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10 May 2013

Free for All Friday No 234

Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic:

Do you look for Filofaxes with or without a slot for a notepad in the back?

Bonus question: If you have a notepad in the back of your Filofax, what do you use it for? Does it serve a different purpose than the paper you keep on the rings?

67 comments:

  1. So I received my new Crimson Personal Malden yesterday from Filofax France (I'm in the US). I love the leather and it's soft and it lays flat. But upon inspection, I found 4 places on the outside back that appears to be sticker residue. It's not sticky to touch, but it looks like the residue that is left when you pull off a sticker or label and then try to rub the adhesive off with your finger, but it just smears. The other issue is on the pen loop. The first stitch on the bottom row of thread has pulled out from the leather so it just sticks up in the air. I'm not sure if I snip it off if it will cause the rest of the stitching to unravel.

    Any suggestions, thoughts? Should (can) I fix these little things? Or would you return it? Thanks for your help.

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    1. Seems silly to return it to France. I'd take it to a good shoe repair and see what they think they can do with it. My local guy is willing to work on most any leather product and can perform all manner of "miracles." Hope it works out! If Filofax France is willing to exchange it free of charge that may be another option.

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    2. I know that white vinegar can remove the sticky patches left by peeling stickers off (like on the bottom of shoes) BUT I don't know how well it would react with the leather.

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    3. I had that on my red chameleon. I used spray furniture polish ... Worked a treat :)

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  2. Oh, forgot to say...I do prefer the notepad. If I need to jot down something quick,that I won't necessarily be keeping, I find it quicker to just flip to the back of the FF. For example, when I am getting ready for work in the morning if I think of something I want to mention to a colleague I will jot it on the notepad to remind myself.

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  3. I've only owned one filofax with a notepad pocket, and I carried a notepad in the pocket, but I never got into the habit of using it. The notepad IS easier to write on than paper in the ring mechanism. I suppose that the notepad was just outside of my usual way of using a filofax...

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    1. I'm with Josh. Never used a notepad in the back pocket and I have several Maldens. And it would definitely be easier writing things down there and then transferring it onto the rings. Just not used to doing it that way.

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    2. + 1
      Don't use the notepad in personal binder, for just a few notes on the go, it seems a waste of (expensive) paper for me. I use the slot as a pocket and closed it with a paperclip or a magnetic bookmark.
      But I like the idea attemped in the new Original binder : a Flex jot pad is thinner, think I could use it.
      But for A5 binders, it is different, other circumstance and I use a lot the notepad.

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    3. I don't use the Metropol right now, but it was my experience that I never had any need for the notepad as such. In fact I pulled the pad apart and use it as note paper. The back pocket I used for coupons.

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    4. I've never looked for a notepad slot, as the first section of my main system is Notes/In, which does the job. However, I can certainly see the benefit, so I may revisit this.

      Currently entering another period of Personal/A5 portability/usability angst - God help us all.......I blame Paul B, who kindly lent me (unsolicited) a beautiful A5 vintage Durham zip. Thanks Paul! :)

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    5. David - A5 v Personal? Portability v usability? Join me and accept it's an on-going battle that will never be resolved - but great to debate!

      Following recent posts on vintage organisers, compared to modern bonded leather, I waxed and polished my old (1990's) Time Manager Compact and ordered new diary insets. The leather is a zillion times better quality than my modern tan leather Filofax Flex. Alas, after a day or two, I was back to A5! I'm going to try going small again with my new Personal Fusion prize. We'll see...

      The A5 Durham Zip was a big beast (about 260mm x 200x 55mm, I think) and will weigh a lot when filled. It'll be a big decision to use that, if you've grown used to a Personal!

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    6. hi Tim - yes it will always be the great problem to (never) be resolved, but it's fun to try!

      I weighed the Durham with the exact contents of my Finsbury, and the Durham was 16gm lighter.....interesting. I don't know if anyone here has done a table of binder weights (empty, obviously) but I'd be interested to see it....

      I finally gave away my old 1980s TMI binder a few weeks ago - seemed like the end of a very long chapter in my life. I agree about the quality of leather and manufacture being light years ahead of anything I know of which is still being manufactured....a sad comment on 'progress'.

      More on the A5 'project' in due course, no doubt. I do love the portability of the Personal, but the page space is a pain, and various diary formats have failed to resolve the problem.

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    7. David - could you use your phone for your appointments (perhaps with google calendar or simlar) and just use your planner for - planning? This means you could use an A5 when working and just take your phone out and about in the evenings and at weekends etc.

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    8. I've thought long and hard (and repeatedly) about using my phone in that way. There are some advantages, like being able to store post codes (for the SatNav) and collection codes for train tickets etc, much more easily, just by cutting and pasting them into the relevant appointment. My BlackBerry will easily sync Google Calendar and Contacts to the phone itself, and on the face of it, it sounds like a great deal.

      The only problem is - I just don't trust it. I've had it stop syncing on me for no reason on several occasions (i suspect it may not like the London Undergound much), and I honestly just don't like Google Calendar's interface much (maybe I should look at different themes). But the biggest problem is the lack of a proper task management system. I've tried Evernote, but it just doesn't do it for me, on BlackBerry. And at the end of the day, I just plain like pencil and paper for speed of access (nothing beats pen and paper for speed) and the security of knowing it's been recorded and that it's not going to be deleted/duplicated/shot into a black hole of cyberspace or corrupted in any other way. So I think I'll stick with the dilemma I already have for now....thanks for the suggestions though!

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    9. David, you've really summarized my feelings on this topic perfectly. I actually am quite fond of the native calendar app on both older and the new BlackBerry OS. It is flexible and functional and easy to use. I also am less than enthused about the google calendar interface. But it works fine. In the end, I find electronic calendars to be just slightly less convenient to use and substantially easier to ignore. I would love to be able to just slip my phone in my pocket but find that I always miss my filofax when it's not with me.

      I've not had any calendar syncing issues but am fully annoyed with my contacts on my phone. I have numerous duplicate entries with slightly different data. I spent hours one day cleaning them up and attempting to disconnect my google contacts and blackberry contacts from all other accounts to prevent corruption. A few days later and all the blasted things are back on both my google account and my blackberry. It is so frustrating to spend the time to fix such a problem only to have it reappear!

      In the end, I am happy to use new technology when it is intuitive and easier to use than the older technologies. If it fails to be easy to use, I stop using it. Paper just works and is incredibly fast.

      I don't go back and forth on A5 v Personal. A5 is just too big. It takes up too much desk space when open, is too cumbersome to carry around, and I just cannot get on with it. I struggle, however, with the choice between a svelte 23mm filofax personal and a functional 1.5 inch Franklin Covey compact!

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    10. Hi Josh - not only is the duplication of contacts a persistent problem, but the duplication of appointment is even worse. This is multiplied exponentially in the case of recurring appointments - Google calendar tends to create a new set of appointments each time it syncs, in addition to the original/existing sets. So after a year of a recurring appointment, there could be over 50 'versions' of the same appointment. I've had to spend several hours cleaning these up on various occasions, and now (on the occasions when I'm trying to use Google) I've given up using recurring appointments.

      Leaving all other considerations aside, who in their right mind would swap a beautiful leather binder, a fountain pen and beautiful paper (if you could get beautiful paper from Filofax rather than a bunch of excuses and protestations) for an ugly plastic slab (of any size). This isn't progress. The Filofax is faster, sexier and more secure - car park incidents included!

      I agree with you about the Personal/A5 dilemma. My desk is now smaller than the previous version, and not only is the A5 too big to carry, it's too small for the desk as well. Looks like I'll be continuing in Personal and stuck with the search for decent quality pre-puunched (I don't do punching) paper....at least no longer need pre-printed forms, diary apart!

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    11. FF Cotton Cream paper works for me, pre-punched paper that I print my own inserts on. Takes my Waterman fountain pen ok... I'm at the cheaper end of the FP scale compared to some!

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    12. Sreve, agreed.....cotton cream is the best pre-punched FF paper I've come across. Thinking of getting my various fountain pens set up again and trying them out on it (although it works well with ballpoint also). Failing that, maybe a Lamy Safari when I'm in London....a solicitor lent me one to sign some docs with and it seemed *very* good - especially for the price...

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    13. I must point out that Franklin Covey diary pages take fountain pen ink without the slightest trouble. Not particularly luxurious paper, feels a bit rough, but resists bleeding very well and does not show through very much, while being thin. Unfortunately they don't really properly fit into a filofax and they are printed in unpleasant green ink.

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    14. Also, I have very high hopes for the QuoVadis pages which will be imported into the States for the first time sometime soon. For the first time I'm planning to try maintaining a separate planner for work (a Franklin Compact) and if it works I may just try the Quo Vadis week plus notes format for my personal needs inside my Winchester.

      I keep a Lamy Safari with an ExtraFine nib inked in Quink Washable Blue, I can get away with writing on plain white filofax paper without much trouble. Shows through badly but so does anything else, does not bleed through much at all.

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    15. I came late to this post but I used the notepad slot all the time in my A5, I couldn't have functioned without it. In my Personal, I would use the slot if mine had one but it doesn't. I do a lot of client meetings and a Filofax notepad suits me perfectly. I had to come up with a hack fir it to fit in my binder, while being able to take t out without opening the rings. More to come when I finish a guest post for this website. Currently going through similar vacillations as David. I crave the extra real estate of an A5 page and I sorely miss the sheer ease with which you can print and punch almost anything, but as I travel everywhere with hand luggage only, and I travel at least once a week, both space and weight are at a high premium.

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    16. I came late to this post but I used the notepad slot all the time in my A5, I couldn't have functioned without it. In my Personal, I would use the slot if mine had one but it doesn't. I do a lot of client meetings and a Filofax notepad suits me perfectly. I had to come up with a hack fir it to fit in my binder, while being able to take t out without opening the rings. More to come when I finish a guest post for this website. Currently going through similar vacillations as David. I crave the extra real estate of an A5 page and I sorely miss the sheer ease with which you can print and punch almost anything, but as I travel everywhere with hand luggage only, and I travel at least once a week, both space and weight are at a high premium.

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  4. In my A5 Finsbury back pocket I put my Kindle keyboard! It's the perfect size for it and I do always carry them both around anyway so I'm very happy it fits!!

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  5. To all those who have experience with a Finsbury: I just received my order from Filofax Germany, a Personal Finsbury in blue. The cover is *very* stiff and I have a hard time working the closure because the button is so hard to open and close I'm afraid I'd damage it. Is that more or less normal or should I return it?

    Thanks in advance and have a good weekend!

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    Replies
    1. I would suggest emailing them and asking to return it for another one.

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    2. I compared Finsburys in two stores, realized that they are only slightly easier to handle (due to prior handling by other people, no doubt) and decided to keep mine. I started giving it a good workout and it's already easier to handle! I won't regret keeping that one, I'm sure!

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  6. Oh and I have acquired a personal Kent from eBay, but it smells musty. I suspect it's been stored somewhere damp without any protection for the leather. What would people recommend to clean it up a bit?

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    1. Hi Nicole
      I had a similar problem with a couple I've bought off of Ebay in the past. What I did was remove all the inserts, empty the pockets and then use something like Fabreze which is a fabric deodoriser or a similar product. http://www.febreze.co.uk/fabric_care.htm

      I put the spray on paper kitchen towel and placed it in side the pockets and slots and left it like that for a few hours.

      Took it out the following day and then left the organiser in a open area to dry out and let the fresh air get to it for a day or so. It was fine then.

      Then I just gave the leather some treatment with a leather care cream or spray and it was all like new again.

      Steve

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    2. There is an interesting chapter in Charles Duhigg's "Power of Habit" that deals with the issues the company had when they introduced Febreze.

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    3. I have that on my 'to read' list. Given that good time/life management is really about habit, it should be really interesting.....

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    4. Thanks Steve! I've gone for the supermarket own version and covered it in a paper towel sprayed with the fabric freshener and it's slowly smelling nicer! I'm going to try it a few more times as there is an undertone of must when you smell it. Then I'm going to put some Nivea cream on it as recommended by another Philofaxer.

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  7. For left-handers (8-10% of the population), the notepad at the back is a pain in the rump. Like everyone, we have to swing all the pages in the ring mechanism over to the left-hand side to use the pad. However, we left-handers are then faced with then trying to get our writing hand over all these pages, dividers and plastic pockets AND having to fight to work around the ring mechanism to get to the notepad! It just doesn't happen!

    I've never seen a Filofax (other than Flex) with a notepad at the front. For left-handers that (coupled with a pen-loop at the front) would be brilliant! Sadly, everyone who has ever worked in the Filofax design office must have been right-handed!

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    1. Hi Tim,
      What if the pad swung outwards from the back cover so it was then clear of the rings completely? Not sure how it could be engineered with an existing card slot but I'm willing to have a go to see if we can come up with a solution!
      Steve

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    2. Ah yes! Franklin Covey used to do a "swing pad". It was reinvented by Ray Blake last year. Here's the link:-
      http://mylifeallinoneplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/filofax-swing-pad-you-can-make-at-home.html

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    3. Franklin covey continues to make the swing pad. I like the concept but boy does it ever take up ring space!

      I have several FC notepads which I keep in my desk. When I was using an FC system I would take a pad to a meeting to take notes on and it was handy to have the holes if I ended up wanting those notes with me later. Frequently I'd just review the page after the meeting, identify action items, and then file or discard the notes page.

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    4. I had to come up with a slightly different variation from Ray's to accommodate my binder. I'll include some photos and an explanation in my guest post, it might help someone else with a similar configuration of binder.

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  8. I use my notepad for everything, only have 3-4 pages left!

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  9. I don't use the notepad. I have a small notebook in the front slot of my Filofax. I use the back for repeat prescriptions, and a Maped folding ruler which is just so useful!!

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    1. Muji make a *great* folding ruler...I have two, and will make get a couple more when I'm in London

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  10. My compact chameleon did not have a note pad slot so I made one using a building society passbook cover and put a cheap pad in there for rough notes. I like the note pad for quick note taking before deciding where it goes in the binder.

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  11. For me the notepad in the back is a deal maker or breaker. I didn't really like the Maldens to begin with, but now I love mine, mainly because it's one of the few personal size models that take a notepad instead of having a zipped pocket at the back. For a while I used an A5 because they (almost) all have it, but it got too big to carry around. I am waiting for a Filofax delivery today, a hopefully lovely Original in patent fuchsia - love that colour! - and one of the reasons I dithered about it was the smaller jot pad in the back. But I reckon I can cut the back of the notepad to size and slot one in ... We will see.

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  12. My everyday carry is an A5 Malden in Ochre....quite a lovely thing. Like David, my first divider is Notes In and this is where I capture items for my planner; however, I do use a notepad in the back for items not necessarily bound to go into my planner, such as personal correspondence. I prefer a Clairfontaine Triomphe 80g notepad.

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  13. I used to use the notepad in the backs of my FC planners for quick note-taking and ideas, etc. But my personal Finsbury doesn't have one so I've made a Notes section at the front and I really like it. A Malden is on my wish list, and I'm sure I'll take the notepad out and use the pocket for something else, since I really like the note section in the front.

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  14. Hi need some advice and new here I have a very old filofax on the inside cover it says filofax. Made in england. 2clf 7/8 real calf. The filofax is a landscape profile its 22cm across top. And 19cm down spine. It has 3x3 metal rings. Has addresses inserts. I can not find any information anywhere and only picture iv seen is in someones private collection..... any information will be great as looking to sell item thank you

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    1. It will be like this one that my wife has:

      http://philofaxy.blogspot.com/2010/09/restoring-leather-filofax.html

      What information do you need?

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    2. Hi thank you but the filofax I have is not the same as in your picture is there anyway I can possibly send or post picture for you to look at. As I said above it is landscape profile so the rings are along the shortest edge when open it measures 45.5 cm long with the rings central measuring 19cm I hope that makes sense

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    3. Yes the email address is on the About page... Send me a photo and I will see if I can identify the model you have.

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    4. Hi I have sent pictures to the email address any help would be great

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    5. Sounds like one of those double-personal-width ones. I think it was the original deskfax? But I'm not sure about "3x3" rings. That definitely sounds like a later deskfax which is not in a landscape profile.

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    6. Yes it's an original Deskfax, it has two sets of three rings, same spacing as Personal but twice the page width. They were made in about 1986-1988. And in about 1992, the Deskfax changed to three sets of rings using 176x250mm paper.

      Reece sent me a photo and this confirmed what we were looking at:
      http://www5b.biglobe.ne.jp/~m-task/deskfax.htm

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    7. Sounds really interesting!

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    8. I remember these! The page size was 190mm x 171mm landscape - hence the binder size of 220mm x 190mm. I can't recall ever seeing one in use though! In the late 80's this was the only size of form that wasn't the standard size (what we now know as Personal).

      The new portrait orientated Deskfax and A5 both came out in 1992.

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    9. A brown leather one has just been listed on eBay UK, described as 'VINTAGE RETRO COLLECTABLE BROWN LEATHER FILOFAX 1980S' and an 'unusual vintage Filofax'. What a coincidence!

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    10. It's the same one. I've requested that they give a donation to Chimwemwe for the information sent to help them sell it.

      Considering the other items from this seller are not Filofax related, draw your own conclusions.

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    11. Oh, I didn't realise (note to self, must pay more attention!). I hope they do give a donation to Chimwemwe, considering all the help they've had from you, Josh and Tim.

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    12. Tim, how certain are you of the page measurement? I've asked in several places, but all anyone seems to know is that "double Personal" in 180mm, which I suspect refers to the current fold-out sheets, and not the original Deskfax (which was also a Lefax size). I have yet to find a definitive source for the exact size of the original Deskfax pages, and I really need one!

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    13. Sorry I missed your question! I clearly remember the original Deskfax, but never owned one.

      On checking my historic notes (25 years old!) the page dimensions I noted at the time were indeed 180mmx 171mm for the double width (there's a reference to Deskfax alongside). This 10mm difference in the sizing comes from the double sheet being able to fit in a standard binder when folded. It does make sense but, I'm afraid I don't have a original Deskfax to verify, however.

      The Deskfax became B5 in 1992/3 - halfway between A5 and A4.

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  15. I don't think I really sought out a notepad slot when I got my Malden (which I just celebrated my two year anniversary with, lol) but I don't know if I could do without a notepad slot now!

    Not that I use it for a notepad - I put most of my notes on stickys or right on the daily pages. But the slot has become my storage space for color coding and misc. stickers, along with a small blank Moleskine cahier for journaling. Works perfectly!

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  16. Hi Everyone :) I used to use the notepad in the back of my A5 Aqua Chameleon when I first got it, but I soon found that I wasn't using the rest of the Filofax! I was too afraid to mess up the nice (expensive) coloured lined inserts so I felt safer scribbling away in the back on reporter's notepad or something similar. Looking back I guess I should have developed a system whereby I set up well-designed sections to file away each page of the notepad I used. Now I prefer to use the back pocket to hold my Kindle keyboad, it fits perfectly. I think someone else mentioned they do this too - great minds think alike :)

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  17. Hi, I am new to publishing comments but love my v. new A5 Malden which unfortunately has a broken popper. Does anyone know how I can fix this, would a cobbler be able to help do you think? On the topic of notepads, I occasionally use the notepad at the back but could easily live without it!

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  18. Please could someone tell me if an iPad mini fits into the back notepad slot of an A5 Malden?

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    1. I just tried my iPad mini in the back pocket of my A5 Malden and it does fit, it's tight with the apple screen cover thing on it as well as a slim clear plastic case along the back (I drop everything) but it totally does fit and would be a breeze if it was without the extra size of the covers.

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  19. I don't use the notepad but find the notepad slot to be very handy for receipts, prescriptions, etc. in fact I chose the mini metropol for the back pocket which is handy for business or credit/store cards. I really wanted a leather mini but did not want a zipper pocket as I find it too small to be useful. I didn't know of any other minis that had a slip in pocket in the back so ended up with the metropol.

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  20. I'm a long time reader (love the site) and first time poster, I don't have a notepad in the slot in the back of my organiser so I keep small squares of paper right at the front for quick notes.

    I have a question, is there anyone out there who has the perfect planner? I feel slightly abnormal!! I have a pocket Mulberry, not sure if it's a proper one I got it 'used' from eBay for about £15; its got the same rings as a pocket Filofax, it's real leather (I sometimes have to just smell it!! Yes I know weird!)and I adore it. It only has 15mm rings which means I can't keep much in it. I keep looking at the Filofax ones with 19mm rings but I just can't face giving up my current one. Does anyone else have planner nirvana or am I totally gaga?
    Louise x

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    1. You should have seen me when I moved into my raspberry Personal Chameleon! I had hearts in my eyes, and it wasn't the reflection of the pattern! She has everything I need! (I swore I'd never do this, but I named her Cam and she's a she, not an it.) I only look for anything to improve when it comes to inserts, but don't we all do that?

      So, Louise, if you're gaga, I'm with you all the way!

      Regina, planner-gaga and happy!

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  21. I don't have any planners (personal Pimlico Filofax, slimline Bosca, and a Kate Spade one) that have a note pad slot but I would want one as long as there is another pocket in the back. I think it is useful for outlining projects and jotting down ideas. Plus I saw some project note pads at an office supply store that would probably fit in that slot.

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  22. I really like having the notepad slot, although I seldom use the notepad. During my brief visit to the Land of Portland, though, I definitely missed it.

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