how to print journals and planners at home or professional printers

How to Print Journals & Planners at Home or Professional Printers

After Purchase

You will receive either a PDF or a Zip file if download is large.

If you are purchasing an item that has images or many pages, you will receive a zip file with several files that needs to be “extracted”. If you receive a zip file, double click on it after download and it should automatically take you to the software on your computer to unzip.

(If you use a PC with windows, you will see an Extract button in the top bar, towards the center. Click on it and it will automatically extract all the files in the zip folder for you.)

If you don’t have the software on your computer, you can download Winzip for free.

How to access PDF files to print.

To access and print your files, use the free Adobe Reader© if you don’t have software on your computer.

MAC computer users: If the default PDF reader program that came with your computer called “Preview” doesn’t work properly with our printable files, use Adobe Reader, too.

Should I print my printables at home or at a professional printers?

If you get professional quality printing on your own printer, you may want to print at home. Many prefer to save ink and produce a better looking product by taking the PDF to a professional printer. Due to ink costs and perhaps even wasted cardstock or sticker pages in errors, it can be cheaper to use a printing company. Check prices online.

How to Print Printables at Home

Open your PDF file in Adobe Reader© and print as shown below, depending on the type of download.

Printer set up for printing journals.

Ensure that your color ink cartridges are at least 50% full so there will be uniform printing color for the whole project.

Right click on the page or click on the File button at the top of the page and select “Print”. A popup will appear with several choices.

Select the printer that you will be using and number of pages you wish to print. (It’s always a good idea to print one page as a test first.)

Select the page number of the PDF that you wish to print – you will see the example in the image box. (Don’t select “all” if you don’t want to include the information pages.)

Page sizing is usually 8.5 x 11, but some journals can be smaller. Check the instructional guide that came with your journal. 

Make sure it is the correct size, and make it borderless. Depending on your printer you would choose “actual size”, “full bleed” “borderless” or set page scaling at “none”. MAC users with “Preview” use US Letter Borderless setting.

Print settings should be 100%, best color quality or best photo quality, again depending on the selections on your particular printer.

Insert the paper, and click “Print”.

Printing Journal Stickers

Printing stickers requires special sticker paper. You need to know if you are using an ink jet or laser printer to get the correct sheets. (Amazon* has sticker paper that works for both if you’re not sure.)

You can also print on waterproof sticker paper*, or transparent sticker sheets*, depending on your project.

If you are printing stickers at home, this requires knowing which side of the page prints. You may want to do a test first to know how inserting the paper relates to the side printed. To test, make a new document in Microsoft Word, type TEST on it and then print it on a piece of paper.

Why is the color of my journal or Planner different than the color on my monitor?

Have you noticed that the TV sets in the store all look different? How they look depends on their brightness and color saturation settings. The same is true when there is a difference between the settings of your monitor and your printer.

Computer screens and monitors are back-lit for brightness which also changes the appearance of color. They are also capable of showing more color tones than your printer can print.

The variations in color between on-screen product images and actual printed pages are due to the difference between your monitor and your printer’s color saturation. This is true no matter where you purchase you printable files. Color will always appear more vivid on a screen.

What kind of paper should I use?

Covers and dividers for journals require A4 cardstock for stiffness. Use white matte sheets. Covers can be inserted in a transparent vinyl sleeve on the front of a binder or be used as a cover on its own.

We recommend heavy 28-32 lb. paper (understanding paper weight) for printing on both sides. This weight is best if you’re planning on being creative and using glue, watercolor paints, markers, etc., because it has virtually no show-through.

How to Print Journals at a Professional Printer

Getting prints online.

For convenience, you can go online, upload your PDF files and have everything printed. They even deliver right to your door if you can wait a few days.
Using a USB flash drive to print at a professional printer.

Insert a USB flash drive into your computer. (A blank one is best since you’ll be giving it to the printing company to find the pages you need printed.)

Select “File” on toolbar at top left corner.

Highlight “Save As”.

Click on “PDF”.

Under “computer” select the Device with Removable Storage of your USB stick. Click “save”.

Take USB stick to your choice of printers, such as Staples, Office Max, Kinkos. Let them know it is a PDF format, and which pages to print as cardstock or paper. Let them know if there are pages that require multiples. 

Assembling Your Journal

Our journals and planners come with a printing guide, but here are some general instructions. 

  • the PDF is in page order so they can be correlated as printed
  • some journals are printed on both sides of the page so you can bind it like a book
  • sometimes there are blank pages at the end of the PDF that you can make multiple copies of and add where you need to write more in a binder (or you will need to add them if binding)
  • you can put the cover in a transparent sleeve on the front of the binder and insert the pages inside – ask the printers to punch holes for you
  • a professional printer can also bind your journal for you: coil binding, cerlox or comb binding, wireless binding, saddle stitching, and perfect bind