14 December 2017

Gillio A5 Address Book

I was chatting on Facebook with Tom Van Haelen of Gillio fame about a week ago, we discussed various topics as always. In our chat he shared a link with me for a 'Gillio Address Book'

From the pictures as you can see I wasn't exactly sure what size it was. Tom confirmed it was A5 size and then I remembered it. There used to be a 4 ring Gillio Amica as well, but it is no longer on the website.

Whilst it looks like a 6 ring A5, but with only 4 rings, the spacing is slightly different. Please refer back to my post from earlier this week for the details on 4 ring European A5 ring spacing. So now you know why that post was written!

So now you are aware of the difference, let us continue. Tom offered to send me one to review and I jumped at the chance. Let us look at it in detail.


The Compact A5 as I have christened it is currently only available in Dark Brown Epoca leather, which I really like. Soft to touch and it has a lovely texture to it.

You will notice that there is no clasp on it.

Opening it up you might also notice that there is no pen loop either. But I have solved that small detail as you will see later.

The covers are quite stiff but it lays nice and flat.

The front inside cover has a large secretarial flap pocket a half height pocket with a business card pocket on the front of that. Therefore you can carry essential paperwork easily.

The light brown on the rear inside cover and also visible on the front inside cover is some sort of textured leather or artificial leather (I'm not 100% sure). They use the same material on the rear inside cover of the Mia Cara organiser section. If you have ever seen one of them you will know what it is like. I quite like the contrast it doesn't detract from the function or appeal of the organiser/binder.

The rings are European A5 spacing with an internal diameter of 19mm.

The narrow leather fly leaf slots in between the edge of the secretarial pocket and the ring mechanism, so if you were writing on the left and page there wouldn't be a bump on that edge

It came with these address book inserts with A-Z tabs, each page has a plastic covering to it.

This is a close up of the front inside cover.

Comparison to the A5 Mia Cara Organiser Section.

Having commented previously about the size of the A5 organiser section being too narrow, I think I have solved the reason why... The Mia Cara organiser section and this Address Book were made with the same templates... same height and same overall width. But the Mia Cara is fitted with normal A5 rings but 25mm in internal diameter. The Address book therefore with only 19mm rings seems to be the correct size for true A5 size inserts.

Because of the extra thickness due to the larger rings. That also makes the Mia Cara cover narrower when closed.

Not easy to spot from this photograph but the Address Book is not as thick as the A5 Mia Cara organiser section. Naturally as the two are the same height, the Address Book does fit the Mia Cara outer jacket perfectly.

Having solved that long standing A5 Mia Cara mystery (hooray!!!!!!), let us move on to how I will be able to use the Address Book as a Compact A5 organiser.

Using the A5 Address Book as an A5 Organiser. 

With the slightly different ring spacing, I had to use my adjustable punch as shown below. I was able to set it up to the correct hole spacing. I could have not punched holes 2 and 5 but chose to leave those in as reference points to get the spacing correct.

It took a bit of trial and error, but in the end I was able to take an already punched A5 insert and create the slotted holes to allow for the different spacing.

Alternatively I could just punch the inserts with the adjustable punch and I would have the correctly spaced round holes for this organiser. Not interchangeable but at this point I wasn't too concerned about that.

Additionally the all the A5 inserts sold by Gillio and other suppliers under the 'Euro-Time' branding have slotted holes, so they will fit either the A5 European 4 ring system or the conventional A5 6 ring system.

I decided to print off a set of Philofaxy diary inserts for 2018, I was able to get a full year of week on two pages, and a year of month on one page in the rings with plenty of capacity to spare.

My trusty Enhanced Time Manager inserts that I've been using for many years. I've also printed off some lined paper and simple to-do lists.

I punched an A5 Filofax Flex pen loop to have slotted holes and that solved the lack of a pen loop perfectly.

The pen sits close to the edge of the pages but well within the outside edge of the Compact organiser. I used some 3M Post It index tabs on some card stock to create a divider/today marker and the edge of these tabs is also well within the edge of the organiser too.

Having got to like Compact A5 organisers over a year ago after reviewing the Filofax Compact A5 Heritage model with just 16mm ring this Gillio A5 with 19 mm rings is a great size.

I'm looking forward to trying this out over the coming months.

Thank you to Tom and the team at Gillio for supplying the review sample 'Address Book'

Further information: 

Gillio - IIC bvba
Breedveld 2 unit 7
1651 LOT (Beersel)
+32 (0)2 380 63 19

Email: helpdesk@gillio.eu
Website: https://www.gillio.be
Facebook page: Gillio Firenze
Facebook groupGillio Firenze
Instagram: @GillioFirenze


  1. Steve, I ordered the address book a few months ago and I use it as an address book. It is much more pleasurable to look up addresses in my Gillio rather than thumbing through my contacts list in my iPhone. It has been getting a lot of use the past few weeks as I am addressing my Christmas cards.
    The leather is beautiful and it is incredibly compact. I carry it around in my briefcase every day. Enjoy yours!

  2. It seems the Gillio design department wasn't quite on the ball then. Any plans to rectify your Mia Cara by swapping the rings for smaller ones Steve?

    1. That occurred to me, but obtaining them might be the issue. But I had this made by Van der Spek instead which solves the problem:

    2. Yes I saw your earlier hybrid answer Steve. Perhaps Gillio should offer a free ring replacement to those who'd like it?