13 October 2006

Old Traditions / New Lines

I've transferred my "carry around" Pocket Filofax into a Personal size. It wasn't easy, either. That cute little turquoise Finsbury was an extension of my hand. But the truth was, it was little more than a wallet. It was supposedly a satellite for the A5 Filofax that contained my personal life, and yet both the home planet and the satellite were seeing less use. The Pocket didn't show me enough information at once, and the A5, too much. In fact, the A5 wasn't really showing me anything I needed to see more often than, say, once a week. It had become an expensive, leather bound idea book. Things I may do someday, but that I don't need to have with me everywhere I go. And I wasn't using the calendar diary at all, except to copy things from my Pocket calendar just for the sake of synching them.

I loved that Pocket Filo. It had that soft, worn in, Velveteen Rabbit quality. It smelled good. But I had to put sentimentality aside and admit that it was missing a few things: enough room for each day's worth of committments and reminders; enough room for more than a few sentences per page; enough capacity to free me from carrying an A5 along with the Pocket any time I left the house for more than a few minutes.

And so I bit the Personal bullet. Credit cards, cash, phone numbers, week per 2-page calendar, blank paper, all went from Pocket to Personal. Also, the Personal comes with a Projects tab, which has an important function: reminding me when I wake up bleary-eyed each morning, what my current, most important projects are. What I need and want to work on. Things that are important but not necessarily urgent. I've populated that tab with yellow leaves (and I don't use yellow anywhere else).

The Personal fits into the crook of my hand, much like the Pocket did, whenever I leave the house without a bag for a trip to the drugstore or dropping off my husband to pick up his car at the shop. It fits into my gym bag. It holds a few paragraphs of notes per page as well as shopping lists. In time, it will get worn and comfortable...or I'll find a Personal size that does.

So, if I'm going to use the Personal Filo as my personal philo, I need a 2007 calendar. And I've bought one. Filofax is now producing its week-per-2-page calendar with lines to write on. I've always felt at-sea in the plain week-per-2-page without guidelines. Be careful what you wish for: I may ultimately find the lines constricting, but for a year, I'll give them a go.

Does anyone out there know whether this is the first time Filofax has offered a lined version of the week-per-2-page diary? I don't think I've ever seen it before. I bought the refill at my local Container Store, but it was printed in the U.K.


  1. They offered it last year as well, cause I bought one. Not sure when they started offering the lined "week on 2 pages." Bought the 2007 version as well, it works for me.


  2. I have been a filofax user since 1988. I have a Filofax brochure from 1989 which does not list the lined version of the diary as an option. I did purchase one for 1999 and that has a 1997 copyright notice. My guess would therefore be that it was intoduced in 1997. The brochure lists all sorts of long dead Filofax inserts which bring back nostalgic memories of the yuppie high watermark of the Filofax.

    My favorite diary was the day on two pages. This was available for a couple of years in the early noughties but I now see it is listed again on the filofax web site.

  3. In my 1990 catalogue, Filofax lists three Week on Two Pages diaries; the "Week on Two Pages with appointment times" (Ref 381690; its pre-1989 code was 919) which is what I assume you mean by "lined." There was also Week on Two Pages, Sun-Sat and Mon-Sat. They still do much the same products today: http://www.filofax.co.uk/store/SEURLF/ASP/SFS/SIZEID.3/SFE/diaryrefills.htm

    I am quite heartened by the fact that the "Personal" sized Filofax has found a place in your affections as it is just naturally such a good and practical sized; smaller sizes are not much more than bulky notepads and the bigger sizes are just too inconvenient. I've never really identified with any of the other sizes, Filofax is the "personal" size and doesn't need the "personal" monicker in the first place.

    Filofax have been masters at diluting their own value; they've battled with various other sizes with varying degrees of success (I think at least two Deskfax and three smaller sizes have all died the death) and none of them have eclipsed the original. I don't know any company that's peddled as many pointless and derrivative products as Filofax and still survived. But that's another rant altogether :)

  4. Thanks, everybody for your answers, and Hi Kevin! I was afraid you'd given up on me completely. :)

    I do feel good about my return to the tried and true Filofax size. And the company's survival is truly something to be grateful for.

  5. Don't worry, I'm still here but things have been quiet on the Filofax collecting front lately. I've been trying to get a hold of any of the Filofax "Duplex" models without success :(

  6. "I don't know any company that's peddled as many pointless and derrivative products as Filofax and still survived. " I have a strong contender:


    The vast majority of what they sell are the "Arizona" sandals, yet they persist in pointless "brand extension" forays into shoes, clogs, plastic clogs and other such detritus--if I'm not mistaken Arizona outsells all other Birk products COMBINED. So keep that in mind (or note it in your Filo) as you wait for the introduction of the waterproof, high boot Birk mukluk--the "Minsk" model.


  7. Hi Zed! I think we're into the other rant already. :) I'm a Frye boots / Dr Martens gal myself. I think the good doctor is doing a similar thing to Birkenstock, and now making some of these new models in China!

    The current business climate makes companies so dependent upon this month's numbers, that they have to make decisions to make the short-term projections look good, never mind whether they're doing things that will keep them in business a year (or 5 years) from now.

  8. I believe they have been carrying that style for at least the last 5 years. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your Personal size Filofax!

  9. Hi Nan, I have been using the personal filofax since '94 starting in Germany and I have always bought the 'week on 2 pages diary, horizontal' and I love it. I am glad that I have found them here in the US too.

  10. Oh, I've seen pictures of that format, Suzie. It looks neat. I should try it someday.


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