31 August 2023

Guest post series - 'Filohax' No.7 - Paul

Thanks again to Paul for this seventh instalment of his wonderful guest post series. You can find all of the 'Filofhax' posts here

To pen loop or not to pen loop  

If, like me, you fell in love back in the 80's and are still in the same relationship, chances are you intimately know your loved one's short comings, and have had to learn to live with them. Yes, I'm talking about my Winchester's poor pen holding capacity! However, recently I decided to do something about it (after seeing an elastic pen loop for sale for £1!). 

I've often thought that planner designers have missed a trick in not utilising the void created between the rings of binders, so decided to do a little experiment, and instead of positioning the pen loops outside of the inserts have put it to hold the pen on the inside of the rings instead. 

What's wrong with outward facing pen loops? Well, the downsides of positioning loop/s on the outside of our binders, to me, are obvious - sooner or later the pen is going to interfere with tabbed dividers. There is also the aesthetic effect that adding loops has in 'cluttering' the look of binders - Winchesters with their one loop attached to the back cover consequently have very clean lines, whereas the Cavendish looks cluttered by comparison.


But the main problem with pen loops for me is the pen snagging.


For work I use a Cavendish - with it's ample double external pen loops' capacity - and carry it in my shoulder bag. However, the pens are constantly snagging the insides of the bag as I pull the Cavendish out (it's a testament to the rugged construction that the snagged pens haven't pulled the stitching apart!). So I decided to experiment by using the new elasticated loop on my Winchester 


and have made a breakthrough - initiated, counter-intuitively by a major design flaw in the new elasticated pen loop... The problem being that if you dare try to push a stubby tipped pen into the elasticated loop...it catches and stops you from being able to use the loop. 


That is until I remembered one of Neil's Flatability videos demonstrating how to wedge only the pen's 'cap' into overly tight pen loops, and simply pulling the pen out of the trapped pen cap to use and then clicking it back into the cap. 



It's working like a dream, so I now have adopted it for my work Cavendish. 


Come on Filofax, isn't it time for a radical reimagining of how we accommodate our writing implements into our binders?! 


  1. I reckon you’re on to something with this idea thanks Paul.

    1. It solves the problem of formerly useless pens with caps (I use Frixion retractable pens and refills come with frixions with caps which I used to just throw in a draw. Not anymore!

  2. Hi, thanks so much for this! This inspired me to make an elasticated pen loop in the centre of the spine (rings) by stitching wide elasticated band to a laminated divider. The divider sits almost at the back of all my inserts. It works great for when the organiser is closed. The pen (Bic 4 colour) gets in the way of flipping the pages, so I take the pen out when I use my Filofax.