Plan It! will be a part of my weekly Organize It! series, exclusively focused on the world of personal planners.
Every year my friend Sarah and I usually adopt some sort of crafty hobby. We got into scrapbooking back in college, we made cards for every holiday for years, and then this year we decided we both wanted to be a bit more organized and decided to delve into the world of planners. Little did we know that the planning world is ENORMOUS. Between blogs, YouTube and instragram the two of us were overwhelmed. Kikki-k? Filofax? Daytimer? Franklin Covey? There were a million options and none of them were terribly cost-effective. Since neither of us knew whether we’d really get into the planner wrold long-term (SPOILER ALERT: I CANNOT STOP BUYING PLANNER SUPPLIES) we decided to keep it simple with the following supplies:
- a mini 3-ring binder
- mini dividers
- mini pockets
- mini 3-ring hole punch (I made them sell me the display model at Staples because it was the only one left!)
All of the supplies were available at staples and I think I spent under $20 for everything! I read a bunch of tutorials online about printing your own inserts (I pinterested for hours.) and I also decided on what my sections would be. I decided on a personal planner – no work stuff – with the following sections:
Deciding on my sections was the most difficult part – but I thought of the things in my life that I really wanted to organize and keep track of. I brainstormed for a while and I even ended up combining a few sections, since it didn’t make sense to have them separately. For example, I started out with a projects, house, and cleaning as separate sections. I realized that nearly all of my projects revolved around the house, and I was obviously cleaning the house – sections combined! I also originally had a Food section, which I later combined with health (diet and exercise!), since they also go together. Other common sections for planners:
- Quotes & Inspiration
- Home Decor
The first thing I did was decorate my dividers because I knew that would be the simplest step! Washi tape, stickers from Michael’s and VOILA dividers galore! Sarah took the craftier route of tracing dividers on really nice paper and made her own, which is another option. The nice thing about using a mini 3-ring binder is it’s really easily customized. I can swap things in and out as much as I want, I can move things around, I don’t have to stick to certain inserts, etc. In fact, a lot of the printables that I used were actually for larger planners, and I scaled them down for a half sheet! This won’t work for every large printable – but it is often worth it to try it out if you really like a certain design. For paper I recommend buying a thick cardstock for more important things and a thicker than average paper (I bought premium laser paper which is 24 lb weight and 98 bright) and a good paper cutter, I’m using this one right now, but I may try to invest in one that can cut more sheets of paper at once.
Now you need to choose your inserts! I’m going to go through my sections in their own blog posts, but here are links to the places I got all my favorite free printables:
I actually built my planner with nearly all free printables – I only bought one! This is great because with the money I saved I got to buy more washi tape, sticky notes, pens, and stickers galore! Stay tuned this week, I’ll be featuring the Lists section of my planner and a special guest interview!