I’ve flitted and hopped from one paper-based note-taking solution to another over the last few years. I love Moleskine notebooks due to their quality. But removing pages for scanning or sharing is a pain. Plus, they’re pricey.
On a similar note, I love Filofaxes due to their flexibility and how I can personalise the set-up and content. But they can get quite heavy – especially the A5 models – making them less than portable. And they’re pricey.
Ideally, I like to rely on one system for those times when paper is the optimal solution. When typing straight into Evernote would be disruptive…or impossible.
Without wanting to jinx myself, I think I might have arrived at a solution.
Behold the Filofax Clipbook. A new departure from Filofax, these are A5-sized binders with minimalist covers. This means that all A5 inserts fit them, but they are much smaller and much lighter than traditional A5 Filofax models.
The binder is only a smudge larger than an A5 piece of paper, doesn’t have any of the typical pockets and supports and can be laid flat on the table. It’s an all-round winner.
I’ve been using mine for the last few weeks and think it’s passed my various tests. It’s been light enough to bring with me wherever I go, but robust enough to ensure the paper inside is taken care of.
I opted for the black model – I didn’t fancy any of the transparent ones on offer. This is definitely not leather, but all the same has a nice finish. It’s quite tough too – after a few weeks getting battered by the other contents of my various bags and having green tea spilled across its back (more than once!), it still looks great.
I do think it could be improved, however. If any of the lovely Filofax peeps are reading, could you consider the following?
- Make the covers a little stiffer. This makes writing while balancing the Filofax on your lap/knee a lot easier. Keep the spine of the binder flexible and just reinforce the front and back covers.
- Make it easier to keep closed. There’s no fastening mechanism on the Clipbook and, while this keeps it nice and light, I miss the ability to stick loose papers inside and keep them safe by fastening the cover. How about introducing an elastic band (like Moleskine?) to keep the covers close? Simple and light.
- On a very simple note, I obsoletely love the squared notepaper that came with the Clipbook. Please make it available to buy on your website – it’s perfect for everything I use the Filofax for. I’d bulk-buy it if you do.
The Clipbook is only £18, so doesn’t represent a massive investment. Yes, it’s not leather, nor has it many pockets and zipped compartments. But if that doesn’t bother you and you want a simple and secure location for your paper-based notes, I can seriously recommend it.
And if you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the word of paper binders, this is an excellent and cheap starting point. Don’t dive in and splurge £100 or more on something you may never use again. Buy a Clipbook and you’ll have change from a £20 to buy a (small) coffee.
I held off writing about this until I’d used it for a number of weeks. Now I’m happy to say this is definitely a keeper. Well done Fliofax on creating something for the rest of us.