The Compagna by Gillio Firenze

14 June 2013

I have been bitten by the Gillio bug thanks to the many beautiful photos and videos on their leather organizers that have been popping up on the planner-sphere. It all started with this video by the lovely Mella who introduced us all to her gorgeous medium Compagna, which left me daydreaming about buttery soft planners for days. According to the Gillio Firenze website, the leather they use in all their products are the most natural, and are of "unparalleled quality". You can read more about them here. After considerable thought, research, and obsessive photo/video viewings, I finally caved. The question at hand was no longer whether or not I should get one, but rather which one do I get?

With the amount of colors available in this style binder, it was nearly impossible to decide. They all seemed lovely! But, I had to decide and quick as Gillio was generous enough to provide a 25% off discount code ("Mella") to all those purchasing a Medium Compagna before June 16th (see this video--there's still time!). Despite all the gorgeous photos of the Croco Mat leathers on the web, I decided to go with the regular Epoca leather (non Croco). I wanted something a bit more traditional and eventually went with the Dark Blue. I hadn't any leather samples (which apparently the company sends upon request, but which I never received) nor were there any videos/photos of the planner in this particular color on their website or anywhere online. I was pretty much taking a bold chance with this one. My package arrived within a week, and inside was a box carrying my Compagna tucked neatly inside its very own little dust bag. Once I slipped the planner out, I knew I had definitely made the right choice.

Isn't she pretty? As expected, I knew I wouldn't be able to capture its true color on camera. The "dark blue" is more a navy blue in person. Very deep and rich, just as I was hoping it would be. The leather is pebbly to the touch, and oh, so soft and supple! There is no plastic or cardboard of any kind in this one. The leather reminds me of a beloved handbag--squishy and smushy. And it smells heavenly! Well, that is, if you like that new leather smell. The design of the exterior is so simple, yet so stunning.

The pocket configuration is what drew me to this agenda in the first place. I love a planner with lots of pockets and this one has plenty! Perfect for storing all those necessary bits and bobs that we planner lovers love holding on to. On the left there is a large secretarial pocket, a full-length zip compartment on the side, a full length pocket in front of that, and a smaller compartment in the very front.

On the right, six card slots, and another large secretarial pocket behind.

And, finally, my favorite, a full-length pocket that runs along the whole backside of the planner much like one you'd find on a wallet. I have only seen this feature on certain pocket size Filofaxes and on several older models of Franklin Covey binders.

It will be great to be able to store bigger paper in here like bills and such. No more having to trim or practice origami trying to fit a standard US letter size sheet of paper into my planner. I can just fold it in half, and tuck it into the back pocket. I also like that it doesn't add any extra bulk to the overall look of the planner.

There is only one pen loop, unfortunately. All leather, no elastic. However, it's sufficient in that my go-to Pilot FriXion pens fit perfectly inside. There is also a ballpoint pen that comes standard with the organizer (pictured in the second photo from the top).

This agenda also comes stuffed with inserts, all of which are cream colored. Included is a week on two page diary, several other types of forms, and plastic inserts. For an additional fee, you can purchase a day on one page diary or opt for no diary at all at no cost. The paper quality is really nice, but I'll have to do a more thorough look at the pages. You also get a patch of leather with a soft, suede like backing to it that acts as sort of a front page for your inserts. It's different and a nice added touch to the overall binder.

As with any ring-bound planner purchase, especially one travelling this far, one of my main concerns was the condition of the rings upon delivery. There's nothing more heartbreaking than getting a product you've waited so anxiously for for days, weeks even (though this only took one week to get to me), only to find it faulty upon receiving it and then having to return it and start the waiting process all over again. Thankfully, I had no issues with mine. The rings were perfect with no gaps or any misalignment whatsoever. At 25 mm, they run slightly bigger than the standard Filofax's 23 mm rings. Definitely not 30 mm, but that's a-okay with me because, guess what? They're gold! And, what's funny, is that I wasn't expecting them to be! In fact, I don't remember the website mentioning anything about golden rings, unless I totally missed something during the checkout process. So, you can only imagine my surprise (and the little happy jig I did because you know I love me some gold rings in my planner) when I went to do the usual ring inspection and saw that my Gillio had golden rings! The socket/stud on the strap that snaps the organizer close is gold, too. I love the gold with the navy. I think it's a great combination and they go beautifully together.

This planner and I--it was definitely love at first sight. I am absolutely thrilled to have this little gem in my possession and can't wait to fully move in. I've just been so busy admiring that I haven't quite had the chance to give her a go. Kudos, Gillio. Excellent job! A very big thanks goes to Mella for introducing me to such a lovely brand, and an even bigger thank you goes to Gillio for making my first experience with their company a wonderful one. I'm looking forward to seeing what other planning products you have in store for the future. Like, a Compagna in a purple croco, perhaps? :)


  1. I watched Mella's video of these planners too and they took my breath away! I can just imagine how gorgeous this is in real life and how tactile <3 Congratulations on the new addition to your planner family! ;)

    1. Amanda, your little face on my blog comments always makes me smile. Thanks for visiting! :)

    2. Oh that has made me giggle! Thanks Car :)

  2. Thanks for a great review Carla, I have just ordered the exact same one, I couldn't decide between the gold and navy but the gold is out of stock now so the navy it is. I'm so worried that I might have made a mistake in getting such a dark colour though.

    1. Those two--the Gold and the Navy--were my top choices, too. I ended up choosing the Navy because I never had a planner in this color and have always like the color. It is a dark color, but I love it. And it looks GORGEOUS alongside the gold rings.

  3. I am waiting for the compagna medium gold. Mella must have caused a run on the Gillio organisers! Love the blue one too. I did not see a blue epoca on the website.

  4. That is really perfect binder, but the transport cost is really high....Now it is on my wish list

  5. Just ended up on your page searching for Gillio planner reviews... Like you I got introduced to them via beautiful pictures and reviews and now I'm obsessed with wanting to buy one. Unfortunately for me, it seems you can't get gold hardware all the way through just the rings. I'll live with silver since it's still gorgeous. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for your review - it is very well written! :)
    - Anamika (


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