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print a custom planner

How to Print a Custom Planner?

Creating a custom planner tailored to your specific needs can be an extremely useful organizational tool. With full control over the design, you can include features that suit your workflow and style. But knowing how to properly print a custom planner involves some key considerations.

In this step-by-step guide, as a reliable planner manufacturer, I’ll outline everything you need to know to successfully print your own efficient and stylish planner from start to finish.

print a custom planner

Why Print Your Own Custom Planner?

Let’s start by looking at a few of the main benefits of creating a custom printed planner:

Complete Personalization

The major advantage of printing your own planner is the ability to fully customize it to your life. You can include the exact types of pages, layouts, and features that work for you rather than relying on a generic premade planner.

Want an hourly schedule from 6 am to 10 pm? A notes section for blog post ideas? Three pages to plan meals and grocery lists? You can add all of that and more when you DIY.

Save Money

Premade planners from popular retailers can cost $20-40+. Designing and printing your own allows you to skip those costs while still ending up with a high-quality planner.

Stand Out

Printing a custom planner with a stylish, professionally designed cover and creative layouts inside allows you to carry around something unique compared to mass-produced planners.

So if having full control to organize your life more efficiently sounds good, read on to learn how to properly print a planner tailored exactly to your needs and style.

How to Print a Custom Planner

Step 1: Decide On Size, Layout & Features

Before getting to the actual printing, you need to map out the specifics of your planner’s design. Ask yourself:

  • What size will your planner be? Compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack? Or larger for more writing space at a desk?
  • How will it be structured? Yearly overviews? Monthly, weekly and daily pages? Goal setting? Habit tracking? Brainstorming sessions? Pick your essential sections.
  • What creative touches can you add to make it uniquely yours? Inspirational quotes? Fun graphics and images? Color coding for categories?

Sketch out some rough layout concepts before moving forward to get an idea of how all the parts will fit together.

Step 2: Choose Binding Type

You have various options when it comes to binding your printed planner pages together:

Spiral Bound

This is likely the most popular choice for DIY planners. Spiral binding allows pages to lay perfectly flat – great for frequent writing. And pages can also flip around the back.

Downsides are limited customization for the covers and having to hole punch pages yourself.

Disc Bound

Disc binding uses circular discs to hold punched pages instead of a spiral. This allows easy removal and additions of pages whenever you want.

The flexibility of adding and rearranging makes disc great for frequently changing layouts. But cover options are still limited.

Case Bound Hardcover

Going with a professionally printed hardcover gives your planner a classic, polished look – similar to a novel. Pages are glued into the inside cover rather than punched.

While case binding options are more complex for DIY, the premium result can be worth the investment if you want to sell printed planners.

Step 3: Design Planner Pages & Cover

Now comes the fun part – using graphic design software like Adobe InDesign to layout out your planner pages and covers with colors, fonts, images and any other visual elements you want.

Even if you have zero design experience, planner templates you can customize make it easy. For example:

  • Etsy – Tons of editable planner templates from independent creators
  • Canva – Free simple templates for online visual design
  • Adobe InDesign – Most popular professional layout software

A few design tips as you’re customizing the templates:

Keep Consistent Structure

Use the same fonts, colors, and graphic elements across all pages to unify the look. Brand your planner with a logo on each layout.

Do some test prints on basic paper before final printing to catch any issues with alignment, quality, or mistakes.

Add Your Personal Touch

What hobbies, quotes, or visual styles inspire you? Add modern geometric patterns as backgrounds, or watercolor nature scenes if you love the outdoors. Get creative!

Step 4: Select High Quality Paper

With your beautiful custom planner designed, it’s extremely important to print on the right paper. Regular 20lb copy paper is far too thin for a planner that will be written in frequently. The ink will bleed through to the other side.

Instead, choose an uncoated stock paper that’s at least 80lb or higher. This thicker paper prevents ink spreading while still being smooth to write on.

Ideally, use 100lb paper or even 120lb cardstock for the best durability. Just ensure the thicker paper doesn’t make your planner uncomfortable bulky when bound together.

Step 5: Print Your Planner!

You have two options for the actual printing process:

At-home Printer

If creating just for personal use, printing directly from an at-home printer is the easiest and most affordable route. Print quality won’t be the absolute highest, but still fine for your own custom planner.

Use the correct paper size settings and print the front side of pages first. Then reload the paper to print backs facing the right direction.

Professional Printing

For the highest quality color results or if you plan on selling your designed planners, using a professional printing service ensures crisp, vibrant pages.

The two most popular website printing services are:

  • Vista Print – Easy online ordering with frequent sales
  • Mixam – Highly rated premium printer used by designers

Upload your press quality PDFs and choose 100+ lb paper, then quickly receive professionally printed planners ready for use!

And that covers the complete process for designing and printing a custom planner down to your exact specifications. What will you include in your optimized organizational system? Monthly financial tracking? Goal setting guides? I hope this tutorial gave you the knowledge to create an efficient planner that fits your lifestyle!

In Conclusion: How to Print a Custom Planner

Creating a fully personalized planner tailored exactly how you like takes some effort upfront. But the organizational benefits for years to come make printing your own planner well worth the effort.

Follow the steps I outlined here, from deciding on layouts to printing on premium thick paper, to end up with the ultimate scheduling sidekick to increase daily productivity. And have fun making a stylish planner that shows off your personal flair!

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