Those clever littler personal organizers with the neat-o pages of all sorts are expensive. Especially when you go to buy refills and realize how much the whole package costs per year. Fortunately, you can make your own planner refills using free templates at a fraction of the cost.
Printable planner refills
While you’re still paying for paper and ink, this tends to be cheaper than the pre-printed planner refills in the store. You also get to make only the pages you need, in just the quantity you need, so you’re never paying for extra pages. And you never have to dash off in a panic to an office supply store because you’re about to run out.
A note on printing costs: I got sick of paying for inkjet refills, so I bought these ink bottles and started doing it myself. It worked great. But then my inkjet printer died, and I decided to replace it with a simple black and white laser printer, which is actually better if you don’t print that often and your ink cartridges tend to dry out on you. Laser toner is powder, so it doesn’t dry out.
There are a number of internet sources for free page templates you can print right from your computer.
- DIY Planner offers free templates you can print yourself, and they’re gorgeous. There are several different styles to mix and match – calendars, contact info pages, several types of to do lists and action item lists, note pages, journal pages, pages for logging your exercise and calories burned… oh, just everything. You can even print off a receipt envelope, using a regular envelope.
- Printable Planners is very similar to DIY Planner, offering a nice variety of planner refill pages for you to print. The main difference is that DIY Planner uses a lot of grayscale, which makes their pages prettier (at least to some people), but more expensive to print. Printable Planners pages use no grayscale. They’re very simple, but they look nice and get the job done.
- Vertex42 offers just two templates, but what’s cool about these is that they’re in Excel format instead of a pdf. That means you can customize them on your computer before you print, to get exactly the planner sheets you want.
- This lovely color set from Polished Habitat looks gorgeous whether you print it in full color, or print it in black and white and then use colored pens, stickies or stickers to dress it up.
- Blooming Homestead offers another undated decorative set in a lovely green and yellow theme.
Check my Pinterest Free Printables Board for more being added all the time.
Rolling your own
And that brings us to another point, which is: you can make your own in Excel, Word or Power Point. You can start with a planner page template from Microsoft (some templates will work with non-Microsoft software, like Open Office) and tweak it to your heart’s content. This is a great solution if you normally have trouble finding quite the planner pages you want.
If you find printing your own pages works for you, you may want to invest in a paper cutter – they can be very affordable, and come in handy for a lot of crafts and business uses. These make quick work of cutting “2-up” sheets in half – and they also make the edges look professional to anyone who gets a look at your planner.
You may also want a hole punch. You can get a single hole punch almost anywhere for almost nothing, or you may want an adjustable three-hole punch – set it to match one set of holes on for a 6-ring binder, then scooch it over for the next set (using a pre-punched page as your guide), and you’re done.
Originally Published Jan 30, 2012