Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Filofax Domino: Elegance in Simplicity

Finally the time has come for me to review an organiser with which most of us are familiar with, the Domino.

I received my Pocket Domino as a birthday present this year. This was an organiser that didn't rouse any interest in me at first, mainly due to the limited colours that were available in previous years and the fact that I found it rather flimsy and not as glamorous as favourites of mine, such as the Finsbury or the Urban.

This year though, Filofax presented the Domino in two of my favourite colours: Lavender (purple) and Slate (grey). I must confess the reason I didn't get one as soon as I saw them on the store last spring was because I simply couldn't make up my mind on which to choose, as they're both beautiful!

But on my birthday I finally settled on the Lavender one and I am currently using it as my main Filo.

Before I had it, I decided to give my beloved Fins a rest by switching to the Pocket Chino in black. And although this organiser was pretty, fun, and soft to the touch, I ended up finding it bulky, complicated and high maintenance (yes, even with the black colour!) as it would attract quite a lot of dust and lint. But I'm not here to bitch about the Chino, so let's move on!

After one month with the Chino, I decided it was time to give the Domino(and its lack of 'pockets I like') a go.

The first difference I noticed after moving all the Chino's contents 'as-is' into the Domino was the slimness of the whole organiser.

Oh, the loads of free space I still had for additional sections and notepaper and photos and passports and cards  and and and...   (remember to breathe...)

The second discovery I made was during actual use of the Domino. I had switched on the day we had started looking for a new flat and I made a point of asking each agency for their business card for the sake of keeping track of which ones we'd been to, and of those, which ones had shown us something or had told us they would call us once they had something available. 
The Domino proved to be extremely practical in the sense that opening and closing it was very quick and easy; and the top card slot could easily house the 3-4 cards I would get in a day, not having to fill up all the slots with just agency cards!
Other features I've really come to love in this lil' fella are:
  • Its ability to lay flat straight out of the box ( I know Yvotchka loves this!), no matter which section you open it,  at the very beginning or the very last of its contents, it will ALWAYS lay flat.
  • The elasticated pen loop, which I noticed, isn't available in previous models. (Theirs is made out of the same material as the inner lining.) I think this small change makes a HUGE difference, for it allows us to carry thicker pens, or like I sometimes do, carry two pens inside the loop!

As we all know, though, nothing is perfect and there is always a BUT!

Before using the Domino I had a few concerns regarding its use:

1)The elastic band closure: I was convinced this would in no time lose its snug fit due to constant use of the organiser, and becoming an unsightly, limp elastic hanging from the spine.
I admit this is still my main concern; I've only been using the Domino for nearly two months. But I must add that I use it heavily, opening and closing the binder at least ten times a day, and I often add extra bulk to it such as my passport, A4's folded in 4, wet wipes... 
and the elastic can still sit snugly if I empty the whole contents of my Domino.
This type of closure is also quite practical as you can stash papers on the outside of the organiser, and when you're writing on the right side of the Filofax, it doesn't get in the way, as most strap closures tend to do.

2) The absent full width wallet pocket: This is one of the features I love the most about my Finsbury and Urban, as it would be the place I would carry my passports, plane tickets, money, receipts, you name it! It was the pocket for whatever I fancied!
I already experienced this lack on the Chino, and even though it comes with zippered and secretarial pockets, I did miss a place for the stuff I mentioned earlier.

The Domino is different, though, as the elastic closure and the two vertical slots on both sides of the interior make up for it. I now stash my passport and the occasional A4 (folded, of course!) on the back of my Domino, while all other bits of paper and other random stuff can go into the other pockets.

To sum up, this is a lightweight, no-fuss, no-bullshit organiser that has become my sidekick during these two months. As a matter of fact, I don't think I'll be switching to another organiser (my unboxed Raspberry Fins will have to wait still) in a long time.

And I honestly recommend this organiser to ANYBODY!


Yvotchka said...

Fantastic review Oni!

I too love the Domino's features that you mentioned...especially the fact that its so light yet roomy, and the band closure. LOVE THAT.

I have it in the Snake & it is my 2nd favorite out of all my Filos. As a matter of fact was just missing it last night (despite the overt awesomeness of...wait for it...the Malden) for its simplicity. Alas mine did not come with the stretchy pen loop, but I think that is a brilliant change to the line.

And how can anyone not love the fact that you can stuff the beejebbers out of it & still close it with the band!

Also cool is that it is inexpensive so you don't have to panic if you have to replace it.

You totally hit it right on the head with your "no fuss, no bullshit" description!! Love that!!

Please do follow up as you use your Domino more as to the band's ability to keep its stretch...

Laurie said...

I love this post!! I too have been looking at the Lavendar Domino (every time I visit WH Smith's!). I love my personal Domino (in Grape) and A5 Domino (even though I would prefer purple or other color other than red) for all the reasons you mentioned. I love that the rings are huge so I can cram it full, yet the binder itself is so lightweight and slim that even full it doesn't weigh a ton. And I agree, I love that I don't have to worry about getting it damp or messy.

Filofax, how about some more color options for the A5 Domino?

Laurie said...

PS I crazy-love that pillow!!

Nickie @ Typecast said...

Brill review :) I also love the "no bullshit" description.
You have very neat writing too!!!

caribbean princess said...

Oooh I am glad you love it as I just posted a red one to my sister as a gift! I shall tell her to check your post for ideas.

Xenontac said...

I would love to get a Domino someday, but what if the band lose its elasticity some day? Anyway to replace them? I would prefer the elastic band to be black.

Jotje said...

I own several Domino's and already discovered that the black elastic band on the Snake Bronze is much looser (from the very beginning I have to add) than the white band of the other's. One of my A5 Dominos was a secondhand, but that band is still as elastic as the ones of the new ones. I have high confidence in its durability!

Regarding the lack of pockets: in my travel filo I added a plastic zip-up envelop so that I had even more space for the occasional ticket or piece of paper. Highly recommended!

I totally second Laurie's request for more colours in the A5 Domino range. I've even written to Filofax, but they claim that they have no idea if they will ever offer them. I say, let's all write hundreds of emails to them, until they finally give in!!! ;-)

Oni said...

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the great comments!!!

Jotje: thank you very much for sharing your experience with the bands. Now that I remember, I think I also noticed the band in the Snake to be less firm than the white one, when I saw it in the shop. Let's hope Filofax realises this and gets a better elastic for it. :(
Could you tell us how many years you've had your oldest Domino?
Your idea of the zip-up envelope is pretty good, for some reason I always forget that those exist!
And yes, we should definitely spam them with our more colours request, as I would also love an A5 in Lavender or Slate (the brown, red and black don't appeal to me). Besides it shouldn't be that expensive for them to make, it's not like they have to get new material for only the A5, right?

Caribbean Princess: I hope she gets to enjoy her Filofax as much as we do. She should also check the Philofaxy blog for ideas (www.philofaxy.com).

redforrori said...

Thanks, love this post. I just ordered my first Filo today. Red personal Domino. At first I didn't care for them, then I read this post and looked at pics on Flickr, and ended up getting one of them! Yay!I love the pic where you have it stuffed. Haha. Great post.

krissydawn16 said...

I know I'm really late on this post, but this is the planner I requested for my birthday and I LOVE purple... what kind of pen is the purple one pictured?

Oni said...

Thank you, redforrori. I am glad this post was inspirational for you; a good Filofax with which you feel comfortable with does make organising more effective, not to mention FUN! :)

krissydawn16: congratulations!! did you receive your planner? the pen is from MUJI and it is a gel pen (not ballpoint, yeah!). It is really good! I am now using a turquoise one for my current Filo (Raspberry Finsbury).

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