When I first started blogging, I was a bit of a Filofax-obsessed fan. Ring binder planners were something that I never thought I would move away from and in fact, I used them for a solid five years before moving to a bound planner this year. I flirted briefly with a Moleskine back in 2011 for six months but inevitably went back to a Filofax. Then in 2012, I purchased a Smythson binder and my love deepened for ring binders.
Anyway, as someone who has now turned into a bound planner fanatic and with someone asking for my thoughts on bound vs ring binder planners on Twitter, I thought it would be an interesting post to write.
- Lighter in terms of weight.
- You can have a new one every year (or even every six months with some undated planners!).
- Look good on your bookshelf after the year is up.
- Can be cheaper compared to a ring binder - prices and range from very cheap to very expensive (such as some of the beauties by Smythson!).
- There are so many cute ones out there (especially from East Asian companies!).
- Undated planners mean you can start using one whenever.
- Available in a wide range of layouts and designs.
- Not very flexible in terms of layout.
- Have to re-write in information every year.
- Limited by what you can have in it - probably not possible to have your address book in there too!
Ring Binder Planners
- Flexibility in what pages you choose to have in it.
- You get to choose what sections you have in your ring binder: don't want monthly planning pages? Not a problem, don't put them in. Tabs can be inserted or taken out to your fancy.
- There is the option to design your own inserts and print them onto high quality paper.
- No need to re-write in essential pages each year.
- A leather ring binder feels very luxurious.
- Limited diary layout choices.
- Some of the paper quality out there is debatable (but at the same time, there are some very good ones out there too!).
- Can be very heavy, especially if overstuffed.
- Potential ring issues!
- The worry of damaging the leather.
- Expensive initial cost depending on what brand and model you opt for. Inserts also cost extra!
Overall, I think the main thing to consider is what you want to get out of it. If flexibility is a deal breaker for you, a bound planner probably won't be something you'll get along well with. If you've never tried a ring binder before, it might be worth starting out with a cheaper (possibly non-leather) model to see how you get on with it for a few months. Even though I'm more of a bound planner girl now, I still have my Smythson and Filofaxes stored away safely in case I decide to go back to them (which I may well do in the future - who knows!).
What are your thoughts? Are you one or the other? Or do you constantly flit between the two? Do you use both types simultaneously? :)