Wednesday, 16 May 2012

ARC - what's in it for Filofax users?

A few days ago, I bought a couple of those ARC notebooks at my local Staples. You know, the ones with those funny plastic discs instead of the familiar "filoesque" mechanism.

So, why am I fooling around with a new type of re-positionable binder, when I'm a "dyed in the wool" Filofax sort of person? Well, it's all about ISO standards and, in particular, the requirement for punched holes to be positioned 11-13mm away from the edge of the paper.  Which means that, perhaps miraculously given the incompatibilities in life these days, you can use a standard hole punch to perforate each ARC page to enable them to fit Filofax binders.

Currently, here in the UK, Staples are knocking out packs of 50 sheets of lined 100gsm paper for two quid in both A4 and A5 formats ($3.99 and $2.99 respectively for letter and junior formats in the US). And this paper hits the spot when I want to use my fountain pen. I can't vouch for every pen and ink combination but my Lamy ST, with a medium nib and black Sheaffer Skrip ink works just fine on this super smooth paper. I'd be inclined to blot the last few lines before you turn the page, though, as drying times are not particularly fast.

The ARC punch isn't in the UK at the moment but, when it is, you will be able to punch your existing A4 and A5 Filofax inserts too, so enabling all sorts of possibilities; like, for instance, the option to keep an ARC binder on your office desk but travel to and from work with that lovely A5 Malden you simply can't risk losing, transferring projects between binders as required.

Ok, this may not be binder nirvana, but the concept of combining the two binder systems is definitely worth thinking about.



10 comments:

  1. One thing I did notice from your videos is that with the lack of a spine to the 'ring mechanism' or discs in this case it is quite floppy.

    But ARC punch a bit of plastic... and you would solve that problem I guess.

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    1. Hi Steve, and thanks for your comment.
      Yes, the basic package includes floppy covers. The more expensive leather option is quite rigid. But the use of ARC paper in A5 and A4 filofaxes, after punching with a standard hole punch, gives plenty of options for filofax philosophers like you and me. Good price too. And of course, despite the floppiness of the standard binders, they're great for archiving your papers, with a 200 sheet capacity if you buy a set of the largest discs.

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  2. Thanks for the in-depth review. These will definitely be going on my list of things to try :o)

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  3. Another genius hack! I am thinking i can buy the US letter size paper and get four pocket size sheets of paper for a pocket filofax. A bit labor intensive but much cheaper than FF notepaper packs plus i love the quality of the ARC paper.
    Oh the posibilities!!

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    1. I like your style, Romina. Yes, that would work well. If you make the pages 90mm wide, and then cut the lined section of each ARC sheet exactly in half, then you would have spce for tabs along the top and bottm edges but matching the full width of the filofax, if you see what I mean. Yes, the ARC paper is superb.

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    2. Romina, before you start cutting up ARC paper, why not just break down a Rhodia webnotebook, commonly referred to as a "webbie" in the US. Same 140mmm x90mm as a pocket Moleskine, so will fit a pocket filofax perfectly, but with 90gsm fountain pen friendly paper - you'll love it! Same nice rounded corners too.

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    3. Oooh!! I must look that up. I've heard of the webbie but never actually seen one. Thanks for the tip!
      Btw, glad to hear in your video that the ARC punch will be made available in the UK!

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  4. Great video's thanks, i bought the ARC system in A5 last week from staples, it never even entered my head to use the paper in my A5 filofax.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Hope the ARC paper works well in your A5 fax.

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