You can carry an A5 Filofax with you everywhere: here’s how!

How to carry A5 Pink Domino Filofax around with you

Whenever I show my friends my A5 Filofax they usually have two remarks:

  1. Oh I have all that stuff on my phone and it syncs with all my devices and blah… blah…blah… And:
  2. How do you carry that bulky thing around with you?!

Well, I’d like to show you two bags I own that can hold a larger planner. The bag above has a shoulder strap and a handy pocket on the front so I don’t lose my keys. It’s a bit worn out now, but here’s a picture of what it looked like new.

And this bag is slightly larger, so it can hold my blogging notebook too. (Click here to see their range)

How to carry A5 Pink Domino Filofax around with you

But if I don’t want to carry a big bag on my shoulder, I opt for this double-bag system. This is how I carry my university textbooks around. It’s a good system because I can carry my keys, wallet and phone in the mini shoulder bag and I never have to put it down and risk leaving it behind somewhere. The Filofax goes in the big tote bag. The tote bag usually goes in the pram, and I can put a few groceries in there too:

Two handbag system

Sometimes I ask myself why I need to use such a large planner. Surely my life isn’t that complicated?! But with all the things I use it for, I need all that space. In it is my weekly and monthly calendar, Bill Planner (click here to download it for FREE!), blog editorial calendar, GTD system, and lots of other important information. I have thought about leaving the A5 at home and keeping a smaller planner in my little handbag, but from what I’ve read about Getting Things Done, I think it’s best to keep your planning system in the one ‘bucket’. Plus, there have been many times when I’m out and about when I’ve needed the information in my planner.

If you mainly keep your planner at work or at home, and you are used to carrying a larger handbag, then the A5 size can work for you. But I think the key to making it all work is to sort through your bag regularly and make sure you aren’t carrying too much around with you in addition to the Filofax. When I ask my friends if I can take a peek in their handbags, I’m always surprised at all the gear they carry around with them! With the planner itself, you have to go through it regularly and make sure all the pages you have with you are what you really need. It’s easy to put more pages on the rings, but harder to take them out, I guess.

I’d love to hear from you,

What do you carry in your handbag?


16 thoughts on “You can carry an A5 Filofax with you everywhere: here’s how!

  1. I have two bags that I use regularly, one is a small tote bag that just holds my keys, umbrella, mobile and pocket filofax which I use as my purse. There is just enough room left for a drinks bottle and a snack for my toddler. I use this bag if I’m not going to be out of the house for very long – school run, weekly shop etc. The other bag is really big. I use it if I’m going to be out for a long time – day trips, visiting people etc. it holds everything my smaller bag does but with extra room for nappies, wipes, more drinks and snacks, toys, bits of make up and a hairbrush and really anything else I “must” take with me!

    • Hello! I was reading your blog last night! Like me, you have to carry everyone else’s gear with you as well as your own stuff. Sometimes I get a sore shoulder!

      • Me too! My husband looks at the size of my bag and laughs but as soon as we get to where we’re going he gives me his keys to put in there and it really is a big bunch!

        It’s so cool you were reading my blog 🙂

  2. I love my Travel Smith security bag (can’t be sliced by pickpockets, though so far I’ve not encountered a pickpocket here, you never know!). I do wish for a side pocket, but they don’t have them on the small ones. I carry a small notebook, the paper kind. I’m going to graduate to a smartphone one day but so far I’m too frugal with my phone bill.

    • Side pockets are handy. And also, I don’t like bags with a black lining. It’s impossible to find anything, especially with sunglasses on!

      • One more thing I like about the Travel Smith bags — one side the inside zipper pocket is black and the other side is light tan, so I amuse myself by remembering which side I put things in by whether its on “the dark side” or “the bright side”. AND they are not leather (as you mention below) and, I can throw it in the washer/dryer to clean. Ah we love our handy tote bags!

  3. Oooo I spy a Louenhide. I’ve been eyeing some of these off as something lovely and large to tote my A5 around in. I’ve got my eye on a different style on their website (they are having a sale right now!)

    • One thing I like about LouenHide is the lining. The pink bag has black and white striped lining so you can see what’s in there. Plus, all their bags are not leather. Lately I’ve been thinking about the ethics of wearing leather goods.

  4. I usually have an A5 filofax and my daily planner in my bag and sometime a spare exercise book or other pocket notebook which tucks nicely into my filofax. I have had to clear out a section of my handbag and these fit nicely in my Radley.

    However I have been going to more events after work (with it being the summer months here) and I am struggling with the weight at the end of the day (a lot of “on the shoulder time”). So I may have to downsize for a couple of months.

  5. I use a RedDog Bag pod which moves from bag to bag and get’s cleaned out every Friday (more often if there is too much junk in there). I carry a personal Osterley, Midori Traveller’s note book and small pencil case with fountain pen and pencil. Toiletries- perfume, lipstick, dental floss, carmex, nail file and hairbrush with spare bobble twisted round the handle. Purse, cheque book, clean handkerchief and keys on the key clip on my Bag pod. Usually have my current book or kindle as well. I can fit all that in a regular bag. In fact when I use a bigger bag my poor bagpod just rattles around!

    • Wow, you’re ready for anything! It’s been really interesting hearing what people carry with them. Perhaps I should share my ’emergency kit’ too. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Zoe, thanks for sharing this. I really want to use the FC Classic size because I keep track of a LOT of stuff. But I hate carrying it. However, most of my purses are large enough to hold it and I don’t carry that much in my purse. I have a wallet, keys, phone, a couple of pens, some chapstick and my planner. And my wallet is really small. So the planner really isn’t that big of a deal. And I really could use the extra space.

    And the truth is, most of the time I’m at home so I wouldn’t even have to carry it that much. If I was shopping and didn’t want the extra weight I could leave it in the car. Then if I needed it, I could just go back out to the car.

    Gonna think about this today.

  7. I have a little kid backpack that fits my FC classic perfectly. I then use a personal Holborn as a wallet/health tracker. There is room next to the Holborn for a bottle of water. The front zip pocket I throw in my iPhone and car keys.

  8. As I passed my mid-40s, I noticed my shoulders were permanently cramped from the bag hanging off my right shoulder after a life of carrying everything but the kitchen sink (and at one point a filofax…).
    For the past two years, I have radically reduced what I carry around and haven’t missed anything, yet. I only rotate 2-3 bags (I just got a new convertible clutch that is just big enough for my iPad mini, but I don’t really need to carry that most of the time!) and they are all very small with a long strap for crossbody carrying. Sometimes how I use the bag depends on how the pockets are placed, but basically:
    – a keychain purse for my cash (in two denominations, as I live near a border!)
    – a card case for everything like ID, driving licence, insurance card, credit card, debit cards, store cards…about a dozen of them
    (one of my bags had a centre zipped pocket I used for cards and a rear zipped pocket I used for cash… even fewer bits and pieces!!)
    – iphone: this is my calendar, agenda, watch, timer, alarm clock, camera, notebook and everything else, almost more than a phone, which I only use in emergencies, anyway, and for texting as necessary. It’s also my library of books and magazines if I have to bridge any time span, as well as audiobooks and music (I often travel by train)
    – charger and hands-free for phone
    – wide-tooth comb
    – lipsalve, coverstick, nailfile, eye pencil
    – tiny notebook and pen in case I have to leave a paper message
    – emergency tablets (headache, hayfever, asthma)
    – doggie bags so I can keep the environment clean as my pooch is usually with me! they occasionally come in useful for other things like collecting shells or conkers 😉

    This leaves room for my house/car keys on a lanyard – 1 large car key, 3 smaller Yale keys and 2 very small keys for the mail and car box… and my sunnies are usually on my head!

    These days, my shoulders and posture thank me – just saying! I’ve noticed a lot of women who say they could do “anything” physical in their 20s and 30s and over 40 are regretting what they put their bodies through as they suffer long-term damage!

  9. I use a personal size, but I only buy bags that are big enough to hold it or go with a tote that can hold it. Essentially, you and I have the same system.

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