13 December 2012

Personal Size Organiser Comparisons

Personal size Filofax organisers come in four different size variations. I thought it would be interesting to compare them together.
  • Slimline
  • Compact
  • Personal 
  • Zipped Personal
Slimlines are availabe in 11 or 13mm ring size.

Compacts are all in 15mm ring size with either clasp or zipped styles

Personals are all 23 mm ring size

Zipped Personals come with either regular 23 mm or jumbo 30 mm ring sizes.

To show how they all vary I did a short video with a comparison between a selection of personal size organisers.

 

The advantage of having different sizes in the same paper size of course that you can choose the right size of organiser for the amount of paper you are carrying.

For instance during my recent trip back to UK I needed to add things like maps of London, a London Tube map, things I obviously don't normally need over here in France! So I swapped from my compact Malden in to a regular Personal Malden, I've now swapped back in to the compact.

So if you are a personal size Filofax user, which size suits you best?

29 comments:

  1. I may have been the person Steve referred to in the video asking about the differences among the personals. The Finsbury Slimline - which looked tine compared to the rest in the video - is the largest I would be able to fit comfortably in my jacket pocket.

    In my briefcase, I also have a nondescript, no-name black leather binder (**) with 25mm rings that I am using for a project. An identical binder is at my desk and is used for a hobby. There are two more slimlines in the house, one that travels with me on CD hunting expeditions and the other used as the family phone book by the main phone near the kitchen. However, I am consider replacing it with a fairly compact cloth-covered binder that is sitting idle.

    (**) these black leather binders were a steal! The leather is beautifully soft and I got them in a remnants bin for $5 each!

    I have several 25mm or larger binders that are used for nothing more than storage, along with a few box-board covered binders and three vertical Lefax boxes that store a plethora of Lefax and Filofax forms that I bought back in the 1980s and never used.

    Now I want to do a systematic comparison between the Slimline Finsbury, the Cuban and the L'Agenda Modern at Laywines!

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    1. "tine" s/b "tiny"

      Too fast with the publish button.

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  2. As a new user I only have one filofax which is a personal Chameleon so its interesting to see the differences. I'm not sure if I've seen a compact close up and didnt realise the Holborn was so huge compared to the others. Good to know when making a choice.

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  3. I have my choice between a Slimline Classic, a 23mm clasped Guildford, a 23mm zipped Durham and an earlier-version, 30mm zipped Durham. I find myself using the Guildford the most - for intangible reasons, mostly. The bigger Durham carries 1/4 more paper and is more water-resisstant, but feels uncomfortably like a river stone in hand, and I'm surprised at how in-the-way the bigger rings can seem when writing. In general, the movement of zipping and unzipping seems relatively laborious.

    The Slimline fits into a jacket pocket, and I'll use it for an evening out. However, with a week-on-one page calendar in, I already feel like I'm running out of journal or project paper (I tend to run through pages pretty quick).

    I feel that the clasped 23mm is a Goldilocks size - large enough to carry enough, small enough to enforce discipline on how much paper you need. The clasp provides just enough security to hold things in with peace of mind while allowing access with an easy movement. It fits comfortably in my hand when full.

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  4. I was interested to read this, as I have recently changed my set-up. I had been using a compact Holborn in combination with one of my personals (Cuban or Kendal) but have recently gone back to using my Cuban slimline - in the gorgeous "ink" colour, my favourite Filofax colour ever - as my everyday Filofax. The absence of a clasp on the slimline makes it so much easier to slot into a pocket, or file in a briefcase with other books, notebooks etc. The protrusion of the clasp on the compact offended my sense of neatness somehow - I was always conscious of a slight lump in my stack of documents! I wasn't aware that slimlines are also available with 13mm rings. I've just had a look on the Filofax website and the only slimline with the larger ring size is the Holborn - are there any others? I can foresee my Filofax collection focusing on slimlines in the future.

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    1. My Adelphi slimline has 13mm rings, Paul.

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    2. Thanks Anita. I've never seen an Adelphi slimline in the flesh, but I've just been looking at your photos again, and I think I could be tempted by a black one! I actually quite like the poppered pocket at the front.

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  5. Thanks for a useful & interesting video, Steve. I've owned both slimline & personal, but only briefly handled compacts in a shop or at a meet up. I agree with John about the 23mm size being just right as I never felt I could carry enough spare notepaper in the slimline (along with all my other stuff) & I think the Cuban zipped looks too much of a beast to carry around on a regular occasion.

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  6. I've always thought that another option for personal size users is to use two or more slimlines. Two slimlines will hold the same as one 23mm ringed personal, and gives the often overlooked advantage of being able to make entries in your diary whilst referring to other material, if you split your pages appropriately.

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    1. I was just eyeing my slimline Finsbury the other day wondering if I could move a less used part of my setup into it and carry it in my bag. I use the slimline to store my spare notepaper and it travels with me fairly regularly, I note that it really takes up no noticeable space in my bag. But as I've studied my usage of the various sections I see I really do use all of them on a regular basis and anything removed would likely be missed.

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  7. On a similar note, I saw a pocket pennybridge in store just last week, and I was horrified by how HUGE it was. Thin, sure, but the footprint was so big that it completely turned me off any form of zipped compact. As you say Steve, I can't understand why the Maldens and Pennybridges are so very large. Personally that size is absolutely cumbersome. The idea was great but poorly executed.

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    1. Hmmmm that's good to know. I was interested in a compact zip Malden if they ever become available again but it it is so large I am now having second thoughts. Dollars saved I guess!

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  8. Well I have a compact Chameleon that is with me all the time but as I've said before there are times when I wish I had my personal Malden with me because there is info in there that I sometimes need when I am out. It never fails; I try to be 'compact' when out and about and then I regret not having certain info with me. I also find it interesting how the size of the binder can vary between styles. I kind of expected the personal Malden to be a bit 'larger' in footprint but I don't mind because it is so soft and flexible that it wedges in tight spaces (handbag) fairly well. I was surprised that my personal Chameleon is so much bigger than my personal Finchley. It's not that much bigger but seems like it because it is 'wider'. I love the size of my compact Chameleon and wish all my personals were that size (not the ring size, the footprint of the binder). I would prefer to use a personal size that was a 'trimmer' binder. I think Joshua said his Winchester is actually a bit shorter and narrower than many of today's personal size binders. That would suit me fine but its hard to tell which personals are 'smaller' in footprint because I don't trust the Filofax USA website's measurements that they post ... they seem to be inconsistent or wrong.

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    1. Duh that is a Winchester Steve shows in the video. I thought he said something else. So the Winchester as a personal is slightly smaller in footprint than other personals yet has the same 23mm ring size. I like that it's compact in over all size but has the standard personal rings. Now I couldn't tell in the video but does anyone know of another binder in the current range that would be the same size as the Winchester?

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  9. I have a personal Adelphi and I was wishing for bigger rings.. until I saw those monster rings in this video. I imagine that they would get in the way of writing! Plus I'm lefthanded so I always feel like the rings are in my way already. Looks like I'll just have to downsize what I'm carrying in my filo at the moment.. because I can't imagine going any bigger.

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  10. Regarding the "footprint" of many filofaxes, I've often wondered whether a personal sized, no frills binder, would be popular. A bit like a slimline, but 23mm rings and no pockets, and made in such a way to avoid "flatability" issues.

    Obviously, filofaxes with a multiplicity of pockets are great for some people, but I think Filofax should make a simple binder, preferably from a single piece of calf leather (ok, I know we're in flying pig territory here) and without the pen loop that probably doesn't fit the pen you use anyway.

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    1. Great idea - I'd buy one of those in a heartbeat. I totally agree about the pen loops. My preferred pen never fits (even with the elasticated ones) and the loop is just plain irritating to me.

      No clasp + no pen loop + lies flat = Filofax perfection!

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    2. Those plain, cheap, $5, soft leather binders that I referred to above, lie perfectly flat and have two pen loops, although they only take.

      I would imagine that any decent shoe repair person could make a leather flap with a pen loop to your exact specifications.

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    3. I know the subject of today's post is a comparison of personal sized Filofaxes, but following on from the comments about how nice it would be if Filofax produced a no frills binder, preferably in quality leather, I think it would be a good idea if they checked out a recent sale on EBay.

      A pocket sized binder, with no pockets, pen loop or press stud faster, and made with napa leather, sold for (wait for it) 62 GBP. It attracted 19 bids.

      Come on Filofax, if you're reading this, how about catering for buyers who want a simple repositionable notebook, rather than an overblown "pleather" organiser. Moleskine affectionados are always decrying their inability to rearrange their pages. Why not offer a simple alternative, but make sure that you don't skip the quality of the leather, ok?

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    4. I would buy a no frills binder. I wouldn't mind if it had at least one angled secretarial flap in the front or back to slip in a business card or a piece of paper someone hands you but I wouldn't care about other pockets, zip pockets, etc. Although I love my Malden for the very reason that it has pockets of various sizes, I would have reason for a plain no frills binder as well and keep the Malden at home to hold extra stuff.

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  11. I'm a personal sized Filofax gal all the way! I've THOUGHT of switching to pocket a few times just for more portability (when stuffed, my personals get pretty heavy!) but I could never get myself to write that small! It's nice to know there are so many options in the personal size range and they are all quite different. If I ever feel the need to "down size" I may just switch to a personal compact or slim model. Great video!

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  12. That zipped cuban is a beast! It looks so beautiful though.

    I started out with an A5, which I loved and tried out the compact Pennybridge as a purse/notebook filo, but quickly moved to using a personal Malden as my main diary/project/planning filo as the compact Pennybridge was awkward as a purse and not big enough as a filofax at the time.
    I do find that I don't always take my Malden out, and end up without a notebook and pen, which is what I was trying to achieve with the Pennybridge, so may rethink that in the future.
    It's currently being used as address book, as I don't want that in my main filo. Until I find the perfect binder to be an address book, probably a compact!

    I still love my A5s by the way, but they are huge, and I like portability in a main diary/planning filofax, my two A5s are used for recipes/household issues, and for personal development/journalling.

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  13. I must say that I deeply regret that Filofax no longer makes personal size binders with the larger rings. I used a 30mm ringed Cavendish for most of this year and loved the big rings. For some reason I don't share the "hard to write over" feeling which many other people note. The extra size makes gives a lot more capacity without the outside being substantially larger. I agree, 23mm rings establish a need for some restraint, but I'd *really* like to be able to get a few more months worth of diary into my filofax.

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  14. I had about 45 minutes free before an appointment today, so motivated by this topic (and some post-purchase cognitive dissonance) I stopped at Laywines, to compare the relative size of the L'Agenda Moderne binders with the slimline Filofaxes. The overall binder dimensions on the Cuban and Finsbury seem to be the same, but on the L'Agenda Moderne, the spine is about 5mm shorter and the binder is about the same 5mm narrower from spine to the outside where the clasp would be. The downside is that the L'Agenda Moderne is a bit thicker, I suspect due to the ring size being slightly larger - but I forgot to check that carefully. Also note that L'Agenda Moderne has heavier quality paper.

    The claspless L'Agenda Moderne slipped in and out of my jacket pocket more easily than either my Finsbury or the Cuban, The clasped version actually stuck so badly in my pocket on the clasp loop that I had to remove my jacket to extricate it. There is also no possibility to add a pen loop to it as the pen would stick out beyond the cover.

    I compared them on flatability: Neither Filofax would lie very flat and of the three L'Agenda Modern that I opened, the two with softer, thinner leathers lay completely flat while a heavy, thicker leather model opened to about ~120 degrees naturally.

    The claspless L'Agenda Modern is a beautiful option for someone wanting an agenda that will slip into a jacket pocket. But or now, I cannot justify the price, and I'll stick with my Finsbury.

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  15. Great post Steve. I found this really helpful, thank you :)

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  16. I think a Compact Identity (if such a thing existed) would be the perfect Filo for me. Two elasticised pen loops, horizontal card slots, and small rings good for a southpaw.

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  17. Steve I've been contemplating purchasing a Compact for awhile now but don't know if I need it. I recently bought a slimline Finsbury from Josh (on Adspot!) and I don't know if the Compact's 15 mm rings are different enough in size (and therefore capacity) from the 11 mm slimline rings to justify the purchase. Thoughts?

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    1. Hi Laurie
      The step from 11mm rings to 15 mm is quite a jump, I have both sizes. In the 11 mm slimline you have to be very controlled as to what you put in it. They make a great wallet/notebook plenty of card slots. But the ring size can be a bit limiting for diary selection, Week per Page if you need to carry several months worth of pages and any notes.
      The 15mm again is a challenge compared to say a full size 23 mm personal but it does give you more scope for carrying things.
      I can do you a page count in each size if you wish?
      Steve

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    2. A page count in each would be wonderful, thank you Steve!!

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