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If you like being organized then chances are you have a planner that helps you to do just that. There are so many different types on the market for every possible kind of purpose or project, but there might be times when you need a completely customizable planner.
Discbound planners will allow you to create a planner that you can build from scratch. From choosing the cover to the size of the rings and what refill pages to use, you can make it completely unique and personal.
My ultimate guide to discbound planners will show you how they work, how they differ from ringbound planners, who makes them and why you need one in your life.
How Discbound Planners Work
A discbound planner works to the same basic principle as a ringbound planner. However, whereas the pages of a ringbound planner have holes punched through the margins, discbound planners are punched along the edge of the paper.
The punch makes a mushroom shaped hole along the edge of the page which sits into the discs that make up the spine of the planner. The discs have raised edges that hold the paper securely along the punched divots.
A special paper punch makes the shaped divots that work so well to hold the pages of your planner on the discs. These discs can be either metal or plastic and come in a variety of sizes. Depending on the size of the paper you will have from 3 to 11 discs on your planner.
Discbound planners are ideal as an everyday tool, for work, for special occasions and events or as a diary for the year.
Discbound Planners Vs Ringbound Planners
Although there is a similar basic principle between discbound and ringbound planners there are more differences than similarities.
Rather than having metal rings that you have to open and close to add or remove pages in a ringbound planner, the discbound planner allows you to put pages in or take them out very easily.
Simply pull gently from the top to remove a page, it won’t rip but will pop out of the grooves in the disc. To add a page or pages to your discbound planner just lay them down along the edge of the discs and push them down till the divots engage with the edge of the disc.
Then carry on gently down the edge of the pages until all the punched holes are engaged.
You can also swap the sizes of discs in your planner for larger or smaller ones to add more space or reduce the size of your planner. Disc edge covers are also available for a more professional look.
Most Popular Discbound Planner Brands
Now that you know how discbound planners work and how they differ from ringbound planners you may want to take a look at some of the brands that make them. Luckily there are quite a few to choose from.
It’s a good idea to look at all the brands and what they have to offer as there are professional looking planners and some that are more for home use. Depending on what you are going to use it for you can choose the most appropriate cover and discs.
Levenger was one of the first companies in the US to make planners and notebooks using the discbound system. The idea came from Atoma in Belgium but when their patent ran out other manufacturers began to produce their own versions.
You will have a large choice of styles from Levenger’s Circa range. They make an executive Smart planner which has a full-grain leather portfolio cover and room for a separate notebook. Others have sturdy translucent covers, plain covers or geometric patterns.
The paper refills available for Levenger Circa planners include weekly desk pads, meal planners, and monthly or daily agendas. Sizes for the planners are Compact, Junior, and Letter.
So whether you are using your planner for home, work or school there are a lot of choices from Levenger Circa. You can also customize your flysheet with whatever you want up to 25 characters at no extra cost.
The Martha Stewart discbound planner from Staples includes a customizable notebook which has pages of reference content, calendars and a handy storage pocket. It has 120 pages of ivory paper lined in soft gray. It comes in Junior size which is 6 ½ inches x 9 inches.
It has a silver gray lined cover and gold metal discs to hold the 60 sheets in place. Filler paper is available in packs of 50 and is college ruled. Other accessories include sets of discbound dividers to create sections within the planner.
A 7 inch standard ruler is also available to include in the planner which can be useful for scale drawings if you use your planner for a remodel or gardening project. This planner is professional enough to use at work, in school but also works well as a personal planner.
Eleven discs is a company that produces a range of high quality discbound covers, paper fills and discs. The sheets include both junior or half letter and letter sizes and are all designed and punched in house.
They make daily, weekly and monthly planner sheets as well as dotted, ruled, blank and squared sheets. The company only uses quality paper which is manufactured using 32 lb bond archival paper which is sourced from mills in the US and Canada.
It is 60% thicker than standard paper and is a smooth, luxurious surface to write on even with markers and fountain pens.
There is no ghosting, bleedthrough or feathering. The best thing about this paper is that it won’t bend or tear when being taken out of or put into your discbound planner. With Eleven Discs’ system you can create your own planner and make it unique to you.
The IQ 360 discbound range from Walmart is very popular so if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of their notebooks, hold onto it.
The poly or leatherette covered notebooks come with various designs and each one has 60 sheets providing 120 pages to use.
This customizable notebook system lets you put together your own planner, notebook or project agenda. You can buy extra rings and a discbound paper punch if you want to use your own sheets of paper in your planner.
If you prefer to use the accessories that Walmart provides you can buy ruled or undated planner paper, and poly tab dividers to keep the sections organized.
On the inside of the cover of most of the notebooks you will find a sheet with all the different accessories that you can get for the IQ 360 to customize your planner.
The Arc range of customizable notebooks and planners from Staples features leather and durable poly covers in a variety of sizes and colors. Once you have chosen your cover you can then select the refill paper for your planner or notebook.
The system allows you to mix and match different paper refill types to completely customize your planner. Choose from weekly or monthly planner pages, project planner pages, graph ruled, narrow ruled or to-do pages.
You can also create sections in your planner with colorful dividers, page flags, and task pages. As with all discbound systems you can lift out and press back in the pages of your planner to rearrange it, remove or add more pages.
When you have finished your project, or the year is over you will be able to remove the pages you no longer need and put in new ones to reuse the planner.
Happy Planner is one of the most popular makers of discbound planners, and it’s not hard to see why. They have a great range of covers from pretty florals, teacher planners, Disney themes, faith planners, recipe organizers and abstract designs.
You can choose from 4,12 or 18 month planners, and select your start date, January, June or July.
There are also many different sizes of planner, including big at 8 ½ x 11 inches, classic at 7 x 9 ¼ inches, skinny classic at 4 x 9 ¼ inches and mini at 4 ¼ x 7 inches.
Happy Planner have a large range of accessories for their discbound planners including different styles of discs in various sizes, colors and cut out designs. They also sell planner companions which are bundles of fun and useful accessories.
Betternote by Natalie Rebecca are practical but beautiful designs of discbound planners. They are made from premium materials and are a pleasure to use. Each of their products is made in the United States.
You can choose from a variety of covers, refill pages, dividers and calendars to create your own custom made planner. There are four sizes available, 7 disc, 8 disc, 9 disc and 11 disc.
Their covers are made out of a matte poly which are durable and hide fingermarks, while the designs are sophisticated and stylish. Refill pages include lists such as to-do, grocery and menu lists. They also have meal planners, cleaning plans and finance kits.
Calendars can be monthly, or weekly and monthly. They also have useful refill sheets for things like password tracking, health and fitness and classroom checklists. Dividers are either monthly or plain.
TUL from Office Depot have some very smart and professional looking planners. Their leather cover versions are available in black and teal. The starter set includes a letter size cover, and an undated planner.
Add to-do lists, calendars, agendas to create your own personalized planner for your work, home or project. There are two pages per month and it includes 12 monthly tab dividers. The planner also has a 2 sided poly pocket, and built-in pen and business card holders.
It comes with a full page of stickers for everything you can think of from date night to dentist appointments, bill due to get it done reminders. The rings are ¾ inch, so you can add many more refill pages to the planner according to your individual needs.
Discagenda from Dokibook make planners in three different sizes, Mini HP, Junior and Classic HP. They offer different ways to protect your planner including see through PVC, denim and zip closure covers.
Choose from the many different types of disks in various sizes and colors in premium aluminum to increase the size of our planner or to customize it. They have many types of refills including financial, grid paper, contacts and blank pages.
The company makes some great designs of dividers for their planners including motivation sayings, cute cat designs and bible verses.
You can also buy discbound prayer journals and travelers notebooks from Dokibook.
Sizes Of Discbound Planners
There are various sizes of discbound planners, and they will all use a different number of discs. You can have a very small planner which uses 3 or 4 discs, a half letter size which uses 8 discs or a full letter size which uses 11 discs.
The discs themselves come in various sizes and will hold more or less paper depending on the diameter of the discs.
- ½ inch discs can hold 50–70 sheets
- ¾ inch discs can hold 70-100 sheets
- 1 inch discs can hold 110-150 sheets
- 1 ¼ inch discs can hold 140 -170 sheets
- 1 ½ inch discs can hold 175-220 sheets
- 2 inch discs can hold 250-280 sheets
Another important thing to get right when using the discbound system is to use the right size discs for your planner. If your discs are too small then you’ll fill them up quickly and pages may come loose if you overfill.
On the other hand if you have discs that are too big for the amount of sheets of paper in your planner it will make it unwieldy and awkward to use.
DIY Discbound Planners
The discbound system is perfect for designing and building your own planner. You can choose the size that is ideal for your project and pick a cover that you like. Once you know the size disc you’ll be using you can choose a design and a color.
Then you can start to fill your planner with the refill pages that best suit its purpose. A discbound planner can be used for just about anything from planning a wedding, as a teaching planner, meal planning, or just as a daily planner. This list of uses is endless.
So what do you need to get started?
What Supplies You Need
The first thing you will need are your discs. The size will depend on how large you want your planner to be. The bigger the discs the more sheets of paper they will hold.
Then you can choose your cover. Depending on its intended use you can have a fun cover or a more professional one. Many discbound planners come in poly covers while others are more high end and are finished in leather.
Choose the most appropriate cover for the planner’s intended use. For example, if it’s going to be a meal planner, you’ll probably add recipe cards to it and have it open in the kitchen. Having a wipeable cover will make it last longer.
Then you’ll need to choose the planner pages or paper that you are going to fill your planner with. You can buy numerous types of refill pages for every kind of purpose, and they will be pre-punched to go into the planner.
Alternatively you may want to print your own planner pages in which case you’ll need to buy a discbound punch.
Reasons To Use A Discbound Planner
There are many reasons to use a discbound planner, and I’m sure by now you have realized how very useful and versatile they are.
The flexibility of a discbound planner is potentially its biggest strength. You can create one from scratch, add pre printed pages, print your own pages and rearrange, add, or remove pages as you want. You can choose how big it will be and what kind of cover it will have.
Use Any Size Of Paper
The discbound system allows you to use any size of paper. If you have a wedding invitation, recipe or address card you can just punch it and add it to your planner.
All of the discbound products are interchangeable and most refills and discs will fit in other brands’ covers and vice versa.
Easy To Handle
If you are using the center of the pages mostly and not writing too close to the discs then they should not get in the way. But if they do, just take out the page, write what you want and then reinsert the page.
The system holds the paper very securely, even if you were to hold the planner upside down and shake it, the pages do not fall out. If you have too many pages on the discs then you may experience some of them popping out of place, but they won’t randomly fall out.
Save Paper, Save Environment
The punched hole in the pages does not take out too much paper. It also leaves you a lot of room to work with as the sheet is punched on its edge not in the margin as in a ringbound planner. This means you’re using more of the page and not wasting paper.
Unlike a ringbound planner you can fold a discbound planner completely back on itself, halving the amount of space that it takes up on your desk.
A great feature of the discbound planner is that when you come to the end of the year, or the end of your project you can simply remove and recycle the pages you’ve used.
But you can keep the cover, the discs, and the dividers for next year or your next project. You’ll just need to buy new refill pages or make some more of your own.
Being able to change the cover of your planner means you can swap it if it gets damaged without having to throw away the whole planner. Or when you just fancy a change of color or design.
Frequently Asked Questions
While it is easy to remove or insert pages in the discbound system the pages are held securely by the raised edges of the discs. The mushroom shaped punch is unique in how it holds the paper and no, pages will not randomly fall out unless you overfill your planner.
The majority of discbound refill pages from different brands will fit into most covers but if you want to customize your planner completely you can print out your own pages. Using a system such as instant ink makes this a lot more affordable.
The discs may get in the way when you write especially if you are writing close to the page edge. The best solution is to take the page out while you are writing on it and pop it back in when you’re done. This works well if you need to refer to other pages such as the calendar.