Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Print & Assemble our Small Planner Pages

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you arrived here via Pinterest or another site, please note that this post has been updated as of September, 2015 in order to showcase our NEW 2016 calendar pages! The post below will highlight some of the great features of our Small Planner Pages, as well as provide detailed print instructions with screen shots and step-by-step directions.


When we first started selling planner pages 2 years ago, we stuck to our fun and easy-to-print 8.5 x 11 sets. But what we soon realized is that not everyone wants to carry around an 8.5 x 11 planner and the requests for small planner pages were coming in DAILY. So we took a leap of faith, spent a LOT of time trying to figure out how to make the files work and suddenly…it all came together. Now, our Small Planner Pages {sized 5.5 x 8.5} are by far our most popular sets!

But here are a few things to consider before you purchase this size:

1. If your printer does NOT have the option for "borderless" printing, you may have a hard time getting your pages to align properly. Sadly, not all printers are created equal and some printers have a tendency to print images off center. This can sometimes be fixed by realigning your printer, or simply adjusting margins in your print settings. But other times, there isn't an easy way to resolve the issue. And because our small pages are designed to be printed two-to-a-page on an 8.5 x 11 paper, back-to-back, and then cut down the middle…it is important the image prints centered on your page. If you are concerned about your printer's ability to print these pages correctly, we strongly encourage you to download one of our FREE small planner pages to do a test a run.

2. Printing our Small Planner pages can be a time consuming project. It requires printing, cutting and hole punching. However, we promise that the end result is worth the time if you are looking for a great portable planner :-)

3. If you choose to have your planner printed and bound, you may need to take these instructions with you to the printer. Sadly, not all printing companies are able to look at the file and understand exactly how to print it, so you may need to help them out.

Okay…now that we have that out of the way…are you ready to build your small planner?!! If so, we have several fabulous sets to choose from.

Our most popular set is our Seasonal Planner. 

We typically have 2-3 date ranges available throughout the year in our dated Seasonal Planners. We have an Academic Year, which runs from August - July (perfect for people who prefer to plan based on a school year, rather than a traditional calendar year). 

And then we always have a traditional Calendar Year, which runs from January - December. Our 2016 Small Seasonal Planner is our newest Calendar Year planner and we are IN LOVE with some of the subtle changes and improvements we have made.

We kept all of the things our customers love about our Seasonal Planners, including the seasonal colors and patterns, the monthly journal and list pages and the meal planning option on the weekly pages. You will notice that the meal planing section now has a little more space for planning beyond just dinner. You can plan for school lunches, diet plans, parties & events and more! And of course, for those who do not meal plan, we have a second version with a blank square that you can turn into whatever you'd like! You now receive BOTH VERSIONS with your purchase :) You can check out all of the fabulous details and view additional pictures on our Etsy listing {HERE}.

So why choose the Seasonal Planner over our Signature and Undated sets? Here are 4 ways this planner stands out:

1. This planner is fully DATED. No need to write in your own months or dates.

2. This planner file is already set up in order for front-to-back printing. No need to arrange pages or figure out the order of your planner. We did the work for you :)

3. It is the perfect planner to take to a print shop. Because the file is already organized, you only need to give 3 instructions {print front-to-back, in a "borderless" or "full bleed" setting, and cut down the middle}. Easy peasy. 

4. Probably the most obvious way this planner stands out is that it has gorgeous colors and patterns that stand out and because we tried to match each month to the season, it is a great option for people who want to decorate their planner…but simply don't have time to do it.

PLEASE NOTE: This set is in order with weekly pages that follow each coordinating month. There isn't a way to separate the months from the weeks so please take that into consideration before you purchase this set. If you are looking for this planner in just a dated Monthly version, we do have that available as well.

We offer the Seasonal Monthly Planner in an Academic Year, and a traditional Calendar Year.

We realize that a fully dated planner doesn't always appeal to everyone, so if you are looking for a little more flexibility with your planner pages, be sure to check out our

If you like variety in your planner and if you prefer having the ability to change your weekly/daily format based on your needs, then this planner is for you!! It comes with 12 undated 2-page monthlies,  4 different 2-page weekly options, a Daily option, as well as a bunch of other great extras. You can set up the planner any way you like…and change it as you go. This set is also undated which means you can start it as soon as you purchase it and use it for years to come!

If you don't need weekly pages, or if you love our Signature design but prefer it dated, we do have the  

This set comes with 18 months of dated 2-page monthlies (with 2 extra bonus months right now) and runs from June 2015 - December 2016!!! Use this set alone, or in conjunction with our awesome Weekly or Daily Dockets!

Although we LOVE color around here at ThePolkaDotPosie, we also understand that some people like to keep it simple and/or decorate their own pages with stickers and washi tape. With that in mind, we also have a Small {Undated} Simplistic Planner Set!

This planner works just like our undated Signature set, and you can also purchase this design in the 2015 - 2016 Dated Monthly Planner!

All of our planner sets come with a standard cover page with space to write in your name. But if you are looking for a Custom Cover Page, we have several fabulous options available.


Once you have decided on a Small Planner, it's time to print and assemble!

As we explained earlier in this post, printing our Small Planner pages IS a project. You are printing, cutting and punching so be sure to set aside some time and pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) to make the process go a little smoother :-) 

Now, before we get started, here are some important things you NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HIT "PRINT"

1. 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 or 28lb paper for durability and quality.

2. 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.

3. If you purchased our Small Seasonal Planner set, the PDF file is organized and designed to be run front-to-back, so you need to print them IN ORDER (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, etc). The file WILL LOOK CONFUSING and it will seem as though pages are missing and/or out of place. Please trust us…they are in the RIGHT order for printing this way. If you are concerned at all, please start by printing Page 1 with Page 2 on the back and then cut down the middle. You will then see the flip order.

4. Printing the Smaller Planner Pages at home will require cutting, which is an extra step from our Large Planner Pages. Although some printers will give you the option to print on special 5.5 x 8.5 paper...most do not, which is why ours are designed to be printed on standard 8.5 x 11 paper and then cut down the middle. Please keep that in mind when determining which size to buy.

Download Your Planner Pages: Visit our Printables Shop on Etsy to purchase your planner and be sure to SAVE the file to your computer or hard drive for future use. 

Choose a Binder or Cover: Our Small Planner Pages measure 5.5" x 8.5" so they will work with any binder or planner cover designed for this size. We LOVE the Arc system from Staples, and we now offer adorable fabric covers in our Handmade Shop!!

Another option for our small planner pages is to use a Mini Binder. Target has some adorable mini binders to choose from (and are very inexpensive) and Avery makes a 1" mini binder that would work perfectly as well.

Grab a Hole Punch & Paper Cutter: I realize that not everyone has these things laying around the house, but if you really want to use this planner to its full potential, you will want to invest in a punch (or go in on one with a friend). If you choose the Arc System, the punch is an investment but WELL worth it (be sure to always search for a coupon too). You can also opt for the smaller version here. As far as paper cutters go, a simple scrapbook cutter will do the job (it's what I use in the instruction pictures below). 

So, once you have all of your supplies, it's time to start printing!!

Here's how to print our Seasonal pages.

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 if we can.

 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.

Once your Odd pages are printed, you will want to feed that stack of pages back into your printer in whichever direction YOUR Printer feeds paper back in. We realized this year that many printers feed differently, so you will want to be observant of that. In most cases, you will feed the odd pages in the exact same way they came out. Then you can print the even pages.

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

You will notice that the view page switches to Page 2 (because we are on Even Only) and this should print on the back of Page 1, and so on and so on.

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


Because our Signature and Simplistic pages offer so much flexibility in the way you set up your planner, print instructions aren't as cut and dry as our Seasonal set above. So, we have decided to now include detailed print instructions WITH your file when you purchase one of these sets. The instructions look like this:

 Now, before you turn your printer off, be sure to check out all of our FREE printables that coordinate with our small planners! We have a fantastic selection of Home Management printables that you can download HERE:

Now, once your pages are all printed, it's time to cut them!

Although it can be rather time consuming to use a scrapbook paper cutter {because it can only do 1-2 pages at a time}, it is a good option because it allows you to be precise with every page. Just make sure you line it up properly to cut at the 5.5" mark.

The page order may seem confusing when it is still in 8.5 x 11 format, but once you cut will all make sense!

Once your pages are printed and cut, the hard part is over!! WOOHOO! All you have to do now is punch!

If you are using the Arc punch, you will first want to switch the slide to "Junior" sizing:

You can punch up to 8 pages at once if you have the heavy duty punch so take advantage and save yourself some time.

As you punch each stack, just slip them into your rings.

And then you are DONE!!!!!!!! When you see it all put together, I swear the time will be worth it.

Isn't she pretty?!

I hope this post helps you get your planner all set up, but if you still have questions, please don't hesitate to email us at thepolkadotposieprintables{at}gmail{dot}com.

***Disclaimer: All opinions and recommendations for the Arc System and accessories are my own. I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. They are simply my favorite and I like to share them with others :-)


  1. This planner is GORGEOUS! I'm printing it out right now and CANNOT WAIT to use it! Thanks so much for creating this smaller version!

    1. Thank you so much Joy!! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  2. I just found your blog and shop and I am in love!! I'm hoping that as time goes on you will offer more color combos and options :) Thank you for all your hard work for people who are Photoshop challenged like me!

    1. You are so welcome!!! And yes...I do plan to offer more color combinations in the future. Once we get through the holiday rush there will be more time for designing. Stay tuned!

  3. Love the planner! It's gorgeous and looks perfect! I don't have a color printer so would have to have it printed somewhere. Will they be able to easily print front/back with the way the PDF is formatted or is it going to be difficult? Probably a dumb question but wanted to ask. Thank you!

    1. Erica that is not a dumb question at all! All of my pages are arranged in order for front/back printing. Most copy places will understand that page 1 prints with page 2, page 3 prints with page 4, and so on. Thank you for the sweet compliments!!

  4. I'm working on printing out the home management pages, and they don't seem to work well printed with the "page 1 & 2 are front and back of one sheet" pattern. So far I've been printing the sheets one at a time, feeding them through again to print the back, working just one page at a time from the 10-page file. I'd love to see a post with instructions on how to print these effectively. :o)

    Thanks so much, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come out with next. These are great, and I'm really looking forward to using them.

    1. Hi Annalea, The set-up process for small planner pages is rather complicated because in order to run two planner pages to one sheet of 8.5 x 11" paper, and also have the ability to run them front-to-back, they have to be in a very specific order. And once the pages are in that order, they aren't easily altered. People are somewhat "stuck" with that specific order. Because the Home Management pages are Free and available to everyone, I wanted to set them up in the most versatile way possible. This does require more time, having to feed pages in one and at a time and flip them over, but it means that people can pick and choose how they want to set them up and how many copies of each they may want.

      But thank you for the compliment on the design. I am glad you are enjoying them!

  5. Could I take these to staples and have them print it out?

  6. I have now used a whole set of ink cartridges and still can't get the siding to work out. I've run them twice. This is turning out to be an expensive alternative.

    1. Hi Joan, We are so sorry that you are having trouble printing our pages! The alignment issue you are experiencing is due to your printer settings and/or your printer driver. We try to provide very detailed print instructions but sadly, not all printers are created equal. But if you would like to email us the make and model of your printer, as well as the current program you are using to view the file (Adobe, Preview, etc.) we would be happy to try and help you troubleshoot the problem. Sometimes it is a matter of changing just one setting.

  7. I have an HP Deskjet 950c and I tried printing with all kinds of different settings...but I just couldn't make it work! Then I checked online for my printer stats and found that it will not print borderless. I think it would be useful if you added that onto your product description. Sadly I cannot use the printable. I really don't want to go to a Staples or a place like that to have it printed since I feel that would be too expensive. A shame! Your printable is beautiful. :(
    -Vianney D.

    1. Hi Vianney!! I now have a "partner" who is printing planners for some of my customers! She is incredibly reasonable in price, and if you are still interested in having someone print this for you, please send me a convo in the shop!! I would be happy to get you in touch with her!

  8. Do you know if office depot, ect. has access to put this into a spiral form?

  9. Hello there - Where do I find the link to download FREE small planner pages in order to do a test run with my printer in order to decide if I want to purchase? I may have just missed it on here. Thanks!

  10. Hi Jennifer, I just completed printing the seasonal small planner pages(which I adore!) but unfortunately, my printer skipped some pages and didn't print on the back of some. I guess I am going to have to have your "partner" that you mentioned in a previous post print it for me. Could you please let me know how to go about doing this? Thanks so much! I love your work!

  11. I'd also love some info about your "partner". I'm so technologically challenged that I doubt I'd print these out successfully on my own. Thanks!

  12. I downloaded the free home management binder pages printable the other day and realized that it wasn't going to be large enough for me. So I tried to download the larger size today, but when I go to download it there is an error message that says the link no longer works. I really wanted the meal planning pages. =) I printed some of these out to see what size planner to get and these would make a great addition!

  13. The links above for free printables do not work. And sadly, I am another one who cannot print "borderless" Apparently this is not an option on older printers :( Please advise when you get the link fixed to the free printables. Thanks!

  14. Just wanted to let you know, Arc Junior size poly notebooks in pink and blue are on sale at Staples for $2.16!!! Here is a link:

  15. can you post instructions on how to print these using windows? thank you =)

  16. Do you have a printable instruction sheet I could just give to staples so I can take it there and get it done?? I have a filofax A5. This seems complicated :)

  17. I've tried many times and am not able to print the small planner page. i wanted make sure it worked before i purchased it. Please advise...TIA.

  18. I am actually cutting and punching out the signatures a5 planner. I was wondering if the weeklies will all be blank in between each other?

  19. Can you create a wedding planner?. I am thinking of starting a project to create planner for my personal, home management, health and fitness and for my wedding. I just need to find a wedding planner. Actually, I've been looking for one for a long time and it seems that I can't find the perfect one for me. I want to be able to carry it with me at all times. I love the sizes, colors and patterns you have!

  20. This might be a stupid question, but hey...I am willing to risk it. Is it easier to print the undateds? Those are the ones I think I want (in B&W) if I get them (still). And we can print them upon purchase as often as we like, Like I could print a few, say a month at a time etc? Thanks...Trying the printing of the small free one as a practice as suggested. Deep breath. I feel tech UNsavvy and planner stupid. lol