Design for life - filofax

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As much a part of the 1980s as huge, clunky mobile phones and shoulder pads, the Filofax is a product that you might expect to have been quietly consigned to the bargain bin before being fully exiled to the car boot sale.

But look around any office or stationary shop and you’ll notice the Filofax is holding its ground. With its simple but effective combination of diary, address book and notepad, the only real problem was trying to work out whether you needed to view your week on one or two pages. Fitting yuppie sentiments, the Filofax, in its tough but elegant casing, announced to the world that your life was full of engagements.

It may come as a shock to find out that the origins of the Filofax go back over 80 years. In 1921, a London-based company began marketing organisation systems in the UK by mail order. In 1930 the firm registered the trademark Filofax, derived from the description ‘file of facts’. The clientele grew, but all was nearly lost when the company’s offices were bombed during the Blitz in 1940, destroying all records. Luckily, temp secretary Grace Scurr had the forward planning to copy all the details of the firm’s suppliers and customers into her own personal Filofax - 30 years later, Ms Scurr retired as chairman.

The company has evolved over the years, but far from proving a one-hit wonder, Filofax sold more personal organisers in 2003 than ever before. Perhaps it’s because almost 60 per cent of its customers are female, but the traditional black leather cover has been joined by vibrant alternatives, ranging from graphic floral prints to shades of pink and baby-blue - you can even buy a handbag to match. Best of all, no one will think you’re a yuppie.

To mark the launch of Jenners’ new Filofax department, the first 15 readers to e-mail scotsman@filofax.co.ukwill each receive 100 of Filofax vouchers