12 May 2014

Raspberry A4 Filofax review

I previously owned a black A4 Strata Filofax some years ago, but came to the conclusion that I just didn't like the hard bonded leather and sold it.

I suppose that I still occasionally wonder if A4 would be better, but the cost and previous lack of colours other than black put me off. The A4 Finsbury has been available in the raspberry colour for some time now, but it's always been a bit too expensive for me. Thanks to Amazon, I managed to pick one up recently for nearly half price and thought that seeing one in the flesh would finally put my mind to rest on the matter!

On its arrival, I was a bit disappointed as it was packed between two flimsy pieces of cardboard in a plastic bag, with only paper for padding in the box. The poor strap had taken a bit of a battering and I think that Amazon could learn a lot from Steve about how to properly pack a Filofax for postage.

My first thought on removing the Finsbury was that this raspberry is not the colour of the fruit, as it's more of a pink/purple colour. On the Filofax site it is described as 'textured rambler print leather with hand finished colour'.

On the left hand side, there are four card slots, one mesh ID window, a leather pen loop, two full depth slots and a full length slip pocket behind. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture without inserts, but there is a notepad pocket on the right hand side and another leather pen loop. The ring mechanism is 25mm, and the spacing means that you could use a normal four hole punch.

The ring mechanism is 25mm, which somehow seems small as some A5 have 30mm, but I suppose that it keeps the A4 Finsbury a bit slimmer. Unsurprisingly, this is a fairly heavy binder, but I think it would be great for use at work or to keep at home.

I used a purple mini Finsbury as a wallet some years ago, but don't really have much experience with this model. Looking more closely at the leather, the finish almost reminds me of a leopard's spots, with some more faded areas which I think add a bit of interest. If I was using an A4 for work, I would happily get this out in a meeting as I feel that the colour would still look professional enough for me.

My personal Malden looks quite small in comparison.

Looking at some previous polls on 'what size Filofax organisers do you own?' in 2009 and 2011, it seems that the A4 isn't that popular when compared with other sizes. To be honest, it didn't take me very long to make my mind up about whether I would be keeping the Finsbury, and I have already returned it for a refund. Ultimately it's just a bit too big and it's helped me realise that A5 is perfect for when I want more space for storage, planning and organising projects. I can easily use an A5 at my desk with space to spare, and it wouldn't be too cumbersome if I wanted to take it to the library etc. However, I'm glad that I've had the chance to see one of these in the flesh to decide, and to be able to write a review to share it with you. Steve has also written a great post about his A4 Classic here for anyone that might be considering trying out this size.


  1. I'm so intimidated by the A4. I can't imagine using something bigger than my A5 Finchley. I do love all of the inside left pockets of this one that you've pictured. Thanks for the review.

  2. I have the A5 version and I agree with you on the colour. I find A5 is plenty big enough and I think my work bag would be very upset if I tried to stuff an A4 in it as well as everything else!

  3. I am new to this wonderful world of Filofaxery and recently purchased a Personal Finsbury in pink. It too has that pebbly texture that you describe.Even as this is my first I'm already wondering if I might like a bigger one. Thanks for the review.

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  4. Thank you for the review. I had no idea Filofax existed until a week ago! I am looking for a planner for work and business trips. I don't know that I could go with a size smaller than the A4. For instance if I need to carry a copy of a presentation (8.5 x 11) or similar, it would hang out of the A5, correct? Decisions, decisions! Thank you for any pointers. Also, there are so many cute printables out there, do they generally come in the A4 size?


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