Filofax A5 Notebook Review

If you have been in the planner community for any length of time, then you will know the brand Filofax. It’s one of the first planners numerous people get. My very first planner for a Filofax original in teal. I still have it, and it still looks like new.

But bedsides organisers Filofax has a range of different notebooks. There are the Clipbooks that are similar to the organisers as they are a 6 ring clip system. The other is the wire-o binding refillable notebooks. I remember these being launched back in 2016/7 and I was very much on the fence about them.

I had been looking at them for some time, umming and ahhing about them and the colours they had on offer. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of patterns on offer, but none of them really “spoke” to me until Filofax launched their pastel range and I saw the Vista Blue!

I instantly knew that that blue would be the perfect one for me to get and use as my bullet journal. I have had it a few days now, and I have got a say it’s not a bad little notebook. This is somewhat of a photo heavy post so, let’s go!

Outside the notebook

It has a very sleek feel to it and though it may look like a small notebook, it has some great features. Not going to lie that as a stationery snob, there are some flaws, but I’ll get into those. The cover has a nice texture to it and feels sturdy and has some give for flexing. Keeping the book closed is a nice thick elastic that coordinates with the cover colour.

Unlike some notebooks that have this type of closure, the Filofax has a little notch where the elastic sits to keep it in place, and this helps to stop the elastic being tugged in your bag and opening your notebook. I don’t know about you, but looking in your bag to find bits of paper everywhere because your notebook has come open is a tad annoying. I have high hopes for this feature.

On the back, there is a nice and simple emboss of the Filofax logo. It’s the only bit of branding on the notebook, there is nothing inside to say that it is a Filofax. You can also see that the back cover has that notch to keep the elastic in place.

Inside the notebook

Included in the notebook is 58 sheets of lined paper and four dividers, one of which has a pocket to keep loose notes or receipts in. These are made of a nice weighted card, you could always change these out, but you would need to get the punch for this as it is a unique binding. Not a dealbreaker, but I will be getting the punch, as I like to add in notes to my folders.  Speaking of the binding, here is a close-up.

It’s a twin wire spine that allows the notebook to fold back on its self and lay flat. I must admit that I’m a little worried that I am going to squish this, it’s not the heaviest gauge wire, but it lends itself to the slimline nature of the notebook. We shall see!

The notebook folds back on itself really nicely though and because of the way the spine has been scored the cover doesn’t squish but rather flexes into place to allow you to write on the notebook when like this.

The notebook also lays flat and because the twin wire spine is on the slim side, you don’t really notice it when writing up against it. This is a huge bonus for me, I often feel like you have to adapt the way that you write to be able to fully utilise the whole page. Plus, this is a big win for anyone who is left-handed.

Not only do you get 58 sheets of 100gsm paper, which is really nice to write on with my Pilot G-2, you also get a ruler/bookmark included. I must admit I don’t like this bookmark, it is incredibly thin and very flexible. Again, it’s not a dealbreaker by any means, I just wish it had a little bit more of a weight to it because I feel like I’m going to end up snapping it.

When you pull it out of the book you can really feel the delicacy of this ruler, I may need to make my own. But I’ll see how I get on with this one for now. To be fair, I still have this notebook and the ruler has stood the test of time.

Paper refills

Along with the sheets included in the notebook, you get 4 sample sheets of lined, plain and grid. Which I think is great, it means that you can test out these pages without having to buy the refills, I did, however, know that I was going to use this as a bullet journal, so I did get some refills to tide me over. The paper is easy to remove and put in and because of the weight of the paper, I have yet to have it tear on me.

You get 32 sheets of the same 100gsm paper, not enough to fill up the notebook but enough to last you the month at least, depending on how many pages you use in that month. The grid paper has a 6mm square on it, which is not standard and may take a little bit of getting used to. But this does also mean that there are fewer squares per page. Check out the image below.

Some of your calendar spread will be a bit tight and your trackers would need some rethinking, but it’s doable. The last thing I will note about the notebook is that there is no pen loop, not the end of the world as you can just hook your pen onto the spine of the notebook.

Overall, it’s a great little notebook and is a great intro into the Filofax brand. If you are also wanting a refillable notebook that can take some bashing in a backpack, then this would also be a great fit for a gift to someone that you want to bring into the Filofax/stationery world.

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1 Comment

  1. Jojo

    thanks for the blog post.
    The color of the notebook is beautiful!
    I definitely need one 😀

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