07 February 2011

Retirement Policy?

How old and tatty has a Filofax organiser got to get before you 'retire it'?

This topic came up yesterday during our Skype Round-table, we couldn't bring ourselves to say that we had ever thrown away a Filofax, this never happens.... or does it?

I suppose you could retire a Filofax by turning it in to a long term storage binder... now that is being kind and eases the pain of the thought of a Filofax falling in to disrepair....

And the one in the picture is the one I restored last year and Alison is using it again!!


  1. Ooh there is no chance of me throwing any anway. Loosing some possibly :( but I archive mine if they start to show wear as I start to feel guilty if they get too beaten up - and it is a great excuse to buy another one!!

  2. I suppose these days that there is so much choice we end up buying more than we did a few years ago! I'd have a hard time disposing of a leather one, but the non leather ones I might find it easier.

  3. I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with my vintage 80's calf filo. The leather and rings still work beautifully, but the edges are starting to wear... Don't know if I should box it away? Or keep in use? Right now it's pressed into service as my wallet. Someone wrote here once that vintage filos should be archived, but I somehow feel that quality products want to be used. However, it is irreplaceable, so don't know if I should be more protective of it? Please advise!

  4. After 20+ years, I have yet to retire any. The ones I have are of high enough quality, that even after that period of time, I consider them to be just nicely broken in. I think that one grows tired of them, and wants something different before you actually wear one out. I have had to replace a few poppers, I have a boot-shoe repairman that is able to match them close enough that they can pass for the original.

    I think the secret to the longevity issue is to only buy those that are all leather, if they have any fabric, it tears or separates from the leather. I also use a conditioner, and some Meltonian boot creme twice a year in the matching colour. I look at them as an investment, they hold up very well, and the dividend is the satisfaction I get from using them.

  5. The other point is that there is a saying that one shouldn't own anything that one doesn't feel is useful or beautiful - that may be a good way of looking at it! I don't see the point of keeping anything if you no longer like it, however the trouble with filofaxes is that the lovely leather ones just get better with age!!!

  6. Throw away a filofax! GASP that is HERESY! I had to retire my botanic as because it is fabric it didnt wear that well over time. It is used as an archive now and I still refer to the diary and notes kept in it as it is an excellent record of my first 2 years of public health specialist training.
    If I wanted to 'get rid' of any I would give them away as gifts or sell them on ebay but I would never throw them out. I have started matching filofaxes to my outfits now (well the travel pocket sized ones), only way to use them all I say! haha

  7. CP - have you tried a fabric cleaner on your botanic? There are some good ones that you just spray on and wipe off (1001 brand etc). Just a thought...

    I'm not sure I could get rid of any of my filofaxes. [I mean, apart from the fact that all of them are almost brand-new!]. I agree with the policy of not owning things that are neither useful nor beautiful (or both as in the case of a filofax!). Mind you, I am a bit of a hoarder anyway!

  8. I may be the only Philofaxer that's tossed, donated, and given away Filofax (and other brand) binders. I don't believe in holding onto things I don't use (or owning more things than I can reasonably put to good use even in rotation). I've lived in NYC my whole life, where storage space is scarce and rents are too high for starving writers to maintain a Filofax wardrobe.

    I'm very hard on things and have detached covers from spines, tab closures from covers, triggers from ring mechanisms, snaps from closures, pulls from zippers, and I've torn credit card slots and secretarial pockets. Binders have been dunked in clam chowder, bathed in coffee and catapulted out of my bag into muddy puddles. I've only ever thrown out binders that had disintegrated beyond saving; the intact binders were passed along to friends or donated to Salvation Army. (And yes, take it from the Filofax Mangler, all-leather binders are way more resilient.)

    I wonder what my collection would look like had I held onto every binder I've used since, yikes, 1994 -- but, with the exception of the first (which I utterly destroyed but loved dearly), I don't regret having let any of them go.

    That said, it's sort of a miracle, isn't it, I've been primarily using the same Filofax for the past 5-6 years? This personal Topaz deserves an award. Or a vacation. The problem is, I currently can't afford another binder I like as well as this one.

  9. I still have the first Daytimer I bought over 20 years ago, I simply couldn't bear to part with it despite how ratty it had gotten. I use it to archive past pages.

    I hope my Finchley lasts for many years and when I retire it, it will stay on the bookshelf-- some friends I simply can't part with.

  10. I have a giant "wrinkle/crease" running along the front and back of my leather A5 Classic. I'm not sure how it happened, I don't think I overloaded it, but it's a bit unsightly. I don't think I would retire it, though. It may just need some leather conditioner--I should search the blog for recommendations.

  11. What has attracted me to Filofaxes is just how well they age.

    Short of a defective ring mechanism, I cant see me taking any binder permanently out of service.

  12. @ Jeff Abbott - my personal Classic started to show signs of wear & I returned it to Filofax UK, who replaced it for me. It seems some of the Classics can suffer from this & mine wasn't very old at that point.


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