Thursday, October 23, 2014

DIY Planner

People who know me know that I am a hard core planner. I can't help it. My brain is always full of planning details. So it would make perfect sense when I say that I love to have a daily planner that I can write in and look at. Last year, I made a new binder to use as my planner. The problem with this planner was that as time went on it got really beat up and messy. It was also a 2 inch binder so it was really bulky. So I knew I wanted something different this year. I looked everywhere for a planner online that would fit what I was looking for and had no luck. I knew that I needed to make my own planner so that I could customize it as I saw fit.

I took to pinterest and discovered what they call Discbound Notebooks. They are almost like a crossover between a binder and a notebook. They are thin like a notebook would be, but they are customizable like a binder is. All you need to do is buy a special hole punch to punch the pages.
The notebook is held together by solid discs and the hole punch works by cutting little notches into the paper that fit around the disc. This feature is really nice because it makes the whole notebook completely customizable. You can add or remove pages whenever you feel like it. So if you make a mistake on a page, all you have to do is reprint it and replace it. This also means that I can use the cover and the discs year after year and I only need to replace the pages on the inside as the years change.
The discbound notebook I selected came from the Martha Stewart line made by Staples. I originally wanted the light blue one and I called Staples and they told me that they are discontinuing that line so the blue ones were impossible to find. I was able to find a black one, but I am not sure how much longer they will make these. Staples has their own line of discbound notebooks they call Arc Customizable Notebooks. Also, there is the Circa line made by Levenger. I liked the silver discs that came with the Martha Stewart one, which is why I selected that brand.

Once I decided that I was going to make my own planner, I had to buy all my supplies. I bought a portable hole punch made by Levenger because it was less expensive. You can buy a big one through Staples that is a little more expensive, but it is easier to punch.

I also bought these tabs to mark my months of the year. They just stick anywhere you want them to. I bought 32 pound and 100 bright paper. This way it was a little bit thicker and brighter than normal paper. The thickness help to make the pages sturdier when they are punched and the brightness makes the colors pop more. Then I bought some nice thin felt pens to use to write with a bunch of pretty colors.
Finally, I had to decide what I would put in my planner. I went with a printable calendar/daily planner made by IHeart Organizing. I love the bright colors and the design of her printable. It is also made so that you print your pages doubles sided so you use less paper and your notebook stays thin. She recommended the paper and other things to make the pages look the best.
This planner has monthly and weekly pages. I have been able to keep myself extremely organized. On the monthly pages I write out my monthly goals that I usually put on the blog and I also write in any and everything we have going on for the month. I try to color code it too so that I can keep everything straight. On the weekly pages, I have been able to plan out blog posts, my project for each night and sometimes the chore I need to focus on. I also write out my To-Do list that I carry over each week. This way I do not forget what I need to be doing each night and I can make my evenings more productive. It even has a place for meals that we plan out for the week so I don't forget what groceries we bought.
The tabs I mentioned earlier are great because I can put them wherever I want to and they help me to be able to open straight to the month I am looking for.
I was also able to add some extra pages at the end for things that I wanted that were not included in the digital planner. When I found a printable online that I wanted, I could just print it out and add it to what I already had. I use this checkbook register every month to plan out when our bills get paid and pulled out of our checking account every month. In the future I could add more pages if I decide I need something different too.
I have been using this planner for almost a month now and I am seriously in love. It is just so pretty and colorful and it makes me want to be more organized. It helps me to stay on top of my To-Do list so that I do not forget anything since I am really bad at remembering what I need to get done. I can remember every detail of a memory that happened 5 years ago, but I can't remember when I need to get something done. Funny how my brain works. This planner was not exactly cheap but since most of my supplies are reusable I consider it an investment in something that I know I will use for many years to come.

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