20 December 2011

Free For All Tueday No 46

Christmas Filofax Questions? This is the place to ask them, or any other Filofax related questions.

Fire away.


  1. Further to my feature post yesterday, and to various comments I've made over the months, I am now at the end of the road concerning Filofax 'own brand' refills - the paper is of the poorest quality, and the range of layouts is both severely limited and inconsistent from one country to the next, with no 'joined up' online ordering system at all.

    I have therefore decided to look at other suppliers of inserts - looking for one who use a decent quality paper (here defined as paper that will take a roller-ball/gel pen/fountain pen)and who provide refills which don't need trimming or re-punching for personal FF (since I have neither the skill nor the patience nor the equipment for that).

    Does anyone know of such a supplier? DayTimer and Franklin Covey spring to mind as likely suspects, but I've no experience of either. I gather that FC now ship everything from the US, which is likely to result in heinous shipping costs....has anyone any experience of these, or others?

  2. I've been using MontBlanc agenda refil for personal filofax. The quality of the paper is definetely better. It`s more expensive (around 18 GBP for W2P), but still cheaper than e.g. Franklin Covey.

    Here is the layout.

  3. Hi Katka

    I'd not heard of that one - thank you. Looks like a nice refill. I like the rounded-off corners, and the perforations (presumably a 'steal' from Quo Vadis....).

    Might well try to get a 'hands on' look at this when next in London.....

  4. @David. Franklin covey now ship from the uk. This is a recent thing - only started up again about four weeks ago. A colleague of mine ordered prior to this and paid something ridiculous for postage from US. I understand their inserts may be a bit wide, but others should be able to advise. When I find the link for FC UK Ill come back and post it

  5. I agree with David's comments about the quality and layout of Filofax refills. I use Flavia paper from Day Timer for the cheerfulness with the cheaper Filofax paper for capture on the move. and why, oh why, doesn't Filofax have a joined up ordering service. I'm registered on several foreign Filofax sites but can't even use the same password/email combination on each one. So frustrating.

    However, I love the binders, especially the amethyst Deco and Finchley and I've now tracked down a Special Edition from Germany. I accept the shortcomings of the refills for the quality of the binders. I wonder if Smythson refills will fit Filofax?

  6. Here is the link to order Franklin Covey in the UK: http://store.franklinplanner.com/uk/ I'm sure others can jump in here and let us know what that quality is like.

  7. Smythson refills will fit Filofax Personal binders.

    I haven't used any personally but the A4 paper I have used was of the highest quality.

    Best Wishes

  8. Hi David,

    Just ordered DaVinci inserts. As soon as they arrive, will test them and let you know.


  9. cotton cream takes lamy ink from my lamy fountain pen just fine.. however the white paper that came with my won apex is dire! i had no idea how bad it was and started filling in my info and it sucked my pen dry!.
    if you just want note paper (and not too expensive) maudiemade (search on etsy) do great quality paper.. maybe a little girly?
    but still fab and only cost me £2.25 including postage
    mind you because it's hand made the pieces aren't perfect filosize and they don't sit flush with any other inserts.

    hope this was helpful- i know it was posted about before but i wanted to leave feedback as someone whose actually bought/used it.

  10. Rather off topic here, but I posted a comment on Filofax's Facebook page about not liking the Malden colours. I said I would love a purple one. They have just replied now:

    "As it happens . . ."

    Oooooo! Sounds like they're going to do some lovely new colours for Maldens! And sounds very much like there will be a purple one!!! Woo hoo! I am going to be patient then. No more Filofaxes for me until the new range comes out!

  11. @Lucy Very interesting news. I would love a purple Malden.

  12. Another one about the quality of paper.. I had the same problem and have started doing my own for my A5 binders. 100 gsm paper printed as needed and then guillotined and punched at home. The worst bit is punching. The filofax punches are capable of doing 2-3 papers at a time and that kills me. I am starting to look at other punches and most probably will be changing to something better in Jan.

    But, I am not a diary user but more as a project notebook and journal so the number of papers I do at one time is around 30 - 40 and gets done in about 10 minutes max. If you are to do it for diary, (for a whole year it might take longer and boring).

  13. @ the liar. I brought a rapesco personal hole punch on eBay and have doctored it with tipex type fluid so that I can punch a5 papers with it. I can do up to 12 pages at a time althou admittedly it's a pain having to do top and bottom independently. But I find it works really well for me and saves pennies cause I use all sizes of Filofax except a4

  14. Ohhhh.... new coloured Maldens. Hopefully in A5 too. I Facebooked them a while back about an A5 Crimson Malden being a possibility and they replied that my suggestion was passed onto the design team. So I think..... new Maldens are indeed on the way fingers crossed!!!! Wonder if with a double pen loop???? Too much to ask maybe that one. If new colours are coming, then.... Yaaaayyyyy!!! I'll look at the suggestions made here for inserts, although I am quite happy with mine at the mo. Trialling new page per day business set up ones. Like you, I wish the quality were better paper wise and a load more designs to choose from. Bespoke even would be fabby.Mind you I probably spend a fortune re- vamping my diary and tweaking formats that way.Happy Filofax Christmas one and all. xx

  15. I agree about the paper quality of the FF refills. I hope they don't become any "thinner" in quality. Regarding paper quality and Franklin Covey or Daytimer refills: About 20 years ago, Franklin Covey had high quality paper for their inserts, but that is not the case now. Very thin, very poor quality in my opinion, and too high in price! (I don't mind paying a little more if the quality is good.) They definitely will bleed through if you are using a fountain pen. I regularly use a Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball in Extra Fine and it bleeds through Covey pages. Also, the compact Franklin Covey are much wider than FF personal size. The pages will "stick out" (oddly phrased) of the binder, when closed, and the tabs will most likely become bent if you carry your FF in a tote, purse, etc. They would need to be trimmed.

    Daytimer pages are actually a bit better quality and they do offer a variety of layouts.

    Another brand that I have used in the past is DayRunner. Both Daytimer and DayRunner refills will fit the FF personal and A5 with no trimming.

  16. @Miss_Oakden.. Thanks for your suggestion and agree with you on the Rapesco (which I also bought assuming it will do the A5 -- before reading here that it does not!). But I made absolute mess a couple of times with the measurements and then decided to use it only for pockets, personals and the one slimline I have (though I have a few of pockets and personals, I do not make use of them like the A5s). The slimline guildford does get much use and benefits from the Rapesco. I had a chat with the dutch company Office-deals which Jotje referred sometime back and they are ok to send 4 of the KW trio punches for a total of 62 pounds. Thinking of putting three of them in ebay and also the filofax A5 punch as well.. But I saw a vertical paper feed punch at http://www.opto.se/verticals.htm and am gobsmacked.. That is to be planned for later next year, I think...

  17. I am a college English prof and struggle with being organized. I find it difficult to manage all the information and dates for assignments, meeting dates/notes, and personal information, too. I began using my FF A5 again in the fall semester, and it helped, but I am still trying to find the right calendar pages for me and how to make full use of my FF. Any tips? Thanks!

  18. Have anyone used a personal FF as a recipie binder?

  19. David-
    Some options for you:

    Plannerstore.com (Sun Graphix) diary inserts in the off white would be a good choice. They have both weekly, daily and monthly. The specialty pages also have similar thickness (project, finance, etc.). Avoid the white note pages because they are pretty thin in the personal size. I'm not sure about the off white note pages, you would have to take a gamble or just get the Filofax cotton cream notes. There is no question that the paper quality is superior to Filofax, but I'm not sure it will resolve your diary inserts dilemna. I chose not to use them because high guality papers are generally thicker and therefore mean less pages can fit in your binder.

    Mont Blanc may be worth looking into. I'd call them and see if they take fountain pens.

    Day Timer paper varies in thickness and wet ink friendliness. I have some to do pages in the desk size from Day Timer that are a dream to write on with my G2 (best ever), others not so good.

    As said above, the Franklin Covey paper has decreased in quality over the last ten years. The original style may be worth a try and may be superior, but I can't give you a testimony concerning fountain pen use. Perhaps someone could enlighten David on this.

  20. Finally found a use for the hideous Apex I was sent from FF UK as a reward. It will be my running journal, as it's neon green and pink colors remind me of running shoe styles, and somehow it felt right to use it in this way. I couldn't bring myself to chuck it out, I don't want to give it away (who would I give it away to? I like my friends and familu and couldn't do that to them), and who would buy it off me? Bleh. This way it has found a useful purpose in life and I have found peace of mind.

  21. @Whimsical Harmony I teach secondary sachool but am a Ed.D. candidate, too...the A5 week on two pages with appointment times has helped me block times for writing and other date-specific due dates, and I create project tabs to keep notes straight. :)

    @Daximillian My 6 yr old ds loves his blue and yellow Apex--glad to hear you found a suitable use for your "prize."

    Off to scout out Mont Blanc refills, although the Filofax Sweden inserts are such nice weight of paper.

  22. David, I got the regular daytimer inserts (two page per day) for next year in portable size and the fountain pen friendliness is actually worse than the filofax personal paper. I have wanted to use fountain pen so badly that I'm returning to A5, as the business day per page handles the ink ok. Hope you can find something for the personal size that works!

  23. I have just started reading this blog as I am still waiting for my very first Filofax (Domino A5 in ultra violet) to arrive. I am a teacher, too, and I wonder whether you could give me any tips on where to find school related inserts (I am mostly looking for a grade record sheet for whole classes at the moment).

    Also, I don't know whether you all already know this, I saw on the Italian Filofax page that they have a special Italian version of the Domino (and for sale at the moment, too!). Plus they are offering free shipping... I have to admit, I am tempted, even though I don't even have my first Filo yet.

  24. Thank you for all your helpful comments...I shall certainly check out some of these alternatives. The Smythson, in particular, although eye-wateringly expensive, look worth a try, as do the Mont Blanc, and as both have shops in the Bond Street area of London, I'll go an have a look next time I'm there.

    It's interesting that the quality of the Franklin Covey inserts has also gone down. I guess this is an area where manufacturers think they can make a saving as times get harder....

    Both the Smythson *and* the Mont Blanc look quite stylish as well.....

  25. @Anke. I have made myself a school planner section, using stuff from Vertex42 site, DIY Planner site and Microoft.com. downloads. If you want to give me your e. mail address, I can send what I've got and use, via attachment specifically for my school planner. Use what is for you and disregard the rest. xxxx

  26. @Whimsical Harmony - I'm an academic too, and have finally settled on using multiple types of inserts at once as the best system for me.

    I use one-page-per-day with appointment slots for daily schedule, but also have the month-per-page inserts, and have those slipped in before the first day of each month. I only carry 1 semester's worth of the daily pages at a time, but the whole year's worth of monthly pages. I record big events (scheduled conferences, term & university dates, major events and turn-in dates for each class I teach and so on) on the monthly pages, so I can see a whole month at a time. But then I also note that info on the daily pages as each semester gets added in.

    I suspect if I had an A5, I could manage with the monthly view and WO2P w/ appt times instead of 1DPP, but it's just a little too tight in personal size.

    But given the hints @Lucy got, maybe, just maybe they will come out with a purple Malden or similar! A royal purple (or cobalt blue) Malden would be my dream FF, but just about any purple or blue would be fab... and @butaben, I want one in A5 too! I love my Crimson Personal, but oh for more rich, intense colours

  27. @Butanben Thank you so much for your kind offer! My email address is wam682@web.de
    I am so excited to be getting my Filo soon! Does anybody know how long it usually takes for Filofax to send it? I know, with Christmas coming up, it will probably take a little longer...
    Have a great day, everyone! :-D

  28. @Anke... e. mail attachment on its way right now. xxxxx

  29. @anke filofax usually post v fast, so your new toy should be with you soon! I have the same Domino, it's a fab colour :)

  30. @David Popely: you might try Scully refills. They also come in a nice cream color stationary and fit Filofax quite well. They are on the web. Good luck and let me know what you think!

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