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Beginner’s Guide to Printable Planner Inserts +How to Resize to A5

Are you ready to get started with printable planner inserts? If you’re new to printables or just need a little help to get your planner in order, you’ve come to the right place! Read on for everything you need to get started with printable planner inserts with a ring or disc planner.

Plus a step-by-step tutorial – How to resize letter sized printables for an A5 binder.

Get started with printable planner inserts + a step-by-step resizing guide for A5 printables.


Printables are fun and flexible. You can find them for free and very inexpensive online, which makes the planner possibilities endless! But after you find something you love, what do you do with it?

Make Your Own Printable Planner Inserts

The major items you’ll need to get started are a computer and printer. Since you found this post, I’m going to just assume that you have access to these and area ready to start printing ASAP. So, let’s start with what you might need.

A Binder or Planner for Your Inserts

I’ve had a huge range of binders. Your binder style is totally up to you! There are many options from letter size to A5 (about a half page) and smaller. You may want no closure or a snap, zip, or elastic to keep it shut.

The most common size printables you will find online are letter sized, 8-1/2 x 11 inches. These will fit into any standard size three ring binder. Three ring binders are readily available anywhere office or school supplies are sold and come in a variety of styles and colors.

You might want a three ring binder if you:

  • Have big loopy writing and need lots of space
  • Write a lot and need lots of space
  • Are planning on a budget
  • Want to start planning with what you have on hand

The next size I’m going to recommend for beginners is the A5 size binder. This is a very popular binder size, and the next easiest to print because the inserts are half of the letter size.

The medium size, A5 binder might be right for you if you:

  • Are looking for a smaller size planner that has enough room for a weekly spread
  • Travel or commute with your planner
  • Prefer a more compact size
  • Have less to write and/or write small

Both of these planner sizes have many options for covers and accessories such as dividers and dashboards. They are sizes that won’t go out of style!

Paper Cutter or Scissors & a Good Ruler to Trim Printable Planner Inserts

If you’re using A5 or smaller inserts, you’ll need to trim. You’ll either need to use scissors or a paper cutter.

Paper Cutter

A paper cutter is the fastest and most precise way to trim your inserts. With a good guillotine style cutter, you can cut through 10 pages+ cleanly in one whack.

The alternative is a rotary trimmer which slices with a tiny blade. Some claim to cut 10 pages, but I have not had much luck cutting more than 5. The rotary trimmer requires a steady hand, and may be good for you if big blades freak you out. Otherwise, get the guillotine cutter.

Sharp Scissors & a Good Ruler

If you’re not quite sold on a dedicated paper cutter (or if you’re short on space or have lots of toddlers running around) you might opt for the easily stored, un-scary version: a pair of sharp scissors and a good ruler.

Scissors can dull very quickly if you’re using them all-purpose style. You will want a dedicated pair of scissors only for paper. Keep a pair in your planning kit and away from all of your Amazon boxes and flower stems.

I like to have a variety of sizes on hand since I also use them to cut printable stickers. I recommend this stainless steel scissor kit, which is available on Amazon. It’s looks super industrial, but the scissors are very nice quality and the price is just right.

For nice, straight lines you’ll want a foot long metal ruler with cork back. These are less likely slip around and mess you up like many of the wooden ones can.


Hole Punch

For punching a few pages, a manual punch will work. However, if this is your main planner, invest in a hole puncher to match your binder.

If you’re using a letter size binder and printables, you likely need a basic three-hole punch. I use a high volume punch for large printables – left over from my teaching days. This particular one can punch 40 sheets at a time, which is FANTASTIC if you are printing daily planner pages for the month (or 24 pages for the year, or 56 weeks of planner pages, or or or).

Specialty 6-hole punches are available for A5 binders, which commonly have six holes. You will be punching fewer pages at a time with these. Follow the directions on your punch for the number of pages you can punch at once, cleanly and consistently.

*Note: The punches will tell you how many pages they punch – this is the number for your run-of-the-mill thin copy paper. If you are using quality 27lb paper (more details below), you will not be able to punch as many at once. When you feel your punch get jammed, you’re trying too many pages at once.


You have plenty of great options for paper. My personal preference is bright white paper that will not bleed or shadow (a.k.a. no ink will get through the paper). Make sure whatever paper you choose matches your style of printer: laser or inkjet.

If you’re opting for a thick, smooth finish, look for premium matte paper or presentation paper with a weight of 27 or 32lbs. This weight paper will last longer without ripping near the rings, and it allows you to print and plan on both sides of the page.

Printing Your Planner Inserts

img_0158Printing tips are going to be bit tricky. Every printer I’ve ever owned has been completely different and equally evil.

I have been printing planner pages and stickers for years, and I still mess up all. the. time. I had to add a sticker that says, “FACE DOWN TO PRINT!” because I double printed so many times.

My best advice is to get to know your printer and printer settings. Which way to put the paper in – right side up, upside down, where is the top, where is the side? How many pages can you print before it starts eating paper?

Resizing Letter Size Printable Inserts to A5

This is probably the most asked question I get through Etsy: “Can I resize my planner printables?

Absolutely, and it’s easier than you think! Most printable planner inserts will be in a downloadable PDF file. When you’re printing a PDF from Adobe Reader, it’s very easy to resize for A5 from letter sized printables.

For PC users only. I don’t know how Macs work. You guys living the iLife are on your own. Maybe ask Siri?

5 Steps to resizing letter to A5

  1. Open the PDF file in Reader. Right click the file>Open with>ReaderResizing printable planner inserts
  2. Select Print from the drop-down menu on the upper left corner.
  3. Scroll down and click More SettingsResizing printable planner inserts
  4. Under Paper and Quality select the drop-down arrow for Size – if you downloaded printables that are Letter size, Letter will be the default
  5. Select A5 and click OK

Resizing printable planner inserts

Now you are ready to print!

Your PDF will be resized to A5 and you can then either print on half sized paper – which is great if your printer is cooperative and will let you print on both sides!

Or you can print on letter paper and your A5 sized printable will be centered in the middle of the page. This is  usually how I print so I can decide where to trim, see below.

You have to go through these steps every time you print. After you print once, Reader will go back to the default Letter size – even when you’re reprinting from the same open file. Trust me. I am remind of this on probably a  monthly basis.

Alternative A5 Printing: 2 Sheets Per Page

You can also print two sheets per page through Reader. A5 is technically just a smidge smaller than half letter. Yes, that’s a technical smidge. The measurement is so small, you probably won’t notice.

Printing two sheets per page is great if you’re printing single sided or many of the same sheet at once.

  1. Open your PDF in Reader
  2. Select Print from the drop-down menu in the upper left
  3. Under Pages per Sheet, select 2
  4. Now your pages will print two to a page, which is darn close to A5.

Printable planner inserts

Where to Find Printable Planner Inserts

Now that your planner inserts are printed, you’re ready to punch and insert into your planner. Well done! All you need are some printable planner inserts to get you started!

Love the hand drawn inserts in this post? Just tap the image to go to the listing!


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