I recently bought an A5-sized Filofax, the next logical step in my quest for organization. I love it. I use this binder for everything. Scheduling, story notes, journaling, sketching, carrying knitting patterns. In the two short weeks since I’ve had it, it’s become my lifeline.
But there’s a problem: refill paper from Filofax costs $4.50 for 25 sheets. Their hole punch costs 70 bucks. And as someone whose ambition in life is to live off art, I can’t afford that. Similar paper is available from other sources, but Filofax seems to use a proprietary spacing scheme for its rings, and off-brand won’t fit. So I rigged up a solution I thought I’d share.
BEHOLD! (Click photos for larger versions)
Get yourself an adjustable hole punch, like this one:
10-Sheet Precision Pro Desktop 2- & 3-Hole Adjusta SKU-PAS508855
A paper cutter (this one’s a
Cutterpede Paper Trimmer 12″-Pink – 633107),
and 5.5″ x 8.5″ filler paper (Staples, around 4 bucks for 100 sheets)
The cutter has an arm that folds out for measurement.
The white stripe is where the paper will be trimmed.
Line your paper up with the arm’s 21cm mark.
Make sure it’s flush with the ridge by the cutting blade (under the 1- and 2-inch marks in this photo)
You’re only trimming off maybe an eighth of an inch, which doesn’t seem like much. But if you don’t, the alignment on the hole punch will be wonky.
Flip your hole punch over, unscrew the punch heads, and move all three to one end…
..which looks like this. Punch the paper once, flip it, and punch again.
It looks bad here, but it’s not as noticeable once it’s in the binder.
See? Not so bad. The arrows show the “whole” holes, which anchor the paper enough to keep it stationary while writing.
Plus, you can use this punching system for anything: here, I’ve used it to fancy up the cover (with sparkly leopard paper! Hell yeah!)
All told, the setup cost me under fifty dollars, and should last forever. Now I’ve got no excuse not to have everything I need at hand.