14 August 2017

Guest Post – Double, Treble, Quadruple by gmax

Back in the 1980s, the range of available Filofax leaves was much wider than today, and there were four sizes of personal leaves:

6¾” x 3¾”
171mm x 95mm
6¾” x 7⅛”
171mm x 181mm
6¾” x 10½”
171mm x 267mm
6¾” x 13¾”
or 6¾” x 13½”
171mm x 350mm
or 171mm x 343mm

The three wider sizes were all designed to fold down to single size, so they could be carried in a normal personal binder.

These leaves pre-dated metric measures, and the widths in inches would have reflected the true sizes, while the metric dimensions shown were converted and evidently rounded up to the nearest whole mm. (Quad width of 13¾” actually converts closer to 349mm.)

Two widths for quadruple seem to have existed, although only one was shown in any given catalogue. The duality of size is likely to have arisen from how the leaves were folded, as discussed below. (The catalogues I’ve seen showing the smaller of the quad widths also incorrectly state a metric equivalent of 330mm rather than 343mm.)

From mid-1986, the metric widths seem to have been given in the catalogues with further rounding to the nearest 5mm, making double width come out as 180mm and treble as 265mm. I have also seen earlier treble Lefax leaves of 265mm, so there are certainly some nuances to the sizing!

Double leaves:

Treble leaves:

Quadruple leaves:

Note the variation in the direction of folding. The left-hand variant would allow a slightly wider fourth segment, which I suspect is the reason why two different quad widths were quoted.

I have written previously about the original Deskfax format that used double width personal leaves. This was a convenient way to store and use the double size unfolded. Evidence from leaves bearing the associated “DF” marking suggests that this format was introduced in late 1984, rather than 1985/6 as I’d previously believed.

Looking further back in time, both Lefax and Filofax made simple (non-leather) binders that would hold each of the different sizes unfolded.

As an experiment I decided to recreate these, at least in spirit. I used the ring insert out of a modern Temperley Ikat Filofax and made front and rear covers in each of the sizes by trimming plastic sheets. Here are some photos of the end results.    

Components for treble-sized binder:

Double-sized binder:

Quadruple-sized binder: 

The full set of elements used in the experiment:

Today there are still some fold-out inserts for year planners and the like, but the wider range of plain, lined, quadrille, cash, graph etc. are long discontinued. It’s not too hard to make your own though.

Thank you Max, very useful for people wanting extra page space but not a bigger organiser! 


  1. Another informative post by Max! Thank you. I have some of these folding inserts, which are, unfortunately, currently packed away due to office renovations.

  2. Thanks Alan.
    A footnote regarding the quadruple sizing mentioned in the post - logically, based on the previous increments, one would have expected a quad width of 13 7/8" (353mm if rounding up), and I've just seen that's what's quoted as the imperial size in an old Lefax brochure.
    So there is actually a third variation of quad size, which is the most pleasing of the three in terms of symmetry!

  3. Thanks for a great post, Max!
    I've been folding larger pages to use in personal for quite some time now, & it's especially handy as I'm no longer using A5. I would love to be able to go back in time to browse a store when all these different leaves were available.

  4. Great post Max! I design my own pages and I've used double width folded pages in my personal for a while too, for my what's due/weekly schedule page. It's great to be able to fold it out and still see the weekly pages on top. And, as Anita noted, especially in personal size. It's one good way to solve the binder size v writing space issue.

    1. Likewise, I have numerous uses for fold-out pages that I create for my teaching binders. For example, a North American letter-sized (8.5x11") fit perfectly in an A5 binder with a single fold and 6mm trimmed off one edge. I'll use this for pages with my class-by-class schedule, student seating plans, etc. Similarly, I have bifolded, with a bit of trimming, letter to fit in a personal binder.

  5. I'm detecting a theme. Max has posted about:
    HBxWA5 - personal height but A5 width
    The original Deskfax, which was double-width personal
    and now the original personal inserts with extra widths.

    Clearly, Max values the extra page size while sticking with the original ring spacing!

    (BTW, when I unpack my office, I will see if it makes sense to do a followup post about the extra-width leaves that I have.)

  6. The currently still available Filofax product with the most folds must surely be the vertical year planner ref 17-68408? That has 5 folds to reveal six months of the year when opened! Just measured it as 171mm x 510mm! I've always loved the way you can bend this several ways to reveal the months you're currently working on.

  7. Thank your for a really interesting post!

    What is the purpose of the form shown in "Quadruple-sized binder" image?

    1. Hi Gerard. It's a "Month Planner - days 1-31, 4 months per side, quad leaf", Ref. No. 540.