11 April 2012

Meet The Baroques - Guest Post - Doris

A big thank you to Doris for sending us this detailed post about her Filofax Baroques.

(Thanks to my daughter who very kindly lent me her black Personal for this photo. And a warning: picture-heavy but not great photography.)

It was love at first sight with the Filofax Baroque. I just had to have one after I saw the gorgeous embossing, which I thought was so unique. I at first thought it was made of PVC, but after I found out it was leather, I was hooked.

I first held one in my hands after I bought my daughter a black Personal for Christmas. I hoped she’d like it, and she loved it. Next came my turn to hunt for one for myself. Knowing it was discontinued almost everywhere didn’t make it any easier. How providential that I looked on Adspot on Philofaxy and Leilani was selling her Pocket in turquoise. Perfect, I tell you! The waiting was agony, but a few weeks later, it was mine! (Thanks Leilani!) And because I wanted to round out the Baroque family, I got the Rose mini during the Italian sale. (I’m a sucker for pink.)

The Pocket

I moved into the pocket as soon as I received it. I simply emptied out the Malden so the setup is practically the same. The only new things are the Filo tabbed MO2P, and one tab for quotes that I put in my handmade cards. I made dividers to match the turquoise and was already using them in the Malden so it was a quick and easy move. I sometimes get tired of color though, so I’ve since used the standard dividers in cream. Clean and simple.

The Malden and Baroque seem to be the most similar in card/pocket layout of the models I’ve seen online, which is probably why I have both. There are a few subtle differences, however, in both size and configuration.

1. The left hand side. The Baroque has the more common credit/business card pockets vs. the Malden’s more ‘static’ layout . I put some cards into the pockets so you can better tell. The zipped pocket on the Baroque is bigger and seems easier to get to than the Malden. It’s probably due to the softness of its leather.

2. The right hand side. Both have notepad slots which I love. The Baroque, however, doesn’t have the extra pocket behind it which the Malden has.

3. Floppiness. If you think the Malden is a floppy Filofax, the Baroque is even floppier. It can double up on itself if you let it. This may be a deal-breaker for some who write on their Filo on the go, in a queue, while walking, etc. I myself don’t mind. The Malden doesn’t, and has never, lain flat.

4. External full-width wallet pocket. The Baroque doesn’t have one. I didn’t know this at first, and if I had intended to use this as a wallet/purse, I would have been disappointed.

5. Size. The Baroque is about the same size width-wise as the Malden, but the Malden is about 1 cm taller.

6. Capacity. Although they are virtually the same, with the same size rings, the Baroque seems to be able to hold more paper-wise than the Malden. However, the Baroque’s side tabs are closer to the edges when it’s closed, so if you intend to keep two pens there, it’s a tight squeeze. I can do this with the Malden with a little bit of wiggle room. I can’t explain this, sorry, but it is so. (Could it be the size of the spine? or the soft, soft leather?)

Verdict: Dare I say it?!? I think I love the Baroque more! There’s something about it – it’s sooo soft, smooth, squish-y, and very simple on the outside, but the embossing inside is so pretty. I’m glad there are only three Baroque colors or I’d be in deep, deep trouble.

Weekly/Monthly sheets. I’ll take this opportunity to show you some pages to the Diary portion that helps me see at a glance what I need to do for the day, without cluttering up my WO2P. I handmade two monthly sheets to capture (1) birthdays/anniversaries with one box per month, and( 2) a by-day sheet to capture recurring monthly events like bills due and monthly chores. Bills that come on different times of the month get written on small white sticky labels so I can move them around. Others get written in pencil. I also made a weekly sheet to write down TV shows I watch on a regular basis. I flip to these pages first thing in the morning so I know what I need to do during the day. They’re all right next to the Diary tab.

Speaking of Diary. I’m using Steve & Ray’s pocket 2012 Enhanced TM Weekly view and I’m liking it so far. It forces me to “check off” my to-dos for the week so I don’t have to rewrite them the next week. With the moveable flyleaf list, I knew it was easy to move it week-to-week so I wasn’t forced into actually doing them. Lazy much? (:

Now, onto the Mini

These posts (http://paperpensink.blogspot.com/2011/02/mini-baroque-filo-purse.html and http://vanjilla.blogspot.com/2011/12/great-mini.html) helped me decide whether the mini would work for me as a wallet. I got a ‘test’ mini in the Portobello on eBay for $7, shipped, but it was black, and the coin pocket is a little stiff, and near the pen loop. (Any excuse!). Hence, the mini Baroque.

The mini’s setup. Since its main purpose is as a wallet, I first made sure that I could fit in all the cards I need in the Portobello. So when I moved into the Baroque, the set up was the same. I use the left side pockets for bank cards. At the very back of the rings are four side-opening plastic envelopes for loyalty cards, photos and receipts. I didn’t know these were just side opening, so I snipped off the top so I could access the contents easily. I hesitated at first (sacrilege!) but I’m glad I did. I put notes/cash in the notepad slot or behind the zipped pocket and coins are in the zip.

However, this is, after all, a Filofax, so of course we need to fill it up -- inserts, tabs, pagemarkers, blank sheets, etc. I made tabs to add even more color to its already hot pinkness. Not a lot of blank sheets though to lessen its heft.

Notes: just some sticky notes stuck on the divider (more on how I use Notes below)
  • To Do: long-term items only, short-term to-dos are in the Pocket
  • Shop: categories on each page and a shopping wish list, and
  • Lists: top tabs for (1) Media (books, movies and websites) and(2) Home (around the house to-dos)

Finally, a MO2P for when I don’t have my pocket with me. It still closes, yay! I treated myself to cotton-cream paper for my mini and I love it.

A short explanation on the Notes section in all my Filos -- all I keep in it is a few sheets of sticky notes to write on. It keeps me from making a mess and wasting Filo paper. I then re-write it neatly later in the right section, or just toss that sheet out when I’m done with it.

All in all, my systems work. I keep the pocket nearby and the mini in my bag. The only duplication is the Home to-dos but I want those in both so it works. However, nothing is perfect. I’m debating moving my Media lists to the Pocket.

Bigger pen loops please. As with most Filos, the pen loops are never big enough for the pens I like to use. Since I carry around 2 fat Coletos in the Pocket (8 colors, pencil AND eraser), one is clipped to the notepad, and the 2nd in the rings, but I’d prefer if it wasn’t there. The Leuchtturm pen loops solved that problem. I keep the 2nd pen in that when it’s not closed and my pens always have a place. I only have 1 pen in the Mini but it’s still fat so I clip it to the notepad slot as well.

On a pen hack note, I recently did a hack on my Pilot Coletos. I discovered that Uniball Style Fit inks are waterproof (love!) but the barrels were too fat for my fingers and they were slipping because of the lack of a rubber grip. I was able to put the Uni inks in my Coleto pens and I am now a very happy camper. If you’re interested in the hack, drop me a line.

So there you have it -- my Baroque family and how I use them. I now have one in every size and every color (though technically, the black Personal is my daughter’s), and although I’m happy with them, there’s a plethora of models out there (and the Amazonas called to me, but that’s another review). I’m so glad the Temperley is nowhere near my price range! Maybe I can re-create the Flex/Filo combo myself. Hmmmm -- project!

This has turned out to be quite a long review. I apologize if I bored you to tears. If you’ve read this far though, a BIG thank you!

(I also want to credit some bloggers for some of the ideas that inspired me to use and pimp my Filo. There are quite a few so if I missed anyone, I apologize. Here goes: Whimsicality, PaperPensInk, Vanjilla, Zoe, Jotje. Whoever invented the top tabs, thanks a million. Another lifesaver is the transparent flyleaf as dashboard/weekly to-do list/post-it holder. There are many, many more, sorry if I can’t list everyone. So, a blanket “Thank You” to Filo fans everywhere who have fanned the flames of my obsession.)

Thank you Doris, great to see how you are using the two sizes in tandem and the details and comparisons.


  1. I just love your Baroques so much. I saw one at a Philofaxy meet up and I must admit, I fell in love with its softness and the beautiful embossing. Your set up is superb. You now have me wondering if I could move from an A5 to a pocket!!!!!! Thanks ever so much for this post, I enjoyed reading it.

    1. Hi, I basically run my life with this pocket, the 19mm rings really are enough room. Barring a lot of note-taking, I say "Go for it!" (:

  2. WONDERFUL post! I also have a Baroque and I just adore it! I wish I had snapped a pink one as well :) Congrats on that beautiful family of yours!

    1. Thanks! The Baroques are lovely, aren't they? I saw yours, and I'm wishing a got Personal size for myself.

  3. These are gorgeous & thanks for sharing them with us :)

  4. Excellent post. I also have a family of Baroques and the softness and floppiness is one of the things I like the most. The Baroque is the first Filofax I owned that lay flat out of the box. It made me realise how useful and important that feature really was.

    I will look forward to the Amazona review too.

    1. Hi Saffy, I would love to take a peek into your Family as well. (:

  5. I have a personal turquoise baroque and I just adore it. It was my first ever Filo and I love it so much. I dream of finding an A5 Baroque to bring home and call my own - I don't think they even exist, but it's a dream okay?!

    I also have an ochre pocket malden which I love too, I haven't had it as long as the baroque so maybe that's why I don't love it QUITE as much (but don't tell her!).

  6. I love your handdrawn weekly list. Do you use a masterlist for the household maintenance over the year?

    1. Hi! I've only just started the monthly lists, so no masterlist for now, and because it's mostly for when bills are due, I don't know if I want to see it over the course of a year (: You've given me an idea though. If I find a use to maintain it over the year, I may create one. Thanks!

  7. That was a wonderful review! Not too long at all (I wouldn't have minded if you had been going on like that for a bit longer. You now have me wondering how the black personal of your daughter is set up ....).
    Oh, and regarding the pocket Malden: that one WILL lay flat! I have a black one that bends backwards, just as your Baroque does. Time ... time ... time ...

    1. Hi Jotje! Thanks for the tip! I'll reuse the Malden and train it, as you suggested (:

      My daughter made me promise not to show the insides. But she did ask me to make her some dividers.

  8. What a fabulous review! And, I thought your pictures were very well done. A nice little "family" indeed!

  9. I love the Baroques too, real style in themselves. I also like the multi-coloured approach to the faxes which is well balanced, not overdone at all.

    I have never understood how such imprinted fax designs were not more popular.

    1. I suppose the Baroques have had their run, I'm just late in the game in getting them. But I agree, I love the color saturation they did on them, and the embossing should be brought back. Thanks for the comment.

  10. Doris, I just read your amazing post for the zillionth time... and I think you have helplessly infected me with the pocket size...! :) Really and again, thank you for your post - when will I finally get to read your filo-blog?? ;)

  11. Aww, thanks Vanjilla! You got me into minis as well with your Amazona. Don't hold your breath about the blog though - I don't think I have the commitment to do that, yet. (: Thanks again.

  12. Reading the back catalogue of philofaxy in the summer holidays... I love the look of the baroque and this review is so beautifully comprehensive. I can imagine how one would fit in with my life..... Personal aqua.( Not.this.year.)

  13. Love the notes section....really made sense to me...must go reboot my fill! :)