You could be a stay at home mom, or a corporate executive jetting around the world on a daily basis. Whichever it is, things seem to get away from you and sometimes you simply forget. That’s why I advise using a personal planner, but because the ones I found in stores didn’t suit what I wanted I decided to create my own. It’s super simple, fun, I get exactly what I want and I get to be creative!
First you need to decide on its ‘appearance’. What size is it going to be, are you going to need custom pages, how is it going to be divided and that type of thing. You might want to add some daily quotes, or weekly inspirations that help you stay focused and keep you motivated, but thanks to the internet that isn’t difficult! Once you’re done with that part make sure you have everything to create it. You may find that there are a few items you need to buy, maybe pretty paper, a hole punch or plastic sleeves, but if a search for coupons and discount codes for Sears you could save a bundle on all those extras with some fantastic reductions.
If you’re a soccer mom with a personal blog then you probably need planning space for blog posts, a place to keep track of the kids after-school activities and a daily ‘To-Do’ list. Maybe a list of personal projects you’d like to complete as well. If you’re a corporate executive then you need a place to keep notes from meetings, somewhere to keep track of your personal schedule, a To-Do list and maybe somewhere to keep track of personal goals. Or even just movies that you’d like to watch! It doesn’t matter what sections you have, and the great thing is you can always add more if you want to!
Once you’ve decided on a size I advise getting one of those A4 cardboard ring binders and trimming it down to the size that you want. The great thing about them is you get a variety of widths so you can always expand it if you need to! I trimmed mine down so that it will fit easily into my everyday handbag, but you could store it in your laptop bag, a backpack or even the satchel that goes everywhere and is where you keep non handbag items like writing pads, USB drives, and your lunch or pencil case!
Now it’s time to beautify and personalize your planner. I have a habit of hanging onto magazine adverts that catch my eye, buying postcards that I’m not going to send to anyone, saving scraps of colored paper and patterned cardboard in case I find a use for it and keeping the gift wrap from birthday and Christmas presents so I had a nice selection to choose from when it came to decorating the outside of my planner. Then to protect the cover I used a double layer of that transparent self adhesive paper you find in stationary stores. I always have loads of it on hand because it’s great for school books and for protecting my well loved, much read novels!
Now I start with the dividers. Personally I like tabs because it makes it easy to navigate between sections but you can do whatever makes you happy. My dividers are all made with one color (purple because it’s my favorite!), and then I’ve customized them by turning it into a sort of ‘title page’ for each section. I used some of those postcards, clipped letters out of newspapers and magazines, printed a family photo, did a little creative doodling, and even just used a stencil to create plain black block letters. The great thing is if I decide I don’t like that particular divider after a while I can just make a new one and bin the old one!
I’m a page a day diary type of person but I also wanted a place to jot down notes and reminders so I created my own template in CorelDraw but with a little careful thought you can also use MS Word. Just decide what you want on a page and create it. If you want to save on printing costs you can head on down to your local copy shop and have the original photocopied instead of using up all your ink! And there you have it. A personal planner customized for you that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!