Welcome to part one in the How to Create Your Own Planner series. In this series, I will give you ideas on how to create a planner that works well for you, walk your through how my own planner is set up, and I’ll cover some of the logistics of creating your planner. I started this series in this post by talking about the disc bound system that I prefer for my planner.
I’m starting off with the most requested topic for this series instead of starting with the first step in creating your own planner. By far the most frequent question I receive is how to print 8.5 by 5.5 pages (like these) back to back.There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, so I’ll cover most of your options here.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: One important thing to know first is that you CANNOT use the 8.5 by 11 pages with two 8.5 by 5.5 pages side by side to print back to back. These are perfect if you want to use option 1 below, but they will not work for back to back printing. It won’t work no matter how you arrange it, so don’t waste your time trying! You need to either have a special 8.5 by 11 file with pages in an order that really doesn’t make sense unless you’re printing back to back, or you need a file with the pages already in 8.5 by 5.5 format. If you’ve bought any of the 8.5 by 5.5 pages from me, you should have both files included, so you can print back to back if you’d like. (If you can’t find them, forward me a copy of your receipt and I will send you a link where you can access them.) If you’ve have 8.5 by 5.5 pages from somewhere that doesn’t offer the 8.5 by 5.5 size pdf, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck. You will have to use option 1 below.
Option 1: Leave Back Pages Blank or Print Note Pages
One simple option is to allow the back pages to be blank for notes or to print the lined notes pages on the back of all the pages. This will allow you to use the standard letter size printables that have 2 to a page, and then you can just cut the pages in half. Like I said above, this is really your only option if you don’t have an 8.5 by 5.5 file available.
Option 2: Get Your Pages Printed Professionally
Another easy option is to get your pages printed professionally, so you don’t need to go through the trouble of printing it yourself. In order to do this, you must use the files that already in the 8.5 by 5.5 size. Also, you will need to make sure the first page in the file is either a title page or a blank page, so that the pages line up correctly. Otherwise, you won’t be able to have pages that are supposed to be a two page spread side by side. In other words, page 1 will be the first page by itself, and then pages 2-3 will be the first two page spread, pages 4-5 will be the second two page spread and so on.
My favorite and I think the most affordable source for getting this done is www.BestValueCopy.com. For the 8.5 by 5.5 size, color copies are less than 5 cents per page, and black and white copies are even cheaper! You can get an entire weekly planner printed for $2.50! The shipping is fairly expensive, but I think it still comes out cheaper than going to a local office supply store. Another affordable option is 9 Cent Color Copies. Unfortunately, they do not have a website that you can order from, so you have to e-mail them back and forth to order, but their shipping is a little more affordable.
This is what I personally do for most of my planner pages, because it’s so quick and easy.
Option 3: Print the Pages Yourself Directly on 8.5 by 5.5 Paper
If you want to print the pages from your own printer at home, this method is pretty straightforward. I highly recommend that you watch the video of how to do this, as I think it’s easier if you can see how to do it instead of just reading the steps. Again, VERY IMPORTANT, make sure that your first is blank or a title page. In other words, page 1 will be the first page by itself, and then pages 2-3 will be the first two page spread, pages 4-5 will be the second two page spread and so on.
First, cut your letter size paper in half (before you’ve printed anything), so that you now have a stack of 8.5 by 5.5” paper.
Second, put your 8.5 by 5.5 paper into your printer and print only the odd pages. This is really easy to do in the print dialog box of Adobe Reader (see the video if you’re not sure how to do it). I recommend doing only a few pages at a time so if you do mess up, you’ve only wasted a few pages rather than an entire document.
Third, take the pages you printed and reverse the order the order of the stack. This DOES NOT mean simply flip the stack over. It means take the top page and set it to the side. Then take the next page and stack it on top of that one and so on.
Fourth. Place the stack of printed pages in your printer’s paper tray such that it will print on the blank back side of them. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how this works for you printer because every printer is different. I recommend a little trial and error and then make a note (or even take a photo) of the proper direction to place items you wan’t to print on the back of. Place that note somewhere handy by your printer so you always know what direction to place pages to print on the back of them.
Fifth, print only the even pages, and that’s all!
Option 4: Print the Pages Yourself on Full Size Paper in Booklet Form
This is an another way to print back to back if you want to print directly on regular size paper and then cut it in half. For this you will need use the file that is sized at 8.5 by 5.5 and has a title page first. I highly recommend that you watch the video of how to do this, as I think it’s easier if you can see how to do it instead of just reading the steps. I think this method can be just a little more complicated, but it’s really up to you. For this method you use the booklet option in the print dialog of Adobe Reader. Print all the front sides first. Then reverse the printed stack of pages, and print all the back sides on the back of those. Then cut the pages in half. The video shows in detail how to accomplish this.
I hope this was helpful to you, and let me know if you know of other ways to accomplish that you find easier or if you know of other affordable sources to have your pages professionally printed.