A few years ago, I started using a Filofax to organise my time and life. Until about the summer of 2012, I was quite happy with them until I noticed that binders I hadn't used in over a year were in a condition I didn't expect them to be in. Moreover, ring problems were developing in my binders - even ones that I had in storage (or maybe I'd just not noticed them before? Blinded by love, anyone?). I had always tried not to overstuff the rings as I am aware that can contribute to the issue and so to discover gaps is disappointing. Personally, I bought into the brand as I thought it was one that I could use for life, or at least a considerable amount of time.
I am not alone in this disappointment with the Filofax brand. Others have issues with paper quality and I agree with this - we're already paying a premium for the paper and the quality doesn't meet expectations, particularly for fountain pen users. Others dislike the direction the brand has been going in whilst others have concerns about the viability of the brand with all of the binder returns that have occurred.
For me, I don't like putting money into a brand that doesn't listen to its core customer base. I understand that it is necessary to widen the target market but to neglect the pre-existing target market is kind of unfair! I do love the brand but it is not one I will be going back to in the near future. Unless the ring problems are solved (maybe look for a new supplier? I remember Josh saying that Bender's - the one that Aspinal of London use - is a good brand?) and the leather quality issues taken care of (I know that leather can easily wear off but after a few months where it has been kept in a dust bag when taken out of the house... really?!), I don't think it is a brand I have faith in. Ironically, I don't put my Smythson binder in a dust bag and it is still as good as new (almost six months later!).
I know others are becoming less and less enticed by the range Filofax has to offer and are also feeling frustrated about them not responding to feedback given to them. You might remember a while back where there were a number of open letters to Helena Bloomer of Slam PR, but I understand that Filofax have since ceased the services of this PR company.
With other brands offering Filofax personal-sized compatible inserts, I don't anticipate buying anything Filofax for a long time. Franklin Covey (though slightly wider), DayTimer, Quo Vadis, Smythson, Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton all offer diary inserts that would fit and I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of them offer inserts with higher quality paper (though this does come at an extra cost).
How do you guys feel about Filofax? I know I started off blogging about this brand but then gradually stopped mentioning their name at all and that kind of represents my waning love for the brand. If you use another planner, what do you use and why? :) It's interesting to see why others choose a brand and why they also stay loyal to one.