CONVERTING A SPIRAL BOUND PLANNER TO AN ARC PLANNER
Since facilitating the “Customer Care is Key” breakout session at our National Convention this past July, I’ve had a lot of requests by designers to look at my planner and how I have customized it to fit my business. The main change that I make to all my planners (and notebooks) is to remove any binding or spirals and add ARC discs. The ARC system is available at Staples. It’s relatively inexpensive – especially if you use coupons! This allows me to add/remove materials quickly and easily. I love the ARC system because there are many different options and accessories available and it’s a lot more cost effective than most other planner brands. Of course I purchased the super cute planner that was available in the O2 Swag Store (it is extremely close to an Erin Condren Life Planner…I mean I am pretty sure it’s an unbranded ECLP)- and since I got home I have been itching to convert it to an ARC planner. I finally took some time last night to make the changeover and went ahead and ARC’d an extra one so I could share the steps here!
I created a video from start to finish – please don’t judge, I am NOT a camera person! 🙂
step by step
FIRST, REMOVE THE SPIRAL
You will first need to remove the spiral binding on your planner. This will be replaced with the ARC discs. You will want to carefully bend the ends of the spiral outwards. They will be bent in at an angle to keep the spiral from coming. Be careful, the ends of the spiral can be very sharp!
Now you will need to snip the ends off so that the spiral will easily unwind. I highly suggest wearing safety glasses and using wire snips or something very sharp to do this. ( I don’t recommend scissors like shown in the video, I just couldn’t find my husband’s toolbox! )
Once the ends of removed you can simply unwind the binding.
NOW YOU CAN TRIM YOUR PLANNER
Using a paper trimmer, you will cut the hole punched side from your pages. I removed 3/8″ from the O2 planner that I purchased at the Swag Store. If you are ARC’ing a different planner, you will want to measure the edge to see exactly how much you need to remove.
Don’t try to trim too many pages at once, it will result in crooked pages and rough edges!
You will trim your covers & any accessory pages that were included in your planner. If your two inside cover corners are sharp after trimming them you can round them with scissors.
NOW YOU ARE READY TO PUNCH!
Always punch the covers of your planner first. You will need to make sure you have the covers centered within the punch so that your discs are evenly spaced and not too close to the edges. Your ARC punch has an adjustable guide that you can move.
Since your pages are normally slightly smaller than the covers, you will need to adjust your guide again before punching the inside pages.
I lay my cover back in the punch with an inside sheet on top of it to get a visual of where I need to punch.
Again, don’t try to punch too many pages at once. I did about 8 each time.
NOW YOU CAN ADD YOUR DISCS
Start with your two covers – adding the discs to your front cover then add your back cover.
Until you start to insert pages, your planner will be slightly flimsy and it may be a little difficult to get all of your discs in.
After the covers and a few sets of pages are in you can continue adding your pages & accessories.
AND NOW YOU HAVE AN ARC PLANNER!
I purchased the lime green discs at Staples at this link.
Martha Stewart also sells a lot of discbound items at Staples.
Have more questions on how to create an ARC planner? Please comment below so I can answer your questions!