Day 136: Planner’s for a dummy

Hello wild ones! The weekend has come to a close and you’ve only got a few precious hours of freedom. Enjoy them.

When I started this planner DIY I never dreamed it would turn into a 3 day ordeal. Yesterday I got all of my inserts printed and organized, but I couldn’t understand why I could only get 3.5 months to fit in my 1″ binder. It occurred to me it could be the thickness of my paper, so I did a little digging this morning and found out that the card stock I used was obviously way to thick for everyday use. Wish I had know/thought about it earlier. I wasted an entire day.

My failure just means more information for you. I started searching for blogs about DIY planners to figure out if there was a magic weight of paper I should be using for maximum efficiency. I read a few different posts that all suggested 24 lbs paper, so I made yet another trip to walmart, I swear I’ve gone 4 times in the last 2 days to get supplies for this damned planner, and picked up the suggest paper.

Man oh man what a difference! Now I’ve got almost the rest of this year crammed in there, I’m lacking the month of December, but at this point once May is over I’ll just toss those pages or file them and then I should have enough room to put in December. I still do not understand how in the hell people can fit an entire year in their planners and still have room for a note section. There is no note section in my planner, I’m going to try and rectify that tomorrow while I’m putting the cursed thing to use.

So without any further ado, let me introduce you to the planner that has made my life a living hell the past two days.


Bear with me please because I wasn’t exactly sure how to photograph this thing. This is our front cover. I wanted to keep the entire thing very simple, no crazy frills or thrills will be found in this planner.


This is the original pile of shit  I started with.

Items needed:
1 inch planner binder
Printer paper in 24 lbs (you could go heavier depending on the look you’re going for)
Scrapbook paper
Paper cutter
5″ x 8″ envelopes in various colors
Tabby things
A set of dividers made for the binder (only used as a template)
Filler paper (which I only used as a guide for my inserts)
Cardstock (kill me)
Double sided tape (I went through 2 rolls and probably could have put a sizeable dent in a third)
Graph paper (even though I don’t have a place for it now)
Printables  (I purchased mine on Etsy at the beginning of the year when I originally planned on doing this, but never used them)
Plastic page protectors

Lucky for me I did all of this at work, so I had a nice big work area, lots of time, and a very good printer.


I started this whole journey by making a plan for the layout of my planner. This is the 3rd draft.


I then printed all of my pages. Dear sweet jesus, this was the most stressful part of the entire job. I had to figure out my printer’s feed first so I knew how to put pages in for double sided printing and I still managed to fuck that up more than once. Of course since I did it all on cardstock to begin with everything had to be reprinted today.

After printing all my pages I started cutting them. Another grueling task, thank goodness for cable and YouTube. To make my life easier I would fold a page in half and then stack a few so I had a guide line for cutting and I highly recommend using a paper slicer like the once pictured, maybe even a larger one. If I had tried to cut all those by hand I would still be cutting.

Once everything was cut I punched holes using a piece of filler paper as a guide, another time consuming task that had to be done twice because I’m an idiot. I’m sure there’s a hole punch that could have been set to the measurements needed and I could have punched all 3 holes at once, but I already had a single hole punch, so I just gave my hand a workout.



To make my dividers I just traced the dividers I purchased and then taped the cut piece on a full sheet and trimmed around my template. This worked very well and I got some really cute dividers out of the headache.


Because some of my printouts were not double sided I covered them with scrapbook paper that came from the same package so all my colors coordinated.


Mainly it was just the month views that were not double sided, so each one got scrapbook paper on each blank side.


I added a yellow envelope to each month breakdown so I can keep track of receipts. The envelope is behind my bill, income, and expense tracker. Each is its own individual page, so now I’m going to write down everything I spend my money on so I can better understand my spending habits and control myself.



These are just some pictures of the printouts I used. Aren’t they cute?!


After I got all the guts of the thing in place I started adding just a few personal touches. Here is a written list of my goals for the year, it’s on the front of the yearly view in the very front of my planner.


Of course I had to have this in here somewhere. My little catch phrase or tag line if you will is the first thing you see when you crack open my planner.


This is just a rough bookmark to keep my place. I’ll probably replace it later, but for now it works.

So let’s just very quickly run over the setup of my planner. Right after our cover I have a plastic sleeve with important contacts, just in case I ever lose it and someone is kind enough to want to return it. We have the year at a glance followed by a breakdown of important fates for the year. After that we have a divider, the month at a glance, my bill tracker, income tracker, 2 pages of expenses tracking and an envelope. Then we have our weekly breakdowns, because I knew I would need a place for notes I made the reverse side of each week page a notes pages as well. I should have taken a photo for better understanding…and then we’re on to the next tab/month. That’s it, nothing too fancy.

Tomorrow I’m going to spend what I’m assuming will turn into hours filling in the planner. I’ll take better pictures of all of the inserts then, so you can get a better look at what I’m working with.

This was a very, very, very, very ardous task. Usually when I get this frustrated with a project I never want to see it again, but I’m hoping that this time all the hard work in put in will make me use it more. I certainly don’t want the past 2 days to be for nothing.

Of course if you have any questions you can leave them below and I would be happy to answer them. I hope you enjoyed your weekend kids, tomorrow its back to the real world. Have a great work week.


Caloric intake: 1,245
Calories burned: 302

Until tomorow, stay wonderfully wild!


2 thoughts on “Day 136: Planner’s for a dummy

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