Paper-based day planners are still very popular among professionals and busy families. However, when you run out of preprinted pages from the manufacturer, your careful planning comes to a halt until you can obtain refills.
Refills of dated pages, blank planner pages, calendars, to-do lists and address book pages for three-ring datebooks of various sizes are available from stationery stores and via mail order, but they can be pricey and hard to find.
One convenient option is to locate, download and print planner pages from online sources. In some cases, the printable refills are free. You should be able to find pages designed to fit common commercial datebooks such as the Day-Timer, Day Runner, Franklin Covey and other systems.
If you have some ink in your printer and a few minutes to trim pages and punch holes, you can have your favorite day planner back in business from the comfort of your own home.
If you decide to go the printable refill route, the first step is to determine what size organizer you are using. Here are the most common planner sizes: executive (8.5″x11″), desktop (5.5″x8.5″), travel (4.25″x6.75″), personal (3.75″x6.75″), pocket (3.5″x6″), hipster (3″x5″-index card size) and mini (2.75″x5″).
Executive and desktop size planners are commonly referenced in an office setting. Travel, personal and pocket versions are made to bring along in a purse or briefcase and use on the go. The smallest planners, the mini and increasingly popular hipster size, are designed to fit in a pocket.
Some people use only paper planners, while others rely on them to supplement computer-based organizing tools.
Reference the pages that came with your datebook, or simply measure the pages, to figure out what size you need. Also decide if you want to view the pages in landscape or portrait orientation.
Select dated or undated calendar pages (daily or weekly), monthly calendars, to-do lists, address and phone pages, graph paper, lined pages and any other variations you expect to use.
Typically, free printable planner refills can be downloaded in PDF form, which can be easily opened, viewed and printed using Adobe Acrobat’s free Reader. To save ink, consider printing the pages using only your printer’s black ink cartridge.
Once the pages are printed, you’ll need to trim them down (unless they are executive size). Some planner refills come with handy guides for trimming as well as placement circles to aid in hole punching.
Then, pop them in your planner and you’re ready to rule the world, even more organized than before!
Copyright 2009 by Kevin Savetz