Planner Resource Guide: Pick Your Planner

Planner Resource Guide

Are you currently looking for a new planner system but aren’t sure where to begin? Perhaps you are overwhelmed with all the options or are looking for a planner that is discontinued and have no clue how to begin tracking it down? If this sounds like you, then you are in luck because I have assembled this planner resource guide to give you one place to review the most popular planner systems so that you can choose what works best for you!

6 Ring Binder Systems

I happen to be a big fan of 6 ring binder systems because of the beautiful variety of binders available and the fact that these planner systems are reusable year after year. These aren’t cheap planners that you buy for a year or 17 months and then toss out, these are durable planners that often last years when well maintained. Here are the top brands that I see most often, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these brands are pretty popular and I have experience with many of them.

Discbound Systems

Currently, the discbound system is my preferred planning method. I like that it combines the personalization of a reusable binder system with the physical flexibility of a spiral or coil bound planner system. Unfortunately, there are only currently a few manufacturers that I know of for this system, but as I have seen them grow in popularity, I have hopes that more will crop up eventually!

Coil Bound Systems

Coil bound planner systems are also a very popular option in the planner world. They are one of the spiral bound options, however, they are distinctly known for their heavy metal coil that is extremely strong and durable. Now, these planners are not reusable, which is important to keep in mind, and many coil bound systems can run you the same price as a reusable binder, but many folks rely on this style of planner and find it worth the money!

Wire Bound Planners

Like coil bound planners, wire bound planner systems are also not a reusable option because they are spiral bound, however, these planners are slightly different from coil bound planners because their binding is a cinch style wire, instead of the heavy duty coil. Generally speaking, these planners are less expensive because of the lower cost binding method used, but that isn’t the rule!

Book Bound Planners

As the name suggests, these planner systems are bound like books! Again, they are another non-reusable option, but generally speaking these planner systems are much more compact, which gives them a certain advantage! For years I actually used a Moleskine squared notebook with a modified bullet journal system as my planner, and that is actually the system my husband uses to organize himself at work as well. So this is a serious option for those of us who prefer simplicity.

Travelers Notebooks

Traveler’s notebooks are a planner system type that I have very little experience with, however, they are incredibly popular in the planning and crafting world! These notebook based systems are based on a unique binding of a reusable cover with a string band system that holds a variety of small cahier style bound notebooks together within the cover. In part this is a reusable system because you can use one cover over and over again, and in part this is a non-reusable system because the bound notebooks inside tend to be smaller notebooks and are easily filled up and need to be replaced depending on the frequency of their use.

Planner Accessories and Refills

If you purchase a reusable style planner from a manufacturer, for the most part your planner will either come with a selection of inserts to get you started or you will have the option to select your inserts from the manufacturer. However, there are a number of resources and shops online that sell an even greater variety of refills and other accessories comparable with many planner systems. Here are the online sites I recommend to look for refills and accessories for your planner!

Where to find discontinued planners

Unfortunately, when it comes to finding and buying your perfect planner online, it’s not always as simple as going to the manufacturers website and selecting your model! Many binder style planners are actually out of production and a little tricker to find. If you have your heart set on a planner and it’s discontinued, don’t worry, because there are places you can go to search for used planners for sale!

  • EBay
  • Facebook Groups (Many planner related groups on Facebook allow for the swap and sale of planners. In addition, you can search for dedicated Planner For Sale groups if you are looking for a specific planner.)
  • Philofaxy Adspot

So tell me, which of these planner systems is most interesting to you? Leave me a comment down below and tell me your favorite and why!



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13 comments on Planner Resource Guide: Pick Your Planner

  1. Christine
    August 3, 2015 at 9:30 am (3 years ago)

    I got my first 6-ring Filofax binder for my birthday a month ago, and I am in love with it! I started designing my own pages even before I got it, and I’ve created a system that works well for me. I am only printing a couple of weeks at a time, so that I can tweak my pages as needed. Having a planner where I write everything down, take notes, outline projects and keep my lists is revolutionary for me! I used to make lists on pads of paper and have loose papers floating around everywhere and often getting misplaced. But with my Filofax, all of my notes, lists and schedules are in this awesome purple leather binder helps keep me uber-organized, that I just LOVE!

    • MissTrenchcoat
      August 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes! I love Filofaxes and how flexible the system is! Good luck with your planner!

  2. Cori
    August 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm (3 years ago)

    This is a very nice concise post about all the planner options there are out there.

    There is another reusable notebook, similar concept to the disc bound systems, but is ringed. It is called the Mead Shopping OrganizHer notebook. It isn’t a planner, officially, but it offers the same benefits of the disc bound, but without the hassle of having to by a special punch for the paper. A standard 3 hole punch, using the top and middle punches, is all you need.

    The Mead website has more information, and I have quite a few posts about this product on my own blog if you’d like more information (not trying to advertise my blog on your page).

    • MissTrenchcoat
      August 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm (3 years ago)

      So glad you enjoyed the post, thanks so much for telling me about that planner!

  3. Tanja
    August 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm (3 years ago)

    Dear Alexis,
    as I love to watch your YouTube-Channel and reading your blog I was wondering when you will once mention the Midori Travellers Notebook so I have to write to you now as I was happy to read about it in your blog. I am using this system for 6 months now. Years ago I was using a little no-name coil bound planner for organizing our family life and I replaced it every year.
    Then I replaced it by my cell phone calendar because I certainly always carried it along with me. After a year I realized that my head was always busy with this little daily tasks and lists which can be quite exhausting in a big family and my desk was full of little papers and post-its to remember because my cell phone was only in use for appointments.
    So I started researching for a new planner and finally I took the Midori as my planning solution. Or let me rather say Fauxdori because I am making all my covers and inserts myself. This possibilty to be so flexible, creative and productive in one place was the main reason to choose that system. But for getting best results I find it very useful to compare other planner systems like the ones you mentioned in your blog.
    A few days ago I made myself a black & white-striped cover with several pockets and slots (like the cover of ring binders have) which makes me even more flexible now and I made my own booklets for the next half year (monthly overview and one-week-on-two-pages) plus a monthly overview for the following half year. This allows me to test the layout and tracking list I have included in my weekly inserts and I can customize them in the following inserts if needed. I also have several inserts in other fauxdoris for different subjects such as budgeting or passwords which I don’t want to carry with me all the time of course.
    I’m looking forward for new planner related stuff and wish you all the best!
    Greetings from Germany

    • MissTrenchcoat
      August 6, 2015 at 5:15 pm (3 years ago)

      So glad you love my YouTube and Blog! I don’t currently use a travelers notebook, but I am thinking about trying one! Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Cruz
    August 8, 2015 at 3:11 am (3 years ago)

    The only system I’ve seriously used is a six-ring binder system. I started off with a Filofax and currently use a Van der Spek. The thing I love most is being able to add pages/papers anywhere I want because of the rings and the astonishingly cheap 6-hole punch I picked up.

  5. Kristy as Giftie Etcetera
    August 8, 2015 at 9:29 am (3 years ago)

    I am definitely a ring-bound planner girl, but I hear what you are saying about the more compact bound notebooks. That always tempts me, even though it never ends up working out.

  6. Carla
    August 8, 2015 at 10:14 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve used Franklin Covey binders since the early 90s. I’ve also tried electronic planners. The Palm Pilot was the most useful and stable, no Wi-Fi or cell service needed. When that option disappeared, I went to a BlackBerry. We all know what happened there, so back to paper and pen. Had the opportunity to try the different styles, except disc-bound, but none gave me the flexibility of a ring binder. I’ve downsized to a Filofax Personal, but switch off with a FC Compact when I need more space. If you’ve got the system down, the form really doesn’t matter. The ring form just happens to fit my requirements.

  7. Nicole
    August 29, 2015 at 11:27 am (2 years ago)

    Why aren’t there more bookbound / casebound / perfect bound planners? I am left handed and find all of the discs/ coils spirals / wires etc. incredibly uncomfortable to write on because the way my hand has to go over the center (and have found serval lefties feel similarly) yet there really aren’t a lot of options especially in the “life planner” sense when it comes to a non spiral/ wire / coil etc. format

  8. Deborah
    September 9, 2015 at 11:21 am (2 years ago)

    I used to use a Personal size Filofax but last year I got an A5 sized version and it is so much better. More room to write, easier to write as it lays flat, and convenient to print my own inserts for it.

  9. ii210704
    January 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Where do you store your finished planner inserts in a ring planner? Or do you just toss them out after the month is done?

  10. Ashley
    September 14, 2016 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    I know this is an old post, but just wanted to let you know the Martha Stewart discbound system is back in stock at Staples. I have order both the large and junior size!


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