Monday, October 29, 2018

Custom Senior (UN-widened)! A6 from Van Der Spek

Absolute perfection!

The pictures below will show how to arrange side tabs towards the top of the rings so they don't interfere with the pen loop.


Sorry for the shouty caps, I am simply Over. The. Moon. (imagine much breathy-drama-filled voice)

This is what I ordered from Van Der Spek:

What doesn't show on the order is the request I made for the fatter closing strap (eeeee!), which is done by requesting it in the comments of the custom order. VDS then invoices you 25 euros for the feature, in my case- via PayPal.

The back wallet pocket is very tidy without warping

Some shots showing how the side tabs are working wonderfully in this un-widened senior

Just move the side tabs to the top of the rings yasssss

So much beauty:

With the left sides aligned, this shot shows the width difference between the Gillio A6 and this VDS un-widened senior

I think this perfect and beautiful planner will at least pause the crazy train I've been on. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful this size feels in the hand. I love its rounded corners, the not-too-shiny finish, the color, and the exact amount of extra strap length to have the strap not look stretched when closed.
 I have it a bit overstuffed at the moment as I hurriedly moved all in from my Gillio A6. I have more blank paper in there than I need - and will fine tune the contents. 

Already I am thinking of my next color in this same configuration. Stop it Sharon!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A6 it is..

Confession time. I've gone bananas with planner sizes recently. It's a bit embarrassing to say the least.
I've always loved pocket planners as they feel good in the hand, but are not the ultimate experience to write in. I predict I will be back in them off and on forEVER.

For my recent cross-country trek I was very happy in a Gillio Medium Slim Compagna. I was so happy that I now own four; red, purple, gold epocas, and one purple croco.

After that I went a bit nuts (like I hadn't already) with the Filofax Classic Croc pockets. I own the black, fawn, chestnut, and fuchsia. I don't even like fuchsia but then there's that. I absolutely LOVE the pocket Classic Crocs; they lay flat without training, there's no warping of the back wallet pocket, and they have 20mm ring, but most of all the Big Fat Closing Strap. Yassss.

As you may have seen previously, I custom ordered a pocket sized planner from VDS in Foresto. I then proceeded to order another custom exactly the same, but in their Papavero croc (cherry red).

Also, ALSO!, I jumped on the A6 train when Gillio did their recent restock a few weeks back. I bought the red, yellow, and purple epoca models. In my defense, I did resell the yellow. Like that'll get me into heaven..

And THEN, I custom ordered a senior from Van Der Spek. It should be here tomorrow.

Meanwhile, this is my red epoca A6 from Gillio.

Of course I have to have a planner where refills are harder to find (much like my Franklin Covey Compact size addiction).

What I didn't like when it was new has gone away. The A6's layout when new, its new stiffer leather makes the planner lay wonky when on its side and closed, where the front side lays shorter than the back. Now that the leather has broken in a bit, it lays square. I think putting in a page lifter in the back helped.

I got both side and "top" (I like using them upside down at the bottom) dividers at DividersRUS on Etsy

This page lifter helps, but it is a bit shy of the full width and the Tomoe River Paper filler paper I have at the back curls a bit by the outer edge.

 One thing I have struggled with, is when using my planner as a wallet/planner, opening a floppy planner while paying for things in a checkout line makes me nervous. Not knowing what flies out, and perhaps I feel a bit exposed as well.
So! My workaround is finding this slim credit card holder that I can take out ahead of time to use in the checkout line, and this has helped tremendously. Link below-

This link may not last forever, but here goes anyway:
slim card case with pouch for cash. It has 3 slots on front and back. Maybe since it's new, using all six made it hard to get cards in and out, so I only put four in it.

*Edited to add that your chances are better for matching the leather with Gillio's own slim credit card holder

Top view, just enough room for the small amount of cash I carry..

 Since A6 page finders are difficult to find in frosted, I made my own by buying these washi tape holders, and hole-punching them myself, and used a corner rounder for a more polished look.

I got my month on two pages inserts from

I do my own week on two pages layout with my favorite paper from HandyForms on Etsy.  They are on Amazon as well, but I couldn't find a direct link for the A6 size graph pages.

I hope this article helps you in some way-

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

quick and dirty comparison of the new Gillio Medium Compagna XL to other models

As the title states, this is a quick and dirty post, which I fully intend to circle back to and update.

This first picture, top to bottom, left to right:

A6 Compagna,  Slim Medium Compagna,  new Medium Compagna XL, original Medium Compagna

 This is a top side by side view of the XL (left) and A6

This is the side view of the XL with Franklin Covey Compact inserts, with side tabs and pen, after switching the rings to 25mm

Top -down view of the XL with Franklin Covey Compact inserts with side tabs and pen, and again, I have switched the rings out to 25mm

My first thought after holding the Medium Compagna XL, is that I absolutely hate HATE the feeling of the wider back plate to the rings.

These are initial feelings, I will update this post later-

Added- difference in width between original Medium Compagna to the XL, in cm then in inches

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Junior Van Der Spek in Foresto Croco

This is my sweet perfectly green colored croco printed leather planner from Van Der Spek. It is a custom order, and I added that sweet fat strap by requesting it in the comments on the order page. (They will invoice your PayPal for the 25 euros extra).

And I just KNEW that by the time I posted these photos I'd be in another size planner... and I AM haha.

In any case, I adore this planner, I added secretarial pocket on both sides, (meaning that they are not attached at the top edge, making it easier to get in/out), and a fly leaf which I ended up not using due to precious ring space.

I have written down a task in my planner to make another post describing my latest planner madness. Madness I Tell You!! It's almost too embarrassing to admit to, but I vow to overcome my shame.

I like that the card holders are on the left, as I predominantly write on the right side. To save ring space, I have a vinyl card holder tucked in the right secretarial pocket.  Which as I write this, makes me realize that I have cards on both sides so never mind.

When you custom order at Van Der Spek, you have to remember to add the back wallet pocket. I absolutely have to have it to keep my 3 one-dollar bills safe.

I got these frosted dividers from MarlenePlans2Create on Etsy. I used my Dymo label maker black on clear

I got these MOTP inserts from ThePaperStarfish on Etsy.

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