Social Hub







History of Filofax

 
A short introduction
A brief history
Timeline (1910-2014)
The future

 


A short introduction

   

The first Filofax product was made in 1921.

Today, Filofax is the common name for all ring-bound personal organisers. This fact itself shows the strength of the brand.

 Filofax is a time management and organiser tool in your hand. A flexible approach to staying organised – a Filofax personal organiser is as individual as you are. 

The word Filofax originates from “File of Facts”.

 Available in contemporary and classic designs, an array of colours and sizes, and luxury leather, fabric or leather-look styles – you won’t find a wider range of personal organisers anywhere else.
   

Filofax is also your perfect fashion accessory. Browse our wide collection of Filofax products and chose the perfect match for your dress, bag or even to your nail varnish.

 Have your iPad, paper notes and phone to hand in a Filofax organiser, portfolio or folder. They keep your device protected with style, perfectly pairing paper with technology. These products are marked with Tech-friendly icons. 

Filofax organisers come with a week to view diary in Hungarian, English and German language.

 Adapt your personal organiser, add in papers, inserts and accessories from the extensive Filofax range to help keep on top of to-do lists and ensure you never lose important contacts or notes again. We have a solution for every single customer.


Being environmentally responsible

   

Filofax's objective is to minimise any environmental impact through a progressive environmental policy covering all areas of the business.
 

 All of Filofax papers are sourced from mills that obtain wood related raw materials from well managed sources. Filofax is FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified company. Filofax's ongoing aim, where practicable, is to introduce new paper based products that are manufactured and managed under the umbrella of FSC or other reputable agencies.. No restricted chemicals are used in the manufacture of Filofax products. All leathers used in Filofax products are a by-product of the food industry. Filofax never uses hides from animals that have been bred specifically for leather production.
 We are very proud that we are the exclusive distribution partner of such a well-known brand. We do hope that our service is on the high level that you would expect from such a reputable brand's representative.

 

A Brief History

The popularity of Filofax over the past decade has naturally led many people to believe it is a relatively new concept. Yet its origins go back as far as the First World War.

In 1921, a London based company was formed to market personal organisation systems in the UK by mail order. In 1930 they registered the trademark "Filofax", the name having derived from the description "file of facts".

The business continued to grow and by 1987 had a retail network of 1250 outlets in the UK alone. Prestigious stores around the world stocked Filofax, Harrods and Harvey Nichols in London, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales in the US, Bon Genie in Switzerland, Galleries Lafayette in Paris and Seibu in Japan amongst others

The Filofax personal organiser had developed from a simple loose-leaf diary and notebook into an indispensable organiser and status symbol for the 80s.

In 2001 the Letts Filofax Group was formed after Charles Letts and Company Limited aquired the Filofax Group.

In 2012 the company was acquired by HSGP Investments.

The many roles of Filofax over the years

Take a look at the images below to learn more about the many roles Filofax has played over the years.

 

Engineers Handbook

The concept of the personal organiser originates from Philadelphia (USA) when a Canadian engineer, J C Parker, invented a loose-leaf system to hold engineering data in a small portable binder, replacing over-sized technical handbooks that had become too big to carry. The system, originally called LEFAX became a bible to power plant engineers who could adapt the binders by replacing pages to suit each occasion.

 

 
Military Issue

Following the First World War, Filofax organiser usage started to grow amongst military officers. By the Second World War they had become standard issue at the Queens Military Academy, Sandhurst and were a compulsory purchase at the British Army Staff College in Camberley.

 

Company Lifeline

The forward thinking of one Filofax employee ensured the brand lived on to become the household name it is today. Grace Scurr joined the company between the two world wars as a temporary secretary. As a back up to the office filing system, she listed all the company's supplier and customer details in her Filofax organiser which she took home with her every evening. This foresight proved invaluable when the company premises were destroyed during the Blitz as she was able to rebuild the office from her notes and the company was back in business within days.

 

80's Status Symbol

Filofax became a symbol of the materialistic, work obsessed 80s. Along with the early mobile phones and fast sports cars, owning a Filofax organiser was a badge of success for hard working career minded people, showing the world you had a life worthy of organisation. City workers and high flying executives typify the users of the era.

Relevant products: FIlofax Malden, Filofax Holborn

 

Lifestyle Balance

A new era dawns and brings a different set of priorities and pressures. Making time became as, if not more, important than making money and taking control of your life became a well-established value. Filofax represented a full and balanced life where you made time for yourself and your family and friends, as well as working and managing day to day chores. Working mothers became advocates, using their organisers to juggle complex lifestyles.

Relevant products: Filofax refills

 

Tech Companion

As more and more people discover the benefits of using paper and technology side by side, Filofax has evolved it’s range to include electronic accessories. The e-Accessories collection includes organisers with iPad holder and removable ring mechanism, iPad, iPhone and tablet covers, and portfolios for carrying every day essentials.

See also: Filofax tech friendly products

 
Filofax today

The brand's success continues on in the digital age and Filofax organisers along with traditional calendars remain increasingly popular. Tha name Filofax has become synonymous with all removable-ring diaries. This fact alone is expressive of the success of Filofax products, because few brands exist where the name of the brand and the name of the product has become one and the same. Filofax is one of these and with reason. It comes in 7 different sizes and a variety of covers. The range of Filofax refills and accessories is unique and extensive, offering the perfectly customisable combination of inserts to suit every individual user.

 

 


Timeline

 
1910 - The beginning

The concept of the personal organiser originates in the US when Canadian engineer, J.C. Parker, invents a system to replace technical handbooks too big to carry.

   

 
1920 - Lefax launches in England

British Army Officer, Colonel Disney, comes across a Lefax personal organiser in the US and suggests that his friend, London printer William Rounce, launches the product in England.

   

 
1921 - The name 'Filofax' is born

Norman & Hill Ltd is set up by William Rounce and partner Posseen Hill to export Lefax organisers to England. Temporary typist Grace Scurr suggests the organisers should be called 'Filofax' - derived from the term 'file-of-facts'.

   

 
1930 - Filofax is registered as a trademark

On 27th of November, 1930

   

 
1939 - Filofax organisers in the military

During the war Filofax organisers are standard issue at The Queen’s Military Academy, Sandhurst. In military circles organisers are sometimes known as vademecums – Latin for ‘always with me’.

   

 
1940 - Grace Scurr saves the company

Norman & Hill Ltd offices are completely destroyed by a stray bomb during the Blitz. Vital company information is saved by Grace Scurr who records the information in her own Filofax and takes it home with her every night.

   

 
1975 - Pocketfax makes big sales

Husband and wife David and Leslie Collischon set up a company called Pocketfax in the UK to sell Filofax organisers direct to consumers in the UK via mail order. They become Norman & Hill’s biggest customers.

   

 
1976 - Filofax climbs Mount Everest

The Joint British and Royal Nepalese Army Expedition to Mount Everest is accompanied by Filofax organisers.

   

 
1980 - Filofax opens new offices

The Collischons buy Normal & Hill Ltd, rename the company Filofax and a new collection of organisers is launched. Filofax opens their new head office at Waverley House, 7-12 Noel Street, London.

   

 
1987 - In a store near you!

Filofax is retailed in 1250 outlets in the UK.

   

 
'Famous Filofax' ads are a hit

The ‘Famous Filofax’ advertising campaign is launched in the UK. Filofax is now a £12million operation and is floated on the Unlisted Securities Market.

   

 
1988 - Filofax acquires Yard-O-Led

The Yard-O-Led Pencil Company – a small, well established silver writing instrument manufacturer based in Birmingham, was purchased from Tim Tufnell in April of that year.

   

 
1989 - New sizes!

Pocket and Deskfax size organisers launched.

Check out the selection of Pocket size Filofaxes

   

 
1992 - Making a deal

Filofax purchases US rival company, Lefax.

   

 
1992 - A new size!

A5 size organiser is launched.

Relevant products: A5 size Filofaxes

   

 
1994 - Filofax purchases Henry Ling & Son

Filofax purchases greetings card maker, Henry Ling and Son.

   

 
1995 - Filofax acquires Microfile

Filofax buys Topps of England in order to acquire rival British personal organiser brand, Microfile. FIlofax receives the Queen's Award for Export Achievement.

   

 
1996 - A night at the museum

Filofax celebrates its 75th Anniversary with an exhibition at the Design Museum, London.

 
A new size!

Mini size organiser is launched

Browse more: Mini-size Filofaxes

   

 
1998 - Filofax is acquired by Day Runner

Filofax is acquired by Californian based Day Runner Inc.

   

 
2001 - A4 new size!

A4 size organiser is launched.

Relevant products: A4 size Filofaxes

   

 
Filofax is acquired by Letts

Filofax is acquired by Letts Holdings Ltd 1997.

   

 
2002 - A whole lot more...

First product extensions are launched; bags, briefcases, laptop and PDA cases as well as small leather goods.

   

 
2003 - A union is made

The Letts Filofax Group is established.

   

 
2004 - Supporting a cause

Filofax launches a pink organiser in support of the Breast Cancer Campaign charity, donating money from the sale of each organiser to the charity.

   

 
2006 - Change is in the air

The Letts Filofax Group is bought by Phoenix Equity Partners.

   

 
"It's a Way of Life" campaign launches

'It's a Way of Life’ advertising campaign is launched in the UK.

   

 
2011 - Alice Temperley designs for Filofax

Filofax partners British fashion designer Alice Temperley and launches a collection of personal organisers.

More Temperley Ikat Filofaxes here

   

 
A new collection!

Flex by Filofax notebooks are launched.

See also: Flex by Filofax

   

 
2012 - Device friendly

Filofax eAccessories are launched.

Relevant products: Filofax tech friendly products

   

 
Filofax joins the Olympics!

Filofax holds the exclusive license to market London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic personal organisers in the UK.

   

 2013 

 
2013 - Time for change

The Letts Filofax Group is bought by HSGP Investments.

   

 
Supporting a cause

Filofax partners with UK charity, Springboard for Children.

Photography courtesy of Davina Foster & Stephen Carrick-Davies

   

 
2014 - Introducing FLB Group

Filofax Ltd and Charles Letts & Co Ltd become one entity under a new company name, FLB Group Ltd.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The future...

Staying relevant is our company mantra. Paper based organisation is, and will remain at the heart of our business but future ranges will be shaped to meet the changing needs of our customers.

What does this mean?

Our technology accessories collection is growing in importance and expanding, while we continue to innovate in the personal paper market.

Source: Filofax

- View all Filofax products -

 

- Jump to top of page -