So I got the Filofax bug about 5 years ago thanks to good old TKMaxx. The first I bought myself was the Bond Personal. Now, it’s called the ‘Bond’ due to the fact it’s made from bonded leather. Unless you’re poor and are desperate for a Filofax, all I’ll say is stay away from bonded leather. That’s also good advice if you’re buying a belt. Bonded leather, is as its name suggests, a thin piece of leather which is then glued and/or stitched to another material, usually card or plastic. This means two things. Firstly, the leather will never age well. You’ll never get that worn in look, it will never soften properly. Secondly, at some point the bond will break, and you’ll end up with a split Filofax (or belt).
Now, real leather Filofaxes can be expensive, but a few months after buying the Bond, patience on eBay rewarded me with a used, brown Kendal. 100% leather. It was cheap, came with no inserts (didn’t need them, I just transferred pages from the Bond) but it had a slight gap between the rings. The gap was easily fixed on the Kendal, (there are no rivets holding the centre ring cover on, so carefully pull it off and you can see the workings, bend back and it’s sorted) so that became my main Filofax for a few years. Then I stopped using it as a diary last year, so I just used it as a hard copy backup for contact info.
I bought my Mum a Filofax a few years ago to replace her diary/falling-apart-address-book combo. Picked up before that Christmas from you-know-where I bought her a Cuban slim in a lovely reddy brown colour. Hmmm, slim, same page size as Personal, but much smaller rings. Nice and compact.
L-R: Bond, Kendal, Slim
T-B: Slim, Kendal, Bond
Kendal vs Slim
Fast forward to December last year, and I’m in that certain store and I see a Filofax Slim in black ‘Deluxe Leather.’ Came with 2018 week to a page diary, card holders, address pages (but no A-Z dividers) and a couple of other bits. It was £20. Hmmm, pick it up but walk around a while and decide. They had another that initially appeared the same but was boxed an £5 cheaper, but closer examination revealed it was bonded leather, so that went back on the shelf.
So yeh, I bought it. I’m currently making notes of stuff ‘to do’ and ‘have done’ in the diary, but I’m not filling it out with future appointments like I used to, let’s be honest, it’s much easier to do that with an iPhone, even though it is nice to browse through a diary.
Long term I’m not sure what to use it for. I’ve bought a set of a-z dividers and I’ll use those to record passwords, so I may just keep the slim as a password book, and use the Kendal as my address book. I never need to take a paper diary out with me, and for work we use Office 365.
As a form factor for carrying around the minimum, the slim Filofax is ideal. You can see from the photos how much thinner it is, but it holds much less pages. Insert a week to two pages diary and contact pages and it’s about full, so not ideal for a full on content organiser, but a really nice addition to the collection.