May 29, 2014

Filofax Blue Personal Finsbury Review

I never thought I'd own a Finsbury again after selling my red pocket a while ago, but alas, here I am again with another. However, there's a twist: for one, it's Personal sized, and for another, it's blue! My red Finsbury didn't give me any trouble previously. In fact, it was probably the first Filofax I actually used for an acceptable period of time before I got myself the Holborn. The one thing I didn't like about it was the fact that it could never lay flat. And so, I did have my hesitations about getting the Personal sized. But after seeing some pictures online (and handling a pink zipped one in store), I decided that the extent of its 'flatability' wasn't as bad as the pocket.

Not to mention, the blue Finsbury is a discontinued stock, which means it's a current rare find... so naturally, I had to have it. I was actually surprised to be able to find one on Filofaxshop (at the still discounted price!), because I distinctly remember selecting the blue option without getting any luck. And the icing on the cake: right after I bought it, the item went out of stock. Talk about right place, right time.

But anywho. My Finsbury arrived promptly this morning, just in time, as I was about to head out. And now without further adieu, let me introduce to you, the newest addition to the family, the blue personal Finsbury:

Finsbury arrived!


I can't seem to get the colour right. It's a nice blue, a little different from what I've seen in pictures (is there such a thing as an aqua Finsbury?), but still acceptable. However, I can't seem to get my pictures to the correct tone. Not to mention, I cannot, for the life of me, get it to lay flat - even with bluetac! This Finny will definitely need some hardcore training exercises! Here's the maximum it could open, and even then it was slowly closing on itself:

Does NOT open flat

I must say though, I love the colour, and it really matches my mood these days. I reckon though, with a little wear, it might look a little bit better.. After all, the main reason why I purchased the blue was because it brought some colour into my life. I've been looking through Filofax's website only to realise that they greatly lack colourful leather Filofaxes (excluding the Original). Every coloured leather Filofax has been discontinued, which is quite disappointing. The major colours available now are the usual black, blue, brown, purple, and red, which can get dull. Don't get me wrong though, these colours would be useful in a formal setting (and to avoid getting that unwanted attention), but when all you want is something fun to brighten up your day, a coloured Filofax does the job.

But enough jabber, time to bring on more pictures of Finny:

Inside - the only way to get it to stay open was to use a paper weight & my finger

The insides are plain and simple: 6 card slots and one vertical pocket on the right, and one zippered pocket on the left. For some reason, the Finsbury seems a lot more thinner than other personal organisers I have, despite having the same 23mm rings. Maybe it's because it's hard leather, so it doesn't have that puffiness to it. But the fact that it's hard means it's durable. And it could probably be dropped from a 5 story high building and survive... it could probably even be used to hammer off predators and survive...

The rings are gap-less and lovely:

Gap-less rings

The diary came with the usual week-on-two-pages 2014 diary, addresses, notes, to-do lists, website lists, black ruler, A-Z address tabs and 4 unnamed tabs, which are all going to be replaced with my own creations.

I was quite excited about seeing the pen loop as I thought it was going to be elastic from all the pictures I saw, but I think that only applies to the compact version... Oh wells. I guess I'll just have to use my self-made (Leuchhturm 1917) pen loop. I haven't tried fitting a pen through the loop, and I don't think I ever will...

Non-elastic pen loop

After all the forced opening of Finny, it has actually opened up... slightly. It now stays open at a wider angle without slowly closing on itself. Success! More training sessions will be on the way:

Forced opening has enabled Finny to open at a wider angle without closing on itself

Now all I have to do is move into this organiser, create new dividers, decide what to include and I'm done! No pressure. But that's the blue Finsbury!

May 28, 2014

Midori Traveler's Notebook (Regular-Size) Review

A few days ago (Sunday, 25th May), I managed to get my hands on a black Midori Traveler's Notebook in its regular size. But it included a whole rollercoaster ride with it.

I bought it from Notemaker which said it only had the brown in regular size (which was exactly the one I wanted), however, when I contacted them about it on Monday, turns out: it's on back-order, and only the black was available. They were happy to send me the black one in exchange if I wanted and I agreed for it IF they were able to get it to me by Wednesday, which was possible with regular postage seeing they were shipping the item from Melbourne, and I will usually get the item the next day. But when I checked my order status on Tuesday, they were asking me to deposit a few couple dollars extra as they were charging me full price for the Midori (I initially had 10% off the brown for new membership), for express shipping AND for an additional item (Palomino Blackwing 602) I didn't even order! Of course I was infuriated by this and wanted the transaction to be stopped, but a couple of hours later, the items had shipped without me depositing a single cent into their bank account! By then, my mind was boggled. I emailed customer service again asking for an explanation, and guess what they replied with:

"Thanks for getting in touch and I am sorry for the confusion here. 

Firstly, I am sorry that I didn't explain this in my previous emails, the additional pencil is an item that I included in your order free of charge, and I upgraded your order to an Express Post service, free of charge also. I felt it was the least I could do as your first preference wasn't available. 

If you have a quick look at your bank statement, this should confirm the above as we are unable to process any additional charges via PayPal or credit cards without your authorisation. There has been no additional money charged."

Is this customer service or what? Safe to say, my first experience with Notemaker was bitter sweet.

And just as the email mentioned, I received my item the following day (Wednesday), and here I am reviewing it for you guys!

So, here it is:

Took me at least 5mins just to unravel the item from the bubble wrap

The first thing that came out from there was the complimentary Palamino pencil they had given as compensation for not having the brown Midori.

Free pencil!

I must admit, I'm not really a fan of wood pencil because of the need to sharpen them etc. but I'm open to new things. After all, this one's meant to be special. The Palomino Blackwing 602, as it's called, is from Japan too, and has some special-formula graphite which behaves like a B lead but varies in appearance according to pressure - from HB (firm) to 4B (soft). Interesting... definitely need to give this one a go. It's like having a multi-pen... only pencil! And of course, there's the rectangular rubber which is replaceable. I'm actually seeing how this pencil actually suits the Midori perfectly...

But back to the Midori:

Finally unwrapped from the bubble-wrap

Does it feel like you're unwrapping it with me? Hah

The notebook was pretty well protected, I must say. It's protected by a cloth sleeve, then a cardboard box then a plastic wrap... and then another plastic wrap.

Midori unravelled!

The first thing I noticed when I pulled the notebook out from the cloth bag was how smoooooooth it felt! It reminded me of suede sofas where every glide of your finger will create a mark on it. This is exactly the same. I honestly can't wait till it's battered and bruised... It just feels too nice and clean right now, not how a Midori should be!

Now comes a more detailed look at the notebook:

Embossed on the back cover
Back: origin of strap
Doesn't lay flat at first, but training will help
Top ... 'stitching'?


For the specifics:
Leather cover: H218 x W130
Blank notebook: H210 x W110mm

The leather isn't able to lay flat when you first take it out of the box, however, it will, without a doubt, lay flat once it has its minimal training. From the pictures, you can see how there are three black 'threads' going through the leather. This is in fact, two rubber elastics and one twine like thread. The outer, longer elastic is the main player in the notebook: it's used for holding the refills. The other is just the same rubber elastic fed back through so you don't get the unsightly rubber outside the leather. The twine is just a simple bookmark.

The notebook size is essentially an A5 cut down in width. Here's how the inside of the notebook looks like:

First page
Middle of the notebook: where the elastic holds the book in place

And here's comparing an A5 Muji scheduler with the Midori included notebook:

Size: Midori vs. A5 Muji scheduler
A5 Muji scheduler inserted as a refill into Midori

As you can see, you can practically purchase any A5 (has to be A5 though, as only pure A5 notebooks have the same height as the Midori) notebook out there, cut it down, and you have yourself a refill. This goes for having Moleskine refills as well. I have yet to try out the quality of Midori's notebook though, but from what I've read, it's pretty good. I shall put up another post when I get the chance to review it further, and maybe I'll combine it with my progress into personalising my notebook.

But to end this review, my verdict: glorified notebook? Without a doubt.
But that won't stop you from wanting one of these bad boys either way...
Till then!

May 27, 2014

Filofax for Sale!

So I may have bought a little too many Filofax, and I am on a quest to sell some, here is the list of items for sale currently which are waiting to go to new homes:
  1. Filofax Compact Pennybridge Cobalt: brand new, reviewed on my blog. Selling for AUS$40 + $4 postage on my eBay store now (SOLD!)
  2. Filofax A5 Adelphi Black: brand new, reviewed on my blog. Selling for AUS$70 + $20 postage on my eBay store now.
  3. Filofax A5 Sketch Zipped Granite: brand new. Selling for AUS$50 + $20 postage on my eBay store now.
  4. Filofax A5 Original Green: brand new. Selling for AUS$70 + $30 shipping on my eBay store now.
  5. Filofax Personal Cuban Chilli: brand new. Selling for AUS$40 + $20 postage on my eBay store now (SOLD!)
  6. Filofax Personal Scanda Black: brand new, reviewed on my blog. Selling for AUS$50 + $20 postage on my eBay store now
  7. Filofax Adelphi Slimline Black: brand new, reviewed on my blog. Selling for $55 + free postage on my eBay store now (SOLD!)
  8. Filofax Personal 2014 Week-On-Two-Pages Diary: brand new. Selling for AUS$5 (free shipping in Australia) on my eBay store now (SOLD!)
They are all on sale on my eBay store now. It says that it's only being shipped in Australia, but if any of my readers are interested, I am happy to post internationally, however, buyer has to pay for postage. Wherever free shipping is indicated, this only applies for Australian customers.

Happy shopping!

May 26, 2014

Filofax A5 Adelphi Review

So to the A5 Adelphi now. It's about the same as the Slimline I reviewed a couple of days before (which can be read here), just... bigger, and with one additional slot at the back of the organiser. It was meant to be the 'compact' A5 version, but due to everyone's dislike for the buttoned pocket, it quickly lost fame. Here are the pictures:

A5 Adelphi
Back pocket

Like the Adelphi slimline and unlike other A5 Filofaxes, the Adelphi doesn't have a clasp to hold the organiser together. In a way, it's actually kind of smooth... It fits the compact nature of the Filofax, and I actually wouldn't mind not having a clasp / zip to open and close every time. It gives the Adelphi that 'book' experience, I guess

Now to the inside of the organiser:

Similar to the Slimline Adelphi
Buttoned pocket
8 card slots compared to 6 on the Slimline

Another difference on the A5 is the additional 2 card slots (which makes it 8). The two lower card slots closest to the button is sightly larger than the 6 above.

To the back of the organiser:

Paper pad slot

Unlike the Slimline, the A5 has a slot for paper pads. There is a pen slot above the paper pad, and this time, it's actually big enough to slot a pen through! Mostly because it's connected to an elastic strap:

Elastic strap pen loop! (Excuse my finger...)

It has 20mm rings which has no problems and seems to be able to fit the week on two pages, addresses, and notes fine. I took a picture comparing the ring size with the A5 Original (25mm) and the A5 Domino (30mm) rings and here's how it looks like:

20mm rings!
Comparing A5 Original, Adelphi and Domino

I may / may not use this organiser, however, I seem to be having this growing affinity with the aqua Original, so it's currently up for sale with my Adelphi Slimline. Details are on my 'Items For Sale' tab.

And that's it for the A5 Adelphi!

May 25, 2014

Filofax Personal Aston Review

Out of all the Filofaxes I bought recently, I have to say that the Aston family is probably the one organiser I've found myself gravitating towards. It reminds me of the Holborn but has its own personal touch. Not to mention, the chocolate colour has the ability to pull off that old-antique-leather kind of look.

When you first open the box, the first thing you'll notice is the smell; that wonderful leather smell. Oh, if only it would stay with the organiser forever! It entirely encompasses and seduces you from the very beginning. And then you touch the smooth, soft leather as you pick it up and you're in love.

Here is how the Aston looks like:

Unboxing Aston

Personal Aston!

Back (forgot to rotate the picture, oops)

It's manufactured quite nicely and it's sad to know that this line too has been discontinued and is starting to be a rare find (in which case, I'm glad I managed to get hold of both the Personal and A5 size at discounted prices). And I can't emphasise enough how soft the organiser is! It's probably soft enough to be used as a temporary pillow in a boring lecture... I'm just kidding..

The Filofax came with the cream diary edition, however, was only for the second half of 2013. The 2014 diary was the usual white paged week on two pages. I quite liked the cream papered version - it included an extra column that could be used for notes / quotes and had larger spaces for Saturday and Sunday scribbles. Might try to hunt the 2015 cream version down next year. It did however, come with cream to-do lists and a brown ruler, which was a similar set up to what the Personal Scanda had.

I was surprised to see how much the organiser could actually hold together - having the 2013 diary meant that there were extra contents in there than it would usually hold. And yet, despite all its inserts, the organiser still looked like it could swallow a whole lot more! All because the organiser has such a long strap!

But now to the insides of the organiser:

Despite the picture showing its inability to lay flat, I know that the Aston will require only a little training before it does so by itself. It's so soft, after all. As it is, a few pages' weight on the front cover has the organiser laying flat with ease.

The front cover has 6 card slots and one vertical slot, while the back has one zippered pocket:

Front cover with 6 card slots and one vertical deep slot
Back cover: zippered pocket

I had no problems with the rings either:

Overall, I loved this organiser, and I was planning on using it to store ... memories - my scrapbook Filofax. I've been hearing a lot about the Midori Traveler's Notebook recently in the blogosphere, and it looks like the perfect scrapbook kind. It has the leather cover that I'd love to own, and I think it would make a great combination with my Filofax, no?

But that's for another post. Here's comparing the Personal to the A5 Aston:

And just like the Slimline Adelphi, I will hopefully be able to review the A5 version in the coming days. Though, do bear with me; exams are coming up which means less blogging and more studying!