16 January 2011

Reader needs advice: Domino or Metropol?

A reader emailed me requesting I post this question to get some advice and maybe a general consensus: Domino or Metropol?

"Here's my dilemma:

I am about to buy my very first Filofax.  I'm looking forward to it, but my big problem is I don't which one would be the best one for me.  I live in Belgium, where the in-store selections are limited, so it looks like I will have to order online, relatively site unseen.  I'd obviously prefer to actually see one and hold in my hand before buying, but I don't have that option.

I definitely want an A5, either a Domino or a Metropol (I'd love to have one of the pricier leather styles, but can't justify the expense right now).  I would really appreciate having some people's opinions on the pros and cons of each, along with any other recommendations.  I realize it's ultimately up to individual preference, but I'd like some advice from long-time users.

Thanks for any help and information you can give me."

I replied that between the two, the Metropol has more of a leather-look to it, and is more traditional-looking inside and out.

Of course in the end it comes down to personal preference and style, but any advice and recommendations you can give would be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks everyone! 


  1. I prefer domino- I think it's a lot prettier, and I love the suede contrasting inside.

  2. i have used Metropol a few years ago - and i was using it for about 3 years - filofax is still in perfect condition-and trust me - im a woman who is overstuffing her filos. ( no scratches , didnt lose shape,and easy to wipe clean etc.) the only reason ive stoped using it - it was to small for my needs .(Now got A5 Cuban-received as a gift)
    My frind got Domino - for a 2 years now and she is complaining that the ,,band'' is a little bit stretched.But what i like bout Domino that it was very Sleek looking .
    Personaly i think you might think how much stuff you want to carry around with you .I hope this help you.
    ARIANA1985 & Colin

  3. if you really want a leather a5, ebay it. for example, there is an a5 burgundy winchester on the uk ebay. you will not get better than a vintage leather one. they last a lot longer.

    if your bedroom tends to be perfectly organized with everything in its place, get a domino.

    if your bedroom is not always pristine, opt for the metropol.

    metropols tend to hold more r.a.d. (random acts of disorganization aka crap) than dominos.

  4. I love my domino! I went through the same thing you did- I live in the Midwest United States; my closest pen shop carries about 4 varieties, all out of my price range. I looked at both the domino and metropol online and opted for the domino for three reasons:

    1. The colors! I ended up with the domino slate, but really loved that I could personalize it to what I want.

    2. Elastic pen loop and suede-look interior. I really love how the inside looks, and the elastic loop is perfect when I want to carry bigger pens.

    3. The closure, or the elastic strap. I have had mine for over two months, and haven't had any stretching issues- in fact I just took a bunch out and it still fits snugly. The best part is that I can tuck pieces of paper in here when I am in a hurry, whether it be directions, receipts, etc.

    I actually just did a review/picture sharing of how I have been using the domino on my blog if you want to see it in action: http://thecrazylifeofj.blogspot.com/2011/01/finding-filofax.html

    Best of luck with your choice- I can guarantee whichever you choose you will love it!

  5. I have a Metropol and Domino, though both in personal size. Here are my thoughts on each:

    Domino: lighter than the Metropol and thinner, due to its not being padded. Lies flat more readily, can even bend it backwards. I like the contrasting card pockets and suede interior, but the suede front of each card pocket is very thin and if you are putting cards in and taking them out often, I can see the pockets stretching or tearing. I actually think the Domino looks more leather-like than the Metropol, though a hard leather vs a soft padded one.

    Metropol: Don't like the sideways card pockets, but do like the mesh pocket for the notepad since you can slide in decorative pictures or store flat items there and see them. I prefer the snap closure to the elastic -- I think it looks more professional. No visible grommets on the spine like in the Domino. Somewhat bulkier in feel and look and weighs slightly more (my personal weighs about 40 g more than the Domino and I expect the difference is more with the A5). They are both lighter than a leather binder though. It's a tough choice, since they are both nice binders (which is why I have both!).

    I second the eBay suggestion. I have found several leather Filofaxes on eBay for half price or much less, unused or practically so. Plus you have a wider selection of colors since there are often discontinued models. Good luck with your hunt!

  6. Hi, I live in Holland, thus recognize your problem of not being able to touch and feel a Filofax before the purchase. I'd also suggest Ebay! I got my pink Finsbury there for a mere € 35,- including shipment from the UK! Ebay.co.uk has the best deals actually. Also: sometimes the seller states that they don't offer international shipment, but many times, if you ask them nicely, they are willing to send overseas (paypal account needed!).

    I have two Domino's in A5: the red and the bronze one. The latter is really beautiful and a delight to look at. The red one is very nice as well, just looking a bit more "ordinary".

    If you plan on talking the Filo with you a lot, I would opt for the Metropol though, because of the closure. It's just a bit faster to open than the Domino. If it should stay on your desk however, I'd say go for the Domino.

  7. Depends on what sort of person you are. I have forsaken leather binders to use the Bronze Snake Domino as it is really glamorous in a slightly understated way.

    In the UK the Metropol only comes in Black or Brown, neither of which would get me excited. My feeling is that if you get the Domino, by the time it wears out you will probably be ready for a new one - or will have found a really nice leather one on ebay!

  8. I have a red Domino A5 at work and I love it. I have no experience of the Metropol but I can give you the pros and cons I have found with the Domino if that helps?
    Since they are both A5 and both non-leather and both have 30mm rings, the main differences to sway you must be the look and the functionality of the inside covers, so I'll focus on those (unless of course the deal-breaker is the quadrille pad rather than a notepad??)...

    The vertical pocket on the inside cover - I can slot a notebook in there (usually a Cartesio 21 x 13cm). I think the Metropol could manage it too, but the pocket looks further over towards the rings to me.
    The card slots: I don't really use them, but I do have my donor card in the top see-through thing in the Domino. The card slots in the Metropol look (though I have no evidence) as if they might fray with much use. To me, the slightly bigger pockets (1/2 height) are more useful for tucking things in than the multiple card-slots, but that's me.
    The inside cover on the back of the Domino has a notepad pocket, without mesh in front of it. To me, that makes no difference as once you have a notepad in there, you can't see the mesh anyway. More importantly (if you're left-handed) is the fact that the notepad can go in either a top or a bottom slot in the Domino, so you could in fact, turn the whole filofax over if you were left-handed.
    The pen-holders in the Domino are elastic which means a wider range of pens or pencils can be held.
    The range of colours for the Domino is much wider (and maybe more in the new collection? Can you wait that long??). Brown and black are too staid for me - I like the brighter colours. The suede-effect lining is lovely.
    The elastic closure is good for snapping against a pile of stuff you have just been handed and need to carry somewhere before you have chance to file it. Maybe that's more an issue with my job though!

    WHSmiths has still got the red Domino on offer at £18, but the Metropol is the zipped one on offer. (Incidentally, maybe in the sale you could afford a leather one?)

    Okay, and the cons...
    The cover on the Domino is prone to scratches. That said, mine is still looking pretty good.
    The elastic closure can be a pain when it catches on things as you move the open filofax around the desk.
    The elastic closure looks a little less professional (but more individual?) than the tab closures.
    I have yet to find a way to remove biro marks off the suede lining in the Domino.

    So, there's my two-penn'orth. Let us all know which you go for??

  9. Our decision-maker was unable to post a comment so wanted me to post on her behalf: Decision made!

    "I was able to get into city center Brussels today and I visited a couple of shops that had a varied selection Filofaxes. I didn't get to see the whole panoply, but I got a good enough idea to make a decision. I was able to see an A5 Metropol and a Personal size Domino, as well as the Sketch and some other styles.

    As much as I liked the inside of the Metropol, somehow, the texture of the cover felt unpleasant to the touch. I considered, too, that I am buying the A5 primarily to use as for a home organizer and not to carry in my purse, so for the time being, (...drum roll .....) a red Domino A5 it is! (I'm already eyeballing that Cuban Personal, though!)

    To add a twist, I had not mentioned that I also was looking for an A4 Filofax, as I am just starting Dutch lessons, and I want a good organizer for my class, notes, exercises, vocabulary lists, etc. I initially thought I would just get the least expensive Identity style. However, after seeing (and feeling) a couple of the non-leather A4s in person today, I decided that for something I would be handling a lot over the years, I would splurge and go for a Finsbury A4. It's extravagant, I know, but as the covers of the non-leather models squigged me out so much, I figured the money would be well spent not to have to shudder every time I picked up my Dutch notes -- not a great association or motivation for studying!

    So, there it is -- Decision 2011.

    Again, my grateful and sincere thanks to you and the Philofaxy community; you were a tremendous help in clarifying my thought process!

    I am looking forward to becoming a bona fide Filofax fanatic!"

    Hooray!! A new Philofaxer is born! :D

  10. Um, having bought an A5 and an A4 and with your eye on a personal... aren't you ALREADY a bona fide filofax fanatic?? :-)

    Glad we could all help and that you are pleased with your purchases. Photos of them some time???


  11. I think that the Metropol would last you longer, I have seen a few customers come back to us now, because the elastic round their Domino has been stretched and is wearing down. However, the Domino does have a firmer feel to it.

  12. have fun with your Domino! And please share with us how you use it.
    I have to admit that I prefer it to the Metropol although over time it may not wear as well.
    I almost bought a personal snake domino for use just now as a phd planner but thankfully resisted the urge!it was very difficult!

  13. I have a similar dilemma! I have just ordered a Pocket red Chameleon to use as my day-to-day diary. I figure I have enough junk in my handbag and needed something small but classic and classy to use as my diary. EXCEPT...last night, I went to the newsagent and found a beautiful grape Domino in Personal size..and well, accidentally kind of bought it. It's a lot lighter and handbag friendly than the Metropol I bought years ago in Personal size, which was just too bulky. Now I'm not sure which one to use - Pocket Chamelon or Personal Grape Domino?? Help!!

  14. Oh dear..now I got my Chameleon and I think that I can adapt to this teeny tiny pocket size. Absolutely in love with it! Only thing is that it didn't come with the coloured tabs that it is supposed to. Oh well.

    Thinking maybe now I could use my Personal Domino for a trip I am planning next year? I have only seen those Travel packs for Filofax on the UK website though and the postage seems a bit steep...(I'm in Australia).