20 August 2014

Filofax Kensington review - By Anita

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I'm being unfaithful to my crimson Malden with another binder. I never expected to be so smitten with a simple black Filofax like the Kensington as I previously would've considered it a bit on the boring side. I think the pictures of the model here and Janet's post singing its praises were partly to blame, and to my surprise I managed to pick one up for a great price on eBay.

After it arrived, I gave it a good clean with a damp cloth and then used some black shoe polish to give it a nice shine. Whilst giving it a bit of TLC, I realised just how wonderful the leather is and I think this is the main reason that I love it. It's very soft, smooth and supple and in my opinion its leather feels better quality than that on my Malden.

On the left hand side, there is eight credit cards slots, with a full length pocket behind. And on the right, there is a gusseted pocket (with a flap to cover the zip) and another full length pocket behind with a leather pen loop. I think it's a shame that more modern binders don't have pockets like this as they're so much easier to get into.

I normally prefer a notepad pocket, but the interior layout is perfect for using the Filofax as a wallet. I always take my personal one with me when I go away and I think that the Kensington will be perfect for this. I have found that the all leather pen loop is surprisingly roomy and my Lamy Safari fountain pen just fits.

It's quite slim when full and feels like it easily holds quite a lot of paper.

I am going to do another post about my current set up, but I thought I'd share a couple more shots of the inside. I am a big Godzilla fan and was delighted to find some cheap postcards to add a bit of interest at the front.

It scores very highly on the flatability scale.

At the moment, my poor abandoned Malden is in a drawer and I think I may set a deadline to consider selling it as I'm really not one for keeping filos that aren't in use. I love its crimson colour, but the Kensington has definitely won me over with its supple leather, generous pen loop and well thought out interior layout.


  1. Hi Anita

    Thank you for sharing this, and I look forward to reading about your set-up. For me, nothing beats these older models, and it's a happy outcome for those of us who appreciate the practicality of design (not to mention the fact that they pre-date the move to cheap-and-nasty ring mechanism which has blighted recent releases) that they can sometimes be picked up so reasonably.

  2. Nice. Interesting that I am never at such a bargain. I guess I'm doing something wrong. :)

    1. Hi Petr

      I sympathise! I think it requires constant vigilance....the kind which I find is inconsistent with getting any work done, or a business run!

  3. I agree the Kensington leather has a nice feel.
    I had one of these in mint condition, but had to sell it recently as I just have too many Filos, and I knew I would never use it. Hope the new owner liked it as much as you like yours Anita.

  4. The Kensington model is the most numerous in my collection; I have 10 Personals, a slimline, 3 A5s and 2 Deskfax. The A5 and Deskfax models have stiffly reinforced covers, so they do not have the same suppleness as the Personal and smaller models. One thing I value in the Kensington Personal is the compactness that Anita pointed out. Like Anita, I also love the feel of the leather. It is a real pleasure to be lecturing holding my notes in a Kensington.

    1. Hi Alan

      As a sometime independent scholar, I'd be interested to know more about how you use your Kensington for study/work. It sounds as if you have different binders dedicated to different subjects/functions? Where do you lecture, and in what subjects)?

      If you'd like to drop me a line off-list at davidcpopely (at) gmail (dot) com I'd be really interested to hear from you

  5. I love the Kensington. Does anyone have a pocket Kensington they are interested in selling?