I get asked frequently about planner page sizes. What size is best? Which planner inserts are compatible with each other? Is A5 the same as half size? I’m here to help clear up all the planner size confusion!! Keep reading.
Since it really helps to see these planner sizes for yourself, I made you a video to demonstrate. Click below to watch it:
Also, if you want the short version, be sure to download my planner sizes cheat sheet.
Let’s get talking about paper sizes and planner binder sizes. Once you understand each paper size, you’ll realize that there are only a few sizes, but each size will fit in different planners. We’ll start with the biggest and work our way down:
Paper Sizes: A4 & Letter
The first two sizes are A4 size and letter size. A4 is used in countries outside the US and is very similar to US letter size. It’s 8.27 by 11.7 inches. Letter size is the standard paper size in the US, and it is only used in the US. It’s 8.5 by 11 inches. That means that A4 is a bit taller (by .7 inches) and just a tad narrower (less than ¼ inch). Here’s a side by side comparison:
What this means is that you should be able to print on these two paper sizes interchangeably in most cases. If a printable was designed for letter size paper you should be able to print onto A4 size without a problem and vice versa.
It is super easy to find binders in these sizes. You can pick up 3 ring binders in letter size almost anywhere, and then punch your pages with a standard 3 ring punch. My personal favorite is to use a discbound system. You can easily find full-size discbound binders at Staples. I love these because the punch doesn’t eat very far into the page and because they don’t open as wide as regular 3 ring binders. If you want more details about how the discbound system works go here.
Paper Sizes: A5 & Half Letter
The next most common planner sizes are A5 and Half Letter. A5 is used in countries outside the US and is very similar to the US half letter size. It’s 5.83 by 8.27 inches. It’s what you get if you cut an A4 piece of paper right in half. Half letter is what you get if you cut a letter size piece of paper right in half, so it is 5.5 by 8.5 inches. That means that that A5 page is just a teensy bit wider (by about ¼ inch) and a teensy bit shorter (by about ¼ inch). Here’s a side by side comparison.
This also means that you should be able to print A5 & half-letter pages interchangeably onto either size paper. If you’re outside the US and you have easy access to A5 paper, just print half letter sizes printables right onto that – no problem.
My favorite planner for half-size pages, is, of course, the Sweet Life Planner. I think the size is ideal because it has plenty of spaces for writing but it’s still portable. And I absolutely love the disc binding system that combines the slimness of spiral binding with the flexibility of ring binding.
There are also a lot of six ring planner binders that are designed for A5 size paper. Filofax and Kikki K are the most popular brands. However, recently some other brands have come on the market that are much cheaper and easier to get in the USA, plus they have super cute designs. My favorite place to buy these is Blitsy.
You would just need to buy a punch that will punch the six ring holes. However, each of the brands use the same hole spacing so the same punch can be used on all of them. It’s worth noting (especially if you’re a bit of planner enthusiast like me) that some punches have bigger holes even though the spacing is the same. I much prefer smaller holes because I think it looks neater.
Although these binders are designed for A5 paper, half letter size paper fits in just fine. However, keep in mind that it will look a little funny if you mix two sizes of paper in the same planner. One size will stick out a bit more than the other. It still works just fine – it simply looks a little odd (which may or may not bother you.)
Paper Sizes: Personal (or A6)
The personal size paper is technically also called A6, and it’s what you get if you just cut an A5 piece of paper in half. It’s 3.74 by 6.73 inches, so it’s significantly smaller than the next size up. It was made popular by Filofax and their personal size line of planners. It’s a nice portable size that still allows enough room for writing. Here it is next to a regular letter size sheet of paper for reference:
Just like the A5 binders, you can find personal size binders in the Filofax brand, the Kikki K brand, and on Blitsy.com. My personal favorites are on Blitsy, because they are affordable and super cute. These are all 6 ring binders that require a special 6 hole punch.
Paper Sizes: Pocket
The pocket-size page is getting pretty tiny. It’s 3.19 inches by 4.72 inches. Of course, it’s great for portability but doesn’t allow much space for writing. It was made popular by Filofaxes pocket size line of binders. Here it is next to a regular letter size sheet of paper for reference:
You can find the pocket size binder in Filofax and Kikki K, but there are fewer brands that make them.
Paper Sizes: Mini
If you think the pocket size is small, you should see the mini. It is teensy tiny!! It’s only 2.64 by 4.13 inches. It’s certainly portable, but you better be able to write and read tiny stuff if you want to use it. It’s also the hardest size binder to find because it’s less popular, but Filofax does make some mini size binders. Here it is next to a regular letter size sheet of paper for reference:
Let’s take a look at all the sizes together:
As far as I know, Filofax is the only brand that makes the tiny little Mini’s. They are super cute, though.
Notes about printing on these pages and getting paper in the proper size:
I highly recommend cutting your paper first and then printing directly onto that size of paper. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to print multi-page items back to back. Trying to print two to a page and then trimming the pages is possible, but it gets pretty complicated.
Of course, you can easily buy full letter size paper here in the US. My favorite is this super thick, extra bright white paper.
You can buy half size paper that is already disc punched to go in your Sweet Life Planner right here.
For the other sizes of paper, you can either cut it yourself with a paper trimmer, or you can take it to a local printer and have them cut it to size for you. This option is usually very affordable since they have machines that can easily cut huge stacks at once.
Also, right here is a detailed post about how to get your computer to print on smaller pages.
If you want to hear more about how I print in full color on a budget plus my favorite printer, read it here.