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The Filofax: An 80’s iconic product thieving in 2010

Jason Smith

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Recently I have been experiencing a major 80’s flash back. It seems like we have regressed back in time somehow. The Tories are back in power, Torvill and Dean are skating on the TV and The Karate Kid, Transformers and The A-Team are all showing in our cinemas. It’s like the 80s never ended.

But the biggest surprise is that even the classic Filofax personal organiser is still alive and very much kicking in 2010. Which is a massive surprise in the year of smart phones and iPads? It appears that no technological advancements can seem to replace this leather-bound symbol of success and class.

We hear lots of stories about next generation phones being made, all different types of apps, and huge cues of people waiting to buy their first iPad, but the Filofax seems to be very much underestimated in this world of modern gadgets.

In fact recently figures released by Selfridges showed that Filofax’s are still in huge demand. It has been reported that Filofax personal organiser sales have actually increased by over 25% in 2010 compared to the previous year.

So why are people staying retro and sticking with their trusted leather personal organisers? Modern day mobile devices all come with diary planners and electronic organisers so why continue to use a pen and paper based Filofax. I think the answer is simpler then we think? I think people use Filofax’s because they are uncomplicated devices that can be used any where and at any time. People enjoy tangible things that have character, texture and smell. Filofax’s have all these characteristics and so people form a stronger emotional bond with them.

Lets be honest most modern electronic devices are very clinical, lifeless, cold to touch and have a restricted length of time they can be used due to battery life.

I myself made the mistake of initially pigeon holing the Filofax as a relic of the 80’s but the Filofax is miles from being an out dated product. Modern Filofax’s are a luxury personal organiser, leather diary planner and address book. Filofax now also offer a range of different inserts such as dairy refills, Filofax notepad , Filofax business card holder , maps, magnifying glasses and rulers to name just a few. So it is totally understandable why this product has lasted the test of time.


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