First Look: Ava by Franklin Covey + An Ongoing Quest for the Perfect On-The-Go Planner

12 September 2014

A while back, there was a bit of a frenzy among members in the Franklin Covey Addicts Facebook group (yes, I follow way too many planner groups). Someone had found a seller on Amazon who was selling Ava binders at a crazy low price. These binders usually sell for $75 to $90 depending on the size, but due to certain "flaws" they had as a result of poor shipping, they were going for less than $30! I wasn't exactly sure what I had planned to do with this binder when I hit the "checkout" button, but here she is.

This is a Franklin Covey (FC) compact size binder which is equivalent to a personal size in a Filofax only larger to accommodate the wider FC inserts. The "Teal" color is a gorgeous deep blue. Very pretty. The Ava is also available in a Plum, and Charcoal color and in the larger Classic size which is equivalent to an A5.

I was very relieved that the damage on the binder was minimal. In fact, mine arrived almost perfect, save for a small dent on the back cover. Barely noticeable.

The leather on this binder has a nice pebbly feel to it. It is pliable, but definitely somewhat structured due to some kind of material used in between the leather that helps the binder keep its shape. It has a super long (love!), adjustable (love!) belted/buckled (don't love) strap with a magnetic popper. The interior is lined with a white geometric-like patterned fabric which is not too busy. Definitely a nice break from your typical all leather planner if that's something you might be looking for. On your left, you get one elasticated leather pen loop which is quite generous, a rather short secretarial pocket, 4 card slots, and 1 window/ID pocket. On the right, another secretarial pocket with a zippered compartment. The rings measure at 1".

Anyway, so why the binder? Well, with the compact Finsbury out of the running in my ongoing quest for the perfect on-the-go planner, I thought that I'd give this binder a go. Yes, I went from 15 mm (less than an inch) to 1 inch rings. And, yes, what is "compact" in the Filofax world is totally different in FC land. I know this. So what was I thinking? Well, I've heard of others using both their A5's and personal size planners in conjunction with one another so, I figured, why not me? I could take everything from my main planner, split my sections among the two planners keeping the things I needed with me while out and about in the Ava, and the rest at home. Problem solved, right? Quest over? Of course not! I soon realized that the Ava was just way too big for what I needed which, in reality, isn't a whole lot.

I blame the enablers, really. Or maybe it was the thrilling possibility of finally getting to use my favorite Franklin Covey inserts--as is--that spurred me on. There wouldn't be any trimming necessary. Just pop them in and be on my merry way. Or maybe I'm just a crazy planner lady. :) So, yes, the Ava will most likely be making her way back to where she came from.

Anyway, are you a Franklin Covey addict? Which FC binder are you currently crushing and why? Leave your comments below and as always, thanks for visiting. Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend.


  1. I'm a FC compact person. I use either a blue Boston (which I love but removed the buckle on) or a Flourish. I haven't bought an Ava because of the buckle.

  2. I was a compact girl for a long time, then preferred the personal size when I discovered Filofax. I'm currently using an A5 but am missing the portability of a smaller planner, but love all the writing space I've been given. I miss the ability to use compact FC inserts though and I'm thinking that maybe they'll be a nice compromise if I decide to return to a smaller planner. I've reviewed the Boston before. Decent binder. I agree, I can't stand buckles either.

  3. How about a FC Pocket size?? I just moved my wallet, finances, notes into my new Pink, Green & Yellow Pocket size. I added in weeklies and a few assorted bits and it has become my on the go planner. My main FC Compact can now stay at home....

  4. Thank you so much for the article, you write great. I love the Ava, I bought 5, and gave them away as gifts, not realizing I was going to fall in love with them, now all of the classic are gone, except for the charcoal. What was I thinking? I also removed the buckle, and yes my little Ava looks a little bit morphed, but, I love her all the same. BTW, anyone who knows the seller, who has more classic, please let me know! I'm on instagram crafts_vs_cat

  5. Just bought myself the green FC Boston Compact as a belated birthday present. It arrived last night, and it was love at first sight. I have been drooling over this since I first saw Sophia's (MyGreatChallenge), although hers is the classic size, too big, but green. Had a green Mundex that I wore out, so I've been looking for the exact green. This is it. The buckle is alright, but the prongs are driving me nuts. Might do a Kristy (GiftieEtcetera) and say "sayonara" to them; the leather is pliable enough to undo without ruining the buckle. Who knows, I might want it back. Also drooling over the Ava (darn buckle) and the Quinn. Can you tell I'm a Franklin Covey girl?


Thanks for reading! Your comments are much appreciated. ♥

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