18 November 2015

The story of Gillio and Philofaxy

First of all: thank you, the team at Philofaxy, to allow us to contribute to your wonderful blog at this time!

The year was 2013, and our little company was selling leather goods (amongst which handmade leather organisers, our best-selling product since the early 90s) in our two flagship stores in Belgium and at several dealershops across Europe. We’d almost given up on producing organisers, because with the smartphone-age, people had lost interest in ringbound planners - or so we thought!

Fast forward to 2015, and our handmade, Italian leather organisers are without a doubt our number one selling product, we sell our products globally and interact with people from over 50 countries.

Somewhere between those two paragraphs, we met Mella, an organiser-adept and Philofaxy-fan from Belgium, who introduced our brand to the Philofaxy-audience through a YouTube video. We were stunned: people DO still use planners, in fact, there’s a whole community of planner-afficionados out there! This was the beginning on the 'revival' of our company: through collaborations with Mella (who is now part of the Gillio team at our headquarters!) and with Steve Morton of Philofaxy, we didn’t just gain new clientèle, but we have discovered a great well of wisdom in the readers and contributors to Philofaxy, who have helped us expand, grow and improve - and we’ve made a lot of new friends along the way.

Through Gillio Meet-Ups both in Belgium and abroad, like the Gillio ThinkTank of 2014, we met some of the readers of Philofaxy and designed new models based on their input. We’ve expanded our product range to new sizes and models, such as the A6 Compagna and the Giramondo, with many more to come.

Participating in and contributing to the Philofaxy community has inspired us tremendously, by gaining insight into how organiser-owners in 2015 use their organiser, and what needs they have. Things have changed quite a lot from our earlier glory years in the 80s and 90s!

We’d like to thank Steve Morton for the wonderful reviews and much appreciated insights, and would also like to thank him, Kariné Tovmassian and Christina McGann, who manage and admin both the Gillio Facebook-groups! They are in constant contact with us to make sure we know what our customers are talking about, and what their needs are. Their input is of great value to us as a company!

In celebration on the 10th anniversary of Philofaxy, and to thank everyone that has helped spread the word about Gillio through blogs, YouTube and participation in the discussions on Facebook, we’d like to offer everyone a flash 10% discount for 48 hours: use code PHILOFAXY10 (in all caps!) for 10% off any purchase made between 06:00 CET Wednesday, November 18th until 06:00 CET Friday, November 20th 2015!

Thank you Team Gillio. 

Here are some posts we have done about Gillio in the last couple of years. This is just a selection.. you can find them all here

Looking back through these posts we really have done a lot in the last two years together, lots of fun times too. I've enjoyed springing the posts on people! 


  1. What a great post. I don't own a Gillio (yet!), but they look wonderful. I try to buy form small businesses whenever I can as I feel they take a real interest in their customer's needs. Best wishes for a successful 2016!

  2. A lovely post. Like Helen, I don't (yet) own a Gillio but I aim to own one someday. I have never heard of anyone having a problem with theirs - a rare thing in any product these days.

  3. Oh heck! Having finally given up on my Kikki Ks and returned to Filofax, I thought that I was settled. Now you tempt me with bicolour Gillio? Looks like I'll be saving for a while yet :)

  4. And I thought that some Filofax models were a bit pricey... ;)

    1. You get what you pay for. High quality, good craftsmanship, quality rings. Filofax has poor material (for the most part) shoddy workmanship, and crap rings. Take your pick. Both Gillio and Van dear Spek are far and away a better product.

  5. This a pity though that Filofax doesn't have this type of engagement with their customers. We'd love to help given half a chance! I remember a while back that Filofax had some input to Philofaxy but that seemed to peter out. I think this post shows how good quality has a market, even at a premium.


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