Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Filofax Question: Is There A Yummy Mummy Fax?

So recently a very good friend of mine asked me the following:

Loulou I need a sophisticated (as in looks nice) but easy to use organiser for hectic mother about town as I keep getting my days mixed up. Can u recommend a filofax for me?

Well never one to shy away from a challenge here are my recommendations for a first time Filofax for a very Yummy Mummy...

The Basics....
  1. Which Size?
  2. Which Diary?
  3. Which Inserts?
  4. Which Design?
 1. Which Size?
I would say for a first time Filofax user a Pocket size is a good model size to try out first. It gives you all the flexibility and portability to fit pretty much every bag (minus a clutch bag but then that is strictly a mobile, keys and credit card number isn't ladies). A Pocket is easier on your purse too allowing you to road test the Filofax product before committing a large wedge of cash (unless you choose the Deco but then we will come on to that!)

The Pocket binder size is roughly (depends on the binder as they will vary marginally):

11.5cm across (left to right) when closed
14.5cm in length (top to bottom) when closed

A page is 8cm wide by 12cm long, and in total the binder is 33cm across when opened out flat to write in

Essentially though is means it is about as tall as a CD turned on its side:

This may seem a strange size test but it was the best one I could come up with! The Pocket fits neatly in your hand and isn't too bulky or heavy - essential I will assume with the amount of stuff babies need you to carry around for them!

2. Which Diary?
The standard Filofax Diary is a Week on 2 Pages (WO2P):

This gives you lots of room for making appointments, places to be/people to see and things to remember per day. Plus you have a handy little Notes/Month Dates at the top of this one - a cream one that came with my Deco

This format just doesn't work for me as I like to make more lists and things to remember in general than I do places to be (tragic but my life isn't that exciting!) Therefore I now use the Week On One Page with Notes (WOOPN):

This gives me enough room to pop down if I have a social engagement but also plenty of "rememberings" room for all the things I would otherwise forget!

Recommendation here would be try out the diary that comes with the binder, like I said usually a WO2P and see how it fits. I am guessing that my Yummy Mummy has far more social engagements and things to remember with them than I do so I think this format could work really well for her. If after a few weeks more rememberings space is needed then a quick diary page change could fix it easily.

3. Which Inserts?

All Filofaxes tend to come with a standard set of inserts:
  • Diary pages
  • Dividers
  • A few To Do pages
  • Expenses pages
  • Notepaper
  • Possibly some map pages
  • A ruler divider
Key additional essentials for my Yummy Mummy that I would recommend would be:
  • Additional To Do pages - usually you only get about 5 at most so a few more are always handy
  • Coloured notepaper - always a help to have plenty of paper and the colours make it fun
  • Stickers - this will help identify easily what events Yummy Mummy has on when casually flicking through her Filofax
  • Clear Pocket - for keeping a picture of her gorgeous little boy close by
Of course the benefit of using a Filofax is that you can personalise it with whichever inserts you find you need and use the most. I adore my stickers, jot pads, post its and card holders....

4. Which Design?

I've saved the most fun part for any Filofax addict knows there are lots of binders in different fabrics, colours, designs....and this means you can really choose a design that represents you when you are out with friends for lunch!

Key elements -
  1. Will it lie flat - there is nothing more frustrating than a Filofax that keeps bouncing up every time you try and write in it so I've gone for binders that I either know will lie flat or have been recommended for doing so
  2. Cost - I've chosen a mixture of binders from inexpensive to the ridiculous - just to show what lovely designs there are but also show that you can start with something very reasonable and move to a more luxurious one if the system works for you
  3. Where to buy - obviously the Filofax site is great for purchasing through BUT you can find a real bargain if you hunt around so I've included some links to some of the sites I haunt regularly - and of course eBay is always worth a check as so many brand new binders at really good prices pop up regularly on there!
So here we go - all prices quoted are from the UK Filofax site:

The Domino - £20

I love the Domino range, I own the A5 in Snake, a Personal in Grape and a Pocket in Electric Blue. It lies flat, it is a great price for a first time Filo user and it comes in some fab colours. It isn't heavy and the elastic means you can get lots in it if needed!!

It isn't leather, it can scratch (although none of mine have they have been really durable - I mean my Pocket size one came to Glastonbury Festival and survive unscathed)

Favourite colours at the moment? The Lavender and the new Ultra Violet - a perfect Yummy Mummy colour as you'd be able to find it under the nappies every time I'm sure!

The Songbird - £27

I think the Songbird is refreshingly different in some ways it doesn't even look like a Filofax and this second choice could equally have been about the Botanic as I think both of these designs are very pretty and girlie. They are also light like the Domino and come with pretty pastel inserts. Again with the elastic closure they can hold quite a bit!

The canvas can get dirty when being slopped about in handbags and you could tire of the pattern I guess?

The Finsbury - £43

The Finsbury is a lovely leather binder, it comes a wide range of colours and has many, many advocates of its lying flat ability. I think the Aqua and the Pink are gorgeous and I do admit I lust over the Raspberry as well. The cost is more but with it being leather you are assured that it will last a long, long time.

It may take a little while to soften up completely and is of course over twice the price of the Domino.

The Chameleon - £50
The Chameleon is a real favourite of mine. I find the binders really soft and tactile. They lie flat pretty much straight away (or with a minimal amount of training!) and have really useful pockets on the insides. I have the A5 in Aqua a very recent purchase, and the Personal in Raspberry and they can certainly take some battering when shoved without mercy into your handbag on a daily basis!

We are getting into the more expensive end of the binders but I do feel the Chameleon is worth it (and you can get these at a great price on eBay!!)

Of course if money is no object......The Deco - £175
The Deco is currently the most extravagant of all the Filofax binders (just to point out while I have an Ivory Pocket Deco I did get it in the sale for half price, yes still a ridiculous sum of money) but it is so soft, and the clasp so gorgeous it makes me smile every time I take out my diary. The Amethyst colour is really lovely and currently only available in the Pocket size on the Filofax site

It's mega expensive :0( so a big risk if you've never used a Filofax before....

Other Contenders:
  • Adelphi - cute colours, soft leather and the diamond pattern feels very glam - £55
  • Metropol - again cute colours, not leather but looks really lovely and really good value - £24
  • Breast Cancer Leather - currently an absolute bargain at £22 and a really pretty pink PLUS Filofax will donate £2.50 for every binder purchased
So there are my recommendations for my Yummy Mummy....I've made the Pocket the hero of this post but as it is down to personal preference they may be a part 2 of this review should this not be the right size!

Some good (bargain) sites to check out are:
  1. The City Organiser Filofax section - currently with a sale on!!
  2. Amazon - for lots of Filofaxes
  3. The Personal Organiser - they often sell on eBay too
  4. eBay - lots and lots to look at but some real bargains to be had for the patient!
What do you think? Are you a Yummy Mummy and use a Filofax? If so which size? If, like me, you are simply yummy and not a Mummy what do you use to keep organised?



  1. Lucy, you are a very bad influence!!! I've now had to go on the city organiser website and have seen the pocket ruby deco for £95... Now I have to try to convince myself that I don't really need it... The amethyst one was my face, but I can hear this one calling my name :-)

  2. Fave even - pesky autocorrect...

  3. Hehehe I know I so love the Deco I'm trying very hard not to buy the Personal size the Ruby and the Amethyst were both so so lovely in person in the store but so pricey...but then the Ruby one is a bargain at the moment!!

    Damn Filofax addiction!!

  4. Great post... interesting that you don't mention any of the new styles that are in the latest catalogue..

    As a few of us have commented, there's nothing outstanding in the new styles that has that 'must have' factor is there.

    Even the Vintage Rose Malden was not quite the must have that a few of us thought it might be...

  5. I want a Filofax but I need a week to 2 pages with appointment times (like quo vadis do). Is that possible? Xxx

  6. Well there is one in the Personal size currently in horizontal on the Filofax site here

    And in the A5 size it's vertical here

    Are these the type of thing you were looking for?


  7. Hi Steve

    Wasn't keen on the Vintage Rose Malden which really surprised me as I really thought I'd fall in love with that. But I really really loved the Amethyst Deco - shame it's just so so many pennies! Can't justify the spend unless I win the lottery or something :0)

    I've been considering the Ruby as it's on offer on City at the moment....but I think I need to try harder with my Ivory Pocket and combine it with my new A5 work Chameleon...

    Time will tell

  8. I'd go with the Domino for a firsttimer. Pocket in UV violet or orange. Or the pink Bcc lizard thingy.

  9. Yes that's the one! I just need an A5 Filofax now...! Xxx

  10. I am a bit late to this but I agree with Jotje, I think for a first timer the Pink Breast Cancer binder would be a perfect start for several reasons. It is half price at the moment and that in itself puts a leather binder at the entry level of a pocket filo. Being leather it should last the distance and is effectively the same design as the ever popular Finsbury but at half the price. If for some reason it is not their thing then they haven’t lost a lot of money should they ditch it as a bad idea.

  11. I've taken the plunge and bought an a5 domino in red and I'm going to put in the pages from a quo vadis diary like on this post

    !!! x

  12. Hi Lauren

    Great news :0) how are you getting on with it? Is it light/large/portable enough for you?


  13. So almost a month in - love it! Perfect size and I can write my notes from seeing patients in the back so I'm not carrying a seperate note book! It's gorgeous! It's quite light so I don't mind carrying it but again big enough. I've pulled the pages out my Quo Vadis diary and hole punched them in - a little too large but I don't mind! xxx