I'd been wanting a pocket planner with a certain feature for some time now - ever since I discovered that a certain European leather goods company made them: a full-sized pocket across the back of the planner, sort of like a wallet pocket, where I could put larger slips of paper without having to punch them, or fold them up to stick in a pocket.
I was even going to bite the bullet and pay the "inexpensive" $125 (based on the Euro to Dollars conversion on the date I looked) and get one -- until I learned that even in the custom-made version, the biggest ring size (the only ring size) was 16mm.
I have a planner with 16mm rings - my zippered Filofax Pocket Pennybridge. It holds my seasonal dividers when I'm not using them. And even THOSE fill it too much...
16mm rings are just WAY too small. (Heck, 19mm rings are too small, too, but they work a heck of a lot better, and if I cut down on the number of washi sample cards I carry around, the planner doesn't bulge too badly. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Obviously, that one company was out - the ready-made version and the customized version both cost way too much for something I can't comfortably use on a daily basis. Other leather companies made a similar product, but one of the ones I hear the best things about didn't even list the specs for the rings. To be honest, that put me off faster than the $200+ price tag. (Yeah, your leather may be really nice, but I'm not tacking on an extra $100 just for the name. Remember, we're talking Filofax Pocket size here - just slightly bigger than A6...)
So, I figured I was out of luck; I'd just continue using my Saffiano-styled Springboard (Raspberry outside/lime inside, which REALLY doesn't fit Fall/Winter...) and give up on the thought of easily carrying larger pieces of paper around in it.
And then I discovered that the Pocket Malden has one of those wallet-styled pockets. I don't know why I wasn't aware of this - maybe because the style of the Malden's closure isn't my favourite so I kind of glossed over descriptions. Not sure. Anyway - there was a purple version (not Raspberry, but real purple!), but it was sold out on both the US and UK Filofax sites. I lucked out, though, and found a seller on Amazon Marketplace selling one for less than either of those would be, with free shipping. After losing my chance at a real purple Pocket Saffiano (the reason I ended up with the Springboard instead) at anything remotely resembling sensible prices, I jumped at the chance. I wasn't going to let another purple planner get away and end up seeing listings of them going for $450 again...
And I've discovered, I really like the Malden - other than that closure. Pointy button strap over squared base strap just bugs me - I'm not sure why. Eh. Picky. The 19mm rings and full back pocket MORE than make up for one little personal taste quibble. The leather is soft and supple, and the planner EASILY lies open, unlike a certain Finsbury I could mention... And all of my calendar, week-on-two-pages for a month at a time, notes, and tracking info fit, along with some washi sample cards, sticky notes, and alcohol prep wipes to clean permanent marker off my laminated dividers. I'm not entirely sure I'm going to switch back to the Springboard in Summer at this point!