Sunday, 9 January 2011


Part of my paperphilia involves filofaxes. I love my filofaxes. I have two A5 beauties that I use every day – one at work and one for home/working from home. But…I was asking myself the other day (to circumvent my husband asking it):  why use a filofax? Why not just use a normal ring-binder with pages and dividers? What is it about a filofax that draws me (and others) in?

Is it the format of the pages? No. There are umpteen templates of filofax-style pages out there – check out Philofaxy and DIY planner for some excellent ones – all of which could be printed out in A4 or A5 size and punched and filed far more easily for a ring-binder than for a filofax. Along with many others, I use these templates and put them in my filofax, not a binder.

It certainly isn’t a matter of functionality – a ring-binder would be able to encompass standard-sized pages, punched with standard-spaced holes, and split up into sections with standard dividers, all doing the work of the sections in a filofax, but all cheaper and sometimes more effectively.

So perhaps it is the kudos? A standard ring-binder certainly does not have the same cache as a beautiful, leather-bound filofax. It would not draw the oohs and ahs that a fine filofax does. No-one drools over ring binders, do they? But, my ‘home’ filofax sits on a desk and only me and my husband see it, so if it was just about kudos, why would I have a leather filofax costing 60x as much as a ring-binder I could buy from the local stationary shop? My husband would far rather I DID just have the ring-binder! Then we could have used the money for something equally functional, yet probably less glorious.

I think (in my case, at least) it is a genuine love for magnificent, tactile things. A love of owning something fine and well-made; appreciating the craftsmanship that went into making it and feeling joy whenever you use it.

I could (and did) use a diary and a notebook, but my work filofax combines the two. I could use a fine notebook for writing and organising my thoughts and ideas and days, but there isn’t the functionality of being able to move and to re-file things at will.

To me, the filofax has the functionality of a ring-binder, but is an object to treasure as well as use.

If you use one, why not share your reasons as to why?


  1. Hi Amanda,
    I currently use a personal size Kendal filofax. I also have an iPod touch, but the filofax is so much more satisfying to use! I love writing, doodling & crossing items off my to do list.
    I completely agree with you about them being a lovely tactile object, & the smell of the leather reminds me of horse riding as a child :)

  2. Just been browsing other filofax sites and found this bright orange finsbury!

    There are also Jade and Yellow Finchleys on the French site:

    Ooh... sorely tempted!