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 from 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.
But you’re not going to save a lot of money if you’re always having to replace those ridiculously expensive inkjet cartridge refills. I’d been through some good inkjet printers over the years. hose cartridges were constantly either running out of ink or just drying up on me.
People advised me to get an affordable black and white laser printer and settle for life without color (laser ink is powder, so it doesn’t dry up). So I got a Brother laser printer with laser toner cartridges. (Remember to check Ebates for discounts!)
The toner cartridges cost about $54 each and one will print about 2600 pages. That’s about 2 cents per page – not bad.
But then I discovered the Epson Eco-Tank all-in-one printers, and mine has been a complete game changer. These color inkjets use big, cheap tanks of ink.I linked to the model that’s replaced the one I got, but if you don’t need all the features, you can look for a less expensive model.
The tanks cost around $13 each or $40 for a set of all 4 colors you need, and will print around 11,000 pages. That’s around $0.0036 a page, which is about 5 times cheaper than laser.
Now, you do pay more for the printer up front, but you save so much on the ink over time. And there are some less expensive models than the one I got. My Eco-Tank also never jams, is never “offline” when I need it, etc. In every way, it’s the best printer I’ve ever had.
Another option is to send print jobs to send your print job to Staples for quick, professional printing and binding. For the quality of work you get, their prices are very affordable. And if you want a printer that’s bound with a comb, spiral or even book style, Staples is the way to go.
There are a number of internet sources for free page templates you can print right from your computer. You might also want to check out some free printable to do lists.
1. DIY Planner
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.
2. Scattered Squirrel
You’ll find very colorful and undated journal and planner pages at Scattered Squirrel. In addition to the usual planner pages, you can also get pages for tracking your contacts, pages for family binders, kids’ planner pages and printable binder covers. And some goal worksheets and plain note pages. It’s a great resource.
3. Emily Ley
Emily Ley offers some very pretty yet simple monthly planner pages. These are perfect if you like something that’s attractive looking, but not full of features you don’t want. And there are a lot of other types of pages for brain dumps, meeting notes, color coding… stuff for teachers, stuff for home, stuff for family binders… even kitchen measurements.
4. Creative 365 planner
I love my Creative 365 planner, which comes in several sizes, with lots of available accessories. But you can also print your own pages, like any of these here. Really, you can print any planner pages for your size of the Create 365 Planner, print them on regular typing paper, and hole punch them with the hole puncher made for your size planner (Mini Hole Puncher, Large Hole Puncher).
5. Erin Rippy
Erin Rippy has a great collection of weekly planner pages with beautiful binder covers and inspirational quotes. It also comes with contact pages and a set of monthly dates to remember which could be used as monthly planner pages.
6. Blooming Homestead
Blooming Homestead offers an undated decorative set in a lovely green and yellow theme. This is less of a standard planner and more about homemaking. There are pages for meal planning, chore lists, contact information, etc. You can easily combine this with some standard planner pages from another source.
7. Printable Planners
Printable Planners is very similar to DIY Planner. It offers 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.
Check out the free printable student binder at ShiningMom. It has daily and weekly planning pages, goal setting pages, sketching pages, vision board and more.
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.
10. Polished Habitat
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 some planner stickers to dress it up.
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.
To make it extra unique and personal, you can get a free font made from your handwriting and use that in the writing on the pages.
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. I’ve had this one for years and it’s so strong and easy to use. You 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.