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. 
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