Organization, Uncategorized

DIY Organizing: Make Your Own Life Planner

A life planner is much more than just a schedule-keeper. Making your own life planner is quick(ish), easy and extremely affordable. Use this guide to quickly craft your own life planner and start organizing your life today. 

Lay It out

First things first, you need to decide what you need your life planner to do for you. Do you need it to keep organized meal plans in? Or do you just need it for easy to read chore-lists and organizing to-do lists? You are creating this planner from the ground up, and the only way it can work is if you know exactly what will be going on beneath the cover. Take out a pen and paper and make a list of all the things you need in your life planner. Think about how you want them to flow and where you want them to be inside the planner. If you need some help, here are some great sections to start with:

  • General Info: Emergency Info, Notes, Internet Account Information, Passwords, etc.
  • Goal Setting: Long Term & Short Term Goal Setting, Goal Trackers, Wish Lists, etc.
  • Tasks: Yearly Calendars, Dates to Remember, Monthly Calendars, To-Do Lists, Monthly Planners, etc.
  • Around the House: Homemade Cleaner Recipes, Cleaning Routines, Household Projects, etc.
  • Diet & Exercise: Exercise Logs, Meal Planners, Grocery Lists, Panty Inventories, etc.
  • Blogging: (if applicable) Blogging Schedules, Brainstorming, Marketing Schedules, etc.
  • Budget: Monthly Budget Worksheets, Expanded Budget Worksheets, Bill Schedules, etc.
  • Holiday: Trip Planners, Hosting Guides, Holiday Card/Gift Lists, Party Prep Lists, etc.
  • Moving: Necessity Checklists, Change of Address Lists, Packing Planners, etc.

Get the Materials

Now this is where 2 roads can diverge into the yellow wood. Once you know what is going into your life planner, you must then make the choice of deciding how it will look and how it will be bound. For me, I went the true “crafting” way, and used a pretty planner-specific binder I picked up on Amazon., some page covers, glue sticks, magazines and a few scrapbooking odds and ends. In an evening, I printed out a few free printables (like the ones available from Scattered Squirrel) and sat down and put together my book; which utilized the free printables as well as my own “cut-and-paste” style with customized pages crafted from discount scrapbooking paper.

If you think that’s going to take too much time, an easier option is to scour the internet for the printables that work for you and take them to your local Office Max or Staples. Here, they can generally print and bind the book for you, even going so far as to laminate pages, all for less than $5. These prints can be full color (a drain on your home printer) and can also feature plastic covers and tablature.

Whichever way works best for you, make sure that you have everything you need: including the printables that you want to use organized in the order they will appear in your new planner. (SCROLL DOWN FOR SOME GREAT PRINTABLES SITES)

Put it to Use

Once you’ve got your planner all glued together or printed up at your local office supply store, it’s time to PUT IT TO USE.

Make sure that you’re using your planner everyday. Use it to keep track of morning and evening routines, kids’ schedules, meal plans, ingredient and recipe lists and every other thing you can think of. Place it on a frequently used desk, or on the bedside table, someplace where you are sure to see it and sure to reach for it.

In my personal experience, the prettier the planner is, the more likely you are to use it. So really make this planner your own. In my personal planner, I inserted a “wish board” at the end of every section, which features pictures of exotic destinations, beautiful clothes, and fine home living that I aspire to have one day.

It doesn’t matter what goes into your planner, what matters is that you use it each and every day to make your life easier. Go one, lift some of that burden off your shoulders and let a new handy, dandy life planner lift up some of that responsibility for you. It’s an easy and affordable project that is sure to benefit you for years to come.

 

PRINTABLES & SITES I RECOMMEND (By Section):

HOME: 

Master To-Do List from DIY Home Sweet Home

Daily and Weekly Chores from Happy Money Savers

Cleaning Master Plan from Classy Clutter

Laundry Schedule from Classy Clutter

Stockroom Inventory from Organized Home

DIET & EXERCISE:

Meal Planning from I Heart Planners

Recipe Index from Organized Home

Weight Loss and Goal Tracking from Thermometer Template

Three Month Work out Schedule from Design Finch

FINANCES:

Bill Payment Checklist from DIY Home Sweet Home

Monthly Budget Planned and Spent by DIY Home Sweet Home

The Dave Ramsey Baby Steps Worksheet by Jenny Collier

Debt Overview by One Beautiful Home

HOLIDAY PLANNING:

Holiday Planning Kit from Living Well, Spending Less

GOAL SETTING:

Family Mission Statement from The Dating Divas

Long Term Goals (3, 5, 10 Years) from LuLu Lemon

Yearly Goals from Living Locurto

Books to Read from DIY Home Sweet Home

Goal Thermometer by Thermometer Template

TO-DO: 

Dates to Remember from KD Buggie Boutique

2 Page Spread Monthly Calendar from Scattered Squirrel

Weekly Schedule & 31 Day Challenges by RuKristin

BLOGGING:

Blog Planning from Portland Bloggers


Have more great ideas for making your own life planner? Let me know in the comments below!

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