When I began Stationery Review, I had always hoped to be able review anything and everything related to the big, overarching title “Stationery”. Once I had built the website and begun reviewing some of the items which I had personally bought, the site started gaining popularity and hits. I knew that if I wanted to bring more varied reviews to you, the reader, that I would need to reach out to the companies who make the items I wanted to review. And that’s what I did.

This review is brought to you by the amazing people over at Filofax AU, who sent me a “Bond” personal sized Filofax to review.

The first thing that strikes you with the Bond, even when it is still in it’s presentation box (pictured below) is it’s air of style and quality. Filofax have been around since 1921, and certainly know what they are doing and who they are marketing to.

Presentation Box

The “Personal Size” organizer is one of Filofax’s many Sizes and measures 95mm x 171mm. It’s a really nice size to carry in a handbag or backpack, but still gives you enough room to be able to get all your notes in to your calendar.

Size Comparison

The outside of the organizer is a “Bonded” leather. While on most sites (including Filofax.com) it says that the “Bond” is not real leather, it definitely feels, looks and smells (yeah, I checked) like leather. It has a soft touch, but is very firm so you don’t have to worry about it getting bent when in transit, and it gives you something solid to write on on-the-go.

The clip is very firm, and the “strap” which clips it together is made of an almost solid plastic, meaning that you could open it and close it all day and it wouldn’t break. The branding on the front is minimal, the “filofax” logo is embossed right near the clip.

Firm Clip and Logo

When you open it first the first time you are greeted with a “Filofax your life!” page, followed by all the contents which come standard with a new Filofax organizer.

First Opening

The inside is just as stylish as the outside. The leather continues around and forms credit card holders, and a “Filofax” branded fabric interior continues.

Inside Branding

As you can see, the Bond came with the following: July 2010 – December 2011 Calendar, Filofax your Life page, Clear plastic page, Page marker/ruler (with Today marking), 1 – 6 cardboard organizer pages, a Filofax brochure, a fold-out map of the world with time-zone indicators, 2 “To Do” pages, 13 “Address” pages, a pad of pre-punched notepaper (slipped in the back), a clear plastic wallet page, 13 A – Z index cards (2 letters in each), 10 sheets of loose “Fashion” note paper and the binder itself.

This is a good whack of stuff, which is of course all completely removable and customisable. You can purchase more of anything in the binder from one of the many Filofax retailers in Australia, or online. (such as Notemaker)

The Contents

The diary section itself is a week-to-2-pages layout, and made of a relatively thin paper. It wouldn’t stand up to much abuse itself, but hopefully the hard cover would keep it safe. The notepaper supplied feels like a slightly thicker stock, and works well with most of your standard ball-point or rollerball pens.

The Diary

Once I had pulled everything out, decided what I wanted to keep in and what I wanted to leave out to build my own, I got to work assembling it. From scratch, it probably took 10 to 15 minutes to empty the binder, decide what I liked and re-build it. I ditched the diary pages before the current date, left out most of the loose sheets of advertising, world-holidays, interesting facts and address book stuff (as I have most of that on my phone) and went for a more utilitarian approach. The notepad on the back remained, and the personal information page is now at the front.

The loose notepaper is organised into sections using the dividers, and the To Do lists have found a place. It’s much more me, and I like that I feel that way.

After Rearanging

The End Result

While I think this is an incredibly useful, and impressive piece of stationery, unfortunately it does have it’s down side. The RRP for the Bond Personal Size is AUD$129. That’s not cheap for a small organiser. Frankly, if I was looking through a shop and saw the price tag, I would keep walking. I mostly use digital organisers, and couldn’t justify it.

If you are in the position where you want a physical, paper based organizer, you want something professional and stylish which will last for a long time, and something which is completely customizable to how you want to work then a Filofax is a great investment. You just have to weigh up the price verse the usefulness.

I have had a look around, and I can’t seem to find the Bond Personal organizer in many online shops, or even the Filofax AU website, however for a good range of organizers, have a look at the Website. Most Fine Stationery shops would also stock them.

Thanks again to Filofax AU for providing this sample!

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