04 February 2019

Guest Post - Philofile and the Accessory files. - Ian

Thank you to Ian (The Filofaxist) Dawes for this guest post. 

Philofile and the Accessory Files.

Philofile and the Accessory files.

Philofile Accessory File.

No, it’s not the name of a new band, but it is the stuff of legends! 

After meeting the ever-excitable Jenny Dunbar at the last Philofaxy meet up in London, I was lucky enough to have a glimpse into one of her organisers. 

I cannot remember which Filofax it was, but I do remember the very intriguing plastic insert that she had in there and how excited I was that I had actually seen one in the flesh, so to speak. 

The insert was branded as an Accessory File and it contained a multitude of small, but superbly well packaged miniature devices that would be perfect for any Filofax connoisseur.

It was a personal sized insert with six ring holes and a rule along its spine along with a further 10 (approx) items that could be used for a variety of everyday scenarios.
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Pen-Red at one end and black at the other
  • Highlighter-both ends are orange
  • Letter opener
  • Comb
  • Tray containing 6 paper clips and a sewing kit
  • Eraser
  • Tape measure.
This was something I had seen online before but knew nothing about, it was something I needed to own for myself, where could I get one? After Jenny had shown me it was made by Philofile I started my online search to snag myself what should surely be an expensive addition to my collection.

Luckily, I found one on my best (and worst) friend, eBay. It was just £10! Click, done. It was being sold by a German firm who sold mainly plates and teapots along with this and a few other Philofile items, presumably leftover stock from the 80’s or 90’s? 

It appears that they also had a small range of other items available as well which I quickly snapped up. For me I have always loved buying an item then adding the accessories, this is the same for cars, homes, bike, computer, phone and just about everything I own. 

Getting a Filofax is just the start of it, adding all the little extra bits is what makes it so enjoyable, it’s never complete, sometimes the search is just as much fun!

Philofile Mirror.

Philofile Mirror.

I do remember that Filofax did produce their own pocket-sized mirror some years ago, but I have never seen another size, the Philofile one is personal size. 

It has an edge to edge mirror, six holes as you would expect and a small tab on the top right-hand side of it. I have seen a similar looking one made by Mulberry but again only in pocket size. This item was packaged in a slim plastic bag only with no other backing or support, the mirror is good quality, but the wrapper seems cheap. 

I rarely look at myself in a mirror and I don’t really need one in my Filofax, but it is a potentially useful thing to have, I’m happy to keep it but I doubt I will use it on a regular basis.


Now this isn’t exactly the most exciting discovery as there are plenty of Filofax calculator inserts available and you can also find lots of cheaper alternatives.

However, this one was given to me as a freebie by the vendor as it wasn’t working properly, I didn’t ask for it, they just popped it in with the rest along with a sticky note on it saying thanks for the order, sorry but the clock doesn’t work, you can have it for free. 

A clock! I’ve never seen one with a clock before, a clock is not something I would have thought about putting in my Filofax, but it does look cool. I did change the battery but sadly it made no difference, it no longer works, but the calculator is still very useful.

Write and wipe file.

Now this is the one that I really liked, very cool for any Filofax owner, very simple in design but also very useful. It comprises of the actual insert (which will work with a dry wipe pen), the actual pen, a cleaning cloth and 4 half personal sized plastic covers. This means you can use the file for taking quick notes and the store it by placing the clear plastic covers back over it which will then protect the pen from smudging onto any paper inserts you may have next to it, genius! The front side includes a section for a priority list, carried over/reminder and the rear side has a sketch pad which features grid lines so you may use it as a graph. Sadly, the pen is quite old and very dry (pictured) so finding an exact fitting replacement might be difficult, the search continues!

I’m really pleased with these discoveries and overall, I only spent £30 which is not a great deal. I will be adding them to my personal sized Filofax Malden which I carry with me as an extra binder on a daily basis.

As I mainly use the A5 Malden for my diary and notes the personal Malden will feature as an ancillary organiser full of useful but not so frequently used accessories. There are a few of these items left on eBay but they won’t be there for long, if I had deeper pockets, I may have bought a few more as back-ups.

I have done some research online and I can find very little to do with the brand name of Philofile, most mentions are of the eBay listings that I had purchased. 

On the back of the mirror insert it did mention a chess insert which I know someone in the Philofaxy Facebook group does own, this I would love to own. If anyone does have any more information on these inserts I would love to know more, please contact me: Ian Dawes, filofaxist (at) gmail dot com.

Thank you Ian, great to see these add-ons. Somewhere I have a Filofax Backgammon set, I will have to hunt around for it for you. 

I found it!


  1. Thank you for this post. What a cool accessory. I have all those thing in a pencil case. That would look so much nice in this device.

  2. Just be careful at airports,ferry ports etc, as anything with a knife in it will be taken from you and confiscated. My mum had a Swiss army knife in her handbag,given to her as a gift, which she adored and had carried around for years!! Dad always forgot to pack a corkscrew when we went to France on holiday and mum always had one to hand from her Swiss Army knife which she'd bring out with a proud flourish!! She was so upset when it was confiscated by customs officials and mum in tears was not a good start to our holiday really. A fabulous post. Love the wipeable down board especially. xx

    1. My sympathies. I also always have my Swiss Army knife and multi-tool in my bag. When I went to West Virginia with my mom, I put my multi-tool in my checked bag on the way up. Completely forgot it was in purse when we went to fly home. I was allowed to try to mail it home, but it never made it. It may have been a simple multi-tool, but it was an anniversary gift from my husband.

    2. Aww Cori, the same with my mum, it was a gift and she adored it! Hope you have found a new one for your handbag. Maybe this planner tool will help cheer you along, as you say a Swiss Army Knife in a planner, minus the corkscrew though!!! xx

    3. The same thing happened to me when I was passing through South Korea; I have a very small sterling silver Tiffany & Co. Swiss army knife that my sister gave me for my 16th birthday, which means I've carried it with me for over 23 years! I always kept it with me, in my carry-on bag, and I've never had issues with it passing through TSA and other international airports. However, probably because I was so visibly upset (this is one of my most precious belongings!), I was taken out of the security line, and the staff placed the knife into a special envelope that was then placed with the checked items! When I arrived at our destination, someone brought it out to me in the baggage retrieval area.

      Which is to say, if you're ever caught out in the same way, request airport security get someone from your airline to come and put your taboo item in with checked luggage!

    4. I really wish I had known this!

  3. I LOVE that Philofile accessory insert! It's a Swiss Army Knife for your planner! I may have to get one myself!

  4. Steve, could you post the link for the Accessory Insert? I check eBay-US and there's nothing. I hope this isn't only available overseas.

    1. Sorry, Cori, but as noted, these are from the 80's - 90's.....

      So, only way to get one is from eBay or someone else willing to part with one...

      Too bad, as I'd like one too....

    2. NOOOOOO! BOO! They need to bring that back! I would buy several of them.

  5. I agree with Cori, I would LOVE an accessory insert. It would be so useful to me at work as well as at home. But with not so many people using filofaxes as in the 80s and 90s, that won't happen.
    However, thanks to Ian's post I now have a write and wipe board on its way to me. :)