25 October 2012

Ring Bound Organisers Other Brands....

There are several reasons why people might want to move away from using a Filofax organiser, but still want to use a ring bound organiser. I'm not going to go in to these reasons, they are personal decision people might take and I'm cool about that.

However, just because you have decided to no longer use a Filofax personal organiser that does not mean you are no longer welcome here at Philofaxy, far from it. Whilst we tend to focus on Filofax branded organisers, we are interested in all ring bound paper planner solutions.

This is in the same way that Laurie's Plannerisms blog deals with all 'bound' paper planners, although that isn't a hard and fast rule, because you will occasionally see ring bound paper planners over there too. So between us we look at covering all paper planners one way or another, and also bring you news from other blogs that cover paper planners in any form.

So getting to the point of this post.... what other brands of ring bound organisers are there? So firstly thank you to everyone who contributed to compiling the list below. I wouldn't be so brave to call it a definitive list, but hopefully we will cover as many of the well known brands as possible.

Please note that I have carried out no checks on page sizes or hole spacing for any of these listed, if you want to use Filofax inserts in any of these, please check with the supplier before you purchase them.
If you know of others, please add them in to the comments including the main manufacturers website and I will up date the list from time to time. 

107 comments:

  1. Thesuccesschoice
    Chronoplan
    Herlitz
    Ido Ridé

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    Replies
    1. Got any links please for the ones I missed out. Thanks

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    2. I can't find Ido Ride via English Google??

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    3. thesuccesschoice.com
      Ido Ride, Herlitz, Chronoplan, and Brunnen and BSB Opacher (forgot to mention those two!) are available on amazon.de, ebay.de and beiz.de.
      On Beiz.de go to Bürowelt (top left), Zeitplanung (last option in the list), then Timeplaner.
      You get all the binders from the above (minus Thesuccesschoice.com obviously)

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    4. Suppliers are no good to me Judith, I need the actual makers website, suppliers sites frequently change and then we end up with lots of broken links.

      Thanks
      Steve

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  2. Montblanc - very nice paper and FF compatible sizes for A5, Personal, Pocket and Mini.

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    Replies
    1. It must be me.... but I can't find the organisers on the Montblanc site?

      Thanks
      Steve

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    2. Hi, Steve, if I go to the Montblanc Homepage (www.montblanc.com) they redirect me automatically to the german page, there is a section called `Leather`(Lederwaren) and a subsection called `Organiser&Agenda´ ->http://www.montblanc.com/de-de/shop/leather/browse.aspx
      OR at Montblanc.com -> choose `collections` ->´Leather´-> `gender` -> and although they show you a briefcase(men) and a handbag (women) if you click on either you come to the different styles (like Meisterstück, LaVie deBoheme,Diaries&Notes) and there are also their organisers (e.g. Diaries&Notes -> http://www.montblanc.com/de-DE/Flash/Default.aspx/#/collections/leather/female/diaries-notes)
      I find the organisation of the homepage somewhat strange, too, this was my first visit to it (I usually go to a shop) and it took me quite a while to find what I was looking for....... the organisers and the paper are a lot better than their web design :-)

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    3. Thank you... helps if I'm not on the French site which doesn't appear to have them!! OK on the UK site though!!

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  3. I've come to the conclusion that actually a good Filofax product takes a heck of a lot of beating!! Just wish , as others have said, that the ring issues and the range of stationery and accessory products could be broader and that they offered each binder in
    every colour, size and ring size. Then......IMHO they'd be at the top of their game!!

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  4. Uncalendar has ring binder systems for their Half Size (5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches) and Full Size (8 1/2 by 11 inches) planners:

    http://www.uncalendar.com/overview.jsp?index=1

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    Replies
    1. Please note, Uncalendar pages are not compatible with any Filofax sizes. They sell binders for their inserts. I don't know for sure, but especially the Full Size might work with some American brands of binders (Franklin Covey Monarch size for example).

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  5. And PS thanks Steve for compiling this huge list of other ring binder brands! Will the compiled list go under Links or somewhere? It would be nice to have this list and their links easily accessible so when people ask about other brands in the future we can direct them to the list.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I will add them in a section on the links page
      Steve

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  6. L'Agenda Moderne- gorgeous personal size binders that are much more lightweight and slim than filfo

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  7. I am sorry I cannot leave a commment but I am too much in pain from banging my head against the table in despair at how much of today its now going to be dissipated with me lusting after yet more products I had never heard of. i have only been to Aspinal so far... Have you seen their compact A5s? Oh the desire...
    But, I wonder, can all the contributors to the list confirm ring compatablity with filofax or not so we can see how interchangable inserts are?

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    Replies
    1. TMI binders will take Filofax paper, although TMI inserts are wider than FF - the opposite of the usual Franklin Covey 'issue'. In fact, I've never tried FC refills in a TMI binder, but that might just work ...

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    2. Helen - ring spacing is another complete post in itself (and the subject of a previous post), as is paper size compatibility. The differences across the various brands are enormous!

      For example TMI (Time Manager) original binders have exactly the same ring spacing as Filofax personal but have 18cm x 10cm paper size (better width than Filofax). Time Manager A5 is the same paper size as Filofax A5 but has different ring spacing.

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    3. Aspinal is compatible with Filofax (well my binder is a few years old and it was then) but check the size rather than the name because as I recall their so called A5 binder was more a personal Filofax size when I bought mine so I had to size one up to get it the same as the filo A5.

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    4. 'What Tim said'

      I will put my hand up and plead guilty to the charge of not really doing a full analysis on paper sizes and ring spacings.... not easy information to come by as I've found previously!

      Steve

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    5. Steve - what the heck were you thinking? You have to know everything!!! Just kidding - that would have been a full-time job trying to find all that out. I've read a few of the articles you wrote about ring-sizes and comparisons and they were impressive but I'm guessing time consuming, too. Appreciate all you do.

      Patty

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    6. Yes they did take a lot of time to put together just for the few that I've covered, not helped by false and incorrect information from various customer service departments!

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  8. Thank you for this Steve - what an amazing list! Finding THE perfect binder can be a bit of a grail, especially if you like good quality long lasting ones! I'd be tempted to save up for a Mont Blanc one as their quality is superb - I just wish they weren't virtually all black!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Alison,
      no, they are not all black ;-)).
      The `Tribute to the Montblanc` is actually white, and the Diaries&Notes style come in tan and red too. I have a pocket size red Diaries&Notes, it is really nice and has a very fountain-pen friendly pen loop - which I really appreciate. The quality is amazing, I absolutely agree!

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    2. Oh - time for another look then!

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    3. I have a gorgeous tan Montblanc with yellow stitching and they do lovely red ones too. Keep an eye out on the sales as they go for good prices then.

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  9. Steve, you could add Paul Smith and Organised Mum to the list. They are both compatible with FF personal size.

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    Replies
    1. Paul Smith yes... Organised Mum just sell Filofax and Collins organisers!

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    2. Oopps, sorry, yes. I was thinking of the OM inserts rather than the binders. I have a PS Swirl binder - about to blog on it. The inserts are available separately from an Italian site.

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  10. This is my first time commenting here but I just thought I should mention that dodopad sell a dodopod that takes filofax persinal sized inserts.

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    Replies
    1. Yes I'm aware of the DodoPad, but I'm concentrating on the organisers themselves in this list rather than the inserts.

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    2. Oh and sorry.... Welcome to Philofaxy... how rude of me!

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    3. Haha, Thank you

      Its a binder albeit a simple one

      http://www.dodopad.com/shop/calendar-year-diaries-calendars/personalpod

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    4. I think the commenter was referring to the binder itself! http://www.dodopad.com/shop/dodopod-binder.html

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  11. Inner-b sells an A5 organiser and inserts that are a mum/family style planner, and they also do a pregnancy organiser.

    http://www.inner-b.com.au/

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  12. The Last Diary Company - Victoria Australia / info@lastdiary.com.au They can be found in Office Choice , Office National, most good Newsagents and Australia Post. I use their inserts from time to time and they do fit a Filofax.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Are they ring bound organisers? Looking now...

      Steve

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  14. Well done & superb work.
    Am now to spend as long as necessary seeking new products and seeing what more I could fit into my Filo.
    As off at a tangent, does anyone know the largest 'capacity' A5 Filo?
    I bought a lovely A5 zip, but takes less than a non zip because of the zip facility.
    Best wishes and regards fellow organising and stationery freaks

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    Replies
    1. Hi, thank you.

      A5's with 30 mm rings... Finsbury, Domino, Malden.

      Look through this file to help:

      http://www.philofaxy.com/files/Filofax.pdf

      Steve

      Delete
  15. Wow, just been looking through and now I know I'm definately possibly maybe going to paperchase to get my personal size filo as a wallet...

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  16. Thank you for this lovely list Steve. I have Aspinal, Smythson, Mulberry and Montblanc binders. My fave is the Mulberry because it just lasts so well, the quality is epic and that Darwin leather really is the very best.

    Louis Vuitton also do binders and used to personalise free of charge (well I guess you are paying a whacking great price for the binder). Hermés do nice binders too but I have not seen one in a while. I know their notebooks and binders are not compatible with anything else because they take great pains to tell you when you are in the shop.

    Ordning och Reda (the Swedish brand) do lovely A6, A5 and A4 binders in gorgeous leather and textiles but they are compatible with Swedish hole punches rather than a binder brand. When I send folders over to our school in the UK though I just send a holepunch with them.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Janet, Ordning och Reda added to the list. LV already in the list.

      Regards
      Steve

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  17. Wow! I never knew there were so many binders out there. However, perhaps it might be worth including disc bound products, such as the ARC notebook system, given that so many of the inherent problems associated with FF (cost, paper quality, flatability, etc) are resolved. The special punch will be available in the UK any day now, making the ARC system a viable alternative for traditional ring binder users.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - getting the punch over here could open a whole new avenue of agonising for all of us!

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    2. Alison,
      Staples have emailed me, saying the punch will be in their stores on November 1st, but you can already buy one online and have it shipped free of charge to your nearest store.

      Delete
    3. Whoosh - that's me heading for the staples website to have a look!

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    4. Me too - Finally! They've taken long enough to get it here. Now when might we see some of the nice covers they have in the US, I wonder?

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  18. I'd be interested to know which of all these brands people think wear particularly well or badly - especially from personal experience?

    Filofax have a great range currently, but I am disappointed with their longevity - in some cases they seem to wear and look tatty rather than 'lived in' - in other words many of them don't age well. I don;t mind paying a good sum for a binder that is going to last a long time and hopefully get better (or develop a personality) with age.

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    Replies
    1. Mulberry wears the best in my opinion. Those binders are pricey but you really get something that you can use strenuously for the rest of your life. The rings, the zipper pulls, the lining. Everything is just made perfectly.

      Smythson it depends on the leather. The pigskin and calfskin wears well but the exotic limited editions not so much. Louis Vuitton it is impossible to wear out - the waxed canvas just never ever shows wear and the leather oxidises to a wonderful caramel.

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    2. Alison - I've just succumbed to a leather Flex in tan. The design is fine, but the quality? Oh dear! Superficially OK, but the leather feels thin and cheap. Certainly not something to show off and certainly not designed for longevity.

      I'm just comparing now with my 1991 Time Manager compact. Well designed and superb quality. Still available to buy today and a similar price to an A5 leather Flex. If only TMI had made an A5 compact. I would never buy from Filofax again!

      Delete
  19. Brands from Asia:
    Keny (Taiwan) http://www.keny.com.tw/product_a.htm
    Grandluxe (Singapore) http://www.grandluxe.com/products-page/organiser/

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  20. I utterly agree there Alison! Quality and longevity is what most folks want... and a goodly selection of stationery and accessory products.

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  21. Hi there Philofaxers,
    Whilst I was looking through this wowsome list.... and by the way fabulous work there Steve, I came across Inner- B on the list. It has some free downloads and under Master to Do List is a Christmas Master to do list!!! Made my day!! Apologies for the C word there, but I know preparations have to start earlyish in most homes!!! I have printed 4 list sides on 2 pages, back to back, 1 each for dad, friends, family, and home. A fabulous find.... although not technically to do with Steve's posting here it was such a good incidental find, I wanted to share it!! I wonder if other religions with their unique and individual traditions have similar periods of rush around and panic that nothing is forgotten, that Christmas seems to bring upon us???

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  22. Excuse the capital letter typos above! Normal service will be resumed after a cup of Assam tea and a slice of ginger cake!!

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    Replies
    1. Oh ginger cake - how I miss thee... enjoy!!!

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    2. Yes I aslo love Assam FTGFOP, loose leaf of course, from Tisanes Broadway, Worcs.

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    3. Ooooh.... Anthony, that sounds good!!Thanks for the tip off!! That address is going straight into the Filofax!! Hee Hee!! LJ the ginger cake was Waitrose's own... old fashioned with little sugar nibbles on the top... divine!! Actually I am setting up a recipes Filofax in a plastic wipe down pocket Mode Filofax, bought for a bargain £4 in TK Maxx yonks ago!! Just started this as a huge ongoing project, using filing cards to write the recipes on. A pocket Filo easily fits into the handbag for shopping.... The aim is to eat healthily using seasonal and special offer stuff and to ring the changes from the same old meals!! Maybe my first recipe should be ginger cake!! Actually Filofax binders are good for their range I think... for work one wants a professional leather binder, but for gym, recipes etc a vinyl, cheapie fling in your bag binder... horses for courses as the saying goes!!

      Delete
  23. Common in Sweden: Burde by burde.com and A-plan and ProPlan by Almanacksförlaget.

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  24. Common in Sweden: Burde by burde.com and A-plan and ProPlan by Almanacksförlaget.

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  25. Looking forward to checking all these links out - maybe I´ll wait a while before I start my 3 months of no shopping...

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  26. Thanks for enabling ;-) I'm only on the 3rd one on the list (Aspinal of London) and I'm hyperventilating. Can't wait to get through all these links!

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  27. Dodo pad:)
    Women's success choice planner. www.thesuccesschoice.com
    PigPodPDA. http:pigpog.com/2007/01/20/pigpogpda-a-moleskin-hacked-into-a-complete-system/
    GSD http://blog.utilware.com/gsd
    Planner Perfect. www.plannerperfect.com. (Hint: buy the e-book and use the ideas, save yourself a lot of money)
    7 minute life. www.7minutelife.com

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  28. I recently found this quite entertaining 1988 US magazine article that includes a brand comparison. Be prepared to disagree with what you read...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks so much for sharing! I laughed so hard, my daughter got scared! LOL
      I love the excuse to own a Filofax: "Oh, you know ... It was a gift from the Prince of Wales." and Lefax's Menstrual Calendar being named the "Loopiest feature or accessories". Priceless!

      Delete
    2. And just so all of you Philofaxy-readers know: "we are all carrying around the equivalent of a personalized encyclopedia-cum-glove compartment ..." (And if you've seen my A5 Filofax lately, you'll have to admit that this is true).

      And this quote just sums it up beautifully:
      "As opposed to the homeless people who push around teetering, piled-up shopping carts containing every shred of their sad existences, planner-obsessives carry their whole lives around in ostrich-skin binders - VOLUNTARILY."

      Damn. That's me!

      MHUAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

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    3. Fantastic article!!! Too bad Filofax rings no longer "snap shut like a Mercedes door." Every day I read some other person having to send their Filofax back due to gappy rings!

      Delete
    4. "It's writing a journal without all that dreary, Virginia Wolf-y introspection" Too true.

      I suppose that as the modern Mercedes door no longer "snap[s] shut", "fILOFAX" may feel justified in allowing it's ring mechanisms to fail to "shut" at all?

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    5. I also find the comparison of DayTimer material being closest to "Buick upholstery" while DayRunner is equated with "vinyl car roof" is just too perfect for words. How incredibly astute!

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    6. Thank you for the brilliant article & it brightened up my breakfast :)

      Delete
  29. Actually, I just noticed that you linked Succes to the Canadian website which has a rather boring binder selection. Succes however is a hugely popular brand in Holland, so you should all take a look at succes.nl
    You'll be blown away by the modern, fashionista designs, though they also have very classy and durable beautifully crafted leather binders!

    As for compatibility:
    A5 = A5
    Standard = Personal
    Junior = Pocket

    They have a size between Personal and Pocket, called Senior. Downside: the only suitable inserts are from Succes itself ...

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    Replies
    1. Weeeeeel, the Mulberry Agenda size uses the same ring space, the Mulberry pages are just about 0.5 cm wider. Also all true A6 formats work.....

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    2. Changed over to the .com address can't put in .nl because you have to be in .nl for it to be accepted.

      Delete
  30. Here's the Success Canada catalog I've had bookmarked for awhile. Be prepared to gasp (and maybe drool). http://succescanada.com/cat2012.pdf

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  31. Good post and glad that all are welcome. In the 90s I used what I thought was a personal size Filofax. Used it for years and it still feels good to hold. However I moved away from it and then to my amazement found out it was a Microfile (I think that Filofax may have bought them over at one point?) Recently I got a beautiful Cross leather binder in a personal size. Original inserts are more the Franklin Covey slightly larger size but I have happily put Filofax personal sized ones in. I don't really use it much but the joy of finding a £65 binder in TKMaxx was too good to resist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it didn't cost £65 in TK, it cost £15

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    2. Of course it didn't cost £65 in TK, it cost £15

      Delete
    3. Of course it didn't cost £65 in TK, it cost £15

      Delete
  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. Greenwitch

    http://www.greenwitch.it/site/?lang=&p=1577

    Mignon

    http://www.agendas-mignon.fr/agendas.php

    I think Gucci has some ring organisers as well. Also I'm sure I saw some in Braun Buffel shop, but I can't find any on their website.


    Also I have one Czech producer, but unfortunately they don't have english version.
    http://www.adk.cz/katalog/planovaci-systemy/kompletni-diare/


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  34. Oh and Radley used to do some Mini ring organisers. There are not any on their website, but you can find them on ebay from time to time.

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  35. On the subject of other binders, I believe that Gucci makes a ring binder. Looks incredibly sturdy and well made, but rather pricey.

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  36. Wow. Thanks for all the references. I was thinking a few months ago how nice it would be if Philofaxy would welcome all ring binder lovers because we are really all cut from the same cloth. It's so nice to hear that Philofaxy will now be inclusive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savannah - Philofaxy has always been inclusive - it's just that filofaxes is where it started and more people have them. We've had posts on other binders before - there is a great 'what is in my binder' by Scoot who has an Aspinal A5.

      Delete
    2. Hi Alison. I've always felt guilty bringing up another brand for some reason. I guess I had the wrong perception. I think Steve's message that all are welcome was helpful in opening the door to people that were unsure if it was OK.

      Delete
  37. What a comprehensive list! But I will stop myself from looking -- for now! Thanks!

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  38. What about other type of systems, as ARC by Staples - check this out! I'm considering using it! I think it is very handy!

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    Replies
    1. You're right Summer, but Steve did say it was a list of RING-bound systems whereas ARC is a DISC-bound system. The difference? Rings are generally on a fixed plate and the rings open - although not necessarily mechanically (the original Filofax and Lefax rings had to be opened independently).

      Discs are solid and held in place by the paper and binder cover. We shouldn't ignore disc systems, especially since Staples have introduced the Arc models in universal International paper sizes, rather than the Letter and Junior sizes (now only used by the USA). Another attraction is that the biggest gripe about Filofax is their poor Chinese (made by a company called Worldwide) ring mechanisms.

      Discs should surely be a separate category though. We would also need to add other manufacturers of disc systems - Circa Levenger, Myndology, Rollabind etc. Like you though, I think a disc system - in A4 or A5 - has a lot to offer over a huge ring binder.

      Delete
    2. I definitely think that disc bound systems should be included. Surely the common link that (excuse the pun) binds us all is our desire to add or remove pages, rather than some strange fascination with the actual mechanical mechanism that facilitates this feature.

      Delete
    3. Comment number 100! - It's a long time since we've had so many on one post!

      Researching disk-bound or disk-binding systems shows several manufacturers and even an entry on Wikipedia!

      So, there's Arc now on the above list (www.staples.co.uk/arc or www.staples.com/arc) - cheap and cheerful and now available in International ISO sizes, rather than just USA sizing.

      Circa by Levenger (www.levenger.com) - very comprehensive system; better quality and more expensive than Arc. Only available in USA sizing but the junior size is very similar to A5. Very favourable comments on websites about their customer service!

      Rollabind (www.rollabind.com) -similar quality and USA only sizing.

      Atoma (www.atoma.be/en) - Belgian company, so International sizing (A4, A5 etc) but just simple covers (card, plastic etc).

      Myndology (www.myndology.com) USA franchise for Atoma.

      There may be more!

      Reading reviews, most users have migrated from ring-bound systems (like Filoax) and speak very favourably about the change. Maybe someone here would write a post on the subject? I note that Imy (Imysworld) purchased a load of Arc products, but she hasn't blogged on how she got on with it!

      Delete
  39. Faber-Castell Design Organizers (Cultpens UK) = http://www.cultpens.com/acatalog/Faber-Castell-Personal-Organiser-Classic-Black.html

    And since you mentioned the Swedish Burde, I'll throw in the two Finnish brands as well:

    Timex = http://www.ajasto.fi/tuotteet/kalenterit/jaerjestelmaekalenterit/timex

    CC-Kalenteripalvelu = http://www.kalenteri.fi

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  40. In Estonia it's www.sulemees.ee

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  41. I'd like to contribute to the list: there are 3 companies which sell a methodology based on the works of the venerable late Gustav Grossmann (Wikipedia):
    Hirt-Institut www.hirt.ch
    Helfrecht www.helfrecht.de
    Löhn-Methode www.loehnmethode.de
    They are selling sets of stationery including ringbinders tailored to their methodology.
    All 3 have in common the idea that the tools needs to be at hand at any time - their binders typically are in the A6 range.

    Cheers,
    Franz

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  42. wrong link in my previous comment: www.hirt-institut.ch is the good one...

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  43. Hey there!!! I am a fellow filofaxer and I just stumbled across this article. WOW quite a big list you have assembled here!!! So, I would like to make my own small contribution.
    LONGCHAMP makes organisers with 6-rings, and not just.It just so happens that my first "fancy" organiser was from Longchamp. A present to myself on a special occasion. Of course it was a couple of years after that I re-discovered Filofax and fell in love with them. Without further delay, here's the link to the Longchamp 6-ring leather bound organisers: http://uk.longchamp.com/accessories/le-foulonne/agenda-3338021?sku=74251

    Cheers,

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Simone, I need to update this list anyway :)

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    2. You are most welcome!! Found this list very helpful!!Glad I could contribute to it. :)

      Delete
  44. Nava has some nice planners and refills too! http://www.navadesign.com/personal-organizers-1_fund
    I've never really used the planners but I used some inserts and they are really nice!

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