Thursday, 25 April 2013

The accidental benefits of carrying a Filofax

I have twice in recent weeks been approached by people who – noting my Filofax – have struck up a conversation with me about it. One of those people reminisced at some length about how she had used one herself and how much more organised she was when she did. The other was a fellow user who had believed he was in a minority of one.

These conversations would never have happened had I not been carrying my Holborn at the time, and this thought made me reflect on what else might have happened purely because I carried this binder around with me.

For one thing, I tend to quickly create in new circles a reputation for being organised. I think the Filofax is a very visible signifier of organisational skills. This is odd really. The Filofax is a device to support organisation in the same way that glasses are a device to support vision, but do we congratulate glasses wearers on their excellent eyesight?

So by bestowing the aura of organisation, owning a Filofax gives us a perhaps unfair advantage, as well as a stand-by talking point. And this is on top of all the more tangible benefits it confers on us, like having important facts always to hand, being able to capture ideas instantly and being able to access appointment details irrespective of internet or power availability.

And there’s more too. The average wallet layout and capacity hasn’t changed in perhaps fifty years or more, despite the profusion of credit cards, loyalty cards and other essential items. Transaction counterfoils also need to be stored, whereas in past years the cheque stub would mean no counterfoil was necessary. With so much to carry, the typical wallet is close to breaking point. With a Filofax to share the load, however, two important benefits come to light: I can carry far more loyalty cards than would otherwise be the case, thereby scoring more freebies and discounts, and the line of my suit will be unspoiled by excess wallet bulge.

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