Unapologetically Iconic

One of the most buzz-worthy new Filofax models for 2013 is “the Original”.


I was lucky enough to get my grubby little paws on one recently and I have to say, it was love at first sight.

teh shiny
I mean, how could it not be with shiny goodness like that?!

As you know, I am having an ongoing obsession with pink these days, so I was torn between the fluoro pink and patent fuchsia when it came to the Original.

Afraid the fluoro pink might be too…fluoro for my corporate alter-ego, I played it safe and went for patent fuchsia.

I was NOT disappointed.

There are several great reviews of the Original out there already, so I won’t waste your time with an unboxing or what refills came with it. If you know me at all you know I’ve already tossed them. If you want comprehensive reviews, definitely check out Plannerism’s awesome video review, or the press write-up on Philofaxy or Steve’s stellar review of the A5 size in comparison to his Malden.

There are more…these are just a few that contributed pretty heavily to my desire for one, lol!

This review is no match for those that came before…I’m just here toΒ  show you my own personal spin on this juicy, luscious, fingerprint magnet in use.

Which is no small feat, given what awaits a potential Original owner on the inside!

inside front
As most of you know by now, the inside functionality of the Original is, um, original to say the least.

Not judgin’…just sayin’.

Along with 2 card slots (they aren’t pockets…just slits in the thick leather that you can stick business cards into) and a full length slip pocket behind those, the Original has what Filofax calls a “multifunctional elastic holder”.



I call it “the elastic weirdness”.

It is basically one small elastic section (which makes for the only reasonable pen loop location) then a larger elastic section in the middle, and another small (but awkwardly placed) section to the right that would fit a pen, but putting one there made a poorly placed bump underneath when writing on the left-hand pages.

I do use the outermost section as my pen loop, and as you can see above, it does accommodate even larger pens like my Pilot Coleto multi-pen.

But what the heck are you supposed to do with the middle section?!

or an android
Experimentation proved that it will hold an iPhone (however, I don’t have one anymore – I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that is practically the size of the planner itself –Β  and to be honest, I’d be afraid it would stretch the elastic out to the point where, if you ever decided against carrying your iPhone there, it would be too stretched out to hold anything else) and of course you can stick small papers, receipts and other planner detritus in there…but again, unless it was something that clipped to the elastic, I’d be concerned about how secure it would be after the initial elastic-y newness wore off.

This is an iPod Touch standing in for an iPhone...but you get the idea

This is an iPod Touch standing in for an iPhone…but you get the idea

Suffice to say, I have yet to find any real, practical use for my very own multifunctional elastic holder.

But you know me, I am attracted to challenging, quirky things…so neither odd configurations or the constant compulsion to wipe down my planner with the cloth I use to clean my glasses (because the patent leather – any patent leather really – is indeed a fingerprint magnet) is gonna stop me from using and enjoying this stunning, iconic Filofax!

I attempted to take a photo of the ‘f’ on the side but the glare practically blinded me. THAT’S how shiny it is! I’ll leave catching the icon at work to the professional photographers ; )

You know who you are.

Back to…you know…planning and stuff. These days, I use a mish-mash of brands. Did you hear that OCD? A mish-mash I say!

What I see when I open my planner

What I see when I open my planner

To start things off, I have a Filofax transparent Flyleaf, which serves as somewhat of a dashboard. On it at the moment I just have a sticky note pad. I’ve also stuck a small “Life is Good” sticker on it. It says, “What is beautiful is good and who is good will soon be beautiful.”


I try not to look at it until I’ve had my morning caffeine ; )

Then I have my favorite-est inserts in the whole wide world – Franklin Covey “Her Point of View” monthly tabs (I was going to post a link to them but they are sold out!!).

monthly tabs
I love the colors, the easily readable font the tabs are printed in and the functionality. It is a month on two pages layout, with Sunday as the first day of the week (for those of you who care).

On the front of each month, there is an index page to list important dates for quick reference (or to just use for notes, as I do) and on the back of each month you will find a Master Task List with sections for Personal & Business. I use this page to track my Weight Watchers points (Personal = Food, Business = Activity).

I’m relatively confident I’ve blogged about these inserts before, so feel free to peruse the archives.

thick leather_top
Looking down from the top you can see how nice and thick the leather is.

Yes, it lays completely flat, right outa the box

Yes, it lays completely flat, right outa the box

Despite the nice, substantial heft of one piece construction, the Original does indeed lay flat from the get-go. I will be very curious to see how it breaks in over time, because it starts out pretty wonderful.


In between the pretty monthly tabs, I just use your average, run of the mill Filofax Week on Two Pages inserts.

You’ll notice I’ve changed out the Filofax Page Marker Ruler for its Franklin Covey counterpart. I’ll wait while you scroll back up to see it.

The FC one is actually open (to accommodate their Progressive Task Lists, but I don’t really care for those) so I stick two DayTimer Self-stick Hot List sheets back to back and put them in the ruler. I use one sheet per week, toss it, and slip in another one when the new week arrives.

The Original has 9/10″ rings (that’s close enough to 1″ for those of us who just want to know how big the damn rings are without having to do math) so it can fit a full year of monthly tabs and weekly inserts comfortably…along with my fat Coleto pen…and snap shut.

thick leather_side
The inside back, just like the front, is quite sparse.

inside back
It features a Notepad pocket that will fit aΒ  Flex Slim Jotpad. It’s not a true pocket however…it is open at the bottom. So no using it to store tall, skinny things.

Because you know you were going to ; )

As you can see, I’m using this cute little pad for my Filofax Photo-a-Day Challenge list right now, and that’s probably how I’ll continue to use it…for lists. Seems pretty conducive, don’t you think?

inside back pocket
Fortunately, the back also has a full length slip pocket. Now THAT is something I can use! Though, since the cover of the Jotpad is slotted back there, you do have to be careful that papers don’t catch on it when sliding them into the pocket.

Because the interior functionality wasn’t going to meet my needs, I loaded my Original up with plastic inserts.

I’ve got a couple business card sheets, one clear plastic envelope, and a multi-purpose holder in there right now, and a zip envelope on order.

That’s how much I love the Original…I don’t even really care that someone fell asleep when they were conceptualizing the inside of this thing (or was very, very drunk). I’ll deal with having to use plastic inserts…just give me that shiny patent leather fuchsia amazingness!

In all seriousness, I do really like this binder. It reminds me of my first Filofax from the (ahem) late 1980’s; solid construction, just leather/no padding and made in the UK.

Which was, I suppose, the point all along. Otherwise they would have called it “The New”. Amirite?

After seeing the other reviews, I honestly didn’t know what I would think of the slots rather than pockets, and the elastic….thingie. And I suppose how both fare in long term use is yet to be seen because the product is so new.

I will tell you this, though – it will be a pure pleasure to find out! I adore the look at feel of the patent leather, it makes me happy every time I pull it out of my bag, and lemme tell ya, I get a LOT of compliments on it when I’m out and about.

We Filofaxers are never ones to be put off by some of the wonkier aspects of our favorite brand and there is far more to love about the Original than there is to raise an eyebrow in puzzlement over.

Besides, how could anyone resist those colors!!


17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gina
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 19:38:13

    Ha ha, awesome! I like the green guy in the elastic bungee strap. WTF is up with that strap? Weird.

  2. Carol
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 20:44:20

    I laughed so much when I read this review. Some of the “comments” I could swear my sisters voice entered my head. Love the color of leather.

  3. Katie Louise
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 21:25:47

    This is a great post! I just got an A5 Patent Purple and I love it!
    I love the way you write!

  4. Lynda
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 21:50:27

    Love your review glad you like your original!

  5. Angela
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 07:55:01

    I love this post so much!!! So much humour and personality is in it and I just wish there was more to read πŸ™‚ I agree that the inside layout is a little bit funny and although I don’t usually care about interiors of binders, I’m kind of put off by this one after seeing more here. And it’s not the Android putting me off πŸ˜‰ I think it’s the fear of the elastic losing its… Elasticity. X

  6. lifeconsidered1
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 09:35:17

    Really enjoyed this post….excuse me while I rummage through your archives.

  7. Ray Blake
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 10:39:16

    Beautifully written, as always. Every new post is a treat.

  8. Rominayoung@gmail.com
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 13:25:10

    I did scroll up to see the FC page marker. Thanks for giving me a few secs to do that πŸ˜‰

  9. Robyn
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 18:17:06

    Great review! I have it in yellow but now I am going to have to check out the fuscia too!

  10. Lisa
    Jul 06, 2013 @ 22:07:27

    Love to giggle while I am getting a Filoeducation. Great review!

  11. Cathy Vee
    Jul 07, 2013 @ 08:21:04

    Hilarious! My post on my original is totally not this funny!

  12. Aimless Allee
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 14:03:12

    Great post! However, I was not the least bit interested in this one…now I must have it! Thanks for that πŸ™‚

  13. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 14:37:48

    thanks you guys for all your fantastic comments πŸ™‚ the fact that you all enjoy my writing makes my day you know!!

    yeah, this filo isn’t for everyone. they really nailed it with the colors and going back to basics with the one nice thick piece of leather…but i have to admit, as much as i love this thing, the interior is definitely challenging me.

    putting anything else in “the elastic weirdness” causes bulges in bad places and makes writing on the left-hand page a total nightmare. but NOT putting anything in them is a complete waste of their intended purpose.

    unless of course, the intended purpose was to vex everyone, lol! ; )

    maybe the original is like the trophy wife of filofaxes….looks awesome and you get lots of attention when you take it out, but at night you secretly wonder if it’s all worth it, lol!

    i dunno…i’m still pretty much smitten by the fuchsia patent leather.

  14. Trackback: Here Doggie, Doggie, Doggie… | the zeitgeist of zoe
  15. M&G
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 19:02:25

    Just found your blog via plannerisms, hi. I do agree that the Originals are gorgeous in colour but the interiors completely turn me off them. Currently my all time favourite filo is actually the Holborn.

    Anyway, your writing is really engaging and entertaining which is great but the very first thing that popped into my head was – how on earth did you manage to get FC compact inserts to fit in a Filo?!?!

  16. Trackback: Zen and the Filofax Original | the zeitgeist of zoe
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