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Choosing the Right Paper for Your Homemade Planner: No More Mistakes

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Picture of different blue papers overlapping each other. Part of an article about choosing the right paper for your homemade planner

[This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small amount from your purchase]

When choosing the right paper for your homemade planner, it is so easy to make mistakes. I know because I have made them. So I’m here to help with a guide on what is the right paper to use for your planner success.

Table of Contents

Choosing the right paper for your homemade planner – Introduction

Don’t worry, you are not alone!

I also have done the searching – best planner for diy planner.

Why does it matter?

It is important to get the right paper, because if you don’t you will find out the hard way that not all paper is suitable for your homemade planners.

You might end up buying bundles or packs of paper that then become useless. We don’t want that and neither does our planet.

The good news!

The good news is that it is still worth putting in the effort to get the right paper, because printable and homemade planners are going to be the best option to get a completely customizable planner at a budget friendly price point.

In this post we are going to go over all the points you need to choosing the right paper. We will look at the options for diy planner paper for beginners so that you don’t have to make any expensive mistakes.

Understanding YOUR planner’s needs

This is a really important first step.

The reason being – the different needs and functions of different planners will require different paper needs.

This is why it is so important to tap into your planner’s needs and know exactly what you hope to accomplish with your planner.

For example, I will tell you one of my first mistakes. I bought alcohol based markers to decorate my planner, because there seemed to be a bigger selection of neutral colors in the alcohol markers. Then I quickly found out that using these on normal paper means they bleed right through to the other side. Then I was left with trying different paper or different markers.

Picture of a hand and some paper with lots of lines and smudges all over it.

Over time I tried both. But ultimately it took me trial and error to find the right things for my planner, this is why I am writing about this topic today.

Let’s dive into the different options for you:

Types of paper for DIY planners

Regular printer paper bought at your local office shop.

  • Pros – This is by far the cheapest option
  • Cons – It is very thin paper and most mediums like markers and paints will bleed through to the other side of the page.

Bond paper or Recycled paper

  • Pros – you can get really nice smooth recycled paper these days that will create a lovely professional finish to your planner pages
  • Cons – Printers will need the settings changed to manage this paper and the ink might sometimes appear more faint if the settings are not right.

Speciality papers

  • Pros – Some beautiful speciality papers can be a beautiful backdrop to special artwork you want to include or can be helpful for special mediums such as fountain pens or alcohol markers.
  • Cons – These papers can get very expensive, but if they are worth it to you they may be worth it.

Choosing the best paper

If you plan to use just pen and you are happy with the thin paper feel, by all means go for the regular office printer paper. [Tip- try to get recycled where you can]

If you plan to use markers and highlighters but no other special mediums then I suggest a lovely smooth but slightly thicker recycled paper like is shown here.

If then you want to use mediums that are famous for bleeding through paper, then I suggest you try stone paper. It is an exciting paper that can handle many different mediums.

Of course you can also research yourself specific papers for specific pens and mediums, there is a lot of information available for all the different ones.

GSM for planners

GSM means grams per square meter and it is a guide to help us understand paper thickness. The heavier the paper the thicker it is to touch.


The happy medium for planner paper is 100gsm or 27lb paper. It can be used for markers and highlighters without bleeding issues. It also allows more pages to be added to your planner than if you used a heavier 120gsm or 32lb.

Hopefully you know see what gsm paper for planners is all about and why it’s important.

By the way if you want to find paper weight conversions this is a good website.

Choosing the right paper for your homemade planner is important remember. Learning about these paper weights and types of paper can mean you go straight to the right choice every time.

Picture of some one buried in balls of screwed up paper. They are holding up a sign with question marks. The title says: choosing the right paper for your homemade planner: no more mistakes

Other considerations


If you choose to print your planner printables at home it can limit what paper you might be able to print on.

Please note that some papers are specifically designed for either inkjet or laser printers, so knowing your printer is a major consideration for you.


It is also really important to think about what you have available around you in terms of options.

If you start looking far away you will have to add on quite heavy delivery charges, paper can be very heavy.

I’m very fortunate here in my city [Dublin, Ireland], I have a few beautiful companies that specialize in recycled paper and card and I can get all my supplies quite easily.

If you are interested in eco-planners, read:

Sustainable Planning: Create your Own Eco Friendly Planner [discbound]


In conclusion, when looking for diy planner paper for beginners please take the time to learn what your planner needs are. Learn about the differ types of paper for printable planners and hopefully then you will be able to make a decision on the best paper for diy planner success.

Please let me take this time to thank you for being here, I hope you found answers to your questions about choosing the right paper for your homemade planner.

I hope you find more interesting reads like:

Affordable Planning: The Cost of Making a Planner

When choosing the right paper for your homemade planner I wish you lots of success!

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