After completing four bullet journal notebooks, my planner’s heart wanted to try something different.
Don’t worry—I wasn’t going back to a regular planner! But I did want to experiment with a discbound bullet journal.
Because I would have the freedom to…
- Rearrange pages however I wished whenever I wished
- Organize my planner into sections
- Use bullet journal printables to save time drawing layouts
- Throw away pages when I messed up (as opposed to ripping a page out of a bound notebook and risk the whole notebook falling apart)
And I’m always trying to find the best way to bullet journal.
How do you use a Discbound bullet journal?
I’ve found that not many who watch me use my discbound planner really know what it is!
In short, this notebook contains two covers (front and back) with pages sandwiched in the middle. But the differentiating factor are the “discs” that hold everything together.
With a three-ring binder, you can’t fold the notebook back on itself. But with a discbound notebook, you can, which allows for easier writing. And you don’t have those annoying snaps of a three-ring binder either! Just pull the page off and then press it back down when you’re done.
These discs come in multiple sizes, ranging from 3/4″ (which hold 75 sheets) to 3″ (which hold 365 sheets—enough for a full year).
Pros of the Discbound Bullet Journal:
1. You’ll Save a Whole ‘Lotta Time
If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking, “I don’t want to have to draw out my layouts,” then a discbound bullet journal might work for you!
You can still bullet journal in a traditional sense (just insert blank dot grid pages into your notebook wherever you like), but you can also use pre-designed printables to save time on layouts you draw over and over again.
It’s the best of both worlds.
For those who take this route, you’ll want to snag a Brainbook Printable Library membership (which gives you access to 100+ bullet journal printables plus a new one every Tuesday). This membership is much cheaper than buying separate $3-$5 pages on Etsy. You can easily try new layouts when you get bored!
2. You Have the Freedom to Customize
A discbound planner is a perfectionist’s bullet journaling dream come true. You can easily add, remove, and rearrange pages however you wish.
If you make a mistake even washi tape won’t fix, you can just pull out the page and start over on a new one. I love that!
You can also buy discbound dividers and organize your planner by sections—Trackers, Daily Planning, Lists & Notes, Work, etc.—which may be easier on your brain then the way you bullet journal in a bound notebook (by flipping to the next page).
3. It’s Easier to Maintain Evergreen Collections
Whenever I migrated from one notebook into another, I always had to migrate collections (which is just a fancy way of saying notes and lists) that I wanted to reference in my current notebook.
Now I draw (or print with a membership) these collections once and keep them in the same discbound notebook! Lifesaver!
Cons of the Discbound Bullet Journal
1. You’ll Make an Investment Upfront
A Discbound bullet journal can be a little pricey up-front to put together, because you have to buy the notebook, paper, and a special punch. But then you don’t ever have to buy another notebook, just the refill paper (if you don’t want to make your own with a punch!).
2. Endless Options Can Be Overwhelming
Because you can arrange and rearrange pages, you could get overwhelmed with how you want your discbound bullet journal to function. I spent a lot of time overthinking how I wanted to organize each section as well as how to print my bullet journal printables without leaving the backsides blank.
3. Wear and Tear is a Real Concern
Almost everyone who writes about their discbound bullet journal claims the pages don’t ever rip or fall out. I wish people would be honest! Because if you’re flipping a page or pulling it in and out multiple times, that page is bound to show wear.
So I use this hack if I want a collection to have staying power: I add washi tape to the edge before I punch the page. It strengthens the paper just enough so it’s easier to turn on the discs and won’t cause issues.
4. The Discs Might Annoy You
Speaking of discs, I love that you can turn a discbound notebook back on itself to write more freely. But sometimes, your hand will get caught on the disc and it will be harder to write.
To avoid this, you can pull out the page to write on it first, then add it back to your notebook. But remember what we just talked about—pulling out a page too many times will eventually weaken the paper. So do this sparingly!
Supplies You Need to Get Started
So are you ready to give a discbound bullet journal a shot? Many ladies in my Brainbook Facebook Group say this is the best decision they’ve made in their bullet journaling journey—it might be yours too!
Here’s what you need to buy:
- Discbound Notebook – For a budget-friendly option, I recommend TUL. If you want to splurge, Levenger does not disappoint. I started with TUL and then upgraded to Levenger. Both companies offer notebooks in Letter or Half Letter (Junior) sizes. The Happy Planner (Classic) size falls in between the two.
- Disc Punch – The ARC punch is pricey, but will punch any size paper you wish! It’s much better quality than other punches I’ve seen.
- Heavier Paper – If you’re printing your own layouts, regular paper won’t survive the discs, but card stock is much too thick. The sweet spot is this 32lb Paper by HP.
- Dividers (Optional) – If you want to divide your notebook into sections, these plastic dividers do the trick.
- Bigger Discs (Optional) – Most notebooks come with 3/4″ discs. But if you want to fit more pages into your notebook, you’ll need bigger discs. I really like the 1″ size.
So Did I Stick With Discbound Bullet Journaling?
I used the discbound system for a good six months before craving the feeling of a bound notebook again. There’s just something permanent about regular notebooks that I love, including the ease of flipping to the next page when I need to create a new planning layout or collection.
But after a while, I wanted to go back to the discbound notebook.
Yep, it’s true!
I’ve probably done this about three times so far. I used to get upset about it. I’d scold myself, Why can’t you just stick with something instead of changing it up all the time?
But you know what? I love trying new things. To me, the discbound system feels new and exciting and serves me through especially busy seasons. Printing and inserting any layout I could ever want makes it much easier to plan ahead.
When I’m craving a change, though, I’ll go back to a regular notebook for daily planning again. At that point, my discbound will serve as a reference notebook for long-term collections.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how you bullet journal—traditional notebook or a discbound one. No system is completley perfect and our daily lives change too much for one planner to stay the same!
So give yourself permission to experiment. You may fall in love with the discbound system forever or it may serve you well for a short time. Both are 100% okay.
Are you thinking of making the switch?
What about discbound bullet journaling speaks the most to you?
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Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.