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: 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.