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27 March 2012

Free For All Tuesday No. 60

Time for you to fire those questions at us..... as long as they are Filofax related of course.

72 comments:

  1. Hi Guys. Been reading the site for a couple of months now but this is my first post. Its a question.

    I have a Portland Grand (Personal size), I bought it a long time ago, can't remember when. I wanted the biggest rings I could get, and the lady at Filofax told me it was the biggest available at that time. Having read a few posts which mention the Winchester with oversized rings, I wondered if the Winchester has bigger rings than the Portland Grand? If so, I'm going to try and locate one. I print a lot of stuff for work so my binder is constantly overflowing.

    I love my Portland Grand, it has the softest leather of any Filofax I've ever owned, but it just doesn't seem to mark. Hope some guru can answer my query and thanks in advance. Its a great site and the templates are excellent.

    Paul B

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    Replies
    1. As I recall, The Winchester came in 4 Imperial sizes (marked in gold on the inside cover) 1/4 inch, 1/2, 7/8 and 5/4 (that's 1 and 1/4 inches or 32mm in new money). I remember The Balmoral was also 5/4.

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    2. Thanks Tim.I didnt realise they were the Imperial measures. Doh...... Just measured it and its definitely 5/4. Strangely, mine doesnt actually give the code or the number on the inside. It simply says "Filofax Portland Grand Real Leather". which is embossed into the leather, but has no gold leaf, so its very discreet. I bought it from the Filofax store, so I know its genuine. The funny thing is, I have had it for so long, I am now convinced there must be bigger rings out there.

      I guess that if this is the biggest they ever made, it is nature`s way of telling me I need to organise my organiser. I use an A5 for projects at work, as I need to put A4 paper in. The personal is my favourite, though, and always will be. The quintessential Filofax :)

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    3. I think you have the biggest rings that Filos have. Like the Winchester 5/4s, My portland measures the same. 1 1/4".

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    4. My Portland has standard sized rings, so I guess there were Portlands and 'Portland Grands'.
      Ooh - I LOVE my Portland - the leather is like nothing else - and the thought they did a 5/4" version??? Holy Grail for me!

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    5. Amanda,

      If I ever find a nice vintage 5/4 binder, I'll give you first option on a lovingly cared for Portland Grand in black :)

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  2. Hi Paul, the large capacity Winchesters have rings of 5/4 inch diameter. As far as I know Filofax never made anything bigger.

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  3. Hello!
    Is it common for people to completely change their set up??
    I think I've been suffering from 'filofax fail' recently. Have just bought a vintage pink A5 Malden & am going to sell my A4, personal & associated bits & pieces. It seems silly to spend more money when I already have two great binders, but I want every thing in one place & generally reach for an A5 sized notepad, rather than my filofax. I also think the minimalist in me is desperate just to have one filo & be content :)
    Has any one completely changed & then regretted it?

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    1. Hi Anita

      I change my setup all the time! So do a lot of the people here....and I think we treat it as a learning experience rather than a series of disappointments! Basically, we are 'tweaking' to a greater or lesser extent (usually greater!).....my advice would *definitely* be to make changes, and to *keep* making changes, and not to expect to ever arrive at the 'perfect' setup - because our circumstances change and the 'holy grail' of setups doesn't exist in any place. After all, isn't part of the reason we use Filofaxes is precisely because they can be restructure internally? :)

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    2. I think we always fiddle with our setups/layout. I did change from a personal size (which I was happy with) to an A5 for my "personal" Filofax and am just soooo much happier with it!

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    3. I'm a "tweaker" of my system as well. I've noticed that reading all of the great posts on this site has given me more excuses to change my system around to try new things.

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    4. Hi Anita! I also upgraded from Personal to A5. But won't sell any Personal Filofaxes, because I know that I will downgrade in less hectic times. As long as everything fits in ONE BINDER, I'm a happy gal. Right now, I'm very very happy in my A5 Finchley (the 20mm-rings of the Adelphi soon exploded, so had to switch to 25mm rings).

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    5. Thanks for your input :)
      I know I want the extra space of the A5, but have been having a hard time justifying the cost of one! Have finally taken the plunge mainly because I'm just not using my personal one & that's silly because I do love it. Hopefully I think the size will suit me, as I rarely carry my filo with me.

      Not sure why I expected my one & only setup to work immediately, as there are so many other things in life that need to be tweaked to work & run smoothly :)

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    6. I think I am the oddball. I haven't changed my setup. I've had it since October and it seems to work. Sometimes I feel like I should mix it up, just so I can fit in.

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    7. I am so glad to read all those comments! It really frustrates me that we are about to go into the fourth month of the year and I am still not happy with my set-up. From pocket to personal and thinking of an A5. Plus all the countless dairy inserts I had tried out. Feels better to know that this is "standard practise". :)

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  4. Oh yes Anita! - I've been regularly switching between A5 Filofax, A5 Time Manager and TMI Original/ compact size (similar to Filofax personal) since about 1986! There is no right answer! A smaller size is great for portability, a quick note and core data. I've moved everything to that size several times and then regretted it after a few days or weeks! As a left-hander, I usually get fed-up fighting the rings and not having enough space to write! So, I've then gone A5 (again!) and got frustrated at carrying what feels like a house brick around all day!

    On balance, I personally find A5 is better for most things, such as taking notes at meetings, printing pages, mind-mapping, sketching, doodling etc. etc.

    Dare I say the advent of the smartphone has helped, because using that for appointments, contacts and to-do's has made me able to create a slim, compact Flex/Filo A5, which is light and portable. For me, the 30mm rings in a Malden would have me stuffing it full! Small rings (I'm on 17mm) force a strict discipline which I find helps me focus on the really important projects and papers. I have a strict rule that my A5 binder must never be thicker overall than 25mm. It's working for me at the moment!

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    1. Hi Tim

      I don't know anyone who doesn't use their phone as their go-to application for address/phone details now.....the functionality is so good compared with paper-based systems. t's in the diary area that paper wins.....a smart-phone just won't give you the perspective(s) to plan properly...but then, I know that you already know all of ths! For my money the MI system is far and away the best combination of planning perspectives out there - monthly, weekly and daily, all alongside one another in clear view.

      For me, it's task management which is the thorn in my side. I've tried GTD, GSD, TMI, and a handful of phone apps (Evernote, Remember the Milk, Wunderlist, but they all have attendant problems. If I can crack the task management issue, that will be a great weight lifted.

      as The Apprentice say.....the search continues!

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    2. Hi David

      What is failing you on the task management side? What is it that you are looking for? In other words, wherein lies the problem that GTD, GSD, TMI etc can't solve? My biggest problem appears to be me! I have a tendency not to look at my lists ... ... ...

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    3. Hi Alison

      The biggest problem is *still* the one I've told you about previously, namely the large number of deadlines I have to track, often linked together in series, usually around 120 'active' deadlines at any one time. Outlook is OK (just OK) for this, but Evernote doesn't allow for adding due dates to notes, Wunderlist won't download for BlackBerry, paper based solutions seem the best bet but I haven't cracked it yet!

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    4. @David Popely - Oh, I see what you mean David. I tend to think of these types of items as more calendar items because they have a due date, and of course it's handy to have an alarm of some kind prior to the event so you can plan your workload.

      It strikes me that electronic is really one of the best options because of that, and also because I imagine that many of these items are recurring.

      Have you sounded out any other accountancy people to see how they manage it? Or indeed looked to see if there is any specific software that would help. The other option would be to get an Access database program written which would effectively give you a custom system. You could devise this so you can print things out as well as have reminders. Steve and Ray may know someone who could help, or you could look at something like people per hour and put a project on there and get a quote.

      Just some of my random thoughts!

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    5. David
      I would be interested to see a break down of each of your projects to see how complex each is. I then assume that the complexity multiples by the number of projects you have running concurrently at the same time?
      Steve

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    6. Thanks Steve, I'll reply offlist as it will be long! I'll send a copy to Alison, as she has followed these trials and tribulations for a while now, as well!

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    7. @David Popely Have you tried the Cozi Family Organizer? You can use it on your computer and your phone (and you can just use it for yourself, not a family, or use the 'family members' as specific job functions)... it's pretty good, although I admit I haven't flexed all of its muscles because I went back to paper. I have tried almost all of the apps you mention, too. Good luck! Fortitude!

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  5. Hello Paul. I know that the personal cavendish has 1` 1/4 inch rings. Yesterday i saw one at ebay.

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    1. Hi Kari. I looked on the UK eBya site, but all I saw was a pocket Cavendish. But it appears that mine already has the biggest rings they make, so time for some lateral thinking.......

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    2. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360409388881?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_4477wt_986

      This was where i saw it Paul, its in Wien.

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  6. Out of curiosity, has anybody bought an Olympics 2012 binder?

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    1. I haven't yet but I really want one. Not so much the binder but the inserts and I wish you could just by them separately.

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    2. I got the blue one for Christmas and the inserts are lovely. It is still in it's box as I don't want to touch the inserts though :o)

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    3. Iris got one and reviewed it.

      http://filomaniac.blogspot.fr/2012/01/london-2012-sporting-icons.html

      Steve

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  7. Just a quick question:

    I've often wondered whether Filofax have ever considered going back to selling empty binders instead of full ones. Does anybody know if this question has been addressed by Filofax?

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    1. I remember seeing the option to buy empty binders at the Filofax store in Neal St (& the price was adjusted for this).

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    2. Hmm.. only this week I emailed both filofax.co.uk and Neal Street to ask about this. I wanted a personal Holborn (after some enabling by a Webfind post on Saturday... you know who you are!! :-) )
      With the City Organiser discuont (andy15 to get 15% off) the full binder is £52. Filofax.co.uk wouldn't sell the binder alone; Neal St said they would reduce it from £68 to £58 but that P+P would be between £7.50 and £10.
      I went to City Organiser and bought it full for £52.

      I think that if they DO go back to selling binders only, filofax needs to check out what the competition is.

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    3. I really do think that their postage is extortionate! They charged me £8.50 to send a binder a while ago. And it certainly isn't at cost as they say it is - they must be charging the the packaging as well. And don't get me on the subject of the costs to send me the TM diaries. Trouble is I couldn't get them from anywhere else.

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  8. Hello all.

    My new Filofax has arrived today . . . a COMPACT Finsbury in raspberry. It is absolutely perfect - more space for writing but still fairly slim and compact for my handbag, as well as a fully-elasticated pen loop. I can't wait to get it set up now!

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    1. Oh, I woould love to see some pictures. Can you post some on your blog?

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    2. Hi Katka!

      I would do, but would you believe it . . . I've got to send it back! Can you believe one of the rings is RUSTY?! How can that be? It's a brand new design that's only just come out! I'm so disappointed.

      If I get chance I'll take some pics anyway and put them on my blog. It is gorgeous though . . . apart from Mr Rusty who tagged along for the ride . . . :-(

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    3. Pictures now on my blog!

      http://allthingsstationery.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/my-new-gorgeous-filofax-but.html

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    4. Glad to hear that her twin sister is on her way to replace her "older" sister. How surprising that it is rusty! The binder is beautiful! Congrats!

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    5. I'm guessing they're shipped by sea from China - your fax has probably been in a box nearest the shipping container door in some heavy seas.

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    6. Everything else about it is fine though! My hubby reckons that they have a large supply of ring mechanisms in stock and mine just got an old one. Talk about bad luck!

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  9. Hi Everyone,

    I've been thinking about switching diary type and was looking at the day on 2 pages on the french filofax site. The postgage and cost of the diary refil on the french website are a bit expensive, I was just wondering if there was any UK version or something similar anywhere for sale, im not bothered about it being the filofax brand?

    Thanks x

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  10. I'm sorry that you have to send it back. Otherwise it`s beautiful.

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  11. Hi Everyone

    I've been thinking about changing diary formats and I have been looking at the day on 2 pages on the Filofax France website. The thing is the diary and postage to the UK are quite expensive and I was wondering if anyone knew of a UK version or a diary insert with a similar layout? Im not bothered about it being Filofax brand as long as it fits the personal size binder.

    Thanks x

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  12. If you click on the 'Diary Inserts' link at the top of this page, you'll see a whole selection of ones you can print off yourself. Here's a link to the one you are describing:

    http://philofaxy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/free-day-per-page-and-day-on-two-pages.html

    No doubt Steve or Ray will chip in with any further info!

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    1. I know i've seen them but no printer, cutter or hole punch. Im saving for a small printer at the minute but i'm far to impatient to wait for a printer before I can change diaries :-)

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    2. Can you get Daytimer in the UK? The portable size fits FF personal perfectly.

      http://day-planner.daytimer.com/choose-your-pages/format/7C217AF6BA144DB4BB2094AD11EFE316/False

      They have a day per page, a day on two pages, and a week on two pages.

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    3. Thanks, i'll have a look x

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  13. Would love to hear your thoughts...I have, within less than a month, purchased two new FFs - a personal black Amazona and a personal ruby Deco. I now have 10 (maybe more) Filofaxes! My question is: how often do you switch your FFs out? Having so many, and loving them all, I want to keep them but then I feel guilty for having them sitting on my dresser! I have been using my Amazona since I first got it and I LOVE it! I got the Deco a week ago (I'd been drooling over it for months) and really want to move into that one but can't bring myself to stop using the still new Amazona. What to do, what to do? How do you rotate your Filos and how often?

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    1. With slimlines I just change them to match a suit, so blue suit and a blue slimline. I just move the inserts and a few cards. I just couldn't wear a light grey suit with matching tie and grey shoes, only to have a black slimline.

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    2. @Scoot - I can't decide if you are joking or not! Sounds like some people and their handbags! And there was me trying to downsize and everyone else is collecting!

      @DEM - I can only suggest that you use whatever one you love the most at the moment. Also have you thought about using some of your other binders for other uses - for example for hobbies etc? Steve has done a series on here recently asking how people use their binders for (amongst other things) health and fitness (food and exercise entries), gardening and so on. You may get some inspiration from that and get more than one binder in use at any given time.

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    3. Not joking, I just took matching seriously to the extent that it became a matter of course….as do many people in my environment. At the end of the day, matching the colour of slimline faxes (as a wallet/notebook/diary etc) is no different to the normal matching of shoe colour or matching a striped tie with a striped suit. I keep business cards in a Slimline so it does get to be on display.

      I think that many women wearing a black outfit and say black Christian Laboutin shoes (with visible red soles) would want to carry a black or red purse/handbag/fax, not green/brown etc. Though obviously you could get away with contrasting black fax with white suit. I’ve seen a woman in her late 30’s carrying a Temperley Guinea to a meeting and while otherwise well dressed, I don’t think the Guinea worked with her outfit or accessories. However, the Temperely Guinea works with an evening dress.

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    4. @Scoot: I love your thinking! I think that's fantastic!

      @Alison: Thanks for the great suggestions! Right now I'm using an A5 Aston for work (solely as a notes and files binder), the Personal Amazona as my personal and work planner, and a Personal Aqua Finsbury as my Happiness Project Binder. I'll have to give some hard thought to uses for my other binders! I guess I'm still too in love with the Amazona to want to change to the Deco. Might I have found my "perfect" binder? Is that possible???!!! Every other time that I've acquired a new FF, I've never hesitated to move into that new one, so...this is a first for me!

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    5. DEM, I'm in the same boat. I acquired quite a few in the last few months (awaiting the Amazonas) and I switch over to the newcomer as soon as I get it. I am now trying to find uses for each of them and I know they will inevitably be inserts and archive storage at some point in their lives and I have accepted that (: As I get tired of one and feel a change, I know I'll rotate them as needed.

      It's nice to have the option however to change color/model as the whim arises. Since my filos are stuffed, I haven't gone the route of matching my outfits to them yet, but I may for the occasional special occasion.

      May I suggest -- move into whatever filo you feel like. This'll also help you decide which to keep/sell later should you decide to do that later.

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    6. Doris--I think that's the route I'm going to take. I'll just use whichever one I feel like using at the time. That is the nice thing about having several binders ... Choice.

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  14. Hi Paul - I'm no expert but I suspect your Portland may be from the 1990's rather than earlier. As I understand it, up until 1991, everything was British made and binders had "Made in England" in gold on the inside cover, with the model name, material (eg: Calf Leather) and ring size (eg: 5/4).

    From 1991, much production switched to overseas and the (cheaper) Filofax name was merely embossed, naturally without "Made in England".

    These days, no Filofaxes are British made. Such is life.

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    Replies
    1. That might be changing... in future..... but don't tell anyone I told you!

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    2. Tim,

      I've had it so long, I can't remember which decade it was. the 90s might be right, as for the most of the 80s, I had my all-time fvourite, which got stolen. It was a personla in pigskin, and after a couple of years, it looked as if it could have been 100 years old. The leather was beautiful and was destined to age gracefully. I always thought it would probably outlive me. Then I put it down on my table in a London pub, and the rest is history. I at least hope it went to a good home. Losing all my data was a pain (no electronic backup in those days).

      If the production WAS done overseas then, I can only say that they obviously still used quality materials. The POrtland Grand is the softest leather I have ever felt on a Filofax, yet its strangely robust. Amanda (above) obviously feels the same way about hers.

      I wish someone would start another "Buy British" campaign......

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    3. Thanks for that, Tim. My Portland (just bought, new old stock) came with some 1991 inserts. It's one of the later models with embossing.

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  15. Ah! a retro, British Made, exclusive, upmarket, decent leather Filofax - as suggested by City Organiser - perhaps? The Lefax range reborn? (they wouldn't call it that!). Now,this would be of interest.

    But if they were going to go Made in Britain for a new top-of-the-range surely they would have started with Temperley, n'est-ce pas?

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  16. I wish that Filofax made a 3-ringed binder that held 8.5 x 11 inch paper. I am in need of such a thing (oh, for a Finchley that size) -- can anyone recommend something that size that will accommodate standard US style 3-ring 8.5 x 11 inch paper? Is there a brand that carries such a thing?

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    1. Hi Dianne - Oh for the Quatro (Letter) paper size!

      It doesn't help but there's a really interesting article on paper sizes on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_size

      It seems that only the USA, Canada and Mexico still use the Imperial sizes - the UK changed in 1959 - and Canada and Mexico are changing to the International ISO standards over time.

      I suspect on this the USA will eventually fall in line with the rest of the world (rather than the other way round, which is what often seems to happen!), I certainly can't see Filofax introducing new sizes.

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    2. I see that DayTimer has a "Folio" snap closure binder that holds 8 1/2 x 11 paper... anyone have experience with them? The last time I used DayTimer was in my early work days where my firm supplied all of us with vinyl desk books for keeping time records. {Shiver...}

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    3. Diane, wouldn't the A4 Finsbury hold this paper? You'd only need to invest in a hole punch, which by the way, are dead cheap here in Europe and available at every stationery shop. Just sayin' ...

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    4. Levenger makes very nice leather 3 ring binders. Renaissance Arts make leather binders with ring capacity up to 2.5 inches. One of those should work for you.

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    5. I'm no fan of Franklin-Covey, but that is what their "Monarch" size is: 3 hole 8.5 x 11.

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    6. Error... FC Monarch is seven hole. Compatible with exactly nothing.

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  17. i am not sure if I can still leave a question on here, as it is no longer Tuesday, but my question is this...has anyone here from Canada ordered off of the Filofax UK site, and had to pay duties? I really want to order the Olympic package for my birthday but I don't want to pay duties on it.

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    Replies
    1. Steph - if you don't get a reply, try asking again on Friday when you can ask any question - not sure if many people look back at previous days.

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    2. Hi Steph
      We do have some Canadian readers, I will try to remember who they are and ask them!
      Regards
      Steve

      PS you can ask questions on a FFAT any time in the week!

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    3. Thank you Steve. and Alison.

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