Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NEW Printable Planner Pages

{Post Updated October, 2013}

For years my mom and I have searched for the perfect planner. We've tried just about everything on the market, from $5 Target planners to $60 Franklin Covey systems. At one point we even put together bits and pieces from different planners trying to come up with something that would meet ALL of our needs.

But that's the funny thing about planners...our needs are always changing and what worked one year may not work the next. There are, however, a few things that have stayed constant, like the need for monthly AND weekly pages. Also, as much as we've tried to be okay with spiral-bound notebook style planners {because we LOVE how they lay open flat on our desk} we always miss having the ability to add and remove pages and customize it for our needs.

So earlier this year, as I was browsing through Staples, I noticed that Martha Stewart had a new planner available called the Discbound System. I had never seen anything like it before. It functions like a spiral bound planner, but has the flexibility of a binder. It was everything I had been looking for!!!!

Except for one thing...her planner pages were expensive and SUPER boring! And Staple's discbound system {called Arc} wasn't much better. I needed some color and a few fun details in my pages and I realized there was only one way I was ever going to find what I was looking for...

I'd have to make them myself.

So after 6 months and a LOT of trial and error, I am happy to say that ThePolkaDotPosie now has Printable Planner Pages!!! We started with our Academic Set in August, and now we are offering a standard calendar year for 2014 and we have that set available in TWO sizes!!!

Doesn't all that color just make you happy inside? 

If there is one thing I am incredibly indecisive about when it comes to's the size. I go back and forth between large and small and that is why I decided it was time to offer BOTH sizes in our shop. Our Small Planner Pages are available now, and you can read about those and find tips and instructions for printing them here. But if you want a multi-purpose Planner & Home Management Binder in one...our Larger Planner Pages are the way to go. I've honestly never loved a planner more and I am sure you will feel the same way once you give it a try :-)

But before we get to the fun stuff, here are a few things you should know BEFORE purchasing and printing your pages:

1. Our Printable Planner Pages are what they say they are...printables. This means you receive a PDF file when you purchase a set from our Etsy shop and then you choose how you want to print them. The most cost effective way to print is at home (and I will walk you through some steps below), but you can also have them printed and/or bound by a copy/print shop.

2. If you choose to print at home, you will want to invest in a fresh ink cartridge and some higher quality print/copy paper. I prefer 24lb paper for durability and quality.

3. Most printers have the option to select the type of paper you will be printing on (i.e. photo paper, card stock, plain paper, etc.) and you want to make sure you select "plain paper". Many color printers will default to photo paper, which will use 3 times as much ink.

4. The PDF file for our Large Planner is 158 pages and they are organized/designed to be run front-to-back. You will want to print them IN ORDER (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, etc). This set will require more paper and more ink than our Small Planner set, but it much easier to print and assemble and provides a lot more room for writing and list making. Please keep that in mind when determining which size to buy.

Also, you now have an option to get the weekly pages with or without "dinner" meal planning.


 So, if you have taken all this into consideration and are still like, "YES!! THIS IS THE PLANNER FOR ME!"'s what to do next:

Download Your Planner Pages: Visit our Etsy shop to purchase the set of planner pages that works best for you and make note if you don't want the meal planning option (it comes standard if a choice is not specified).

Choose a Binder or Cover: Our Large Planner Pages measure 8-1/2" x 11" so they will work with any binder or planner cover designed for this size. As I said above, we LOVE the Arc system from Staples, but Martha Stewart also has some beautiful Discbound covers to choose from. I fell in love with this one.

Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ Discbound Notebook, Black&White, Smooth, 9-1/2in. x 11-1/2in.

The thing I love most about using this size planner is that I am able to add a bunch of printables from my Home Management Binder, as well as all the important schedules, handouts and newsletters the kids bring home from school. And because the Arc and Martha Stewart Discbound systems are customizable, I can add and remove things easily. Here are some of my favorite features:

I love that the binder can fold over just like a notebook.

I love that I can add accessories, like these dividers, and make the planner my own. 

I love that I can easily add and remove pages without tearing them or opening rings.

And finally, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can make my own planner pages every year and share them with all of you! I have tried my best to include all the features that I have loved in some of my past planners, like a cute cover page, year overview, Month-at-a-Glance calendar and a weekly calendar, complete with Goal & ToDo lists, meal planning (optional), and an extra bonus space for fitness {or any other hobby}.

But if the Arc system isn't the way you want to go, Greenroom by Target has some ADORABLE 3-ring binders to choose from.

Print Your Pages: As I said above, printing at home is the most cost effective option and it's WAY easier than you think. I am using a Mac for all of my instructions {because it's all I know how to use anymore} but most of them should translate well to your PC.

Step One: Download your file and pull it up on your screen. My Mac automatically opens Adobe for PDF files, but I almost always choose to view the files in Preview.

Step Two: Once your files are pulled up in Preview and you've selected to print them, you need to change the size from US Letter to Borderless 8.5 x 11 in. You will notice on the screen that the planner page pulled up does not bleed to the edges. The added white border is a waste of space, which is why we want to go borderless.

Step 3: Once we go borderless, the option to select two-sided will no longer work on my printer {and many others I suspect} so in order to print these pages front to back without doing each one individually, you need to select "Preview" and search for "Paper Handling" in the pull down menu.

Step 4: In "Paper Handling," under the "Pages to Print" drop down menu, select to print "Odd Only"

Step 5: Then select "Normal" for page order.

In Normal order, your odd numbered pages will come out like this...

When they are done printing, you need to simply turn them around and feed them back into the paper tray {head first}.

Step 6: After selecting Borderless again {it restores to default after each print}, go back to "Paper Handling" and select "Even Only" now.

Step 7: Then select "Reverse" order

And there you go! An easy way to print front & back when your computer doesn't let you :-)

Once your pages are all printed, it's time to punch them. If I haven't sold you on the Discbound system yet, you can easily use a standard 8.5 x 11 hole punch and use any binder you like, or have your pages bound professionally.

If I HAVE sold you on the Discbound system, here is one tool you will need to have. The Arc punch from Staples.
M by Staples™ Arc System Desktop Punch, 8 Sheet Capacity
Try not to let the price tag scare you away from this system. Yes, the punch can be pricey if it's not on sale and you don't have a coupon, but if you plan to make this your new planner, it will definitely pay for itself in the long run. You can sometimes find a different brand on Amazon, and this portable punch was on sale not too long ago for only $12, so keep an eye out for some deals.

This punch really is awesome, and you can do 8 sheets at once.

So once all of your planner pages are printed and punched, it's time to assemble!!! My FAVORITE part!!

If you are using divider tabs in your planner, be sure to think about your categories. Mine are:

School & Activities: To include calendars, handouts, schedules and other papers from school, dance, etc.
Home Management: Where I keep my meal planning pages, cleaning checklists, etc.
Health & Fitness: Where I keep Physician names/numbers, Emergency info, Health info, fitness log, etc.
Holidays & Events: Where I keep party planning notes, holiday printables & lists, etc.
Notes & Other: Where I keep notes...and other :-)

As I said above, our Planner Pages are compatible with all of our other free printables, like our Home Management Binder Printables {which have now been updated to coordinate and you can download all the fabulous pages here}...

Here is a little pic of our weekly menu planner in action...

And all of our printables yet to come!!

Well I hope you are as excited as we are about the launch of our BRAND NEW PLANNER PAGES!!! Please email us with any questions at thepolkadotposieprintables{at}gmail{dot}com.

Happy Planning, Friends!!


  1. What kind of dividers did you use?

    1. We used the ARC black dividers for this picture. They also come in multi-color :-)

  2. I just put together my planner and am in LOVE! Thank you so so SO much for making my life 100x easier! I actually went back to using a planner after trying out an iPad for 6 months. I loved my iPad, but it just wasn't the same as actually opening up a book and writing. None of the "Planner" apps suited all of my needs AND when I found myself with magazine clippings and other papers I wanted to save, I had no where to stash them. Not to mention there were no fun colors or patterns in the apps ;) I actually tried using the fine point colorful Sharpies on the Arc Sheet Protectors to record my monthly menu, weekly menu, and weekly cleaning list and they work great! Comes right off with a little elbow grease and water.

    I was wondering if you had/are working on any other packages? I saw some "etsy shop planning" packages to help track stuff as well as some "debt planning" sheets that looked useful. They were no where near as attractive/organized as the sheets you offer though!

    1. Thank you SO MUCH Majken!!! I am glad you are loving your planner! And yes...we hope to have some other packages and freebies available soon. Be sure to follow along and we will post them when they are ready!!

  3. Thank you so much for your printer directions! You have the same style printer as I do and that was such a big help!

  4. I love the small planner pages, but want to purchase the home management pages in the small size as well. Am I missing something, or are they not available in that size?

    1. They are not available in that size YET, but we are working on it!! They should be available sometime this month. We will post on the blog when they are ready :-)

  5. I've been looking at the ARC system for a while now. There are a few items from the Martha Stewart line that I like as well. Are they interchangeable? Am I able to use both lines in the same book? Also, do you know when the Home Management system might be ready in the smaller size?

  6. Oh my gosh...where to begin!! I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these printables!! I am a Planner Junkie and have NEVER found the perfect one until now! I did buy the Arc system from Staples for my printable planner pages, but you could even use a regular 3 hole punch with a binder! Either way, these pages are SO fun and colorful! Jennifer is AWESOME!! I actually purchased the fill-in your own days in the small size and then the bigger 2014 planner, as well! I have showed it to everyone because I'm so proud of it! LOL Of course, not everyone is as excited as I am, but oh well! LOL

    This was actually my first purchase on Etsy, too! It's a fun little place to look around! Thank you, Jennifer, for not only making these awesome planner pages, but for sharing them with us! The price is a STEAL, compared to what planners out there cost!

    If you are "on the fence" about whether or not to make a purchase, DO IT!!! I highly recommend Jennifer and her products! She was there to answer my questions almost immediately! She's very personal and friendly and there to help! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!