First, I want to thank Filofax and The Ideas Network very much for sending me this sample of The Original personal size in Patent Purple to review.
Second, I want to direct you to Steve's review of the A5 size of The Original in Standard Green over on Philofaxy.
And, I've done a video showing more details of the leather and how to use the elastic inside the front cover, which you can click here to see.
Some background info: The Original Filofax recalls the early days of Filofax style. I like the way they describe it on the Filofax website: "The Original: a Filofax that looks like a Filofax--unapologetically iconic." Click here to see the Filofax UK page to see all the colors available of The Original Filofax. I really appreciate that they have made such a large selection of colors including fluoro brights (orange and pink), patent finishes (fuchsia and the purple I'm reviewing here) and classic colors (yellow, green, brown and black). The vibe of this Filofax is fun, cool and creative.
Now on to the review! First of all, I like Filofax's new packaging. The plastic cover allows everyone to see inside the Filofax in the store, then when you buy it you take the plastic off and the cover of your new Filofax is still pristine!
Here is The Original in all its Patent Purple gloriousness! First, let me go on for awhile about the leather.
The Original is made from a full cut of leather. It is thick and soft. Despite the patent shine, it is not plastic-y at all. In fact you can still see the grain of the leather. It is soooooo smooth, I love to touch it! People who are tactile like I am will really appreciate the smooth feel of the leather. It also has that great leather smell.
And look! Despite the thickness of the leather, the binder lays flat immediately with no training at all.
Below you can see The Original open and empty so you can see the internal layout. The binder is made of simple cuts of leather with no fabric lining and nothing sandwiched between layers of leather. On the left is an elastic band that can hold pens and/ or your phone (lots more details on that later in this post) and a couple of slots for cards. On the right are slots to hold a jot pad. Inside both covers are full length pockets.
Here is the jot pad that fits into the slot in the back cover. This is the Flex jot pad, not the Notepad.
click here to see Steve's genius post on Philofaxy on how to cut the Filofax Notepad (with holes to fit on the rings) to fit in this back pocket. I don't have a personal size notepad to try it with but I'm sure the results are the same.
Here is a closeup of the logo embossed inside the front cover. Cool!
Here you can see on the spine where the ring mechanism is held on through the leather.
Here is another example of the leather and the construction: the card slots are simple slits in the leather.
Here you can see the back side of the leather inside the binder. Again you can see the grain of the leather. Also you can see details of the stitching.
Here is the back of the binder, where you can see the strap closure is held on by a simple attachment.
Now I will address the elastic pen holder. Several people have speculated about its usefulness.
Below I've shown it holding some Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens.
Here is a side view showing the pen on top of the pages.
Below you can see my phone in the middle strap, held securely. The middle strap measures 2.5 inches/ 6.3 cm wide, to help you determine if your phone would fit there.
You can see the elastic holders in action in my video for more information.
Next I want to discuss the style of The Original. I would call the style Retro not Vintage. This is not a Winchester revival. It's a retro-cool style that is not an exact duplicate of a Filofax from years ago, but is more like a nostalgic nod to the old style.
As a comparison, I've shown The Original alongside the oldest Filofax I own, my Buckingham from 2001 (where you can see the heartbreaking cover damage I described awhile back on Philofaxy). The Buckingham is not actually vintage, but its design is very similar to older Filofax models. You can see the design of The Original is similar but not identical to the Buckingham. The Original is a modern version of the classic Filofax style.
Here are the insides of The Original and Buckingham showing the layouts of the front covers.
Inside the pockets of the Buckingham there is Filofax printed fabric.
Some people asked how The Original compares to a Domino, because they thought the construction looks similar. I can assure you there is a big difference between the faux leather Domino and the full cut leather Original. Here is The Original next to my A5 Domino in Ultra Violet.
The Domino is a good looking non-leather binder, but it still doesn't compare to the shiny real leather of The Original.
The inserts in The Original are different from previous years' Filofaxes. There is a page behind the clear flyleaf showing it is made in the UK. Also you can see the colored numbered tabs, which look really nice.
I hope that answers any questions you have about The Original in the personal size! Like I said, if there is anything else you would like to know, please leave a comment or email me and I would be happy to answer.
Thanks again to Filofax and The Ideas Network!
***Edited to add: several people asked me for photos of Franklin Covey Compact size pages in this binder. Please see below.
The Franklin Covey Compact pages go all the way to the edge of the binder, and the tabs stick out a lot and are crushed by the strap.
Here you can see how far the tabs stick out.
See my post here to see Franklin Covey Compact size pages in my personal Malden.