Friday, January 25, 2013

Franklin Covey Veronica binder!

I'm so excited Veronica is here!!
This is the Franklin Covey Veronica binder in Compact size, Latte color. I bought this from skhen who bought it in the recent FC sale but didn't like the stripey effect on the cover (which is a variation of the natural leather). She intended to return it but I'm not bothered by the stripes at all so I offered to buy it from her. She kindly agreed and shipped it to me super fast! Thanks so much skhen!

She even included cool stickers! Love!

I always like it when my binder looks good with my phone. Don't they look great together??
Ok, let's get down to some serious details. Last time I told you about my FC reboot I was using my Filofax personal Aston binder (which you can read the details of here).  Below you can see the state of it with the FC 2 pages per day inserts sticking out the side. Also, I recently started using the FC Expenses envelopes, which stick even farther out.
I have three months of FC 2PPD in here, and 12 months of month on 2 pages as well as lots of Filofax pages (contacts, info, etc.). I want to put more pages in, but this binder is at capacity.

I did what I indelicately call a "total guts transfer" and took all the pages out of my Aston and put them directly into the FC Veronica. The Veronica has 1.125 inch rings (1 1/8 inch). Zoe also has the Veronica, and she advised me that the Veronica doesn't hold many more pages than the Aston, but holds them much more comfortably. In the comparison photos below you can see what that means. In the photos below, the exact same pages are in the Aston and the Veronica.

You can see the Veronica is not filled to bursting, unlike the Aston. Something to notice though, is that the Aston's cover is very flexible and can bend around the pages, allowing the binder to be stuffed full and the pages to go all the way around the rings. The FC binder cover is more stiff and the covers do not bend around the pages, so the capacity is limited by the size of the rings. I do not use the page lifters in the FC binder so I can fit in more pages.

Below is a closeup of the rings with the exact same pages in the Aston as in the Veronica. You can see how the pages go all the way around the rings in the Aston (top) but not in the Veronica (bottom).

So the Veronica does have the capacity to hold more pages than the Aston, but can't be overstuffed due to the stiffness of the covers.

I put an equivalent number and type of pages (mix of FC and Filofax) into the Aston and the Veronica to get some side by side photos. Here you can really see what Zoe means that the Veronica hold the pages more comfortably. The pages stick out of the Aston binder but not the FC.

Here you can see how stuffed the Aston is compared to the Veronica. Something else to notice is the Veronica's cover is puffy and thicker than the Aston's, making the binder bulkier overall. The additional width also adds significantly to the size of the binder.

Just for thoroughness I did the same experiment with my Malden to see how its capacity compares to the FC Veronica.  Again, the pages stick out pretty far from the side of the Malden but are completely contained by the Veronica.

Below you can see how the covers of the Malden curve around the pages, allowing it to be overstuffed. The pages go all the way around the rings in the Malden but not in the Veronica.
So if you are choosing between a personal Filofax or a Franklin Covey compact, be aware that the Filofax will hold the FC Compact pages but they will stick out and may overstuff your Filofax binder, which risks the ring mechanism breaking.

Below you can see the Expenses envelope I was talking about earlier. I really like these because we are doing a lot of DIY on our house so I have to keep receipts for supplies in case I need to return anything. I was losing receipts and forgetting where I put them, so this envelope holds them all in one place.

Below you can see the difference in width of the FC expenses envelope at the left and the Filofax Personal size pages at the right. I'm not bothered by the different page sizes in the binder.

Below you can see the 2 Pages Per Day layout in the binder. These are the Seasons inserts, which I really like. Clipped in the pen loop you can see my new pen of choice, the Uni-ball Signo which has really dark ink so my writing is easy to see on the page.

Something I didn't expect is that the rings themselves are fatter in the FC than in the Filofax, so Filofax pages (which have smaller punched holes) are harder to turn in the FC binder. I tried to get a photo showing the thickness of the rings, Filofax on top and FC on bottom but I don't know if you can tell.

Here is the inside of the Veronica binder. There is a secretarial pocket that opens to the left, and a full length pocket behind:

Inside the back cover there is a pen loop, a full length vertical pocket, and a notepad holder that can't be used as a pocket because it's open all the way through:
The closure is magnetic and holds securely:
I like the rings on the closure strap, but they do add a fair amount of bulk to the binder:
I haven't taken this binder out and about with me in my bag yet (been snowed in at home with two sick kiddos) but I wonder how the extra bulk of the cover will feel in my bag compared to my Aston.

I love the Veronica binder! The leather feels so soft, and it's pretty in a professional way so it would be appropriate at work and out and about.

Meanwhile I have another FC binder on its way to me, a tan leather binder with 1 3/8 inch rings I ordered from ebay. I'm curious how the larger rings will be. Will I love the additional capacity? Or will the binder be too big and bulky to carry everywhere?

I'm using the 2 pages per day and info pages in my binder in conjunction with my weekly + monthly Plannerisms planner where I write all my goals, schedules and weekly task lists. I'll do a separate post with details on what I write in which book. Basically, Plannerisms is for all forward planning and the FC daily pages are for recording.

I'll keep you posted on my progress!  :)


  1. I've looked at FC organisers... as you do.. the one thing that I don't like about them is the buckle thing on the closure strap, in the current range they nearly all have it..

    Alternatively you have to have a zip closure one instead?

    But those comments to one side... it looks like a very nice organiser indeed and I can see why a lot of our 'community' are jumping ship and considering them as an alternative to Filofax.

    Also thank you for confirming one thing I've been blind to for ages... the Secretarial Pocket... I now know what you mean by that!


    1. Thanks Steve. Yes it seems the larger-ringed FC binders tend to have zipped closures. I prefer a snap/ magnet closure so I can open it with one hand.

  2. I have the Veronica in black - it was really cheap so I went ahead and purchased it. But like Steve said, I hate the buckle. I was looking at it, though, and I think I can take the two metal rings out and the tab will still look fine. It would make me a lot happier! Every time I open the binder the tab hits the table. I hate that. Guess I'm pretty picky, huh.

    Are your pages turning okay without the page lifters? I've always kept those in my binder because I think they really help.

    1. I LOVE my page lifters. The larger the rings you use, the more important they are. My Cavendish (30mm rings) gave me fits due to the pages wrapping around the rings. My 1.25 inch FC rings do the same thing, but with page lifters the pages neatly get pushed up when the binder is closed so nothing wraps around and pages don't get stuck between the cover and the rings. One of those small details that make a big difference.

    2. Actually it is a little difficult to close the book without the page lifter in the front, I have to sort of tug on those pages to shift them over so the cover can close. I think I'll try the page lifters in there after all and see if that helps.

    3. I used FC for many years, but I don't remember what the "page lifters" are?
      Are they the rigid black things in front of the binders? I thought those were more like what was a "fly leaf"
      Can someone please enlighten me?

    4. Yes the page lifters are the black plastic things at the front and back. They lift the pages when closing the book so they don't get stuck under the rings.

      A fly leaf is a thin clear plastic page that covers the front page so it doesn't get torn up from use. Filofax binders come with a fly leaf.

  3. I also recently switched to a Franklin planner and am very happy with the change. The binder is not terribly attractive but is incredibly practical and useful. The page setup and paper quality are superb. The extra page width is a huge bonus. I've been so busy lately I've not had time to write or video about it but I'm very very pleased!

  4. I've had the charcoal Veronica for about 2 weeks and am absolutely in love. Love seeing that there are other converts to FC. I also think the paper quality is great, but the calendar variety is what decides me every time; am currently liking the Serenity 1PPD setup.

  5. I find this so amusing! I've used FC for over 20 years and recently switched to Filofax! I still like FC but had always wanted a 'trimmer' profile in my binder (as well as my body, lol, yet to achieve that!). I was starting to find the FC compact binders boxy and was attracted to the slimmer Filofax personal. I'm so fickle because today I was actually on the FC website and spotted a compact binder (can't remember the name!) on sale and I noted the measurements. It is quite slimmer in profile than most compacts. I might have to get it. I also just ordered off ebay an 'old school' style classic size FC binder similar in style to someone's who recently did a video on how she's using her big bulky FC binder as a Project Life/Scrapbook journal. I probably had and gave away the FC binder I just bought on ebay. I'm sure I had one just like it in the 90's! It is big, bulky, with a gusseted pocket on the front of the binder, 1.5 inch rings (although I wish they were 2" rings) and a shoulder strap. Very retro looking. I plan to only use this binder at home for all my scrapbooking, journaling, documenting. I searched ebay all day for a 2" or 3" ring binder but to no avail. I'll see how this one works and if not, back on ebay it will go! I'm glad the Personal Filofax and Compact FC are interchangable; it irks me that I can't use 7 hole inserts in my A5 Filofax binders because the options for 7 hole inserts are vast. Oh, well, I've given up finding the 'perfect' binder. I just go the way the wind blows on any given day. Besides, the hunt is half the fun!

  6. PS That's a very pretty binder!

  7. I used the FC planning system for many years prior to discovering Filofax the beginning of last year. Loved them (and still do!) but one of the things I didn't like was how rigid and stiff their binders were. I like how my Malden molds itself to all the goodies I stuff into it as if it were giving them a hug. I have seen some FC binders listed on eBay as "Unstructured" though. They're usually the older models. I purchased an unstructured binder awhile ago. Loved the floppiness of the leather and everything else about it but hated the buckles. I had to sell her. Anyway, the Veronica does have its charm. Very pretty. :)