Custom made Van der Spek planner in teal ostrich leather

The Van der Spek planner

I recently mentioned that I had bought a new planner as a birthday present for myself, and here it is: a custom made leather planner from Van der Spek, a Dutch family company that makes and sells both ready-made and custom hand made leather goods. I discovered them through a Facebook group and fell completely head over heals for their planners, and in particular their ostrich-texture leather. I mean come on, look at that color! Teal ostrich? How completely ridiculous and beautiful is that?  I have already told you all about my love for leather planners and I didn’t need a new planner at all, but it was my birthday and the stars aligned, and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing  I ended up ordering this little beauty.


  • Ordered from, their online shop for custom planners.
  • Size: Standard, comparable to Filofax’s “personal” size. Fits personal size paper.
  • Outside leather: (239) Teal ostrich.
  • Inside leather: (21) Pool.
  • Stitching color: (19) Turchese.
  • Hardware: silver.

The inside setup is very similar to the one I had in my pink patent leather Filofax, but with a few minor changes. You see, it pains me to admit it, but I went a bit cray with the matchy-matchy. I did. Full disclosure. Just look at this:

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

Etsy has a wide selection of wares for the planner aficionado, and the first thing I got was this laminated teal polkadot thing. If you speak Planner Nerd you will call it a “dashboard”, but just think of it as a fancy front page and you’re all set. It is pretty and it matched my planner.

The glitter dividers

The next thing I got was a a set of glitter dividers. Because I’m a pretty princess. And I’m 5.

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

The month-per-page fitness journal

The self-designed fitness journal is still going strong, updated for 2015. If you didn’t read my last planner post it then here is a quick explanation of how I use it: the day gets colored in yellow marker if my diet was clean or pink marker if I ate candy or junk food, and the goal is to only have one pink day each week. If I worked out the day gets a big X in black pen, and if I was sick, injured or anything else out of the ordinary it gets written down in the notes section at the bottom. I’m not hardcore enough to keep a detailed fitness journal, so this system is perfect for my needs.

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

The vertical year planner

This is my vertical year planner. This is where I write down any major events, trips, birthdays and holidays so that I have my year at a glance in a simple and easy way. Perfect for when you need to get a quick update on your schedule for the month, or when you want to look back at what you did throughout the year.

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

The diary

This is where I write down my plans, appointments and daily notes. I’ve also started noting down any upcoming blog posts to keep track of the content that I write in advance. Confession: sometimes I won’t remember that a new blog post was auto-published until well into the day! January has been kind of rough for me so far though, so as of right now I’m writing as I go, and you might have also noticed that I’m nearly a month behind on replying to comments? Ouch! Fingers crossed I will be back to my usual goody two-shoes two-week head start in not too long, because let me tell you, it is a much more comfortable way to work.

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

The blog post check list

Speaking of comfortable ways to work, this is a brand new addition to my planner: my self-designed blog post check list. This is where I check off everything that needs to be done before I publish or schedule a blog post. Spellcheck? SEO? Adlinks? Many of these things are terribly easy to forget, so this list has been a huge life saver for me.

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

The post-its

And last but not least: post-its! Aren’t they cool? I will never buy regular post-its again!

Blog post about my custom made Van der Spek planner, and some photos to show you how I set it up!

I also still have my notes section, my spare paper, my to-do lists and my zip lock envelopes, but I figured you didn’t need to see them one more time. I try not to overstuff my planner as I keep it in my everyday bag and take it with me to work, which means that I spend at least an hour every day carrying along with the rest of my everyday “essentials”. We need to keep the shoulders and back in mind too, am I right ladies?

As for the planner itself, I am so so happy with it. The quality is impeccable, the leather is yummy, and I know I won’t ever come across another person with a planner like mine. If you’re an ultra planner nerd you can customize your Van der Spek planner even more – do you need it to be a size that they don’t currently offer? Do you want larger rings? Do you need to have a special kind of layout for those inside slits and pockets? Shoot them an e-mail and they will make your planner dreams come true. Oh, and their customer service is divine. I had second thoughts on my choice of the color for the inside leather, and they kindly sent me a photo of my leather colors side-by-side so that I could compare and make up my mind. Who else does that? All in all I can warmly recommend planners from Van der Spek, so if you’re feeling extra fancy I would definitely check them out. I keep mine on my desk at all time, and I get so happy whenever I look at it. I think I might have achieved – nerd alert – planner peace.


14 thoughts on “The Van der Spek planner

  1. I keep all of my planning online, via a combination of Google Calendar and Todoist, but I am very tempted to start using a paper planner again as there are times when I want to check my to-do list and get something done without being dragged into the black hole that is the internet.. I definitely don’t need to start with anything that fancy though, even if the color coordination is oh so tempting!

    • Yes, I love not being dependent on the internet! But then again I REALLY love pen and paper.
      Haha, I can’t do any more color coordinating now, I need people to take me seriously on some level. No washi tape! That’s where I draw the line!

  2. Oh, this makes the organiser in me so, so happy! The planner is absolutely lovely, and I love the way you have personalised it even further. I especially love the glitter dividers :D I have adopted your fitness journal as a way of better keeping track as I try to achieve my New Years Resolutions, and I am finding it wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration.

      • I am finding it to be a really good way to keep track of how I am doing, and to see where I need to make changes. Hopefully there will be less treat days when the holidays are over and I get back into a good routine!

  3. J. says:

    I would love to be able to use a planner again, but I’m a student and our schedule gets sent out to us through a calendar feed that can be linked up to either your computer and phone. The schedule isn’t regular at all, so it’s good to have it be constantly updating in the background. I’ve made it really organised though. I have a colour for work, school, workouts, social life and other so I can sort through by colour or look at everything at once. It’s quite useful. For my shopping list I use the Reminders app on my iPhone since it’s linked up with my boyfriends phone. That way either of us can add something or cross it off if we go shopping.

    I used to have a planner, but it got lost one day and it was so upsetting and frustrating that I didn’t want to have planner I couldn’t “back up” to a harddrive again. A bit of planner-scaring memories there.

    • Ah yes, I get how a paper planner would be impractical for you that way. My basic schedule is pretty much the same from week to week, so I mostly use the daily journal to schedule workouts, to-dos, appointments and social things. The Boyfriend and I use Wunderlist for groceries, I love it!

  4. the magic of writing shit down and crossing things off when done = cannot be underestimated.

    love your new pretty planner! and i’m really feeling a lovely teal color latlely. :)

    • It is SO worth it Lyn. I’m not for a second going to talk smack about the original Filofaxes, but you can really feel that a VDS was made with love. And I can’t get over the ostrich leather!

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  6. Pingback: Van der Spek Resources and Reviews – Everyday Pen

  7. C. says:

    VDS er så fine, men for en pris! Bruker du fortsatt ringperm til kalender? Jeg vandrer stadig mellom det og Moleskine og irriterer meg over at jeg ikke klarer å velge! Haha!

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