I have read on various Facebook groups about how amazing the Filofax Maldens are and never really expected to get one myself because I was quite happy with the Saffiano. I was browsing through the stationery section of Kinokuniya (what’s new?) early in December and noticed that they restocked a few Filofaxes and nestled amongst them were a couple of Maldens. Just two. One in purple and one in ochre.
I wanted to pick up the ochre but there were slight ring gaps and the pages and ruler didn’t seem to move as smoothly. The purple one was in perfect condition though and that’s how I ended up getting purple instead.
The Malden comes with the usual Filofax diary inserts but the dividers are a little different compared to the Saffiano or Patent Compact. Instead of having six numbered tabs, the Malden tabs have printed words to divide the different sections. There are also the A to Z tabs for contacts filing. It also comes with a black “today” ruler and I’ve replaced it with a clear one I had lying around.
The first thing that struck me was how soft and pliable the leather felt. Filofax calls it “Antiqued Leather” and it does have a relatively distressed quality to it. According to the website, it is made with soft full grain buffalo leather.
There are 4 credit card slots, 2 full length pockets and a zipped compartment on the front left. The back right has 1 full length sideway pocket with a vertical slot, where you can insert a notepad. I don’t usually have a use for the slots but since getting the Malden, I’ve inserted a few sticky notepads and stickers into the various pockets. The pen loop is made with the same leather and is not elastic so it can only take slimmer pens as it is rather narrow.
There seems to be variations of the Malden leather when I researched it online. Some look smooth and shiny while others look grainy and crinkly. I think mine has a bit of everything. It’s not exactly shiny but it does have a rather muted sheen across it. The leather is slightly grainy and it has developed a few tiny wrinkles but only if you look up close. The overall texture of the leather is still buttery smooth. It’s actually quite lovely to hold.
The front and back covers are rather floppy because I don’t think there is any cardboard reinforcement lined within. The centre ring column is quite rigid so there is still some structure to it. The covers are less floppy when you fill up the pockets. Maldens are known to be stuffable because of the soft leather. Mine is suitably stuffed at the moment but I’m using it mainly as my project/blog planner so I do foresee it getting fatter.
I know Filofax calls it purple but it’s not a true purple. It seems to be an aubergine shade to me. And people have been raving about how “gorgeous” the leather smells but mine must have dissipated because I can only detect a hint of leather if I put my nose really close and take a big sniff 🙂
This planner is probably one of those that people will either love or dislike very much. Some just can’t stand the floppiness but I like my planners to feel flexible, which is why I prefer soft and squishy planners.
I didn’t love it at first but after setting it up as my project planner, I started to like it more. I’ve taken it to a few business appointments and it feels just right. It’s not so flashy that people will notice immediately but has a quiet elegance to it.
Planner Dimensions (Personal/A6 Size):
Ring Mechanism: 23mm
What do you think of the Malden and what are your experiences with it? If you don’t have one, would you be tempted to get it? Do share in the comments below.