Just an ordinary girl with a love of all things stationery!

That old A5 vs Personal thing rears its ugly head…

on July 12, 2014

So I thought I had found planner peace. I really did. Over the last few months I’ve tried everything – 3 different sizes of ring-bound Filofax, an A5 Flex, a spiral-bound diary, and even an A5 Arc – but nothing seemed to be good enough. I’ve swapped and changed planner so much that 2 weeks of my life have actually disappeared into the ether. I had so many different planner options it gave me a headache just thinking about it.

So I stopped. I moved out of every planner I owned and packed them away. I had a good, long think about what I seriously need from a planner. What’s always worked for me in the past?

The solution I came up with was this: move into my Personal Swift and make it work. So I did.




Since I moved in, it has worked wonderfully. It’s beautiful, portable, stuffable and does exactly what I want from a planner.

But then I threw a spanner in the works. I was browsing Philofaxy’s Adspot when I spied a red A5 Domino. I’d been hankering after another A5 for a while, since my previous one had developed problems with the card slots, and it was cheaply priced. I emailed the seller, and after a few emails and a couple of minutes on PayPal, the Domino was mine.

She arrived in the post and I fell in love immediately.



Normally I hate the colour red, but she was wonderful. Smart, affordable, with that elastic closure that I’ve always been a fan of – wonderful!

I started using the two planners together, to see which one I preferred. I posted on some Facebook planner groups, and got the general response that A5 was better. I cut up one of those diaries I’d been using previously and punched it to fit the A5, and then ran the two together for a couple of weeks:




The trouble is, they both work so well for me that they’ve now disturbed my planner peace. Every time I think to myself that I will just stick to the Personal, I look at the A5 again and my resolve just comes undone.

There’s a fair difference in the space they take up, but my bags are large enough that I could carry either of them without too much of an issue. The Domino is about the same size as the Arc that I used previously (as I installed the largest rings available) and I used to carry that all the time without a problem.




So now I’m left wondering which planner I should use. I have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of old spare A5 paper which I could use in the Domino, but then I own a Personal punch, and the paper could just be cut down to size anyway. A5 paper is very easy to get hold of in the UK, whereas Personal is nigh on impossible (unless you’re buying the inserts themselves). I do love the space in the A5 paper, although I have been able to plan effectively in Personal. I’ve seen a few A5s out in the wild recently which have really inspired me to use A5, but should I let that influence my decision? Personal paper feels small to write on, but the planner itself is a wonderful size to carry.

What do you think I should do?


5 responses to “That old A5 vs Personal thing rears its ugly head…

  1. sliceofcake says:

    Welcome back! I think you should put your Personal away, out of sight and mind. Use your A5 for a few weeks, and stick to it for at least a month. That way you’ll see how suitable it is to your every day life, your current job and your new job. If you aren’t having any problems with it then keep it going! If you find it a bit much, move back to your Personal, putting the A5 away. If you’re just itchy for your Personal because you know that works too, ignore the itches! You can use it again eventually but for now, just stick with the one 🙂

    • sliceofcake says:

      I can’t seem to edit my post. I just wanted to add that I recommend you use the A5 because you seem more passionate and excited about it in your article. I’m sure you like the Personal but you seem more into the A5.

      • snowyowl91 says:

        Thank you! I almost wish there were fewer planner options available out there – just thinking about all the possibilities makes my head spin!

  2. mishamonet says:

    I have a personal and A5 as well. I adore them both and use them both. I still need to perfect my A5 system, but basically it is my “at home” Filofax. I keep notes of recipes in there, menu planning (which I do next to my personal so I can record my grocery shopping list in there), all my addresses, etc. I have the family pack, which has pages for each family member so I’ve included those in there and it has all pertinent personal information including medical, etc. for each person which has been helpful for quick reference.

    I tried in the past to use both – A5 for keeping at home and personal for on-the-go but trying to maintain both calendars and keep them in sync turned out to be laborious and didn’t really help me in any way.

    Just food for thought – hope it helps! 🙂

  3. Ru says:

    It sounds like you want to use your A5 but feel like you should use your personal (or maybe I’m transferring my own dilemma on you). WH Smith does a bundle of plain personal size papers if you are looking for that size.

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