Do you feel disorganized? Like you can’t keep up with your day to day schedule? Read on to learn how to design your own planner and why you should…
Ahhh…planning. I think we all have a love-hate relationship with it, don’t you?
We know we have to plan in order to keep track of important events in our life, but we either don’t want to take the time to plan or we don’t follow through on our plans after we’ve made them.
“A dream without a plan, is just a wish”
Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.
As a work at home mom, I often find myself torn between what is on my schedule for the day and what my family needs from me.
It’s a situation I’ve found myself in all to often and I’m sure many of you other work at home Mamas can relate. It’s tough to do it all.
In fact, it’s almost impossible.
But, being available for our children and husband is the whole reason we chose to work from home, right? So, we do what we can.
Plan for Imperfection
Sometimes it’s impossible to do it all and other times, it’s a little easier. The important thing is our children will look back and remember that even though Mama wasn’t perfect…she tried.
And the best way for you, as a Mama, to be as close to perfect as possible, is to plan.
PLAN. EVERYTHING. ALL.THE.THINGS.
Plan your meals, dates with your spouse, events for the kids, your gift giving list, your budget, your cleaning schedule, etc.
Plan it all!
But, plan for imperfection. Don’t make your plan so strict that even a saint couldn’t follow it.
Keep track of everything you need to do and when it needs to be done, but don’t regiment your life.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg S. Reid
Which brings me to why you should design your own planner, rather than purchase an already bound planner from the store…
Because it’s your plan!
It’s your life and it doesn’t necessarily fit into the perfect confines of a premade planner.
Maybe you don’t need a list for meal planning, but instead would prefer a business expense report…
Perhaps you’d rather have a block planner over a lined planner…
Do you see what I’m saying? When you design your own planner, YOU get to choose what pages are inside the binder.
You get to decide what works best for you.
Personally, I think that makes all the difference in whether or not you will actually USE your planner.
For years I bought a planner at the store…
I’d be super excited about planning the new year and I’d jot down a whole bunch of plans and ideas, but by February, I was quickly waning from even using the planner.
It just didn’t work for me and I couldn’t figure out why. And then, I started designing planners.
“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
I worked for years on creating different types of planners, both for myself and for sale in my Etsy shop. But, it took a long time for me to finally figure out my groove and I’ve been using the same layout (with minor changes) for the last several years.
I love it! And while, I’ll probably continue to tweak the design, as things in my life change, it’s the best set up for me that I have found yet.
Design Your Own Planner
So, on the same note as choosing your own pages…you’ll need a few other supplies in order to design your own planner.
Here’s a list of all the supplies I use:
Obviously, if you are purchasing printable planners, you’ll need a way to print them! But, you don’t need anything fancy.
A standard inkjet printer will generally work just fine.
I use (and love!) an Epson Workforce Pro WF-4740 (shown above) and I highly recommend this or any of the Epson printers! I’ve had Epson printers for over 10 years and honestly, I wouldn’t buy any other kind.
3 Ring Binder (1.5 inch)
A good, sturdy binder is essential when you design your own planner. You need to make sure that it is going to hold all the planner pages you want to use, plus, you’ll want to add inserts, random notes, etc.
My binder (shown above) is made by Avery and it’s from their durable binder collection. I love it.
It easily holds over 300 planner pages and there is still extra space for all the inserts and random sheets of paper that I add. Plus, there are 2 pockets in both the front and the back of the binder to allow space for pens and pencils or more random notes.
And speaking of pens and pencils…you’ll want to pick up a nice selection of those, too. You don’t need to buy anything fancy, just choose a couple good writing utensils that you enjoy using.
My personal favorite? A good, old-fashioned Ticonderoga Pencil. #2, please.
I color-code certain parts of my planner. For example, I use a teal colored marker for all of my day to day “work stuff” and a purple colored marker for “home stuff”.
But, when it comes to writing down blog post ideas and design plans, I love my Ticonderoga pencils.
Ideas are ever changing, so why write them down in ink? Use a pencil so you can erase and change as needed. So Much Easier!
And last, but certainly not least…you’ll need a 3-hole punch. Or how else would you get your new planner pages into your binder?
Choose Planner Pages
Now, for the fun part! It’s time to choose your new planner pages and lucky for you, I’ve got a whole bunch you can choose from. FOR FREE!
All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter to get instant access to my secret printables vault, where you’ll find TONS of printable planners for all sorts of needs.
Woohoo! Now, that you’ve got all your supplies ready, it’s time to start planning. So, first things first…
Check your calendar and write down any important dates, events or appointments you have previously scheduled. Jot them down in your planner, under the correct dates.
Now, it’s time to fill in the blanks. This, of course, varies depending on what you do for a living.
Stay at home mom? Write down your to-do list, kids events and activities, grocery shopping, dentist and doctors appointments, etc.
Work at home/working mom? Write down all of the above, plus your work assignments and schedule.
Follow Through On Your Plans
Ha! We’ve come to the end of the list, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easy part. Oh no, my friends, this is where the work actually begins…
You have to actually follow through on your plans.
Yes, I know, crazy concept, isn’t it?
But, here’s the truth…it doesn’t matter what kind of planner you have.
It doesn’t matter whether you spend a couple of bucks on printable planners to build your own or you go out and buy the fanciest, most expensive life planner on the market…
The hard part is actually taking action to complete the things you’ve planned to do.
So, what are you waiting for?
“You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying.” – Albert Einstein
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading How to Design Your Own Planner and Why You Should!
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Have a Spectacular Day!
Vanessa Hamlin is the owner and founder of Food Life Design and VLHamlinDesign. With her passion for frugal living and homesteading, Vanessa loves to write about easy recipes, making money, gardening, home remedies and everything else that a good life entails! When she’s not writing for Food Life Design or creating products for VLHamlinDesign, you’ll find Vanessa reading, drawing, gardening, cooking or spending time with her family.