Discbound is my all time favorite type of binding for making a DIY planner with printables. The discs mean you can add and remove pages, turn the pages back completely on themselves to have a flat surface to write on, and you can add and remove pages as often as you like.
They are becoming more common these days, so if you want to make the switch (and I highly recommend you do!) or already have and just want to try a new discbound notebook, here are a few to consider:
1. ARC from Staples
The first discbound notebook I ever purchased and the one I still use to this day, is the ARC system from Staples. I have an A5 size that I use for frequently referred to printables such as password logs, project planners, extra checklists, lined paper for brain dumping, scratch paper etc. and an A4 size that I use for homekeeping, business stuff (more of a reference notebook that I don’t refer to as often).
The punch, while expensive, is good quality. It’s served me well for 6+ years plus the leather cover. They were about a third of the cost when I bought them years ago but I’d still pay the expensive price they are today.
2. Office by Martha Stewart
I think of this as a more pretty version of the ARC. If you’re in the USA these come in letter size and junior (half letter size) and are more affordable than the ARC.
3. Happy Planner
You need a daily, weekly planner? What size? How about accessories? Happy Planner would have to be the planner company that offers the most options for literally everything. You better set a budget before you start shopping!
- How to print printables at MAMBI Happy Planner Size (step by step tutorial)
- MAMBI Happy Planner horizontal dimensions & measurements (classic size) for making planner stickers
- MAMBI Happy Planner Happy Notes Review
- Honest review of the Happy Planner by Me and my Big Ideas (MAMBI)
- Happy Planner Super Mom
4. Levenger Circa
On the pricey side… and not that great. Limited cover options, expensive, limited and very basic inserts. However, they do have lots of different colors discs and leather covers.
5. Inkwell press
For their 2019 planners, Inkwell Press bought out a discbound option. Um, yes please!
Review here: Inkwell Press Planner Review – 360 Discbound
6. Busy Days Notebook
A relatively unknown planner from the UK that reminds me of the Happy Planner (but only 1 style notebook).
7. The Perfect Notebook
I did a review here. The only problem is that there is currently only 1 disc size available.
Hard to find and super expensive. It’s not very pretty and there’s very limited accessories, inserts etc. so I haven’t purchased.
Very similar to the ARC from Staples. See my review in this post. They don’t only have student planners, they have plain lined notebooks and teacher planners too. And leather covers.
10. Idoc from Switzerland
A random find when I was in Switzerland – a simple cheap discbound option. If you stumble across it then great, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to get one.
A bit pricey and not very well known, Dokibook is another discbound option. They have aluminium (including rose gold!) discs instead of plastic.
Does it come with a compatible punch?
If you want to add your own printables to create a custom planner, the ability to print any page you like (and as many copies) and punch then pop it in is rather important!
All of the above brands have a punch that is compatible with their brand of notebook except for:
- Inkwell Press (at the time of writing this)
- The Perfect Notebook
As for whether one brand of punch can be used with other brands, I’ve only ever used the ARC punch. I’ve tested it with the Happy Planner and Levenger both of which is was compatible with. I cannot say if the hole size, spacing and discs are compatible with other systems.
Some such as the Busy Days notebook state they are compatible with other brands (that one says the spacing and disc size works with MAMBI). I’ve been content with the ARC (it’s really strong and can punch through multiple sheets at once) so haven’t tried another punch.
More discbound posts:
- ARC punch versus Levenger 1-2-3 versus the Happy Planner punch – which is best? (includes downloadable comparison table for quick reference)
- Where to find discs to make a discbound planner or notebook (downloadable comparison)
- ARC by Staples versus MAMBI – Which discbound system is better?
If a planner doesn’t come in discbound option, there are a few companies that will sell you the planner unpunched, as they know some people want to disc bind it themselves. Companies that do this are Plum Paper and Limelife Planners. There are probably many more that I’m forgetting so please comment below if you know of others 🙂
- Best paper planners if you have large handwriting (and planners you should avoid)
- Bullet Journal Ideas: 26 Weekly Spread Layouts to Try
- How to make planner printables (advice from a planner addict that’s made over 4000 printables)
Learn how to make your own printables for your discbound notebook (click here)
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