On the Hunt

So after my last post, I have been wracking my brain as to what inserts I should use, what information I can part with, and asking myself if I really need to keep all the information I do on a daily basis. I’m still working out the answers to those questions, and once I have figured them out, I will let you all know.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying decide whether or not to buy the Compact Chameleon (as mentioned in the last post). I have heard, seen, and read cases both for and against the Chameleon. First, let me say that I have been hoping for a binder whose ring size falls between that of the personal and the slimline. The compact seems to be my answer. Of the current compact choices on the Filofax US website, Chameleon is the way I would go. The Luxe seems nice and may very well be. But I really don’t like it enough to spend the amount of money they’re asking. I have heard that there will be a Compact Osterly coming soon. But as far as I can tell, the US site doesn’t even offer it in the personal size (as of yet), and who knows when either will arrive state-side. Plus, while it looks like a nice binder, I’m not sure that it’s really my style. I don’t tend to go for the realistic animal prints.

In any event, with different opinions being said about the Chameleon, I decided I needed to see it for myself. Since I will soon be visiting family near Philadelphia, I looked on the US website to see if there are any retailers in the area where I will be. There are plenty in Philly proper, but as I will be about 30 minutes from there (and not too much extra time to shop), heading to one of the stores won’t be possible. Sigh. Then I punched in my own zip code just to see if anything has changed. Low and behold, there is a new store only thirty minutes from my house that now sells Filofax! (This is even closer than the last store I reviewed.) Oh, happy day! (Please tell my husband to hide my wallet.)

I immediately headed over there. They have a very small selection in a locked case (why, oh why must I explain my obsession to people who don’t me?) but arranged very nicely. So I saunter over to the case. All I see are minis and pockets and no inserts anywhere. But there is a Chameleon. The saleslady (who speaks with a British accent—what an authentic addition when speaking of Filofaxes!) wanders over to see if she can be of assistance:

Saleslady: Hello.

Me: Hi. Do you have any other sizes of the Filofaxes besides the small ones? (Why I’m acting like I don’t know anything about them, I can’t tell you.)

SL: Well, let me see. (Opens case) No, it looks like we only have the smaller sizes. Let me know if you’d like to see anything.

Me: Actually, can I see the little green one? (a pocket green Chameleon)

SL: Sure! You know, with all the gadgets available today you’d think paper planners would be a thing of the past but you’d be surprised—a lot of people still use them.

Me: (You have no idea, lady.) Yes. I’m part of an online community of people who love paper planners, Filofax in particular.

SL: Oh! Do you work for Filofax?

Me: (I wish!) No. Just a member of a group of people who are obsessed with them. (Smile sheepishly)

At this point she takes out the pocket Chameleon and hands it over to me. I lovingly stroke it and open it and just take in the leathery goodness.

Me: Oh, this is nice.

SL: Yes, the leather really is a nice quality.

Then she comes out with a personal brown Finsbury.

SL: Oh, this one seems to be bigger.

Me: Yes, that’s the personal size whereas these are pockets and minis. See how obsessed I am? I know all about them.

SL: Smiles but with a bit of a strange look on her face.

Me: Do you carry any of the inserts?

SL: Turns to coworker and repeats the question. He says, yes they do but they won’t have the 2012 calendar inserts until later in the month.

Me: Excellent! I’ll be back in a few weeks then. Thank you!

And I’m off to hide my embarrassment of being so obsessed with Filofax planners that I’m telling the saleslady all about them.

While this store doesn’t have a large selection, what did they did have was nice—nothing outdated or really old. They seem to carry newer binders, but this could be because it’s a new-ish store. Also, the display was lovely—binders arranged in two semi-circle rows, the planners on top of their respective boxes so you can actually see the leather. I did come to one realization though—after seeing the raspberry Chameleon in person, I don’t think I can buy it. It is beautiful and very different from everything else I own. But it’s a little too pink for me. I just know I would get tired of it too quickly and wish I had gone with a different color.

So will I buy the Compact Black Chameleon? I’m still not one hundred percent sure. I’ll mull it over a little longer. But I will keep you all informed of my decision, as I’m sure you’re all waiting on the edge of your seats wondering, Will she, or won’t she?


  1. i know how you feel. sometimes i am sheepish and other times i go elbows deep into filofax displays!

  2. Most times I feel like I have to apologize for being so crazy about it - not because I'm ashamed but because ("normal") people just don't understand. ;)

  3. A rule in the South is, "Never apologize for your cooking." A rule in Philofaxy is, "No shame in the love of all things Filofax." Yeah, I just made that up, but I totally understand what you mean about others thinking, "Wow, you're crazy about these things, aren't you?" Know you can babble on and gush other them with me anytime at all. :) x

  4. Ah, thanks, Sandra! This community is like a warm fuzzy blanket, one in which I can wrap myself and mutter about all things planners and you will understand!

  5. It's probably a good thing that there are no Filo stores/stockists in Canada. I would completely lose my head!

  6. I will have to make up a card or similar with the details on it about Philofaxy that you can pass to retailers!

    I was once asked if I needed any help in choosing what size of Filofax to buy... I resisted the temptation to say 'Do you know who I am!!!' as it would have been very rude and the young girl was quite sweet, but she almost did a double take when I pulled out my pocket chameleon which I use as a wallet. 'Oh you have one already' 'Yes'!!!

  7. Terri - It is very dangerous, though thankfully the two stores nearest me don't have a big selection. I have to travel to New York City for an array of choices.

    Steve - I love the card idea! How great is that? Filofax retailers should know who you are - you're a celebrity! I would have pulled out my Malden but I left in it the car in an effort to make my bag lighter. I have learned my lesson there. ;)

  8. This is why I buy all my Filofax related stuff online! To save this embarassment with sales people lol! I think, though, that I will have to brave this fear of embarassment eventually as I have heard that great bargains have been had at Rymans in the UK during sales and the like! :)

  9. @steve - that's hilarious! both the idea of a card and the urge to say "do you know who I am". :-)

    @kanalt - I'm very accustomed to ordering online - in the barren (shopping) wastelands of the Canadian Prairies, if I want anything above the basics, I have to get it online.

  10. Hi Kanalt. If your committed to the compact you may want to buy the Guildford compact from Filofax Sweden. It will cost you alot for shipping but it's worth it for something you treasure and use so much. I know you loved your slimline and it would probably be a good fit.

  11. the compact Osterley is available at some European Filofax pages. Check out Germany, Sweden or Norway.

  12. Angela - Sometimes you might get someone who will actually engage in conversation and not look at you funny. This saleslady was nice, I just don't think she knew what she was in for when I walked through the door, especially since they seem to be new at selling Filos. I tend to think not too many people have asked about them, let alone started spewing off details and confessing to a *small* obsession. ;)

    Terri - Online shopping is so convenient and easy but sometimes you just need to feel a product and hold it lovingly before committing.

    Savannah - A compact Guildford would be awesome! But the cost of the binder itself, plus the shipping sounds like it would break my bank. If I did the conversion right, the binder itself would be about US$113, plus then who knows how much for shipping. I'll have to pass on that one, sadly.

    Anonymous - Thanks for the tip. Like the compact Guildford though, I can't really justify paying overseas shipping for a Filofax. I have to draw the line somewhere for my Filo spending. ;)

  13. This happens to me sometimes in stores that carry fountain pens (Paradise Pen, Holt's Cigars, etc). Oh well :-)

  14. Whew! At least I'm not alone. I do like pens, but not as much as planners. ;)


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