19 June 2017

The Perfect Organiser - Part 1 [Rings]

There are many factors that go together to make a 'Perfect Organiser' so I thought I would break this down in to easy to read bite size chunks and write it as a mini series of posts.

Yes this is my own point of view, your thoughts might be different! But please do comment if you have other thoughts to add on each post.


Let's start with rings... as you might know it's a topic dear to my heart!!!

The rings in an organiser vary in quality from cheap non-branded ones that are riveted in to removable/replaceable Krause rings at the other end of the scale.

In cheaper organisers from companies such as Filofax, Paperchase etc the rings tend to be riveted in to the organiser. In some cases these might be replaceable where the rivets go through the spine of the organiser, but on other models they aren't so easy to change.

In the majority of cases you shouldn't have any issues with these rings in normal everyday use. Occasionally you might get some small gaps develop or it might even arrive with gaps in the rings.

Having seen a good number of people with ring gaps on this type of ring mechanism I devised my own method for 'curing' this issue, which you see described here.

However, if you take care in opening and closing the rings this type of mechanism shouldn't suffer any issues. I have many organisers in my collection with these type of rings and I've not had any issues over the years.

Any mechanism can suffer if the organiser is dropped off say a desktop on to a hard floor with a full set of inserts on the rings. So just be careful and you should be ok.

If you are buying an organiser in person be sure to inspect the rings and run the tips of your fingers over the join to check for any misalignment. Your fingers will feel the step much better than your eyes will.

Let's have a look at some different ring mechanisms (Dull Men should look away now!)

Riveted rings in a Filofax Malden
An older Filofax Sandhurst, branded Filofax rings which are removable
Unbranded removable rings in a Gillio organiser
Some tiny Krause rings 11mm fitted in a Pocket organiser
35mm Krause rings in my A5 Van der Spek
If your organiser has the removable type of ring mechanism you can of course upgrade them and fit Krause rings available from Van der Spek. However shipping can be expensive if you only want one set. It is best to get a small group order together to share the cost of shipping.

I've upgraded nearly all of my Gillio organisers with Krause rings, they seem to be better made than the ones supplied with their organisers.

Naturally if you have any questions about rings. Leave a comment below.


  1. My one brush with the ring system in form of a Filofax Metropolitan wasn't very successful because writing on the left side (I'm right-handed) is a pain for me because of the rings. How do you handle that? Do smaller rings help? Do you take inserts out of the organizer to write? Do you only use the right or left side of the spread? Would love to make a ringed organizer work for me as I love the flexibility. Thanks btw for your work with the blog :)

    1. Yes smaller rings can help, also making sure that the left hand stack of paper and the right hand stack are of similar heights. I do this by shuffling the order of my sections so that the most used (written in) section is in the middle. Like that I have little problem with resting my hand on the rings or either side of the rings to write.

    2. Hey Steve, I do handle this similar in my FF Compact. Never have any ring-in-my-way issues with the smaller rings and most busy section in the middle ;-)

  2. I'd love to replace some rings. Do you know of any stockists for 11mm pocket rings (preferably Krause)?

    1. Unfortunately I'm not aware of anyone that stock 11mm Pocket Rings. Van der Spek stock 16mm and 20mm rings, but those two sizes are not interchangeable because the base plates are different.

    2. What a shame - as some organisers come with them - I'll just have to lurk for cheap slim pockets on ebay and cull some rings! I have found some 13 mm rings from Hong Kong, which are on the non-11 base plate, so they might do. I'm happy with changing the base plate too; once you've put the rings on they cover up the extra holes!

  3. Hi just wondering a rivet is missing on my A5 organiser do you go to a hardware shop to get a rivet to put in it

    1. Yes you need to ask for a mushroom headed nut and matching bolt for the inside. Something like: https://www.fastenright.com/general-fixings/IN17-mushroom-head-knock-in-insert-nut/IN17