Saturday, 1 September 2012

Mulberry agenda - review

Oh, I think I am in stationery heaven today! The postman arrived laden with parcels for me this morning! Apart from some stove glass cleaner (dullsville), there were the following delights!
1: a Moleskine 2013 daily diary
2: a Parker Esprit with a fine nib
3: a ‘new’ Mulberry (new to me at least)

Parcels galore!

The others will have to wait their turns for reviews. Today I’m just going to review the Mulberry.

The listing said:
Mulberry Personal Organiser
Size: 7"x5"
Colour: Tan
Used but in good condition
Used only once

If it really was only used once, it wasn’t stored very well. The condition is nice, but definitely used. There are some marks on the press-stud area of the leather (grease marks from fingers I assume) and some circular indentations/ marks that look like the end of a pen top has dug in. There are one or two other dings and marks but it’s in pretty good nick and I like the ‘lived in’ look.

Now, possibly prompted by my DH, you might be asking WHY?
“Why are you needing another binder?”
“Why are you buying one in which none of your paper stash fits?”
“Just why, really…?”

To which I would say:
Because of the binder…
Because of the paper size…
Oh, just because!

Time for a walk-through.

As I’ve already said, the cover looks as if the binder has been ‘lived in’ despite the description from the seller. There is the usual beautiful Mulberry tree on the front in the bottom right corner. The binder is obviously from the same range as the Mulberry planner I bought a while back (another reason I wanted it). I’m not a lover of the crocodile effect leather – on the pale green one I use at work it’s there but it’s more like crocodile tummy than crocodile back (if you know what I mean) and is bearable. In the agenda size, I find the crocodile-effect texture just too much. 

Front cover

Mulberry tree

Back cover
Again, there are one or two dings in the leather but nothing drastic.
On the inside left, there is a set of three card slots (which had evidently never been used as they were still half sealed), with a half pocket behind. Behind that is a full height pocket (lined in beige fabric).
The ring diameter is 25mm and the mechanism clicks open and shut like a dream.

Inside (and note - flat as a bat!)

The back cover has a gusseted zipped pocket (again lined in beige fabric) with another full-height pocket behind.
The pen loop is all leather. It takes a Pilot 0.7mm point Frixion with ease. I would say that if the pen diameter is 1cm it will fit perfectly. The slim pens I use in my filofax (about 7-8mm diameter) are too slim for it.

Back cover

Okay, so that kind of deals with why I wanted the binder… it matches my planner, the leather is gorgeous, the quality is stunning…

“So what about the paper?? Isn’t Mulberry paper completely different in size from all the other planners? In other words, completely different from all the other paper you have in all those boxes in your desk??”


And you know, that might just be perfect in some ways.


The paper is A6 in size. Which means it is a bit wider than filofax personal and a bit shorter. I have struggled with the personal/pocket divide at times. The pocket, with its shorter-wider ratio always feels more sensible on the eye than the taller-thinner format of the personal. But pocket is just too small sometimes. And personal is too big sometimes.

Here’s a comparison of the three sizes of binders next to each other. Left to right: pocket Cavendish, Mulberry agenda, personal Baroque.

L-R: pocket FF, Mulberry agenda, personal FF

And here is a comparison of the paper sizes. Again, left to right, pocket filofax, Mulberry agenda, personal filofax.

L-R: Pocket, agenda, personal

Why does A6 feel the right ratio?
Well, it could just be that it is in the same range as A4 and A5. I’m sure I’m teaching you all to suck eggs, but A6 is the size of half an A5 sheet. The A1, A2, A3 etc range is based on the ratio of 1:2 and somehow this feels right when the personal filofax paper doesn’t.

The overall area is similar:
The agenda is 148mm x 105mm = 15 540mm2
The filofax personal is 171mm x 95mm = 16 245mm2

To be honest, there is plenty of space around the pages in the agenda so it could take slightly taller and wider paper if necessary.

But that would spoil the best reasons for buying it…

Which are…
that you can buy cheap diaries – both page per day and week to view in A6 almost everywhere
and that you can print your own things 4 to an A4 page with no faffing about to make it fit.

“Yes, but isn’t the hole spacing weird?”

Sort of…

The three holes are the same spacing apart as filofax but the spacing between the two sets of three holes is 38mm as opposed to 50mm. However, I have a hole punch where you can vary the spacing between the sets of three and can adjust it to fit the Mulberry.

Have I now found the perfect organiser??

Only time will tell, but fear not, I will keep you updated.


  1. Ah, can you please confirm the hole spacing between holes 3 and 4, the hole centre distance I was given by Mulberry was 38 mm, (twice the ring spacing) which sort of made sense, but I had my doubts about how they were measuring the distances!

    Of course a Rapesco 66-P can be adjusted to fit that spacing. The Mulberry A5 uses Filofax Personal spacing (50-51mm.... 2 inches I think originally!)

    The aspect ratio of the paper would be a lot more natural, and easier to create templates for it. Just scale down any of our A4/A5 templates perfect fit.


  2. Looking at the bottom of the 66-P with the cover removed. You should see some small holes that a detent clicks in to as you move the punch blocks across. There is 3 settings outer ones are FF Personal at 51 mm, the inner most setting is 19mm for FF Pocket....

    The middle setting on both blocks gives you a spacing of 38mm hole centre to hole centre is this Mulberry spacing?


  3. Hi Steve,
    Ah - I have measured again and indeed, it is 38mm hole-centre to hole-centre. I've edited the post to correct.
    I will have a play with the detent clicks as I was doing it by eye earlier!
    I have to say that so far, I am loving the A6 size.

    1. Thanks for confirming that. Another mystery is solved.

      I think I will do an up dated review of the punch which will tie things together nicely.

      I had done my measurements off the screen on the Mulberry site so I wasn't 100% certain of the actual spacing but it makes sense when you think about it.


  4. Wow - that's a lovely binder, and it's nice that the interior is finished in leather throughout. Has it got a Made in England tag?

    The page comparison is interesting too, and the Mulberry line spacing looks more sensible.

    Lucky you!

    1. Interestingly my agenda has a Made in England tag but two of my other Mulberry bags (bought from Mulberry shops) at the same time have Made in China tags.

  5. If that has only been used once it was clearly used for months on end if not years... does that count as one use because it didn't stop being used?

  6. 38 mm spacing is the same as the Franklin Covey pocket size. I didn't know FC pocket size was compatible with any other brands. FC has a metal hole punch ($25 US) that does the compact size (similar to FF personal); then you slide the block of holes down and turn the punch into their pocket size.

    FC Pocket paper size is narrower (3.5" x 6") than your Mulberry agenda.

  7. Crocodile tummy rather than crocodile back lol:)
    I'm not a huge fan of crocodile effect either, but this binder looks awesome. Very Mulberry. Great buy.

  8. Well I can say your binder may look lived in but it is definitely a real one and that oak leather does age quickly. A lot of Mulberry sold as used is fake and that leather doesn't age but looks horrible. My oak agenda is about four or five years old, constantly in use and it looks about like yours does except my popper shows less wear. It will batter nicely and it is gorgeous! Looking at your zip pull and pocket constellation I would say yours is about the same vintage as mine because they changed those just after I got mine and were never that nice again.

    I have been looking for an Oak Planner (the bigger size) - a new real one - and they are really scarce. So well done on your purchase. You are going to be so happy.

  9. @everyone
    Thanks! I am SO in love with this binder! And the fact it is a bit 'lived in' means I'm being less precious about chucking it in my bag.
    It has no Made In... label at all. The planner size version did - it had a Made in England tag. I can't even see if there was one that has been cut off...
    Anyway, I am so chuffed with it. It's working very well for me.

  10. I have taken some photos of my Mulberry agenda and put them on my blog so you can compare the condition of them if you like

    I am at

  11. - here you go - have popped some photies of mine up for you. If yours was used once I would eat my hat but it is absolutely beautiful and you will love it. Keep in touch with me if you want to share refills and hunt down others!

  12. @thisbugslife
    Thanks! Just popped over and had a look and it's exactly the same. I wonder why mine doesn't have a Made in England tag though...
    I'd be more than happy to sswap idea/templates for inserts! Great idea!

  13. This is beautiful & thanks for sharing :)

  14. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

    Leather Agenda

  15. Hi! I am looking for a punch suiting my Mulberry Agenda, could you guide me in the right direction?

    1. I have the Rapesco punch discussed above (first few comments). Hope you manage to find one.