28 February 2013

Comparing Compacts

As some of you will know, as well as being a big fan of Filofax and other organisers, I'm also a keen amateur photographer.

I've had a keen interest in photography for well over 40 years now. I've more or less taught myself how to do most things with my camera, mainly by taking lots of photos and learning from my mistakes. With conventional film photography, this was obviously quite expensive, with modern digital photography, it's only time.

When I acquired a Holborn Compact late last year, it gave me a chance to compare a conventional compact with a zipped compact (Malden Compact Zip). I have recently been using the Holborn Compact as my carry around organiser, giving the Malden a little rest! Both have 15mm rings so swapping the contents from one to the other was straight forward.

The other day, I decided to try and photograph these two organisers in a different way, just to test out some new photographic ideas, as well as showing you a comparison between the two organisers.

So without any more words from me, here are the pictures.

Of course if you have any questions... pop them in the comments and I will answer any of your questions.


  1. This was great Steve! I wanted to know if you have a preference? I was considering the zipped Malden, but I'm not too keen with the zipper.

    1. Ooo difficult one....

      The Holborn I'm loving at the moment, I like it's internal pocket layout because it seems better balanced by splitting things equally between the front and back of the organiser.

      The Malden offers the extra security of the zip, but they have put a lot on the inside front cover, lots of card pockets and a zip pocket too. However, if you fill them all up, you will have to reduce the number of pages you put in to the 15mm rings compared to the Holborn if you are going to get the outer to zip without straining things!

      Both demand the use of a fairly slim pen if you are using any tabs.

      The Malden is lovely and soft leather, lays fairly flat as you can see from the photos despite having a zip.

      The Malden Zip is bigger because it's a zip but it slides in and out of my 'Man Bag' nicely without catching the clasp on other things in the bag.

      They are both good but for different reasons I guess. If you asked me if I had to give one up and only have one of them, I think I would go for the Holborn, but it would be very hard to let the Malden go!

  2. How does the compacts compare to like pocket/personal/slim? I'm new to the filofax world lol so I'm trying to decide on which one, personal or poss slim/compact. Ty :)

    1. Hi Katerina
      Welcome to Philofaxy and the world of Filofax!

      I did a post/video which I think might help you see the differences between Slimline, Compact and Personal size and also Zip and Clasp variants.


      Although they all share the same page size the organisers do vary in physical size depending on ring size and the type of closure.

      The bigger the rings the bigger the organiser... also zip ones are bigger than clasp ones... confused??? Watch the video I think it might help better than I can explain it in words!


  3. It is not often I am bang on trend but on the way to work today I collcted my new Malden compact zip (ochre) from the Post Office. (There is a certain irony that the seperate package with the A5 inserts in went through the letterbox Ok yesterday but the compact filo did not!!) I hsve not yet had time to set up - its sitting here on my desk distracting me, but come lunch time I shall decant the contents of my pocket wallet in there and see what I think. My Malden is flat and perfect rings (Thank you City Organiser!)One puzzling thing is the inserts - why, for a design that is so clearly designed for a wallet with zip pocket, room for cash notes and so many credit card holders, does it not come with any finance pages? And why in a compact would you miss out the usual diary, notes, info etc dividers but put in the A-Z tabs?

  4. This is interesting - I tend to use a 'large' purse in which I can put notes (when I have some!!) and a zipped place for coins, plus cards etc. I wonder if this Malden compact would in effect do the same job, but with the added advantage of rings? Perhaps just a month on two pages with tabs and the slimline a-z for passwords and good to go!

    1. I have decanted now and yes Alison it woudl work. I will try to do a review on my blog in time for the next webfinds so people can see how it works.

  5. Great photos, Steve!

    Now if only Filofax would release the front section of this compact Malden into a personal size binder- I think that would be my Nirvana! It would be a brick, but wow would that be perfect. Franklin Covey has a few older binders designed with a full wallet/purse and planner- absolute perfection for those of us who use their binder as both.

    Take note, Filofax!

    1. Should you want a Personal-sized Filofax-and-wallet combo, you could have a look at the Journey : I purchased one several months ago, on filofax.no (or .se, I don't remember), and I used it for a few days; it really is a brick if full, but nirvana if you want to have your whole life and your whole wallet, in a secure way.

      (only in red)

      I sold it in the end, though... A bit too big, and I wasn't feeling comfortable getting cards or money out in shops, while struggling with the zipper(s) and being careful not bending pages, etc.

  6. I love the leather on the brown one - gorgeous!

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  8. Steve, you'd best advise French Border Security to be on the watch for me...

    I love your collection in general, but especially these two compacts.

  9. I was so inspired by this article I have decided to buy a compact Pennybridge from City Organiser for under £30 (incl. postage) to replace my wallet!


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