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Tips, Tricks, & faq


I've designed The Grid Tool for maximum compatibility with popular brands and sizes of journals and notebooks, but how can you verify it will work with YOURS?

Want to know if The Grid Tool will work with your specific journal, notebook, or planner?

No need to guess - the answer is likely YES! Find out here :

Google Spreadsheet of Notebook Sizes

You can check my Google spreadsheet for your journal or notebook. I've listed specs and compatibility with different sizes of The Grid Tool.

If your notebook or journal isn't listed:

You can verify if at least one version of The Grid Tool is compatible and find out which one is by checking the following in your notebook or journal:

  1. Your paper has a "Square" Printed Pattern (or No Pattern)
  2. The Printed Pattern Spacing on your paper (for example: 5mm, 1/4", etc.) matches at least one version of The Grid Tool
  3. Your notebook or journal's Dimensions matches or is larger than the corresponding Standard Paper Size on at least one version of The Grid Tool (for example, A4, B5, A5, etc.)
  4. The Grid Space Quantities on each page match or exceed the highest number of BOTH vertical and horizontal demarcations on at least one version of The Grid Tool (for example, the 5mm Size A5 is 26x36 spaces)

You can read more details in my blog posts Which notebooks or journals does The Grid Tool work with? and Will The Grid Tool work with MY notebook or journal?

And - contact me to let me know the specs of your notebook so I can add it!

Check for a "Square" Printed Pattern (or No Pattern)

While most artist's sketchbooks have blank pages, the paper inside your notebook or journal may be blank or have pre-printed Lines, Dots, Boxes, Grids, Diamonds, Rectangles, Triangles, etc. If your notebook or journal has blank pages or the printed pattern is evenly square, you can use at least one version of The Grid Tool. For more information, read my post Which notebooks or journals does The Grid Tool work with?

Square Grid vs Iso Dots
Match Printed Pattern Spacing

Each version of The Grid Tool specifies it's spacing - in millimeters or inches. The most common size is 5mm, however, some brands print their grids at 4mm, 7mm, or I've even found odd sizes in-between - like 4.28mm and 3.7mm. Measure the space between each dot or line in your notebook or journal with a ruler to find it's spacing. It should match the spacing specified on your chosen version of The Grid Tool. For more information, read my post Which notebooks or journals does The Grid Tool work with?

Examples of Grid Spacing Differences

Examples of dot grid patterns printed at different size intervals.

Choosing a Size

Choosing the right size of The Grid Tool for your notebook or journal is easy - just check the following:

Check Dimensions

The dimensions of your notebook or journal are likely close to or exactly one of several standard paper sizes.

Standard Notebook and Journal Sizes - The Master Set Compatibility

The Grid Tool lists it's size on each version, which is designed to fit a corresponding standard paper size (or brand). Your notebook or journal pages should be equal to or larger than the version of The Grid Tool you're using. In other words, any version of The Grid Tool that fits vertically within the height of a page - AND - horizontally within the width of the page - is compatible with that notebook's page dimensions.

For more information, read my post Which notebooks or journals does The Grid Tool work with?

Check Grid Space Quantities

Different notebook and journal brands print different QUANTITIES of their patterns - both horizontally and vertically on their pages.

Notebook Size Examples

Different brands print their dot grids in different quantities both vertically and horizontally!

If your paper has a grid pattern, here's how to check for maximum compatibility: The total amounts of printed spaces in each (vertical and horizontal) orientation -  must be the same or more than those on The Grid Tool.

For more information, read my post Which notebooks or journals does The Grid Tool work with?

Benefits of Multiple Sizes

Do you use multiple sizes of notebooks or journals? Work in materials of various sizes? Are transitioning from one journal to another larger or smaller size?

You may want to consider purchasing a set of The Grid Tool sizes to cover them all.

Journals of different sizes with different versions of The Grid Tool



Satisfaction Guaranteed

Hello fellow gridders!

My name is Cas, and I invented The Grid Tool as a way to help myself and others spend less time in our planners and more time on life.

With the goal and intention of making life better, I craft all my products with love and care. I've created hours of videos, a lot of Tips, Tricks, and How-To information in many articles on my Blog, and a Help Page on this site to serve you.

Due to the nature of Digital Media, I cannot offer a refund, exchange or cancellation after you've been sent or given access to the files and all sales are final. However, if you ever have any questions or issues please contact me through Etsy convo or at https://www.thegridtool.com/contact/ and I will do everything I can to make sure you're happy with your purchase!

Cas Sig
100% Satisfaction Guarantee



When you buy any size or set in my Etsy Shop, you get:

• Material: Printable Instant Download (PDF file)
• Free Printing Tips

You WILL NOT receive a printed Grid Tool in the mail. Printable Instant Download Listings are for a high-quality, DIGITAL file only, which means you can simply print The Grid Tool yourself or have it printed.

The Grid Tool is made with care and precision. I used digital vector graphics and saved it as a high-quality print-ready file because I want you to receive a well-crafted product.


Your Printable Instant Download is immediately available in your Etsy account OR via a link in the download notification email Etsy sends you upon successful purchase. See https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013328108 for more info.

If you can't find your download notification email, you're having trouble downloading your files, or you have other issues, see https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013328108-Downloading-a-Digital-Item?segment=shopping for more info.


Please do not copy, edit, share, or redistribute my printables. They can be printed multiple times by an individual purchaser for PERSONAL USE only. Purchasing this file does not transfer copyright.

Etsy stores your Printable Instant Download online in your Etsy account. If you checked out as a guest, you'll find a link to download your purchase in the receipt email that was sent to you after purchase. See https://help.etsy.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013328108-Downloading-a-Digital-Item?segment=shopping for more info.


Opening the File

Use Adobe Reader (free) or another PDF reader to open and print.

The file itself is NOT editable.

You may print as many copies as you personally need (see Re-Downloading for more info).

Use Cardstock

If you can, print on heavyweight cardstock. If all you have is regular printer paper, that's ok. You can also paste it onto thicker cardstock to make it more sturdy and ruler-like.

Print 'Photo' Quality

Use 'high dpi' or ‘best’ quality print settings for a sharper print image.

Print at 100%

Always print at 100% Scale or 'Actual size' on US Letter size paper for most sizes of The Grid Tool (however, the size A4 version should be printed on US Legal size paper). The measurements on the tool will be off if you enlarge or reduce it.

print settings example

One example of correct print size settings.

Print in Color

Printing in color will help you quickly differentiate between the most commonly used measurements. If you can only print in black and white, try coloring them with markers or colored pencils.

Note: The colors may differ from screen to print, depending on your individual printer.

Closeup of The Grid Tool colors and notches
Verify Correct Print Size

You'll know it printed at 100% scale if the spaces are exactly the right amount apart. For example, The Grid Tool 5mm size A5 will measure 18cm or 7 3/32 inches from the 00 to the 36 mark along the side.

The Grid Tool Correct Print Size


Paste Before You Cut

Before you cut it out, (if you didn't print it on cardstock) paste it onto heavy cardstock to make it durable. I recommend using a regular glue stick.

Use a Knife and Ruler

Using a scissors may make your cuts wavy. Instead, use a cutting mat, a metal ruler, and a small, sharp craft knife.

OPTIONAL: Cut notches along the long numbered side for your most-used measurements. I’ve marked the ones I use most with coordinating colors.

Go Slow!

Take your time and line up your metal straightedge carefully. Hold it securely as you cut out the 4 sides first, then go back and notch out your most-used measurements.


The Grid Tool is designed to be easy and intuitive to use. You simply follow these 3 steps:

#1 Decide: How many sections do I want to make?

#2 Use The Grid Tool to simply show you the possibilities.

#3 Decide: Where do I want my grid?

...no calculating, counting, or guesstimating needed!

For a walkthrough these 3 easy steps with examples, see How to Use The Grid Tool: Start Here

Placing Your Grid - Margins

The Grid Tool will divide/section a space smaller than its longest side (the vertical sections). This means you will likely have empty margins on your page. Your margins may be to the left or right, or above or below the gridded area you make on your page. 

Leuchtturm1917 The Grid Tool Area Example

For example, depending on the type and size of notebook you have, The Grid Tool 5mm Size A5 is designed to measure most of the page - an area of 26x36 squares - minus some margins you can leave at the page edges. For more examples and information, you can read my post: What types of notebooks and journals is The Grid Tool designed for? or watch this video:

Reading Row and Column Numbers

When creating rows (left to right), you can split your page into halves, quarters, fifths, and more. Place The Grid Tool lengthwise (up and down) on the page. You choose how many even sections you want and read the large numbers oriented the same (vertically).

2 Page Monthly Spread Rows

To create columns (up and down), turn The Grid Tool crosswise (left to right). Read the smaller numbers oriented the same (vertically) in the shaded sections.

2 Page Monthly Spread Columns

For an in-depth demonstration, see my video: How to make Columns - bullet journal basics (and examples) with The Grid Tool

Getting Creative

Don’t create your designs with all the same proportions. With The Grid Tool, you can mix and match different sizes the SIMPLE way.

Layout Variety Example

In the video below, I show how to use The Grid Tool as it was designed AND out-of-the-box creative usage.

The Grid Tool