Late last summer, I discovered that a pocket size Filofax worked beautifully for my needs. Provided it was one of the ones with the 19mm rings, it holds everything I need and is small enough to carry with me. I have always loved the look of the Malden range, and finally succumbed to ochre loveliness in November 2015 from the UK website Colemans.
It was love at first unboxing. It is made from beautiful soft leather, and the ochre colouring looks so classy. It has the 19mm rings and came with cotton cream 2016 inserts. I’m not such a fan of the Filofax inserts however, I find the paper a little thin for my liking. I keep it in a cover with butterflies on made by the talented Joey from her Etsy store So Joey.
So let’s crack on with it and walk through my set up…
The Malden comes with three pockets inside the front cover and a zipped pocket. In the largest one I keep heart check box stickers from Handcrafted by Sheree on Etsy, a project life card that says “Dream Big” and some clear ring reinforcements specifically for pocket size. It is approximately 7cm deep so can hold reasonable sized items.
The next pocket at approximately 6 cm deep has my NHS blood donor card (same size as a credit card) a couple of membership cards and some Panda sticky notes. The third 5cm pocket holds first and second class postage stamps. I currently don’t have anything in the 7cm deep zipped pocket. I’m worried about marking the leather if I put anything in it, as it is not particularly deep. I have attached a small metal Butterfly I found to the zip.
My dashboard is a laminated sheet of family photographs. I also have a really cute charm attached to the second from bottom ring of a Kawaii toast with chocolate spread I bought from the lovely Ruth from her Etsy store Kawaii Studios. The dividers are ones I made myself from papers I got from TKMaxx. They are called Steampunk Botanica, a recollections signature special paper pad from Michaels. I tend to keep small sticky notes on the reverse of my dividers for ease. I have also recently added name tabs to each from Girl of All Work, purchased from the Suzy Stick It web site
Section 1 Calendars
My inserts are from Piaric in the US, and are on beautiful thick, smooth white paper. The first page behind the divider is a 2016 calendar.
On it I have circled family and friend’s birthday, one colour for each. I did order the 2016 fold out year calendar, but have now removed it as I just do not use it. I then have month on two page overviews for the year.
I complete these ahead of time with things I know are due such as birthdays. I then fill in something that happened that I might wish to remember once the date has passed, from my weekly pages. I use a small bronze Butterfly paper clip to mark the current month.
Next is a laminated quote “charm is the ability to make someone else think that both of you are pretty wonderful” which I love.
I then have the Filofax registration number in case of loss and the personal information pages. This is paper clipped together with several past weekly pages. It means I can open the weekly calendar to the current week. I tend to file away used weeks in another pocket planner not in use, and keep about 4 weeks-worth only in the planner. I have a summary on the monthly pages of key events so rarely need to refer back to the weekly pages. I have the rest of 2016 weekly pages in the planner with me.
Let’s discuss the delicate subject of decoration. I love a decorated page. It allows me to be creative and also encourages me to use the planner more if I enjoy looking at it. However, in all honesty pocket size can become a little small to write in if it is sticker and washi heavy. I recently acquired a Life Designer Planner that I use as a stay at home planner. That gets decorated to the hilt. Since I got that I stopped decorating my weekly pages in the pocket. I do still punctuate with small stickers, but it is mainly a scribble in on the go, “to do” and appointment tracker. I use the stay-at-home planner for recording events, TV shows, weekly food menu etc. My photographs show two decorated weeks and a functional one.
Section 2 Expenses
Each month when I am paid, I record the payment of bills and any funds transferred in here. I also have a hole punch project life card on it reminding me what my regular transfers are. I do not track every expenditure, just the big items each month to ensure I do them and they are timely.
Section 3 Contacts
This section has taken time for me to get right. Originally I has the A-Z dividers in, but I found this made the planner too thick. I then had post-it tabs with the letters on I added myself to the contact pages. However, this just looked ugly to me. Now I have just the pages and no alphabet markers. It’s still relatively easy to find the contacts as they are in alphabetical order. I rarely use this section and I’m still in two minds if I really need it. I also have a hole punched project life card on with a list of the names of our neighbours. We only have 8 houses in the street and it is really handy at Christmas!
Section 4 Lists
This section is hard to name. It has information in it I need to refer to. So it has a list of all the Disney movies my daughter currently has on DVD, as I always forget what we have. It is useful when I’m out shopping if I see a bargain, or if I am asked at birthday or Christmas time what she wants.
Next are my 2016 goals written down, a good visual reminder to keep me on track. I then have a list of every True Blood episode. I have the entire box set but it is taking a very long time to watch them. I forget where I got to so I tick each episode off once I have watched it. I’m only on season 3 and had them since Christmas 2014!
I have a list of every job I have seen Miss Rabbit do in Peppa Pig. Yes, really! It’s a challenge my husband and I set as we were trying to remember them all. I only have 21, sure there are more! Then a few pages of Filofax to do pages.
Section 5 Notes
General notes so the first page is Royal Mail prices. Then various things such as a Filofax wish list, a list of pocket planners with 19mm rings from Filowiki, (THE place to learn about Filofaxes) some work notes and then family clothing sizes. Behind the remaining blank notes pages, I have the folded London Underground map and folded work map both from Filofax.
Section 6 Stickers
The final thing in the rings is a top opening pocket with small functional stickers specifically for the pocket. Small icons to satisfy my decorating need to a minimum. This too has a small butterfly paper clip on the top to avoid any falling out. My butterfly paper clips and many of these stickers are from BonbonsKawaii.
Inside back cover pockets
I have a small note pad in the smaller top opening pocket and a spare laminated divider with some reusable Martha Stewart tear drop stickers on it in the 8cm deep pocket.
I find the pen loop too small for my favoured Frixion pens, so it stays flat and unused. I put my two pens, one black Frixion pen and a Frixion highlighter under the closure loop instead. Finally, the pocket Malden is one of those fantastic planners that has a pocket running the full length behind it. In here I have my AA recovery information. This and the zip pocket is one of the reasons people often use it as a wallet.
Pros and Cons
This works for me so well. I own quite a few pocket sized Filofaxes, but have had no desire to move out of the Malden yet since I moved in back in November 2015. I just love it, the feel, the smell, the fact it lays flat. The sections work for me at present and it fits nicely even in the protective pouch in my handbags. It looks classy and I’m not embarrassed to pull it out in public or at work.
Really the only down side is I find the leather can mark easily. I really don’t like it scratched. I don’t mind the general wear you get, such as the crease on the front by the spine where it lays open, but I found even a nail scratched across it can leave a mark. This is why she lives in a cover, as things in my bag would certainly mark it. Some people adore the way it wears. I’ve even seen them with dark patches on them where the oils from your skin darken the leather on the closure loop or where it is held. The protective case does make it a little bulkier, and if I use a non-leather Filofax pocket such as my hearts, I don’t use it.
In summary, I don’t regret for a second spending the money on the Malden. I agonised for over a year if it was worth the money. I can hand on heart say it was the right decision for me to get it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have, so feel free to comment below.
P.s. I told you my handwriting was chicken scratch 😉