My DIY Planner | Planner Hack Success

Diy Planner Hack - Alaiawilliams.com

diy planner hack - alaiawilliams.com

I don't know why, but finding a great planner these days hasn't been easy for me. There are a lot of excellent options out there, and even though I've recently purchased a few, they still weren't giving me what I needed. So, after supporting a few business owners by buying their products, I ended up at at a big box business – Staples – looking for solutions.

As I walked down the planner aisle and looked at the same traditional options that haven't worked for me in a long time (which is why I stopped buying planners for a while), I found myself frustrated. Then it finally hit me – I could hack together my own and make it (practically) perfect.

Here's what I picked up:

diy planner hack

I went a little wild, but I couldn't help myself.

I couldn't tell what was in the tightly packaged Day Timer planner, so I purchased the month tabs. When I opened the pack, it did come with monthly calendars and tabs, so those month tabs will go back to the store! If you're printing your own planner pages, you'll find these tabs like these useful. Another option – Avery makes 5.5″ x 8.5″ pre-printed dividers with the months on them.

I wanted a planner that was portable, so the fact that I could get all the gear I wanted in the perfect 5.5″ x 8.5″ size was great! I wanted a daily view calendar and though I knew I could print calendar pages onto the paper I ordered, I wanted a complete planner and I wanted it NOW, so I sprung for the Day Timer.

day timer daily view

The important things for me are flexibility and the option to have everything in one place. Filler paper can be used for notes or printing off worksheets or important documents I might want to keep in the planner (and the dividers will help me keep it all organized). The binder pockets can easily hold receipts or papers that aren't hole punched. I stuck a Post-it Pocket in the back to hold business cards, notes and other loose things I don't want to lose. The sheet protectors might go back, but they just seem like a good thing to have handy.

Some other available options that you might consider:

Since I did buy the two-pages-per-day calendar (one page for the agenda and to-do's and the other for notes), this planner would be HUGE if I included everything at once. Since it is ridiculously easy to move things around in a binder, I'm only carrying a month worth of planner pages at a time. If I think of something for a future month, I can write it on the appropriate monthly calendar tabbed page.  Doing this keeps my planner nice and slim.

day timer daily plannerdiy planner hack

If I wasn't such a freak about these things, I'd have printed off the planner pages myself. If you want to make your own DIY planner on a budget, I suggest you do that. All the other supplies combined came out to just over half of what the planner pages alone cost, so you can definitely save some dimes there.

It's definitely a shift after using my Day Designer for five months, but I'm already feeling like a weight has literally been lifted off my shoulders.

Thinking of making your own planner? What would you include?

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Alaia Williams

I am a business systems strategist. I spend my days helping solopreneurs and small business owners get the right systems and processes in place. An organized and streamlined business allows you to focus on your genius and why you got into business in the first place.

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