Scaling Inserts: The Easy Way

This is not something I commonly need to do because I stick to one size planner. However there are several people in the planner community that will carry multiple planners. An on the go planner could be a mini or a pocket and then you can transfer finances into a larger personal or A5 planner which is a stay at home planner.  Steve emailed and asked for some help about creating one insert in multiple sizes and getting them to line up when printing. This question led me to thinking about the same insert and different formats and an easy way to do it – so I’m going to show you how!

Firstly create your insert. I am working with a mini sized template in Microsoft Publisher, so I used 0.32×0.32cm squares (the smallest square setting you can get) to get the feel of the layout and created an finance sheet that had the right proportions. If you need help with getting to that step try this blog post: Filofax: Make your own Inserts.


Scaling 1

Now open up another document and select a different size – for this tutorial I am going to use a personal size insert. You need to select the table, copy it and paste it into the new personal sized document.

Ctrl + A (Select all) -> Ctrl + C (Copy) -> move to new document -> Ctrl + P (Paste).

Now you need to lock the aspect ratio of the table. To do that you need to go to the layout tab and select the little arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the strip (it is highlighted in red on the previous post).

Tick lock aspect ratio -> Ok.

Once you’ve done that adjust the width of the table to the size you want. In this case I did 17.1cm to match width (I’m working in landscape mode) of the personal page.

Now 0.32cm is very small and now we have a personal we can afford to make that a little bit bigger. I counted the squares and realised I had 21 – so I deleted the bottom row to have 20 in total. I like to work with 0.5cm lines so I calculated how much that would be for 20 and it was 10cm. I unlocked the aspect ratio – the reverse of the previous step and changed the height to 10cm. This will make the rows taller whilst not changing the dimensions of the table in terms of column width.

Then I simple deleted two rows to give me space for my holes and allow it to fit on the page.

Scaling 2

I then made the writing a little bigger and I have my insert all ready to go.

To find out how to print it, check out my other post: Filofax: Printing your own Inserts.

Traveller’s Notebook: Make your Own Inserts

I’m going to have to thank Cheryl Payne for this tutorial. She emailed me a little while back asking for guidance on how to make traveller’s notebook inserts and she gave me a lovely compliment of saying my tutorials were easy to follow. So this is really for Cheryl (although I am sorry it is a little late!). I must start with a big word of warning – I don’t actually own a traveller’s Notebook so I have not printed these out or tested them. This is just a tutorial of how I would make them if I had a traveller’s notebook…

I’ll be making a simple dotted page for the passport size of notebook but first of all we need are trusted Publisher, so start by opening that up.

Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Publisher

Next we need to create a blank template to the correct size, as it’s not standard you’ll need to create a new template. The first screen in Publisher should be the select your template.

Click More Black Page Sizes > Custom > Create new page size…


Height 12.4cm

Margin guides – set all to zero.

I’m going to make this a dotted note paper and to do that I’m going to create a table that is 5mm x 5mm.

Insert > Table > 1×1 Table

Once the table is created

Double click the table > Change width and height to 0.5cm


You’ll need to insert 18 squares across the width of the page.

Right click the table > Insert > Right

Keep going until you’ve inserted 17. To speed up the process you can highlight multiple boxes and insert right. If you select three boxes you’ll insert another three.

Align > Align Right

Will set your table to the right side.

Next we need to create 25 rows.

Right click the table > Insert > Below

This will create a slightly bigger table than the height of the page. Don’t worry about that.

Now we need to create the dots. Click the mouse to the first cell. Then go to the main task ribbon.

Insert > Symbol > Middle Dot (Character Code 00B7) 

Copy and paste the dot into each box by highlighting the first cell and pressing Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. Once you completed the first role you can copy and paste the dot into each row.

Once each box has a dot in you have completed the page. You can then duplicate the page by.

Right clicking page 1 on the left hand side of the screen > Insert Duplicate Page


Now this is just a basic template you can jazz it up and get as fancy as you want with it. Just remember that a traveller’s notebook consists of four sides to one sheet of paper. To help explain this a bit better take a scrap of paper and fold it in half. There are four faces to the book. When printing faces 1 and 4 (the front and the back page) will be printed together and faces 2 and 3 will be printed on the back. It doesn’t really matter how they are printed in this tutorial, but it is more important when you design your own layouts. A trick to making it easier for you is to select the select the printing option of Booklet side-fold, as this will calculate the order of the page for you when printing. For a more in depth look at printing inserts please read my original post. The only different would be not to cut the centre crop marks but to merely fold the page over. If going more complicated layouts it’ll be a good idea to think of margin spaces to the left and right of each page as a fold may effect template design. I’d aim for a margin of about 2-3mm.


I hope this helps anyone looking to make your own TN inserts. If you have any question please feel free to add a comment below.

Filofax: Printing your own trifold inserts

So my last post on Friday was about how to make a fold out monthly insert…and now I’m going to show you how to print them (apologises if you’ve been trying to work out how to do it all weekend as this post went out on Monday…). Anyway, if you want to know how to make them you can read that blog here.

In the post I showed you just a basic design…I customised mine to my own style – namely German font and pictures from German history and a bucket list…so my finished product will look like this:


Now to print I recommend just focusing on page at a time, once you’ve set up and printed the first one and it’s gone ok you can print the others off very quickly by just changing the numbers on the Print Custom Range.

Firstly check the print preview and make sure everything looks ok, my checklist includes:

  1. Number order
  2. Spelling errors
  3. Where are the punched holes going to go? Did I mess that up?
  4. Is everything between the crop marks?

If you’ve not got crop marks you can add them:

Click the down arrow on your printer (just above printer properties) > Advanced Output Settings > Marks and Bleeds > Allow bleeds > Crop Marks

Next we’re going to set up the page.

Print Custom Range > Relevant page numbers (3-4 in my case) > One page per sheet > A4 > Manual 2 Sided Print (Flip sheets on long edge)

Now just hit the front and back on your print preview make sure it looks ok. Now hit print. If like me you don’t have a duplex you’ll have to manually change the paper. Don’t click the pop up box that comes up. You’re going to have to work out which way round to load your paper, this is mostly trial and error. If you have an up and over one like mine you lie the paper print side up with the text on your left hand side.



Then you just need to cut and punch. I recommend cutting on the first page side (in this case the January or the odd month). I find cutting on the other side can get it out of alignment a little bit (damn A4 and the inability for it to be 29.8!). To fold them you need to keep in mind that you’re rings are going to take up space so you can’t do a straight forward fold. One think to do is punch the holes first. I flipped my page over so I was on February. Folded the end which had the calender on it up to the bullet points of the bucket list. I then flipped it over and folded it back on itself until it there wasn’t anything over hanging on it.


There you go. Revel in the fact you can now see your month and weekly at the same time.

Filofax: DIY Monthly Fold out

My last tutorial on how to make your own planner pages, namely a week on two page template was very popular and this is one of the other major inserts I have made and use in my planner. So I thought it was about time I showed everyone how to make it. If you didn’t catch my other post though you can find it here.


So if you’ve not guessed from the title already, the above photo shows you what this tutorial is going to make. A DIY fold out monthly calender. I think these are great because it allows me to see my week and my month at the same time, so when I am filling out my weekly page I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth. It is also great because I printed my months double sided so when I am on an even month, say October. I can move September/October to the front of my weekly inserts and open it out, whilst having November on the right behind my weekly inserts. It allows me to see two months at once – which is great for planning weekend trips away! Sadly the only downside is if it is an odd month, like November. I can’t see December because it’s on the back of November. It’s not too much of an issue and I’d rather conserve the paper bulk in my planner and so don’t keep one month to one page.

So like my previous post we’ll be using Microsoft Publisher again. It’s a great little program that’s probably on every windows pc/laptop, that you’ve probably never opened! I find it much easier to use than word for making templates. Like my last tutorial this is going to focus on a personal sized planner, but changing the dimensions up you can easily adapt this to other planner sizes.


First things first…we need to create the page size. Now this is an uncommon size. The standard size for a personal is 171mm x 95mm. (I like printing at 172mm –  I don’t know why, just do) In order to make a tri-fold you need to measure where your holes on your weekly layout come to. With my hole punch I lose about 8mm of space. so I rounded this up to 10mm, or 1 cm. Which means my first 1/3 of the page will be the standard 95mm, whilst the next two thirds will be 170mm, or 85mm each. So let’s get started.

Open Publisher > File > New > More Blank Pages and Sizes > Create new page size.

Width: 26.5cm

Height: 17.2cm

Margins: 0mm.

Ok > Open a new blank page with this template. 

Now you want to create a table, in this tutorial I’m going to show you with the columns being days of the week (you could easily adapt this to days as rows if you would prefer to do that). So we need to create seven columns. For the moment I recommend creating the table as a 7×1 and having the height of the table at 4mm.

Insert table > 7 x 1 >

Height: 0.5cm

Width: 16.8cm.

Now the size of the table is for a reason. You need to leave 95mm of space free. This will be the section you punch the hole in and when you put you’ll weekly pages on top of it, it’ll be the same size and so cover it. So the remaining 16.8cm is where we want to put the table. However, I’ve left 2mm off just to allow for folding and such.

Now we need more than one row so although this process seems to be long winded and time consuming I recommend doing it with way to get the best visual effect. But to make it simpler you could easily to add in another 7 rows and make the height of the table 17cm. Then just adjust the days of the week row and the month row to a smaller size. I like to be precise though so I’ll show you my way. First we need to align the table.

Select Table> Align > Relative to Margins > Align > Top > Align > Right

Next we are going to duplicate the rows until we reach 17cm in height.

Select table > Right click > Insert > Insert below

To make this process faster:

Ctrl A and repeat the above step (this will double the amount of rows per insert action).

Now we have our table properly established we are going to realign it but first we’re going to add some margins.

Page Designs > Margins > Custom Margins > Right: 0.1cm

Now align the page to the middle and to the right margin. This will give us 1mm of space to allow for printing and cutting error.

Now persuming I have counted correctly we have 34 lines. Now if you look at a calender there is sometimes the possibility that a month can stretch over six week, where part of the first and last week are incomplete weeks. When I looked at the calender for 2015 I think it happened about twice. So I made the decision to have six rows. This means alot of months you won’t use the bottom line – but that could always be used for notes or a quote or something and it just means those two months look neat. So 34 divided by 6 is 5.666. So we don’t have a nice round number to fit in the daily boxes but I want to use some as headers. So we are going to use five lines per box. Now if you would like your monthly calender to be lined you can skip this step. But if not we’re going to merge some cells, so starting at the bottom of your table,  count up five lines in the first column – and make sure only the first column is selected.

Layout > Merge cells.

This will create your daily box.


Keep repeating this step until you have six boxes in the first column. Once completed move onto the other columns. You should have four unused rows at the top. Starting with the fourth row from top, or the one immediately above your daily boxes you’re going to write the days of the week in each column. Pick whatever font you want. The one in this tutorial is Calibri font size ten – nothing special so get creative and do your own font style, but just to keep it within the 5mm box.

Next we’re going to do the month. I merged all the remaining three lines together across all the columns, if you want you could make the day headings a bit bigger and the month one smaller. In my tutorial the month is in Calibri front size 28.


To align the text within the box

Select box (Ctrl A or highlighting with a mouse for multiple boxes) > Layout > Select whatever design you want. I used Centre middle and Centre right.

Now it’s time to colour in some borders. Again this is can be done however you want to do it. I don’t really like borders around the Month or the Day headings…but if you do put them in. Now if you want lines in I recommend changing the colours of the lines. In my one I have showed the clear black borders and the lined grey with the black outside border.

Select the boxes for borders > highlight them > Design > Select line width > Select line colour > Select lines to be coloured.

For the black lines I picked, a width of 1/4 pt, the blackest black and I selected all borders. If you have kept you lines I suggest then selecting all your horizontal lines and changing the colour from black, mine are the second lightest grey.

filled in

Then you need to fill it in. Grab a calender, I use my mobile phone for this. Now November starts on a Sunday. So I’m going to go to the first of the box rows and the last column and put a 1. Going to repeat that until I put 30 on the last Monday row (November spans across 6 weeks so it’s great for this).

Now I don’t like the black borders being around ’empty days’. As Sunday is only filled on the first week I took out the vertical lines that weren’t in use. You can repeat the step above but just remove lines rather than adding them. I also centred my numbers to be top middle but repeating the steps like we did before.


And that is the month complete.

Now we are going to do the reverse month which is just a simple change. On the left hand side of the program you should see a miniature of your monthly page. Right click that and duplicate it, placing it below your November. This is going to be December. But it’s going to be reversed. So to do that we’re going to add a margin of 2 mm (this will onset the printer adjustment), and then move the table to the new position.

Page Design > Margins > Custom Margins > Left 0.2cm

Select Table > Align Left

Now I changed the November heading to December and also moved it to the left. Then just delete the numbers and reorder them to the correct days. Adjust the vertical lines to add them in and take them away at the right places and you are done making you’re monthly layout. Just repeat for the following months.

The next post will show you how to print them. If you have any queries please leave a comment below and I’ll answer them for you.

Bullet Journalling (or at least my version of it!)

When I showed my extended to do task list in my Filofax: Your Perfect Layout post. I got some good comments about my extended to do section. So today is more an in-depth look at that to do section.

From the above photo you can tell that they are two different pieces of paper. The one of the left is my own creation, the one on the right is just a sheet of filofax graph paper. I began with trialling this system as I started with a week on two pages but they didn’t quite like it – I found that there wasn’t always enough space to do my to do notes and sometimes I was waiting for my appointments to be confirmed before I could stamp in some to do squares and inevitably I probably forgot one or two to dos along the way. The system just wasn’t working for me. I am not someone who has a lot of appointments – maybe one a day. I don’t over schedule myself each day and prefer to spend half a day researching and then doing something else. So I needed a smaller daily section and a longer extended to do list.

So I began experimenting with bullet journalling. For those unfamiliar with bullet journalling…you basically start by having a blank (often moleskin book) and rapid log appointments to dos etc. You can code these with different symbols and eventually you can create collections. For a more detailed explanation watch this video:

Now there was a downside to the original bullet journal with the fact there was no opportunity to future plan events – it was very much a in the moment planner. However the 2015 version, as you can see above now has a future log – which means it better. I really like having my weekly and monthly inserts and I think they work well for me…so I decided to pick and choose the elements of a bullet journal which work for me.

I developed my own code which I printed and punched and then changed so this photo is now outdated…but I’ll explain the basics.

I follow the standard bullet journal with the following keys:

· Task (centre dot)

O Event

Δ Appointment

> Indicates the event has been migrated to next week (generally used for a task I didn’t complete)

< Indicates the task has been scheduled for a specific week (I normally just use the above one even if I decide to put it on a different week – I should use this one though).

X is used to mark any task, events or appointments that have been completed. I use to colour in the circles and the triangles – but I’m not a big fan on that so I think I will use the X.

My bullet journal is a to do list…so when I cross off an event or an appointment it means I have called, created and scheduled it and put it in my monthly calender. It doesn’t mean I’ve attended the event. It just means I don’t have to do anything else to it.

The next part of my key was originally:


! Important

* Inspiration

? Explore

F Film

B Book

M Meetup

P (Blog) Post


W Write (a letter…I do snail mail :))

E Email

S Skype

C Call

H Homework (this is not on the green list!)

I use to put the code in the square where the task assignment is – however I found that when I crossed it out it got a bit messy, and if I was exploring something and decided to they make it an appointment – I couldn’t easily change the question mark into a circle. It just got too messy. So I have since updated it. Now all of the above (with the section of notes) get a task dot. Then have the subject of one of the following, so it will look like:

· E: Mum, questions.

So this would indicate that I need to email my mum about questions for a quiz she is organising. So later, if I want to change this into a plan to meet her – I can change it to a circle. Then when I’ve scheduled it I can cross it off my to do list.

I find this system much easier for rapid logging – sometimes I just find it too much effort to get through my notes section to find my blog ideas and decide which one I am going to write about – I like to pick five for the week (I only post Monday-Friday) and then put them on my to do list and cross them off as I write them. At the moment I tend to write a week in advance so I have the week ahead prepared before I start the week. This only changes if I see a film at the cinema, I will then delay other posts to give the cinema ones a higher priority (so if people read my blog and are swayed to watch it it’s still in cinemas for them to do so).

I am not really using this system to it’s full potential at the moment I’ve been doing it for about seven weeks and I am still working out the kinks and trying to get it to work for me. Another thing that appears on my bullet journal page which is not part of the original bullet journal is the daily task tracker. I think that this is something that is a great addition to the bullet journal.

If there is something I need to do daily that I don’t want to rapid log everyday then I just put it in the top section and set up a MTWTFSS section so I can tick off the days (apart from when I monitor how many glasses of coca-cola I drink…I’m trying to cut down – it’s not working).

So I am pretty pleased with this system. So much so in fact that I’ve made it permanent and printed my own bullet journal inserts. I have the bullet journal on the left of each week (with the filofax graph paper it would alternate) and the week to view on the right. This is a great setup for a left handed person – as generally my week to view is the least used section. I take it out on the Sunday before the week begins. Write in all my appointments, stamp the weather. Then the only thing I really add is my main meal and colour in my water. So my most written section is on the left to avoid writing on the rings or having to take my page out every time I want to add something.

I am quite pleased with my system. I think it’s a great way to keep myself organised and combined the best elements of the bullet journal with the ability to forward plan with a ringed system that allows you to move pages.

Filofax: Your Perfect Layout

I think the key to making a Filofax work for you is getting a system that, well, works for you. Filofax typically set up their Filofaxes with a week on two pages, often plain. There are a couple of things I really dislike about about Filofax inserts – namely the thinness of the paper and the fact you can’t use a fountain pen with it, the split weekend, I use to work on the weekends AND go to unversity, so my weekends were just as busy as my week. Yet I’d have no space to write on the weekend. Plus what was up with that let’s stick a calender in your Sunday slot – which gives you even less room!

I know they’ve since changed the format, but I’m still not liking filofax inserts. So in June I discovered all about personalising your planner and stamps and things like that. So I decided I would have a go at making my own layout. At the time, I was getting over a particularly unpleasant bound of depression. I had barely been out of bed, let alone out of the house in months. I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything. So I decided I would work on making diary pages and do something positive.

The problem at the time was that I didn’t have anything to write in a diary. So I decided to do a week on one page and track my main meal for the day, my water intake and try to do one or two tasks a day to get me motivated to do stuff. I also had a list of one letters – which were daily prompts of things I had to do everyday – such as taking vitamins. These worked ok, but after a while I had started to get myself up and doing more things. Quickly a week on one page in that setup wasn’t working.


I decided to switch back to a week on two pages and have equal spaced days. However, as there are only 7 days in a week it can be difficult to equal space. I added a daily task checker into the 8th day slot. This is the layout that is in my make your own weekly layout, which you can find here. This setup was much better, but it still wasn’t brilliant. I ran of space and that daily tracker was just too big and I felt like I was wasting space in that corner and the rings got in the way, which was annoying.


So I decided to switch and my current set up will get me to the end of the year. I went back to a week on one page, but added a piece of graph paper in between. I now use a form of bullet journalling. I think the system works really well for me. I’m just annoyed that I have filofax graph paper, but now I am happy with the system I will print off my own graph paper.


I am really in love with the Erin Condren style vertical planners. You can fit two of the same width on a personal sized page. I am quite tempted to maybe try them in January…but if you have a good system – why mess with it? We’ll see.

Right, now to the bit that you are interested in…how to find the perfect layout for YOU! I would suggest firstly ditching buying pre-made inserts. After all you have them for a year and if you really don’t like them, you either force yourself to use them for the whole year, try something else which you may not like and be committed for a year etc. Or you give up and buy a new set of inserts – wasting the ones you bought and probably some more if you don’t like your new set. Just don’t buy them. Make your own. Give yourself at least 4 weeks in the layout – so you can test whether you truly can use it. If you don’t like it. Figure out why. Is it too small? Do you need to go for a week on three pages? Do you need a full day for during the week but then a day on two pages at the weekend? Write a list of the pros and cons. As you evolve to find a system that suits you it’s great. Maybe you like to see your week to view – but just don’t have the space options with that – why not try a monthly calender that will give you a week to view…but a streamlined version of it, which you can use as a springboard to fill in your weekly? Maybe a separate weekly meal planner would be better for you to save up space.

The trick to finding your right layout…is to experiment and try different layouts. Googling images and watching youtube videos about other Filofax setups will also give you an idea of what other people are using…and importantly how they are using them. If you find you need a daily page for some days but not others, stick with a week on two pages and then get an undated daily page for when you need it. Or just use a blank piece of paper and jot your day down on that. Once you’ve found a system that works…you can look to find it in a premade format it you want. Then you’ll know you can buy it and use it and importantly be happy with it.

Filofax: Printing your own Inserts

This is a follow-on from my post on Wednesday, in which I showed you have to make your own inserts using Publisher. If you’ve not read that one you can find it here.


So the finished product of the last post is pictured above. Now I am going to show you how to print it out. What we are going to do to start with is get the crop marks which you can see in my above picture. These I had already set up before making this post and I didn’t turn them off for the photo, which is why you maybe wondering why they do not appear on yours.

Ctrl + P (or however you get into the print option > Select the down arrow on your printer > Advanced Output Settings… > Marks and Bleeds > Crop marks > Allow Bleeds (you’ll see why later).


Now because my filofax page is a personal size it shows up nicely on the page. As A4 is half of A5 – it’s slightly harder to see the crop marks and they are not as nicely laid on as with the personal (because there is not as much space room as there is on the personal sized print out).

Now you are probably looking at mine and wondering how I have my weekly the wrong way round in the second photo and not the first one. It’s all to do with the number of pages you have. On an a4 sheet of paper you can fit two personal sized inserts each side. In order to print them in the correct order we are going to set it up to print a booklet.

Ctrl + P > Under the pages section there is a tap to change the options, it should say One page per sheet change that to booklet side-fold > Make sure landscape is selected > change print one sided to Manual 2 sided Printer flip sheets on long side. 

Manual two sided printer flip basically tells the printer that you intend to have the paper landscape and flip on the longer side of the paper – it helps it to decide to position the inserts on the page.

Now a side booklet prints the inserts in a particularly way. If you imagine an a4 piece of paper folded in half it will start with page one, open fully to pages two and three and finish with page 4 on the back. However if you were to open that up and lie it flat. Page 4 would be on the left of page 1. So the print order is 4 and 1 on the front side, and 2 then 3 on the back. So we need to set it up to print in the same way.

So on the order of publisher your first page should really be your page 1 followed by 2, 3 and then 4. However if you want a week on two pages to open up are be a double spread…then monday needs to be pages 2 and 4, and the week with your tasks needs to be 1 and 3. So your page orientation should be

Page 1: Tasks and weekends

Page 2: Monday-Thursday

Page 3: Tasks and weekends

Page 4: Monday – Thursday

You can go ahead and print more than four pages – but that begins to complicate the system of where you place things and my printer is temperamental so I much prefer printing four at a time. Now from experience I have printed this and the alignment is out on my computer…the reason it is out if because a4 paper is measured at 210mm x 297 mm. so that 7mm gives a slight problem. The way round it is to add a mm to your 2nd and 3rd pages. The easiest way to do this is to add a margin of 1mm to the left.

Page Design > Margins > Custom Margins… Left 0.1cm.

Now we need to realign pages 2 and 3 only to the new left margin. So select page 2.

Home > Align > Relative to margins (if not already checked) > Left. 

Earlier in the post I told you to select allow bleeds, the reason for this is because now you have moved your layout design by 1mm, technically 1mm is not on your page…but by allowing that bleed it will still print the whole layout design.

Now you should be ready to print. Printing is more difficult to explain – because every printer is different – it takes some experimenting and I’ve been printing for about 3 months now and I still sometimes get it wrong when I go to print (I really should write it down but never do). So now is the time to experiment. The insert I made for this tutorial is not the one I actually use so rather than waste paper printing an insert for this tutorial – knowing I wouldn’t use it. I switched to printing the insert I do use. This is a square grid (which would be a Monday insert on this tutorial) and a week on one page (which would be a Task and weekend insert in this tutorial). I just did a tutorial for the most popular insert design, which is the insert most people are likely to use. The great thing about making your own inserts – you can personalise them to your taste!


My printer is an up and over printer so when I put the paper in the feed like this:


I use paper that is 100g, that’s a medium thickness paper, I use it because I have a Stabilo 68 pen, which I love but tends to shadow or bleed through on thinner papers, I also stamp in my planner. If you do not do either of those an 85g paper would work for you, you could even go lower too…but 85g is a pretty standard paper to buy. Next up you need to cut it. I don’t have a fancy guillotine and there is a reason for that. I found it cheaper to just use a Stanley Knife, cutting matt and a cork backed ruler. Also, when you are cutting you can just cut on the crop marks, but not all the way through the paper – meaning your crop makes stay when you cut the horizontal so they are there when you cut the vertical lines.


After freeing the paper from the scrap I have my personal sized sheets ready…this is the point I washi tape them. I use to use thinner paper, but when I started stamping I upgraded to a thicker quality. When I had thinner paper I liked to use washi tape to help strengthen the holes, which would become a weak point. Whilst I no longer really need to washi tape them, I still do for decoration and because I have a load of washi tape to use up.


Now all you need to do is punch your holes and put them in your planner and you’re done. I have a KW-trio hole punch. I like it before it does a5 to mini through the adjustable settings – so it works with all my planners. There you have it. Home-made diary page inserts that are tailor-made to exactly how you want them. It’s also great because if you get bored or are still finding an insert that works for you…you can print a few weeks off and then try something new. You are not committed to a whole using an insert you do not like and you’re not committed to buying say a whole years worth of a day on one page insert, when maybe you only use one a week. Just print a few out as and when you need them.

Filofax: Make your own Inserts

I hate filofax inserts, the paper quality – any ink just seems to bleed through or shadow, the calender on a Sunday and a split weekend – so if like me you use to work on the weekend you have no space to write anything. Now they have changed the week on two pages to have an equal sized Saturday and Sunday to match the rest of the week…I’m still not that keen on buying them. I have discovered a better insert for my filofax – ones I make on my own. This post is all about how I make my inserts and what software I use. I have tried a few products – Good old word, Gimp (it’s like Photoshop but free!); but the one I have found that I like the most is Microsoft Publisher. It’s very straight forward to use and the printing options in it are good.

So let’s get started with a basic lined week on two pages tutorial. Let’s open up Publisher.

Start menu > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Publisher

Next up you’ll want to create an insert that is the same size dimensions as your planner – for this tutorial I am working with a Personal sized filofax. The dimensions for a standard filofax personal page is 95mm (or 9.5cm) wide and 171mm (17.1 cm) tall. There is something about the 171mm I don’t like – probably because it is uneven…so I always make my insert 172mm – not that it probably makes any difference…it just makes me feel better!

The opening screen will be a page size selection screen. You’ll need to create your own template for a filofax.

More Black Page Sizes > Custom > Create new page size…

Width: 9.5cm

Height 17.2cm

Margin guides – set all to zero.

Now you have your blank template. Let’s jazz it up a bit with some lines. You’ll need to insert a table.

Insert > Table > 1×1 Table

Next double click on the table and alter the dimensions of the table. I put the width at 9.5 and I want my line thickness to b 4mm. However when I try to adjust the height I can’t go below 0.63cm. The trick is to unclick Grow to fit text (outlined in purple on the photo) and then adjust to 0.4cm. Next up you want to align this table to fit within the page (green in photo).

menu options

Align > Relative to Margins > Align > Center > Align > Top.

Now we need to add some more lines in.

Make sure the table is selected > Right click on mouse > Insert > Insert below.

A quick way to do this quickly is to press Ctrl + A together and this will select the whole table, meaning when you repeat the above step you double your lines each time. Eventually you’ll fill the complete page with lines. However, so far this table is invisible. So we need to add some lines to it.

On the design tab they’ll be a Borders option (blue on the photo). As I have 4mm spacing between my lines – I like my line to be quite thin, I’m also going to be blocking off the days to give them their own section – so I want to contrast writing lines and section lines. First I’m going to select Ctrl + A to highlight all the table and then I am going to adjust the settings to be 1/4 pt line, line colour to be the second grey from the top and select that only the inside horizontal lines are colour. Now if I want to have just lined paper – I can stop there.

We want to make this a diary insert though. So I am going to count the lines (I got 43). I’m going to leave the first two lines alone. That’s going to be where I put the month. I’ll move my cursor to the fourth line and count ten. With the ten lines highlight I’m going to go back to the borders section and change the colour of the line to be black. I’m then going to remove the Top and Bottom borders and then reapply them. This will remove the light grey line I have previously put there and replace it with a black line. After that I’ll count out another ten lines – but only adjust the bottom line to be black.

So now you’re diary insert is beginning to take shape – you have space for four days and a section for the month.

Next i’m going to work on the month bit. I’m going to select the first two lines then I’m going to merge the two lines together.

Higlight the first two lines > Layout > Merge Cells

Now the fun part – selecting your font, you can personalise your diary inserts to however you want them. For this tutorial I am going to use Copperplate Gothic Light. I’m just going to write the month and year in. I found with my font I could go up to 16 and it look nice. Next I’m going to write the days of the week in.


Now it looks like we have a problem because the line is covering the written days of the week and you cannot see the full type face. That’s not a problem because you can press Ctrl + P and see how it will print. Now with my font I can see that it sits right on the line and looks pretty good – I can see the whole word. I would leave it like that. However if yours does not look like that I would suggest changing the margins of your cell.

print preview

Select the whole table> Layout > Cell Margins > Custom Margins > Top 0cm > Bottom 0cm

If that still doesn’t solve your problem – drop a size down.

Now we have half a week and it looks good, so now we need to work on Friday-Sunday. If you want to have a notes section – you could use the 8th section for that. However, I’m going to show you how to make a daily tracker.

So on the left hand side you have a page selector – at the moment we only have one page. We’re going to right click on the first page and add a new blank page underneath the one we have.

Right click > Insert Page > 1 > After current page > Insert blank pages

We’re going to insert another table – but this time it’s going to be a grid. so follow the steps above but make the 1×1 table 0.4cm wide and 0.4cm tall. Now we’re going to fill the width of the page with squares to line our first line.

Ctrl + A > Right Click > Insert > Insert Right. 

Repeat until the width is covered. I added two more squares than I needed and centred it.

Now it’s important to remember that if you are going to punch this, you need to think where the holes are going to go. In the first page we aligned everything to the left and the holes will go to the right. In this second page, the hole will be on the left. So we need to optimise the right side of the space. I’m going to go to the first whole square on the right and add an S to it – to mark Sunday, and I’m going to go backwards writing the letter for the day of the week in each until I get to Monday. I’m then going to go to the next whole square after Monday and merge it – In this new line I’m going to write Tasks. Then I’m going to duplicate it once above the line we already have – this will put it in line with the month on the other page. and then 10 times below (this will but up in line with the end of Monday on the previous page).

So now we have a completed task section. I’m going to duplicate a line one more time…but this time merge the line with the days of the week in – so I get a complete line again. Then I will keep adding this line in until I reach the bottom of the page. So I start off with a 7 day grid but finish the page with lines. Now all you need to do is add your days of the week, add the line colours in and darken the section colours.


Now it looks almost complete except for the fact that the days of the week are not completely on the page. You’ll need to go into the cell margins and add 2mm onto the right side. So it puts the text back onto to the page – I selected 0.3016 cm for mine.

And that is it. You’ve got your layout – next post I’ll show you how to print it!