As a notorious procrastinator, I’m plagued with a combination of contradictory habits: I’m messy but I’m also extremely organized. Or rather, I like to pretend I’m organizing my time and managing my projects, when really, what I’m doing is putting off having to do those projects themselves. As a result, I start a lot of “journals” where I attempt to plan. I’m obsessed with notebooks, pens, post-its, dividers, index cards… Needless to say, my desk is a mess and I hate it but I also love it. It’s quite a dilemma.
My obsession with organization came in handy when I got the itch to
stitch make something yesterday! I didn’t just want to buy a new planner for a number of reasons. Mostly because they are so limiting with pre-filled sheets, and I like some room for creativity. Plus I knew that my daily planner sheet needed to be specific to what I need to focus on to actually get things done. Lastly, I wanted to recycle and repurpose materials that I had laying around my house. I’ve been dying to make my own planner, especially when there are so many free printable planner sheets on the Pinterestosphere. So I finally sucked it up and got to work.
Step One: Decide what sort of planner you need–day, week, or month–and what your pages will look like
Personally, I prefer daily planners. I know there are some of us who like to use weekly or monthly planners, which is fine. But I like to break my tasks up into small, quick-to-finish steps, and a daily planner is more ideal for me. There are lots of free printables, but I wanted something specific to fit my needs and what keeps me on track. I created my own, which I’m uploading here (Day Planner Sheet) for you to download for free if you would like to use it yourself. My daily sheet is based on the “one thing a day” concept. In this day and age where people are constantly running around, getting things done, life can be overwhelming, and just concentrating on one task a day, even if you will obviously do more than that one task, is a relief and gives more focus to your day.
I also created monthly sheets (Monthly Planner Sheet) because even though I need to see my tasks on a day-to-day basis, I also need to glance at the bigger picture now and then.
These sheets are sized at 6.5″ by 9″ to fit the cover that I used, but if you’re using them personally, you can still print them on regular sized paper by adjusting your printer settings so it fits at 100%. These don’t have dates so you can fill them in as you go, and that gives a bit more room for breathing.
I printed these pages on used paper, so it’s like double recycling! You could also print on both sides of the paper to save space.
Step Two: Decide on the cover
My favorite children’s book of all time is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I always feel like I’m committing the biggest sin when I use a book for a crafty project (AKA cut it up, rip it apart, completely destroy it). But I had to remind myself that books are for sharing and learning, not gathering dust on your bookshelf. I decided to use my copy of Green Eggs and Ham as my cover for my planner, but instead of just using the cover, I left the pages in the planner itself. I randomly dispersed the pages throughout the planner so the story and the book in its entirety are still part of the final project.
Step Three: Decide on your binding
I punched 2 holes into the pages, drilled 2 holes in the cover, and binded everything with book rings (I bought an assortment from Target, but you can also order them from Amazon). You can also use blinder clips, thread the pages together (Design Sponge has a great tutorial), or use a binding method that you like.
Step Four: Sort your paper and bind everything together
Once I had all my paper cut (since my planner sheets were 6.5″ by 9″ to fit my book, I had to do a lot of cutting. Poured myself a large glass of water and set up my table on the balcony to soak up the sunset and nice breeze), I assembled my pages. I put all the months at the front, then all the daily sheets after. The pages from Green Eggs and Ham were dispersed throughout the book. Make sure the holes are aligned, then insert the book rings or bind them in whatever way you want. Presto, you are done!
I like the way mine turned out, although my printer did cut off some parts at the top and left hand side of the pages. It’s really thick, but that’s because I only printed on one side of the page (since I printed on used paper), but you can minimize this by printing on both sides. Also, I pretty much stuffed it with as many daily sheets as possible so that I don’t have an excuse not to use it.
What do you think? I hope you were inspired to create your own planner with reused materials! What would you make your DIY planner with? If you do, be sure to email pictures or leave a comment below and tell us all about it. 🙂