Planners are handy tools for keeping organized. If you use them. Funny thing, you have to keep writing in them for them to work good. Them darn planners.
But seriously, it’s frutrating when once again you discover you have a planner (maybe an expensive one!) that just doesn’t seem to fit your lifestyle or the way you think. You start out with high hopes and then just slowly drift away from it, using it less and less. Maybe that’s happened to you. *Raising my hand over here – yup, it’s happened*
So this time around, in the hopes of staying productive and well organized and actually using my planner, I’m going to try something a little different. I’m going to make my own planner so I can customize it more to my wants and needs. Basically I just want to write a daily To-Do list, I want to remember if I have to be somewhere at a certain time, and I want things to be clean and simple with enough open visual space that my eyes can easily spot what I’ve written. With that in mind, I’ve been hard at work making my own printable planner pages,
and I’ll be sharing those in the next post. Click here for the free 2017 free printable planner pages
But first, I thought I would give some info on the supplies that I needed to buy to get myself set up with a system for my homemade planner pages. I was excited to discover the Arc notebook system at Staples (and I’m not being paid by Staples, I just think this system is pretty cool!) It’s a system with “discs” that keeps things together rather than being spiral bound. This has the wonderful advantage of letting you take pages in and out and make changes as needed. It allows for LOTS of customization which is just what I was looking for.
Here are the supplies I bought so I could begin to make my own planner:
*Note: Amazon links are affiliate links
I like the smaller planners so I bought an Arc notebook in the “junior” size (6-3/8″ x 8-3/4″). I couldn’t find any empty notebooks at my local store (just the cover and discs) so I bought the one with some lined paper in it and paid $7.99. It holds paper that is 8.5″ x 5″. This is “half-size” paper, which is great for making your own pages because it’s simply a standard sized 8.5×11 piece of paper that most of us have around the house for our printers, but cut in half. (more about that in the next post on the printable pages). The Arc notebooks also come in a larger size for a full sheet piece of paper.
#2 – Paper Trimmer
I quickly learned that if I was going to make my own half size paper, I needed a good paper cutter! My scissors method that I started with just wasn’t giving me the nice clean edges that I wanted.
The scrapbooking areas of craft stores are a great place to look for this tool. I bought a nice paper trimmer at Hobby Lobby that’s been working perfectly. It has a pull-out ruler so I can easily find the 5.5″ mark for cutting my paper in half, and a blade that slides up and down that works like a charm. The paper trimmer I bought was regularly priced at $7.99 but was on a 50% off sale so my total was only $4.23. Several craft stores always have 40% off coupons too.
3 – Paper Punch
The disc bound systems have a special type of hole in the paper that makes them fit on the discs. If you’re going to make your own planner pages for a disc bound system, then you MUST have the right kind of paper punch. This was almost a deal breaker for me as the standard Arc punch costs about $40. I wasn’t ready to pay that much to get started with this system – I wasn’t even sure yet if I was going to like this system!
So the cheapskate in me was happy when I noticed Staples had a compact punch I could buy for $14.99. You can only punch one page at a time, but hey, us cheapskates are willing to do that. 🙂 The closest option to order online that I could find was this Levenger portable punch which looks to be the same type of thing.
4 – Heavier Paper (optional)
If you’re going to print your own planner pages back-to-back, then you might also want to get some paper that’s a little heavier so the print on the back side doesn’t show through quite as much. I purposely made my homemade planner pages in lighter colors to help a bit with this issue. Paper that’s a heavier weight will also hold up to wear and tear a little better.
I hunted in several stores hoping to be able to buy some heavier paper in a small quantity, but came up empty handed. I finally bought a ream (500 sheets) of 22 Lb paper at staples for $11.79. If I could do it again, I think I would get something even heavier, perhaps the 24 Lb. However the heavier the paper, the higher the price and once again, the cheapskate in me was resisting.
So the total for me to get started?
$7.99 planner + $4.23 paper trimmer + $14.99 paper punch = $27.21
Add in some heavier paper and the final total is $39
This is still cheaper than the price I paid for my planner last year – AND – now that I have all the basic supplies, I can make my own planner pages in the years to come and pay virtually nothing.
So yes, I’m excited to begin using this system AND I’m excited to share my free printable planner pages and calendars with you too. Click here to check them out – – > 2017 Free (half size) printable planner pages