For the past few years, I have spent every New Year’s Eve-New Year’s Day the same way. I prepare for the new year. I set realistic goals and action items to accomplish each goal. This year, as I sit down to prepare my goals, I can’t help but be in awe of my DIY PLANNER.
A couple of months ago, I realized, “If I don’t write it down, it won’t happen.” Now don’t get me wrong, I am a tech geek. I use my phone for EVERYTHING. But, it is still no replacement for pencil and paper. I needed to brainstorm, set goals, and jot down my ideas and so my search began for the perfect planner. My search was HIGHLY unsuccessful. I am a researcher, so I searched forever looking for the perfect planner. I found them to be very expensive and still missing several key components I needed for my own planning purposes.
So, I created my own planner. I had no choice. I refused to pay up to $50 for a planner that I was not fully satisfied with. I absolutely love my new planner. I will admit, that my planner isn’t colorful and pretty, but it is fully functional, works great, and cost me about $25 to create. Maybe next year, I will attempt to be a bit more creative. Or maybe not.
I started designing my planner with a section for each month containing the following sheets:
For me the calendar is the most essential filler for my planner. I wanted a calendar on two pages with an area for notes. I printed a generic 2013 calendar with the full year to view to start my planner.
WEEKLY PLANNER SHEETS
Following each monthly calendar was a set of weekly planner sheets (4-5 sheets depending on the month). I am very anal (and not ashamed to admit my personal flaws) and I searched high and low for a single page planner sheet that started its week with Monday. In my world, the week starts with Monday.
On the back of pages, I copied lined pages. I wanted to utilize every space of my planner. NO WHITE SPACE!
I added these sheets to the front of my planner to stay completely focused on my goals throughout the year.
I added a gift checklist to the beginning of my planner and after the December calendar to prepare for the holidays.
This year I plan to grow a closer relationship with Christ and added a prayer list sheet to keep track of prayer requests and celebrations:
I filled this section with sheets to help me create goals I want to accomplish with this blog. I also included about 50 copies of a blog planning sheet (copied front to back) to organize my blog thoughts. Often times, I will think of a great blog post, but by the time I find something to write it on, the thought is gone!
I started this section with a year calendar (the same one I started the planner with) and a one year planner sheet copied back to back and year calendar (3 months on a page) with notes.
I also filled this section with 52 sheets (for each week of the year) of weekly planner sheets to plan my week in business at the start of each week. I also included a few goal sheets in this section.
The personal calendar section, blogging section, and business section were separated by a blank piece of bright orange cardstock that can also be used for notes. I created a simple cover page with my name and the last decision I made was the binding. As you guys know by now, I AM A BINDER QUEEN and I originally wanted to use a 3-ring binder to contain all my planner pages, but decided that a true planner is bound together, so I opted for a coil binding with a clear front cover and hard back cover.
If you plan to make your own planner, remember to find pages that work for you and fit your lifestyle, there are SO many free fillers that you can find to fill your planner such as calendars, lined pages, and goal strategy sheets, just to name a few. And take your time, I spent over an hour at Kinko’s making sure my pages were copied correctly front to back and flowed like a true planner. And once again, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am severely anal which I’m sure added to the time I spent at Kinko’s.