Sunday, 9 December 2012

Filofax or Midori?

My recent purchase of a Midori Traveler's Notebook has made me consider my views on the Filofax, and ponder on the relative merits of the two systems.

Let me say right now, if forced to choose between them, I would pick the Filofax, purely on instinct. After all, Filofax has been my daily companion for a long time. It's true that there was a time when I turned away from it to explore the attractions of electronic organisation. But I came back when the novelty wore off and the limitations of the electronic platforms became tiresome.

So why am I now turning to something new? Well, because the distant grass is always greener - while it remains distant. People whose opinions I trust were raving about the Midori. It was gaining a web presence. There were pictures, beautiful pictures. The grass looked very, very green. I had to see if it genuinely was that green; if I hadn't I'd have found no peace. I think this is a feeling that serial Filofax buyers know well. The new binder in the range probably won't be an improvement on your current favourite, but the thought that it might be gnaws away at you and denies you peace until you purchase it.

In these, the early days of my Midori ownership, the honeymoon if you like, I am enjoying the novelty. The leather is plain and dignified, the workings deliciously low tech and it's hard to see how these could suffer any kind of manufacturing defect (I'm looking at you, Filofax rings.) I particularly like how the binder's footprint is only very slightly bigger than that of one of its pages. It has to be said that I quite like the commitment involved in writing in a bound notebook, too. In the Filofax, when I can always toss a page, I don't feel so invested in making sure I write carefully.

But, how could I ever walk away from the Filofax again? The elegance of the loose-leaf system remains compelling. Pages can come and go and move from one binder to another whenever I like. Custom content is far easier to create for any size of Filofax than for the Midori (although that hasn't stopped me trying.) And the pockets - perhaps the best feature of modern Filofax binders - are way more functional and secure than any of the Midori approximations of a pocket.

I have been trying all the way though this post to avoid the awful, sexist metaphor that would see the Filofax as my wife and the Midori as a mistress. Quite aside from the questionable taste of the comparison, it doesn't work in the end, for one simple reason. I will never have to choose between Filofax and Midori. I can live happily with both. I can work out in my own time which system is best for which things. I can put one down and pick up the other free from angst or guilt. I am happy to report that the grass is green all around me. 

14 comments:

Nancy said...

Great post, Ray, both in content and style.

LJ said...

Love this post - I think I may be swayed to get a Midori in the New Year (after the no shopping challenge is completed) :-)

Ray Blake said...

Thank you, both.

Gail W said...

Wow you are so right about it knawing away at you Ray. Spent the whole weekend pondering weather to get one or not. The £40 price tag seems a little steep for a piece of leather and some elastic, but I've given in and ordered one in the brown! Pretty excited about it now, had to order around £20 of extras to get it up and running, so hope it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly giving my Midori a chance in the new year, if it doesn't work for me as my main diary management i'll be using it for journaling :-)

Not sure i'll ever completely move away from Filofax but it's nice to have a few options.

Ray Blake said...

Yes, options are good. Gail, you can save money by making your own inserts. See my recent posts for details. I have more planned, like lined and grid inserts.

Gail W said...

I'll be keeping my eye out for them Ray, I was wondering if homemade inserts could work? I was also thinking about investing in an extra large stapler too, might be easier than book binding!

kanalt said...

Great post! I can definitely sympathize with your internal struggle! After seeing all of the posts lately on the midori, I have to say that I'm very intrigued. I am trying to talk myself out of wanting one, though. I have no specific need for one, and my Filofax is still working for me. Maybe in the future I might look into it more. But the idea you've presented here is one that I can relate to, specifically with the digital and paper based systems. Right now, I have a hybrid of sorts that works very well for me, and there's no need to choose between the two. Whatever works is what one should go with!

Helen Conway said...

"I will never have to choose between Filofax and Midori. I can live happily with both."

How very French of you!
( I am off to look at those pictures you reference now...)

Cheryl said...

I am fascinated by these Traveler's Notebooks and plan to order one in black after the first of the year. But I will continue to use my Malden Filofax as my main planner. In fact, probably won't buy any calender inserts for the Midori. May just use it as a diary/journal or travel book. I've had bound diaries before but something about the Midori booklets, pockets and other accessories intrigue me and I like the tall narrowness of it.

Ray Blake said...

Yes, I'm enjoying the page proportions very much.

Anonymous said...

Before buying my first Filofax I thought about trying a Traveler's Notebook, but I ended up choosing a Filofax. Now reading your posts I'm getting attracted to the Traveler's Notebook one more time...! I've seen some people making their own Traveler's Notebook like this blogger: http://moripapa55.exblog.jp/7144625. I guess it would be cheaper, but I'm sure the Traveler's Notebook uses high quality leather! It's funny that you said "Filofax as my wife and the Midori as a mistress" lol! The charms you made are really nice by the way!! Did you print them out on thin paper and paste them onto thick card or do you have a printer which can print out on thick card??

Ray Blake said...

Neither. They are made from shrinky dink plastic. This is a thin plastic film on which you print or draw designs. You then cut out the designs, punch holes and place them in a hot oven. They then shrink and thicken.

Anonymous said...

I got soooo excited after reading your comment!! I used to LOVE shrinky dinks when I was a kid, and I didnt' know that you can print things out on them!! I've been looking for the ones for an inkjet printer, but I can't find any shop which sells them in the UK :( Did you order them from the US??

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