Guest Post by Erika – Filofax Compact A5 Heritage Organiser

I was thrilled when Erika contacted me about her Heritage Filofax – partly because I had never seen one before but mainly because it seems there is now a great supplier of Filofax in South Africa, which has always been a desert as far as ring binders are concerned. 

I love these photographs, I adore the colour and that flyleaf, though I was surprised there were no internal pockets – not even secretarial. As Erika says, maybe that was to reduce bulk. 





Hi Everyone!

Firstly, thanks to Janet for giving me my first opportunity to guest post. I have been a long-time reader of Janet’s blog and of Philofaxy, but have never actively contributed to any planner debates. The appearance of a rare gem in my local stationery shop prompted me to contact Janet and, well, here we are.

I have read the debates online about the ‘pro’ of the A5 paper size in ring-bound planners, vs the ‘con’ of A5 planner bulkiness. I have agreed with the pleas for Filofax to do a compact A5. It seems as if they listened, because I am now the proud owner of an A5 Heritage compact Filo in a deep chocolate brown.


Filofax have kept this a very minimal Filo. It has no closing mechanism and seems to be made from one piece of continuous leather, with a reinforced spine. The leather is supple and the Filo lays completely flat. For those who like a more stable cover, like that of a Domino, this might not please you. As I am normally at a desk most of the day I don’t think it will bother me. I also like a bit of give in a cover so that it is not too rigid in my bag.


The beautiful leather flyleaf inside gives you a place to clip your pen, store your business cards (or perhaps a nice picture) and keep stray bits and pieces in the full A5 slip pocket. This appears to be Filofax’s solution for supplying storage pockets without adding too much bulk.


The back of the flyleaf has a slit horizontally half way, allowing it to also be used as a half slip pocket if you need to secure something quickly (I think). This design is quite strange, as one might try to slip an item into the top opening and end up pushing it back out through the half-way slit. I will be trying it out to see what Filofax were going for here. Again, I think the designers were keeping the ‘bulk’ factor in mind above all else.




The contents of the planner are otherwise pretty standard. Mine came with numbered dividers, to-do list paper, assorted notes pages and a 2017 WTV vertical diary. All inserts are Cotton Cream in colour. The Today marker is a pretty brown and there is also a plastic slip pocket at the back.


The back cover is completely plain, inside and out, in keeping with the sleek minimalism of the binder.



Overall you can pack quite a bit into the planner, even though it only has 19 mm rings. That said, you can see that it remains slim and compact.



I am not sure of the pen loop. It is full elastic, so i would hesitate to shove my pen in there as it will cause the leather to pull. A thinner pen may work better here. My solution is to clip my pen to the loop. This does mean that the pen extends beyond to cover, but it is pretty secure and should suit my needs. I also plan to experiment with adding another pen loop. I should have a Leuchturm one lurking about somewhere …

So, there you have it. I have only had it a day, and I am known to be a bit Filo-fickle, but I have high hopes for this compact beauty.

I hope to see more people posting about this Filo. I would love to see more setups for A5 compacts.

Have a super day!

Author: Janet Carr

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

21 thoughts

  1. Such a good post Erika! Makes me want to go out and organise my life in a new way! I blame you for the increase in my stationery budget! 🙂

  2. Erika, thank you for the fabulous review. I wonder how many sheets this binder would comfortably hold.

    Your review makes me want this binder even more. I’ve been dreaming of a planner without pockets for ages.

    1. Hi Melissa
      I have the following in the binder and it is a comfy fit:
      40 pages of Moleskine paper
      50 pages of 80 gsm printer paper
      2 plastic fly leaves
      2 top-opening plastic slip pockets
      The leather fly leaf is lovely, but I find it bulks up the planner too much for me at the moment, so I don’t have that in there.
      Hope that helps! Erika

      1. That is exactly what I need. I agree that the leather fly leaf is bulky. I have one in my Van der Spek and don’t like it. You solved the only question about this planner. Off to order it right now. Thank you very much!

  3. Hi Erika,

    I’ve been desperately trying to get my hands on an A5 Purple Malden. Is it possible to get the contact details of the store you purchased your lovely compact Heritage from so I can see if they can help me please.

    Thanks a Mil!!

    1. Hey Natasha
      Boy, do I understand the filo-craving you are feeling! I sympathize. The shop is Stationery and Print in Sandton City Mall. Their number is +27 11 883 4462. Ask for Cliff. Tell him Erika ‘sent’ you. *wink* I hope you find it!

      1. Thank you so much Erika! This is my first ever, so this is a great push start thank you! And Janet thank you so much for your assistance!

    1. Hi Nathalie
      No, I don’t have a blog. That said, this has been such fun that I am thinking of starting one. Thanks for the idea. 🙂
      All the best,

  4. Thank you Janet and Erika. Please tell me where you bought a Filofax in South Africa. So excited to find out we have a supplier here

    1. Hey Karen
      The store I go to is Stationery and Print in Sandton City. I believe there is also a branch in the Bedford Centre. If you are not in JHB, perhaps call the Sandton branch and ask them about how to get the goodies. They are an excellent bunch of people. All the best!

  5. Thank you for this post Janet, and your review Erika.

    The new binder looks fab and I’m considering getting one. I like that there aren’t internal pockets which might make it easier to write on, but that there are pockets on the nice leather flyleaf – a good idea of Filofax designers to add that. Also helps to keep the price down a little.

    I was wondering about structure of the leather, thank you for explaining that Erika. I’m wondering if it has any particular smell? My ochre and aqua maldens smell great but I’ve heard the new kingfished malden smells more chemically. How does the Heritage hold up there?

    1. Hi Carol
      The Heritage has no chemical smell at all. Just a nice leather smell if you hold it close to your nose. The feel of the leather is very lux. I saw Maldens in real life for the first time this week and my impression is that they seem to be quite stiff. Strange, because I have read that they are supposed to be pretty flexible? The Heritage somehow feels higher quality when it comes to the leather type. I have experienced some strange smells with other leather goods that have been dyed unusual colours. Perhaps it is the dye in such items that causes this.?
      Hope this helps and all the best with your choice!

      1. Thank you Erika, that’s good to know re smell, I’m sure it is the dye used. I was hoping the leather would be good quality with it being buffalo. I’ve handled a few new Classic Crocs and I wasn’t that impressed with the leather.

        Now I just need to think of a few more good reasons to justify myself getting one!

  6. I’ll get mine in Personal on Monday. I can’t wait!
    That Heritage reminds me so much of the Filofax my father used to own in the 70s. I think he bought it in the early 60s and l remember being really sad when he threw it away .

    I just couldn’t resist it when l received an email from Filofax two weeks ago informing they were releasing the Heritage!

    1. Enjoy it! Nothing like a little nostalgia. I still have a beautiful, apple-green Personal organizer that my father bought me when I was young. I have no idea of the brand. We bought it back in the 80s when there was still a dedicated ring-bound organizer store in our local mall.

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