09 December 2013

Filofax as a wallet

Which Filofax works best as a wallet? It is a question I often see being asked.  During our Skype discussion yesterday, which I think must have been the longest one to date !! This topic came up once again.

However, having a live discussion about this topic got me thinking about it from another point of view.

So what do you need when you are shopping?
  • Money
  • Credit cards, Bank cards
  • Store cards 
  • Shopping list
  • Short list of essential phone numbers (optional if these are all on your mobile phone) 
  • May be a monthly planner or year planner
  • A few sheets of note paper may be. 
But does your 'wallet' Filofax need to be your planner as well? 

After the discussion yesterday I reached a conclusion that may be it shouldn't be..... why? As a wallet you want your organiser to be small enough to put in your pocket or in your bag. As a planner a lot of us need more space possibly. And obviously using an A5 as a wallet isn't going to look too cool at the check out? But it is an ideal size as a desk planner. 

Is personal size an ideal compromise? May be but unless you have some big pockets... or you carry your organiser in your handbag/purse or man bag, you have to carry it in your hand, not ideal when emptying your basket on to the check out? 

If you are going shopping do you need to carry all of your planner, information, addresses etc in your main planner with you? If a friend does meet you whilst at the shops and asks if you are available for coffee next week, you could have a facsimile of your calendar on a monthly or yearly calendar in your 'wallet' Filofax, or simply take a note of the details and offer to ring back when you get home? 

So may be an A5 or Personal for home use and a pocket or mini for shopping?  Personally I would favour a small ring pocket, slightly slimmer, 15mm rings would be more than big enough I'm sure. Credit card pockets are available in pocket size too, although I know people do make their own for mini size. 

What about you, what would your ideal solution be? 


  1. I used a Personal sized Cavendish for about six months as a planner/wallet. That model worked beautifully due to its 8 card slots, numerous slip pockets, zipped coin pocket on the outside, and the large capacity rings.

    I eventually found it more convenient to carry my essential wallet items in a pocket wallet and use a separate planner for planning. A filofax (even a mini) is not really going to fit into a trouser pocket and so you either have it in hand (which is annoying when you need both hands) or it is in your bag which in my case was never actually with me at ALL times. A gentleman who wears a jacket at all times could use a slimline or pocket tucked into the breast pocket as a wallet/planner.

    I think the main advantage of keeping a combined planner and wallet is in the building of the habit of carrying your planner everywhere. When wallet contents are in your planner, you inevitably have both. In order to make proper use of a planner it needs to be with you at all times so you can look in it or write something in it whenever the need arises.

    1. I have a collection of Slimlines and one of these is always being used as my wallet. I don't put credit/debit cards in my wallet, these are in a Malden Card holder. The wallet goes in my jacket pocket, as Josh suggests. It includes a vertical WO2P printed on light-weight paper (16lb, 60gsm), but I only put the current term (4 months) in at a time. I also have a year on one page foldout, some notepaper I use for shopping lists, random notes, etc., and a week of WO1P eating tracker. I used to carry an Extra Slim Pocket Guildford in my front pant pocket as a capture device, but that function has been moved to the wallet.

  2. Good Morning

    I use a Malden Pocket as my main Filofax and it is my wallet too. Coins go in my trouser pocket. It works great. But where to put all the loyalty cards? I copied the bar codes and glued them to the fîrst divider.

    At the office I use an A4 Lyndhurst.

  3. I would have to agree with Josh and your post Steve. I tried having it "all in one place" planner and wallet, but it just didn't work for me. During checkout at the market or going for a quick run to the coffee shop, lugging out a planner just to pay for something didn't work for me. I love using a Compact size Filofax as a wallet. This has worked for me tremendously. The rings are small enough that it doesn't feel too bulky. I was already used to carrying a full length size wallet, which is very similar size to a Compact. I love using the credit card/ business card holders and being able to see which card I need. It makes me limit the amount of coins I carry, so I'm not carrying around a piggy bank. Keep it separate is the way to go for me.

  4. I agree that the main bonus for me in having wallet and planner combined is that I always have my planner on me. I use a Baroque personal and the card slots (plus a card holder at the back for store cards) hold all the cards I need, I use the notepad pocket at the abck for paper money (but have also used the pocket behind the card slots just as easily) and I have a plastic pencil case with holes punched in it on the rings at the front which carries coins and vouchers. Yes, I sometimes (not often..) get an odd look when I get this out to pay, but I would rather know everything is in one place than be constantly forgetting the planner (and if I'm going to carry planner and wallet with me everywhere, I might as well combine them).
    I've also used the pocket Baroque well as a combined planner and wallet and the A6 size Mulberry (though the lack of card slots in this sometimes defeats me).

  5. I have planner/wallet together, which I love, personal Holborn. I pay cash and the four pockets keep my money separated so I stay on my budget. Coins I toss in my pocket, we put them in the piggy bank when we get to the car. I either carry it under my arm or in my backpack depending on my shopping. If I'm grocery shopping I lay it open in the child seat or if my boys are there to push the cart I carry it in hand and mark my items off as we go.

  6. I have no shame in whipping out my personal Malden in the checkout line - I've received every comment under the sun every time I go to pay. For me, having my "external brain" with me at all times far outweighs any issues with carrying a personal binder everywhere I go. The ONLY time it doesn't go with me is if I'm at some sort of cocktail type event, in which case I'll carry a small wristlet with my phone, ID, and a bit of cash!

  7. I used a Pocket Finsbury as my wallet. In theory, I could use my Personal Malden as both planner and wallet. I really only use about 5 cards on a regular basis and have a separate change purse, but I do not want my planner too bulky. The Pocket is a good size because I often switch purses so it's size makes it more versatile. It also has pages and a pen for notes those times when I don't have my planner on me (going out in the evening). I also have Mini Chameleon which is not used but would also be a great wallet if I ever decided to downsize my planner-wallet. Unsurprisingly, I also have other wallets on reserve for occasions where I can't even fit the Mini in my pocket.

    Having two planners is not a heavy load to carry. They aren't the A5, and I feel they do serve a separate purpose.

  8. I've used a mini Finsbury & Classic in the past as my wallet & diary combined. However, I found the diary page size too small & found the zip pockets too fiddly to get change out of easily. I'm quite happy having my planner & wallet separate. However, I love that my personal Malden does the job so well on the occasions that I don't want to carry a separate wallet & want my filo with me.

  9. I have not used a planner as a wallet. It could work if one can easily take cash and coins out of the pockets in the planner. However, if there are no such built in pockets, then one would have to improvise by making a side opening pocket to hold the cash and using a zipper pouch to hold coins. In that case it seems inconvenient to me because then I would have to fumble with those pockets to retrieve the cash and coins. Also I would have to put my personal planner on something to access the pockets. I don't have to set my wallet on anything. It's surprising that people hear comments from others about using a planner as a wallet. I think that the people who don't use paper planners see them as outdated. I have seen people use large wallets. I don't see a big difference in a large wallet and a personal planner as a wallet. I have seen people take a long time getting money out of a large wallet too. Maybe the people who say something about it view all paper planners as outdated.

  10. I have used a Mini as wallet for several months now. I carry cash, coins, drivers license and two bank cards in it, along with several pp. notepaper and two plastic envelopes on the rings and a Jot Pad hidden behind the cards. No diary. This is probably all that will fit properly in there. A Mini is also probably the only way you could do this and still have it fit in your trouser pocket--a Pocket size might be too big.

  11. Amanda wrote: "the main bonus for me in having wallet and planner combined is that I always have my planner on me". Agree entirely and have been using a Chameleon Mini for 6 mo now as a combo wallet/planner. Have other size for other purposes as well.
    I found the Chameleon card slots work for me and there is a zip pocket for change. Had to make my own custom dividers. I use a Kaweco Lilliput FP with it, fits in the elasticated pen loop no problem. Just with the FF inserts were better for FP use, even with an EF nib tehre is a lot of bleed & feathering on the diary inserts.


  12. I use a Filofax M2, possibly the best product that Filofax ever discontinued.
    I use the fitted Rhodia pad as an occasional data capture device but carry a separate filofax so that, if I am robbed, I can just hand over my M2.

  13. Before I downsized to the mini as my planner/wallet, I've used the pocket Urban and later a personal Cavendish as my planner/wallet.

    If I have separate planner and wallet, I will for certain forget one or the other when I need it most.

    A must-have feature is top-opening (or horizontal) credit card slots (e.g. Cavendish). This is the main reason why I could not make the vertical slots of the Malden work for me. I placed my most used payment cards in the top 2 slots. I can pull the cards out at the register without having to open the planner.

    Bonus feature is an external pocket e.g. the rear zipped pocket on the Cavendish and Urban or the open one on the Kendal and Hamilton) for receipts --- accessible without completely opening the planner.

  14. As a man, I'm a seasonal Filofax-as-wallet user. Winter jackets tend to have large pockets that allow me to stash a Classic Slimline which carries all cards, cash, calendar and journal.

    Summer and when traveling has been a different story. In the past, I've used a Personal Guildford and simply put myself in the habit of always feeling it in hand (moving to a relatively low-crime area certainly helps!)

    This past summer, however, I had one too many close calls,especially while traveling. Unfamiliar surroundings lead to many distractions. I'm going to experiment with a dedicated money-clip wallet to carry in my front pocket, and a pocket Boston, which will contain my calendar and a tucked-in cahier for journaling and creative writing. This can be stashed in a cargo pocket, or back pocket of many pants in a pinch. It also makes for a much more packable form factor - I'm someone who hasn't checked a bag for a flight in many years, so I'm always interested in minimizing the mass and volume of what I carry on.

    Interestingly, it's not even the journal that necessarily keeps me using my Filofax, wallet or not (I could have moved to a bound journal long ago). It's having the calendar and journal together. Without the calendar, I am absolutely lost in everyday life, and I'm loathe to carry a second book altogether.

  15. By coincidence, I was browsing past posts on Philofaxy at the weekend about your time with a Slimline Holborn, Steve, and then downsizing to a Pocket. I purchased a Slimline Holborn myself a few weeks back and have been using it with success as a planner wallet. I could never get on with pocket or mini and it's all too easy to overstuff a slimline!, To prevent this, I'm being very strict. For example, only fitting one insert holding 6 membership cards. I've got far more but am keeping a Slim Flex in my campervan to hold those that I would only ever need when in the vehicle - such as a Makro cash and carry card (by definition, I would go there by car) and my Decathlon card (the store is miles from a station, so I would only ever reach it by car). So my Holborn just holds a few cards, year planner, couple of WO1P diary sheets, stamps, bank notes, train tickets and timetables, blank pages, information sheets (printed and punched) to include shopping lists and encrypted passwords and that's about it! Fits in my jacket pocket and doesn't look awkward in use or get left behind in the office.

  16. I've sadly come to realize a Filofax planner for me isn't in the cards. I'm in the US, and our paper sizes are just weird. However, I LOVE my mini as a wallet. I keep all my cards, money, a few stamps and several lists inside: names of books to read, movies to watch, and items I know we'll purchase so if I see something for a bargain I can get it. I've had more comments on my mini Rio in the last 3 years than any wallet before hand=)

    And a plea...if anyone has a mini Kendal in brown, I'll give it a good home!

  17. Oh, and I did a hack for my Mini-as-wallet: When you buy Filofax notepaper, punch holes in the little plastic bag it comes in. Now you have a little bag that fits on the rings. Now, has anyone successfully used a Pocket size as a wallet--they're not *that* much bigger than a Mini, but they look like they might be too big to fit in one's trouser pockets. Am I wrong?

    1. I've never been able to fit ANY wallet in my pockets. These days, the jeans I find have fake pockets sewn on them or they are too small to slip in even my iPod Touch! Maybe the problem lies in the fact that I always wear jeans that are borderline jeggings... I just want big pockets... :(

  18. I struggle to do the wallet/planner combo, but use my mini Chameleon as a wallet only and find it to be ablsolutely perfact for my needs :-)

  19. I am so sad that Filofax are stopping making the Mini. I use an Amazona Mini as both my wallet and diary. The rear pocket for notes is brilliant. I keep my two main cards in the slip pockets and loyalty cards behind those. I have two years of diaries so I can plan ahead plus a year planner as soon as it is available for the third year. I have a separate coin purse and all of it fits perfectly in my handbag.
    I have looked at the Pocket but it looks too big for my handbag.
    What can I do???