Thank you to Christa for this review of the new Doodle Compact
As soon as the first part of the new Filofax range was announced here at Philofaxy I was immediately drawn to the Doodle, I had no clear idea of what I wanted to use it for but I had a very clear idea of how I would like to decorate it. So as soon as I could afford one I logged onto the Filofax website and used my 20% off code. It took a while to come due to the bank holiday weekend but i was so excited beyond belief when it arrived.
Overall I was impressed with the outer packaging it moves in a more fun, creative direction for Filofax. It also departs from the long held tradition that the cheaper Filofaxes do not have any packaging apart from a piece of material wrapped around them. It is a nice simple design and keeps the binder well protected.
My first impressions of the binder itself are that the design is clearly based on the popular Domino but with a vertical closure. The outside is very well executed with the band and grid lines being a lovely vivid blue, the elastic closure also seems to have improved elasticity over the Domino which tends to slack over time, it is also easier to adjust if any slacking occurs as the elastic is just threaded through the back cover and stitched in the middle.
It is made of a PU material that has a slightly rougher texture then the Dominos, the graph design has not interfered with my design at all in fact I find it quite complements it by filling in the space not taken up by your doodles.
I love the compact rings as it makes writing much easier for me though this may alienate some customers who prefer the personal size rings as they are able to hold a lot more.
My only drawback to this binder is the interior with the usual bland colour which does not match the fun nature of the outside and the complete lack of pockets which i feel is a huge mistake given the fact that the majority of Filofax users like to use the pockets whether for stickers, post it notes or simply for credit cards, this however can be rectified with an assortment of the plastic inserts available to purchase separately. The pen loop issue can also be resolved by using a sticky pen loop such as the leuchtturm sticky pen loop in an array of colours to suit your tastes.
The inserts have an array of inserts including a front flyleaf, title page, to do sheets (cotton cream format but in white), lined pages in white, pink, green and dark blue, grid paper,plain white paper, contacts paper and 1-6 coloured dividers in blue and green.
It also contains a plastic insert which is thicker than a flyleaf and has a plastic penloop on the side which is a clever new idea by Filofax obviously to rectify the lack of an attached penloop on the binder and a pocket on one side which holds the drawing tool and the extra piece of material.
The material which is touted by Filofax as being a 'sample piece of material to try out your design' is approx 3 x 3cm and while you can test a few pens to see which will work best there is no way it is big enough to try out a design i feel a much larger piece of material (approx A6 sized) is needed otherwise the statement is quite misleading. But it did help me discover that sharpie ultra fine pens seem to work best and as the material is slightly rough in texture it can cause your pens to skip of jog you in some places if you are pressing too hard
The drawing tool is well executed with a nice Filofax logo in the corner and will be helpful to those who may need a little inspiration in getting creative, but be careful with the little pieces they may get lost quite easily, I tucked mine into my pencil case for safe keeping. I would recommend trying the drawing tool first on a sheet of paper first to get used to it as it is easy to make mistakes when you are not used to it.
Personally I support Filofax's new idea not to include a diary as i always discard them as the small weekends do not work for me though i am disappointed this has not been reflected in the price which may result in customers feeling cheated.
Overall it is a nice binder that shows Filofax is willing to try more innovative creative ideas and is a step in the right direction for their cheaper range. A few oversights in functionality but overall the creative aspect makes it a winner in my book.
Thank you Christa.