My new organiser is not a Filofax

Why my new planner is not a Filofax

I remember when I was a teenager and I would visit the department stores, the Filofaxes were always beautifully displayed in glass cases. They had such an air of professionalism and glamour about them, and I dreamed that one day I would be high-powered enough to own one. Now I have a Filofax, and it may be the last one I’ll ever own. Let me explain…

Don’t get me wrong, I think Filofax is a great lifestyle brand, a piece of British heritage that has changed the way we organise our lives. My A5 pink Domino served me well for over a year. I think it’s wonderful that there is a company still serving those people who make lists and need to write things down. The Philofaxy community is a fantastic place where like-minded people from all over the world can come together, and I feel honoured to be included in the conversation there.

But I have some issues with Filofax which have led me to look for an alternative:


More and more shops here are discontinuing their Filofax stock. In fact, I can only think of two places in my town where you can find them. The Australian Filofax online shop also only has a limited range, and there are generally very poor quality photos and often with no photos of the internal pockets. Who would buy an organiser without being able to see the internal layout? Moreover, the new Original has only just been released here, even though I first saw the press release for it on Philofaxy in April (almost six months ago!). It’s $159 here and only $85 in the US and again, there are no pictures of the inside layout. I still can’t find the Calypso on the Australian site at all. In the UK, you can have your planner stamped with your initials. You can’t have that service here.

Filofaxes being sold off cheap for $20 each why I no longer use a Filofax

Filofaxes being sold off for $20 each

Quality of the inserts

Multiple languages and small sections for Saturday and Sunday irritate me, and many other users I’m sure. Moreover, the Time Management inserts are not available at all on the Australian Filofax site. If I want those, I would have to order from the UK or the US, which seems silly when we have our own Filofax site here. I have found lots of better alternatives, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy an organiser, and then toss out all the inserts as soon as I unwrap it.

Quality control

The very first Filofax I bought had a ring problem, but I tried to live with it for the past year. In fact, all the Dominos in the store had a gap in the rings, and the sales assistant let me inspect them all and choose which one had the smallest gap. Maybe this was because they had been mishandled in the store but I don’t know… is this acceptable for a hundred-dollar-plus binder?

Tiny display of Filofaxes and inserts in a department store

Tiny display of Filofaxes and refills in a department store


In Australia we pay more for books, software, electronics, media… all kinds of things. We call it price-gouging. But it seems wrong to pay over the odds for something that is already an expensive item abroad. Take the Personal Malden. In the US it costs $99. Here it costs $199, even though the Aussie dollar has been at or near parity with the US dollar for as long as I can remember.

I bought a high-quality organiser from a luxury brand with priority shipping during their recent sale. It still cost me less than a Classic would have in the same size. And it is a beautiful item!

So you wanna see my new organiser?? Well you’ll have to tune in next week when I’ll give an extensive tour!


17 thoughts on “My new organiser is not a Filofax

  1. completely agree with all the points you make Zoe. Also with other home grown brands like kikki k developing their own similar products for a considerably cheaper price no wonder Filofax are struggling to move stock here in Australia.

    • Thanks for your comment–I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way. The kikki.K organisers are lovely, and I have seen a few of them popping up on the blogosphere too.

  2. You tease! I can’t wait to see what you’ve brought! The price discrepancy between Austraila and here (UK) and the US seems very unfair, I don’t blame you for looking elsewhere.
    As for the small weekend I hate that, in fact I have been writing a post about it and what I have to do just to make it workable for me.

    • Hello Amanda! I’ll have to check your blog to see what you’ve come up with for the weekend spaces. It seems like the whole Filo world is irritated by that!

      • It’s up now 🙂 I don’t much like the other WO2P layout either with the added note section, it makes the space for each day too small. I’m not sure what I’ll do next year, maybe make my own or search Philofaxy for something suitable.

  3. Ah that is mean! You made me curious! I have one too but I ordered it from the uk because it was 80 euros difference. Even including shipment. Love from your cousin:) x

    • Hello Renate! I didn’t know you were a Filofax person-that’s great! I think some of the price difference must be because of local taxes, but 80 Euros is a lot.
      All will be revealed next Monday…!

    • Hello Kristy, thanks for stopping by! I have been following your blog for a while but never got around to leaving you a comment. I like your writing style. Last night I found your YouTube channel too. I always wondered what brand your planner was…?


  4. Hi Zoe,

    My name is Jess and I am writing from Australia 🙂 I just bought an A5 Filofax and it has been great ! Although, it is the first quality diary I have purchased 🙂 I just completed high school (yesterday actually) and am reinventing my style before starting University! I purchased a new diary, new pens, new highlighters, a new pencil case, and a new wardrobe (finally!)!!! 🙂

    I absolutely LOVE your blog! I’ve got it bookmarked on my browser – pretty much refreshing it every second!! Thank you for entertaining me over the school year :))

    Looking forward to your next post 🙂


    • Thank you for your kind comments, Jess! It’s great to have a new reader. Enjoy your time at uni. It was one of the happiest times of my life. Your Filofax should help you stay on top of things!

  5. I just read your “About” page and hadn’t realised you were Australian! It’s great to see that a fellow Australian is the mastermind behind this amazing (and very helpful) blog! 🙂 By the way, you are not the only one who still uses paper to write things. I have an entire shelf in my room dedicated to notebooks ! Love writing! Handwriting is so much more personal, and you can tell so much about a person by it ! Anyway, I’ve got to get back to decorating my filofax!:)

  6. I’m with you, Zoe; Filofaxes in Australia are ridiculously expensive, and there’s no good reason why. They’re much cheaper over here in New Zealand (still not as cheap as in the UK or US), and we have a much smaller Filo-buying population, so it can’t be an ‘economies of scale’ thing. As for gaps in the rings, the head of buying at whichever shop you went to should have returned all those defective binders, saying, “Sorry, these aren’t of acceptable quality.” It doesn’t matter if you don’t know much about Filofaxes; you don’t have to be a genius to figure out rings should close securely, without gaps!

    I’m a big fan of Filofax France. I bought my Mini Finchley wallet from them, and the shipping cost was very reasonable (€7 for an order up to €30). Even with such cheap postage, I got a tracking number and, I think, courier delivery. Vive Filofax France !

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