So the three in question are the Pocket Finsbury, a Pocket Chameleon and the latest edition to my collection a Pocket Malden.
The Finsbury range spans all sizes of Filofax Organisers from the cute Mini through to the big A4. The all come in a generous range of colours and have good size rings. New colours are added each year so there is always quite a variety of colours available. So they are perfect 'First Filofax' for people today.
I have the Finsbury in Pocket, Personal, Slimline and A5 size, the oldest being the A5 which I bought in about 2005, it's still wearing well so no complaints about the quality of this organiser.
The Pocket currently retails for about £43, but with a bit of shopping around you can pick up the pocket size for as low as £18 (new)
The Finsbury is made of soft grained leather. Part of the interior is a textile material which I'm told can wear in time, but none of mine are showing any signs of wear. I suspect you will get bored with the colour before it shows signs of wear and tear inside! The textile interior can attract paper dust over time, the trick to remove this is a bit of sticky tape, sticky side down to easily remove the dust, simple, but it works.
The Finsbury Pocket in common with the Chameleon and the Malden has a full width rear pocket which if you are using it as a wallet can hold a passport, paper driving licence, bank notes etc. The left hand interior doesn't have a huge number of card slots, which might not matter if you are just using it as a planner.
The Finsbury Pocket comes with the larger 19mm rings, which gives you plenty of capacity for any diary format and plenty of other pages.
The Chameleon range has only been out about a couple of years. It comes in Mini, Pocket, Personal, Compact and A5 sizes.
In the Pocket size the simplicity of the construction of the Chameleon organiser, gives this particular model it's suppleness and light weight. In the chart below it might not look a big difference in weight but when you compare the Chamelon with the Malden you can see where the Malden gains its weight.
One feature I like about the Chameleon is the elasticated leather pen loop that is attached to the front cover rather than the back cover. In that location it doesn't get in the way of the zipped pocket in the back cover of the organiser, which means removing change isn't too much of a problem.
The Chameleon is all leather with a pattern printed in to the surface. Only the interior of the pockets are textile lined.
The rings on the Chamelon are the smaller 15mm size, which might constrain some people, when I moved from the Finsbury to the Chameleon I had to reduce the number of spare pages I was carrying, but I was still able to carry most things, as well as using it initially as a Filofax/Wallet.
I have used my Chameleon as a wallet/note book, it works great for that, plenty of capacity for bank cards and coinage. The smaller rings make it easy to slip in to your jeans pocket or the pocket of your coat or jacket.
The Chameleon Pocket retails for £50 but shop around and you might find one for a little less than that
The bigger rings of the Malden certainly give it a bigger more meant presence than the Chameleon, on its own the Malden feels much bigger, but in fact it shares the same foot print on the desk as the Chameleon.
The quality of the contrasting stitching on the Malden, makes it stand out. OK it is not hand stitched, but it certainly adds a feel of quality to the organiser.
There is a slot for a note pad in the back cover as well as a large pocket. This slot will in fact take a Flex Pocket notebook or year planner, which could be a useful addition.
The Pocket Malden has been used by a few of our readers as a combined Wallet/Organiser, it has the capacity to take a full diary and a host of other pages, yet still function as a wallet as well. Although I would think it would be best suited to carrying in a hand bag/man bag in my case! or a heavy coat pocket, a fully loaded Malden Pocket will be quite a weight to carry.
Some people might find the zipped pocket a little small for carrying change, but I've found it easier to get coins out of it compared to the deeper pocket of the Chameleon. Also I like the lighter overall weight compared to the Chameleon, all of those extra coins really do add a lot of bulk and weight to the Chameleon organiser.
The pen loop on the Malden is not elasticated, but it takes my 0.5 mm Frixion pens snugly and the pen is a fraction shorter than the length of the side of the Pocket Malden.
|Colours||Several, changes each year||Generally 3-4 colours available at all times||Generally 3-4 colours available at all times.|
|Credit Card Slots||2 plus ID card window pocket and full height pocket behind||5 plus full height pocket behind||3 full height slots behind zip pocket with storage for 6 cards over lapping|
|Zip Pocket||Large in the back cover||Large in the back cover||Small in the front cover|
|Leather||Soft leather printed with traditional ‘rambling’ grain.||Full grain leather exterior and interior.||Vintage-look buffalo leather.|
|Back Cover||Zip Pocket||Zip Pocket||Notepad slot|
|Penloop||Fixed leather on back cover||Elasticated leather on front cover||Fixed leather on back cover|
|Price||£43 - but can be found as little as £18 (WH Smiths for the black or grey models)||£50 - but some colours available for as little as £37.50 (WH Smiths)||£60 but some colours as low as £30 (Filofax UK Crimson)|
Also check out the review I did of the Pocket Aston earlier this year.
Personally I like all three models for different reasons.
- The Finsbury for it's no nonsense design, it does the job, great value for money, big capacity rings, good range of colours for most peoples likes.
- The Chameleon, for it's light weight, all leather design, it's suppleness, the card slot capacity, the left hand side pen loop.
- The Malden, because of the luxury of it's leather, the large rings, the rear note pad, the detail in the stitching and design, and what isn't there to like about a Malden!
Do you have one of these models, we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments.