Has A Nice Ring To It

Yes, despite all the web chatter about this model being plagued with ring alignment problems, I ordered a Holborn. The minute I saw it online it beckoned. However then the ring issues came to light and I decided not to risk it.

You know how it goes though…it continued to call to me, with it’s buffalo leather (which I know and love thanks to the Malden), stylish contrast stitching and the array of neat-o pockets on the interior. “Buy me”, it whispered, “you know you’ll just obsess until you do, so why fight it?”

Ever one to listen to the crazy, Filofax enabling voices in my head, I ordered one. It arrived today, and I am happy to report that initially anyway, the rings function normally.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Mr. Holborn. The buffalo leather is truly scrummy and it smells  AH.  MAY.  ZING. I have no idea why this Filo smells more delicious than the Malden, but it does. Perhaps the glossy coating on the Malden lessens the scent? Who knows…all I can tell you is that the Holborn does not disappoint in the leather department!

I went for the brown color. Like my handbag collection, I am awash with black Filofaxes and, although I tend to default to black because it is so universal, I decided to stray out of my comfort zone and try brown. I’m testing out keeping my black accessories for winter & using brown as my neutral base for spring & summer. Yeah, I know…I am the queen of fashion risk taking.

This picture shows the color better...it's a nice true brown.

A very distinctive look.

The color is very nice. It’s a cool toned brown rather than a ruddy one. Almost akin to the brown Kendal, but of course an entirely different style of leather. Holborn has a very structured, refined look to it and it goes very easily from my desk to  a Management meeting.

I have a few deal breaker criteria for my Filofaxes if they are to be used day to day and not just pretty up my collection . Here they are (in order of importance) as well as how the Holborn stacks up:

1. Say it with me…MUST LIE FLAT. For whatever reason, if it can’t accomplish this single, seemingly simple feat on day one, into the storage bin it goes. I have tried my hand at “training” but my life is complicated enough without having to take the time to persuade my planner to stay open all the way so I can see the contents of the pages and, you know, actually USE the thing.

Five minutes after taking it out of the box & plunking in my inserts. Flat. Gotta love it!

Happily, the Holborn lays nice and flat right out of the box. Yay! The Malden did as well, so I was hopeful. However the Holborn seems to be a bit more structured than the Malden (which is kind of a nice  change actually), yet it still lays flat.

2. Must accommodate my inserts of choice. Which, quite often,  are Franklin Covey.  For 2012 they are are FC 7 Habits 2PPD inserts. Although I adore the gorgeous and elegant Regency, a couple of features of the binder left me wanting, considering the price of it. One is that my FC inserts stick out a wee bit too much for my comfort level and the other is that the placement of the pen loop makes using it impossible if you’re me and can’t write with a super skinny pen. This was the case even when I stuck standard sized inserts in it (as opposed to my wider FC pages) along with my pen of choice – a Pilot Hi Tec C.  Photos of my set up (including the wonky pen loop placement) in the Regency can be found here.

The Holborn seems to handle them quite nicely.

Puffy, as all my Filo's seem to end up. This one is being used as a wallet and planner in one.

"You know it's fat...it's fat...sha-mone..."

The Holborn has the same cool inside out pockets on the inside back cover as the Regency but for less than half the price (love!)…only whomever designed this particular binder was intelligent enough to place the pen loop where it is on virtually every other binder except the Regency; on the outermost seam, right by the closure strap. Et voila…the pen loop is usable. Thank the Filofax gods!

The pen loop is attached to the outer most portion of the back cover, as is usually the case. Hence a usable pen loop. It's even elasticized. Happy sigh.

Working with my inserts is probably technically more important than laying flat, however I don’t seem capable of even putting my inserts IN if it can’t just relax and lay flat, hence the #1 position for that.

3. Must have sufficient pockets.  Because let’s face it, some Filofaxes don’t. As much as I drool over the awesome colors the Finsbury comes in, the measly card pockets and only a zip pocket in the back don’t quite cut it for me. Not judgin’…just sayin’.

This Filo has the same front & rear cover pocket layout as the Regency. Very cool!

Mr. Holborn has some wicked awesome pockets. As I mentioned it features the  inside out pockets that the Regency has, but also has a slew of (read 6) card pockets on the inside front cover, with the bottom-most one being described by Filofax as a “curved, stitched pocket”, but described by me as being the perfect all purpose pocket. My phone will fit in there for crying out loud! It rocks, truly. So handy and versatile.

6 credit card pockets sit atop an outward facing pocket and a right facing pocket. The bottom large pocket will fit my phone (but I had to use the phone to take the picture, lol!)

4. This one is frosting on the cake rather than a must have, but I really dig it when my Filofax can also be used as a wallet. Thus far, Malden is the only Filo that has consistently worked for me as a double duty planner/purse (I know, I know…the Pennybridge. I thought of that, trust me, but I seriously do need the ring capacity of a Personal. I can’t live – and retain my sanity – with a Compact) and I have to admit the Holborn gives Malden a run for its money in the wallet department.

Check this out…

A left facing pocket on the interior and an outward facing pocket on the exterior which is a great place for cash.

Hidden inside the outward facing pocket is a zip pocket...ideal for coins and since it is pretty large, the coins don't get bulky. Perfect!

All in all I am very pleased with my purchase. And since I ordered it from Pens & Leather, I saved some cash as well! Gotta love that. I read that the Holborn zip’s are going away, however I do sincerely hope the reglular Holborn sticks around in Filofax inventory…and even gets some new colors in the coming years. Probably wishful thinking, but hey, a girl can dream.

And fingers crossed the rings hold true, because this could easily become my new favorite Filofax!