I’m a massive planner addict. Some people spend their money on clothes and shoes, I spend mine on stationery. I. Just. Can’t. Get. Enough. I’ve bought a lot of planner supplies over the years (some may say too many!) There have been some planner purchases I almost didn’t make because of price, but which I’ve ended up totally NOT regretting splurging on. So if you’re on a tight budget, these are the planner supplies that are worth the splurge.
The Arc notebook
The Arc notebook is a discbound planner. They have 2 types of covers: the poly cover which is a flexible material, and the leather cover which is way sturdier. It’s also more expensive but lasts a long time without getting damaged (I’ve had mine for 7+ years and it’s still in as new condition).
The Arc punch was also another splurge but totally worth it! The ability to rearrange, pull pages out and add new ones in make the ARC notebook (and discbound planning systems) in general, my favorite type of binding.
The ARC punch is much more expensive than the Happy Planner punch but it’s far more sturdy (I can do about 8 pages in the ARC punch but only 2 or 3 in the Happy Planner punch).
I also like using the Arc notebook for sticker storage and recipes, it’s easy to rearrange and re-categorise things.
Some of the most expensive pens I’ve ever bought are the PaperMate Inkjoy pens. That was 5+ years ago and they’re still writing as smooth as the day I bought them and the ink never skips. The colors almost perfectly match my planner stickers. so if you’re been following my blog for a while you’ve probably seen me use these many times in my weekly spreads.
I use cardstock all the time for binder covers, dashboards, notecards, bookmarks and dividers. It’s more expensive than paper but is much more sturdier and durable (and even more durable when laminated).
4. Upgrading my printer
I used to use a bottom of the line entry model Canon printer that I purchased way before I started my printables business. I waited and waited and waited to upgrade, trying to justify the cost to upgrade since there technically wasn’t anything wrong with my printer – it worked fine it just didn’t have as many functions as I would have liked (such as automated duplex/2 sided printing).
I finally sat down and did the math that the 2 ink cartridges (1 color and 1 black) were actually more expensive than upgrading to a printer than had 6 ink cartridges, separate ones for each color which are much more economical and can be purchased inexpensively off eBay for a couple of dollars (I buy the non-genuine ink cartridges).
With my new-ish printer (which isn’t even that flash – it only cost around $100) I can:
- Print at any page size I like
- How to get rid of a white border when printing printable (borderless, no bleed, no scaling step by step video tutorial)
- How to print printables at MAMBI Happy Planner Size (step by step tutorial)
- Printing 12″ x 12″ digital paper onto A4 or letter sized paper from a home printer
- How to Choose a Printer (Including the best printer for printing printables and planner stickers)
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5. Sticky notes
Sticky notes can be expensive but for me, they were a total game changer to how I plan. They’re re-positionable and perfect for color-coding. My favorite brand of sticky notes are the Post it note 3M. They’re pricey but super sticky.
Sticky note tabs are great for temporary tabs when you’re still deciding what categories to use – such as for planner tabs, recipe tabs, home organization etc. My preferred sticky note tabs are the J Burrows brand from Officeworks. They’re a bit pricey but you get a fair few in a pack.
I love that sticky notes are re-position-able and ideal for color coding. They are great for temporary tabs until I finalise what tabs I want to keep in my planner before I add permanent tabs using these tabs I created in Microsoft Excel.
6. Laminating machine
Laminating machines are reasonably cheap, but because I could only think of a handful of ways to use one I held off buying a laminating machine for a long time. Since buying a machine I’ve done what I find I tend to do with most things – think of heaps of ways to use it after I’ve bought it.
I love the convenience of being able to get the machine out and laminate at home, rather than going to an office supply store (the nearest one is 45 minutes from my house and it’s a long queue and time consuming to wait).
Some of the ways I use my laminating machine for planning are:
- Planner printables
- How to organize planner stickers using folders (plus free printable labels)
- Planner Dividers with Tabs – Photoshop Template
- How to make a planner bookmark (DIY Page Markers Tutorial)
- As well as designing patterns to make tabs and labels to decorate notebooks, address labels etc.
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