Do you ever have those frantic days where you’re constantly in between the office and meetings, never stationary in one location for too long. We certainly do, and it’s imperative that we keep everything organised on the go. But when you’re in and out so much you want something light that you can grab in an instant that stores some business essentials safely inside. Often a backpack or briefcase is a little too much. For us, the best solution was the Bellroy Work Folio A5, a compact companion that can hold more than meets the eye.
Taking notes on pen and paper still has its place, and it’s often nice to leave the laptop at the office and not have to worry about the battery running out – not an issue with a pen and pad. Unlike the Bellroy Work Folio A4, which really lets you customise how you organise your everyday carry, the Bellroy Work Folio A5 is a little more considered in its approach. There is a greater sense that certain items should go in particular spots, but even then it still surprises us how much we can fit into the Bellroy Work Folio A5.
The folio is constructed from Bellroy’s premium, environmentally certified leathers and is paired with a durable dark grey canvas lining the insides. Their premium leather develops its own unique patina over time, so as you continue to use it, your Work Folio A5 will become very much yours. A light shower won’t ruin the notebooks you keep inside thanks to its water resistance, but don’t expect the leather to cope too well with the rain. The whole folio shuts via a thick, heavy-duty zip that will withstand years of use, while a small leather zip tab is a subtle design touch. As with the rest of the Bellroy range, the Work Folio A5 keeps a professional look with only minimal branding on the inside and out. A small embossed ‘Bellroy’ appears on the front, while there is an embossed Bellroy owl logo on the inner.
On the right-hand side, you’ll find the sleeve that houses your notebook. When you first get the folio, there will be a Bellroy branded notebook inside, but we’ve found that our preferred A5 Moleskin notebooks also fit perfectly. If you have a preference for hardcover notebooks, they will still fit, but be aware that this will cut down quite a bit on the space you have left to store other items. Beneath you’ll find a sleeve for storing a tablet, but due to the smaller size of the folio the list of compatible devices is quite short. In saying that we put an iPad mini inside and it fits perfectly alongside a notebook, and the Work Folio A5 provided plenty of protection. Moving to the middle, you’ll find a leather pen holder. It’s big enough to hold medium sized pens snugly, but smaller pens will need a clip on their cap to stay in place.
The left-hand side features a small pouch for storing the documents you may pick up during the day. Fold back the flap to reveal two sets of business card holders. We primarily used one for business cards and the other to store a company credit card. Below that, you’ll find two elasticised pouches that are really stretchy. This makes them pretty versatile in what they can carry, but we found that for a long day of meetings you can’t beat the combination of your phone and backup battery bank.
Bellroy Work Folio A5 | Who is it for?
Since they started out in 2010 Bellroy, have always had a focus on crafting items that help consolidate your everyday carry, and the Work Folio A5 will do the same. Its clever layout lets you store more than you’d initially expect when looking from the outside while keeping the everyday carry you do store inside safe. The Bellroy Work Folio A5 feels natural as a portable folio. While in reality, it’s far bigger, in the hand it doesn’t feel much bigger than a large smartphone. It’s super easy to tuck under an arm and leaves your hands free for other things such as taking a phone call while holding a coffee. If you do need something larger, then the Bellroy Work Folio A4 is worth checking out. It’s a little more flexible with how it can be organised inside, and can even store some slim laptops inside.
Shop the Bellroy Work Folio A5 here.