2 Ring to 6 Ring and back again

First off, I'm cheap (and british, hence use of A5). I won't spend more than I have to and love a bargain. So when it came to making my first planner I found a 99p cardboard 2 ring A5 binder from smiths, which was great as I could easily print pages the right size and I could hole punch no problem. I converted everything I did to A5; my entire filing system. It was heaven.

However after just 6 months, my gorgeous, perfectly working, but not perfectly beautiful planner, fell apart.

So I bought another one. This time I actually managed to find a plastic A5 binder. But it was less pretty than the cardboard one (because it was easier to decorate the cardboard one and personalise it).

Then one day it happened - Staples sale - they had a 2004 A5 black leather filofax folder - £5!! As I didn't need the insides, it was perfect.

You can probably now see my dilemma. All my existing pages needed to be re-punched, and, my cheap streak coming out, without paying out £30 for a heavy duty filofax branded holepunch, I ended up punching all the pages with a one hole punch I have.

But even bigger problem is that as I converted everything I have, I use A5 binders for all my projects at work, so if I want to file something from my filo or take out info from the office with me, it has to be punched with 8 holes, and it's now getting a bit unsightly.

Arggh, sorry for the really long post, but if anyone has any solutions or suggestions I'd be most grateful.


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It's difficult....

I too have a liking for A5. So much more usable a size than A4 I think. However I cant help feeling my ideas might not be cheap enough for you.

You're not from Aberdeen are you, never mind being British ;-)

Anyway I suppose you have to decide do I keep using my lovely and incredibly good value Filofax - you know you want to...

If so the plastic Filofax punches that do one or two sheets at a time are pretty cheap, maybe about £4. I think WHSmith do their own barand or serach online for 6 ring punches. Then the punching is still slow but less tedious than one hole at a time.

Another option is Oxford Easybooks (not the digital ones) which have enough holes in them to put in a filofax or 2 ring binder. The notebook is spiral bound but has perforated punched A5 paper in it. And very good quality paper at that. It's lined though so good for writing but not printing on. Again maybe too expensive at around £3 per notebook.

My last thought is go back to 2 ring completely. It's back to school time and Tesco have lovely colours of A5 ring binders for 50p (but also 3 for 2) and index tabs 75p and some wallets and maybe box files, all A5. After all that smooth black leather is overrated right?

I have hunted for 2 ring A5 folios but there aren't many to be found. And yet A5 notebooks are everywhere. We are a confused nation I say....

Time for a change


Looks to me like it's time to get over the cheapness on the 2 ring binders. Go find a good one. Never mind the filofax, you don't like all the holes and punching. Go get an expensive, super duper, last forever two-ring binder. You loved it, it worked. Buy quality.


Agreeing with Shris

I've been through this in various permutations -- like 3-ring vs 6-ring, Classic vs Letter, and leather vs plastic or imitation leather.

Your whole filing system has been 2-hole punched. And you have easy access to 2-hole punches. That's a great advantage right there.

So stay with the 2-ring binders, and see if you can find a nice binder that you would be happy with. Or maybe you could buy a box or case of the less expensive binders at a quantity discount.

You might look at address books -- someone on this site suggested that a couple of years ago. They come in various ring formats and you may find one that is exactly what you want, at a price point that is somewhere between the cheap ones and the regular price for Filofax. Here in the US, office supply stores have some good ones for $15 to $25, lighter weight than the organizer binders and not as bulky.

Good luck. I hope you don't get stuck on the binder merry-go-round. It's hard to get off once you're on it!

Thanks everyone

I think my biggest problem was that at the time I couldn't (and still really can't) find a really nice A5 folder, I don't know if I'm looking in the wrong places.

I'm not really as cheap as I made out and I think I would have stumped up (large) full price, if I found a nice one; which is why I was so happy with the filofax, as it looked and seemed professional (I was after a promotion at the time, I got it, but whether the binder or my change in attitude got it, I'll never know!)

And yes, I actually work right next door to a Tesco, and have already bought the nice colours for the filing system!

Will continue on that eternal search for the infamous perfect binder...


websites like freecycle and places like goodwill. chances are people upgrade and offer their perfectly good stuff for pretty cheap :D

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Two systems...

Two punching systems can work if you want them to, but it does involve having 2 folders or making some adjustments.

You could get A5 plastic document protectors and use them in your filofax for your projects. That way you can choose to only have 2 holes in the pages. However the protectors may be a bit wider than A5 and you will have to take your projects in and out of the sleeves. (You could also use A5, punched envelopes as project holders).

If you want a fancy hard-wearing A5 folder, then I suggest going to a slightly upmarket stationer (or a gift shop that specialises in office toys and gifts for executives, or a craft supplier) and look at every A5 binder in the shop. Address books, business card books, mini-portfolios, recipe binders, pilot's map folders, etc often come in 2 rings and A5 size.
Or your could contact one of the online companies which sell promotional conference folders and see if they'll sell you just one.

Or, you could simply keep your filofax for your appointments etc and buy an A5 clipboard folder for your projects and anything else that will go into your work files.