There’s something about the start of fall that makes me want to refresh and reorganize, especially in the planner department. Am I right? It feels so good to get all of my plans, projects and tasks down on paper and out of the jumbled chaos of my brain! ha. As most of you might know, I’ve been working on new planner inserts, but today I thought I’d do a review of the discbound planner itself. If you struggle to find the planner that meets all of your needs, this system might be a good option for you!
It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve been using my discbound planner. I can’t believe that! In that time I’ve gone through pregnancy, become a mama, gone back to work, and moved houses – needless to say my routines and planning needs have changed drastically, but I still keep coming back to this planner system. Here are just a few of the highlights…
+ First and foremost, I love the functionality of the discbound planner system! The pages are held in by round discs which are similar to a ringed binder, but you don’t have to open and close any rings to move pages around. For that reason, I find the discbound system to be easier to use than a ringed binder, but you still get the flexibility of rearranging pages as needed.
+ I also love that it’s simple to remove pages all together. Sometimes I’ll pop out my grocery list to give to my husband if he’s going to the store for me, or I’ll remove weeks that have passed, so I’m not carrying around extra pages (and weight!) I don’t need.
+ It’s also not bulky like a ringed binder system. Essentially your planner can be as thick or as thin as you want since the thickness is determined by the number of inserts you put in it. There are also a couple of sizes of discs so you can adjust the thickness even more if you want to add more pages than the smaller discs allow.
+ Another feature that’s helpful is that you can fold the planner back so it’s easier to write in, similar to how you would a spiral bound notebook. I use a junior size planner, so this helps a lot!
+ I started out with a simple black leather Arc discbound planner from Staples and have since upgraded to a Martha Stewart discbound planner purely for aesthetic reasons (hello, have you seen the gorgeous aqua color the MS comes in?). I have the junior size, but they also come in full size as well. I’ve also seen other discbound planners popping up in Michael’s stores.
+ Both the Arc and MS exteriors are a high quality, durable leather and they’ve held up very well. They’ve both been dropped, shoved in various bags and thrown by my toddler. And since you can change the interior out year after year, the planner itself is an investment you only have to make once. The Arc planners also come in a standard poly cover as well, which I haven’t used, but seems to be the same thick plastic-y material you expect from regular pre-filled planners.
+ As far as the inserts go, I personally use 32 pound paper that is nice and thick and holds up well. I will say that if you’re moving your pages in and out too much it doesn’t hold up as well, but that’s usually not an issue for me.
+ The number one reason I love the discbound planner? It’s the most customizable option out there. Confession: Somewhere after having my little guy last year and going back to work I bought a Sugar Paper planner from Target and I used it for awhile, but it just wasn’t working for me. It had month and week views, but that was it. I didn’t have anywhere to keep my meal list, make a grocery list, keep track of projects or anything else I needed to keep myself organized. With the discbound system I can keep everything organized in one place.
+ With the discbound system you can essentially build your own planner by creating whatever sections you want or need in your planner. Personally I have the typical month and week view, plus a meal planning/grocery section, a section for house projects, notes, goals and more. There are premade sets of inserts you can get that go with the planners themselves or there are hundreds of insert options on Etsy to suit a variety of needs. Prefer a daily view or like to include a blog/business or exercise plan? Chances are, you can find the perfect inserts and layouts that suit your preferences. Typically, you will have to print and hole punch those inserts on your own though, so that could be a negative to some people.
+ With the discbound system, it’s easy to put sections in order of whatever makes sense to you. I love the flexibility this allows me and if I find that the set up isn’t working for me, I can easily change it mid-year, without feeling like I wasted money on a planner I’m never going to use. Especially if you go with the printable options. You can print as you go.
+ I also am able to keep my planner lightweight so it’s easy to carry with me in my purse and diaper bag. I can have the full year in monthly view, but only keep 6 weeks of my weekly spreads in my planner at a time so it’s not a huge two inch thick, ten pound planner!
+ There are also various add ons you can purchase for the discbound system to customize it even more including a pocket folder, zippered pocket, sticky note inserts, tab dividers, even the stuff from the dollar section at target can be outfitted for a discbound planner, as I’ve done in the photo below.
I’d say the only drawback to this type of planner is having to print and/or assemble it yourself. For some this won’t be an issue because the benefit of having it fully customizable will outweigh the time it takes to put together. But for others, this may not be something you’re willing to spend time on.
So what do you think? Have you tried a discbound planner before? What are your favorite or must-have features when it comes to planners?
I’m excited to get mine all set up and refreshed with my new 2017 inserts, which launch in the Belle Paper Market shop next week on September 20!!