23 April 2015

Old Inserts

We all love 'Vintage' Filofax organisers of one sort of another.... but sometimes it is also lovely to see the older inserts that went with the organisers of the 1980's. Over the years I have built up a small collection of old inserts, some I bought myself back in the late 1980's in fact!

And before we go in to the inserts themselves let me just say.... the images within this post are the intellectual property of Filofax Group and are reproduced with their permission for historical interest only.

So I've split the collection in to two parts. This part will concentrate on 'Data Sets' There were two data sets in the 1980's as far as I can recall. A UK data set (DSET UK) and an International Data set (DSET INT). There were a few common pages between both sets which were labeled just DS followed by a number.

Naturally you could add in which ever of these pages you found of use, or include them within any part of your organiser.

Back in the late 1980's the various information pages we now see with diary inserts were part of the Data Sets, so effectively you bought your diary insert and which ever of the data sets you needed.

Phone numbers included give away the age of some of these inserts. London numbers were prefixed by an 01 dialling code until May 1990 when London was split in to 071 (Inner London) and 081 (Outer London) then a few years later in April 1995 the numbers changed yet again to 0171 and 0181.

I've paired each page in the following images so each pair is set as 'Front' and then 'Reverse' The designers I think did a very good job of keeping relevant subjects together if they one covered one side of a page.

So as this is going to be very picture heavy a break point will appear after a few images, please click 'read more' to see the full post.

I will cover some more general 'vintage' inserts in a similar post soon.


  1. I sat through many boring meetings in the 80s flicking through these pages whilst pretending to listen to some turgid speaker droning on!

    1. What ever happened to 'Motorail Services' ?

      I used to scan up and down the radio bands with the World Service listings seeing which ones I could hear!

    2. Motorail in the UK was a victim at rail privatisation being deemed unprofitable and not put up for sale. First Great Western revived it between London and Penzance in 1998 but it only lasted until 2005. It's still big in mainland Europe though.

      Looking through the list of UK organisations, many are long gone! My wife (a dietitian) worked for the Health Education Authority in the 80s and one of the bodies listed. I'm not sure how many Filofax users will have called them though!

      As a teenager, I too used to scan radio wavelengths late at night. Short Wave radio contained all sorts of stations in those days and Medium Wave (now usually called AM) too.

  2. Isn't this sort of stuff just wonderful? Not just nostalgic but useful. Come on Filofax, take heed! You're just coasting with your products these days, as if you aren't really interested anymore. Maybe you aren't? Thank you Steve, it's marvellous.
    PS I did the same as Tim! These were life savers!

    1. I think what's more wonderful is that you can so easily create your own inserts now with standard software and a cheap laser printer, far more useful than the old FF designs.
      One thing I do on my custom inserts as a nod to these old designs is to always use the Elephant typeface (Windows) for the titles to match the FF style.


  3. The oldest insert I have is a 1992 personal size fold out world map. on the other side are standard time zones.

    The only resaon i still have it is because it was packed away with some college stuff but found it again last year. It is now in my Purple Malden and used again.

  4. I liked these but resented the price back then, which was about the same as a week on two pages diary. And with separate packs for UK and International, you had to fork out a lot for a full set of data. Also, some of the leaves, like the diseases and mileages, didn't really need to be issued in a pack every single year.
    At least the current diaries have a reasonable set of data leaves included.

  5. I recognize some of these -- must have been in my pigskin Winchester when I bought it in the 80s. I should have kept them, they'd be collectors' items!

  6. love the contagious diseases page!

  7. Were the vaccination and contagious diseases pages early 80s? I see they have AIDS on the list. AIDS is not contagious, HIV is. But perhaps they did not know that then?


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