20 October 2022

Note taking in your Filofax

Laurie dedicated her 'Free For All Friday' last week to note taking. 

Should you use a notebook or your planner or another organiser for this is up to you. There is no right and wrong at all. We all have different requirements. 

For me, I sometimes dedicate a notebook to a long term project and pick it up as and when I need to add some notes. But like everyone I will often end up with bits of paper with notes when I'm 'away' from my organiser/planner that need to be added to my planner. 

One example is when I go to my French class on a Monday, I don't take my A5 organiser with me to that class, I have a big A4 folder with class notes and other books etc. I have tended to use an A6 organiser with some simple lined paper in it for notes, I would then transfer the notes to my A5 when I got home. 

Laurie's post on Friday got me thinking about this a bit more, could I improve my note taking arrangements when I didn't have my A5 to hand? Was there a better size I could use instead of A6? 

Obviously I could use another A5, may be one with smaller rings with just some lined paper and a year planner for lesson dates. However, I wanted to consider other sizes as well. 

I decided to look at all of the common sizes to see what options there was. I thought this might benefit anyone else as well. 

Here is a table of my findings, explained in more detail below.

If you are using an A5 organiser, then as a satellite obviously another A5 will work, but so will Pocket and Mini, they both fit on to the rings without any re-punching or folding of the page. Personal will fit, but the bottom or top inside corner will need trimming or folding to clear the bottom or top ring. If you use Mini, you will be able to fit two Mini pages on to an A5! See this post for details. 

With Personal size as your main size,  Mini will fit the rings but with a small fold or trimming the inside corners to avoid the inner rings

If you are using A6 then again Pocket and Mini will fit without any adjustments being required. 

Or if you use a Pocket then Mini will fit this easily. 

Using larger pages in a smaller organiser sadly leads to having to re-punch and fold the pages, not ideal. I do use a normal A4 page in my A5, but not punched for A4, just plain A4 paper in landscape, punched for A5 and then folded in 'Z fold' to fit the A5 organiser, a slightly different solution though. 

Not included in the table is M2, these pages are similar in size to Mini, but landscape not portrait. They also only have 3 holes punched. M2 will fit A5 and A6 perfectly, one M2 on each set of rings in fact. M2 also fits on to Personal, except M2 is wider than Personal, you might be able to tolerate this for occasional notes. M2 will fit in to Pocket and Mini as well, but it will require to be folded to reduce the width. 

Additionally Deskfax has ring spacing perfectly set for using Personal size pages. 

My own preferred solution:

After putting together this post I dug out my 'stash' of pocket inserts to assemble a set-up to try this out. 

Judging by the old diary inserts that I've kept, I was actively using Pocket size for a number of years. I have quite a few pocket ring organisers, but in the end I settled on this unknown brand one to use. 

It has small 11mm pocket rings, which will be enough for some note paper and a year planner and a pen. It is made from a soft leather and as well as card pockets it does have a full width back pocket and a generous size leather pen loop. 

Pocket in A5 fits perfectly!

Pocket of unknown brand, there's no makers name on it anywhere!

Small rings but they are perfect for my application. 

I'm set to try out my new portable note-taking/note keeping organiser. I will let you know how it works out. 

Have you ever 'mixed' sizes in your Filofax before? What sizes have you used? 


  1. I find the Filofax jot pads (just a bit smaller than M2 size) quite handy here, but you can only fit a few short lines of writing on them.

    1. And they fit all of the organisers with the three ring combination, so all of them except A4

  2. I use a personal size when out-and-about, and a Deskfax when at home - it's been fine ever since I came to terms with the top 2mm of the personal size poking above the top of the deskfax pages...

  3. A very apt post as I'm just about to take delivery of a Mini Finsbury and was wondering if mini note pages could be added to my main Personal Winchester?

  4. Using old Pocket sized inserts, these will fit the Personal and the Deskfax rings. Old Pocket sized organisers instead of six rings had four rings in the same spacing of the Personal’s middle ones.

    For a long time, Pocket insets had long holes to fit old and new organisers, thus also fitting Personal and Deskfax rings. But sadly these times are gone now.

  5. You could also consider use of the HB x WA5 size as an alternative to A5, you can use the same binder for your Personal size pages -- same height and no need to repunch as the rings are the same.