Finding Planner Peace: Oh, Van der Spek, How Do I Love Thee?

29 August 2014

Let me count the ways...

1. Beautiful and functional. For my Van der Spek (VDS), I chose to go with the brown Ostrich print (232) for the outside and dark blue nappa leather for the inside. You can definitely feel the raised bumps printed onto the leather, but it's still quite lovely to touch. And the Nappa? Smooth like buttah! I also went with matching dark blue stitching throughout the binder which has a subtle contrasting effect against the brown exterior. Throw in some gold toned hardware (rings and the popper) and you have, what I think, is one gorgeous binder! I am a firm believer that your planner should be both functional AND aesthetically pleasing. Some might argue that function is more important, but I say, why can't you have both?

I particularly love the little details like the tag sewn in with the company's name on it and the little leather flap that keeps the zipper pull on the back pocket hidden so as not to get in the way. It's the little things that count, I tell ya! ♥

2. Big, golden, replaceable rings. I have yet to have any issues with the rings. The mechanism appears to be very sturdy and strong. No misalignments or gaps and they close tight with a satisfying snap! Ah, like music to my ears. :) At 35 mm, they are also quite big. Did I also mention that they were golden? And let's not forget the most important thing about them--they're replaceable! Though perfect now, they may not always be. Accidents happen and time goes by. It's very reassuring to know that I can order another set when and if they ever do need replacing.

3. Two pen loops. Part leather, and part elastic. And they actually fit pens! Can you believe it? No more spending money on adhesive pen loops or hanging my pen onto anything or fashioning bull-dog clips and other things into makeshift pen holders. I did have the right side slightly enlarged when customizing my binder (yup, you can do that) to ensure that my fave 5 Color Uni-Style Fit Multi Pen would slide on through. But, the left side is your standard pen loop, and it fits my 3 color Hi-Tec-C Coleto with no problem.

4. Light weight. For an A5, this is simply just awesome! And a must, especially if you're one to carry your planner around with you everywhere. Mine stays in the house for the most part. But, if I had to, I wouldn't hesitate to throw this into my bag. The fact that it wasn't back breakingly heavy once it was filled totally floored me as I've had several leather A5's in the past that were nowhere near as light as my VDS. Ever tried hauling a stuffed A5 Malden around before? You have? Well bless your back because, as much as I loved my Malden, it never left my desk. Never.

5. Top notch customer service. This really should have been number 1 on my list because, if it weren't for the Van der Spek team, my beautiful planner wouldn't even exist. I received excellent customer service from the moment I began the ordering process. Petra, the planner genie, is just wonderful, answering all your questions and even working with you to make all your planner wishes come true. You want to customize your planner to ensure your favorite inserts will fit? Want to switch up the interior set-up altogether? Do you long for 30 mm rings in a personal size planner? Petra can make it happen! Or at least try her best to. And, If you've seen exactly how these planners are made and the amount of work that's put into each and every one, you'll see just how special they truly are. Which brings me to...

6. One-of-a-kind. Okay, so my planner may not be the only A5 VDS with these exact color combinations (though I have yet to see my binders twin anywhere...) so, no, it may not be one-of-a-kind in that sense. But, what I do mean by one-of-a-kind is that these planners are not mass produced. Because they're custom made I'm sure that it's completely possible to create a truly unique planner. The color combinations alone are numerous and members of the Van der Spek Organiser Fans Facebook group have been quite creative in putting together color combos. I have yet to see a VDS that didn't wow me.

Anyway, it's been about 5 months (give or take) since my Van der Spek came into my life and changed my entire outlook on planners. I've used many different kinds of organizers before so I am very happy to say that, with my VDS, I've finally found planner peace. All the boxes on my "planner must haves" list have been checked off and I am one happy camper. Or, rather, one happy planner. :) I've also noticed that I've stopped looking for "something better". No more scrolling through endless pages of planner listings on eBay or lurking around the various planner sale groups I follow on Facebook. Instead, I find that I spend more time actually using my planner. Like, really using it and enjoying the heck out of it and focusing more on getting things done than worrying about whether my rings have gone kaput. Let's just say that my VDS won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

How about you? Are you still searching for your planner peace, or have you already found it? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Till next time!


  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful VDS, it's stunning!
    I think the weight is surprising as I would've assumed that all leather A5s would be heavy. I went through a stage of lusting after an ostrich Filofax, so I definitely appreciate your choice here.

    I am very content with my planners. I have my A5 Ascot for projects & planning, with my personal Kensington as my main binder. The Kensington really took me by surprise as I was so happy with my crimson Malden. I will probably sell the Malden as I can't imagine moving out of the Kensington at the moment.

    1. Oh, no! No the Malden! :D I always regret selling the Malden! In fact, I *may* have another personal Ochre heading my way. But, you didn't hear that from me. :)

  2. I love mine too for all the reasons above. Basically perfect, but after 5 months I'm tired of the big A5 size. But no faults with the binder; it's perfect and the customer service from Van der Spek is amazing

    1. Your VDS is simply gorgeous! I totally understand you on the whole A5 size. I do miss having a more portable size binder. I'm still a newbie when it comes to the A5. I've actually been looking around for one planner that could work alongside my A5, but still not sure how I'd go about that and if I'm ready to do the whole two binders going on at once thing. Ideally I'd LOVE a standard VDS with the 30 mm rings!

    2. I am SO JEALOUS of your second pen loop. I didn't ask and they were not offering them when I ordered. If I'd asked they would have added one. I have thought of sending mine back to have a second pen loop installed.

  3. Hi, do you know the color number for the dark blue? I'm having such a hard time deciding on colors for mine but I really like this blue! Thanks!

    1. This is the dark blue 6218. There's a dark blue now, but not sure if it's the same. I was told the blue now is different than this blue. Both are equally pretty though. :)


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