Filofax A4 Metropol

This post was actually first published back in 2016 for another blog, I still feel it's relevant and thought I would share it now. I hope you enjoy!

Filofax A4 Zipped Metropol
My passion for Filofax began as a child even though no one in my family owned one, not that I know of anyway. I somehow ended up getting one at a jumble sale or car boot sale, it was personal sized, leather had a loop closure and was fairly basic. Since then my passion has grown and I know have more Filofaxes than a sane person actually needs, but it makes me happy and that’s all that matters.

I have used all different sizes at different times for different projects but my main organiser has always been an A4 Filofax and has predominantly contained a diary, annual planners and space for taking notes along with useful bits and pieces. Until recently I was using an A4 brown Metropol made from PU material, however I had always wanted a zip around binder for extra space and security, the one you see above was purchased from eBay at just £10 including postage!
To me, the Filofax logo signifies heritage, provenence and quality, these are all important features when choosing a good binder. I also own many other makes of organisers but I always come back to Filofax, especially the leather ones!

It’s fair to say that this one really is a beast and quite thick, it certainly has a presence and you wouldn’t confuse it with a dainty little saffiano!

As you can see this Metropol has two rigid handles that slide in and out of the side pockets, easy to use and it makes the whole thing look like a briefcase. This means I can pick the whole Filofax up without needing an extra bag to put it in.

Technically speaking these pockets are for the handles I mentioned, but you could store papers in there as well. To date I have not added anything extra to them as it’s all contained inside, however, I may just keep a few bits in it at some point.

I’m not sure why it is double zipped but it is and it looks great, I suppose it helps having two but it’s not necessary.

My aim here is to share my passion for what I love and how anyone uses their planner is entirely their own business so please don’t take offence if you fall in to this category. I dislike planners that have loads of flowery stickers in, picture of cats, washi tape and all things cutesy, to me a planner is a business tool and a way of recording important information. You could even call it my nerve centre or brain but it’s main purpose is to be somewhere I can work and keep the things I need to do my job. To me the whole point of Filofax once upon a time was to make and sell organisers for business people, think of 80’s yuppies and office workers, secretaries and business executives. These days they just seem to be full of chintz and that just don’t work for me, rant over!

On here you can see a left pocket for storing papers or invoice, it’s really useful as most letters and business documents come in A4 format so this pocket has plenty of space and things won’t get lost. The zip pocket is where I normally keep tickets, receipts or more private documents.

 There’s two pen loops inside the organiser and both are made from elastic, this seems to bother a lot of people in the planner community, not me, it means I can add any size pen. At the moment, I’m using a Cross Click Roller ball in black with black ink and it writes beautifully with no paper bleed.

Here’s the second pen loop on the right, however it’s at the top rather than on the side which means you don’t lean on it whilst you are writing. I keep a Rotring Tikky Graphic mechanical pencil in here which is useful for writing in potential events or meetings that haven’t yet been confirmed.
There are 6 small pockets on the left inner and all are being used for something.

Don’t worry, I’m not stupid enough to store a real Credit Card in here then share it with the internet! This is actually a USB memory stick with fake details on the front, it’s 8GB in size so I can keep plenty of documents on it.

It’s the size of a credit card but it’s actually a mobile phone holder (I was using my phone to take the pictures) and this is where my phone normally sits when I’m having a planning session.

 A small metal stencil, again its credit card sized, useful for doodling and occasionally making borders around important entries.

Magnifying sheet, made by Rolson, very cheap and quite useful, I use it more than I thought I would.

The inner left hand side also features a zip pocket….

…..and behind that an open pocket, I keep a few spares in here.

 This was a freebie from HSBC, it’s actually a bookmark but has sticky notes on it, useful and free!

 Rexel produce quite a few different binder inserts and this one has 2 zip up pockets on the front, one with a mesh cover, I keep spare paper, sticky notes and paper in this.

I’m really pleased with this dashboard as I made it myself about a year ago, it has lasted all that time and does the job well. I took an A4 sheet of plastic, punched 4 holes and then, using double sided sticky tape, fixed on a selection of sticky notes. The pouch at the bottom is from Avery and is actually meant for a CD but holds stickers that I use on a more regular basis.

So here’s my layout, basic but functional, I use a lot of arrows and normally have a few stickers on but this week features nothing too personal so I didn’t have to redact anything. I also tend to circle times when I add an entry, this makes it clearer to me when I’m scanning through the pages.
I’m a follower of the GTD method by David Allen and I follow some basic tasks on a weekly basis so need to add in some reminders. I found a template on Pinterest last year for printing on Sticky notes and thought I would give it a go, the results were good and I decided to incorporate it in to my work life. The benefit here is that if I don’t complete the task that day I can move the note to another day which helps if you are sick or taking a holiday.

I like to keep my months divided with these paper/card inserts for easy referencing. One a month is complete I remove the old diary inserts and store them in an annual binder, I then reuse the divider by moving it forward to the next years inserts.

I have an annual planner for this and the next year, I don’t use it a lot but it is useful for planning holidays and major events.

Towards the back I keep a few of the Filofax business card inserts where I store a few loyalty cards and some supplier’s business cards as well, there is 4 pages in total.

At the very back I have some Filofax A4 paper for taking notes and doodling, this is where I keep a clear ruler so I can find the pages in a hurry.

The very back of the organiser with the aforementioned Tikky pencil, you will also notice that there is a slot for an A4 pad which I don’t currently use as I have the loose paper which I’m using up.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my first ever review of one of my own Filofaxes and its contents, I welcome your comments and questions, please get in touch.

© Ian Dawes 2016.


  1. I have one of these planner briefcases used just for meetings and interviews. So, a more specific purposed item. I adore your planner stenciltoo!! xx


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