Sources for paper - in sizes not = 8.5 x 11", not = 5.5 x 8.5"

hello,

Perhaps this is a FAQ, if so, I would appreciate a pointer to the answer ...

Any suggestions for where I/we can find blank (or nearly blank) paper a) in the sizes that fit the 'odd' sizes that organizer notebooks come in, and b) at (more) reasonable prices?

(I know, I could just us an 8.5 x 11 or 5.5 x 8.5 notebook, however I find that I do like a smaller size for constant portability.)

Thanks in advance - FL Guy

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one idea

Contact you local print shops and see if they would sell you a cut down ream of paper... most print shops get a great deal on paper and should have a cutter of some kind on site for big jobs. Might be able to save yourself the cutting at least :o)

my artwork

Another idea?

That's a creative idea, thanks.

But surely, everyone who creates their own D.I.Y organizer doesn't use large (5.5 x 8.5 or larger) size paper... There must be a source to buy smaller sizes?

For example, where do people buy blank paper for the 3x5 sized D*I*Y organizer such as the one discussed here: http://www.diyplanner.com/node/173?

Index cards!

The 3x5 planners are done on index cards, not regular paper.

Quarter letter

Hi.

My planner is quarter letter (4.25x5.5). I slice my own paper down from reams of standard letter with a rotary paper cutter. I think a lot of folks take a similar approach.

I print a month's pages at a time (30-ish) and so slicing down 10 sheets of letter gives me enough for that and a few extra. I use a rotary cutter that slices 10 sheets at a time.

My cutter is a Carl RT-200. I bought it at Staples relatively inexpensively, along with a corner rounder punch. The cutting wheel slides on a paper clamp so your paper doesn't wiggle while you're slicing. It will also cut the heaviest plastic I have around, cardstock, laminating sheets..

A lot of folks use odd page sizes--it's a simple matter to figure out the best use of a letter-sized sheet and make yourself a chart to show you the best way to slice it. Example: you can get five 3x5 cards from a letter sheet of cardstock if you slice it a certain way. You'll have some bits and scraps left over. If you have kids you can teach them how to make a paper chain. :)

shris

Thanks for the reply, and

Thanks for the reply, and info. Cutting down my own paper would be an option. (I don't use that many pages for the small format planner - as you say maybe 40 a month, and don't mind a few scraps left over.) The idea of a quarter size is a good option.

Do you use a notebook or binder of some sort to hold and carry the pages? (I assume so, but the comment about the cards in another post points out that this isn't necessarily so ... :-)

If you do use a binder, what brand/product name(s) you have found in this size? And if you remember where you found them?

thanks!

Quarter letter binders

Hi.

Franklin Covey has a quarter letter binder, I forget what they call the size, but it's new and there's only one binder that I saw.

I spotted a couple of different ring binders at Walmart--I think one was called a 'fat little' or something like that.

But personally I use Rollabind/Circa. Photos here: Link

shris

Franklin Covey quarter page size: compact?

I know FC has a size called "Compact" that is the next size down from Classic. My wife has one of those planners. I think they have a list of what sizes are on their website somewhere.

They do have instructions in their planners about how to shrink documents to whatever size you need. Classic is 64% smaller than letter size, Compact is 56%, Pocket is 42% smaller.

-Kenny

1/4 size binder

I finally bit the bullet on Rollabind with the intention of doing a hybrid set up using 1/4 pages (4.25x5.5) and index cards.

When I get a chance I'll be making my own cover using a Tyvex type envelope. I think the advantage over the duck tape / "Duckster" PDA is less bulk and the potential to include a decent sized storage pocket, maybe even big enough to hold a separate 3x5 satellite. I started a prototype yesterday, using a manilla folder for reinforcement, but I'm not happy with it. When I try again I think I'll use just the Tyvex and hope that the back cover of the PDA will give the folder/binder the structure it needs.

I was thinking about using the 4 1/4"W x 3/4"D x 5 3/4"H Levenger Fielding Passport Wallet (link below). This is usually $88.00 but is on sale for $39.95. I checked it out at the Boston store yesterday and it would probably work well expcept for an extra "page" of pockets in the middle that would create too much bulk with an average sized PDA. Although, for $39.95 I would almost consider it if it had any sort of fastener. For the price you could probably cut the middle storage "page" out and not feel too badly about it.

LINK

I'll be using my own templates since I can't get 0 inch margins on my printer. And I'll be folding and tearing the 1/4 pages or using scissors since the guilloteine I tried at work wound up butchering the edges of my pages.

I can't see buying a paper cutter for several reasons: budget, space limitations, and the fact that I have a toddler that I can't risk getting at it (this ties into my space limitations).

Has anyone else actually folded and torn their 1/4 pages or used scissors?

~Cath

[edited to add a hyperlink 17Mar07]

a craft/utility knife would work better

"Has anyone else actually folded and torn their 1/4 pages or used scissors?"

You would probably get better results from one of those cheap utility knives that come with snap-off blades, and a metal ruler. (you can see an image here, to get an idea what I am talking about)

You can, in fact, cut through several sheets at once if you are careful. It would help if you could make a corner temlate to hold all the sheets together.

-Jon

Quarter letter

Hi.

I use quarter letter size. I posted some templates here in that size--I chop first, then print. The templates are pretty basic.

I use a rotary paper cutter that goes through 10 sheets at a time. Rotary is safer around small people, and the one I have has some nice safety features. I also keep it in a room we don't let the kids into unless supervised (the office). The rotary blade is also changeable, so when it gets dull you can replace it to prevent shredding.

I also have a guillotine out in the garage--I used to use it for chopping but the measuring scale is off because the wood base is so old I think it shrank. :) We keep it away from the kids (two 2-year-olds).

I bound my book with Rolla rings, using plastic covers left over from other projects. You could use the chipboard back from a legal pad to stiffen the back of your tyvek envelope. Or any small piece of plastic or cardboard would do the same thing--tape another piece of tyvek over it and it becomes part of the envelope itself.

shris

Rotary cutter

Shris,
Thanks for the input. I'll have to check out the Michaels craft store near me for a rotary cutter. How hard is it to control and get an accurate cut?

I think the Tyvex binder might take awhile. I would offer to post pictures of the Interim and Final result but I'm not that advanced. I have the digital camera but my computer is not equipped for doing that.

Also, were you one of those that suggested Wilde-Ideas? If so, thanks.
~Cath

Rotary cutters

Hi.

Well, there are two types of rotary cutters--the handheld model (which is NOT the one I was talking about, but I have one of those too) which is used for sewing and the like, and the flat tabletop variety for cutting paper and other small media.

The rotary cutter I bought is a flat plastic job with a rotary cutter that slides along a paper clamp. The 'table' is marked with measurements (english and metric). There's a clear plastic bit that shows you exactly where you'll be cutting. You have to push down on the blade (engaging the paper clamp) in order to cut anything. If you just slide the blade across without pushing down, it hovers about a quarter inch above the surface of the 'table'.

The handheld rotary cutter is basically a pizza wheel with an extremely sharp wheel. You need a metal ruler or thick plastic guide to cut with it, as well as a cutting mat underneath the stuff you're cutting. Some models feature blades that retract into the device when you're done, so the blade isn't exposed when it's in the drawer. This is nice.

With either of these tools you'll have replaceable blades that do get dull eventually.

The handheld model is trickier than the table type. If you wobble when cutting, your piece will have a wobbly cut. You may have to go over the slice several times when doing a stack of paper, and there's a certain amount of risk involved in having a big round knife around.

The table variety is much more fool proof. The paper clamp on my model means the paper doesn't wiggle around while you're slicing. You can go back over the cut several times to do tougher materials (like my plastic covers). The spare parts store right inside the gadget itself, in compartments on the underside. It's got markings for common sizes, like A4 to A7, and the standard photo sizes (8x10, 5x7, 4x6). Aligning a stack of paper is slightly tricky because there's no paper stop like you see with some guillotines. But since you can only do 10 pages it's not *that* big a deal most of the time. It's very lightweight and has a carrying handle. I usually stand it up on edge and lean it against my desk when I'm done with it. It would fit on a shelf with books, too.

shris

Rotary cutters and utility knife

Jon,
I almost missed your suggestion about utility knives. I'm a bit of a clutz so knives intimidate me a little bit. I like Shris' suggestion on rotary cutters. Despite my space limitations I think I'll look into the table variety to increase my chances of success.

I think I'll hold off until I actually get the Rollabind punches and discs.
~Cath

Tearing pages

I use the classic (half letter size) pages, but I fold and tear them. I tried both a utility knife with ruler and a rotary cutter with guide, and I completely screwed up pages both ways. Sigh...

folding and tearing

Caligatia,
I'm thinking I might run into the same technical difficulties. At least if you fold and tear the edges may seem slightly unfinished but at least they'll be fairly "true".

Shris,
In follow up to your post. You say you chop then print. I'm curious as to why. Is that because you are using one ups? Are there any 1/4 four ups that you know of?

Also, could you direct me to your 1/4 sized templates. I have tried browsing the member submitted templates but I couldn't find that many and if I remember correctly I ran into margin issues due to the limitiations of my printer. I did create some MS Word 1/4 size one ups which I abandoned when I tried using the guilloteine at work that butchered my pages. I am reconsidering going low low tech and simply tearing the pages.

I feel like I've been spinning my wheels which is why I finally bit the bullet and ordered the Rollabind punches. Perhaps I should simply do a binder clip hPDA until it arrives so I'll have an idea of what I really wnat to do.

I'm thinking I'll ultimately have a hybrid 1/4 page and 3x5 index card set up. Which lends itself to Circa/Rolla but I could certainly start a prototype with a binder clip.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the great ideas and information. I'm hoping that once I start using even a rudimentary planner that I'll become more focused and organized and less prone to distraction and resistance in accomplishing what I need to.
~Cath

Chop then Print

Hi.

I chop first because I get better alignment from my printer that way. If the letter pages are off going in, they can end up very skewed, and if I chop a stack of printed pages apart I could end up chopping off a bit of form. The smaller pieces fit the paper guides better (the guides cover more of the sheet's length, if that makes any sense), so they're generally not skewed as much. Also if one print is skewed, it only screws up one planner page instead of four.. Just my printer. You may find you prefer to print then chop. I also use mail-merges, which are less taxing on the PC in a one-up configuration than a 4-up.

So I made my templates to fit one-up, for the most part. I use quarter inch margins except along the ring side, those are .35 inch.

Wine Log

Letter-size GTD page (quarter page pieces, though)

It appears as though I haven't posted all of my quarter letter pages yet. I appear to have lost my mind. If I get a minute in the next few days I'll post some more stuff.

In my kit I use one page per day for my schedule (right-hand pages only). On the backs I print a checklist type page. I've got some GTD forms, some basic contact sheets, and a few other bits and pieces. There's a one-page monthly template that I use with a mail merge to print the dates--but you can hand-write the dates if you don't grok mail merges.

Anyway, more to come.
shris

Quarter Letter bundle

Hi.

I posted my templates just now--they should be available shortly.

Anyway, it's a whole bundle of stuff as PDF and also the Draw files so you can roll up your sleeves and make them into what you want them to be.

I made them from the widget kit, so if you want widgets I haven't included, you can copy/paste from the widget kit.

shris

Ah, maybe I should look into

Ah, maybe I should look into the 'pocket' - Maybe they are 1/4 page size (US).

I've been using the DayRunner RunningMate, which I believe is the same size as the Compact (3 3/4" x 6 3/4"). The problem with these is that they are an odd size - not an even fraction of a page, and it's a nuisance to cut paper for them (with lots of wastage), and I can't seem to find any place that sells blank paper for that size.

Too bad - it's a convenient size... Oh well - I guess I'll need to either go to a larger or smaller size...

31/4 x 61/4 pages

You can purchase this size blank paper from Daytimer. I've used them for years.

I wish some of the templates found here were available in that size. Hope this helps

Source for computer paper

The DayTimer paper would

The DayTimer paper would work for my Day Runner but I'm not sure I like the perforations...
might not produce a clean cut.
Are there no other sources for blank computer paper at 5.5" x 8.5" ?

Really? So far I've found

Really? So far I've found lined paper, but not truly blank. I've looked on their web site and called them, without success... Can you provide an item # or a URL?

And I should clarify that I would like to find a second, preferably independent, source for truly blank paper in these odd sizes - such as 3.75 x 6.75".

Otherwise, I'm thinking I may need to switch to either 1/4 or 1/2 8.5 x 11 size where blank paper is readily available.

thanks!

Paper

There are links and info about cost on www.diyplanner/node/1169

Ah - DayTimer (as opposed to

Ah - DayTimer (as opposed to DayRunner)- missed that the first time. (It was late, sorry about that). Thanks for the tips, and ideas.

filofax

there are filofax templates available here... filofax, i believe, is the size you are looking for.

Covey's Clutch = Quarter Letter

Hi.

The Clutch size is what Covey calls their quarter letter size. I saw some binders and some refills in this size at Target today. One pink one, a couple of black. These had snap closure, and the refills were spiral-bound.

shris

Covey's Clutch - I Bought It

Hi shris,

I just picked up one of the black Franklin Covey Clutches at Target a few days ago. I now have a hybrid quarter page and 3x5 planner system. I like the size of this Clutch and I'm pretty happy with this setup. I have uploaded a few pictures of it here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32883640@N00/426429082/

-Karen

nice setup

Karen-
It does look nice!

You ought to add the "DIYPlanner" tag to this photo, and also add it to the diyplanner Flickr group. :-D

Oh, and I almost forgot to ask. How do you like the comb-binding? I've considered it, but wonder if it wouldn't be too much effort. How often do you go through this process?
-Jon

Covey Clutch

Shris & Karen,
Thanks for the heads up on the Covey Clutch. This is probably just what I will need but I'm wondering just how bulky and heavy the cover is. I'd rather have a thin pleather or leatherette, even if it looks a little cheap, than an attractive but bulky faux leather.

How thick is it when closed and how much of that thickness is taken up by the cover? Or to put it differently, what is the thickest planner it will fit?

~Cath

Thickness

Hi.

The ones at target seemed pretty fat to me, but I use thin plastic covers on mine now. It looked like it would fit about a half inch stack of paper inside, but I wasn't really measuring.

I don't get to target that often since they moved 15 minutes away from me. They used to be only five away. *sigh*

shris

More on the Clutch

Cath: The Covey Clutch doesn't seem very large to me because I'm scaling down from a Classic size Covey zipper binder that held a PDA (which I have stopped using in favor of paper and my iPod). My setup as pictured on flicker is 1-3/8 inch thick. The contents are about 7/8 thick, which makes the cover a total of 1/2 inch of the thickness. It could easily hold more. I just stuffed an additional 3/4 inch stack of 3x5 into it and it snapped closed easily, so I feel it will handle all of the content I will need. I like the snap closure and I like that I can slip my custom-made components into the pockets so everything is in one place. My weekly planner as pictured is indeed quarter size paper cut 4.25 x 5.5 inches. The clutch slips easily into my Eagle Creek backpack (which I use for a purse, ipod, and camera bag).

Jon: The comb binding is easy to do and I already had the punch because I use it to bind printouts of many software and other technical manuals that I print out from PDFs. It just takes a few seconds to use the punch/comb opener to open up the comb and insert or remove pages. The bound pages also turn smoothly.

-- Karen

clutch is 1/4 letter size?

I didn't realize Clutch was 1/4 letter size. That opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities. Thanks!

-Kenny

Swapping out the cover???

Shris,
Are you saying that you were able to put a thinner, more light weight, cover on your Covey clutch? I'm having a hard time visualizing that.

Kenny,
It looks like the Covey clutch dimensions are:
Clutch: 4.875" W x 6.125" H x .625" D
Clutch Refills: 3-1/4" W x 5-1/2" H

The refills are narrow enough that I would question whether the cluthch would actually fit a 4.25" x 5.5" page (1/4 page) except that Shris and Karen have seen it work. But I'm guessing a thinner and more flexible cover would work better, especially if you have a tendency to overstuff, as I do.

~Cath

Clutch

Hi Cath.

No, I don't use a Covey clutch. I use that size paper in my Rollabind-bound notebook. I have transparent plastic covers on my notebook, I don't use leather or substitute covers at all.

shris

Carbon fiber cover?

You could use a Carbon fiber cover!

-Kenny

Clutch page size

Hi Cath.

From the covey website:

Clutch (Page size: 4-1/8" x 5-1/2")
(from *this page*)

This is just 1/8 inch shy of the width of quarter letter--4.25x5.5.

The same dimensions are listed on one or two other product pages.

shris

Covey Clutch dimensions

Shris,
Thanks for the additional info. I got the dimensions I referenced earlier from this pageof the Franklin site.

But I was searching Ebay and found one with the dimensions you give. So I think I would have to actually check it out in person to make sure the one I want fits.

~Cath

[edited by innowen 03/21/07: put long link under HTML tag]

ebay item... clutch size

If anyone is interested just happened upon it... :o)
my artwork