So I hadn't really thought that much about the Heritage range, sure I had seen the announcement emails and a few pictures on Facebook, but they didn't give me enough information really to fully appreciate it.
OK quick recap as to what I've been using... At home I have my A5 Van der Spek with 35 mm rings as a permanent fixture on my desk, it rarely moves from there. Then I have been carrying an A6 of some description in my 'Man Bag'.
Lately that has been the rather chunky Gillio Mia Cara I converted to A6 size, yes it is a bit over the top! Normally this would be a Van der Spek Touch Me Senior for A6. In the past I have used various Personal size organisers in tandem with the A5.
I've been using two organisers like this for well over five years now because I thought that works for me, so why change. However, in the last few months since starting the podcast I have been making far more intensive use of my A5 planner and less use of the A6 planner. The A6 was always there because I had always carried it. Yet when I thought about it I wasn't using it that often.
If you have been around on Philofaxy long enough you will be familiar with the cries of a handful of readers wanting a small ring compact A5 organiser. I never thought I would be one of them though!
The Filofax Heritage A5 Compact is so slim and unfussy that I really think I can make this work as my only organiser both at home and to carry around with me. How you might ask well, let me introduce you to the organiser in question first and I will show you how I intend to try using it.
The construction of the organiser is very simple and straight forward, two sheets of leather are put back to back and neatly sown together with a set of 16mm rings added. There is no clasp, no pockets.
The stitch count per inch on this model is very high, I measured/counted 11 stitches per inch(s.p.i.) on one seam and 10 s.p.i. on the edge. That puts it up with Gillio and Van der Spek for quality leather work. Compared to some thing like a Malden which I've measured at about 8 stitches per inch typically.
The size of the Heritage A5 Compact is:
Weight including the flyleaf = 280 grams
Ring Mech: 16mm
As a comparison an A5 Malden weighs 345 grams, a Holborn A5 320 grams.
The outside leather has a delicate grain texture to it and the interior a smooth finish.
The Filofax Heritage A5 Compact comes with a cotton cream Week on Two page diary insert. Plus some dividers and a few cotton cream to-do sheets, contact sheets and lined sheets. I am using my own inserts though.
There isn't any stiffener between the covers of the organiser so it is quite supple, but still firm to use due to the thickness of the leather used.
There is a leather flyleaf, again very simple in its design with an elasticated pen loop on the edge.
On the front face there is a business card/id card slot.
On the reverse there is a half height pocket, with another section leather that would allow you to put the backing card of a note pad on to the reverse of the fly leaf.
The pen loop is a little odd in that they have sewn the ends of the elastic to either side of the flyleaf and when in tension with a slightly larger pen it distorts the leather slightly. You have to push the pen to sit below the flyleaf.
Instead I have used one of my old work arounds, a Filofax Flex A5 pen loop punched for A5, I've adapted these for A5, A6 and personal sizes. They work just fine.
I tried the flyleaf pen loop with a slimmer Pentel P207 mechanical pencil and that works just fine, so I'm using both loops.
Obviously the flyleaf does take up some of the precious ring space, so some people might dispense with using it.
Having such small rings I have noticed how sweetly the pages turn to a larger ring organiser, also how little the rings intrude when writing in on either side of the pages.
At present the Heritage is only available in one colour, I'm not sure if other colours will follow or not. It is also available in Personal size with 25 mm and 16 mm rings, see the Filofax website for full details.
So how could an A5 organiser with only 16 mm rings replace both an A5 with 35 mm rings and an A6 with 25 mm rings?
So for some years now I have used this camera bag as my every day bag. It comfortably takes my personal or A6 organiser, although you can just squeeze in an A5 there isn't really room for a lot else in there with an A5 in it.
However, I also have this slightly larger messenger bag, which I bought with carrying an A5 in mind.
This as you can see has plenty of space in it even with the converted Medium Mia Cara in it.
At the back of the bag is a slot for an iPad, perfect for the Filofax Heritage A5 Compact or any other organiser as I found with rings up to 25mm.
And the space can be used for things like my French books when I attend classes each week:
No need to change bags any more, or alternatively if I want to carry my camera (Canon EOS 100D) with me instead of books. That works as well.
So at present I have 12 months of Week on two pages and the 12 months on one page blog planner both are printed on Clairefontaine 90gsm paper. These two planner sections are my most used pages.
The weekly planner as you will recognise is one of the Philofaxy inserts which I have used for some time and has spaces for appointments and tasks. I will add a few sheets of lined or plain paper, no more than that.
I am retaining my large ring Van der Spek to hold the rest of the contents as a sort of reference information organiser. That information is all useful stuff, but I don't refer to it very often. To make it easier to access I am going to index the information in there so I don't spend too much time hunting back and forth.
When I'm travelling I might also transfer in some of the reference pages in to the Filofax Heritage A5 Compact for that trip.
I will see how I get on for a few more weeks with the Heritage with it's small rings, but I have a couple of 25 mm size A5 organisers I can use if I need to go slightly bigger in size, these will also give me some conventional pockets and card slots etc in the covers, but they will still fit in the slot in the back of my bag.
Here is the Filofax Heritage A5 Compact on top of an Filofax Holborn A5.
As you can see the Holborn is quite svelte despite having 25 mm rings and it has an excellent internal pocket layout as well.
Another good companion to the Filofax Heritage A5 Compact is my William Hannah A5 leather bound notebook, these are very similar in size and thickness and will complement each other very nicely.
The biggest change for me though is only using one planner, but using it more efficiently. It's a new exciting era for me! Why didn't I think to try this before... I really don't know but the arrival of the Heritage A5 Compact certainly kicked my a** in to thinking about doing something different!
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will try and answer them as quickly as possible.
Thank you to Filofax UK for sending me this sample of their Filofax Heritage A5 Compact.