If Filofax Appointed Me Overlord for a Day – Part 2

Filofax Apex
Filofax Apex

I wrote Part 1 in January 2013 so here comes number 2, almost a year later.

The only thing I have changed my mind about is the Apex (above). I still don’t have one and I probably wouldn’t use one as I don’t get along with vertical elastics. But I have found that they have grown on me – I love the bright and cheerful colourways – particularly the pink and the green. Unfortunately (and apologies to everyone who loves them) my dislike of the IKAT remains.

But if Filofax did appoint me overlord for a day I would take up the following issues:


  • do something about the faulty ring mechanisms. It really is unacceptable that when you look at Filofax binders in a shop, a third to half of them have gappy or misaligned rings. If cheap supermarket binders can have good rings, why not a higher end brand like Filofax? It is not right that a buyer has to worry all the time a binder bought online is on its way to them that they will have to send it back for ring problems. It certainly should not be one of the top selling points on the second hand market that a Filofax binder has good rings. The problem is probably with the ring manufacturer but after years of this, it is time to do something about it.
  • introduce replaceable ring mechanisms. I am sure people would pay the extra it would cost for binders with replaceable rings. They are pretty easy to replace.
  • consider more binders with gold or brushed steel ring mechanisms. My Siena, Lizard, Temperley and Panama have gold rings so it can be done.
  • sell binders with larger rings – 35mm for A5 and 30 mm for Personal.
Panama in pearl with gold hardware
Panama in pearl with gold hardware
Ivory Deco


  • introduce a Heritage collection with new releases of beloved binders such as the Winchester and Travelfax.
  • reissue the Baroque in the original colourways as well as new ones such as purple, brown and green.
  • more florals and patterns on leather binders (see Rose Classic below)
  • more cream and white binders, like the Panama above
  • more binders in purple, burgundy, dark blue and deep green
Rose Classic


  • Introduce a wider range of inserts on better paper:
  1. teachers inserts
  2. weigh loss inserts
  3. cotton cream paper for A5
  4. a wider range of inserts
  5. black dividers


  • rather than with fashion designers, the new collaborations could be with:
  1. textile designers
  2. established planner designers such as Kate Spade and Cath Kidston
  3. Mulberry, Moleskine

Limited Editions and collectibles

  • Seasonal colourways of popular binders – for example Christmas Maldens in limited edition colourways (like the Christmas collectible Estee Lauder perfume compacts)
  • A very good suggestion was made by someone who asked me about the Union Jack Limited Edition Filofax shown below. She suggested Filofaxes depicting the flags of different countries



  • make it compulsory to always use Filofax boxes. Safer transport and storage and gives a feeling of luxury rather than cost-cutting which the jiffy bag option gives.
  • improve the selection of inserts and refills available to US Filofax users. It is not easy for them to make their own inserts as they have different paper sizes so they should be able to buy them off the shelf, so to speak.
  • Double poppers to allow expansion of the binder when full (see Belmont below)
Belmont with its double popper
Belmont with its double popper

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

9 thoughts

  1. If it were up to me, the single biggest change I would make to Filofax is to stop producing so many different models, and focus on a few styles so that color selection and stock availability would be much improved. A peeve of mine over the years has been the penholders—there should be two, they should be adjustable, and they should be replaceable. I completely agree that ring mechanisms should be easily replaceable, and I want to see them made out of stainless steel or Monel, something that doesn’t corrode and look horrible several years down the road. Leather quality control needs tightening up, and all materials should be selected with an eye toward sustainability and durability, and there should always be a vegan option.

    I personally would very much like to see a B6 size, 125mm wide by 176 mm tall, to compliment the Personal at 95mm wide by 171mm tall. This would entail making the ring mechanisms 5mm longer, and some binders 30mm wider. A B6 size would be perfect for those of us who are always torn between the writing width offered by A5 and the compact size and lower weight of Personal.

    I would offer a higher quality paper stock, not cotton cream, but cotton white, specifically with fountain pen users in mind. I would like to see Filofax return to the handbag and small leather goods market with a more consistent range of products. This is really a separate business segment, but it has a broader appeal and can be used to support the core business.

    Might I suggest also considering the fact that some fields still use products like “Rite-in-the-Rain”? If there’s a company that would be a more perfect fit for a merger with Filofax, I can’t think of one. Creative users are another field that is laden with opportunities.

    Speaking of which, advertising! Filofax desperately needs better advertising. People do not understand why in 2014 and beyond anyone would choose a Filofax over an iPhone. As I say all too often, “My iPhone keeps me connected to the world; my Filofax keeps me connected to reality.” Advertising should emphasise not only the practical aspects but build mystique around the product. A Filofax is no longer as much of a business tool as it is an expression of one’s personality. “What’s in her Filofax?” is a campaign idea I’ve floated in the past. Filofax should embody elegance, at every price level.

  2. If Filofax don’t already read This Bug’s Life, they need to start. You have some AMAZING ideas, Janet!

  3. Yes to whole article. Both actually. I particularly enjoyed your proposals regarding Ikat 😉 I received my Original last week and I hate the packaging. How they can put such beatiful, full leather planners in a piece of plastic. Grrrr. I WANT boxes. So far I am done with buying Filofaxes, unless they will bring something interesting. Hopefully based on your proposals… Happy Christmas!

  4. There is also a demand for slimline / compacts in A5 size. More people would use the A5 size if they could choose one with smaller rings, making it lighter and more portable.
    I love the rest of your suggestions. Filofax need to get themselves sorted or people will drift away, buying other planners and printing their own inserts. My fear is that by the time Filofax realise there is a problem, most of their customers will have found other brands or turned to a DIY solution.

  5. You have hit the nail on the head! Thank you.:) I would also add a suggestion. Regarding the inserts – The 2 page per month be printed so they go with the their daily pages. Like FC inserts.

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