27 January 2011

My First Mini..

Well after a long long wait... my Filofax Finchley Mini arrived from Yvotchka in the USA. We did a straight swap, a Pocket for a Mini. I must say I'm very pleased with the swap, thank you Yvotchka. The parcel got held up somewhere in the middle of the Christmas/Poor weather postal delays, but it made it here undamaged, including the dollar bill inside the wallet pocket!

Red is certainly a new colour for me, but I quite like it and I would certainly consider others in this colour in future.

So why a Mini... well in the same way that I bought the A4 Classic late last year, I felt I needed or should I say I would like to have at least one of every size of Filofax organiser, just so that I had at least one of each size. So when I write about them I am doing it from a position that I actually have one. A feeble excuse I realise, but a good enough one I think you will agree!

When I sat looking at it this morning over breakfast my first thought was... travelling salesman. Back in the day, furniture salesmen would travel the country with miniatures of the wooden furniture their companies sold. These models wouldn't look out of place in a dolls house. However, in the case of the Mini Filofax it's a fully fledged Filofax, just small in size. If you were a travelling salesman for Filofax, the Mini size would be great to show the design of all the different styles for the whole range! The Mini Finchley has the same detail and quality as its big brothers (or sisters) from Mini through the sizes to A5.

As with the Pocket size I use on a daily basis, you have to pick and choose the contents very carefully so you don't overload the organiser. Yvotchka kindly sent me a large variety of inserts all in cotton cream, which is delicious. During one of my recent UK visits I managed to pick up some (cheap) WHS inserts for the Mini including a one week per page diary refill, which to be honest doesn't do the Finchley justice, it deserves the extra extravagance of cotton cream or at least a Filofax plain white diary insert (added to my shopping list).

Here it is next to its big brother the Chameleon Pocket.

The Mini size will fit in your jeans back pocket easily, where as the Pocket size once 'fully' loaded is a bit of a squeeze. However, be careful to remove it before you sit down... I suspect the ring mechanism could very easily get bent.

One size issue that would stop me from using the Mini as my Wallet/Organiser, because of its small size it can't carry my UK passport. I have to carry my passport everywhere here in France for id purposes. The UK passport does fit in to my Pocket.

Apart from that, the Mini would make a very compact wallet/organiser with enough room for shopping lists, a reduced diary so if you bump in to a friend you can arrange coffee or lunch together. You could also have a few notes pages for the clothing size details of your children etc.

I might use the Mini as my car Filofax, I've got my new car on order and I think it deserves a smart organiser to keep fuel records and translated details of the owners manual in it to hand.

Here is the Mini pretending to be a postage stamp on my A4 Classic!

And finally here is is playing king of the castle from Mini down to A4 calling at all sizes in between.

Again my thanks to Yvotchka for agreeing to do the swap for the 'Pink Heart' Pocket.


  1. Thank you for the good look-see on the Mini. Now I'm in a quandary, though.

    I just bought my first-EVER Filofax (a jaunty orange Mini Finsbury) and I'm thinking it's too small. The poor thing hasn't even arrived yet and I'm already thinking I should have gone for the Pocket model. Should I add that I obsessed over the Filofax USA site for half of forever before deciding on the Mini!?

    My plan (which is really planner lust in the weak guise of practicality) is to use a small planner with pockets as a wallet since I always need something to write on and I don't carry much in my existing wallet. Plus, I love orange.

    The Mini should arrive at the beginning of next week. I will be on pins and needles until then.

  2. Robin, it depends on what you want to use the mini for. If you have few appointments and small handwriting it could work as a planner. It should also be fine as a wallet unless the zip pocket is too small for coins.
    Steve I LOVE your red mini. It is really beautiful and so cute. I think the red complements your other black filos and is a bit more interesting too. And I agree, as a DPhilx,Dr of Philofaxy (get it!) you should definitely own one of each type! :-)

  3. No worries Robin, soon enough you'll succumb and buy another one anyway! I swore I would never ever buy another until my Cherry broke...and then saw one on sale. So if it turns out to be a bit too small for your current plans then start saving for a pocket :)

  4. Robin, I use the Mini Finsbury in Raspberry as my wallet and I wouldn't be without it! I don't use it as a diary, but it carries all my shopping lists.
    In contrast to Steve, I have the great advantage that the drivers license is considered a valid ID in this part of Europe (I would have expected this also for France???), and the license is a plastic creditcard-size. Ideal for the Mini! Since I always have my wallet with me, I'm never again without my DL!
    I also love that the Fins is so small that it easily fits in my coat pocket, and in any handbag - however small!

  5. Hi Jotje
    Ah, yes the new UK licences are small photocard and would fit a credit card slot. I have one of the old ones which dates back over 25 years! It's a little delicate having been carried around in my wallets for those 25 years.

    I might look in to getting a French Driving license soon which will most probably be a photo id type one.

    The law is strange. I can't change my UK licence to a French address, but I'm allowed to retain that licence even though I no longer live at the address shown on it!

  6. Just wanted to say hi, I'm new to Philofaxy and was encouraged to come over here by someone on the filofax facebook group, who suggested I post pictures of my new Amethyst Pocket Deco. I'll try and do that soon!

    Jotje, I also have a mini raspberry finsbury which I was using as my wallet and my diary, but it was getting a little too full, hence the upgrade to a Pocket. I agree that it would be brilliant to use as a wallet with added shopping lists, though. I found that the coin section could hold quite a lot of cash, although I probably overstuffed it a bit!

    Anyway, hello. I love this site!

  7. Glad it finally arrived Steve! Yeesh, I was just about to "go postal" on the Post Office!

    I agree that the red is a nice addition to your collection and thank YOU for a great trade as well!

  8. Alex, that was me who was urging you to put up pics on Flickr. Can't wait, because yours will be the first Amethyst on Flickr - how neat is that?

    Steve, back when I moved from Germany to Holland, my German license was only valid for 1 year. After that I had to get a Dutch one. Meanwhile they've changed the laws to enable European to keep their license valid anywhere in Europe.

  9. wow! thanks for this post. i also want one in every size - it's good to see the comparisons.

    Robin - i love orange too! yay! i just got the pocket fins in orange:

    i love it but looked at the mini as well since i was thinking about making it my wallet but just didn't want to buy any more inserts. maybe in a couple of months tho heh heh. i say wait until you get it and then buy the pocket!

  10. Can anyone tell me which mini organisers have an opening for notes? Some have one along the top that go the whole width don't they? I've looked on the filofax site, but they don't seem very descriptive about that.

  11. Alison, I know that the mini Finsbury has the pocket you describe. Not sure about any of the others. It's very useful, I used it for paper money and my oyster card, because I could get the reader to recognise the card through the leather) if it was there (closer to the outside of the filofax).

  12. Alison my mini finchley and finsbury both have this pocket. very useful if you want to use it as a wallet :-)

  13. @Alison
    I think the ones with 'full width exterior pocket' have that space for notes along the outside, but I agree that it's not all that clear!

  14. Steve- I LOVE the picture of the mini pretending to be a postage stamp- so cute!

    I still can't imagine operating with a mini- I saw a pocket Finchley in store today and couldn't even believe how small that was! I should add that I left the store without making a single purchase- yay me! Although it probably helped that they had a pretty measly selection... I'm sure I'll be in trouble if I ever get into a real Filo store!

  15. The wait is (already!) over ... the pretty Mini is actually too small for even my tidy assortment of wallet items. Putting its mini orange-ness back into the package was a bummer!

    All is not lost, though. I'll be exchanging it for a raspberry pocket Finsbury (since orange is apparently discontinued). Some of the sting was taken out of this shopping decision because of the sale price!!

    As I reconsider size, I realize now that the ID window is a must for a California driver's license, and room for a passport would be sweet. My calendar is kept electronically as a business requirement, so the pages would be for lists and odd jots. A couple of envelopes would be cool, though, for my artsy side. So I see some accessories in my future.

    Many thanks to everyone for the insights and advice. This is a super site!

  16. Steve, what do you use each of your filofaxes for?

  17. Hi Alison
    Currently my usage is as follows:

    A4 - Desk planner
    Personal - Journal and notes
    Pocket - Appointments, To-do lists, notes and wallet.

    The others include
    Another personal which I use for my French classes
    A slimline which is used for my photographic notes.

    Yes there are some that aren't in current use...


  18. Thanks Steve - I'm just trying hard to find uses for my Filofaxes so I can justify them to myself!!!

  19. I recently purchased a Raspberry Chameleon Mini...I love it. It is the perfect size for my purse. I use it to keep track of birthdays and anything else I need to highlight during the week. I bought the plain tabs and have a labeled them To Do, Buy, and Misc. Now on the larger scale, I ordered my first A5 to use for work. It is a pink Finsbury and it is beautiful...the To Do pages look like a prop compared to my mini To Do pages. This afternoon I will be transferring information from the zebra MyAgenda I was using to my new A5-got a fresh pot of coffee ready and I am all set to be in my "happy place" of getting organized with my new Filofax! :)

  20. I'm new to filofaxes but I LOVE them already! Bought my first one on Monday, a raspberry personal Finsbury and it's GORGEOUS!!! I love the size, it's perfect! When I was trying them out in the shop I really liked the pocket one for the large pocket that I suppose would be used for cash it you used it as a wallet. But I decided to buy the personal and I am not disappointed! But already I'm expanding my collection... I'm addicted! I have spent so many hours over the last few days reading blogs like this and drooling over the filofax website!! I just bought a mini Finchley from ebay, in gorgeous caramel :) I couldn't justify a pocket because I think it's too similar in size to the personal, but a mini is perfect. I'm going to buy a month on 2 pages refill, because I don't need the whole diary, that's what the personal is for. But mostly I'm going to use the mini as a notebook :)I'm already thinking of buying myself an aqua finsbury in a5, it's just gorgeous! Graduation present I think... :D I really do have the bug!!!!