How is Flex by Filofax Better Than a Notebook?

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What is Flex?

The Flex by Filofax is essentially a very versatile binder cover which allows for a range of notebook/diary solutions.  The Flex has been designed to offer a large variety of notebook combinations - Supposedly offering more than a million ways to make the Flex your own.

(Yes, according to the Filofax Website, Flex offers more than a million ways to make the Flex your own!  I thought I'd repeat that whole sentence, because I'm still trying to get my head around it.)

Why bother with a Flex binder when you can just pop a notebook in your bag?

Well I don't know about you, but before I discovered Flex by Filofax I had an ordinary notebook in which I kept my writer's notes, doodles, scribblings, and loose bits of paper.  One of the most annoying things was when I was out and about and a creative idea would seize me - I'd dive into my bag to grab my notebook and get the idea down as quickly as I could before it escaped me, and usually in the process most of my loose notes would fall out in my bag or all over the floor while I was standing on a rocky bus; and of course I could never find my pen!

Spontaneous note-taking was just a hassle.  I imagine it would be the same for an artist who spots something they quickly want to make a sketch of before it moves or disappears.

Now that I have my Flex though,  I don't have any of these problems because everything is kept neatly together in one place, and I can just pull the Flex out of my bag and know that I have everything I need on my lap without having to route through my bag for a pen or calculator.  The Flex is just the perfect little portable desk for bus or tube journeys to and from work.

Flex organises your note-taking habits

If you are anything like me a notebook means one notebook crammed with creative writing notes, fractured poetry, appointment reminders, shopping lists, random chapters for different novels I'm working on, menus, receipts I need to keep to claim back expenses for my self-employment - you know, basically absolute chaos.

Flex is the solution.  The flex allows for me to keep a number of separate notebooks bound together in one place.  This is useful if like me you have a notebook for your writing notes, and a notebook for your personal thoughts, because you can keep your writing notes and journal thoughts separate but also together, if you see what I mean?  It also works if you want to keep a notebook for factual snippets or info, and one for creative writing; or a lined notebook for written notes and a blank one for diagrams, sketches, brainstorming and flow-charts.

Many people find it useful to have their diary with them, or a yearly planner.  Flex have covered all diary options with Flex inserts.  You can create your own combined diary and note-taking system if you want, using the diaries and notepads designed specifically for flex.  Alternatively you can slip your Moleskine Diary into the Flex along with any pretty A5 Paperchase notebook of your choice. The options truly are never-ending.

At one point I think I had about 6 separate slim A5 notebooks in my Flex binder. You know the school exercise book kinds that come in different colours?  I had a different colour for each of my creative projects which I separated with coloured tabs, like you do in your Filofax.  When a notebook was full I could just replace it.

I do this now with my journal and writing notebooks.  Whenever I complete the A5 journal for instance, I replace it in the Flex with a brand new one from Muji, and the old one is taped to the journal previous to it, so that I can keep my old journals stored in chronological order.  This is a new concept though so I can't show you any pictures yet.
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Further reasons as to why the A5 Flex is better than a Notebook

  1. With the Flex pen-loop inserts you can keep up to four pens or pencils attached to your Flex Binder, ready for spontaneous note-taking, highlighting, and mark-making.  No fuss or searching or stress.
  2. There are slots for business cards inside the Flex.  Useful to pop your oyster in if you are in the habit of carrying your Flex under your arm like a clutch-bag.  Or you can use these slots to store stickers, sticky-notes, small bits of paper, page markers (I like to use hair grips!  Weird but discrete and they do the trick!) or clip extra pens.
  3. The larger pocket beneath the card-slots is perfect for your smartphone, calculator, highlighters, slim diary, packet of gum etc...
  4. The inside pockets can house your Kindle eReader if you use one.  
  5. You can also slip the front or back sleeve of a paperback book into any of the Flex pockets and carry your novel around with your notebook. This could be useful for students who need to take notes while they are reading.
  6. The Flex protects your notebooks and prevent them from getting all dog-eared.
  7. Loose bits of paper and receipts can be slipped into pockets rather than in-between pages where they are likely to fall out.
  8. Instead of having to keep buying expensive leather-bound journals you can have the same effect by replacing cheaper A5 notebooks in your Leather-look Flex but not have to spend all that money if you're a fast writer like me and get through notebooks like loo-roll.
  9. The Flex is smart. The black and grey versions look very professional and are great for work, conferences, meetings etc.
  10. Flex is just so much more FUN than having one notebook!  It makes complete sense.


  1. Thank your for your great blog, so well written and detailed! Reading this made me buy an A5 magenta flex to accompany my ink cuban (personal) and it sure does the trick organising my projects and I see many future ways of using it. I had seen the adds but they didn't convince me. Your blog made me go buying one the same day! Will surely come back to your pages!

    1. Well thank you very much! Glad I managed to inspire you, and I hope your Flex lives up to your expectations. I love mine to bits, and I also now have a Slim Magenta - the colour is fun :)



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