17 November 2023

Free for All Friday No. 784 by Nan

 The early bird catches the...Filofax? 

I've spend most of this year using a Franklin-Covey 7-hole Classic size planner. While I thought many times about switching to a different size and brand, mostly to find a more lightweight, portable system, I never could because what I doing with the 7-hole was just working too darn well. 

Once I figured out a way to easily switch to Filofax A5, I found that I could wait no longer. I've started using the organizer I planned for 2024 in November 2023! And it's working even better than I could have predicted!

Can you relate?

As always on Friday, all discussion of ring-bound organizers, or anything else on your mind, is welcome.


  1. Living where I do, eight hours down the I-15 from Salt Lake City, Franklin Covey products are quite common. I've used a Classic size binder for thirteen years now, and it is extremely useful for my purposes.
    I've owned a A5 Filofax before, but unless you do mail order it's all but impossible to find pages and accessories.

    1. Agree on the IRL Filofax availability! Even granting that many/most people use their phones/Outlook for calendaring and task tracking, it's insane that there are not more outlets that carry Filofax. I found (so far) precise ONE store in Boston (the legendary Bromfield Pen Shop) that used to have pretty much the full range of inserts back in the day, but the other day I had to track down the corner (literally) where the current year diaries were, as well as an actually nice selection of not-current-year inserts. (I'm going to check out the stationery stores in Cambridge in a week or two.)

    2. Seconding the issue with finding Filofax in the local shop. It's pretty sad!

    3. As a fellow USAer, I heartily recommend printing your own inserts. I visit just two shops that still carry filo: one in CA and the great Atlas Stationers in Chicago, but as I live in Tennessee, it's not like I can pop over on the weekend.

      About three years ago, I got my first A5 (Malden). Almost immediately, I decided to test and see how well a half-sheet letter size would work in it. Would the pages clear the tabs? Would I end up with (shudder) curled or bent top & bottom edges?

      Nope. The low-profile tabs on the rings certainly help, but the pages lay flat and I don't even notice them resting on the tabs any more. I bought a paper cutter and an adjustable 6-hole punch and I've never looked back.

      A year later, I decided to test one of Steve's W02P files. I cannot read monthly calendars with Monday starts, so I had to tweak the last month-next month calendars (and that took numerous hours--I know just enough about MS Office to be dangerous). Once I got those working, it's wonderful. I live my worklife in my Philofaxy Wo2P setup and am the envy of my entire team.

      I've also created a Publisher file that automatically formats text onto half-sheet pages that go 1-2-3-4 just like they should, so I can carry articles and important emails with me. No more scrolling through my phone in a meeting looking for that elusive quote.

      So if you haven't, take a look a the Files page. There are a lot of flavors to choose from (and I haven't even touched on how much cheaper it is to print your own). Steve's done all the hard work. All we have to do is print, relax, and enjoy the fruits of his labor. :)

  2. Here in northwest England there's also an issue seeing filofax in shops. Near me there's WHSMITH and Rymans only. The former sell cheaper flowery organisers or the saffiano/metropol/domino models often in pocket and possibly a personal too. Inserts aren't better, WOTP, ruled paper, financial often only in pocket and maybe two A4 inserts and 6 A5 inserts. Not very good!

  3. I'm currently trying to decide on a new filofax organiser purchase and can't decide on which size to get. Anyone know if there's anywhere a spreadsheet of organiser dimensions for various models and organiser sizes? I'm looking for ring size plus the external organiser dimensions to help make a decision.

    As an aside on the history forn this, I've got a personal metropol and on getting a good, new job I bought a secondhand Finsbury in A5. Cost me £20 and they're going for £70 now on the same website so a bargain but big and heavy. My new job is hybrid with on site working involving hot decking. The Finsbury has 30mm rings and even with my minimal setup it's a beast! I do love A5 but might need to settle for personal. However there's A5 compact but personal Malden might be good too. I need something compact enough for carrying and won't fill my laptop rucksack. A5 compact is not much thicker than lockwood personal compact I think 20m to 28mm outside dimensions.

    Anyway, I really want to open this comparison to all the options in personal and A5 but if it's been done online I will obviously prefer to take advantage of it.