10 December 2014

Gillio Medium Compagna Review

The wonderful folks at Gillio Firenze asked me if I would like to review some of their new planners. The words 'No thank you' rarely appears in my vocabulary as far as Philofaxy is concerned!

So Ben and Tom put their heads together and selected some of the new colours from their Gillio Compagna and Mia Cara ranges for me to review.

So once again I had a massive box arrive !!

Today, we are going to look at the Compagna in Medium size (the same as Filofax Personal size) and tomorrow we will look at the Mia Cara in Pocket and Medium size.

This was the first time I had had the chance to take a detailed look at the Compagna model. I'm familiar with the Amica and the Mia Cara models, which we have reviewed in the past. I now see why so many people like the Compagna range.

The Compagna sits in the middle of the Gillio range between the Amica and the Mia Cara. I would imagine for most people that it would satisfy most of their requirements.


So to get in to the detail of the design of the Gillio Compagna.

The Compagna is made from luxurious vegetable tanned Tuscan Italian leather and made in Italy for Gillio Firenze who are based in Brussels.

The exterior design is classic in it's line and can be in contrasting stitching or matching stitching depending on the colour of the leather. The design of all of the Gillio organisers is very similar on the outside and it is only when you look at the interior that you will see the difference between them.

L-R Gillio Amica and Gillio Compagna
The Compagna, features a full width back pocket which will take A5 size paper or A4 folded in half easily. This pocket is lined with a soft synthetic leather.

Looking at the interior in detail. On the inside front cover, there is an expanding vertical pocket. On the face of this pocket there is a full height vertical slip pocket and a smaller business card pocket at the base. Behind this whole section is a full height and depth secretarial pocket. The pockets are again lined with a synthetic leather material.

On the inside back cover, there are five credit card slotted pockets and a leather elasticated pen loop which matches the interior colour of the organiser. Behind this section there is also another secretarial pocket.

The silver rings fitted to this review sample are 25 mm internal diameter. The empty organiser with matching leather fly leaf weighs approximately 285 grams. The organiser is also supplied with a Gillio ball point pen the colour of this varies across the range.


So moving on to the inserts, these haven't changed since my last review back in 2013 so apart from the year dates in the photographs they are the same format/layout.

Starting from the front, there is a frosted ruler and a clear fly sheet, followed by a Gilio Firenze title page. On the reverse of this page is a personal notes page.  Facing is a 3 year calendar page for 2015, 2016 and 2017 in this case.

On the reverse side of the calendar page is the start of a 2015 monthly planner followed by a International holidays page for 2015

We then go in to the main part of the diary insert which is a week on two page layout. Saturday and Sunday are slightly smaller, but this does give more space for the week days. These are all ruled with times indicated. The slightly off white paper is two-colour printed and in four languages. There is a monthly calendar across the bottom of each diary page. Each bottom corner has a perforated  tear off to show you the current week clearly.

At the end of the diary insert there are some notes for the new year page, which are just simple ruled pages, it's quite a useful idea to have these.

The A-Z tabs are quite special, instead of them just being plain, they include a listing for names and phone number, very useful for quick reference I think.

There are then some similar paper contacts pages too.

Now a quick run through the remainder of the inserts. Here are the Memo/To-do pages.

Undated appointment pages

Detailed contacts pages with names and address, phone numbers, email address, comments etc.

Some projects pages with areas for details to be recorded, sketch plans, resources and budget details.

Objective pages for setting your goals.

Ruled notes pages and graph pages.

Expenses pages, useful for tracking your saving account for your next Gillio?!

The section dividers use both top tabs for Diary, Addresses, Memo, Planner and side tabs for Contacts, Projects, Goals, Notes and Expenses. It does mean that for that number of tabs they are of a reasonable size.

The Diary section divider is divided up so you can record important dates, 6 months on each side, so ideal for birthdays and anniversaries. The Addresses section divider has International dialling codes printed on it.

Following on from the section dividers the organiser also includes a world map, this folds out to 7 pages wide! With the Northern hemisphere on one side and the southern hemisphere on the reverse.

In the back of the organiser there are two plastic envelopes one side opening, and one with a side flap opening. As you can see one contains some sticky labels and hole reinforcing rings.

There is also a business card/credit card holder too.

Finally there is a card fly sheet to finish off the insert fill. A very complete set of inserts.

Other new colours.

So far I've been showing photos of the new colour combination of Epoca Burgundy and Grey (776-819)

However they also sent me a Croco Matt Green (468) Compagna. The layout details are the same as the Burgundy red model.

I also added some things to the pockets so you see the pocket details a little clearer, the inside front cover pocket takes my iPhone 6 with its protection case in place fairly easily.

There is also the Epoca Green - Cream (778-819) the interior of which proved the hardest to photograph (First World Problems!)

Thank you to Ben and Tom for the loan of these wonderful organisers to photograph and review.

You will find the full range of Medium Compagna's on the Gillio website. This model also comes in MiniPocket, Slim, A5  and real Ostrich in Medium.

There will be a chance to win a Croco Matt Green Medium Compagna tomorrow... but first you must read and memorise every detail of this review and read the Mia Cara review tomorrow.....


  1. Above, in the description of the Matte green picture, did you mean to say Croco or Coco, as printed? Beautiful colours gentlemen!

  2. Gorgeous looking binder and the pocket layout is so useful. Looking forward to the competition!

  3. I love the green binder. It's beautiful!

  4. These are such beauties but look floppy in the extreme.

    1. They're actually not as floppy as you'd think, because of the many layers of leather that all those pockets & things create. And when you start filling up the pockets and card slots with your stuff, it creates even more structure. I owned a Compagna (and about to own another one), and I never had any issues with it being too floppy to write in on the go. I felt that I had a pretty good support under me while writing.

      Filofax Maldens are actually floppier, because there are not as many layers of leather. They don't have the secretarial and back wallet pocket and all the other pockets to give it structure.

      But you could also add in stiff page lifters, like Franklin Covey has, if desired.

  5. I have the Epoca Green Mia Cara and I absolutely love it.

  6. Really nice! I love their inserts more than Filofax.

  7. That's one bright, neon green croc!


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