Filofax has reinvented the ringbound planner with the Clipbook ($25.99). It features a flexible softcover made with a cardstock covered with PU printed material over their classic ring. The Personal planner has a 25mm/0.875″ ring which is roomy but compact.
The advantage of this design is that the Clipbook is considerably less expensive than a classic Filofax planner. The thinner material makes the cover flexible enough to fold all the way back on itself, making it smaller and less cumbersome while still allowing users to carry lots of refills in a ringbound format so switching pages is easy.
I tested the Marble Pattern ($25.99) in the Personal size. It comes pre-loaded with a variety of inserts: 15 ruled sheets, 15 graph sheets, 15 plain sheets, 1 fold out double-sided undated yearly calendar, 6 fold out double-sided undated monthly calendar pages, 13 undated week-on-two-page sheets, and 5 to-do sheets. This starter set will give users a nice sampler of the inserts available from Filofax and be able to determine what inserts work best for their needs.
The paper seems to be slightly lighter in weight and feel to the paper in the Filofax Notebooks which is listed as 100gsm. In pen tests, I got decent results with most fine fountain pens, rollerball, felt and gel pens performing well with just a little bit of show through. Rollerballs and felt tips were actually the most likely to show through with a hint of bleed on the Morning Glory Mach 3 and the Sharpie Pen.
Some wetter fountain pen inks showed through a bit more than the Filofax notebook. There was no feathering issues.
Filofax included the Clipbook erasable pen ($19.99) when they sent . For an erasable pen, like the Pilot Frixion, this is a decidedly lovely design. The body of the pen is heavier than the standard plastic barrels of standard Frixion pens because the barrel is lacquered metal. And, instead of having to flip the pen over to erase, the tip of the pen is retracted and the soft grip area is the eraser. Genius!
The Clipbook pen takes a standard Parker-style refill but color me stumped, other than the Filofax refill 3-pack ($6.99), I don’t know where to find erasable gel refills to fit this. Should I ever reach a point where getting refills from Filofax is so no longer an option, knowing that any Parker style refill will fit means that, though the pen would no longer be erasable, it would still be functional.
I like that the calendars and planning pages are open dated so that they can be started at any time. And since this planner is ringbound, any inserts that are not needed can be removed.
The cover easily folds back on itself and with the pressure of your hand it will lay flat.
The Clipbook pen clip is designed to easily fit over the ring of the Clipbook which can be seen here from above.
Overall, I like that Filofax is continuing to innovate and experiment with what ringbound planners and notebooks can be. The Clipbook is a clear example of expanding the range of products to include casual users, new users and folks who might be on a tighter budget. I love the Clipbook pen and the grip eraser. Now to find more sources for refills!