Filofax FAQs



I am often asked questions about Filofaxes as I have quite a large collection and have used most of the models. I am also a long-time user. Today I wrote a list of the most common questions I am asked.

1. Should I get x or y? Which is better – Gillio or Van Der Spek? Should I use A5 or Personal? Shall I sell my x?

  • This is something no one else can answer for you. They can give you advice and opinions, but ultimately only you have your budget, your life, your circumstances, and this is a decision for you and you alone. It is a bit like asking people if you should break up with your boyfriend. No one knows that but you.

2. What size paper does a compact Filofax take?

  • Compact size uses personal sized paper, but because of the smaller ring-size, will not hold as much.

3. What size rings do pocket size binders have?

  • 13mm or 19mm. Gillio and Akiko pocket sizes have 13mm.

4. I have seen an eBay seller wanting £900 for an A5 Malden. Is he greedy?

  • no he is not. The seller is probably all-pens, and the high price means he has run out of stock and has put the high price so no one will click buy before his stock arrives (when he will lower the price again). This is to avoid paying relisting fees.

5. Which is your favorite binder?

  • For good design and wonderful quality – Filofax Buttercup Ostrich; Gillio Mia Cara
  • For rarity value – Mulberry Double Binder; Grace Scurr Duplex

6. What are the Van Der Spek/Filofax Size Equivalents?

  • Mini VDS = Mini FF
  • Junior VDS = Pocket FF
  • Senior VDS = A6 FF
  • Standard VDS = Personal FF and Medium Gillio
  • Manager VDS = A5 FF

How does the labeling on Vintage Filofaxes work – mine says 2MLF7/8?

  • The first is a number denoting the number of internal pockets
  • The second are at least two letters denoting the type of leather from which the binder is made
  • The third letter tells you whether there is a fastener (no F = no fastener)
  • The last numbers tell you the ring size in inches.

So this binder has two internal pockets, is made of Moroccan Leather and has a fastener.

Some examples of types of leather would be

  • BL – Bridle Leather
  • CL – Calf Leather
  • HL – Hide Leather
  • KL – Kid Leather
  • ML – Moroccan Leather
  • PL – Pigskin Leather
  • RH – Reindeer Hide
  • SH – Saddle Hide

Would 35mm VDS rings fit on a 25mm Gillio binder?

  • No, because Gillio binders are not designed to wrap around bigger rings.

Will this binder bring me planner peace?

  • if your problem is planning and you like the binder, chances are you will want to use it more than a binder you don’t like.
  • if planning isn’t the problem, then a planner is not the solution. If you are trying to find love or buy happiness, you will not find it in a binder.

Are Gillio binders worth the money?

  • For the leather and craftsmanship then yes, they do justify a higher price. I am not sure how high, because the prices have gone up since I bought my A5 Mia Cara. There is no getting around the fact that they are very very expensive.

I won’t ever find this binder!

  • Yes you will, if you are patient. Everything pops up in time if you wait. Wanting it immediately is another thing entirely.

I want xyz but the seller does not ship to my country. What can I do?

  • You can ask someone who lives in that country to help you. But be prepared to return the favor if someone else needs help buying something in your country. Pay it forward and people will always be willing to help you.


Author: Janet Carr

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

2 thoughts

  1. “kid leather” scared me a little bit. I had to google it to make sure they were not skinning small people, haha. Thank you for this post, very helpful 🙂

Leave a Reply