06 October 2006

Where do I put it?

Since transferring to the A5 Filofax, my main dilemma has been storing the archived pages. Stuff that I will need to refer to someday, but that I don't need to carry around all the time. I thought it would be a fairly simple matter to buy A5 binders to hold the pages. I could even write in A5 notebooks, when I wanted to, and combine them with pages generated in my A5 Filo.

The only problem was, I couldn't get A5 binders in the U.S. Sure, there were the Filofax storage binders, but they had posts, not rings, so they weren't convenient for reading and leafing through. I thought if I could just get my hands on some A5 binders and a punch, all my information-storage problems would be solved, and I could devote myself to cleanly and seamlessly generating ideas for the rest of my life.


I found some A5 binders at Kinokuniya in New York for 4 bucks each, and a hole puncher for 8 bucks. And I bought them. I also found that they sell some pre-punched paper. Japanese stationers have a fascinating system, sort of a combination of spiral notebooks, loose-leaf binders, and rollabind rings. It's a 20-hole, A5 configuration with plastic rings. You can buy A5 notebooks in this configuration, then remove the pages and store them in 20-hole binders or other notebooks. Two out of the 20 holes fit in a standard 2-hole A5 binder, so they're interchangable. I bought a pack of that 20-hole/2-hole paper while I was at Kinokuniya.

This picture shows a Japanese A5 binder, with an A5 page from a pre-punched Miquelrius notebook. You can also see the pack of loose-leaf paper, the 2-hole punch, and a closed A5 binder behind the open binder.

I've learned that I can't find the perfect storage binders. These Japanese binders only hold a few pages at once since the rings are so small. To add pages from my Filofax, I have to punch extra holes in them. I'm really no better off than using the Filofax storage binders, even though they don't lie flat.

Barring perfection, it's imcumbent upon me to come up with an alternative. And I'll do that in a later post.


  1. Hiya Nan
    I find the easiest solution here is to buy some cheap A5 binders off of ebay. I'm spoilt for choice being in the UK, but here is a seller who will ship to the US:-


  2. Thanks, Anon Y. Mous! I've search eBay in vain many times before, but never searched the UK site. I only searched Canada, thinking I'd be able to get international formats there.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to order more binders just now, but it's good to know where to look. I bet other sellers could also be persuaded to ship to the U.S. if I ask nicely.

  3. Nice post. See the 'team' at patnox.com

  4. Nan, do you know if the 20 hole/2 hole Japanese A5 paper you talk about by any chance fits the 6 hole A5 Filofax?

    Having a hard time finding lined 6-hole A5 paper(Filofax is too dear).

    Any suggestions?

    DJ Rzadca

  5. I'm late to this post but it really is near impossible to get anything but 8.5" x 11" stationery/binders in the US, it's a disaster! Anyway you can get European style A5 binders only in white from A.C. Moore, the handicrafts store. There's also dividers and plastic zipper storage pockets in the A5 size there as well. Kinokuniya carries lots of A5 loose leaf and some A5 binders but they hold very little paper. The Kaiser Crafts binder at AC Moore holds a lot. Also Japanistic.com carries a different sort of binder on their website for A5. America is in dire need of A5 loose leaf, binders and French ruled paper!

  6. lexis, thank you very much for this information!! The paper size is such an issue for US users.

  7. Just wondering if anyone has found a good solution to the filofax storage issue for A5 planners. I've been looking everywhere and would really like to have some ring-style binders for storing old pages. The post binder option that filofax offers isn't what I'm looking for. Thanks for any tips!