Setup of personal size VDS Janet Leather Binder

All my binders have practically the same setup. This is because I know what works for me.  I cannot overcomplicate things so it is just basically two calendars, notepaper and all the things I need in my wallet. That is the nice thing about Van Der Spek. I can change leather but always keep my beloved layout!

I use 2 calendars, notepaper, plastic sleeves, plastic credit card pockets, and up to four Today markers. I do not use dividers, tabs, decoration, custom inserts or special pens. My personalisation comes from the leather charms and custom binders I use, and dashboards people have given me.

I always have a ladybird charm on my binder. I tend to fiddle with them and it is quite relaxing.


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Most frequently used cards in front and back inside covers. Top left hand credit card pocket takes a basing from the flyleaf zipper so it holds receipts for my travel card and my cardboard membership cards. Inside the flyleaf are supermarket trolley tokens, keys, usb stick, coins and coupons. Behind the credit cards are secretarial pockets holding stamps, and papers.
The flyleaf secretarial pocket holds paper money. I have had this dashboard for years and years. Courtney Diaz made it for me as a gift.
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I have a clear dashboard with a pocket and a pen loop which holds extra pens and my driver’s licence, which I need all the time in Sweden as you always have to show ID. The frontispiece with my name on it is by Maryanne Moll and was a gift many years ago. 
This is my vertical week on two pages inserts by Burde. Filofax does similar ones but, unlike Burde, they do not have the time written out on each day. This is the week I had problems because I did not write down cancellations and additions into the calendar. The long line through Thursday was a day I was in one place all day. 
Behind the first calendar is a second one with the same layout, holding to dos for each day. Once I have done them I just cross them out and at the end of the week I throw them away. I tend to write these on Sunday for the whole week and update with anything extra as it comes up. I do not use dividers or tabs, relying on clear Today markers instead. Less bulk, less faffing about and easy to move around. 
Behind the calendar that holds daily to dos is cream Eurotime paper which holds more long term do dos, notes that come up each day. I just scribble everything I need to do down willy nilly and sort them out when I have time to sit down and take a breather. 
Behind the notepaper are seven clear top-opening plastic envelopes (I do not use the ones with zippers on them as they dig into the leather on my binder and into my inserts). They hold paper money (Swedish kronor and Euro), ring reinforcers, notes, contact details, receipts, two Filofax maps and a pocket Atlas (I have to brief clients for trips abroad and we often have to talk about geography, flags, population etc), reset pins for my iPhone/iPad, paperclips.
Top loading credit card sleeves holding business cards, membership cards, coupons, a spare sim card for when I travel, my medical card. 

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

10 thoughts

  1. Lovely post. Like you, I don’t decorate my inserts much however I do color code. It works better for me, less distractions. Isn’t it just great to be able to personalize the binders to our needs?

  2. I LOVE your utilitarian, life in one place, beautiful binder. The lovely dashboard really POPS due to the fact that you don’t decorate inside. This is a workhorse binder, but very personal! Lovely!

  3. I always enjoy reading your blogs and posts. I have an undyed VDS personal size on my wish list now because of seeing the photos of yours over the months. So lovely :).

  4. Janet can you pls do a family photo of blog of ALL the ring and traveler notebooks style planners you have ? I would love to see the collections. Also what is your faves <3

    1. I have been meaning to do it for ages but there are *cringe* so many of them and they are squirrelled away all over the place. I promise that when I have time one weekend I will do it!

  5. I have been looking for a planner exactly like this one. Could you please tell me where I can find one like this and how much it was. I appreciate it very much. I am new to this site. Thank you.

  6. I love your planner. Gorgeous binder, functional insides…perfection. I thought I was an odd duck, using 3 top-loading plastic sleeves in my planner, but I see you have me beat by 4!

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