The Slim Gillio Compagna
I have long considered Filofax’s compact size, with its 15-millimeter rings, to be ideal for me. Since I use a mix of paper and digital devices to keep up with my wants and obligations1 I never really needed the 23-millimeter (or larger) rings of the personal size.
When I stumbled on the Gillio brand of organizers in May I noticed they made a slim version of their Compagna-model. I emailed their customer service and asked for the ring size. Tom Van Haelen promptly got in touch and informed me that the rings were about 12 millimeters in diameter, comparable to a slimline Filofax. Unfortunately, that is too small for me and I went with their medium size Compagna instead.
I was very happy with it for a while, but then my usual issues with the larger rings crept up on me. While 23-millimeter rings are fine with A5 paper I find them too large for the personal paper size. The proportions are all wrong and they get in my way when I write on left-side pages.
I started looking at pictured of the slim Compagna again and thought to myself that the rings sure looked larger than 12 millimeters. In fact, the proportions looked a lot like those of my compact Filofaxes. I emailed Gillio’s customer service again and got in touch with Ben this time. He measured the rings for me and what do you know: being elliptical in shape, they measured 16 millimeters across and 12 to 13 millimeters from top to bottom. That is more or less exactly like a Filofax compact planner.
I dug deep into my personal funds and ordered one immediately — apparently the last slim Compagna in Epoca Gold, before the new batch arrives in November.
This binder has everything that makes its larger siblings great, but in a neater package. It has the same exquisite leather, the same comforting smell and an equally thoughtful design. While it lacks the zipped pocket of the medium and A5 Compagna, it has a completely elasticized pen-loop instead, which can take even the largest of fountain pens. I can easily fit a year’s worth of diary pages (week on two pages) and a decent stack of notepaper in it, even though the footprint is so much smaller.
Needless to say, we have become very good friends, my slim Compagna and I.
While I prefer my calendar on paper, digital todo-list managers are much too practical to give up. ↩