This is the first in my series of Filofax reviews I am going to do over the next couple of weeks. I will review what they look like aesthetically, including any imperfections of my own ones, how useful they are as binders in their own right with their different features and advantages and disadvantages, and other things (that I haven't thought of yet). Then when I have reviewed them all I will do a long post about how I use each one (because hopefully by then I will have perfected each one!)
So my first review is on my Finchley mini in Caramel. Really I should do my Finsbury personal in Raspberry first (as it was the first one I bought), but it's in Liverpool and I'm in Plymouth so that's a problem!!
When I unwrapped the package I loved the leather, it's so soft and lovely. The colour is quite orange in reality but that's fine, I love any variation of brown. One thing I noticed was that the leather on the top where the wallet (full-length) pocket is, is quite grainy and seems quite damaged on the left corner. It also smells quite chemical-like, not the lovely leather smell, and I wondered for a long time if this was actually a Second. But a few weeks ago I had the opportunity in WH Smith to smell another Finchley, and that smelled the same, so I guess it is just something unique to certain Finchleys!
I think it is a lovely size. It is perfect for little bits of information like shopping lists, this is mainly what I use it for! The size of the paper isn't too bad, I'm small myself so it doesn't seem that small to me. It is a bit of a problem when I get to the bottom of the page but I'm not bothered if my hand writing gets untidy on shopping lists!
I like the clasp as it is quite long and sturdy, unlike the Kendal strap I think.
As I said, the leather feel is lovely. The 2 card slots on the inside are perfect for me for when I go shopping as I only really use my debit card and carry my student card.
The rings are 13mm in diameter. You can fit a surprising amount of paper/inserts/refills in there, I have 2 packs of WH Smith pink lined mini paper and a WH Smith week-on-2 pages diary and they fit in there very well!
I like the zipped section on the back as it is made of mesh instead of leather so I can see what I'm looking to fish out of there! It's not a very big section but I mainly keep coins in my pocket so this is great for some emergency coins and other bits and bobs!
The full-width wallet-pocket is good but I don't really use it, I think if I did I would forget I had cash in there because I am used to keeping it in my pocket! Yes I am one of those girls who walks around with bulging jeans pockets!
I use Penny for quick shopping lists, mainly Tesco ones. Tesco is 5 minutes from my house in Liverpool so I don't need to go through the fuss of bringing everything there, all I need is keys, my glasses and Penny with my debit card in! I am trying to wean myself off my main filofax for trips like this and Penny is a good substitute! I have plenty of notepaper in here, which is of course perfect for making shopping lists, and I can also write other things in here. Walking to the shops is often a time when good ideas for my uni work pop into my brain and I write them down in here then transfer them later! I also have a list of "Lovely Shops in Liverpool", and a "Things for other Filos" list if I think of something important while I'm away from my other filofaxes. I write it down in here with a tag of which filofax and which section it belongs to, and transfer that later e.g. "Malden: stuff to look up: ..." I have solved the problem of writing on the back of the notepaper, specifically with my shopping lists (because the leather on the left side of the Finchley is bumpy and difficult to write over) by turning it upside-down so the holes are still on the left and the paper is still on the right where it is easy to write. I bought a mini week-on-2 pages diary for Penny which I now regret because I realise I can't really handle more than 1 diary at a time. But it is useful for quick things like writing down times etc if I am taking Penny out with me instead of my main filo, e.g. "film starts 6:30", but next year I won't buy her a new diary. Maybe I'll buy her some more pretty notepaper instead!