Choosing a Ring bound Planner

December 8, 2015


Ringbound Planner

It’s almost January and that means it’s time for a fresh new set of planner inserts and possibly a new planner. Yay! It’s definitely a fun time for planner enthusiasts. When shopping for a ring bound planner, you have to decide what size is going to best fit your lifestyle.  Will you be carrying your planner to work with you? Or are you a stay at home mom who will keep it on the kitchen counter most of the time? These are some of the questions that’ll help you decide if you need a small planner or a larger planner. I recommend a personal or compact size planner if you’ll be carrying it with you. Once you pick a size, it’s time to go shopping.


Choosing a ringbound planner via A Bowl Full of Lemons



Below are a five popular ring bound planners (from different companies) so you can compare sizes.  Pictured at the top, from left to right: Louis Vuitton A5, Gillio personal, Filofax pocket. Bottom left to right: Day-Timer classic (desk size), Franklin Covey compact.


Planner Sizes via A Bowl Full of Lemons


Here’s another view from above.


Planner Sizes via A Bowl Full of Lemons


There are many planners to choose from, in all sizes and materials and for all personalities. Here are several websites that carry ring bound planners.



Once you decide on a planner size, you’ll need to order inserts. A5 and classic/desk planners are very comparable in size, however the inserts are not interchangeable because of the number of holes in them. You can find classic sized inserts in most office supply stores. They fit inside planners such as the Franklin Covey Classic and Day-Timer Desk size. They have seven holes. A5 inserts can be found online at Fiilofax, Louis Vuitton, Gillio, etc.  They have six holes. Personal, portable, and compact inserts are comparable in size, have the same hole line up (six) and most of the time are interchangeable. (However you may find that Franklin Covey compact inserts will stick out of the side of some personal size planners). When shopping, check the planner and insert sizes to be sure you are ordering the correct one.


Insert sizes:

  • A5 – 5.8″ x 8.3″
  • Classic/Desk – 5.5″ x 8.5″ (Half sheet of paper)
  • Personal – 3.7″ x 6.7″
  • Franklin Covey Compact – 4.25″ x 6.75″
  • Day-Timer Portable – 3.75″ x 6.75″
  • Filofax Compact – 3.7″ x 6.7″
  • Filofax Pocket – 3.2″ x 4.7″
  • Franklin Covey Pocket – 3.5″ x 6″

My friend Jennifer from My Purple Life has a wonderful post that shows a comparison of Filofax refill sizes. Her photo shows you the clear difference between A5 (Classic), personal (compact), and pocket sized planner inserts. Click on her link to see more detailed comparison photos.


Planner insert size comparisons


Once you choose a planner, you’ll need to personalize it to fit your needs and begin daily planning habits. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips to help you succeed in planning, time management, and getting the most out of your new planner.


11 comments on “Choosing a Ring bound Planner

  1. Morgan says:

    Thanks for this great breakdown! I needed this. Happy planning!

  2. Tina says:

    Very informative. I am surprised you did not mention Erin condren planner (one Facebook group has over 17,000 members) or the me and my big ideas happy planner (one Facebook group has over 8000 members)

  3. Deborah says:

    I have used the A5 size for years but recently purchased a personal size Filofax, Malden-in purple! Like the one shown above. Excellent quality! I just throw it in my bag and go. I love it, so much easier to carry.

  4. Loribeth says:

    Five years ago I started getting a bound planner from Moleskine. I get the exact same style every year in red. I write the year on the spine in gold. I write notes and sometimes journal in it. Since I write the year in gold on the spine, they look beautiful on my shelf and become a permanent record of my life.

  5. Steve says:

    Don’t forget A6 (Half A5 size) Mulberry, Van der Spek and Gillio sell organisers in this size it is becoming a very popular size.

  6. Laura says:

    Are you going to be doing the rainbow planner again for 2016?

  7. Rhonda Santoro says:

    Will you be updating the printables to 2016

  8. Karen says:

    Isn’t there something electronic that can be used with iPad?

  9. Cori says:

    Thank you for giving the insert sizes in inches. Most of the time they’re given in cm’s.

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