A Visual History

of Filofax

1910

The beginning

The concept of the personal organizer 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 organizer 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 miitary

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

Grand openings

A flagship store opens at 69 Neal Street, Covent Garden, London.

1989

New sizes!

Pocket and Deskfax size organisers launched.

1992

Making a deal

Filofax purchases US rival company, Lefax.

1993

A new size!

A5 size organiser is launched.

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 new size!

Mini size organiser is launched

A night at the museum

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

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.

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

"It's a Way of Life" campaign launches

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

Change is in the air

The Letts Filofax Group is bought by Phoenix Equity Partners.

2011

A new collection!

Flex by Filofax notebooks are launched.

Alice Temperley designs for Filofax

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

2012

Device friendly

Filofax eAccessories are launched.

Filofax joins the Olympics!

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

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.