Filofax Malden Personal Size in Purple and Paper review

My friends and family know how utterly organised I am so it came to no surprise for anyone when I asked Santa for a Filofax last Christmas.

Since Santa is such a busy man, I decided to help him a little and ordered my Filofax a few weeks before Christmas from Colemans-online (I'll write more about this website at the end of this post) just to make sure things go according to plan.....well, my plan anyway.

So when Christmas day arrived, I was of course delighted to see a personal size Malden in purple under the Christmas tree. It was very thoughtful of Santa to also bring me some stickers, washi tapes, sticky notes, magnetic tabs and a sterling silver charm to go with my new Filofax.
I was over the moon...who wouldn't be ?

Needless to say I was very busy setting it up and playing with it the whole day....and more. This is my very first Filofax so I still have a lot to learn.

I usually use my computer to do almost everything in life thus I take it everywhere with me (even on holiday) but for whatever reason, I've never liked using it for my daily planning and even less for my diary. I think it's not as nice as having a leather organiser which is smooth to the touch, beautiful to look at and fun to decorate not forgetting the immense pleasure of writing with a pen...fountain pen for me.

My first impression of the Malden was very good. The leather is supple, smooth to the touch and it smells divine. The stitchings are precise and neat and the inside pockets are well thought through.The full description of the organiser can be found on the Filofax Website. I was thrilled and felt very lucky to be the owner of such a beautiful organiser. I inspected it under every angle and I liked everything about it. It combines quality, elegance, practicality and I think it's such a beautiful organiser to have.

Then came the writing part and this is where I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the Filofax paper. I like to write with fountain pens and unfortunately, the ink bleeds through the paper....all of them. Not as much on the coloured paper but still. 

At first I thought it was my fountain pen that's not such good quality since it's a Pilot Petit 1(fine nib) but even with a more elaborate fountain pen like the Pilot Cavalier (fine nib) the ink bled through.

Then I thought maybe it's the ink I use (J.Herbin in Poussiere de lune) which is too I tried the J. Herbin Bouquet d'Antan which is lighter but the bleeding through problem remained.

In the end, I tried another type of paper and it was it. The paper !!!! The ink doesn't bleed as much on the ordinary 90gsm paper (that can be bought anywhere) and it doesn't bleed at all on the Clairefontaine 120gsm which by the way is also the smoothest paper I've ever written on (I bought mine from Amazon). Here's a comparison:
From left to right: Filofax paper - 90gsm paper - Clairefontaine120gsm paper. 
Note: The Stamping on right top done with Memento dew drop dye ink in Lulu Lavender. Stamping on the bottom left done with Versamagic dew drop chalk ink in Pixie Dust.
Reverse from left to right: Filofax paper - 90gsm paper - Clairefontaine120gsm paper. The writing is speaking for itself.
Note: As you can see the stamping done with the Memento dye ink clearly shows on the filofax and 90gsm paper and barely shows on the Clairefontaine paper. Though the versamagic ink doesn't show at all on the wrong side of any of the three papers on the picture, I have noticed that if I have a lot of ink on my stamp or if the ink is darker in colour, it will clearly show through the Filoax paper, slightly show on the 90gsm paper, and doesn't show on the Clairefontaine paper.

Looking at the pictures above you can understand why I won't be buying any inserts from Filofax. Their paper is not good enough for my need so I'll be printing all my own inserts on the Clairefontaine paper. The Philofaxy website gives free inserts downloads for those of you who'd like to print your own.

I use my own template because the ones on their website only fit two personal sizes on one A4 paper while the template I made can fit three personal sizes on one A4 paper. On duplex printing, it means I can print three weeks on one A4 paper.
It's a pity to have such a beautiful organiser and open it to find poor quality paper to write on....for a fussy fountain pen writer like me that is. Having replaced the Filofax inserts with my own, I absolutely love my organiser and will keep it for a long long time. I might even have a few more in the future. I'm actually planning on buying a personal size Original in fluoro pink (or pillarbox red)... or a personal size Holborn in brown...or all of them :-)

A few words about the company I bought my Filofax from : Colemans-online First I'd like to point out that I'm not affiliated with them. Still I highly recommend this company to everyone because they have an outstanding customer service. They do care about their customers and would go the extra mile to help. When my Filofax arrived a few weeks before Christmas (I was only allowed to have a quick look at it to see if everything was all right in order to avoid disappointment on Christmas day) I've had a few doubts so I contacted them about my worries. The person who answered my emails was nice, understandable and very helpful. A few days ago I was after a holborn and tried to arrange to see it in one of their shops. I was in contact with another person from Colemans who again, was extremely nice, patient and helpful doing the very best to find a solution to accommodate me. Such customer service is so rare nowadays they really deserve to be known!!! For readers living outside of the UK they do international shipping and last but not least, at the time I'm writing this post there's 30% off all filofax organisers on their website.

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