27 December 2021

Van der Spek - Standard Wide - A new size in the Touch Me range.

A lot of people asked Van der Spek for a Touch Me 'Personal Wide'. After some thought they have brought out a 'Standard Wide' version in their popular Touch Me range of ring bound organisers. 

Petra asked me if I would like to review a sample from the first batch that went on sale about a week ago. Of course I said yes. 

I'm not particularly keen on 'Personal Wide' as it's a size that was invented, it's almost ISO216 B6 size. To me using B6 size makes more sense because it is easier to scale inserts to that size. 

B6 is 125mm x 175mm whilst 'Personal Wide' is 121 x 172mm. The additional height of B6 is less of an issue and it's only 4 mm wider than 'Personal Wide' 

Obviously trying B6 or Personal Wide in a normal Standard even with 25mm rings isn't going to work, the pages stick out beyond the edge of the organiser! With 30mm rings the B6 paper pushes hard against the clasp!

The line at the edge of the B6 paper is where Personal Wide would finish, not that much different, but it just confirms that normal Standard size just isn't wide enough for every day use with the wider paper in 'Personal Wide' or B6. 

Standard fitted with 25mm rings

Now it is time to try out B6 in the new Standard Wide Van der Spek Touch Me. 

I'm pleased to confirm that even with 30mm rings fitted to the 'Standard Wide Touch Me, B6 fits perfectly and Personal Wide is 4 mm narrower, so no issues with that size either.

The Standard Wide Touch Me has been made generously sized to cope with being fitted with 30mm rings or 25mm rings if you wish.  

I used a stack of normal personal size inserts either side of B6 size paper to make sure that the B6 stack was in the middle of the rings, the peak of the arc of the rings and therefore at the widest point. 

Standard Wide fitted with 30mm rings

The rest of the design of the Standard Wide is the same as the normal Standard Touch Me, they both feature:

  • Full width back pocket for larger sheets of paper
  • Two pen loops, 
  • Two full height secretarial pockets
  • The inside front cover has a vertical slip pocket and also a full height zip pocket and a card pocket. 
  • The inside back cover has 6 horizontal card slots on the front of the secretarial pocket.

Standard Wide in Stardust Velvet Matt Croco Leather

It should be noted that the inside leather goes the full width of the organiser, it's not cut out like on some other brands. The inside of the full width back pocket and the reverse side of the secretarial pockets are finished in a synthetic leather like material. 

The Standard Wide is also available in Noir(Black), Parme, Beige Croco and Stardust Velvet Matt Croco leathers. 

The Croco leathers are slightly more expensive because they take the trouble to line up the pattern on the interior and exterior leather covers as well as the clasp. Even at this price point Van der Spek go that extra distance to make sure your organiser looks perfect. 

Other than the choice of leather and the size of the rings it's not possible to customise the Touch Me range, but they are 'ready to ship' within 5 days of ordering subject to them being in stock. 

They come boxed in a black box featuring the company logo and were well packed and shipped by FedEx to my door within a few days of despatch. 

The Touch Me Standard Measures:
HEIGHT194mm | 7.64" 
WIDTH (CLOSED PLANNER)146mm | 5.75" 
DEPTH46mm | 1.81"

The Touch Me Standard Wide Measures:
HEIGHT194mm | 7.64" 
WIDTH (CLOSED PLANNER)172mm | 6.77" 
WIDTH (FLAT OPEN PLANNER)362mm | 14.25" 
DEPTH46mm | 1.81"

Thank you to Petra Van der Spek for making the samples available to me to try out. 

Now the exciting bit......

Win the Van der Spek Standard Wide featured in this post. 

To win the organiser you need to answer the following questions: 

1. In what year was Van der Spek Leather Goods first established?
2. What is the title of Steve Morton's new book that will be released on 3rd January 2022?
3. What is the name of the plannercast (podcast) that Steve co-hosts with Karine Tovmassian? 

Answers to all questions are in this post or recent posts on Philofaxy.

Please send your answers to philofaxy@gmail.com the competition will close at 23:00 GMT Monday 3rd January 2022. Please title your email 'Van der Spek' or similar so they can easily be filtered. 

Again a big thank you to Petra Van der Spek for her support. 

The boring but essential bit....

Terms and conditions of the Van der Spek give-away:
  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. Last date for entries 3 January 2022 at 23:00 GMT as specified by the United Kingdom National Physical Laboratory at Teddington. 
  3. Entry is open to anyone on planet earth.
  4. The number of prizes available is 1, the only colour available is as shown in the post. There are no alternatives.
  5. The winning entry will be selected by a pseudo random generator more complex than Ernie the Premium Bond machine. 
  6. The Judges decision is final.
  7. No cash alternative is available.
  8. No correspondence will be entered in to.

Further Information.

Web Site: https://www.vdsshop.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/VDSleathergoods
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/vanderspekorganiserfans/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vdsshop/


  1. The problem with B6 is that the 176 mm height means that you really need different ring metals for it than you would us with Personal. That 5 mm difference is the clearance for the opening tabs.

    1. Not an issue when I tried it, because the paper doesn't get that far around the rings to get close to the tabs.

  2. Thank you for this post. I have been trying to figure out if I can use B6 with this wide configuration. Super helpful!

  3. Thank you for this review. I have been trying to figure out if B6 would work.

  4. Thank you for the review and opportunity to win this gorgeous planner. I’ve been dreaming about a new VDS for a while now, they really do make the best organisers!

  5. Thank you for explaining the price difference. I new the Stardust Croco was a more expensive leather, but I hadn't considered that VDS would like up the pattern. I ordered the Van Der Spek A5 Manager Touch Me in Stardust Croco. It hasn't shipped yet because I also ordered custom widened zippered compartments. This is my first time having them widened, so it is a bit of an experiment. I like to have the leather fly leaf and leather zipper compartment curl around the rings and act as a ring protector. It is not perfect, but it does help. I'm so excited for my new planner to arrive!

  6. Wonderful post, thank you so much! I do wish that the B6 inserts were shown in a personal size with 25 mm rings also

    1. The 5mm difference wouldn’t make that much difference as B6 is 30mm wider than personal size.

  7. I love VDS planners & I was extremely excited for this size in the RTS line, however, the secretarial pockets are so narrow for the width of the planner. All the other sizes within this line have great pocket to planner ratios. The wider pockets for the other planners add some structure to the other planners and seem to hold extra inserts better in their respectable papers because of the pocket-to-planner ratio. However, for this size, when you stuff the secretarial pocket in the front, it makes the "side" with the pockets heavier and makes it awkward to open. If what you placed in the pockets is not wide enough, it feels as though there is no support from the planner when you're opening the planner & its almost bending back on itself from lack of structure. Even the A5 does not have this problem as the pocket to planner ratio seems to work better.