Planning is to help be a better version of yourself, not to make you panic.
Since the first day I started planning, I was obsessed. With that obsession came a need for possession; I had to have ALL the things! All the stickers, all the planners, and definitely all the inserts. Unfortunately, my need to have everything was soon met head on with my need to budget myself (as mentioned before, it is my new main goal). With that in mind, I decided to be more minimal in planning style. Not too minimal because you know, ALL the things, but minimal enough that I no longer felt like I was bleeding money.
One of the main things I cut down on was basic planner costs. I switched to ring-bund planners so that I could customize my inserts and use printable pages instead of physical products. I am lucky enough that I can get inserts from my shop (that you can find here) but I definitely am a huge user of printable inserts.
Since printing your own inserts can be a bit daunting at first, here is my list of non-negotiable items needed to get going.
1. A good printer. But not just a good printer, one that is inexpensive to print with. I use the Epson Eco Tank 2550 printer since it costs almost nothing to refill the ink tanks.
2. Decent paper that you don’t mind throwing away for those annoying misprints. Mistakes happen and when you first start out you will have a lot of wasted paper just trying to figure out fit, color, style, etc. I stick to HP Bright White paper that can be found in any office store since it is not pricey and has a real nice feel to the pages.
3. Having a sharp cutter is definitely key, you’ll be using it quite a bit. The one I first got and have stuck to is a Fiskars paper cutter. There are a lot of options of these but I find the Fiskars brand is more well-known so it is easier to find replacement blades.
4. A hole punch that will last. This item is a massive non-negotiable. I went through a few crappy hole punches just trying to find one that works. The M-Aimee punch I have now is pretty decent but this is just one of those items that you should accept having to replace regularly.
5. Last but not least, you need your go-to sources for getting inserts. I live in a good balance of printed inserts from MMD as well as free and paid printables. My main faves are:
Paper Storm Studio- In the higher price range but incredibly functional sets
Plans of the Heart- Another minimal inserts option, these are more expensive than Peanuts Planner Co but I definitely pick some up for a variety of designs
Eliza Ellis- These are gorgeous designs! Definitely great if you want a very full planner
Wendaful Planning- A lot of selections here. I use this site less since the other ones are more up my alley now but when I first started this was definitely my favorite site to download from
Much like anything else in planning, don’t stress over your inserts! Find what you like and try it out and if it doesn’t work then try something else. Planning is to help be a better version of yourself, not to make you panic. And if you’re ever stuck and can’t find the exact insert you need then just make one! You’d be surprised how much you can do on your own.