Don’t feel pressured into purchasing a planner from the store if they don’t leap out at you. You can take your planner into your own hands. You can personalize your planner as much as you wish from a simple design or something that fits your personality. If you use a planner that excites you, you’ll be more inclined to use it.
- Constructing the Planner
- Creating the Planner’s Pages
- Organizing the Planner
Purchase a malleable binder. It helps to pick out a binder that you can easily cut to make a smaller planner. The best way to make a personalized planner is to find and purchase a cardboard binder as a frame. The cardboard will also allow you to customize the design if you decide to adjust the outward appearance.
- Try to find a binder that uses small rings that aren’t very long. This will allow you to modify the dimensions of the binder without affecting the binder’s rings.
Cut the binder. Lay the binder flat so the rings are facing up. Use a ruler and pencil to measure out 5.7×6.7 inches. This is an estimated size that may not work for your binder. Measure the height by leaving an inch above and beneath the rings. Then make each side around seven inches. Be sure the sides don’t overlap each other by making their sizes equal.
- Use an exacto knife to produce a clean cut. Hold the ruler down with pressure along the outline and carefully make your cut.
- You can also use scissors if an exacto knife isn’t available to you.
- The spine will be 3 or 4 inches depending on what binder you picked out.
- Don’t try to tamper or cut the ring holes. Modify the binder’s size based on the ring holes.
- You’re not required to cut your binder, but planners are generally smaller than standard binders.
Add your own design. You aren’t required to design your planner, but it might encourage you to use it if you enjoy how it looks. Reflect for a moment on what you’d like to see as you write down your obligations and schedule. Perhaps a series of inspirational quotes will complete the look and feel of your planner. You could also go with a minimal design by gluing three different colors of construction paper into a grid-like pattern on the cover.
- It is also a popular choice to paste an inspirational figure onto the cover like Nelson Mandela or Serena Williams.
- Choose whatever design you feel connected with.
Cover the binder. To effectively use this binder as an outer shell, you’ll need to protect it from water and other types of damage. You can use plastic book covers or a waterproofing spray. The book covers should be in a school supplies store and the spray can be found in a hardware store or the internet.
- If you decide not to use a cover or spray, consider covering the edges of the binder with tape. You could even use a colorful duct tape to add something flashier.
- An adhesive spray could also be used as an alternative to a waterproofing spray.
- You could also glue a laminated sheet of paper onto the cover to act as a cover.
Create a page template. Softwares such as Microsoft Word can help you create a template for your planner pages. Using the computer will save you time from manually creating each page. First you’ll need to set the page size to something smaller than what you cut your binder to. Then make three columns for each page to be used as the days of the week. Use these margin settings for the columns: 1” for the top margin, 1” for the bottom margin, 1.5” for the left side, and .75” for the right side.
Add the days of the week to the columns. Use a small, but legible font to add the days of the week onto the columns. You should have two pages in your word processing software. The first page could have Monday through Wednesday and the second page could have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday/Sunday.
- For most planners, it’s okay to combine Saturday and Sunday into one column.
Determine the time period. You’ll need to decide on a range of dates for your planner. Think about your schedule and what you will need your planner for. Create the next three months before creating any additional months. Some softwares will fill in the date for each month while others won’t.
- Add the month on the top or bottom of the page in a legible size.
- Add an inspirational quote for each month to add variety.
- If you’re unable to add the dates of the month, fill them in manually with a pen as you use the planner.
- Be sure to create enough weeks for each month. Look at a calendar to help you design.
Print and cut the pages. Once you finalize your design, you’re ready to print the pages. If you have access to a double sided printer, use this function to save paper.Use a paper cutter to cut the pages down to fit into the binder. If you don’t have access to a paper cutter, use a ruler and an exacto knife to make the cuts.
- Stack multiple pages on top of each other for a quicker cut. Be sure all the pages are aligned evenly.
- Do not rush through cutting the pages or else you might damage or tear one of the pages.
Punch holes into the templates. To fit the pages into your binder, you’ll need use a hole puncher. Adjust the hole puncher so that it matches the binder’s rings. Use a ruler to match the binder’s rings with the hole puncher. Once everything is aligned, punch holes for your templates.
- You can hole punch multiple pages at a time depending on your hole puncher.
Use endpapers. Endpapers act as separators for the actual planner. These are pages that are typically laminated or coated with strong plastic. Endpapers also protect the planner pages from being damaged.
- It is also common to decorate these pages in a similar theme as you did for your planner’s cover.
Create pockets. Pockets are handy for storing loose papers on the fly. They can be mounted onto your customized endpapers. Construct a pocket by cutting half a page of thick paper. Then staple the edges around the end paper. Create a couple of pockets in case of an emergency.
Use binder tabs. Binder tabs are helpful for organizing and accessing papers by subject or month. You can find binder tabs in an office supplies store. They contain tabs that allow you to insert a written subject like “Fieldwork” or “January.” Cut the height and width of the tab pages if needed. The tab pages should be the same size as your planner pages.
- Hole punch the tabs once cut to the proper dimension. Do not cut the edge where the tabs are overlapping.
- Use tabs to separate the months so you can access the month and date quickly.
Make reference pages. Sometimes it is nice to have a quick fact sheet to use on the spot in your planner. You can find or create a reference sheet of a relevant subject and include it into your planner. Reference sheets are helpful for storing mathematical/scientific formulas, historical timelines, or even verb conjugation.
- Your reference page should be in the beginning of your planner.