Here you can see a review of a Special Custom Made Manager A5. Thank you Steve aka Mr. Philofaxy!

See the original post here.
Blog: Philofaxy

I weakened… again! Yes I ordered another Van der Spek Custom A5 Manager organiser.

I spent several weeks deciding on the design of this one and Petra Van der Spek was very patient answering my questions about what was possible and what leather was available etc.

So here it is. The details of the leather colours etc are as follows:


Leather Dark Brown JL 101 Yellow JL 106
Stitching Ivory Dark Brown


The Dark Brown JL (Janet Leather) is a reserve list leather. It is a gorgeous vegetable tanned leather. I saw it on another custom order late last year and although I had to wait for Petra to get it back in stock again, it was worth the wait.  I have a similar combination of dark brown and yellow in another leather planner from another brand and I really like the combination.

As you can see from the table above I went for contrast stitching on both the outside and the inside.

On the outside, this Van der Spek looks like any other, there are no alterations or hidden pockets.

The organiser arrived in this very smart black box with their logo in the centre.

And here is the inside of the A5 organiser. I’ve removed the flyleaf to show you the details.

I once again opted for 35mm Krause rings. Despite pruning the contents of my A5 to the bone, it I put all of the sections in one organiser, it is a little more than a 25 mm ring mechanism can cope with.

The first obvious change is the inside front cover, I opted for the Van der Spek ‘454’ layout, I have this same layout in another A5 organiser and I really like it.

The photo below shows the comparison between the layout I chose compared to the regular one. I don’t need that many card slots, I find three slots more than enough.

Looking in detail at the inside front layout, it has as I have just mentioned three vertical card slots. One slip pocket behind those. A slightly deeper horizontal slip pocket above that as well. There are two full height vertical slip pockets as well.

Overall there is an excellent amount of storage in the front cover alone to store maps, brochures, tickets, documents etc. And based on previous experience of this layout I make full use of it.

Additionally there is an elasticated pen loop on the front cover.

The addition of the embossed logo is a nice touch, this was added at my request, but I don’t believe it will appear on all custom orders. It is due to appear on the limited edition planners announced at PlannerCon EU.

Whilst in close up, note that all pocket edges are stitched, rather than just cut.

The A5 flyleaf is in the same leathers. One colour on one side.

And the other colour on the other side.

The rear inside layout includes a gusseted zip pocket with a full height slip pocket behind that. There is also the second elasticated pen loop.

I use both loops, one with a mechanical pencil the other for a pen.

I also requested the addition of the full width back pocket. This is useful for full size A4 sheets, such as print outs of travel confirmations for hotels or trains etc. This pocket is very nicely lined too.

The gusset of the zip pocket is at the top and it gives this pocket quite a large capacity as well as making it easy to get things in and out of it.

The zip has a small leather flap to cushion it and stop it denting your inserts when the organiser is closed. When open it doesn’t interfere at all.

Another requested option was an extended clasp. To make sure it didn’t look ‘untidy’ when the organiser was not so full, I requested an additional popper on the clasp. This seems to work quite well.
I’ve seen similar arrangements on other brands, sometimes with two poppers on the cover rather than the clasp



Thank you to Petra and the team for making this organiser for me.

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