DIY paper planner

Cover view

Those that have known me for a long time know that I am a sucker for planner. The trouble is that I don't use them much beyond the new planner honeymoon period (for any number of reasons).

With two kids and a change of house coming, I needed to do something for my overloaded brain, and no combination of apps on the phone is doing the job. Hubby and I do use Google calendars for a somewhat shared brain (at least with regard to who should be where and when), but I don't like Google tasks much (and can't unload work brain there, anyway). I also prefer hand-written lists and notes: I end up with little notes everywhere which doesn't help when you're already feeling overwhelmed!

So, I stumbled on DIY planner printables on Pinterest, and it got me thinking. None of the ones I saw were quite right, and I realized a few reasons why:

  • they tend to be over-regimented
  • many split up or squish the weekend in the week view
  • many use a lot of color, which is nice, but I have a black and white laser printer, so all that flash is lost on me

With all of that in mind, I made my own. It is sparse and unadorned, and has few boxes dedicated to this or that kind of note (to do, shopping list, contact list, etc.). This thing is basically all a to-do list of sorts, and I wanted to give myself room (with pen/pencil) to evolve how it works.

I used a booklet format: I printed off a set of double-sided pages, folded them in half along with a piece of card stock for the outer cover, and used a pamphlet stitch1 to literally sew the pages together. It lies flat, I can fold it backwards, whatever! I love the form factor! I made only one month's worth, which also keeps it thin. I can make tweaks for next month based on how this month goes.

I've attached the keynote file2 of this first draft. If you have Keynote, you can use this as a starting point for your own. I know the plain-ness of the cover won't last beyond the first few conference calls at work: the outside screams for doodles! The inside provides more room for jotted notes that I can then carry over into next month's booklet.

Month overview

Week overview

You can so tell that I am a software engineer, and not one used to posting photos of crafty things. *sigh*


1 Bookbinding 101: Five-hole Pamphlet Stitch

2 Planner-1.key