Skip to Content

How to Create a Paper Planner with Affinity Publisher: Tips and Tricks (Even With ADHD!)

How to Create a Paper Planner with Affinity Publisher: Tips and Tricks (Even With ADHD!)

Sharing is caring!

Staying organized can be challenging, especially for those with ADHD. A paper planner is a fantastic tool to help you stay on track and achieve your goals. With Affinity Publisher, you can create a personalized planner tailored to your needs and preferences. This article, How to create a paper planner will guide you through the process of designing and creating your paper planner with Affinity Publisher, as well as sharing tips and tricks for making it ADHD-friendly.

Together, we’ll explore tips, tricks, and techniques that can maximize your planner creation workflow. So you can create something that will excite you to use everyday.

So let’s get started by discovering how Affinity Publisher gives us all the tools necessary to create a beautiful, functional, and personalized planer.

Why Use Affinity Publisher for Your Paper Planner

Discover the boundless world of creativity and organization by embracing Affinity Publisher as your go-to tool for crafting paper planners!

This amazing software is perfect for designing personalized planners that bring a level of joy and inspiration to your daily routine. It has many characteristics that will make your workflow just feel easy.


Affinity Publisher offers a wide range of design tools and customization options, making it the perfect platform for creating your unique planner. You can choose the layout, colors, fonts, and illustrations that suit your preferences and needs.

Professional Quality

With its advanced design capabilities, Affinity Publisher allows you to create a high-quality, professional-looking planner that you’ll be proud to use every day.


Unlike other design software, Affinity Publisher is a one-time purchase with no subscription fees, making it an affordable option for designing your paper planner.

Say goodbye to generic planners that don’t meet your expectations and tools that are difficult and costly to use with the help of Affinity Publisher.

Not only does the powerful, user-friendly interface provide endless possibilities for customization, but it also transforms your planner creation experience into a delightful and fun journey toward a well-organized life.

So why wait? Dive into the vibrant world of Affinity Publisher today and craft the ultimate paper planner that revolves around your individual needs and aspirations.

How To Create A Paper Planner In Affinity Publisher Planning For The Scattered (Even With Adhd!) Pinterest Pin
How to Create a Paper Planner in Affinity Publisher Planning for the Scattered (Even with ADHD!)

Getting Started with Affinity Publisher

Download and Install

First, you’ll need to download and install Affinity Publisher on your computer. Visit the official website to purchase and download the software. It comes with a 30 day free trial, so you don’t have to commit to it before you try it.

Familiarize Yourself with the Interface

Once installed, take some time to explore Affinity Publisher’s interface and tools. This will make the process of creating your planner smoother and more enjoyable. We will also walk you through a few steps below. 🙂

Creating Your Paper Planner Template

We did an entire post on creating planner templates. One thing you should know about templates is that, at the base, it doesn’t matter if the planner template is for a paper planner or a digital planner. The key elements are the same.

Setting Up Your Document

Start by creating a new document in Affinity Publisher. Choose the paper size and orientation that you prefer for your planner. Make sure to add enough pages for the entire year, plus any additional sections you’d like to include.

Designing the Layout

Next, design the layout for your planner pages. You can create different layouts for monthly, weekly, and daily spreads. Use guides and grids to ensure your design is well-aligned and organized.

Adding Text and Fonts

Add text boxes for dates, tasks, and other information. Customize the fonts, sizes, and colors to create a visually appealing and easy-to-read planner.

Tips and Tricks for an ADHD-Friendly Planner

Simple and Clean Design

Keep your planner design simple and uncluttered. A clean layout with ample white space will make it easier for you to focus on your tasks and avoid distractions.

Use of Colors

Colors can be a powerful tool to help individuals with ADHD stay organized. Use color-coding to differentiate between different types of tasks or priorities. For example, you could use red for urgent tasks, green for personal goals, and blue for appointments.

Prioritize Tasks and Goals

Include a section in your planner where you can prioritize your tasks and goals for the day or week. This will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Choosing Your planner Size & Layout to work with Affinity Publisher

Diving into the world of Affinity Publisher is an exciting adventure that brings out the creative best in all of us! As you set out on this journey, one of the key decisions you’ll make is choosing the perfect planner size and layout to complement your work style and personal flair.

When choosing your planner size it’s important to consider lifestyle. Do you want something to throw in a backpack or purse? Or are you looking for something to fit on your desk as you work?

Since you are creating this yourself, it’s also important to consider your printing method. If you are using your printer and paper then you will want something that is easy to print and bind yourself. This is usually your standard paper size (8.5×11 in US or A4 everywhere else), or you can do 1/2 sheet and cut that paper in half.

This is the easiest, but what if you are going to have the planner created in a print-on-demand environment? Well in that case you are going to want to look closely at their specifications for page size, margins, and print bleed.

With endless possibilities, it’s essential to pick a planner size that reflects your needs and enhances your productivity.

Let your imagination run wild as you explore the various sizes from pocket-sized companions for on-the-go creators to spacious A4 and 8.5 x 11 in layouts for those who love to see the big picture.

Delight in the freedom of choosing a layout that speaks to your habits and organization preferences, whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly view, or one that incorporates a goal-setting section, a creative space, or even a workout plan.

Rest assured that with Affinity Publisher, your chosen planner will become a seamless extension of your unique, creative self, and an indispensable tool in your personal and professional life.

Affinity Publisher shortcuts and tools to make creating your planner easier

It’s time to dive into the world of designing with Affinity Publisher. It offers you an abundance of shortcuts and tools to make creating your perfect planner a breeze!

Our course Affinity Publisher: Shortcuts to Creating a Dated Planner in Less than ONE Week, deep dives into the major shortcut to create both a dated digital planner and a printed planner. It covers shortcuts in the tool as well as things to do prior to touching the software. Today we are just going to cover the top 4 shortcuts within the tool.

Master Pages

Master Pages allow you to create a template once and reuse it throughout the planner.

It saves hours!

Imagine you want a weekly layout. That immediately says you will have either 52 pages if it’s one page per week or 104 pages if it’s 2 pages per week. Master Pages allow you to design it once and then apply it to all those pages!

Need to make a tiny change? No problem make the change on the master page and it changes everywhere!

Importing Calendar Data

Creating a dated planner can feel a bit overwhelming, ADHD made it hard to focus to enter all the dates, and Dyslexia had me personally doubting my sanity.

But Affinity Publisher has us covered! You can import the dates for yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily pages. No more getting lost in manual entry of dates on the pages.

With Publisher, you can do the equivalent of the old mail merge. It’s not fancy, but it does an amazing job of allowing you to import dates and we’ve even experimented with importing motivational quotes – it worked! So the flexibility is really quite amazing and we love this!

Reusable Assets

Another tool that Affinity Publisher has that you won’t find in a lot of tools is an Asset Pallet. This pallet lets you save images, text, and vectors you create that you may want to use again in your planner.

We use this area to save our favorite graphics, text prompts that we reuse, and special planner areas that we like to add in several places.

With the Assets Pallet you create the item once, add it to assets, and then you can drag and drop it anywhere within this planner or other planners you create. Because planner creation is addicting.

Reusable Styles

Affinity Publisher allows you to create styles for many things. The two we use for planners are Text Styles and Table Formats. These two are lifesavers in the planner creation world because they allow you to set your styles in one place.

Let’s focus on Text Styles for now.

Imagine you do all the headers in an entire planner in a pretty script font. You love the way it looks on the screen. You design the entire planner and print your first couple of pages as a sample. And it looks horrible!

In the old days, you would have to go through the entire planner and change all those headers one at a time. Talk about a nightmare!

With Text Styles in place, you can change it once and it will change everywhere you use the style!

Using styles saves hours. If you are creating for a shop you can even use this feature to create multiple planners with different styles. No more page-by-page changes.

Imagine the joy of effortlessly crafting an organized, stylish planner tailored to suit your unique personality and requirements. Affinity Publisher’s user-friendly interface and easily accessible tools allow you to explore boundless possibilities for designing stunning layouts and embellishments, all while saving you precious time.

So, get ready for a fun and inspiring journey as you unlock new design skills and discover the endless potential of creating personalized planners with the help of Affinity Publisher’s exceptional shortcuts and tools!

Setting up your document in Affinity Publisher

Let’s look a little closer at document setup in affinity publisher. Let’s dive into the world of creativity and unleash your publishing potential with Affinity Publisher! Setting up your document is not only a piece of cake, but it’s also an exciting step towards easily crafting visually striking pages.

To begin, launch Affinity Publisher and you will see the screen below:

How To Create A Paper Planner - Setting Up Your Document In Affinity Publisher
How to Create A Paper Planner – Setting up your document in Affinity Publisher

This is where it all starts. Along the left side, you will see several Print layout choices, along the bottom center you can customize your Layout, Pages, Colour, Margin, and Bleed.

To keep it simple we will look at Layout, Pages, and Margin. These are the most common places to change.

If you are sending your planner to the printer you will need to set the margin and bleed according to their specification.


How To Create A Paper Planner - Setting Up Your Document - Layout - Affinity Publisher
How to Create A Paper Planner – Setting up your document – Layout – Affinity Publisher

The layout defines the page size, the DPI (Dots Per Inch), the units, the image placement, and if it includes a Default Master.

Once you’ve chosen your units, you can customize your page size. If you selected from the print layout area on the left, the DPI will be set correctly at 300 DPI. This is good for printing your planner from a standard printer.

But the questions I get most often are below with their answers.

What the heck is image placement?

Affinity Publisher allows you to embed your images in your document, or create a link to the images.

Embedding the image is what we are used to. It adds the image to your planner, and if you move the image around on your computer it won’t matter.

Embedding the image makes your document bigger.

This is okay for a printable planner, but with digital planners, we want a smaller document size. For our printable planner, we can embed the image.

And do I need to include a Default Master?

Say HELLO to the magic of “YES”! Let Affinity Publisher be your master with its super cool feature – create once, apply forever! Unleash a whole new world of flexibility and time-savings, making Affinity Publisher simply aaahhh-mazing! 🤩

After defining your tailored document settings, get your creative juices flowing by arranging layers, text, and images in the visually rich Studio environment. Affinity Publisher’s intuitive tools make refining your layout a breeze, resizing and repositioning objects without breaking a sweat.

The cherry on top? Exploit the limitless possibilities of typography and color swatches to set the perfect atmosphere for your publication. Let Affinity Publisher unlock the doors to exceptional design and embark on a fun, inspiring publishing adventure!

Add text boxes, backgrounds, and borders to customize your planner

Customizing your planner with text boxes, backgrounds, and borders can be a delightful and fulfilling experience, turning a mundane organizer creation into a fun, inspiring, and visually appealing tool.

Let’s begin by learning about the text you can add to your paper planner creation.

How To Create A Paper Planner - Adding Text Boxes
How to Create A Paper Planner – Adding text boxes

You have options! With Affinity Publisher, you can add just a normal text box, or artistic text and still apply all the styles.

We covered Styles a little more in-depth in the post How to Create Planner Templates in Affinity Publisher: Planning for the Scattered (Even with ADHD!) But if you plan on selling your planner, and sharing your awesome designs you will want to set up styles that are easily replaceable.

To begin adding text boxes, select the desired font, size, and color to truly allow your personality to shine through. Don’t hesitate to try bold lettering or elegant script to make every note and appointment a motivational piece of art!

You can also add background images to your planner. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use the Place tool. Once you place the image you can change transparency, and you can move it to the back.

How To Create A Paper Planner - Using The Place Tool
How to Create A Paper Planner – Using the Place Tool

Backgrounds serve as a vibrant canvas within your planner, so choose your favorite colors or patterns and apply them to breathe new life into those pages. With a paper planner, you want to choose color sparingly so that it’s easy to print.

Spice up the design even more with the addition of unique borders to frame and accentuate each section, tying everything together harmoniously and stylishly.

By taking these simple steps to personalize your planner, you not only make it truly your own but also create an uplifting and empowering space to foster productivity and achievement!

Tips for Making Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Calendars and Trackers!

Embracing the beauty of time organization can truly be a fun and rewarding experience, with a little bit of creativity and determination.

When it comes to differentiating months, why not tap into your artistic side and choose a unique theme, color scheme, or motivational quote for each month that speaks to your heart?

Affinity Publisher allows you to set your color palate so be sure to decide ahead of time what colors you want your planner to use.

This personal touch will not only make your calendar visually appealing but will also fuel your inspiration throughout the year. As you set up your calendar, make use of the data import feature to automatically import your dates. This saves hours!

Don’t hesitate to sprinkle in little quotes, and reminders for self-care as these will make your planner special. You may want these as you navigate your year, filled with beautifully organized months and special memories. Remember your creating a calendar that is a flexible monument to your growth and progress.

Planner creation allows you to set yourself up to embrace the exciting potential each day offers, and make even the most ordinary moments extraordinary!

Michelle'S Discbound Planner With The Blank Weekly Calendar Template
Discbound Planner with the Fun Theme, Party Design Blank Weekly Calendar Template

Printing and Binding Your Planner

Once you have designed your planner, it’s time to print and bind it. Here are some tips to ensure that the final product looks great.

1. Choose the Right Paper

Choose high-quality paper that is thick enough to withstand regular use. Consider using paper with a matte finish to reduce glare and improve readability. Our favorite for planner printing we got on Amazon. It’s 28lb copy paper. (this is our affiliate link, see our disclaimer at the bottom of the article)

2. Printing Tips

When printing your planner, make sure to use the highest quality settings available. This will ensure that the colors and text are sharp and clear. Test print a few pages first to make sure everything looks good before printing the entire planner.

3. Binding Options

There are several options for binding your planner, including spiral binding, perfect binding, and ring binding. Personally, we love to turn our binders into discbound binders. Consider which option is best for you based on how you plan to use your planner


Creating your own paper planner with Affinity Publisher is a great way to stay organized and on top of your schedule. With the flexibility, professional quality, and affordability of Affinity Publisher, you can design a planner that perfectly suits your needs. Use these tips and tricks to create an ADHD-friendly planner that works for you.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, our course on Affinity Publisher: Shortcuts to Create a Dated Planner (Newbies Welcome!) will help you master the art of creating dated and undated paper planners and ensure that no date gets forgotten or overlooked. So don’t hesitate – gain access today and get ready for a stress-free life from here on out!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to have design experience to use Affinity Publisher?
  • No, Affinity Publisher is user-friendly and easy to learn, even for beginners.
  1. Can I import the Calendar Dates and holidays into my paper planner or do I need to type them all out into my paper planner?
  • Yes, Affinity Publisher allows you to import data from various sources.
  1. What kind of paper should I use to print my planner?
  • Choose a high-quality, thick paper with a matte finish for optimal readability and durability.
  1. Can I add custom sections to my planner?
  • Yes, Affinity Publisher allows you to create custom sections to tailor your planner to your specific needs.
  1. Do I need to have ADHD to benefit from an ADHD-friendly planner?
  • No, the tips and tricks outlined in this article can be helpful for anyone looking to create a simple, organized planner.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *