Setup of VDS black standard Touch Me with 30mm rings

Having been in exactly the same style custom Van Der Spek binder for about two years now (first my undyed binder for 14 months, and then my Janet Leather standard binder for almost 5 months), I had been planning to move into one of my LV binders with the same layout. The problem was, I couldn’t decide which colour! Yes, first world problems indeed.

So I decided to move into my black standard size Touch Me. It’s pebbly, has 30mm rings, and smells deliciously of leather.

I love the Touch Me layout and the leather of the brown and black ones. It is buffalo leather and feels like an old beloved bomber jacket. Plus it is INCREDIBLY hardwearing. The internal design is also extremely good. Plus it is available off the shelf.

My setup is always pretty much the same. Because I use my binder as a wallet I need:

  • many credit card pockets
  • zipped pocket for coins
  • somewhere to keep paper money
  • somewhere to keep vouchers, coupons, gift certificates
  • place to keep keys, spare usb stick, tokens for supermarket trolleys

And because I need to keep on top of my schedule and to dos, all I have in my organiser is

  • vertical week on two pages for my bookings
  • vertical week on two pages for daily to dos
  • notepaper for notes and longer term to do lists

I use clear plastic rulers to divide the different sections. They are more functional and less bulky than traditional dividers, and because they are clear I can see through them to read what is underneath.






The leather is really pebbly, the leather is tough but light, and my trusty ladybug leather charm goes on the rings as always. It follows me everywhere!






Left, below: in the secretarial pocket I have papers (receipts, guarantees, valuation certificates, a referral for some medical tests, one ticket stub for the dry cleaner and one ticket stuff for jewellery I left in to be polished, checked and valued). In the zipped pocket I have coins, keys, tokens and a usb stick. In the small credit card pocket I have subway tickets, receipts and a business card from a client.

Middle, below: in the black leather Filofax credit card holder I have my paper money, three store bonus cards and a work ID card.


After that I have a set of David Bowie dashboards that Nicole L made me, with my favourite photos and lyrics from my favourite songs. I use all of them because I like paging through them in spare moments. That is the beauty of 30mm rings.





My driver’s licence goes in the clear pocket of my flyleaf, which also has a pen loop.


On the next page is another flyleaf, created for me by Maryanne Moll


Behind that is my first vertical week on two pages with my bookings and schedule.

  • Today is a public holiday so I have put washi tape through it.
  • Tomorrow I am translating all day
  • Wednesday and Thursday I teach all day (look at how busy Wednesday is!)
  • Friday I have one lesson and then am translating all day


After that, I have a second vertical week on two pages calendar where, each evening, I write down the to dos for the following day.

PS these photos are a bit crooked and messy because I had a cat on my desk and a kitten climbing my leg while I took them…


Then I have various to do pages for longer term to dos.




The daily planning pages below are excellent for me if I have a full or complicated day. I can put these in my weekly pages and they help me orient myself as I go.


Two maps – one for me and one for my students, for when I am briefing them about trips abroad. It is amazing how often I use these. Often you don’t know whether a country is or which other countries border it and it is nice to have these at hand.


A flyleaf made for me by Courtney Diaz. As you can see, I keep and treasure all the gifts made for me by my readers. They go with me everywhere.

IMG_8429 (1)

You will see in many of my clear pockets I have scraps of paper. They can be addresses of people I wish to send cards or gifts to, names and phone numbers people have jotted down for me, keyboard shortcuts for when I am translating.

Also below are some euros.


Two bookmarks – the cat given to me by Nati and the ladybird given to me by Ashley. Also stamps and the name of a good tailor and cobbler.


A mini Atlas with more detailed country information, also for briefing purposes.


Credit cards, loyalty cards, my SIM card codes, medical card, business cards.


Under the back secretarial pocket are more papers and bits and bobs.


I hope you enjoyed this tour through my Touch Me. If anyone is considering buying one I say go for it – you won’t be sorry!

Author: Janet Carr

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

11 thoughts

  1. Janet.. This is absolutely beautiful! I love your postings and enjoy reading them daily. 😊Is it possible to order a Van de Spek binder and have it shipped to the US?

  2. I have waaaay too many Filofax and Travelers Notebooks. By far my fav is the VDS Touch Me standard in brown. I thought A5 was the only way to go for me until I received this size. I could probably get rid of 3/4 of my collection because I haven’t used thim since I got this last year.

  3. Absolutely love my Van de Spek Touch Me’s the best find ever. I have a Standard like this as well. It is brilliant and excellent value for money for the quality of the leather and the top quality rings they fit to them. Nothing is missing with the layout for me.
    I’m currently using a Senior size one with all my own A6 inserts in it. I love the way you don’t have to baby it.

  4. I have been on one foot, and then the other, for months about whether or not to have a VDS binder made for me. I love the ones you have, and they do seem extremely functional. I’ve designed one online in Red Italian (outside) and Cuoio (inside), with lovely gold 30mm rings, the back pocket, and secretarial flap. You’ve recommended them so highly–and I’m such a planner junkie–that I don’t think it’ll be much longer for me to finally pull the trigger on this. How many planners, TNs, etc. are you carrying at one time???

    1. I have a personal binder for work, an A5 binder for my home stuff, an A5 archive binder, two regular size TNs for my clients and one personal one for me. I carry my personal binder with me all the time. Everything else stays at home 🙂

  5. Best planner deal on the planet. Had I the unlimited wherewithal to gift every planner person everywhere a binder, it would be a black/brown touch me.

  6. I was dedicated & addicted to my custom a5’s always stiffener & never with back pockets. Just recently I purchased a basically “never used” a5 TM in brown to see if I liked or would actually use the back pocket & to see if I could deal with the “floppiness”. Two minutes into transferring everything over, I had an “OMG, I’ve achieved Planner Peace after 25+yrs!” moment! The layout is absolutely perfect for me & the brown leather is scrumptious…dead on for my husband’s fabulous old naval flight jacket from his military days. I’m trying to fight the urge to order an identical custom simply out of habit because this TM is truly perfect!

  7. Ooh I love it, it’s not fussy, I can see it’s a workhorse and yet a treasure

Leave a Reply