I used to use a binder for my daily planner but switched to the Arc planner system. If you’ve never heard of the Arc planner, this videos gives a good overview:
I used the Arc planner for my 2015 planner (I’m still using the same planner for 2016)
Using the Arc planner to organize my planner stickers:
I chose the Arc planner system because:
- The discs don’t get in the way when writing like binders can and you can fold the notebook back on itself
- I can easily remove pages (without damaging them) from one Arc notebook and transfer them to another Arc notebook
- I can also transfer pages within the same notebook
- Comes in A5 and A4 size (full page and half page size)
- Has accessories such as plastic sleeves, pocket folders and zip-lock pockets
- Sturdy – I purchased the leather version. You can also get a less expensive poly cover as well
- Comes with pre-lined writing paper that is thick and sturdy (although I remove these pages and replaced with my own printable note-paper and planner pages)
- I use my own inserts such as the planner dashboard I shared in this blog post (which can download from the free printables library when you subscribe to my blog), but you can purchase list-making inserts
- I can easily add more pages throughout the year. I usually keep about 6 months’ worth of planner pages in my notebook at once time to avoid it becoming too bulky
- You can buy larger discs if you need to store more paper (and the rings aren’t too expensive) – just make sure you change the coil BEFORE you add the pages to your notebook
- You can punch pages smaller than the size of the notebook i.e. if you purchase the letter size version, you could punch half size pages (on the shorter side) or small lists
- Less bulky and more portable than binders
The pages show in the image above are from the Direct Sales Planner
Some of the accessories you can purchase to go with the Arc notebook include:
- To do lists
- Lined note paper
- Planner refill inserts
- Dividers for your notebook (e.g. organize by subject, recipe, categories for a household binder, months of the year etc.)
- Clip in rulers
Cons of the Arc Planner System
- There are limited colors available for the covers – pink, red, black, blue and a yukky shade of green (that looks like puke!)
- It is expensive – you’ll need to purchase the custom notebook, the punch and the larger discs if you want the option to add more pages to your notebook.
The arc planner cost $30(AUD) for a half page size notebook (with a sturdy leather front and back covers). It required a special punch which cost about $60(AUD). Staples Australia have increased the price since I purchased the planner system. The punch used to cost $60 and now it costs $90! The Arc planner is cheaper in the USA. Staples also offer poly covers which are cheaper but aren’t as sturdy as their leather ones. Because I can re-use the covers year after year, I opted to spend more on the leather cover (I haven’t regretted it!).
The Martha Stewart discbound system (also from Staples) is similar to the Arc planner (with different colors notebooks!)
Update: Apparently this cheaper Levenger punch works with the Arc notebook (note that I haven’t tried this)
You may also be interested in this blog post full of printing tips.
I did not receive compensation for this post, all opinions are my own.