Understanding the A5 Paper Size for Your Planner

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Paper planners come in many different sizes. One such size is an A5.

In the United States, we are somewhat unfamiliar with the term A5 because we are used to the most common paper sizes of “letter” and “legal”.

So when it comes to choosing a planner and you see it described as A5, it might be hard to visualize what that size really looks like and means.

In this post I will try to show you what an A5 planner looks like so you can decide if it the right size planner for you.

a collection of planners scattered on a desk

The International Paper Size Standard

If you live in the United States, you may not have heard of this – but IS0 216 is an international standard when it comes to paper sizes. This applies to most of the world – except North America.

This standard outlines several classes for paper sizes which are named by the letters A, B, and C.

Apparently A4 is the most common paper size in the world! But here in the US, standard sizes for a sheet of paper are defined as letter or legal.

How Big is An A5 Planner?

So, when it comes to buying a planner – the sizing can be a little confusing, especially if you are located in the United States.

Most planner companies produce their planners based on the ISO A class standard – probably because they do business worldwide.

And one very popular ISO paper size is A5.

This is what you need to know about this page size:

A5 planner paper measures 5.8 by 8.3 inches.

And here I am emphasizing the word PAPER because the actual cover of the planner, depending on the style of your planner – binder, coiled, disc, or other binding – will likely be larger in order to accommodate the planner pages inside.

Think of it this way – an A5 piece of paper is roughly half of a letter sized sheet of paper.

The dimensions of A5 paper are slightly shorter and wider than a half letter size which measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches.

What are Other Planner Sizes?

When it comes to planners an A5 size planner is usually the “medium” version.

Typically, you will see planner companies offer a small, medium, and large version of their planners.

I outline the most common planner sizes below in inches – but you can use this handy calculator/converter to see all the A sizes in whichever unit of measure you desire.

Small or Personal Size Planners – A6

The small or personal size version of planners are usually about half the size of an A5 planner paper.

These smaller planners are often an A6 size.

Just for reference, the paper in an A6 size planner measures 4.1 by 5.8 inches.

Medium Size Planners – A5

A meedium size planner – which I describe here – is usually around an A5 size which again measures 5.8 by 8.3 inches.

Large Planners – A4

A large planner is typically a letter size planner or an A4 size.

A true piece of A4 planner paper measures 8.3 by 11.7 inches vs letter paper which measures 8.5 by 11 inches.

When you compare the different planner sizes here are a few things to keep in mind.

Planner Sizes Comparison

First, to make it easy to remember think this: the larger the A number, the smaller the planner.

So, for example A4 sheets of paper are larger than the next size of A5.

  • A6 = small or personal size
  • A5 = medium
  • A4 = large

Second, the paper size is not necessarily the same size as the binder or cover.

A planner binder will be bigger than than the actual planner paper to accommodate the binder rings and the closure.

Third, may companies don’t stick to the exact dimensions of a standard A5 planner.

Often a company will create a planner in a similar size but use a custom paper size unique to their own planner.

For example, a page in the Erin Condren Life Planner coiled version is 7 by 8.75 inches – which is larger than a true A5 but not as big as an A4.

An Interesting Fact About A Class Paper Sizes

ISO 216 A Series Paper Size Chart

I am going to nerd out a little bit here and share an interesting fact with you about A Class paper sizes.

For each size page in the class. – A4, A5, A6, etc. – the measurement of the short edge of the size above equals the long edge of the next smallest size.

So, for example, the short edge of an A4 size piece of paper equals the long edge of an A5 size piece of paper.

You can see this relationship in the A Series paper size chart above.

A Selection of Medium Planners That Are A5 Size or Close To It

Here is a list of planners that are close to A5 in size:

These planners are slightly bigger but not as big as full letter size:

Why I Like A5 Size Planners

A traditional A5 size planner follows the international ISO 216 standard of A series paper sizes and measures 5.8 by 8.3 inches. This measurement is different from the traditional American sizes of letter and legal.

But there are other planners that are close enough in size to qualify as in the “medium” category.

For me, the biggest advantage of an A5 size planner is a combination of the portability and the space inside for writing.

I find that I can easily slip an A5 size planner in my bag yet, unlike a smaller A6 size planner, there is still plenty of space inside for me to capture all my appointments and notes.

What size planner is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

collection of planners on desk

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