Printing: What paper?

I love the D*I*Y templates -- I'm currently converting myself from FranklinCovey toward a more common-sense, GTD-ish approach so I'm finding I have less use for the "Prioritized Daily Task List" that takes up so much space in my FC planner. That's where D*I*Y comes in -- I can have a weekly list with JUST DATES!!

I do, however, like the feel of the paper in my FC planner far better than "regular" printer or copy paper. I don't want to get crazy and start using resume paper or anything, but I'm wondering what paper you users of the "Classic" size D*I*Y planners are printing on.

Thanks in advance!


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Plain old copy paper

Sorry to be no help, but I'm printing on plain old copy paper.

You could try your local office supply or copy/print place and look for samples, so you can play with the paper in advance. It's a good way to check to make sure the paper is friendly to your pens and inks.

I'll have to watch this topic too, since I'm a fountain pen user.

-- flexiblefine

Paper Recommendations

Well, I've tried quite a few over the past year, and have experimented when I found the chance. "Standard" printer paper (i.e., the inexpensive stuff) is usually 20 lb, has almost no coating, and tends to be slightly off-white. The general effect when printing forms is that it feels cheap and sloppy, with print and lines bleeding through the paper.

Now, the Day Runner templates provide a pretty good example of what to look for. The paper is slightly heavier, is very bright, and it holds ink well without bleeding or showing too much through the paper.

At my local Wal-Mart, one can purchase Georgia-Pacific Bright White for Ink Jets. Brightness is 108, size is 8.5"x11", and the weight is 24 lb. A pack of 500 sells for about $7 CDN (or about $5 USD), only a dollar or two more than regular paper. There is a mild coating, and it holds ink well without bleeding through the page. It's the closest thing I've found to perfect template paper around here.

I have tried various styles of more expensive paper --some with greater degrees of linen or other organic materials-- but they tend to work far better with pens than printers, and thus look rather messy after printing. The aforementioned GP paper is a nice compromise, and it's hard to beat the price. I wouldn't go much higher than 24 lb, by the way, since the extra thickness and weight does tend to weigh down one's planner.

Hope this helps!

all my best,


Quit reading my mind! I spent the weekend researching paper weights/etc. I should have known to just *wait* and you'd come up with the definitive answer. Thanks! :)

Paper research

Heh. Well, I for one would still be interested in hearing what you've discovered in your research. Remember that I'm in the middle of nowhere, and probably haven't explored as many alternatives as those folks somewhat closer to cities.



All great ideas! I'll have to look for that GP paper next time I'm at the Wally Mart!!


Me too...

Thanks for asking and for all the great answers. I've been wondering this myself, since I just migrated up from hipster only to hipster and D*I*Y Planner. I'm excited! I can't wait to get set up, especially with the 2.5 template! If I'm going to be printing new pages anyway, why not do it on better paper!


How do I download templates?

How do I download templates?

Downloading Templates

All the templates are located in the Templates tab. Go there, and you'll see a directory of user-submitted templates and the official D*I*Y Planner kits. For the latter, follow the links to the kit size you want (classic 5.5"x8.5", A5, or Hipster PDA 3x5 index cards) and see the download links near the bottom of the page. User-submitted templates are either attached to the page, or are found if you follow the included link.

Any other questions, please feel free to contact me and I'll try my best to help you.

all my best,

a million monkeys typing :

Paper GSM such as DayTimer etc?

I would like to obtain paper that has the same gsm as the planners' diary pages yet have no clue what gsm it actually is, let alone locating such stock in A4 (recently purchased a guillotine for A5, woohoo!)

I have started using the D*I*Y Planner system with my DayTimer calendar and am finding that the 80gsm paper is filling my planner, fast.

What I have an interest in is the GSM for planner pages such as the DayTimer that I have.

This will assist in storing more pages in my planner.

What is the gsm for DayTimer et al planner pages?
Are there concerns with this gsm being used on a laser printer, such as wrinkling?

GSM and Paper Weight

Sam, if you Google for "gsm paper weight", you'll find a number of reference charts for GSM (grams/m2) that go into bond, covers, etc. We don't tend to use GSM too much over here in North America, but rather pounds. However, most commericial form paper I've seen is a little thicker than common bond paper: my estimation is 24 lb, which --according to the charts-- equates to 88.81. So it would be a little heavier than what you're currently using. There should be no problem with wrinkling or other printer problems at this weight.

Now, I have noticed that some of the cheaper planners on the market come with thinner paper, not much thicker than tissue paper. Useless, in my opinion.

The best of both worlds would probably be a thin, coated paper. It would be lightweight without letting ink bleed through the paper. I haven't personally seen any in my little neck of the woods, but maybe people can recommend some to you.

One of the tricks to keeping a planner is reducing the dead weight. I do this in two ways: I keep a light cardboard pocket in the back with a bunch of extra forms, instead of stuffing them all throughout the planner (one of the dangers when you have a lot of potentially useful new forms!); and I regularly file or toss used forms that are no longer of weekly use. It's a balancing act, but it enforces discipline, guts your inbox, and leads to a lightweight planner.

Hope this helps....

all my best,
a million monkeys typing :

Plain ol' paper....

is what I use.... the stuff that comes 12 reams to a case from Costco (currently) or Staples (last year) for less than $10 US. No bleed through, crisp sharp lines, dots, etc., perfectly grey-scaled when printing (on a CHEEEEEEPPPPPP lexmark Z55 with a dead color cart and a half-live black one.... which has way more to do with the quality of the templates than the quality of the printer/ink!)

I used to use FC fancies. Problems: EXPENSIVE (minor understatement there!); paper was too heavy - I could only carry about a quarter of the year (because the fancy I liked had 2 pages per DAY *sigh* - and no way to customize....); and then FC discontinued the only fancy I liked (so I'm picky - so sue me....)

Last year (for 2005) I moved to DIY, on plain paper; for this coming year (2006), I'm going to invest the money that FC would have cost me in color carts and do my own "fancy background". Why not, after all?

I'll probably up the paper quality/weight to 24lb ivory from 20lb white copy, and I'm going to be trying to reduce the templates to print/fit on 4 x 7 inch (US) paper (which is what really fits right in my custom binder).

But I'm not goin' back to "mainstream"....

30lb Paper

I tried using 30lb paper with mine, and have been quite happy with it except for the pages you want to keep perpetually - but that may just be because I put that page in front.... I suspect those fancy inserts are using something akin to 30lb paper.

For reference, I use 110lb paper with my Hipster...


If you are looking for an inexpensive quality paper I would suggest Hammermill color copy paper at 28lb, 32lb, or 60lb depending on the thinckness you want. These will run around $9 and up per 500. They produce great copy on either inkjet or laser. I use this paper to produce maketing materials in-house with great results.


Just to keep everyone up-to-date, I went to my local Office Depot and got a ream of 500 sheets of their "Platinum Series" color laser paper for $8 (If you're looking for it, the item number is 554-609). It is 28 lb weight and 113 brightness. Everything looks SO much nicer! Putting regular, cheap-o copy paper next to it makes the old paper look old and yellow!!

Thanks for the tips!


FC Blank Pages

Haven't tried printing on it yet, but I picked up some 7-hole punched completely blank unruled 8.5 x 5.5 refill paper from the Franklin Covey store at the mall near me. The 50 page pack is too expensive at over $4, but luckily the salesperson told me there were 200-pg packs which were kept in a drawer. Still expensive compared to cutting standard size and punching it, but at $10-11 for 200 pages, it will get me started. Hope it takes ink well. On the web site I could only find the 50-page packs. It also looks like these have some background shading and may be why they are a much higher per-sheet cost than what I picked up.

Paper weight conversion

Hi there,

I also ran into the paper weight conversion problem, because I am european, and I found this chart helpful:


Sorry wasn't meant to be a reply ><

A weighty matter...

Just what I need ISO to ANSI paper conversion chart.

Thank you Wolfgang.