Size Matters When Choosing an Organiser

It cannot be denied that the size and weight of a planner are important factors to consider when you’re selecting one. It can make or break getting into the habit of using a planner. I actually did a lot of research before I picked up a personal sized Filofax and am quite happy with the choice I made.

plannerbug - planner sizes and weight comparison

I will cover a few ring-bound planner sizes I have in my possession today. There are also A4 or desktop sized planners but I don’t have those and it is unlikely that I will get them in the near future because they seem rather big and cumbersome.

plannerbug - planner sizes and weight comparison

A5

A5 measures approximately 235mm by 190mm. Many planners are offered in this size because it is large enough to enter a lot of details, especially if you are a particularly busy person and require additional space. However, if it is made with leather or a thick cover, it can get very heavy.

My Starbucks A5 planner (used as a recipe binder) weighs 428g without any inserts. I think a typical Filofax ring-bound planner will be around the same weight, especially if it is made with leather. For me, this is a bit too heavy to carry on a daily basis, which is why I do not really like this size. And since it’s bigger, it may not even fit into a few of my handbags.

However, if you use an A5 as a work planner or if you have very busy days, it may be ideal for you because you can fit in a ton of stuff.

plannerbug - planner sizes and weight comparison

Personal (A6)

The next size down is an A6 or what Filofax calls a Personal size. A typical Personal planner measures around 190mm by 158mm. This is an ideal size for me. It feels nice to hold and is not too heavy and fits into 90% of the bags I own.

The Personal Metropol weighs around 182g without any inserts. I chose to weigh the Metropol instead of the Saffiano because it feels closer to most of the leather type Filofaxes out there. Compared to the A5 planner, it is 246g lighter!

I have rather small handwriting so using Week of Two Pages (WO2P) is sufficient. If you have bigger handwriting, you may want more space to write on. But just remember that more space equals more pages to carry with you and that can weigh your planner down.

plannerbug - planner sizes and weight comparison

Compact

I consider the Compact as a “bonus” size offered by Filofax. It uses the same inserts as a Personal but the dimensions are a bit smaller. A Compact measures around 190mm by 130mm and weighs approximately 140 without any inserts.

I love my Patent Compact organiser and use it occasionally. I will transfer a few inserts from my Personal size to the Compact if I’m out and about. That way, I still get to take most of my pages with me without the heavier weight.

I have seen folks stuffing their Compacts really well so it is definitely expandable. But bear in mind that the rings are 15mm as opposed to 23mm in a Personal. It’s best not to cram in too much because it may break the ring mechanism.

plannerbug - planner sizes and weight comparison

Pocket (A7)

A Pocket or A7 size is one of the smallest sizes available. Filofax also makes a Mini, which is smaller than a Pocket but I have not seen it sold in Malaysia and have not seen inserts made for that size, so I will not cover it in this post.

I recently got a Pocket planner (it’s a Christmas gift from my husband) because I wanted something even more portable than a Personal. I intend to use this when I need to go out all day but do not want to carry the entire planner with me.

My Pocket planner is from a Japanese brand called Lacee and it is so nifty and cute. It measures around 145mm by 110mm and weighs 115g without inserts. Super lightweight! This is definitely one of the most convenient sizes to take with you.

But the pages are very small and if you have large handwriting and require a lot of space to write on, skip this size because it will not serve you well. Unless you use a Day on One or Two Page(s) format, which is probably workable to squeeze almost everything in.


The average weight of a standard pack of refills for Personal size comes up to around 200g, so you need to add that weight to the planner itself. A Personal planner could weigh up to 400g. The A5 refills are heavier and depending on how stuffed your planner is, an A5 could weigh up to 800g. That’s almost the weight of a small chicken, people!

I do hope that you found the size and weight comparisons useful when it comes to choosing a planner. Just remember that when you start feeling as if you’re lugging a chicken around, it’s probably time to make your planner go on a diet 🙂

Which planner size is most ideal for you and why?

12 comments

  1. Joannywhite says:

    Oh that pocket size planner is so cute. I love the colour. ☺
    The personal size is definitely my ideal size. Before I chose to get my Saffiano in the personal size I had been considering getting it in A5 but im really glad I didn’t. I finally got to see an a5 sized Domino at my local WH Smith and it was massive. I’m really glad I stuck to the personal. I don’t think I will try a pocket size though coz it’s a bit too small for me to use as a main planner and a bit too big for a wallet. I already use a mini as a wallet
    Joannywhite recently posted…Planner Supplies Storage BagMy Profile

    • lyn says:

      Hi Joanny, A personal is definitely enough for most people but there are many who really like the A5. It’s just too big and bulky for me to carry around daily. I’m kinda diggin’ pocket sizes now and can’t wait to set mine up next year.

  2. Havok says:

    Ooo, good to know the compacts are the same size as the personal so far as inserts go! I may not have a beautiful planner, but I feel that my half-size binder (a smidge smaller than A5) takes care of the weight issue – it’s hardly heavy at all. Though, it does lack a lot of the personality that a Filofax offers! I have been debating saving up some money to get a “real” planner, and it seems compact would be the way to go! Thanks for doing this comparison!
    Havok recently posted…Happy Thanksgiving!My Profile

    • lyn says:

      As long as a planner works for you, it doesn’t matter what kind it is 🙂 The compact is narrower than a personal and the rings are smaller too. So you won’t be able to stuff too much in.

  3. Erin Dale says:

    Hi Janet
    I love your A5 Starbucks binder. May I ask where you found it? I’ve never seen anything like it here in the US and am thinking they have or had in Europe. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you!

    Erin

    • lyn says:

      Hi Erin, I was lucky because I received the Starbucks planner as a gift from a friend in 2012. I believe it’s a corporate planner and may not be in circulation. I’m located in Malaysia and have not seen it sold anywhere.

    • lyn says:

      Hello! Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier as I was away and had problems with the WordPress app on my iPad. Kinokuniya carries Filofax with prices ranging from RM190 to RM800. The leather ones are more expensive. Hope that helps!

  4. Sanjit says:

    What about the ring size. The planner that u have shown is 1″ ring dia. Is thre any 2″ ring dia planners also avbl.

    • lyn says:

      Hello, I’m so sorry for not getting back to you sooner as I have been traveling and busy with new house renovations. Larger ring sizes are not easily available to me but I believe Van Der Spek does customised sizes. Also some Franklin Covey planners have bigger rings too. Hope that helps.

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