20 June 2012

Size matters

I recently went away for a long week end, and as I was going around collecting up the last bits and pieces to pack, I picked up my A5 Malden in one hand and realised just how big it is.

My personal Malden wasn't available as it was waiting to be sold
Somehow, it seemed a bit ridiculous to take away such a large binder with me for three nights, so I left it behind. And boy, did I miss it. I don't know about you, but my filofax is normally within easy reach when I'm at home, so it was very strange to be without it. I went away for a week last Christmas and my personal was in my bag straightaway without any thought. 

So, a little doubt has crept in... and it's that old chestnut of what is the perfect size? I purchased an A5 for the extra space and at the time very rarely took my personal out and about with me. However, it seems that now I've decided on A5 I can see more opportunities for when I'd like to have a filo with me. For example, I'm going to London to attend the Dalai Lama's talk at the Royal Albert Hall (yay), and fancy using mine on the train journeys and to take the odd note in. I'm just not so sure I want to carry my A5 around with me the whole day. Also, I'm visiting Malaysia for three weeks next year and I really can't see myself taking this size away either.  

Maybe I'm asking a lot, but I want one filofax that does it all! I think I'll write down the pros and cons of each size, and maybe set a deadline to review how I've found the A5 size. Maybe it's good that I didn't sell my personal Malden and for the time being, I'm going to put it away until I make a final decision. Alternatively, visiting City Organiser on the same day as the talk will be a good opportunity to maybe consider a purple pocket Malden or imperial purple Finchley as a wallet. 

I have a suspicion that personal may be the happy medium between portability and paper size with owning just the one binder, but I could also now see myself owning two for the best of both worlds. I'm sure many of you more experienced owners have experienced this, but I suppose I didn't expect this to happen so soon after deciding to upgrade from personal to A5. Oh, choices, choices!   

31 comments:

  1. Although I l.ove my many Filofaxes, I am also wedded to my ipad which fits in my handbag and goes everywhere. So, at times where I also want to write but not carry my A5 around I slip a few pages into the sleeve of the ipad or carr a swingpad in the handbag then transfer pages later.

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    1. You need the new A5 Pennybridge!

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  2. I've been having this debate with myself (albeit with Time Manager rather than Filofax) since 1986! A5 is such a good size - especially as A4 printed documents can be folded once and punched or just slotted in a pocket. However, the Filofax (and Time Manager) A5 binders are so enormous and lacking portability!

    With the continued absence of compact A5 binders, I had to find a solution. So, 12 months ago with Flex launched, I worked out a compromise that has worked brilliantly for me. It's an A5 Flex binder with a 13mm ring fitted, supplemented by a slim Flex. I've been promising to write a guest post about it and I must do that soon - promise!

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    1. Wow, what a fabulous idea! I use a slimline now and I'm finding it a brilliant size - big enough inserts but small enough overall to fit in my bag. I can't wait to see your post! How on earth did you hack that?!

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    2. I agree, this sounds wonderful, Tim. And thank you for sharing that you've been having a similar size issue for so long. I've only had a filo since 2009, so have a lot of catching up to do!

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  3. I think the answer is we need a really slim A5! I am seriously considering getting the Staples ARC system as a slim alternative for note taking and business planning.

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    1. There's a slimline Adelphi A5 in scarlet on eBay and Amazon right now . . . not that I'm enabling or anything . . . ;-)

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  4. I use (cheap)WHS A5 paper in my A5, so actually carrying around a WHS pad takes up way less space than the binder.... but I really think a slim A5 may ultimately be the answer. Hope Tim posts on his Flex set up soon!

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  5. My Cuban A5 is always on my desk but my personal I take with me everywhere. I make sure that both are in sync. I have a habit of writing everything in my A5 five first.

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    1. Wonderful idea, John! I only own one Filofax, an A5 Cuban, but I have been dreaming about a personal-sized Malden....I would like to see if all of my stuff would fit in a Personal.

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  6. I may be one of the few who have never used an A5. I was using a Personal size, even for work. One reason is because I can't imagine carrying around that size. I usually do a Personal/Pocket and currently a Personal/Slimline combo and I'm quite happy with how it's working out.

    Keep the Personal as an option for when you need to downsize. I don't know if you've tried using it a purse as well, but the Malden really functions well for that, as does the Baroque (at least of the styles I've tried).

    Or even better, treat yourself to the Zipped Maldens! (: I'm considering those myself but not right now, and I'm undecided on color and size.

    Like you said, choices, choices!

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    1. I think we're quite similar Doris - I've never had an A5 either. Way too big for me! As you'll know, I used a compact (and also have a personal for storage) but now I have a beautiful slimline that's the perfect choice for me! (For the moment anyway . . . LOL!)

      http://www.allthingsstationery.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/oh-glorious-purple-slimline-come-to.html

      I love the way I can just move the inserts around from binder to binder without having to write them out again on different-sized refills. If, for any reason, I decide I need more room, I'll just move back to my compact (or even personal, but unlikely).

      @Anita: It's certainly a dilemma. There's no way I could run two diaries in two separate Filofaxes. (Or should I say 'Filofax Personal Organisers, LOL!) You could use your A5 as a stay-at-home Filofax that contains everything but the diary, then use your personal with your diary and other stuff that you need whilst out and about. Then you could slim down to a compact or even a slimline without having to write everything out again onto different-sized inserts! Just a thought anyway.

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    2. Haha! This had me laughing, sorry! But it just looks hilarious (ridiculous) when ppl started writing everything that has to do with Filofax in the proper way and/or joking about the guidelines/rules. XD;

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    3. Just saw your post and commented! They SHOULD make more feminine Slimlines, I agree.

      For my Compact search, since I just found out the Aqua Compact Chameleons are like unicorns (a figment of my imagination), I'm considering the Classics, but they only have it in sage and lavender. Lavender will match my Personal, but I really want a compact in blue. Maybe I'll wait for it to go on sale. (:

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    4. @Yu: I couldn't resist sneaking that in there!

      @Doris: No I've never seen a compact Chameleon in aqua; I don't think they make them. As for a blue compact - there's always the Finsbury . . .

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  7. I have three Filofaxes I use daily; my Personal Adelphi, which is in my purse and goes everywhere, my Domino A5, which is my "work" Filo and is usually kept in my work bag or on my desk, and an A5 Finsbury, which I use to keep track of all things related to my horse and horseback riding (goals, expenses, days at the barn-I also journal in this one almost daily) This one usually travels with me as well, in my work bag or an additional tote bag. I find it REALLY hard to leave any of them at home...I'm always consolidating the information in them, adding stuff, and I feel like I need to have them all with me! It's a problem, because those A5's take up a lot of room!

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  8. I have kind of adopted the thought that, just like shoes, a Filofax should suit the activity; hence my dangerous justification for having and using more than one at the same time. Heck, I wouldn't go hiking in heels, right...so i also need to have hiking boots. One must have the proper equipment for each activity. At work I know that I'll need to have a FF that will give me enough space to take notes during meets...enter my Aston A5 (my hiking boots). I use this binder solely for work items and do not have calendar pages in it.

    My day-to-day planning organizer, which has a calendar and personal/life items and info, is my personal Holborn (soon to be switched once I receive my newest purchase...a personal Ostrich...yippee!!!). The size makes it comfortably portable for being out and about. The personal is akin to my heels.

    The right equipment for the right job...that's my motto and I'm sticking to it! ;-).

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    1. Absolutely agree!!! I've just begun the exact same setup, because my A5 Finchley just became too big and heavy to carry to and from work every day! My Personal Hamilton has therefore returned to it place as my number one and personal FILO!

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  9. I had an A5 for a while as a family binder, but the truth was that I didn't really use it. Even as a home binder, I felt it was just too big, though I can see the benefit of it for a lot of work details. I had used a personal size for personal use since I started with Filofax, but that too became too much - not the size of the pages, but the width. I was carrying more than I needed just to fill the binder. So I went to the compact size for my every day planning. But I didn't want to lose the extra space for extra things. So I also use two personal binders (both Malden - one black, one Ochre). The black keeps all the extra stuff I would have had in my every day personal binder - addresses, projects, random lists and the like - but that I don't need with me all of the time. The ochre keeps past and future diary pages. The compact only allows me to carry three to four months of diary pages at a time, and that's perfect for me. But having the other pages easily accessible helps me to look back and plan forward should I need to. While I understand the "one life, one Filo" idea, it's just not practical for me. Using the personals (both stay at home all the time) and compact is the best of both worlds and is working beautifully for me!

    I so understand the feeling of so many choices and which do I choose!

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  10. I also use an A5 Vintage Pink Malden as my one and only planning tool. However, I don't take it with me on holidays. That is the time for my Travel-o-Fax, which until recently was a personal sized Filofax. On my next vacation I will be accompanied by my Pennybridge Compact.
    The reason I don't bring my A5: the chances that I will need to check my schedule or todo's will be smaller than superslim. I am not available for customers during my holiday, thus work-related stuff doesn't need to be with me either.
    I have the most important addresses with me, the (amazing!) Travel Journal pages (kuddos to Ray!!) for the duration of the trip, plenty of notepaper and that's it!

    At the end of my holiday I will happily return to my meanwhile totally fattened A5 Malden. The A5 - while a pain to carry around - is sheer bliss in terms of paper real estate. It feels so natural to write on A5 sized paper. I love it still and don't expect to downsize to personal any time soon ....!

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    1. Is the stunningly beautiful red A5 Adelphi in retirement? I hope not!

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    2. Apart from holding spare note pages, it actually is retired. I started with the 20 mm with so much confidence! Then quickly moved on to 25 mm rings. Only to find out that I need 30 mm rings after all. I am soooo lucky that there are no 35 mm rings available, cos I'd probably manage to stuff those as well...

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    3. My ultimate Filofax would be an A5 black Adelphi with 30mm rings! I wonder why this has never been an option?

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    4. Does Filofax welcome production suggestions?

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    5. The Adelphi was supposed to be their slimline or compact A5 with only 20mm rings in it.. sadly they added big bulky pockets to it so it ended up just as thick as any other A5 Filofax, so putting in 30mm rings would be somewhat defeating the object!

      Yes they do take suggestions.. but sadly not many of them seem to filter through to production...

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  11. I use two binders - a Pocket and an A5. The Pocket is carried around in my bag. This contains my diary (I don't have many appointments), to do lists and notes that I might need when out. Really all the planner stuff goes in here.

    The A5 is kept at home and is used for "at home" things. These tend to be bigger projects, more detailed notes, and stuff printed out from the internet - all ideal for the A5 size. There are sections for household information, career, computers, health and inspiration. A paper copy of my address book is kept here too, though largely as a backup for my phone.

    This system is working well for me at the moment. I rarely want the information in the A5 while I'm out, and having two binders means I can avoid carrying it around. There's some duplication of notes, but not much. For me at least, it's a good system.

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    1. @Howard: That sounds like a really sensible idea. I often think that I could really use an A5 'at home' binder, but then again . . . an A4 ring binder would just probably do the trick just as well!

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    2. Yes it probably would. But it wouldn't be nearly so enjoyable!!

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  12. I cannot even begin to imagine downsizing from my A5 Cuban for I need the extra space that it offers. I would like to purchase a Personal Malden, however, to use as a wallet.

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  13. Thank you for your comments. I find it interesting to hear how everyone uses their filos & thanks for all the helpful advice :)

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