I love lists--writing them , checking them off, keeping track of things.
I also love schedules.
And the big picture.
And room to scribble.
My planner must fit in my purse. And since my purse is only about 7 inches square, worn as a hip bag (Think Fiona if you watch Burn Notice), that's a tall order in itself.
I do NOT love address books or sterile looking pages.
Since this appears to be a rather tall order for a premade planner, I decided to take the plunge this year and figure out how to make my own.
Step 1: Gather your stuff.
Step 2: Know what's important to me. My top three things in a planner are 1) monthly pages, 2) Lots of to do list space, 3) a place to write a schedule for each day, all with enough space left to scribble notes around the margins.
Step 3: Place and create month pages. I put mine on the last 12 pages (6 spreads) of the book. I use these for remembering birthdays, due dates, doctor's appointments, etc, so I want them accessible, but not necessarily at the front.
One of the great things about having gridded paper, is that it's super easy to make a nice, even calendar. I used the extra space on the sides to create a little "notes" box, too, for reminders, etc.
Step 4: Design and make your daily pages.
(Disclaimer: all of 2014 probably won't fit in a notebook this size because it has 192 pages, and I'm using a 2 page "spread" for each day. This doesn't particularly bother me, but if you want all year in a single place, you could use just 1/2 a spread for each day. That would be particularly feasible if you have a larger notebook. Mine is only 3.5x5.5 inches).
On the left page I have the date, day of the week, what I'm cooking for dinner, and a to do list (on days when my list is not quite so long, I'd also have general scribble space). On the right side, I map out a schedule for the day around things like appointments, going to the gym, etc. Again, I like the grid because I think it adds a general neatness to the look.
One other tip:
In case you're worried about how time consuming this could be: I've only made the calendar pages for Jan and Feb so far, and I've only made daily pages thru next week. Not only does this break it down so I can just add as I need pages and months, it also means that I could change up my layout at almost any point during the year if I wanted to try something new.
There you have it, folks! A personalized planner in your favorite colors, patterns, and layouts for less than your average pre-made planner! Happy 2014!
Adventure well; Live fully.