08 January 2014

Mulberry A5 planner

I don't really know very much about Mulberry, other than that they make beautiful leather goods that are normally out of my comfortable price range. From time to time, they pop up in an eBay search, but normally they go for more money than I'd be willing to pay. And then one day, I saw one for a pretty reasonable buy it now price and figured it might be worth the risk. The listing called it a red/burgundy vintage 90's Mulberry leather diary/Filofax, it looked fairly good condition from the photos and it said that it was the agenda size at 7" x 9" approximately. I didn't take much notice of the measurements given and figured it would take A6 size paper.

I was a bit surprised by the size of the padded envelope it came in and it definitely felt heavier than I was expecting. On opening it, I realised why as it is actually the discontinued A5 planner size instead! The next thing that I noticed was that it was quite dirty and sticky for some reason. It took a bit of TLC with several wet wipes, drying off with tissue and then some Nivea hand cream to get it ready for its photo shoot.

It's a stunning binder.
On the left, there is a full length pocket, two smaller handy secretarial pockets, an ID window and three card slots. On the right, there is another full length pocket, a large gusseted zipped pocket and the single pen loop. On first inspection, the pen loop didn't look particularly large, but with a tiny amount of persuasion my Lamy Safari fits quite nicely.

The fastener comes with a double popper setting, and quite cleverly extends or can be pushed back into the recess on the back.

I think the A5 planner is a bit of a strange beast as it takes A5 paper, but uses the personal size ring mechanism, which could be more handy if you don't have an adjustable punch. As you can see from the photo below, the A5 sheet of paper has both standard A5 and personal holes punched together. I don't own any washi tape, but I would imagine that you could use some to help reinforce where all the holes are lined up together.

If I was going to be using this planner, I'd probably just hole punch some A5 notebooks that I have, but what options are there for buying A5 sheets with personal size spacing?
  • Mulberry still sell a limited amount of planner size inserts which will fit (you need to scroll down to find them)
  • Steve also helpfully pointed out that the Quo Vadis Timer 21 Range will also fit without the need for re-punching. 
It's quite slim for an A5 with 23mm rings, no bulky pockets and the sturdy leather itself doesn't seem to have any padding. So, if you're looking for a slimline A5 I would recommend one of these. I think, for me, the only thing missing is a notepad pocket on the right. I know that this would add to the overall bulk, but I find that I scribble lots more in the A5 size and it's so handy to have a pad at the back.

Ironically, after writing this post I shortly found that I was missing using the A5 size as it's so handy for helping to deal with A4 paperwork. I have decided that my 2014 set up will consist of two binders as I've realised two important things:
  1. Despite having minimalistic tendencies, I am allowed to own more than one binder as I enjoy using them and they will help me become more organised
  2. I cannot possibly fit everything into my personal crimson Malden, and the additional storage and page space the A5 provides will encourage me to plan and write more.


  1. That is wildly gorgeous planner! How lucky you are to have it!
    And hear hear for letting yourself be happy with your planning. What ever works is good.
    I also acquired a very unattractive plastic binder from Staples to hold all my binderpapers. It cost me a measly 3 euros yet has impeccable rings *cough* and now the fancy leather binder with crappy seams and gappy rings are my happy place to go to. Finally at the tender age of 40 I gave myself a happy binder and it was about *%/# time too.

  2. Of course you're allowed more than 1 binder! I'm sure you have more than 1 pair of shoes ;) If you use both binders, because they are different sizes and are for different purposes, that's absolutely fine! If you had more than 1 binder of each size and didn't use one while you were using the other, then it would disagree with the idea of minimalism, but because they are distinct and both being used, it's fine :)

  3. The binder looks really luxurious and what a find, curious that it has rings that align both with A5 and Personal. I'm in full agreement re: allowed more than one binder and more space in which to write.

  4. The Last Diary Company in Australia puts out an A5 binder with personal ring spacings as well - I bought one in each size in a beautiful avocado green, but haven't gotten around to trying them out (distracted by a brighter green elsewhere!)