22 February 2017

Comparing A5 Gillio Organisers

I recently bought a Gillio A5 Compagna and this then gave me the opportunity to compare all three models available from Gillio in their A5 organiser range hopefully this might help others decide which is the right model for them.

This is not intended to be a detailed review more a simple way of showing the key differences between the three models.

Top to bottom: Amica, Compagna, Mia Cara


Top to bottom: Amica, Compagna, Mia Cara

Amica A5
  • The lowest price of the three A5 models, prices for the A5 size currently (2017) start at: €352 (inc VAT) 
  • Covers have stiffener and foam internally. This makes the Amica ideal if you are going to be writing in it away from a desk or flat surface as it has some structure. Organiser lays flat without any training straight out of the box. 
  • No zip pockets only secretarial slip pockets.
  • Inside - left : 2 leather secretarial pockets for papers; 4 pockets for business cards and/or credit cards; 1 pocket for several business- and/or credit cards.
  • Inside – right: 3 secretarial pockets, 3 pockets for business cards and/or credit cards.
  • One pen loop. 
  • 25 mm Rings which are replaceable. 
  • Empty weight 495 grams
  • Takes true A5 size inserts with no issues.
  • Also available in Medium(Personal) Pocket and Mini sizes.
Compagna A5
  • The mid-price of the three models and I believe this is the most popular model. Prices for the A5 size start at: €390 (inc VAT) 
  • No stiffener between the inner and outer layers of leather.
  • Heavier in weight than the Amica at 505 grams including the fly leaf
  • Full width back pocket, useful for A4 documents. 
  • Comes with leather fly leaf, reverse side of this is a suede finish not the same colour leather as the organiser. 
  • Inside - left: one secretarial pocket and one smaller pocket for storing papers; one compartment for several business- and / or credit cards; four business- and / or credit cards slots.
  • Inside - right: one secretarial pocket and one smaller pocket to store pieces of paper; zipper for coins/money or papers.
  • One pen loop. 
  • 25 mm Rings which are replaceable. 
  • Takes true A5 size inserts with no issues.
  • Also available in Medium(Personal) Slim, A6, Pocket and Mini sizes.
  • A6 model slightly different design to the others see review here. The A6 has a fly leaf with an additional pen loop. Something I believe should be included in the A5 design.
Mia Cara A5
  • The heavy weight in the line up, at 745 grams even when empty! Prices for the A5 size start at: €585 (inc VAT).
  • Two part design with a removable internal organiser section. 
  • External outer jacket has no stiffener between the leather layers. The organiser section has stiffener between the layers of leather.
  • Full width back pocket in the outer jacket. 
  • Inside - left (outside part): wallet (with popper button); zipped pocket; extra pocket to store papers.
  • Inside - left (organiser part): three credit and/or business card slots; one larger pocket.
  • Inside - right (outside part): six credit and/or business card slots
  • Also available in Medium(Personal) and Pocket sizes.
  • One pen slot in the central spine location of the outer jacket. I don't find this easy to use. I use a Filofax Flex fly leaf with a pen loop on the rings or a pair of them to give me two pen loops. If you are right handed retrieving the pen from the central pen slot is fiddly with the organiser section in place. 
  • 25 mm Rings which are replaceable. Considering the overall weight of the Mia Cara, it deserves to have bigger rings. But there is a problem even with 25mm rings....
  • Please note that the organiser section was not designed for A5 inserts, it was designed for inserts that are 'Half Letter' size. These are narrower, so if you put A5 inserts in the organiser section you will find the pages are flush with the edge of the organiser section, if you use tabs these will stick out beyond the edge of the organiser section (see the photo below). Admittedly when the organiser section is inserted in the outer jacket this isn't such an issue. However, if like me you want to use the organiser section independently of the outer jacket, it is a major deal breaker for me with this model. It is even worse with 35mm rings fitted! (see the photo below)
Please note that the 'A5' inserts sold by Gillio are Half Letter size (140x216 mm) not true A5 in size (148x210mm).

The removable Mia Cara Organiser with true A5 inserts and dividers
The removeable Mia Cara Organiser with true A5 inserts when fitted with 35mm rings

Overall for me of the three models available in A5 size, the A5 Compagna suits my needs best, the issues with the Mia Cara with the width could be solved by Gillio and I have my own plans to solve these issues. Watch this space....

2 comments:

  1. This a great comparison, thank you!

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  2. Very informative review Steve, thank you! So of the three, I would go for a Mia Cara! I actually like the stiffener in this one. It reminds me of the Filofax Bridle in the color of the model you have. What is the name of the color? I am going to PlannerCon in a few weeks and Gillio items are going to be there!

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