My favorite type of planner is one that you can customize. Don’t get me wrong, I use plenty of coil bound planners that work for what I need them for, but there’s just something to be said about a planner you can add pages to in order to totally customize your planning. There are a few different ones that I really like, so I wanted to share them today. There are a few different planning systems that offer the ability to add your own goodies to them. I know this is a long post but keep reading to the end of the post to learn about all of these great planners. I’m sharing paper planners, as well as some digital options, too!
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The best part about a planner you can add pages to is that you can create your own customized sections in your planner, just like I talked about here in my how to add sections to your Happy Planner post. The Happy Planner, of course, is the first planner that comes to mind for me when you want to add pages, but there are a few other options I want to talk about to. In the past I have had sections in my planner for to-do lists, meal planning, my monthly planner and weekly planner, daily page sections, notes pages, and more! Not only can you plan your daily tasks and weekly layouts, but you can really organize your whole life this way. There isn’t much better than a completely customizable planner that you can add your own pages to.
First, let’s talk about discbound planners, because we all know about the Happy Planner being a great option for this. They come in several sizes (compare the Happy Planner sizes here), and they are so stinkin cute! Then, you can add your own printable planner pages to it in order to create your perfect planner. They come out with new designs a couple of times a year so you can really find a planner that speaks to you and your style. Plus, the Happy Planner also offers expansion discs to even increase the number of pages your planner can hold.
You should also know, that there are more discbound planners than just the Happy Planner. If you are looking for a minimal discbound planner, maybe for work or just to be strictly business, the TUL discbound planners are available at Office Depot and Amazon.
Staples also has its very own line of discbound planners, called the Arc notebook systems. This is where a lot of us back in the day got out discbound hole punch (the Arc brand ones are super sturdy and mine has lasted years and years). I’ve used it to add pages to my discbound planners, including my Happy Planners for a long, long time. Staples has also partnered with Martha Stewart in the past to create some really pretty discbound planners and notebooks. My very first discbound planner was the old school turquoise Martha Stewart Arc planner system. I don’t even think Happy Planner existed yet back then. Check out this photo I found from when I used my Martha Stewart in conjunction with my first ever Erin Condren planner!
Basically, the discbound planner is a great way to create a planner with custom pages to meet all of your needs. Next we’ll talk about ring bound planners.
Ring Bound Planners
Now, my first thought when we talk about ring bound planners is the A5 size and personal size ring bound planners that I have used in the past, such as the Filofax. While the personal size planner is customizable, and pages can be added, it is going to be more difficult to find pages to add to this planner because of its small size. If you are wanting a ring bound planner you can easily customize, I highly recommend the A5 size. You can readily find A5 size printables to add to your planner, and I have tips too on how to resize printables to fit your planner. Plus, there is this handy hole punch that will punch anything you want to put inside of your ring bound planner. It’s super easy to resize printables for both your 7×9 disbound planners and A5 ring bound planners.
You can also purchase planner refills for ring bound planners. We carry personal size and half letter size (for A5 planners) in our Etsy shop! They come ready to go, no worrying about sizing or printing them yourself. For more information on half letter size, you can see our post here on A5 vs half letter size.
Many popular planner brands are starting to release their own ring bound planners. Some of them have the same ring configurations that we are used to, and some of them have different ring configurations. If they have different configurations, it won’t be as easy to customize, unless they sell a hole punch for a reasonable price that matches up with their rings. For example, Erin Condren released her own binder planner, but the rings are the same as planners that we’re used to, like Filofax or KikkiK so it easily adapts to the available hole punches and other accessories.
Let’s talk about some of the US based ring bound planners, like At-A-Glance, Franklin Covey, or Daytimer. They have a different ring configuration than what is most commonly used in the “planner world”. Their planners are similar to A5 size, but not the same. They also have 5 rings, and while you can purchase a hole punch for some of them, it will still be a challenge to find dividers and other accessories you can purchase to fit. Just something to consider that some might not realize about the US ring bound planners.
I also came across the binder planner from Emily Ley, it looks like she partnered with At A Glance to make that planner, which is a US company, and her binders also have that 5 ring configuration. If you just love her planners and want to commit to that ring style, it is doable. However, you can always reference my list of the best planners that are the ring bound style to find one that will be easily incorporated with lots of available accessories and easy to use.
Now, for the most customizable of them all, you might consider a switch to digital planning. For what its worth, with the right youtube tutorials you could create your own completely customized digital planner. The possibilities are endless with different layouts, you can import any PDF files you find as “free planner printables” into your digital planner, I have a tutorial on how to add PDF files to your digital planner. Digital planners can be used again year after year if they are undated, there’s no paper and nothing to throw away, and you can constantly change and alter things as you need to.
If you’d like me to share more about digital planners, let me know. There are lots of tutorials for beginners on Youtube, and I have a free digital fitness journal that you can download and explore if you’d like to. My digital freebies are made to work on your iPad with goodnotes. There’s a whole rabbit hole you can go down with digital planning if you are new, so take it one step at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed! You can choose from endless weekly planning layouts, and now lots of people are creating digital planner stickers and other digital tools so that you can decorate your digital planner just like you would a paper planner.
There are a lot of fun ways to create your own custom planner to meet your different needs in different stages of your life. The good news is that you just need to figure out which one is best for you. I find that the Happy Planner is going to be the most budget friendly option, unless you get into buying their sticker books, but that’s a topic for another day.
Ring bound planners can be great because the binder can be used year after year while you just replace the inserts that go inside the planner, and of course digital planning opens up a whole world of possibilities for your planning.
I hope you have enjoyed this breakdown of the best planners you can add pages to. There are a few different planner systems that do this and to be honest, I’ve used all of them and enjoyed them all, too. That’s what makes choosing a planner so hard, but the good news is you don’t have to pick just a single planner, and you can change up what planners you use whenever you feel like, no matter what anyone says. Haha, you make your planning what you want it to be, I’m just here to give you all of the ideas.
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