Monday, July 20, 2015

DIY the Perfect Planner

Who out there isn't obsessed with having the cutest, most perfectly organized agenda? From Erin Condren and May Books to Lilly Pulitzer, perfect planner options are limitless. Yet, through a decade of meticulous planning, I can't seem to find the perfect planner. Some come close, but there is always one little thing I would add or change. This year I decided to create my own planner and I finally found the one! It was actually easy and way cheaper than the other preppy options out there. Here is how I made my own PERFECT planner! Bare with me, it is long, but there is a freebie at the end!

Step 1: Decide on a computer program you will use. I used Publisher, but you could easily use PowerPoint (just go to Themes, Slide Size, and customize your layout- I use PowerPoint for literally everything) or another more advanced option like InDesign. 

Step 2: Decide what you need. The best part of making your own is that you can include things specific to you! Look at friends planners and planners online to get ideas. Options include a budget section, meal planning, workout plans, school assignment sections, tabs for your family members, lesson plans, etc.

I included these sections:

A general calendar (one at year at a glance and one with each month broken down)
A weekly to-do (6 days and 1 note box)
An assignment spread 
A notes section

You want this to have everything you need, but without it being too bulky. Pick and choose what you need and think about how long each section should be. (For instance, I made the weekly to-do's and assignment sections the exact amount of pages I would need for 2 semesters.)

Step 3: Choose a font and color scheme. Consistency is key to making this planner look professional. I choose 2 fonts and stuck with them. One was for the headings and one for everything else. 

Step 4: Start creating your pages! For the calendar section you can create your own, use a template, or buy a PDF calendar from Etsy (I chose to do this). This store has cute options! I made most of my sections by creating tables inside Publisher. I did tables because it ensured that every box was the exact same size. 

Start with a blank document and add a table with however many boxes you want. 

Under table layout, choose a blank table style (with no background)

Under Table Layout, on the right side in the border area. Choose the drop down and select all borders. This will give you a blank table with a solid black, thin outline. You can change the width and color if you want!

Add text boxes for each day of the week. I added a notes section and created a cute arrow to go behind the word "note" to make it stand out. 
You can download a PDF of this at the end of the post!
This is how I inserted the arrow. Go to format object to change the color!
This is how I inserted the heading plaque. I then changed the color and border by selecting format object. Then, I added the heading!

Step 5: This is the fun part, time to add the extras! Make this personal and make it yours. Create a cute eye-catching cover and play around with your headings to make them pop! Here are some extras I added to my planner:

Dividers between each section (that coordinated with my theme)
A pencil pouch at the front
A post-it holder
Inspirational quotes at the bottom of each page
I have "It always seems impossible until it's done" Nelson Madela
Another favorite of mine is: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Step 6: Print and publish! Once I printed out all of my pages, I took it to Office Max. I had them laminate (the thickest they have) and bind it all together. They even put the spiral through my pencil pouches! 

Step 7: Show off your new masterpiece!

Here is a PDF of my weekly To-Do, happy planning!


  1. This is such a cool idea! I love the idea of a personalized planner, but I actually love my school issued one so I just use it because that's the cheapest option for me. I don't know what I'll do when I get to college though, I'll have to either make my own like you did or just be lazy and buy one. I still have three more years to decide though.

    Running Alyssa

    1. Thanks Alyssa! That is awesome that your school one works well for you! Mine just didn't have enough space for me to write!

  2. So glad you like it :) they add a fun twist to all casual and easy outfits !
    Love this Planner , I love everything personalized !

  3. This is such a great idea! I absolutely love your planner! I've been using the Lilly planners for years, but maybe next year I'll make my own!

    Xoxo, Katelyn //

  4. This is absolutely adorable! I'm a huge Erin Condren fan, but this is a great alternative for sure :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista