The Best Paper Planner–Ever!

By Alexis Rodrigo | Entrepreneurship

Nov 01
Perfect Paper Planner

Martha Stewart calls it Discbound, Staples calls it Arc, and Levenger calls it Circa.

Whatever name you call it, I refer to it as The Perfect Planner--Ever!

This is the paper-and-pen system I've been using since January 2017, and it's the best paper planner and organizer I've ever used. In this blog post, I'll be referring to this as the Discbound system, but know that it's interchangeable with Arc and Circa.

The Discbound planner has the combined benefits of a spiral notebook and a binder. Like a spiral notebook, Discbound notebooks can be opened completely, folded against itself.

And like with a binder, you can easily add or remove pages and move them around from one part of your planner to another.

I discovered the Discbound system through some very creative and prolific bullet journaling (bujo) enthusiasts. I don't do bullet journaling strictly, although I've adapted a few parts of it that work for me. And that's the key to succeeding with any planner. Make it work for you, not the other way around.

If you want to try it out, here are the tools you'll want to get, to make yourself more organized in 2018.

The Essentials

The Notebook

You have several options for your planner notebook, in terms of material, color, and size. I like the full size (8.5 x 11 inches), but a junior size (5.5 x 8.5 inches) is also available, if you want a smaller planner.

Staples Arc Discbound Planner Notebook
Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook
Levenger Cheyenne Circa
Happy Planner Kit
TUL Discbound Planner

These planners come with sheets. Some are just lined. Others, like the Happy Planner, have calendars, lists, and other layouts.

You can also use any sheet of paper you want--as long it hasn't been punched yet using a different system--including plain bond paper or anything you design and print on your own printer.

You simply need a...

Discbound Paper Punch

This is the biggest investment you'll make, if you decide to use the Discbound system. But, trust me, it's worth it.

Staples Arc Punch
Levenger Circa Leverage Punch
TUL Discbound Hole Punch
Levenger Circa Universal Desk Punch

Nice to Have's

The following aren't absolutely necessary, but they make using the Discbound system a lot easier--and so much more fun!

Refill Paper

As I said above, you can use pretty much any kind of paper with your Discbound notebook, as long as you have the Discbound puncher. I personally like using a dot grid paper. Unfortunately, I bought the wrong size! Now, I'm having to first cut my sheets of paper to size before punching them. It's a bit of a PITB, but it's not too bad.

Aside from plain copy paper, here are just some of your other options for your planner's refill:

TUL Discbound Calendar Pages
Martha Stewart Discbound Gardening Refill
Levenger Circa smartPlanner 2018 Weekly Agenda Refill
TUL(TM) Custom Note-Taking System Discbound Refill Pages, 8 1/2in. x 11in., Letter Size, Dot Grid Format
Discbound Discs

Since your Discbound notebook comes with a set of discs, you don't have to buy replacement discs, unless your existing ones break for whatever reason. You may also want to replace your discs with larger ones, if you want your notebook to hold more sheets of paper. Alternatively, if you want your notebook to be thinner, then replace your discs with smaller ones.

The Discbound system is super customizable, which means you get the planner exactly the way you want it.

Pens and Pencils

Finally, you need something to write in your planner with:

BIC 4-Color Ball Pen, Medium Point (1.0mm), Assorted Ink
BIC 4 Color Fashion Ball Pen, Medium Point
Zebra Mildliner highlighter pen set
Paper Mate Clearpoint Color Lead Mechanical Pencils
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens

And those are all the things I use to create my own perfect paper planner!

The only thing missing is a search engine 🙂

Does the Discbound system look like something that might make it easier for you to get organized in 2018? What are you planning to use?


About the Author

Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.