21 January 2015

Creating A6 Inserts

I have been seeing an increasing number of people using A6 size organisers. Why A6, well as you saw from Alan Marshall's excellent tutorial on paper sizes A6 is in the same proportions to A5 and A4 paper.

A6 size paper is 105mm by 148 mm which is half the size of A5 paper (148x210 mm) or a quarter of A4 paper (210x297 mm). This is obviously very convenient from a design point of view and printing too.

I will be covering how to print A6 inserts in another post, it is even easier to do that printing Filofax personal size.

So who makes A6 size organisers? Not an exhaustive list, but these are the ones I'm aware of:
Van der Spek Senior and Mulberry Agenda.
Thank you to Yvonne for the photo.
Most of the recent ones I have seen have been Van der Spek Senior size, these will soon be available with 25 mm rings so quite an attractive option and a reasonable price compared to the limited range from Mulberry.  Filofax have never as far as I know made an A6 size organiser.

All of these organisers use a common ring spacing employing 6 rings spaced at:

19 <> 19 <> 38 <> 19 <> 19 mm

And if you are creating your own inserts, the good news is the Rapseco 6 hole punch has intermediate setting that matches this configuration between 'Pocket' and 'Personal'' The KW-Trio A5 punch and variants also have this '38 mm centre spacing' setting too.

If you are creating your own inserts you can of course design them in A6 size. Personally I tend to design in A4 size and then scale them down at printing time. All the printed fonts all be reduced in size so it is easier to work at A4 size because that is most probably the size you are used to working in.

The inserts that Ray and I make available are designed in A4 size and they will scale down to A6 easily. So there are no shortage of dairy inserts available for the A6 size. I will show you tomorrow how to easily print A6 size inserts on your own printer.

Have you ever considered using an A6 size organiser instead of Personal size?


  1. I'm very happy in my A6 VDS binders! I have a brown Touch Me in senior size, in which I use inserts that are roughly A6 (roughly because when I cut them out of A6 notebooks often they aren't true A6 size any more), and then when I feel like I want some pink-ness I transfer them to my true A6 custom VDS binder. The Touch Me is 'Senior' size, not A6 size, but I don't mind that inserts closer to A6 size stick out a little further than senior size inserts are designed to, and I have no trouble having tabs on the side. The only trouble I have with my 2 binders at the moment is that they both have 20mm size rings, which limits how much I can put in them (I used the excellent Philofaxy tutorial of how much paper you should put in your binder, ring size - 6mm= 14mm thickness of inserts. So in February I will definitely be buying 1 set of 25mm rings for my true A6 custom VDS, which I know will be able to accommodate the larger rings, but I haven't decided if I'll get a set for my narrower Touch Me, which would benefit from larger rings, but wouldn't hold them so well.

    The reasons why I changed to A6 size binders are:
    I love them dimensions of A size paper- A5 is my favourite size, but it's hard to carry an A5 binder with you everywhere. A6 is the same proportion but scaled down to half, so my brain still works well with it.
    I don't like personal sized paper as it's too tall and narrow for me, my brain automatically associates this with lists, as you write short sentences down the page. I need something that is for note-taking, which is why a scaled down version of A5 (where I write most of my notes) makes sense.
    I can take paper from my A5 Filofaxes and fold it in half and easily put it in my A6 binders, behind the secretarial pocket or even in the full-length wallet pocket at the back of my Touch Me. I could even punch holes at the top and the bottom of the paper and insert the pages on the rings.
    I also love the size of the binders. Personal size is great to carry around, but that size is taller than A6 size, so doesn't fit snugly in the outer pocket of my hand bag or in my coat pocket. These are important for me during a rainy British winter! I love that I can put my binder in my coat pocket (yes, it's a big pocket!) when it rains, so I can protect the paper from getting wet. I couldn't do that with a personal size binder as it would stick out of the top and the pocket flap wouldn't cover it!

    1. Thank you Kate for your detailed comment. I think I am close to ordering a Van der Spek Senior size as well, it is a size I have been wanting to try for a while now.

    2. Thank you for your beautiful post, Kate: I agree with you and am in love with the A & size, but haven't bought any binder in that size yet because of the difficulty of finding inserts Did you buy only the binder or also the zipped pouch? I am dreaming of buying a VDS custom in A6 size to use also as a wallet, and I am wondering if it would be possible to have one of those zipper compartments for the coins.

    3. Am I reading correctly in that VDS "Senior" is NOT actually A6? I can't find an option for an A6-size in custom, just "Senior", and that only comes with 20mm rings. A6 itself would be much better for me - I love my A6-sized Hobonichi Techo...

    4. Ligeia I heard that Franklin Covey pocket size plastic inserts fit the A6. I know they have card holders and maybe a zip pouch too.

  2. L'Agenda Moderne also make A6 Organisers. I have a beautiful purple leather ostrich print one that has been my EDC (Every Day Carry) since I bought it in October 2014. I love it for all the reasons that Kate has listed above, plus it's easy for me to design and print my own inserts for.

    I still use Compact and A5 sizes, but the A6 is my favourite.

    1. Hi! Can you tell us which one of the brand do you pick ? The references are weird !

  3. I have a Franklin Covey pocket size which takes A6 inserts, although they list the size as 3½" x 6". It's nice and compact but gives more writing room than a Filofax pocket size.

  4. I have a VDS A6 and love it for many reasons that Kate mentioned. The fact that few binders & inserts are a available is good for me since I can't go way overboard with buying extras I won't use! I do wish there were more accessory options. Ligeia, the Daytimer pocket-sized vinyl zip pouch fits perfectly in the back slip pocket of my VDS A6:

  5. I've just ordered a vds standard so I'm committed to that, but a6 sounds handy.

  6. I have been using an a6 Fauxdori that I made myself. It is the perfect size for me. I have large handwriting so I need the width but not necessarily the length of the larger FC "personal" size. When I saw Kate's YT video I was sold. I ordered my custom a6 VDS yesterday. Now I just have to be patient.

  7. This is a timely and informative pistol and thread. I've been wanting to order a VDS for some time now and I recently started thinking about going with an A6 size. I'm intrigued by the size and also, I have so many personals, A5s and pockets, I don't need more of those. I just received my A6 Hobonichi and I really like this size. My only resistance to the A6 was of course the fact that insert options are limited. I'm not successful with printing my own in spite of Steve and Rays excellent instructions. Also not a fan of printing/punching my inserts on a regular basis except for specialty ones I use on occasion. I just kind if prefer to buy mine done and done. Also was concerned about finding card holders and plastic envelopes for this size. I like options. I do believe the FC pocket sized plastic inserts fit the A6 ring configuration but I'd have to double check that. My other hesitation is that I already own so many personal size binders and a boat load of various inserts so do I want to make the investment in an A6? If I'm being totally honest, I'm not really carrying my personal size binders in my handbag as much as I'd like to. Often I find them just too heavy. I've tried pocket and compact to lessen the load but the paper and /or ring sizes were not perfect. The A6 seems like a good compromise and I do like the wider paper. This certainly has given me something to think about.

  8. Thanks to everyone here for all the great info and tips. I'm still confused though about the senior vs true A6.

    If you order a senior from VDS will all A6 inserts ordered from Mulberry, Sucess or elsewhere fit? Do you have to alter or further customize the VDS senior in order to make it a true A6?

    1. Petra is aware that the Senior wasn't true A6 size. This has now been amended and if you request an A6 size Senior it is made to the correct size.

      Similarly the A5 has been adjusted by a small amount to fit true A5 not Half Letter. Although My own one is fine.


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