Filofax Review: A5 Charleston

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been putting this post off for months and months and months… my huge apologies! I kept this post as a draft and kept going back to fill in bits and bobs in. But I’m the kind of girl that if I keep doing snippets, I’ll never finish it! So… I needed to start afresh with a better perspective, a lot of patience, time, coffee and opinions! Are you sitting comfortably?

Well; last year, with the Great Gatsby being released and the drop waist being re-invented in fashion, it was all looking very 20’s. Nostalgic, inviting, glamorous – the ROARING 20’s.

Filofax brought out their Charleston Range – using luxurious buffalo leather and sculpting the interior with cutout art deco decoration to the pockets.

I couldn’t find one to take a look at in any local retailers and at the time there was a lack of reviews or even interest in the Charleston Range, which really confused me. Why didn’t the community embrace or welcome the Charleston?

I was given the chance to review the A5 version of a purple Charleston. Here is the link to the exact model I’m reviewing (in my fashion!).

Just to warn you – this is seriously picture heavy!

Here is how my lovely organiser arrived – it was a model in the PR Agency’s office which didn’t come boxed however it was wrapped well and snug in tissue paper. I was so excited when I received the package. However, being the owner of pocket, compact and personal size Filofaxes previously, I looked and thought “jeeeez, this is BIG!”





I’m quite annoyed how the colour turned out on my camera phone – its actually a rich royal purple. The leather is so so so soft and smooth, yet it is quite a sturdy binder.

On first look, the binder reminds me of a Calipso – it’s the clasp that does it. but there is a little gold popper on the clasp. Apart from that, it’s all plain with matching stitching throughout.



I hope you can see this photo properly – the camera really doesn’t do the item justice here at all! You can see the interior of the binder – a cutout and art deco inspired pocketing the same buffalo leather as the front.



Look at the beautiful cutout! Filofax detailing at it’s best – notifying their material and model used.



The front harbours 5 cloth card slots that can be placed in horizontally. It also has 2 full length cloth pockets





Here is the other pocket!




The back page of the binder has an elastic pen loop and 2 horizontal card slots in buffalo leather, as well as a full length cloth pocket.




Probably the most representative colour of the organiser here, the photograph of the clasp open. What I loved about this was the back gold popper was like a pivot for the rest of the clasp to move about on. I suppose if you are right handed this would be handy as you could swivel the clasp underneath the back of the binder whilst writing uninterrupted.




The beautiful buffalo leather grain against the yellow gold popper.




Just a quick over view of the contents this model came with. I can’t say this is a generalisation but only what came in mine. A 2014 Diary, week on 2 pages.




A Ruler/Page Marker/Today Marker, A-Z Tabs




My favourite A5 insert by far – what I can only describe as Journalling Pages


But I couldn’t warm to the Charleston. No matter what I did! It sat in a drawer and I felt so guilty. Was it because it was too big? Too boring? I didn’t know, I just couldn’t warm to it.

So I decided to give it a bit of a Kel makeover. You know, make it a bit more mine.


I popped down to my best bet of a craft shop – The Range. With one goal in mind, my basket filled with anything Art Deco related. And then on to Staples to get a couple of A5 Dividers.

Here is the result. Here is a great photo of the colour below.



I picked up an Art Deco inspired pen from a local Charity Shop for a couple of quid which I was happy to find.




Sorry about the configuration of the photo’s – this is being posted from my phone! I think the little notelets really show off the cutout Deco Pocket.

The cover was printed on “Kelly’s 2014 Diary”, laminated and hole punched through. It really changes the dynamic of the binder I think. It really looks “Art Deco” now.




After watching the Great Gatsby, if you’ve seen it, you’ll remember it was all typed into a story – so I decided that I’d go for a typewriter font to keep in with the theme.







The A5 Tabs are from Staples Martha Stewart Organisation Range, I’ve just printed out some labels and taped them to the tab. Isn’t that pen lush?




I then found a picture online that I arranged into an A5 template and printed on the Filofax Diary Week on 2 Pages.




I printed out the Philofaxy and Life All In One Place Month to View Pages:




A Passwords Page or 2.




And filled the remainder with notes.


There we go! All done. I’m much happier now I’ve designed and personalised it. I’ve realised that until something is made “my own”, I’ll never be happy with it. Perhaps that’s why I love Filofax so much – it’s enabled my creativity to bubble to the surface when I never felt as though I had an outlet for it. It’s enabled my perfectionist self to say “lets have a go! If it’s naff it can be removed and attempted again!”


As for the Charleston A5 – for me it’s got pro’s and con’s – it’s all about what you’re looking for in a binder. Personally:



The Swivel Clasp

The Art Deco Cutout Leather Pockets

The Luxurious Feel to the Leather

Elasticated Pen Loop

Lots of Pockets/Card Slots



The Rings are silver yet the popper clasp is gold – I’m not a fan of clashing metal colours

Cloth Interior – it makes the binder a little cheap

Elasticated Pen Loop – pro and con – it makes the binder look a bit cheap

Clasp is very narrow so you can’t really overstuff the binder without it looking a bit “pinched” – or could this be a pro so you don’t overstuff?


So, how about you? What are your thought’s on the Charleston Range?

Until Next Time



5 thoughts on “Filofax Review: A5 Charleston

  1. This is one of the best reviews I have seen on the Charleston. So much so, that I may just need to get this now. Great job! Love your personalization.

  2. Hi, I am new at this but you are very good. I especially liked your gorjuss divider, since I am crazy about her. I live in Greece, Rhodes and we do not have so many things at hand but you have inspired me . Thank you for the lovely set up.

    • Hi Despina!
      Thank you for finding me and saying such lovely things! This has made me very happy. The only thing you need is an idea, or inspiration… And a printer ;). Many items can be hand made. It allows your creativity to bloom!
      Have fun my dear, would love to see what ideas you come up with!

  3. Pingback: Planner Monday: Biting the Erin Condren Bullet – One Woman's Meat

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