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Saturday, April 24, 2010

My new A5 Domino Filofax with Dodo Pad diary insert!

Here is my new A5 Domino Filofax that I bought at the Filofax store in London! It is great!! I felt like I was meant to get one because I saw so many A5 Dominos while I was at the London Book Fair, and after Jess's comment on my post about it I knew it was just what I've been looking for. And it is!!

I have two other A5 Filofaxes, both Finsbury, one purple and one green. In the past when I've tried to use one as my planner, I quickly abandoned it because the binder is too big and heavy to carry everywhere. I love them, they are beautiful and now they serve me well at home. But I don't like to carry them around.

The Domino solves the portability issues of the A5 binders. The cover weighs almost nothing, unlike a leather binder which significantly adds to the weight of the book. Also, the Domino cover is narrower side to side than other A5 Filofaxes: by 1 to 1.5 cm, depending on the model. And having an elastic band instead of the snap closure contributes to the slimness of the book too.

The rings are huge, which is great for those of us (guilty) who like to cram as many pages and accessories into the book as possible. Again, because the cover itself is so lightweight, I can put in as many pages as I want and the overall weight of the book is still bearable.

The inside cover has a full-length pocket and several smaller pockets. There is no zip pocket in the Domino, so I added a zip pouch accessory onto the rings to hold those little things that might get lost.

There is a note pad inside the back cover. The bottom of the notepad pocket is slotted too, so you can slide the notepad into the bottom of it--that way if you are a lefty you can use the binder upside down and have the note pad inside the left cover for easy writing, and the pockets on the right. Those folks at Filofax know what they're doing!

Another thing I love about the Domino (that I also love about my personal size Domino which I use as my Scotland guidebook) is that the cover can handle my messy life. I am not a tidy person, and I have problems if my planner is too precious. It needs to be able to handle abuse, rain, sticky table surfaces and my not-always-very-clean hands. I'm not afraid to take my Domino into the kitchen with me for fear of setting it down into a blob of jelly.

Another thing about the A5 Domino: it lays flat, immediately. No flapping, no fighting. It's flat.

The first time I ever saw a Domino I thought I wouldn't like the elastic band. But I do, for lots of reasons. As I noted above, it helps make the book more streamlined. Also, it's very handy for tucking papers on the outside of my book for easy access and reference while I'm out and about.

I'm using my Dodo Pad A5 Filofax-compatible diary insert in my Domino, and I love it! I had recently hit a wall with my planner usage--I had gone too far into overly-structured planners that seemed too impersonal and business-like. I'd gotten to the point where I didn't even want to use my planners anymore (*gasp!*) because they seemed so strict, like they were wagging their finger at me about all the things I should be doing. I wanted some color and something fun. So this was perfect timing for me for the Dodo-Domino combination.

Here you can see the inside cover of my Domino, and the front of the Dodo Pad diary insert. You can also see my Dodo Reminder Stickers tucked into the pocket inside the front cover. I really like the light-colored faux suede interior of the Domino, it looks and feels really nice.

Here is my Dodo Pad diary insert in action! You can click on the photos for a larger view.
I love that the page opposite the weekly schedule has plenty of room for all my lists and notes. In general, I use the daily boxes as: first box, important thing to highlight that day. Next 2 boxes, morning activities. Last 2 boxes, afternoon/ evening. I'm not strict about it though. I write across the boxes, in the margins, at the top and bottoms of the page, on the other page, wherever. There's plenty of room for all my little notes to myself.

Here's a closer look at the weekly page. This particular week has a couple of sticker-worthy events, so you can see how I use my stickers.
Also you can see how I've set up my tabs. I forced myself to use only 6 tabs, because I tend to get too tab-crazy. Directories has emergency info, contact numbers, whatever else I need to quick-reference.

Here is a look behind my Financial tab, with the Filofax calculator I splurged on. I have a calculator that I use in my Personal size Filofaxes but it doesn't fit on the A5 rings. I figured, I use it all the time in my Personal size, I better have one in my A5! I'm glad I got it.

The Dodo Pad diary insert has Annual Planning calendars for this year:

And next year, which is really nice:

I didn't take a picture, but right before my Addresses section I have my maps. Behind the addresses I have two top-opening pouches, the zip pouch I mentioned above, and a business card holder. With all of these I can collect whatever bits I need throughout the day, then when I get home I can put them wherever they belong.

I'm sure my tabs usage will evolve over time, which is why I use the colored tape flags from the Filofax Sticky Notes accessory to label my tabs. That way I can move them around whenever I need to.

When I was at the Filofax store the only color choices for the A5 Domino were black, brown or red. I wanted a cheery color so I went for the red, which I don't normally use. Now on the website they have the A5 Dominos in faux snakeskin, and they look really cool! While I was at the store I saw Domino folios in pink and purple, and personal size binders in a cobalt blue that I like too, so I'm hoping they'll come out with these colors in the A5. If they come out with a purple one you can bet I'll get it!!


  1. I'm happy to report things are going great with my new A5 Domino! I am still in the process of writing info into it. I am consolidating information that I've been keeping in several different books all into my Domino. It's taking some time, but once it's done it will be so nice to have everything together instead of scattered around in different places.

    Already my tabs have evolved a bit: I decided I don't need a Notes tab since I have the notepad in the back cover to use as a landing place for those things I need to jot down quickly. So now that tabbed section is for my kids' information.

    Also, it quickly became apparent that I needed a separate Blogs tab, so I added one for that. I'm using a different color of paper for each blog, and listing posts and dates to have a record of what I posted when. Also in the front of this section I have a list of reviews I need to do and ideas for posts.

    I love my Dodo Pad diary insert--it gives me lots of space for my endless weekly to-do lists, and also space to record things on the week they happen (like that deposit I paid over the phone), jotted down right on the page as a record for easy future reference.

    Very happy with my Dodo-Filo situation!

  2. Just heard straight from Lord Dodo himself on Flickr that all paper used in Dodo Pad diaries/ planners and organizers is 100 gsm and fountain-pen friendly. The paper is nice and thick, and shows no bleed-through even with a Sharpie! Well done LD.

  3. I'd like to purchase an A5 folder in order to use it as the ultimate notetaking tool. I think I will need loads of paper for that. Do you know what's the best way to punch holes on bulk A5 paper sheets?

  4. Hi ikera,

    That depends on what type of rings your folder has, and where you are.

    If you will be using an A5 Filofax, then you should get the Filofax A5 Metal Hole Punch (under Accessories on the Filofax website). It can punch through several pages at once.

    If you'll be using a 2-ring folder/ binder, you should get a 2-ring punch, available at most stationery stores in Europe.

    But, if you are in the US and want to use an A5 2-ring binder, the 2-hole punches (and A5 paper and binders for that matter) are much harder to find since it's not a standard paper size in the US.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Hello again!

    Thanks for your reply. I'm currently located in Europe. I'm still trying to decide which is best, keeping notes on A4 or on A5.

    The A4 is quite hefty for carrying around while the A5 seems to be small enough. Find decent A5 stationery is still the problem.

    I'm afraid I will go for the A4 for filing and A5 for notetaking on the go. I still have a blue Finsbury to boast about :¬)

  6. Laurie, hi.

    Do you know of manufacturers of a5 6-hole punches other than Filofax?

  7. Hi g,

    Actually, I don't know of any other brand of 6-hole punch that would give a Filofax-fit result on A5 paper. If anybody knows, it will be somebody on Philofaxy.com. I'll post the question, so keep checking over there to see if anyone knows of any. Great question!

  8. Hi again,

    There have been some suggestions from readers over at Philofaxy, which you can read at:


    Hope this helps! :)


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