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Filofax The Original A5 Organiser in Retro brown – First impression

As a 7-year-old, I owned a Personal-sized Filofax clone that I used to store my first few written poems and stories in. It had an unattractive orangey colour and was made out of cheap plastic, but did get a lot of use from me, so I look back at it with fond memories. ♥ One of the reasons I liked it so much was that it was a lot more forgiving than a regular notebook as I didn’t have to tear out a page whenever I’d made a spelling mistake or wasn’t happy with what I’d written, and it enabled me to sort and refile the pages whenever I felt like it. Nowadays smartphones, tablets and laptops have replaced paper planners for many people, but there certainly is something to say for the charm and advantages of the original planners that were once so widely used.

I’ve really enjoyed using my Personal-sized Filofaxes in the past decade, so I was absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to try out a Filofax in a different size. Thank you Filofax UK and The Ideas Network for providing me with this beautiful The Original A5 in ‘Retro Brown’ to review. Please notice that I wasn’t paid to review this Filofax, so my opinion about it is 100% my own.

The Original
The Filofax The Original range was released in 2013 and its products are the first in many years to be made in the UK. The organisers’ designs are nice and simple, based on that of the first Filofax organisers but with a modern touch. The Original A5 is available the following range of colours: brown, fluoro orange, fluoro pink, green, yellow, patent black, patent fuchsia and patent purple.

The Filofax comes with the following contents:

  • transparent flyleaf
  • week on 2 pages diary – (in 5 languages)
  • ruler/page marker – transparent
  • to do pages
  • pink ruled paper
  • beige ruled paper
  • yellow ruled paper
  • blue ruled paper
  • lavender ruled paper
  • name address and numbers pages
  • dividers
  • transparent envelope
  • jot pad

Plastic wrapping
Unlike the Filofaxes that I’ve bought in the past, which all came in boxes, Filofax decided to present the Original in a protective transparent plastic sleeve.  The sleeve proudly shows that this Filofax was made in the UK (like Filofaxes used to be), which I think is pretty awesome. The company responsible for the production of (the leather of) this Filofax is The Leather Satchel Co., based near Liverpool.

The front of the Filofax with the protective plastic wrapping still on. I ♥ the little popper on the strap. The text on it reads "FILOFAX - The original - est. 1921".
The front of the Filofax with the protective plastic wrapping still on. I ♥ the little popper on the strap. The text on it reads “FILOFAX – The original – est. 1921”.

 

The back of the Filofax with the protective plastic wrapping still on.
The back of the Filofax with the protective plastic wrapping still on.

 

The Original, unwrapped
That sounds a bit like a name for a movie, doesn’t it? (^_−)☆ Anyway, after removing the protective sleeve you can fully appreciate the classy brown colour of this particular Filofax and the smooth and supple feel of the high quality leather that it’s made of.

The front of the Filofax.
The front of the Filofax.

 

The back of the Filofax.
The back of the Filofax.

 

Spine with the classic Filofax 'f' on it.
Spine with the classic Filofax ‘f’ on it.

 

Inside of the Original
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Original lays perfectly flat when you first open it, no “training” required! A definitive plus in my opinion.

When you open the Filofax, you're greeted by a lovely clear page with half a Union Jack on it. Pretty neat! Inside of the front cover are two slots for storing cards, an elastic band with two loops that can hold pens and a full length pocket.
When you open the Filofax, you’re greeted by a lovely clear page with a page with half a Union Jack on it right behind it. Pretty neat! Inside of the front cover are two slots for storing cards, an elastic band with two loops that can hold pens and a full length vertical pocket.

 

The Filofax came with a jot pad that fits nicely into the slots on the inside of the back cover. There's also a full length pocket to store something in.
The Filofax comes with a jot pad that fits nicely into the slots on the inside of the back cover. There’s also a full length vertical pocket to store something in.

 

The metric ruler/page marker shipped with the Filofax is transparent.
The metric ruler/page marker shipped with the Filofax is transparent.

 

2014 multilingual diary and pink ruled paper.
2014 multilingual diary and pink ruled paper.

 

These are the dividers and To Do pages shipped with the Filofax.
These are the dividers and To Do pages shipped with the Filofax.

 

The A5 Original versus the Personal Cuban
I took out one of my Personal Cuban Filofaxes to show you how the A5 Original in retro brown compares in both size and colour. To give you an idea of the A5 size, it’s roughly the same as that of a regular-sized iPad.

The A5 Original and one of my Personal Cuban Filofaxes (in Saddle brown) side by side.
The A5 Original and one of my Personal Cuban Filofaxes (in Saddle brown) side by side.

 

The backs of the A5 Original and Personal Cuban.
The backs of the A5 Original and Personal Cuban.

 

The A5 Original lays perfectly flat, whereas the Personal Cuban doesn't without some "training".
The A5 Original lays perfectly flat, whereas my Personal Cuban doesn’t.

 

Verdict
My first impression of the A5 Original is very positive. I love its simple and classy design, its size, the quality of the leather and the fact that you don’t need to do anything to make it lay flat. I really hope Filofax will be adding more organisers that are made in England to their range of products.

Please keep an eye on this blog, as I will be adding additional review posts and videos about this Filofax once I’ve set it up and started to use it. If you have any questions or remarks regarding the A5 Original, please don’t hesitate to comment below.