Browing through Philofaxy's posts through my Blogger Reading list (I totally love that feature), I've found a post about the benefits of an A4 sized filofax. Lets all take a second to imagine that. Yeah, that ain't not going to happen to me.
My Filofax Journey
|My first filofax: a Personal size Sketch in Chocolate|
property of Stormberry.
In previous posts - if you dig long enough - you might get to the process I went through to pick the right filofax for me. After years of using regular planners (one book per year) and getting tired of copying each year the back of it (addresses and such), I decided that I had to move into a filofax, a planner system that I have loved and longed for years and years before I had one, even before I knew of the brand!
Before my current filofax I had two filofaxes, both of them from the more budget oriented lines and both in Personal size (I'm referencing here posts of Philofaxy that can help you picture sizes or understand specifications).
The first filofax I had was the most beautiful one I ever had. It was a Sketch, which one elasticized penloop, and a handy back pocket in the outside of the back flap. The color was also rich and amazing. Sadly, however, the clasp of it broke at the root quite fast, which meant that after one year I had to replace it. FilofaxUSA, from where I bought it, couldn't replace it to me (unless I went with a burgundy planner, not my beloved Chocolate), so yes, I had to file away this one and go for a new binder.
|My first layout|
property of Stormberry
One thing worth noting was that when I've got this planner, I had bought a Day-per-Page insert that I ended up not using because I had not enough space to put it in AND add all the sections I wanted to include. After using an A5 planner book with Day-per-Page (or PPD, Page per Day) setting, moving into a smaller size with a Week-on-two-Pages layout was hard.
It took time but I've got used to it, so when it came the time to replace the binder, I had found my way around the Personal size, and so my second binder - an Identity, purchased from filofax.com, the UK site - I choose it again on that size.
property of Stormberry
This second one was functional, cushy and nice. I loved that it had two elasticized penloop, but if I must be honest, it wasn't as pretty in my eyes as my Sketch. It was sturdy, though, and it took a lot of tear and wear, and lasted me for around three years, and held up quite well.
It was in this planner that I started doing my first inserts and settled more into what I really want and need from a planner. I also realized that there were things I really disliked, like the need to CUT paper to size, or buy expensive filofax blank paper to print my inserts on it, and PRAY the printer wouldn't eat the pages, because they took time and costed more than what I was comfortable wasting. But lived with it and learned to go around it... including adding pages for keeping data and origami-ing it into a fitting size.
All was good with Identity until it started showing serious signs of wear. It would have not bothered me so much except that the cardboard that fills the binder started showing and the cover's plastic covering peeled off showing the white stuff under it. Yep, it's made of some sort of vinyl.
So I went again on a quest for a new planner. I started flirting with the idea of getting a Malden, because I decided I wanted something more durable, but that aged well and took nicely to signs od wear, and what better to that than leather? I'm not an excesively careful user, and I don't really like the pristine look of some things. So, I wanted leather. I'm still wasn't entirely sold on Malden, until I visited a friend in Germany and she showed me her (many) Maldens. I pondered it, caressed it, thought about it, and when I was on the verge of going for a Personal Malden, she asked me:
"Why don't you go for an A5?"
|A5 Malden. Layout: Bullet Journal|
property of Stormberry
The idea was preposterous because it was so big! But then, as I handled it, it seemed perfect. So after some lenghty thought, I went for the A5 Ochre filofax Malden. When I received it, the first thing I though was:
"Fuck, this is BIGGER than I thought!"
I had to adjust, but I was quickly in love with the space it gave me. Also, the absolute flexibility of having it easier with the paper as I only have to fold A4 pages in half, but even if I go with a half Letter sized page I can make do. Maybe filofax doesn't have many inserts for it, but other brands cater a wide arrange of it. Also, who needs inserts when you can easily repurpose reused pages, stationery and so on? At work and at school, I found it much easier to fold leaflets in half and keep them there, clip them to the page of day when I would need them and so on. Much, much easier than with a Personal sized planner.
Current Observations of Size
This year - after about two years in my Malden - I decided forgo the inserts and instead cut in half a bunch of leftover grid pages of the kind I use to study, and go #bulletjournaling. This year I haven't spent a dime on inserts and I'm happy like a clam. :-D
However, an A5 has a disadvantage: it's heavy. Not only I had to rethink my bags and purses because many no longer fit my planner, but the weight of it is significant. Yesterday I went to German classes and I bag was very heavy. When I travel, my backpack - which normally include my planner, my laptop, liquids, cosmetic bag, my Kindle (I try and make sure to finish my paper books before a trip, but if I must travel with a paper book, that goes into my hand luggage), and a tin box with phone cables, earbuds and a power bank, and an external memory. Last time I weighed this, it was 9 Kg.
On daily basis I don't carry my laptop, but I do carry paper books and other knickknacks, so my bag normally weights around 7 Kg. It has always been heavy, but with my big filofax, it is now really heavy. So, when I consider the comfort I already get from this size, and the weight it puts on my shoulders, I really don't see the point of a larger size. If you think you need a planner that large, you may also have to carry a whole range of other things, and that means it will add even more weight than the A5.
I can imagine the A4 a size suitable more for a project binder or a work binder, where you keep spreads, notes and such, but not like an organizer. As a teacher, or a professor, it could work wonderfully to keep in class lists, plans and grades, carry graded papers and exams, along with notes for the class and such, but for a planner it is - in my view - somewhat excesive.
Then again, for a binder, it is quite expensive. Do you need it really?
:: as I composed this post, I listened to: Radio Köln.::