08 March 2017

Guest Post - Filofax Ranger as a Travel Filofax - Amanda

Thank you Amanda for this post.

Using a planner as your wallet is a long standing challenge amongst Filofax users. I have always been on the fence I’m afraid. I tried a Malden for a day and it worked fine until I was actually in line at the supermarket, trying to juggle change, notes and receipts. Similarly an attempt with a zipped Holborn failed because of the same lack of easy access, not to mention opening up the contents of my life to sundry shop assistants and shoppers waiting for me to wrestle my purse into submission.

Enter holiday season. I’d previously travelled with a Malden as my travel Filofax and also with an A5 Chilli Cuban. Filofax is definitely a traveller’s friend for keeping everything together for the trip. But of course we’re always looking for a way to make our planners even more efficient aren’t we?

The Malden was too floppy and unstructured and I feared essential things, like my passport, disappearing from the easy access back pocket in between checkpoints. Using the more secure  back pocket had me grappling with bag, Filofax, boarding pass and stern looking Immigration officials more than once since that is very, very secure.

The Cuban was a monster to carry and it only lasted the one trip. An additional kilo makes quite a difference marching the length of Heathrow. Not to mention hoisting it on to Immigration Counters to unearth papers and passport. I’m sure more than one Officer was fearful of what may lay within.

So I needed a travel filofax that was easy access, secure and fairly accommodating of my peculiar travel style. One that  would see me through checkpoints and itineraries as if I were a well organised jetsetter.

Enter the Filofax Ranger. The perfect combination, so I discovered, BUT not the most attractive, nor tactile, of the Filofax line. I think someone blogging referred to it as ‘masculine’ and I’d have to agree. It has that sort of rugged folder, on the truck seat, feel to it. I purchased mine from eBay as the pictures looked good and didn’t quite betray how rugged it feels. It was definitely NOT love at first sight and it barely received a planner layout and pen before, like so many “Planner Nirvana” purchases, it went into a drawer unused, in favour of a much lovelier Holborn for my daily use.

But the Ranger ticked all the boxes for a travel Filofax, even if it does feel a little like a piece of saddlery. The front cover contains a purse with single button closure which is surprisingly well designed and easy to use. The back cover contains a passport sized pocket which locks the passport in place when the planner section clasp is closed. The inside cover holds all the cards one could want on holiday, and the inside back cover has a large pocket for receipts and such. My measuring says 23mm rings which is quite adequate for holiday planning and keeping in touch with daily life when you return.

Yes, plain as he might be, my Ranger may have won me over to being my daily planner - non-tactile practicality, thick edges and all. (did I mention it is very ‘chunky’, more so than the pictures suggest).

As a purse it has been wonderful. Two large notes pockets have sorted different currencies, and make it easy to separate larger denomination notes, and to quickly hold the occasional receipt until it can be filed in the depths of the planner. And the major advantage is that the business part of my planner says securely shut whilst money changing and such is occurring. A change compartment, with standard Filofax zip is easy to access and bulges when it needs to accommodate a load of loose change.

Surprisingly the Planner section is unaffected by the outside cover purse section and the back pocket contents. When opened it lies flat and the bulk of the covers flattens out coins, notes, passports and such quite well, to give a conveniently flat writing surface. It is as comfortable to use as my Holborn in that regard.

Presumably the Filofax Ranger didn’t take the Planner World by storm and was dropped from the Filofax line, which is a pity, since it is a very practical and well thought out Filo in my view - and I’m quite picky there.

There’s nothing I’d change in layout really, and in terms of the Planner itself, well I’d simply go for something a bit more elegant in stitching and colour. Perhaps Van Der Spek will be the remodelling option when this Ranger’s life is nearing an end, and the external purse is a definite addition to consider if asking for something bespoke. It will be on my list.

This might be a while in the future though, considering how rugged the Ranger construction appears to be. I’d also like to make it a little less imposing. For comparison, I think the Pennybridge zip with purse is too small, just as the Ranger sans zip is a fraction too big. But as I said, I’m picky. Now a Holborn styled Ranger in Crimson would be almost exactly right - as Goldilocks might say!

And that is the clue. After its holiday the Ranger has moved into my handbag and as simply as that, my Filofax is my purse. I think I’m happy with that arrangement.

The Ranger is Ready.

Purse Section and Spending Money

Back Pocket and Passport

Inside Front Pocket and Cards

Inside Back Pocket and Receipts

 Ranger’s Flatability

The Ranger Standing on Duty
Thank you Amanda, the conundrum of a wallet/purse/organiser is a long standing one and the Ranger certainly satisfies most if not all of the requirements as you have proven. 

Once again thank you for sharing this with us. 

What do you use when you are travelling? 


  1. I have an Saffiano Compact Zip aquamarine an it works just fine as an wallet. There is enough space for all those cards and a passport fits perfect in the "hidden" large pocket in the middle. :-)

  2. I've never seen one of those before but you're right, it looks absolutely perfect for traveling. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I forgot to mention in the article that there are a few reviews of this model on youtube if anyone is interested in following it up. I'm assuming they appear on eBay and such now and then, but I'm pretty sure I'll create a bespoke version with VDS after I use this one for a while.

  4. I suppose I'm the only one who doesn't carry coins in my wallet/planner. I'm also craptastic when using coupons before their expiry so I have given up on them. I think my point is I never considered the points you explained and it is good to read your post with photos. I prefer posts versus YouTube as I am a faster reader than listener, and "rewinding" only requires looking back when readingg, so thanks.

  5. This is the ABSOLUTE Perfect planner EVER!! I have two personal size and a pocket size. I LOVE Rangers!!! I also love my Malden... But Ranger Filofax is the next level.

  6. That is the neatest idea ever! I reminds me of the Olsen Twin's movie ''New York Minute'', he planner carried her life.

  7. I have been struggling using a Malden personal as a wallet for months. Everything you say is accurate. One thing you failed to mention is that it takes longer to fit, what seems like an A5 at the time, back in your purse. I love my aqua Malden personal size, just not as a wallet. Thank you for your article.

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    If anyone is interested there is a Ranger on sale on eBay in Italy.

  9. It's a perfect planner for travelling! I only wish it was made in genuine leathered though.

  10. It is convenient that you can use the binder for different occasions. I like the exterior pocket with the money. One product with all the features is ideal but I like more than one option in terms of size.

    I have a leather cover with a secretarial pocket, tall pockets and a pen loop. I designed my monthly format on the pages of a bound notebook for this cover. On my smaller cover there are a compartment with a zipper and a secretarial pocket but there is no pen loop. The secretarial pocket and compartment with the zipper are essential for various envelopes and security of items. I prefer the second cover on certain outings because of the petite size and the pocket with the zipper. I can place a pen in that pocket.

  11. Pocket Malden zip works well for me for travel. Can fit a passport in the outside pocket or stow it inside. Could probably use as a wallet (has a zipped pocket which would work for coins) so long as you didn't have too much folding stuff to carry but I don't.

  12. Thanks for the great post. I had looked at Rangers a few months ago on ebay and youtube. I refrained from purchasing one off ebay when I realized they werent leather. I was disappointed. I am a regular traveller. I use a compact calipso and also I sometimes lug an A5 finsbury around. TODAY I was at a flea market here in Denmark and found a Personal Ranger in almost mint condition for US $4. I grabbed it at that price. It appears to confirm all the things you said about it. This one is black. It doesnt feel really faux leather and it is sturdily made. I think I found a new travelling companion! Although I do wish my compact calipso had the outer pocket of the ranger and a longer closure. Love that outer pocket on the Ranger. Again...great post!

  13. I purchased my brown Ranger the day it went on shelves. I happened to be in the London filofax shop when the assistant was putting them on the shelves. It's been in daily use since then, in many different setups and remains in A1 condition. It would have to be a pretty special organiser to move me away from it!

  14. I find the outer purse section of the Ranger very appealing and agree on the rugged masculinity of this organiser, that made me choosing one pocket Ranger as a birthday gift for my brother. Now, since I am a "personal" girl with a compact EDC, the personal Ranger looks also much more suitable for being a travel companion. So bravo and thank you for this great guest post!

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