Thursday, August 23, 2007

Homemade Personal Planner

I've spent, well, wasted, more money on day planners, calendars and organizers than I have on shoes. I love planners; I love the newness of crisp white pages in August, before the squares are inked and penciled and erased and crossed off. I love choosing just the right pen and pencil to use, it needs to make just the right sound as it crosses the paper. I love filling in birthdays and anniversaries with plans of sending cards.

Then life happens.

Piano is cancelled and meetings rescheduled. Dinner plans change and babysitters cancel. Cranberry harvest comes and planned activities forgotten. Cards are still waiting to be mailed and more items are crossed off than are left to do. Soon the planner is even left to itself. Is it life? or am I using the wrong planner, still?

After reading Dawn's post about homemade planners, I decided it was time for me to get busy making my own. I searched the web looking at all the free printable planning pages and perused Staples section of day planners and teacher planners. Finally I had all the ideas I could manage.

The basic weekly planning page is a two page spread. On the left is my menu planner, grocery list and store slip. On the right is my weekly planner, starting with Monday and ending with the weekend. I've found that keeping the weekend together, at the end of the week, makes planning for it during the week easier and when it gets here I'm more prepared.

Starting from the left is the Menu Planner. Unless we're having company, camping or preparing for vacation, I only plan the dinner meals. I typically have at least a 2 week menu ready to go. As I plan the menu I add all needed items to my grocery list, which is the next column. The far column is for the list of items that can't be bought at the grocery store. I also makes notes in that column when a gift is needed or the next music lesson book is required. As I make stops during the week, I grab my notebook and buy the items on the list. If for some reason I don't pick up all that week's items, I transfer them to the next week. I don't like flipping back and forth in the planner because I've found I always miss something.

Now, on the right is the weekly planner. Starting with Monday and ending with Sunday. I fill in the date and use the space for both my personal to do lists and my homeschooling plans. You might notice that on the right I have red writing - I have a special red pen I use to write in birthdays, anniversaries, Holy days, feast days, Holidays, special events and activities that take us away from home. That way at a quick glance I can see if anything out of the ordinary is happening during the week. Out of the ordinary is anything other than laundry, meals, baths, church, school, homekeeping. Then I pencil in to do's and homeschooling lessons. In my planner I write out the details of our read alouds, Story of the World, tea time, Catholic Mosaic and science.

Other pages included in my homemade planner
Page 1 - Moveable Feast Days, Holy Days of Obligation, Secular Holidays (moveable)
Page 2, 3 - 2006-2009 calendars
Page 4 - Favorite Prayers
Page 5, 6, 7 - Snippets of Saints, kids like
Page 8, 9 - Liturgical Calendar - Gospel Readings for Sunday Mass

At the end I have blank pages for notes, 4 pages for gift ideas to remember, and the last page is a future planning page - a 12 square grid, one space for each month. I jot down ideas here that might be fun to do, but aren't appropriate for the current season.

After I had compiled all my pages and found just the right cardstock to use as the front and back covers, I took it all to Staples and they spiral bound it for $1.99.

Was this helpful?  Do you feel like you know what you want in a homemade personal planner?  Let's get a discussion going?  Leave a comment please.


  1. This is such a great idea. It lends itself to being imitated but also personalized at the same time. I have a similiar book. It's a 1/2 binder that houses most of my daily planning sheets and homeschool plans. Yours looks great especially with the added feminine touch of the cardstock.

  2. This is an old post of yours, but having just found it via google, and since I am so going to copy your template here I wanted to say thanks!


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