08 October 2014

Should credit card slots be in the front or the back? by Steve

If you were designing your own organiser would you put the credit card slots on the inside front cover or the inside back cover?

Let me illustrate what I mean. Here is my Filofax Cavendish with a huge number of card slots on the inside front cover: 

This layout is very typical of what we see with current designs from not just Filofax but Van der Spek and Gillio too. 

But going to the alternative shown here with the compact/slimline de Villiers organiser, the card slots (all 10 of them!) are in the rear inside cover. 

Going back through the old Filofax catalogues there are a number of models that have featured card slots on the inside back cover like the de Villiers.

I'm bound to miss some out, but ones that have had them in the back covers include:
And there are no doubt others. But you will have noticed from that selection that some of them vary within the same model the pocket being in the back the personal/slimline being in the front.

So which is right and why?

I suppose it might seem natural for the cards to be on the inside front cover because that is the natural way you open your organiser.

However, I started to wonder if the back would be better for the following reason. Which part of your organiser to you write most in? Is it the pages at the front of your organiser or the back? Most people (but not all) will have their diary insert as the first thing in their organiser?  Is that the most written in section? It tends to be for me I know.

Therefore having the lumps and bumps that any cards create under the back of my inserts with many pages between the page I'm writing on and the cards would be an advantage. So putting the card slots on the inside back cover would help considerably.

Another thought would the location of the card slots be helpful for left handed people?

So which do you think is right back or front? I think I will ask our friends at Van der Spek to see if they know.


  1. I think the card slots should be in the front. It just makes sense, especially for people who use binders as wallets.

    That being said, my current wallet is a Mini Portland, which has card slots at the back.

  2. I have to say that card slots to the front. I do hate when card slots are in the back, had one and it totally did feel wrong.

  3. Front. Most of the time - writing on a new page in particular - I'm writing on the right hand side. Only when (if) that side gets full do I turn over to write on the left. I keep my diary pages in the middle of my Slimline - partly to avoid the "card bulge", but also to reduce strain on the holes, which naturally occurs to pages at the front and back in a well-loaded organiser.

  4. I guess I am the minority and like my credit cards in the back for security (I don't want to be flashing how many cards I've got everytime I open my planner) and for the bulk it adds to the back allowing my planning section to be a bit more raised and comfortable writing experience. Ironically enough I keep my bills and coins in the front.

  5. I have a Personal Portland and it has the slots at the back, which I like better than the slots in my Chameleon and Finsbury, both of which have slots at the front. I am left handed, so maybe it is a leftie thing!

    1. I'm left-handed too, Donna! Like most things, we learn to adapt to a right-handed world - pen loops usually on the right, struggling to write around the rings, zipped models designed to be opened with right hand etc etc.

      I meant to add that I keep 12 cards in my Slimline Holborn - 6 in the front and 6 in a clear pocket holder in the rings at the back. The pocket holder acts as a good surface to write on As the cards don't overlap. Most importantly, I find that the divided weight front and back causes the organiser to open naturally in the middle - which is where my frequently used diary pages are. Perfect! The weight of having 12 cards all at the front is what turned me off the Malden Compact Zip/ Pennybridge Zip.

    2. I have a Portland too, with the card slots at the back. I think in some ways, the more important Q is should a zipped pocket be in the front or the back? The Portland has a great pocket but I'm glad it is at the front. Bumpy coins are harder to write on than bumpy cards!
      Like Tim, I have the diary in the middle and a capture sheet as the very first sheet so in fact, all the places I am writing are unaffected by bumps anyway.

  6. Am I in an absolute minority here? I don't use the card slots at all! All my cards live in a Muji aluminium card case in my pocket. Long after I stopped using my first Filofax (years ago) I had a (lovely) suede portrait-format wallet with nearly 30 card slots which were mostly full; then one day I had a lightbulb moment and realised that carrying that many bits of plastic around all the time was crazy - so I had a radical downsizing moment. I carry about 10 cards in a fraction of the space these days... maybe it would be different if I used a planner as a wallet, but that's not the most practical with an A5.

  7. Front. Having a thick plastic page lifter elimates the bumps

  8. I don't like to advertise that my planner is also my wallet, so the back suits me better.

  9. My Journey has 6 cards slots in the front AND 6 in the back...so i have no idea which side is technically the right side for them!

    I put my WO1P diary in the center of my inserts (as i use it the most often) so that i don't get a big drop on one side of the rings from an unequal amount of pages, as i find it hard to write up to the rings when it is like this.

    I also have a laminated 'front cover' and i keep a credit card insert and a zipped pouch in the very back and these cushion the effect of the card slots on my inserts so i don't notice any lumps or bumps when writing!

    I did receive a lovely Pocket Portland from Steve a while ago and that has the cards slots on the back cover and a zipped pocket in the front, and i found it really odd! I kept turning it round so they were at the front...but then they were all upside down!

  10. My planner's are Louis Vuitton in multiple sizes & finishes, PM (pocket), MM (personal) and GM (A5), but many of my insides are Filofax. Love Filofax refills! On my 3 GM agendas, there aren't any real cardholder slots other than one slot in the front which back in the day was used for a credit card sized calculator. There's one of the same slots in the rear of the agenda. To place cards in my agenda, I have to purchase the plastic multi card inserts which I position in the front area. I like my cards in the front because it's easy to whip out a card, when I make a purchase, and put it back. On the other hand, I also like the idea of having the card slots in the back of an agenda because like someone already said it doesn't showcase your spending power, or ability to get into debt, which quite frankly is not everyone's business. I've tried to carry wallets in the past but it never works for me. I've been carrying my cards in a LV key/card holder but since I'm carrying my A5 again it is my wallet. Personally, I'd welcome an agenda with multiple card slots in both the front and in the back.

  11. ETA an avatar to show 2 of my LV multicolor agendas and to click the "notify me" button so I can remain engaged in the conversation. :)

  12. I prefer them in the front. I feel like it's easier to get at them. Maybe it's just how I hold my planner, but I feel like I have a more secure grip when I open the front, than when I open to the back and the weight of the inserts makes the planner unbalanced.

    I keep my planner pages in the middle to keep it balanced better, too.

  13. Fascinating! I've always naturally found the front to be the obvious choice, but hated the lumps. I've noticed a tendency to open my pocket planner for my cards and to neglect my planner. Time to move my card inserts to the back, methinks!

  14. Definitely in the front (I'm right handed so I can't comment on LH needs). Move your diary/notes/whatever it is you use most often to the centre of your binder and the positioning of the card slots becomes irrelevant.

    I do find, however, that the 'overlapping' card slots (think Cavendish) create a 'lumpier' finish than do the 'flat' card slots in say, the Malden or the Kendal/Hampstead.

  15. I have a de Villiers (it was originally Anita's red one; I had a black one; Anita gave Steve her red one; Steve and I then swapped...) and interestingly, it is the mirror image of the black one with all the card slots in the front.
    I've used binders with slots in the front and in the back and I tend to prefer them in the front, but it depends what is then in the back! If it is a lumpy zipped pocket with coins in, I prefer that at the front and NOT under the pages!

  16. Very late to this post. I don't use my binder as a wallet. I've tried, but the whole security thing is an issue for me. In the U.S. most credit cards now have an embedded RFID chip. Mine now are in protective sleeves or wallets. So, whether on the left or right side really doesn't matter since I use FC page lifters, I really don't have to deal with lumps and bumps.

  17. I need mine at the front and this is why the Compagna/touch me layout isn't working as a planner-and-wallet combo for me, but the Appunto is...


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