Printables are all the rage these days, with planners, journals, homeschool resources, worksheets, and even ebooks available for download. There is just one problem . . . How do you bind your printables so you can actually use them?
Luckily for us, the digital world we live in has made it super easy to print and bind your own printable projects.
And just in case you’re wondering. . .
What are printables?
Printables are basically digital files (usually PDFs) that can be downloaded and printed at your convenience.
I personally love, love, love printables!
It makes it quick and easy to get access to all kinds of things like different types of planners, homeschool resources, recipes, kid activity sheets, business resources, etc.
Because I’m no stranger to printables and offering physical/digital products, I’ve thoroughly researched these options over the last year or so [a lot by trial and error kinda thing].
And regardless of whether you’re looking for binding options for personal use or as a small business owner, this blog post will help you decide which type of binding and which 3 of these most popular binding methods are right for you.
3 Methods for Binding Planners, Journals, and/or Other Printables
Since you’re looking to bind your planners, journals, ebooks or other printables, there are 3 main methods and 6 types you can use.
1 – DIY
This is usually gonna be the most affordable option when it comes to printing and then binding planners, journals, Ebooks, worksheets or other printables at home.
It really depends on your preference and budget, though.
One of the advantages of going the do-it-yourself route is that it’s not only economical but it allows you to customize your project however you see fit.
Here are 5 main ways that you can bind your printable projects yourself at home:
- Binder clips – super inexpensive but not as functional.
- Staples – an inexpensive option but not as functional.
- Brads – can be used with a small number of printable sheets. These are very inexpensive but just the staples aren’t as functional.
- Binder – most of us already have these at home so this option it’s usually quick, easy, and cost-efficient.
- Use a binding machine – this is a great option if you want to bind your planner, journals, worksheets, eBooks at home yourself and want the option to customize and have the option to do more down the line. Which binding machine you choose to buy will depend on what type of binding you want and your budget.
2 – Local Office Supply Store
It’s super easy to have planners, journals, and/or other printables printed and/or bound at your local Office Depot, FedEx Office, Staples, etc. While it’s super convenient, this option may not be as cost-efficient. Depending on where you’re located the pricing will vary. If this is an option for you, go online, call or go into the local store and ask for pricing.
3 – 3rd Party Company
This is a great option if you want to print and bind a lot of planners, journals, homeschool worksheets, etc in bulk.
There are many options available, so it will be important for your business to compare the types of service, processing timeframe, shipping options as well how quickly different suppliers respond to deadlines, etc.
6 Types of Binding Options for Planners, Homeschool Resources, Journals, E-Books and Other Printables
6 types of binding options
Consists of a front and back cover, disc-bound discs, and then the paper you’ve printed. Disc planners, journals, ebooks, etc are really popular nowadays. If you are familiar with the Happy Planners, then you already know how cute and functional it is to use a disc planner or journal.
- The sizes and front/back covers will vary.
- Discs come in many different colors.
- Available in plastic & metal.
- Going with this option allows you to add and remove pages as you see fit.
Use a hole puncher and then choose a binder or a binding ring spine to hold your printables. It’s so easy to put together because you most likely already have a 3-ring binder lying around your home.
- Using this type is quick, easy, and cheap.
- This also type allows you to add and remove pages as you see fit.
Spiral or Coil Bound
- Also a popular option.
- Various colors to choose from.
- Available in plastic or metal. (FYI – Gold spiral binding is super cute – which is personally one of my favs!)
- Limited customization options.
- Similar to a traditional notebook.
- Can be cost-efficient.
A lot of writers/readers love this type of binding because of the feel of having a traditional book. It’s like having a copy of your favorite book with you wherever you go! The feel and weight in hand, the smell from freshly printed pages. . . . For some it doesn’t get any better than this.
- Have flat spines
- Made by a machine.
- Very limited or no customization options
- Usually not an option to do at home.
Similar to coil bound, however, this type doesn’t look as nice and usually won’t last as long.
- Plastic round.
- Not as durable as the other options.
This is the process of using thermal binding covers and a thermal machine to bind pages together with heat and adhesive. You get somewhat of the look of a traditional book or workbook, along with the convenience and portability.
So, which binding should you choose?
That really depends on your preference, budget, frequency, and timeframe. You’ll want to ask yourself the following:
- Do you already have the material and equipment at home, or do you have to buy them? If so, how much will it cost you to purchase what you need?
- Do you have the time and energy to print and bind them yourself, or do you prefer to pay a little extra to have someone else do it for you?
- How much and how often will you need to print these planners, journals, homeschool resources, worksheets, eBooks, etc?
- How many pages will be printed and bound at a time?
- How often are you gonna be using the planners, journals, ebooks, etc.? If they are used often, you’ll want something durable so that it’ll last.
- Are the planners, journals, homeschool resources, ebooks, worksheets, etc, available as a physical product instead of a printable?
Side Note: Not everyone will want to choose to print and bind their own projects. . . This is why I like giving options. Clients love that we offer The Ultimate Marketing M.A.D.E. Blueprint Business Planner as a printable or physical product.
After you determine which option you like the most, determine what it’s gonna cost you and how long it will take.
Let me know which binding options you’re going with. Drop a comment below and let me know.