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Exploring the Pros and Cons: DIY Planner vs Premade Planner

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Picture of lots of pots of pens and stationery. Part of an article about DIY planner vs premade planner

Have you found yourself trying to make that decision, DIY planner vs premade planner, which should I get? I know that feeling so I am here to help you out! By reading this article, I am quietly confident something will help you out to make your decision of ‘Should I buy a planner or make my own?’

Table of contents

DIY planner vs Premade planner – Introduction

For a long time now people have been interested in productivity and how they can manage their time effectively.

Planners serve this purpose. They get us, and keep us on track for what we want to be doing in life.

But now there are so many options. DIY planner vs premade planner? It can be overwhelming to figure out whether it is a good idea to start on the hunt for the right pre made planner or whether to get the materials needed and make your own.

This blog post will get us on the right path, by comparing the pros and cons of planners vs DIY and see which is right for you.

DIY Planner


It is a custom created planner that you design and make and use.

READ: What is a Customized Planner? Do I Need One?


There are many benefits of making your own planner. This will just give a little overview.

With a DIY planner you will be able to create the planner according to your own needs. Maybe you have specific hobbies or tasks that you want to incorporate into your planner. You can do that if you are designing it yourself.

You can also dictate the design, you might like a certain aesthetic of planners that inspires you and that can be incorporated if you are making your own.

Less waste. This Is a big pro, you can specifically make your planner only with the pages that you need and therefore not wasting paper.


The cons might be the same is having any crafting hobby, it requires space and storage to have all the things to make your own planner.

I do understand this problem because I live in a fairly small apartment and I have lots of planner supplies, it can be tricky finding spots to keep everything organized.

Picture of a hand picking out a pen at a stationery store

Premade Planner


A premade planner is one that has been designed and made by others and you buy as a complete product.


There is obviously no work for the customer except to purchase the planner.

Another pro is that is can surprise you. Sometimes you discover that a certain way of planning that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself, actually works better for you.

I personally love looking at planners for this reason, even if I do not plan on buying them, it gives me new ideas for way to plan and create unique spreads and ideas.


Cost is one thing. Although I have to be honest and fair – the range of price points for planners is so large that you really probably could get one that suits your budget.

Lack of options within a premade planner. There are a huge range of planners available, but once you have chosen one that is it, you are stuck with the features that that planner has to offer and it can be frustrating if it does not suit your needs. [Hence why so many half filled planners get thrown out]

Picture of a woman doing lots of research on a laptop.

General Comparisons

I believe that a lot of things come down to the value of time and money, and I think the same is the case with planners vs DIY.

It could be said that obviously more time will be taken with making your own planner, but I want to point out that that is not necessarily true, at least it wasn’t in my case.

Before making my own planner, I would spend hours searching all the premade planners on the market, and some would be ok, others would be great, but they were still missing a certain feature that I wanted.

So for me making my own planners is much quicker. I design and make what I want and that is me done!

As for money, again, comparing a planner vs DIY planner isn’t straight forward. Are you going to get obsessed with crafting materials and buy more and more tools, then that is going to work out more expensive that buying a premade planner.

There are some brands selling premade bullet journals for up to $100, so that’s not a cheap option either.

Making your decision

So crunch time!

Should I buy a planner or make my own?

The simple answer is: make your own planner if you value having control over the design and function of your planner, but buy a premade planner if you value being inspired to plan.

Consider what is going to work best for your personal needs, budget and time. It is unfortunately, still a decision you have to make for yourself but I hope I have been able to give you some things to consider.


Picture of two planners, one is hand drawn and the other is premade. The title says DIY planner vs Premade planner.

In conclusion remember that somethings that seem obvious about planners vs DIY may not be true for you.


Yes, if you know yourself and value having control over the function and design of your planner. The likelyhood is you will not find your ‘perfect’ premade planner.

Are you going to spend hours looking for a planner that has just the right features that YOU need?

Are you looking for inspiration and if you DIY a planner will end up spending way too much money on supplies.

These are the questions you could be considering when deciding ‘should I buy a planner or make my own’.

So tell me, which are you going to choose?

Or do you have a personal journey of finding the right planner, if so please do let me know.

READ: Sustainable planning: Create your Own Eco Friendly Planner [discbound]

I love that you are thinking about this topic and are here reading this today.

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