Planner Insert sizes – a guide for 2020

Coming into the new year, I wanted to take a quick minute to provide some clarity and a simple guide to the difference in planner insert sizes. The Plannersphere is booming – and as is so common in all things marketable – that means there is always ‘something new’, a latest trend, a better option, a bigger, or smaller, or more compact, or more versatile thing we need – and the size of your planner, and thus, your inserts, are no exception.

Recently, the shift from Personal, to Personal wide and then the spread outwards up to B6, and down to A6 has caught my attention. There is also a pesky little knot in my stomach that gnaws at me every time I see someone ask a Planner Boss “Are you going to make this in compact size?”

So before I plop the infographic on the page, and let you make of it what you will I just wanted to touch on a few things before you drop your hard earned cash on another planner, another lot of inserts, another lot of sticker kits and get real with you about planner insert sizes for a minute.

1. So long as the holes are punched to fit your rings – many of these planner inserts will fit in the same planner folder.

The reason for this is many of these planners regardless of their naming convention use “personal sized rings” – this means their spacing is 19mm, 19mm, 50mm, 19mm, 19mm on a 175mm spine*

  • B6, Personal Wide, Compact, Personal, and with some very accurate hole punching , even A6, will fit into a B6 folder with “personal sized rings.” The empty space around the inserts will just become greater.
    Personally I wouldn’t want A6inserts swimming in a B6 folder, but, it may be a great temporary measure if you want to trial new planner insert sizes, before committing to purchasing a new folder.
  • However it doesn’t always work in the reverse direction. Trying to put B6 inserts in an A6 folder (as an extreme example) will be disastrous, and result in a whole lot of overhang, crumpled pages and an inability to close said folder.
    Often times Personal, Compact and Personal Wide can share the same folder, or Personal wide and B6. This may only affect the use of the side tabs / pen loop. But this is not always the case.
  • If you wish to check, first close your folder with the inserts inside and measure the space from the edge of the inserts to the edge of your folder – is there enough extra room to accomodate your new, larger inserts without them sticking over the edge of your folder, or encroaching on your pen loop?
    Will your tabs still protrude far enough to use, or will you have to use top/bottom tabs instead?

*The discussion about ring sizing and spacing is its own beast, for another day – but – please know there are many, many different binder rings, with different length spines, and different ring spacing and ideally, each sized insert should have a spine specific for its height. If the height of your inserts change to be taller than the spine is designed for, it can ultimately lead to damaged inserts.

2. If you are already in one size and want to make the switch, pause a moment and ask is the difference worth the outlay for you?

For example, going from a personal wide, to a B6 is approx. 5mm (1/4in) bigger in each direction – is that extra space going to rock your world?

  • What can you do with that space? (or lack there off)
    Will a slightly shorter planner allow you to fit it in your handbag, so you are more easily able to access and use your planner?
    Will the extra 5mm / 1/4in allow for one more dot across your grid and revolutionise your bullet journal layout for a more cohesive and streamlined weekly view?
    Will the new size accommodate a wider range of periphery, or allow you to more easily source it and make your planning journey more enjoyable?

3. Is your current size not working for you, or are you just looking for a change?

  • Seriously – there is no judgement here. Using your planner as a creative outlet, a hobby, for enjoyment, and not just to get you through the daily grind is a completely legitimate way to use your planner. But being honest and upfront that your current set-up works, but you are bored with it, or want an excuse to purchase a “new pretty” may help you make a choice that both gives you that freedom AND still allows your planner to work for you. Often times when we are after change we fixate on the reasons we need the change and forget all the reasons to stay with what we have.

So, with that being said, here is the promised infographic!
Let me know in the comments below what size planner you will be ringing in the new year with. Are you swapping sizes? And dont forget, if you are not already set, check out the Planner supplies in Australia page to take advantage of some great offers for SSY members and support local!

Please note that while “A” and “B” sizes are standardised, the popular sized inserts may be slightly more fluid, with “pocket sized” being particularly tenuous. It always pays to double check by taking your own measurements and double checking measurements of new inserts before purchasing them.

2 thoughts on “Planner Insert sizes – a guide for 2020

  1. Denise Nelson says:

    Great article! I started out with Personal Wide and moved to Personal, Pocket, and currently Compact. The Compact size is my sweet spot. I do not have any plans or desire to go backwards. Compact is the “baby” of a Personal Wide and Personal. The extra .5″ definitely rocks my world. It accommodates my rather large handwriting and my eye appeal for a rectangle insert.

    For the binder, I am in a Franklin Covey Compact binder. I am totally in love with having replaceable 1.25″ and 1.5″ rings.

    • SewSaysYou says:

      Oh! it sounds like you have found your planner peace, Denise. That’s wonderful! And I can’t deny it – sometimes that small amount really does make all the difference doesn’t it?!

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