Tag Archives: DIY Planner

If You Want it Done Right, Do it Yourself!

I am a self confessed Organizer/Planner junkie. I love all things office supplies and am especially drawn to planners. However, I have a little confession to make. I haven’t been able to find a planner that I can stick with (AKA Planner Fail). Either the planner doesn’t have enough room for me to write what I want, or it’s not designed well (in my mind). So, I decided to try to make my own. Right now, my primary focus is my health and fitness, so I wanted planner pages that took that in to account.

Keep in mind, I designed about 3 different types of pages (weekly without health, health’s own info on a weekly format, daily with health) and used them all for a day or two to ferret out what I want.

A few months ago, I found the Arc notebook system at Staples and fell in love! I believe it’s made by the same folks as Levenger’s Circa system, but at a fraction of the cost. And…it’s GREEN!!

What makes this binder unique is the fact that it acts like a spiral notebook in that you can fold the cover around to the back, but you can remove pages and add them back anywhere just as easily as if it were a 3 ring binder. In fact, even easier than that!

Knowing that I was going to use this binder, I had to figure out how to set up the pages to be 8.5 x 5.5, double-sided, and have room to punch the holes (yes, they even have a hole punch so you can put any paper you want in here!). It took me a lot of trial and error to get it right as I have never tried to set forms up like this before. At first my spacing was off and pages were printing upside down on the back. However, I think I’m pretty close to having it where I want it…for now.

At the front, I have a clear folder where I can put stuff to be punched and added later, or small things like stamps. You can see a picture of my nephews in there right now. Aren’t they cute?! Every time I see them I feel older! hahaha….

Moving on…I included the typical personal pages with my emergency contact info and commonly needed numbers (Dr’s, services, etc.) but I don’t want to show a picture of that for obvious reasons! Next up, is my perpetual calendar where it’s not dated by year, just month and day so I can see all important dates for the entire year and carry it over from year to year in my planner.

Behind that is my year in review for 2012 and 2013. This is a full 8.5 x 11 sheet that I folded so I didn’t have to break up the year.

I tried to make all of my pages so they weren’t year specific and could print these out every year instead of having to redo them. My months were no different. I just printed out a blank calendar with the month heading and wrote the dates in. On the front side of the month page is my monthly goal plan for Health, Projects, Home, Etc.

I tried out a couple of different weekly pages but decided all I really wanted to see from a weekly vantage point were the “hard coded” or planned appointments. I will also put in anything that absolutely has to be done that week as well, but that’s about all the detail I’m going in on that level.

You’ll have to excuse the horrible handwriting! Now we get to my favorite part of this planner….the daily pages! I spent a lot of time deciding how much space to give to each field.

I included a “Projects” field which will have my work items as well as any projects I’m working on at home. Then I have a “Home” section where I’ll write down anything I need to do or remember for the home. In the “Health” section I have my calories consumed, burned, net cals, weight, Dr.’s appts, and my workout data. I love having all of that info available available in one view. There’s an “Etc” section for…etcetera items (haha) and a section titled “Things of Interest”. This is an area where I can write down something that catches my attention that I’ll want to look in to more later (e.g. books, songs, movies, news items).

One thing I love most about how I’ve broken out the daily pages is knowing where to look for specific data instead of going through one list to find it all. Need to see what’s coming up for work? Just look in the top left section! I’ve been using these pages for a few days now and so far I’m very happy. That’s not to say I may not tweak some things as time goes by!

Since I’m focusing on my health, I also added a yearly view of my weight loss and inches lost by month. This is again an 8.5 x 11 page that’s folded because I didn’t want to split the year up.

Last, but not least, on the back of the measurements page is a listing for my PRs on different lifts as well as a place to enter the competitions or races I’ve participated in this year along with the results. It’s always nice to be able to look back and see where you’ve come from!

That makes up the bulk of the pages I have so far. I have plans to make pages for other general lists and things I want to track. Now, to see how it holds up in the long run. I feel much better knowing that I didn’t spend any money on this planner (except for the paper @ $5) so if I need to redo the pages and throw out the old, it won’t hurt too much!

What pages would you absolutely have to have in your planner?