Favorite Filofax Supplies
I thought it would be fun to lay out my notes about ring binders, what I use and where to buy things that do not cost piles of money.
To start, people get a little wild and wacky with their Filofaxes. It's trendy and hip and people spend some serious money on them. If you look on the Filofax Facebook group, you find people swooning over $200 Maldens or crocs or whatever. I think that is unnecessary and a bit much. But also, if you have the money to spend and that's really the best tool for you, rock on.
Regardless, I have a few Filofaxes now after a few years of using them, and I'd like to talk about them as examples. I think I've done well enough at not blowing a lot of cash on them. I try to really appreciate and use the things I buy. I do not want to be a "collector."
(Filofax Original A5, Saffiano Personal Compact and Graphic Pocket)
Places to Buy Filofax:
Note: All the prices I list here include shipping. I am in the USA, so you have the context.
- Groups for selling used Filofax. I have found a few of these on Facebook. Much as Facebook is a horrible company, it is a source for some good buy/sell groups. You may have to watch for a bit, as there are a lot of spendy collectors items on there. If you like light blue or pink I think your odds are better, because those seem to be favorite colors. I had to watch for a bit, but I found a Burnt Orange Original A5 for $40. It had one microscopic pen mark on the back cover, and one ring that gapped a tiny bit, but neither of those things were problems for me. It's a great binder and I love it. I also found a Pear A5 Saffiano on the same group for $22.
- Two of my other Filofaxes I found on eBay, which has been great. A Personal Orange Saffiano for about $35. And recently I found a Burnt Orange Graphic Pocket sized, for $18.50. It is about 12 years old, but in perfect condition, except the little snap strap had separated. I glued it back together in about 3 minutes, and now it's wonderful.
- Most recently I got a little splurgy and bought a Domino Patent A5 from Amazon for $47, and a matching Personal size from Walmart for $26. I avoid Amazon whenever I can, as I don't like their business practices, but I did give in on this one. If I had been more patient or not been so set on the less popular Pine Spots color, I'd have found a better deal. Also, Walmart's shipping took almost 2 weeks. But it was free, so that's not too bad. I do enjoy the Dominos with their bigger ring size, so I can fit more in and move things around more easily.
- Another resource is philofaxy.blogspot.com. They have infinite articles about all things Filofax, including a Filofax classified section, which may be a good place to check for used binders. I haven't used it myself, but have heard good things.
(Filofax Domino Patent A5 and Personal)
My now favorite paper for Filofax is the Japanese RayMay Davinci paper. It is very smooth, high quality paper. It is quite thin, which I like because you can put a lot of sheets in your binder, but some folks may not love that. The "Personal/Bible" sized paper and Pocket sized are both available through Jet Pens. The A5 size I found through Amazon for $8 for 100 sheets. Not too bad, and way better than what I found at the local Craft Warehouse. If you are in the UK you have a zillion more options, but us Americans have a harder time with the specialized sizes. One note about the RayMay Davinci Pocket size is that it does fit in the Pocket Filofax, but the dimensions are slightly different - just a bit taller and narrower, so it isn't exactly the same size as the dividers and other Filofax Pocket inserts. That doesn't bother me, but be aware.
(RayMay Davinci paper and Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens)
Obviously I am also obsessed with fountain pens. I have a couple that I bought from the local art store, but they are just not as well made, so they clog up pretty easily. Again, there are all these $100 fountain pens out there which I think is a bit much. The one I like is the Pilot Metropolitan. It's about $15, and it comes in various colors. I have them in green, red and orange, and they live in specific places, on my writing table or in pen loops in my Filofaxes, so I don't lose them. (Side note: Pens should never be lose in bags and purses. I do that and it's guaranteed to get lost.) I spent a few dollars for some ink in a couple of colors and got some ink syringes for easy refilling, and I will be going like that for years without having to buy anything more. Those pens don't clog up, and they work great. I found them at Jet Pens, but they are available lots of places.
(Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pens)
I bought Noodler's Ink "Heart of Darkness" black ink to refill my fountain pens. It was about $20 for a 4.5 oz bottle, and that will last me for freaking ever. I have refilled my pen a half dozen times and barely made a dent in the bottle. Plus it came with a simple free fountain pen, which is always a good time. I bought it through Jet Pens. You can get fancy with your inks if you want to, but that's not necessary. Also the Herbin green ink is nice. I bought a little 10ml bottle for $5, and even that is going to last me a while.
I do like being able to punch holes in paper, so I can do my own inserts as I like. I got one at Craft Warehouse, a We R Memory Keepers punch board thingy, that has moveable hole punches, so you can punch holes in paper no matter what hole arrangement you need. That's handy, because I've also bought a ream of A5 paper. I laid out and print my own calendar pages, and them punch them for my binder. It works nicely. If you don't feel like making your own, there are a zillion downloadable page templates on philofaxy.blogspot.com.
One more Favorite - Notebooks
This is only sort of worth mentioning, but I really like the Minimalism Art notebooks. They are well made, affordable and pleasant to use. I have only found them on Amazon (Dang it, I seem to keep talking about Amazon, even though I avoid buying from them as much as I can!) Lately the Minimalism Art books have been running out of stock. I stocked up when I saw them getting low, so I have a few extras. I also emailed the company because I wondered if they were out of business, but they responded saying they were a small company and would have new books in stock again through Amazon and their own web site. So I'll be watching out for that.
If that doesn't work, I have my eye on the Apica Premium C.D. Notebook, Clairefontaine Clothbound notebook, or the Life Noble Notebook. But I hope Minimalism Art keeps going.
I feel there's a shortage of good office supplies of this sort. I did some looking around which is when I started buying from Jet Pens. Paperchase in the UK looks to have some good things too. They have free shipping to the US over $30which isn't bad. I haven't tried it yet, but I will one day. I also am fond of eBay, and I buy from them over Amazon whenever possible. The shipping is generally great and I've had good luck.
I'd like to know of more good suppliers to shop with. Craft Warehouse and Michael's also have some planner supplies, especially if you like flower designs and cute sayings. They put cute sayings on everything, which is not my style. But if you want to be reminded to Live Laugh Love in a cute font, you might be in heaven. I've found some good stuff on sale there on occasion.
Note: I'm only talking about Jet Pens because I've ordered a few things and had a good experience. No one's sponsoring nothing on this super teeny blog no one reads. :)
I found another web site, www.fountainpenlove.com to be a nice source of in depth reviews about paper and fountain pens. That's always handy.