19 August 2011

Filofax College Week 8 - Caring for your Filofax Organiser

Today everyone needs to bow, and take off your hats, as today’s guest lesson comes from his royal highness, the Filofax King, or Steve as everyone else calls him!

He is very lucky as he get to do magnificent posts for my favourite website, Philofaxy, and he also has his own blog here. I hope you enjoy this, and remember who it is that wrote it! The Filofax King! You can just click over there on the right hand side to view it hehe!

And yes he is another culprit of the Malden, its like a disease! Once you buy one you want MORE!!!!

So you have taken either weeks or minutes to choose your new organiser, you have agonised over inserts and diaries and crammed it full of stuff, and then you stick it in your bag and use it a lot. But how do you care for your organiser, so it will keep it looking like new?  Here are some hints and tips that I hope will help you care for your organiser.

1. Don't over load your organiser with too many pages and pens. I know it is tempting to put a full pack of To-do list in along with that multi pack of colour paper but do you need to carry them all around? I have a storage drawer in my desk reserved for my Filofax 'stash'.  I then keep enough pages of which ever type in my organiser without over loading it. This makes it easier to turn the pages and makes it less bulky to carry.



2. Try to not let your organiser be bashed about by the rest of the contents of your bag, particularly sharp items like house keys. Most Filofax organisers are quite tough, but if you just throw them in with a load of other stuff in your bag they will start to show early signs of wear and tear.

3. Avoid contact with things like make-up, things like nail polish and lip gloss etc can easily stain the cover of your Filofax, whilst it is possible to remove such substances from a leather cover there is a risk of damage to the cover when removing the make-up.  Obviously fabric and non-leather covers can be more easily damaged, although some of the vinyl type covers are easier to clean after such accidents.

4. Try to have a 6 monthly or 12 monthly clean out of your organiser. Remove all of the pages from the organiser and give it a very light clean with a slightly damp cloth (multi fibre cloth) to remove any dirt or dust. If the interior of your organiser is a textile or suede type material (Finsbury or Domino for example) these can get quite dusty with paper dust. The trick to cleaning the interior is to us a strip of sticky tape (scotch tape, sellotape or similar) and press the sticky side down on to the material and then lift it off quickly. This should remove the dust without leaving a sticky residue behind. You might need to do this a few times but it is quite effective.

5. Cleaning the leather. Whilst a slightly damp cloth will take off any light dirt and finger marks I find it also worth while to clean the leather on my organisers about once a year. This restores the shine and feeds the leather so it remains soft and supple and will prevent it from cracking and splitting.  I have tried several leather cleaners in the last year or so. I tend now to use a cream cleaner which I apply with a soft cloth and then buff it off. The sort of cleaner you might use on a hand bag or similar. The one I have been using recently is Autoglym Leather Care Cleaner, it's made for leather car seats and I only need to use a small amount on a cloth and it takes off any old polish and restores the shine of the original leather very well.



If you have a coloured organiser (red, purple, cream etc) test which ever cleaner you are going to use on a very small area to start with to make sure it isn't going to change the colour of the organiser too much.

Don't forget to clean the interior leather of your organiser as well.

And whilst you have all the pages out of your organiser use the opportunity to review what you put back in to the organiser and what to archive and what pages need replenishing.

6.  If the interior of your Filofax organiser is cloth or part of it is cloth and it's starting to look a little 'grubby', mainly from paper dust, try this.

Open your organiser and lay it flat. Take a length of sticky tape or packing tape and press the sticky side down on to the cloth and then lift the tape off. Repeat this with a new length of tape until you have done both front and back of the organiser.

The dust will stick to the tape and leave the cloth looking like new again. The tape shouldn't leave any residue behind as it is only on the cloth for a few seconds.

7. Care of the ring mechanism. There is no need to lubricate the ring mechanism on your Filofax organiser. The only thing you should remember to do is to use the tabs to open the rings and then carefully apply even pressure to close them. This will ensure that you don't bend the ring mechanism and cause it permanent damage.

8. Use hole reinforcing rings. I have some inserts that date back to 1985 and whilst they are a little dated they are still in remarkable condition. Some inserts will be in your organiser for many years, such as information sheets, maps, etc. So it's worthwhile using hole reinforcing rings to prevent the paper from tearing on pages like these.  My 1985 maps are a bit dated now... they still show East and West Germany and a few other countries that have changed their names!

Look after your organiser and it will last you a long time. My 1985 Filofax Winchester is just as serviceable today as it was when I bought it. Enjoy.

So that was a lovely post from the Filofax King on looking after your Filofax! And it is making me want to go get some Autoglym leather care….I really need to clean mine!

I hope you have enjoyed Week 8 of Filofax College!

Look forward to seeing you all next week!


  1. Thanks, Steve, for such an informative post :)

  2. Thanks Steve. Have saved that post for reference. Really useful for me....

  3. Do you know how to remove transfer stains to a patent leather filofax?