21 September 2016

Downsizing to the NEW Filofax Lockwood Pocket Slim – Part 1 Guest post by Tim Edwards

Thank you Tim for the detailed two part post on his recent downsizing to a Pocket Slim organiser. 

I’ve been a keen paper organiser user for nearly 30 years and have been following a “slimming down” approach for most of that time – trying to find the optimum, portable, yet practical size!  My move into the recently launched Filofax Lockwood Pocket Slim is a radical step – even for me!

Today, I take a look at some of the various ways I’ve tried to slim down over the years.  Next week, in Part 2, I’ll give an overview of my recent purchase – the Lockwood Pocket Slim – and letting you know how I’ve got on!

Background - at heart I’ve always been an A5-man and I still use this size at my desk.  It’s not really a portable option though and as long ago as 1991 when Time Manager (TMI) introduced their Compact, I immediately purchased one for when “out and about”.  It’s still undoubtedly my favourite all-time organiser and was regularly used (I have two) until the Filofax Holborn Slimline came out in 2011. Here’s the TMI Compact (still available) and the Holborn Slimline (now discontinued)


        
I switched because the Holborn Slimline is much lighter (approx. 350g vs 550g with contents), slimmer (13mm oval rings vs 18mm) and smaller (191 x 120 x 25mm compared with 208 x 140 x 30mm).                                


I’ve used my Holborn (USA readers note – it should be pronounced “Ho-bun” after a district in Central London, not “Holl-borne”!) daily but, increasingly, I was leaving it behind – often literally – in shops and stores.  It was just too easy to leave it on the counter whilst I browsed.  This was because, like many men, I no longer regularly wear a jacket or carry a briefcase or bag.  Being tempted to not carry it or leave it at home was no good either!  The number one rule to success in planning is definitely to always have your organiser/ planner with you at all times.  Abandon this for the “I’m sure I’ll remember”/ “I’ll jot it down later” approach at your peril!

So, last year, I looked at other options for an organiser that I could take everywhere and Ideally, something that could double as a wallet – and suitable for work, shopping, hiking, cycling – wherever!  I considered going totally digital and purchased a new iPhone 6S Plus.  This has proved very successful for calendars, tasks and to-do’s, reminders and contacts using Pocket Informant and Evernote – but that’s really outside the scope of this post!

What is important is that, for long-term planning, creative thinking and general note taking, paper is still essential for me.  A smaller, slim but genuinely pocket size (must fit in trouser pocket without looking ridiculous) organiser was what I needed – in short something like a pocket sized version of my Holborn?  Of course, such a model is still made and I tracked down a rare, grey version in Germany.  However, much as I love all the pockets (including the zipped), it certainly isn’t slim!  With the full length back pocket and large clasp, it’s definitely something to carry in a bag or a large jacket pocket.  



Next, I tried a Midori Traveller’s Notebook Passport size.  I love the inserts, but am not a fan of the pocketless, unstitched single piece of leather that forms the cover.  Equally, whilst I know there is now a large market, the growing number of imitations do nothing for me.    
 



So, I purchased a Flex by Filofax Pocket in leather.  In my view, this is much better quality than the Midori, has several pockets and MTN inserts still fit perfectly.  I made a modification by gently gluing the MTN clear plastic insert onto the spine in the centre, to enable me to have a zip pocket for coins and extra pockets for credit/debit cards.  I also made an elasticated closure loop from a Moleskine which fits into the Jot Pad slot on the right.  This has been my main organiser for the past year.  
   


Filofax discontinued the Flex year planners and diaries last year.  However, the Travellers Notebook monthly and weekly products fit perfectly into Flex pocket covers. 

                               
Whilst bound inserts have big advantages – particularly for us left-handers who hate having to write around ring mechanisms – I’ve found I still missed the flexibility a ringed system offers.  I hate having to keep writing in an increasingly tatty notebook because there are still empty pages and having to carry a full year of calendar around, full of events that have long-since taken place.  A ringed organiser enables you to just keep the current pages you need, helping one to focus on what’s important NOW!

So, I was delighted when Steve discovered that Filofax was to reintroduce Extra Slim Pocket models.  These have existed before – both the Executive and Guildford were made and branded as “Pocket Extra Slim” but neither have been available for several years.  This time it’s the Lockwood that has been produced and sold as “Pocket Slim”.

In Part 2 (next week), I’ll give an overview of the new model, various ways of using it and let you know how I’ve got on with it!  In the meantime, full details of the Lockwood Pocket Slim are on the Filofax site in Germany and will appear soon on the Filofax UK site and elsewhere soon.  

Thank you Tim. 

20 comments:

  1. Great post, Tim!

    Look forward to part 2....

    Meanwhile, curious as to how the new Lockwood Pocket Slim is less prone to leaving it somewhere than your pocket Ho-Bun?

    Also, interested to know how the MTN inserts compare to TMI or FF, etc. I've never seen MTN in person. Have used TMI when I used A5 size....great inserts for work and projects. Thought their smaller size pages are too small.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Fellow Lefty & Binder Explorer

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    1. Hello Mark - thanks for commenting. As next week's post will show, although both are "Pocket" size, there is a big difference in the dimensions between the Holborn and Lockwood. There's no way you would carry the Pocket Holborn in your trouser pocket or in the pocket of a cycling top. In my experience, it's when you're having to carry your organiser/ planner that it becomes all to easy to put it down somewhere and forget it!

      Traveller's Notebook (MTN) inserts use very thin, but still strong, paper. As a result, their inserts are much slimmer than Flex by Filofax, meaning you can carry two or three in a cover plus other contents, without it looking bulky.

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    2. I have carried a Filofax Pocket Guildford Extra Slim, or Pocket Executive - both have 11mm rings and fit nicely in trouser pockets.

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  2. A lovely post Tim, enjoyable and informative, and addressing many of my own personal dilemmas. I have a Pocket Flex the same as yours so I shall be digging it out later for an airing and update. Really looking forward to reading next weeks post, as I like the look of and the size of the Lockwood.

    Thanks again.

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    1. I've had a couple of requests for more info about the Flex closure and glued insert modifications. The elastic came from a Moleskine. I simply passed it through the slots that hold the jot pad in the Flex and glued the ends. The join stays hidden and a jot pad still fits. The Travellers Notebook plastic insert was simply superglued in with s thin bead of glue. I bent the Flex cover back on itself whilst doing this and just took care that the glue didn't spread (and damage the leather). Worked brilliantly!

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    2. I have to add a PS and say that I too bought an iPhone 6 last year and I use the Calendar on that in preference to a written one now. It works fine for me and I just use my Filofaxes for note taking etc.

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  3. Thanks Tim. I share your aspiration of finding a portable planner that is useful and more than just a calendar. I started using an X47 about a year ago which has been great, but it has the same limitations as the MTN in terms of customisation.

    I have a Slimline Cuban which I've used but I have always been put off by not having my annual calendar with me. I now use Google calendar and Wunderlist for my business tasks and use a paper planner for my personal tasks and projects. There is always the peril that accompanies a bifurcated system, but it's also nice to be able to switch off and get offline when I want to think about me so this is working well.

    I shall look forward to part two.

    Nice touch about Ho-bun, Hol-borne makes me twitch!

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  5. Not only USA-readers Tim!As a Dutch reader I'm guilty of Hol-borne too!

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    1. Seems you are correct Natascha! Although locals would immediately know you're a visitor, the name Holborn apparently comes from the Anglo-Saxon words 'Hol' meaning hollow and 'Bourne' meaning brook.

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  6. As someone who was a personal-sized ringed planner gal for over 20 years who switched to a pocket this past January and has not looked back, I really appreciated someone else's story on how they downsized. Look forward to Part 2!

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  7. I purchased a Guildford Extra Slim Pocket for similar reasons, although I do have a handbag I like to keep them reasonable :) Sadly the model that arrived smelled strongly (of pot or incense is up for debate) and still smells 5 months later. When I'm going small the Pocket Chameleon has been ideal, but it's similar in dimensions to your Holborn Pocket.

    I'll be very anxious to see the Lockwood slim - considering the Personal Slim if it ever hits US shores.

    I'm also curious about your Time Systems Compact - does it take Personal paper, or something wider? I like using the Franklin Covey Compact inserts, but most of their binders are nearly as large as an A5 Filo and weigh considerably more.

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    1. Time Manager is not the same as Time Systems - although they have similar origins. TMI paper is a metric 180 x 110mm whereas Filofax Personal is an Imperial size - 6 3/4 inches by 3 3/4 inches which converts to 171 x 96mm. The Time Manager six holes are the same spacing as Filofax.

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  8. Great post, Tim! So I'm curious -- I had no idea the MTN inserts would fit the Pocket Flex; I wonder if the reg. size MTN inserts would fit the Slim Flex? It looks like Filofax no longer sells Flex now on the US site

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    1. No way! The max height to fit in the Slim would need to be 155mm (MTN is 210mm). Filofax dropped Flex very quickly in the USA - presumably due to low sales.

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  10. I like the small Lockwood and the external pocket. I considered a thin pocket binder of a company of Europe, a Filofax pocket binder and the Flex covers. I do not remember the name of that company but there was an array of colors and three card slots on the left side. I am using the weekly pages of my Franklin pocket binder for the rest of the year. I will draw my weekly format in two thin notebooks for my leather cover without rings or strings. Without my purse I must hold my cover but it is light.

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  11. I recall the company, L'Agenda Moderne. Several people discussed it on this site. There are various colors but I think that I misread the number of card slots. The site is in French.

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    1. Some L'Agenda Moderne organizers were available at Laywines in Toronto. Their inserts are also fountain-pen friendly.

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    2. Alan, thank you for the information. I remember that you discussed it in a post with photographs.

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