Hey guys! I have a fun tip today, I’m sharing the BEST paper for planner inserts. This is the paper you are going to want to use for printing your own planner printables or inserts, or bullet journal pages, and we’ll talk about why paper is important and how to get the best prints with your printer. While this article talks about paper for planner inserts, I talk about the best paper for planner stickers in this post about free printable planner stickers and how to use them. Needless to say we are obsessed with printables over here, and today we’re sharing our best tips for printing planner inserts!
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Best Paper Weight for Planner Inserts
When it comes to looking at paper type for your planner inserts, you are going to want a higher paper weight. Standard copy paper is 20 lb., but that’s a really thin paper for planner inserts, because then you have issues like pens bleeding through, etc.. and you just won’t get those nicely printed inserts. I aim for at least a 28 lb paper, they are a little easier to find, or when I can find it, a 32 lb paper. 32 lb paper is my favorite paper, and the best paper for planner inserts. But, the short answer to what is the best paper for planner inserts- is any 28-32 lb paper!
What Size Paper?
I always recommend just using a regular US letter size paper if you are in the US. It’s easier to find that paper size here, and easier to print with, and there are so many tutorials online on how to resize letter size PDF files to fit different sizes of planners, such as the one I shared here about how to resize printables for the Happy Planner. Most of the time, when you are purchasing a printable off of say, Etsy, the seller will include trim lines so that you can print any size page you need onto letter size paper and easily trim it down to size. A lot of people may be tempted to look for pre-sized paper that is actually A5 size or whatever size they are going for. In my experience, my printer doesn’t always do well printing on these smaller sized pages, and they can also be harder to find. It is much easier to print first, then trim.
Paper Brightness- What does it mean?
Paper brightness is measured from 0 to 100 and just like it sounds- is a measure of how bright the paper is. If you’ve ever seen dull paper that looks more off-white than white, you know exactly what I mean. The highest brightness you can get for your paper, the better off you’ll be. This will lead to a whiter paper overall, and better, more true to color prints, especially if you are printing inserts with color on them!
Not all printer papers specify a finish, but there are actually many different types of paper beyond size and brightness. For example, most regular printer paper is a matte paper, and photo paper is normally a glossy paper with a real shiny appearance. While that might be great for some projects, a nice matte paper is your best bet for inserts. You want a finish that will be easy to write on, so anything that isn’t matte or that has a more glossy finish will be hard to use.
Why Your Printer Matters
Here’s another super important thing to consider- what type of printer do you have? If you have an inkjet printer, you’ll want to be sure the paper you choose is made for an ink jet printer. The same thing if you have a laser printer, your paper needs to be made for laser printers. Luckly, today there are many papers that work well for both, which just makes life easier.
The Best 28 lb Paper
This Hammermill paper is a great option, it is 28 lb and 100 brightness, so you’ll get a bit of a thicker paper in that nice bright white that we want for our inserts. It’s reasonably priced for a ream of 500 pages, which if you are just printing inserts for your own personal use, will last you for a really long time.
Best 32 lb Paper
This Premium 32 HP printer paper is a thicker 32 lbs, and the same level 100 brightness. You are pretty much guaranteed that most all pens you use on this paper won’t bleed through, and even some markers will work well, so you can print double sided on this paper without worries.
How to get the best print quality
The trick to getting the best print quality for your inserts, especially if you are printing vibrant colors, is to set your printer to the “high quality” print setting, which varies from printer to printer, but to find out how to do this on yours you can do a quick search of your printer model and “how to print high quality” and there should be step by step instructions. Do know that this uses extra ink, but if you aren’t doing this super frequently, it will be just fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of printer do I need for printing planner inserts?
While you can always print pages at your local office supply store, my answer to this is- whatever printer you have! OR whichever printer you want to purchase. There is absolutely NO need to spend lots of money on a printer for personal use, or even commercial, really. They only last so long, and ink is expensive, so when I’m choosing a printer I look at how much the ink costs first, and I also love to get printers that have separate cartridges for each color instead of one color cartridge. That way, if I print a lot of one color I can just replace that cartridge and my other colors are still fine. I have an HP Envy 7100 model printer that I love.
What other ways can I save on ink?
While some might suggest looking into off brand ink cartridges on Amazon, definitely do that at your own risk. They can supposedly damage your printer and cause problems. One thing I’m really loving right now is the HP Instant Ink service with my HP printer I mentioned above. They ship me new cartridges when I need them and I never run out of ink. It’s especially great if you are printing bright colors or ink heavy items, because you pay the same for your pages regardless to how full or sparse they are for the printed area.
Where can I find printable planner pages?
You can purchase printables off of sites like Etsy, which usually come with really handy printing instructions, or find free printables on Google or Pinterest. I also have some free printables here on the blog, you can check these links-
You can also search for free printables on Pinterest or Google, and find just what you are looking for- for free!
What type of paper cutter do I need?
When it comes to choosing a paper cutter, there are a couple of things to consider. The most important being- how many pages do you need to cut at a time?
If you need to cut several pages at a time, a guillotine paper trimmer like this one from Swingline is great.
However, if you just need to cut 1-2 pages at a time, this trimmer from Fiskars is going to be the most accurate when measuring and using trim marks or cut lines.
What hole punch works best?
This is another great question, and largely depends on what type of planner you have. If you are using a regular 3 ring binder to set up your planner, any 3 hole punch will do, but if you want to jump into the world of binder planners, you’ll need a special 6 hole punch to hole punch your inserts. I always recommend this 6 hole punch from Amazon. Also, if you are looking to punch for discbound planners, this Arc discbound punch is great and does lots of pages.
Can I buy A5 size paper?
You can, technically, buy A5 size paper, though I don’t recommend it. I recommend just printing your inserts on letter and trimming them. In my personal experience, A5 paper gets jammed in my printer pretty frequently which can be a real pain. I always recommend printing, then trimming the paper, instead of trimming the paper, and then printing.
Okay guys, I hope this is helpful for you if you are looking for the best paper for printing planner inserts. If you are looking for a binder to set up your own planner with inserts, be sure to check out my guide for the best ring bound planners.
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