24 April 2010

Guest Post: Jess's A5 snake Domino!!


Here is a guest post from Jess, about her brand-new snake A5 Domino Filofax! Jess, thank you for sharing so much about how you are using it! Great photos!

I’m a newcomer to the Filofax fold. I received a beautiful Anya Hindmarch agenda for the Christmas just passed, which happened to fit Filofax personal inserts. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect planner since, as I quickly realised that Anya (as I like to call my first agenda) is gorgeous and elegant, but the soft silver patent leather cover just isn’t sturdy enough for everyday use. Its a luxury planner, not one that will stand up to my student life, where I need a planner to be able to handle constant use and being thrown around into numerous bags with uncapped pens, lipstick, the whole messy girl deal. So I moved onto a personal Fresco – alright, but nothing special. Then I ‘borrowed’ my Mum’s old personal black Pimlico – great sturdy leather, but a bit boring looking. My budget didn’t stretch to a glamorous Amazona or any of the high end Filofaxes – what to do?

Turns out that my dissatisfaction with these Filos wasn’t simply the design, material, or anything like that – it was the size. I bought an A5 red Domino from WHSmiths a couple of weeks ago, purely on a whim because it was reduced to a very purse-friendly £18, complete with an 18-month diary, index tabs (numbered and alphabetical), to-do sheets and coloured note paper. The A5 portable hole-punch was also reduced in price, so I slung that in my basket too, admittedly not giving much thought to how this Filo would fit into my life.

Quite simply, moving to A5 size has been a revelation. The ring size of the Domino is large enough to stuff full of everything I need, which I can easily do now I can simply fold and punch A4 sheets – something I get through plenty of in the course of my days as a student. I find that I’m using my Filo even more effectively, and relying on it completely, than before now I have moved to a bigger size. Luckily the portability issue doesn’t crop up for me because of the light cover material of the Domino and my penchant for huge handbags!

I liked the red cover, too, but it could have been better. I was more than happy to tolerate it, though, because of the benefits of everything else about the Domino. When I spotted the new snake effect A5s, though, I didn’t think twice and promptly ordered one in bronze. Finally I have size, space, glamour, everything I want in a planner! I’m in heaven, and it’s perfectly suited to my student life too; as Laurie said in her post about the A5 Domino, the cover can withstand all sorts of stuff being spilt and dropped on it, and it’s not so expensive that I feel guilty every time I chuck it in my bag!


Being able to just transfer my pages from my red to the new Domino has made the whole process very easy indeed. My set-up is as follows:

When I first open my Filo, I keep a transparent pocket with a top opening containing a photograph of me and the boyfriend, stamps, passport photos and some Post-it notes. Then I have my personal information pages, and all the reference pages that come with Filofax diaries such as the international holidays.

I then have six tabbed sections, one of which has a further six tabs contained within it.

Behind the first is all my main reference material – main phone numbers (I like to keep a paper copy of phone numbers as well as in my phone, as I’ve lost too many phones to count!), addresses of family for birthday cards, passwords, booking references, etc.

The second tab is my Health section, which is probably where I’ve felt the benefits of the A5 hole punch the most. I have calendars detailing appointments and check-ups, fitness class timetables from my local gym, food diaries that I designed myself and printed onto A5 paper, a record of my weight, exercise plans, and so on. I refer to this section constantly, which I wouldn’t be able to do if I was still using a Personal and couldn’t put all this information together as easily.

Fitness timetable

Food diary

Behind the third tab is my lists section, where I have running to-do lists and shopping lists.

The fourth section is my diary. The snake Domino came loaded with a week-on-two-pages in the column format, which I’ve never used before, so I’m taking the opportunity to try that out for a week or two. I put important to-dos in the space at the bottom, and birthdays etc in the space at the top. So far I’m really liking the appointment times running down the side, split into half hours – although I’m not sure whether this format would work for me outside of university term time, when my life is much less structured. Seeing as I’m only in university for 24 weeks of the year, I’m going to keep hold of my standard week-on-two-page format diary for now as well. In my diary I also use my own version of the Jot Pads, which I made myself from the perforated pages at the back of a pocket Moleskine and my A5 hole punch. On these I record any extra details about meetings, times, etc, that I can’t fit on the daily space.

The fifth section, which contains six further tabs, is my Projects – each project has its own sub-tab. Again, being able to create my own pages, and hole-punch A4 sheets, has been an amazing benefit for this section.

This photo
shows the sub-section dedicated to my work on the fashion section of my university’s student newspaper – I have an article here from Vogue which I want to use for reference in a future edition, and I made my own pages with body outlines printed on them to draw inspiring outfits I see on the street, ideas for photoshoots, etc.

The last section is all my spare address pages, note paper, to-do lists etc. The last thing in my Filo is a card holder which came with the snake Domino; I’m not sure what I’ll use it for, yet, so for now it’s protecting the back pages.

For the first time since I started using the Filofax system, I feel like my planner is an extension brain. I’m sure this is totally down to the A5 size! I’m so glad Filofax have offered a budget option which is both sexy, fashionable and grown-up for those of us on a budget who can’t quite afford the Amazona(!). Just divine – thank you!


  1. Great post Jess. I like your choice in organisers, it looks very classy in deed and for such a reasonable price, I'm sure sales of that model will be very good.

    Interesting in your setup, the order of your sections was refreshingly different. But that is the big advantage of Filofax, you can change it to suit yourself.

    Let us know how you get on. I'm also a fan of the A5 format as well as my Slimline.


  2. Thanks, Steve! It really is very good value for money - the photos don't do the quality of the snake finish justice. I wasn't expecting the bronze to be slightly reflective, either, and that really adds to the 'pricey' look!

    Re: setup, I'm guessing you mean that I have my diary towards the middle of the planner! The large rings of the Domino can make it hard to write on, so I placed the diary (the most used section) in the middle so the writing surface is more level.

  3. Yes I like your reasoning, I might try moving my diary section too.

    You will now need a similar bag to match your new organiser!

  4. Oh don't tempt me Steve!

  5. Great post, Jess! I just realized that the A5 Domino is now available in the US as well. So I've asked for one for my birthday (though I don't know if my husband will support my "bad" habit anymore). I would use it for projects and the like, not necessarily for my calendar, but I can't say that for sure until I see how wonderful it is.


  6. But it doesn't seem to be available in the US in the copper - I have emailed Filofax USA to see when they might offer it... I love it in the copper color and hope to acquire one!


  7. For anyone reading these, they're still available from the German site, mine just arrived. Personal at £17.27 including postage.