most FF sites have a 50% sale, while FF Germany NEVER has a sale!?

  33. @Chloe, Yes FF France will ship to anywhere in the world and as Jotje has pointed out their rates are very good (cheaper than UK rates in fact)

    The details are here: http://www.filofax.fr/delivery/ Autres is Rest of World.


  34. Savannah,

    The purple colour looks so regal in the pictures. I am waiting for it to arrive from the UK so a week or 10 days... I can't wait! I will post pics on Flickr when they both arrive. It's exciting waiting on a delivery...

  35. Thanks Steve and Jotje. I placed an order and I'm surprised as to how much cheaper the postage is from France than the US or UK! Can't wait for my Jade Finchley.

  36. @Chloe
    Hey, we must have both ordered the jade finch at about the same time! I can't wait for mine to arrive too! Then I'll be having a big swap around with my work domino becoming my book-o-fax, my home red finch becoming my work filofax and the new jade one becoming my home one! All change!

  37. @Alison
    Is this the same as the French one you said you liked?
    It's a week to a page on the left and notes on the right.
    And did you buy the Clairefontaine paper in the end?

  38. My personal Eton was perfect straight out of the box. The soft leather opened flat from the beginning. Earlier I was using a zipped Cuban personal. Besides the fact that it was too big overall, it would not lie flat. I am very happy with the Eton.

  39. Hi, my comment didn't post yesterday because I misunderstood how OpenID works, so here I go again. I hope it's not too late!

    First off, thanks to everyone for your "lie flat" comments. I very much appreciate them, as I have no Filofax store close to me. I really, really want to make the right choice, because I struggled with my Navy Finsbury for about a year before I finally had to throw in the towel. The darn thing never did lie flat!

    I've about narrowed it down to either a Finchley, a Guildford or a Malden. But I have a couple of additional questions...

    Finchely: Will it be too heavy? The leather looks really thick in the Filofax photos.

    Guildford: Is the leather as soft as the Eton's? I wanted an Eton, but I didn't save up enough in time to snag one. However, now I'm glad, because I am hard on planners, and I suspect it wouldn't have survived. I wouldn't want to get a Guildford if it's just as soft.

    Malden: Is it as very shiny as it seems to be in the Filofax photos? I am not a patent leather girl!

    Thanks again for any further insights you can give me. This is by far my favorite online community!

  40. @Amanda - are you creating a book-o-fax? I'd love to see how you set it up! :)

  41. The Finchley is not heavy (unless it's full of paper!). The leather is padded and pebble-textured, so it looks a bit more "puffy" than a totally smooth leather.

    What?! France has the A5 Finchley in jade?! Uh-oh....

  42. @ Amanda:
    Is this the same as the French one you said you liked?
    It's a week to a page on the left and notes on the right.
    And did you buy the Clairefontaine paper in the end?

    Yes this is the same one - I didn't see it when I looked before. And yes I did get the paper which I have now managed to loose somewhere in the house! I'm sure it will come to hand when I need it!

  43. Does anyone know if Filofax Germany ships to the US? I would like to order a couple packs of their Personal Week on Two Pages, Cream Paper, lined.

  44. @KerowynA. Lucky for you, I actually weighed several empty Personal Filofax binders. For comparison:
    The Malden weighs 217 grams, the Finchley 221 grams. It seems fair to say the weigh about the same!
    The leather of the Finchley is really soft, nowhere comparable to the Finsbury!

    The leather of the Malden is shiny, but because of the model and the texture of the leather, it's not too "patent"-like. I think it's really classy! You should check out all the user pictures on Flickr, they'll give you the right impression. It seems like the Ochre is not as smooth and shiny, the black and crimson Malden are more of the same kind of leather.

    Should anybody be interested, here are the results of my kitchen scales session:
    Cuban Slimline: 144 grams
    Personal Domino: 147 grams (quite obviously!)
    Personal Chameleon: 203 gr
    Person. Malden: 217 gr
    Pers. Finchley: 221 gr
    Pers. Urban: 225 gr
    Pers. Cross/Classic: 254 gr
    Pers. Kendal: 258 gr (must be that second penloop ;-))

    Oh, and the Pocket Malden is 140 gr.
    Cuban Slimline:

  45. @KerowynA: I believe Yv tried that, but they didn't ship to the US. Maybe you could ask someone living in Germany (like Iris from filomaniac.blogspot.com !) to pick it up for you and ship it to the US?

  46. FF DE only ship to EU contries



  47. @Jotje

    Thanks for the quick reply and the weigh-ins. Looks like the Finchley is in the lead for me.

    I'm sorry that I can't get the German inserts, because I love those lines. I think I'll experiment with setting up an Excel template to print lines on the English Cream Week on Two Pages before asking someone to try and get the German inserts for me.

    That way, if it works I could share the wealth.


    I'm thinking that "Flat out of the box" and "Flat in a couple of days" and "Never really flat" and the weights might be valuable information to preserve in your Filofax.pdf file. Don't hate me too much for suggesting it ;-)

  48. @jotje I missed the 'empty' part of your weights comment. At first I couldn't work out why mine were so heavy in comparison!! Then I read it again..!!

  49. @Petra
    I am creating a book-o-fax! Once the jade finch arrives it will be all change in the filofaxes here - the book-o-fax will be in an A5 red domino... I will post about how I set it up if you want? (I know I am incredibly nosy about how other people set up their filos!)

    Glad you bought the paper. I think it's really lovely for printing all my own pages on. Hope it's not too lost!

    Welcome to the best filofax group in the world. I love the way so many people here have so many answers (like Jotje - did you just go weigh all your filofaxes for us??? Wow!!). It is enormously helpful if you don't have a filofax store nearby - there are a wealth of helpful contributors to tell you all they know to try and help. I love this place! Oh, and good choice to go with the finch - it is GORGEOUS!

  50. The Filofax.pdf file will need updating from Monday anyway because of the VAT increases which will be effective from then...

    Hint hint... If you are going to buy anything from FF UK, do it this weekend... and via Philofaxy Link... 1) You will save yourself the extra VAT
    2) You will be contributing towards the BCC donation...

    But in terms of your suggestions I will look in to adding those details... but there could be a lot of blanks because I don't have every single organiser there is... although I will gather together the info from this thread were possible.


  51. @Steve: You are a great blog wrangler, always watching out for us. I wouldn't worry about the blanks; some info is better than none.

  52. @Steve
    I'm pretty sure between us all on here we have every filofax under the sun to help with the data for 'flat out of the box'; 'flat after a few days'; 'needs rocks for training purposes'...!

  53. OK let me up date the file with the new prices next week, and I will trawl through the comments and add what info we already have and then I will do a separate post so we can attempt to populate the rest of the table.

    Other info that would be useful would be pen loop info. Fixed or Elasticated. FF UK just says Pen Loop, they don't indicate which type.


  54. @KerowynA I think in the drug world I would be termed a 'supplier' giving you your daily... or hourly fix !! LoL

  55. Ooh, at risk of being labelled a complete 'enabler'... Look! Look!!


    and look at the interior pics too!
    If only I could get on with a personal size... But then I would have to choose between the pink and the blue.

  56. and the mini (http://www.filofax.fr/store/organiserdetails.asp?sizeId=1&rangeId=115&dsizeId=1) looks like it would make an ideal purse-filofax...

  57. Steve, let's see if this works. What I have been trying to comment is that you are the "Filofax Guru". I love all my organizers, but my favorite is the Malden, it is kind of shiny and I don't like the patent leather look either, Jotje is right the brown Malden is less shiny.

  58. Thank you, thank you Steve. Now I can start adding in my two cents!!

  59. My Classic A5 lays flat no problem.

    Can anyone recommend a good Filofax insert for tracking what you eat each day? Is there such a thing or will I have to make my own with notebook paper?

    Also, thanks to Philofaxy for highlight my blog about my writer's Filofax earlier this week.

  60. I think this whole exchange has been great. Steve, is this a record number of comments to any one post? I don't recall seeing this many ever.

    This is certainly a tribute to our little community, I am seeing some new names which I welcome. It is turning from just a blog with comments to a real forum! Well done everybody, by keeping it up, this is really a service to us all!

    Thanks Steve!!

  61. Flat out of the box - agree that my Finchleys, Siena, and Deco did - also my Belles (both personal and pocket size) and one I can't think of the name of - fabric, light green with blue flowers.

    As far as bringing one back, what about bringing one FORWARD - all last year I waited for the AMETHYST DECO and haven't heard a word - where is it??? I can't stand the wait!

    Love this site - never knew there were so many Filo lovers and kindred spirits out there!


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