21 September 2011
To just recap, the 3 rings in an A5 or Personal Filofax organiser are spaced by 19 mm or 3/4 inch with the gap between the sets of rings being set to 50 mm (2 inches) for Personal and 70 mm (2.75 inches) for A5. With the Pocket the rings are equally spaced 19mm apart and the same with the Mini, but there is one less ring.
My first thought was why so many? So I've had a look around for clues in to the design of ring binders. Wikipedia gives us the history of the ring binder, but not the reasons behind the design.
I've consulted an expert and at first they were surprised at my question, I do come up with some odd questions at times!
The paper has to be held securely in place and in the A4 it is held at four points spread at 80mm intervals. That seems sound, but why 6 rings on a page that is about half the size of an A4 page?
The only sound reasoning I've come up with is that 90 years ago paper quality wasn't as good as it is now may be. So the paper was more prone to tearing so by spreading the strain on the paper over 6 rings they solved the problem.
It's worth remembering of course that the early Filofax organisers were also used a lot by the military, so there might have been some requirement to use the same hole spacing as used by them.
But if you know why a Filofax organiser has six rings apart from looking nice, be sure to add a comment. Now where's my coat.......