Having some sort of a planner is a must-have for anyone who wants to achieve anything. Nowadays, it seems popular to set up a bullet journal. It’s an easy, creative and flexible system. You can do as little or as much as you like. I particularly like the idea of using a dotted paper and various layouts. If you’ve never heard of a bullet journal, here is an introductory video.
I got really excited and went to all local stationery shops and there were no dotted journals at all! Then, I tried online shopping and quickly realized that getting a dotted paper journal that suits my needs is next to impossible. 🙂
Disadvantages of using a traditional notebook
1. You can’t move pages around.
This is a big problem for me. I have a need to move, reorganize things, just to rearrange them tomorrow again. Traditional notebooks are too rigid and inflexible. I want to be able to add or remove pages.
2. Paper is too thin.
Most notebooks have paper that’s too thin so that the pen bleeds through. Those that don’t are usually expensive.
3. Dots are too dark or not suitably spaced.
Some notebooks have dots printed in quite a dark colour. I find it distracting. I prefer the dots faint so that they do the trick but don’t overpower the content.
4. Some notebooks are non-standard sizes.
I like standard sizes like European A5 because most stationery items are made to fit them and it’s very easy to make DIY inserts. Just cut a normal A4 sheet of paper in half and you’re done.
In the end I decided to create my own inserts for a Filofax bullet journal.
Filofax bullet journal – Supplies
A5 Fillofax Organizer
I personally use Filofax A5 Metropol Organizer. It looks smart and the cover feels nice.
You don’t need to use Filofax brand. Any other ring binder will do but you must like it. I have a relationship with my stationery. There is something called magnetism. All things you touch regularly get impregnated with your energetic field. If you’re not happy with your organizer, your emotions will leave unhappy traces that will affect you whenever you use your notebook. You want to achive your goals, not to sabotage them, right?
If you’re not happy with your organizer, how is it supposed to help you achive your goals?
You will need a printer to print the dot grid paper. I recommend using a laserjet printer. The print is fast and dots won’t smudge if you use water based media.
The ordinary copier paper (80gsm) is very thin. I like using heavier paper so that the pens don’t bleed through and I can glue things in without the paper crumpling. Try heavier paper 120gsm or a thin card 160gsm.
Free printable dot grid paper
This free printable dot grid paper template contains two pages of A5 paper. If you set your printer to print 2 pages per 1 sheet of paper, the size of the grid should be 5mm.
You could always use scissors to cut the paper in halves but having a good quality trimmer will save you a lot of time. Most trimmers have rulers and guides that allow you to cut quickly, with precision and without measuring.
6-hole paper punch
The trickiest piece of equipment is to get a 6-hole punch. There are so many different sizes and organizers on the market and each has different hole sizes and distance between the holes. You can get an adjustable 6-hole punch a set the distance between holes exactly for your organizer. I bought one on Amazon and I’m very happy with it. I was able to punch full Filofax of 160gsm dot grid inserts to fill the whole organizer under 5 minutes.
How to make dot grid Filofax inserts
Print the dot grid paper
Click File ⇒ Print. Print window will open. In Page Sizing & Handling section select Multiple, Pages per sheet: 2, Orientation Portrait. Check the preview and click Print.
Adobe Reader will shrink the pages to fit the paper because most home office printers can’t print borderless.
Cut pages in half using a paper trimmer
Use a ruler and guidlines on your paper trimmer to cut printed sheets in half.
Punch pages on the thicker outer edge
Punch the thicker white edges using a 6-hole punch.
Insert pages into your Filofax
If you’re like me, you know that warming feeling when you have your stationery exactly as you want it. Creating your own Filofax inserts will give you freedom to mix and match different types of paper, dotted, lined and plain paper and long-term it will save you lots of money because Filofax inserts are not exactly cheap. Download the free printable dotted grid paper and get your Filofax ready for bullet journaling.
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