+86 15382350698

Six Major Binding Styles for Notebooks and Planners

notebook and planner

When we are going to make a notebook or planner, one of the most important part is the binding way. It can decide the appearance and the shelf life of the final effect. So in order to make a ideal notebook of ourselves, we must know what binding style to use first.

In our production process, we usually have six major binding ways that are suitable for notebooks and planners which are mostly often used. Let’s see what they are and their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Saddle stitching binding

Saddle stitching binding means to use two staples to join the papers together in the middle with the papers folding into half, also known as staple binding. It is a very easy and popular way for binding, usually with the total inner pages the multiples of 4 and paper cover which can be snailed in by staples.

In this binding way, the notebook can lay flat on table when opened, but the total papers can not be too thick, otherwise, the staples will not be able to fit in. So usually for thin notebook, with inner pages within 80 pages (40 sheets), we will choose this style, which is economical and fast to make.


  • This binding way is highly economical, which can save budget a lot.
  • The production time for this style notebook is very short, usually we can finish them within 5 days or even one day if you need urgently.
  • It can lay flat when opened, which will be easily for writing.
  • It is of light weight, which can be of less shipping fee.


  • The applicable scope of this binding is limited. It just fit for thin notebooks or planners.
  • The staples are usually metal material, which is easy to be rusted, so it is not rigid enough to be used long.
  • The total pages has to be multiples of 4, which is not flexible for custom planner designs.

2. Thread binding

Thread binding, also called singer sewn binding, is a traditional way of binding in which a single thread is stitched through folded pages at the spine. It is another way of binding thin notebooks and planners, with the total inner pages not more than 80 pages as well. Instead of using metal staples, it uses thread, which is more secure for people to use. The thread can be in any color as per your need. Most student notebooks are bound this way as it is cheap and easy to make which meet students’ fast use of them, while at the same time, it can lay flat on the table when opened which can be easily written with.


  • It has no glue and drying involved, which means the turnaround time of this can be very short.
  • The production cost of it is low as it is easy to make.
  • The weight of it is light, which can ensure low shipping cost.
  • It can be flat when opened, which can be easily write on.


  • It can be just used for notebooks with the total pages within 80pp (40 sheets), or the thread will easily be disconnected during production.
  • The total pages need to be multiple of 4, which is inflexible for customization.

3. Perfect binding

Perfect binding means to use a super strong glue to attach the inner pages and cover together. In the past, the EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) adhesive was used in the binding process as glue, but nowadays, PUR (polyurethane reactive) adhesive are used more often because of its higher strength and longer durability. In this binding way, the cover of the notebook is usually a heavy card stock cover. It is a cost-effective and easy method of binding notebooks and planners in softcover. It is called perfect binding because the four sides of the finished product are always trimmed neatly to achieve a perfect look.  


  • It is a cost-effective way of making notebooks and planners, both in production and transportation.
  • The final effect of this binding is of high quality, allowing them to achieve a good sale prices.
  • The turnaround time of production is relatively short than hardcover notebooks.
  • It is flexible for inner pages. It can be used for binding both thin notebooks and thick notebooks.


  • It can not lay flat when opened, which means you have to handle it more carefully when open and it will be not easy to write on at the edges.
  • It is less durable than hardcover books because of its inferior paper-based covers.

4. Case binding

Case binding, which is mostly called hardcover, is the best way to bind notebooks and planners. In this way, the inner pages are sewn together in section first, and then the sections are glued to the end papers which are finally glued to the spine of the book cover. The cover for this binding can be paper, leather, vinyl, fabric or other protective materials which will be glued to the end papers as well. With this style, the notebooks can lay flat on the table when opened. It is usually used for larger books with the total pages over 200pp or to achieve a premium notebook and planner.


  • It is of high quality, which renders a timeless appeal to a printed notebook.
  • Notebooks and planners bound in this way are highly durable, which can achieve a higher sale prices in market.
  • It can lay flat when opened which is more easily for people to write on it.
  • It can hold many pages.


  • Case bound is complex to make, thus the production time for it is long.
  • The cost of notebooks and planners in this binding way is very high.
  • It is of heavy weight, which means the transportation fee of it is high.

5. Section sewn binding/Smyth sewn binding

Section binding, also known as smyth sewn binding, is a time-consuming way of binding. Similar as case binding, it is sewn together with thread into signature first and then the signatures are glued together to the spine to form the final polished book block. Unlike case binding, the cover for section sewn binding can be softcover as well. The section sewn binding can usually create a neat-looking and sturdy notebook. In this binding way, it allows you to add as many pages as you want, so that it is suitable for both small and large project. It enables you to lay the notebook out flat regardless of its page count.


  • Section sewn binding can lay flat when opened regardless of its page count.
  • It presents a polished appearance of notebook and ensures durability. It can stand up to years of wear and tear.
  • It can hold as many pages as you want.


  • The production of this notebook is time-consuming.
  • It requires meticulous work during the making process.

6. Spiral binding/coil binding/Wire-binding

Spiral binding, coil binding and wire binding are the ways by using a metal or plastic coils to insert into holes punched in pages and the cover. In this binding way, you can turn the notebook a complete 360°, allowing the user a great deal of convenience. There are different sizes for the coils so that the pages of the notebook or planner is flexible in this way. It can fit for just dozens of pages, but also has the capacity of holding several hundred pages. For the coil, it has many different colors available as well. The most common one we use is black, white, silver and gold. Most student exercise notebooks and planners are made with this binding. Many planners made this way has index tabs as well at the side, which is valuable in helping the user to find information quickly by simply flipping to the tabbed section.The cover for this binding can be both in hardcover paper and card stock cover.


  • It can lay 360° flat when open, which is very easily to write on.
  • It is economical to make and the production time is relatively short than section sewn and case binding.
  • It is flexible to use and the page count can be flexible as well.  
  • It can work well with index tabs.


  • It needs to have enough space at the left side for pouching the hole and fit the spirals.
  • Because of the coils and spirals, they can not stack up easily when pack.
  • There will be a large gap between the pages when open because of the space for hole.

If you are going to custom your own notebook or planner and do not know which binding way to choose, you might be able to have a idea from here. You can also contact us and tell us the effect you want to achieve against your budget, and we will help you finalize your decision and get the astonishing item you want!

Emiee Zhang

Emiee Zhang

Emiee, the sales manager of Beneme Company, has been involved in printing and packaging field and foreign trade business for 9 years now. She is fluent in English communication, and has talked with a lot of customers and helped them to get their items customized. Many customers start from zero to a huge sale of some hot printing items with her cooperation.


Leave a Comment

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

7 + 12 =