Using a Filofax as a wallet

This is one of the most frequent questions that come up. People generally ask which models or sizes are best.

I have been using a Filofax as a wallet for about 2 years now. I like it because it means one less thing to carry and to remember when I go anywhere. I have everything all in one place. Naturally this would mean a disaster if I lost it but I usually never go far away from it. I never store PIN numbers with cards or house keys AND my address for example and all sensitive information is in code or in shorthand.


Personally, I would not recommend an A5 for a wallet. It is a big binder, and heavy. Not to mention probably fiddly and awkward to open with one hand while you are at the front of a queue full of impatient people who want you to pay and get out of there as soon as possible so they can pay and get out of there as soon as possible. And an A5 is big in your handbag. Naturally, if you drive everywhere, an A5’s size and weight will not be the issue it would be if you have to walk wherever you go.

Pocket size can be nice and small but they often do not have enough credit card pockets or writing space in the planner part. The ones with the full length back wallet pocket are great for use as wallets though.

Compact can be less bulky for use as a wallet, but the rings are way smaller than a personal so you will not be able to fit as much as a personal.

Personal can be a bit big for some people. It also all depends on how big your handbag is or where you need to carry it. Pocket and Slimline can fit in a jacket pocket. Personal will fit into a medium-large bag.

Zipped can be a bit slow to zip and unzip when paying for things and often the credit card pockets close to the zip are hard to get into and out of.


  • a zippered pocket for coins. Gussetted is good but not many binders have them. If your planner does not have one, an option is one of the Filofax zippered clear plastic envelopes. However, the zip pulls on these tend to be big and often dent your pages and binder cover.
  • a secure slip pocket for paper money
  • lots of credit card slots. For me, horizontal credit card slots are the best choice
  • at least one other pocket for receipts, stamps, bits of paper
  • rings big enough for all inserts.
  • enough space on the paper to function properly as a planner
  • lay flatability
  • not a must but a ‘very nice to have’ is the full length back wallet pocket available in Gillio and Van Der Spek all sizes and Filofax pocket sizes.

If it is

  • too big,
  • too much wallet and not enough planner
  • too much planner and not enough wallet
  • too fiddly to get into and out of

you are not going to use it. You will start to leave it home when you don’t absolutely have to have it and then you are going to need something when you don’t have it with you and then you will give up.


Medium Gillio Mia Cara in Purple




Pocket Gillio Mia Cara in Epoca Gold




Filofax Buttercup Ostrich






Green Filofax Lizard






Violet Temperley Filofax



Filofax Navy Cavendish Personal Size






PP Nova Personal size




Van Der Spek Undyed Binder and Zipped Flyleaf img_5663





Filofax Kensington in Black





Van Der Spek Touch Me in Brown





No Name Brand – so well designed for a wallet

lots of credit card slots, gusseted zipper, full length back wallet pocket



Filofax Pennybridge p0cket size (only available in Sweden)



Filofax Malden Compact



Author: Janet Carr

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

8 thoughts

  1. Gamei nesse modelo da Pennybridge pocket. Eu uso minhas pockets como carteira/planner auxiliar. Alterno entre uma Finsbury, uma Denim, uma Malden zip e uma Pennybridge zip. Para moedas, fiz uma bolsinha de tecido com ilhós.

  2. Love seeing all the different possibilities. Those bullet points at the end of your article are crucial if you are looking to buy or design a dual purpose planner. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I have used a Ranger personal in the past as a purse/wallet. However, now I use a Lefax personal as my tote organiser and a Filofax purse. It is black, zipped and has card slots aplenty.

  4. I use a Bloomsbury Personal (an odd one with 20mm rings) as a wallet supplement. Receipts and coupons in the secretarial flap, less-used cards in the 6 card slots. Lists, Gift cards and a slim planning section are on the rings.

    My little-bit-of notes/coins and most-used cards are in a tiny card case – smaller than my mobile phone. I can find it in my bag without even looking, because of the size/texture. That way the paying part of shopping goes quickly.

    The Filofax is out while I’m shopping – looking at lists, checking coupons and gift cards. But it gets tucked in, strap undone while I’m at the register. I put the cards back in the card case, tuck the receipt in the front of the Filo and snap it shut, and I’m on my way.

  5. I really like my mini as a wallet – as I can put it in my jeans and go, do not need a bag. However I am carrying a lot less change now because the zipped compartment is so small…I would like one of those plastic zipped inserts – but I don’t think they were ever made for a mini. I have seen a tutorial on how to make one…but I can’t find anyone who makes and sells them…guess I’ll have to have a go at making one myself. I only use the mini inserts for a German day of the word, and I have a few blank pages for random notes.

    When I go to Berlin at christmas I’ll convert it into a travel wallet and have key information in there and it can just store my passport when i am out and about (if I need it).

  6. I see the laydbug inserts. So pretty! I also use my Filofax Savannah as my everything. I love how the Savannah has eight credit card slots on the inside of the front cover. I saves a lot of ring space, instead of me using the credit card holders from Filofax.

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