Saturday, 14 June 2014

Betwixt and between – will a slimline de Villiers bridge the gap between pocket and personal?

My planning ‘system’ has fallen apart. I’ve missed half a dozen birthdays in the last month and feel about as organised as a bowl of spaghetti. Planner love is thin on the ground. I’m just not looking at my planner (and we all know that that road leads to hell...).

So what’s gone wrong? Where has the Baroque love gone?

I don’t know. I still love it and in many ways I just think it’s me being fickle rather than there being any major issue, if I’m being honest. I’m certainly not selling either of my Baroques, before you all start asking!

I had the urge to move into a pocket (again!) as my weeks are getting to the point in the year where they are low on appointments and high on ‘things to do’ and a full-sized planner seemed both overkill and underused. And like carrying a brick. The reasoning behind shifting to a pocket was that a DPP in pocket-size might be a better solution for me than WO2P plus Post-It note in personal-size, but then, I just know that being able to carry cards will be an issue unless I have 19mm rings in a pocket. And any regular reader will know how I have struggled even with a 19mm ring binder.

So... I have just bought a slimline de Villiers binder from eBay instead. It has 10 card slots with a vertical pocket behind, two vertical pockets on the other side, and oval rings which measure 16mm in the wider direction and 14mm rings in the narrower.

16mm rings...

I know, I know... I have never made small rings work for me before, but that’s because they have always been small rings in a pocket binder and the problem has been the ring space being taken up with card-holders. But, the de Villiers binder has 10 card slots in the cover, so I wouldn’t have to take up any ring space with card-holders!

The plan is to have a month or two of WO2P diary which I can just swap out of the Baroque, the rest of the year as monthly sheets and possibly a week of DPP (both of which I can print myself), plus the usual notes paper, addresses and other stuff I carry.

The hope is, that by limiting how many weeks of WO2P there are in there, it will force me to do my weekly reviews and then maybe I will start being more organised???

I’ll keep you posted. Review of the binder coming soon.


  1. I can't wait to see how this works for you! You've helped out so many of us to find a working, useful setup, you deserve to have one yourself!

  2. Hi Amanda. I saw the de villiers one last week and thought it looked interesting. I'm looking forward to reading how you get on with it, especially with 15mm rings (!), so fingers crossed it will work for you. Aren't you using the Mulberry A5 anymore? I thought that was working well for you? Sometimes too much choice becomes the problem itself! Anyway, look forward to your experience with the de villiers binder. If you don't get on with it, I'd be interested to try it out. It seems a quite well thought out combination of semi-compact rings with good credit card holders. I have tried WO2P before but I couldn't get enough detail in them and am now using DPP again in A5. So far, it is working well. Best of luck!

  3. Hi guys!
    @Shadow Wolf - here's hoping that I can get this to work!! Not sure if I've helped lots of others, but kind of you to think it!
    @Paul B - the A5 Mulberry is working perfectly at work - I have a really great set-up there, but not one I have managed to successfully translate to Personal size (and A5 is too big as a carry-around). I'm hoping that the combo of lots of card holders and space for paper money etc with the small rings will finally be one I can work with! By autumn I will be back to the Baroque as the diary will be full and the to-do will be less, so I will need the diary in there, but for the summer, the diary is quiet (appointments wise!) but the to-do is a monster!

  4. Makes sense. I thought you'd completely discarded the Mulberry A5s in a fit of change. I know the Baroque is a nice binder, but I still think there isn't much can hold a candle to a Mulberry. So the A5 is desk-bound now, but you're into a Personal for the Summer? I know what you mean about the diary. The DPP in my A5 seems so clear and things leap out at you, but its harder to appreciate that level of detail in a Personal.

  5. @Paul B
    Ah, I'm one of those (strange?) people who not only keeps work and home binders separate, but positively barricaded apart! I have two A5 Mulberrys at work - one with diary and notepaper in (home-made week to view plus notes diary) and the other holding notes from meetings etc. I have always used either an A5 at work and a personal or a pocket for 'my' binder (i.e. everything except work!) and tend to use either a week + notes (when the year is in the 'quiet' time) or WO2P plus Post-Its of to-dos (messy, but has worked!) when I have lots of appointments but fewer to-do. My problem is that I flip between needing the space of the personal, but wanting the weight of the pocket size! Here's hoping that this will be a workable combination of size of the personal and weight of the pocket, in one!

  6. The timing is quite spooky as I recently gave a De Villiers slimline to Steve. I've never seen or heard of them before... It definitely holds a lot for its size & if I wasn't so attached to my personal Malden I would've kept it. I hope that it works well for you :)