14 July 2014

Filofax Catalogue 1993

Sit tight we are going back to 1993 today. This is the first catalogue to feature the A5 size.

You can also view the photos in slightly higher resolution in this Flickr album.


  1. 1993 - another fascinating year! Filofax finances had been turned around and the company was profitable again. New products were being launched - especially the A5 to (belatedly) compete with Time Manager (TMI), Time System and others who were already well established in this size. Filofax had just been able to purchase (and eliminate) long-term rival Lefax. They were paying a dividend to shareholders again. However, this had been at the expense of UK production. Compare 1993 with the 1989 brochure. No Union Jack flags and no proud "Made in England" claims. The Essex (UK) factory was being run down for closure, the range of leaves (what we now seem to call "inserts") from Filofax had by now been severely pruned similar to what we have today. Many more changes were to come...

  2. What a fantastic nostalgia trip Steve, and many thanks for taking the trouble to post them up on Philofaxy. Isn't it great to see what a variety if inserts were available then?

  3. Great post. Love the travel fax

  4. Thanks for sharing this Steve.
    Tim gives a good description of the historical context for the company. I wonder which of the organisers listed actually remained being produced locally at this point?
    One may also speculate as to why the holes for the new A5 size were made incompatible with all the rest of the formats, and also different to a "standard" (two hole) A5 punching. I can only assume that Filofax wanted to have an initial monopoly on the inserts, until imitations started to appear.

  5. Even in 1993 the inserts vastly outnumbered the binders. Indeed there isn’t a single flowery or bright coloured one from that era.

    Interestingly the 1993 catalogue show only 3 size binders: Personal, Pocket and DeskFax. No A5? I would guess that Filofax brought in the A5 in 2000/2001?

    I was given my 'A' Time A5 in the 80s. 'A' time got bought out by Filofax in 2000/2001. My stash of old A5 inserts shows that in 2001 FF rebranded the 'A' Time inserts to Filofax Time Management. At first FF kept the pink on white printed format but in 2002 it became black text. Filofax then discontinued all the time management elements of the old ‘A’ Time system. Funny that the current Filofax Time Management inserts have the tell-tale ‘A’ in the column used to denote priority – A, B or C. Fortunately the original inserts live on in Time Systems.

    I don't think Filofax could have marketed the A Time binders as the linings had the A Time logo printed all over, but they may have kept the tooling - my old A Time A5 has a Krause ring mechanism.

    1. Hi Cloudberry - Filofax A5 definitely first came out in 1993. I remember seeing them launched and branded as "The Filofax System Organiser" when I was working in Nottingham.

      Mini, M2, Compact, and A4 all came later but Slimline was certainly in there at that time - giving 4 of the current sizes.

      That's interesting about A Time. I didn't know that "Filofax Time Management - The Professional System" originated with them. Certainly my TM brochures from 2004 make no reference to the history or origins. The Filofax TM system used standard A5 binders (with Chinese rings!)

  6. Great flash back and seeing what each philofax offers. Great view. Thanks

  7. The year I was born! Very interesting to see the old catalogues!