Wednesday, June 8, 2011
My DIY Planner
iHanna's post on "How to make your own planner" was very inspiring when I was designing my planner and gave me the idea to cover my plain white dividers with patterned papers to add some liveliness and colour to my planner. I used 6 dividers in my planner, for reference pages, monthly planning pages, weekly planning pages, pages that I use for recording my daily exercise routine, project pages (which also include blog post idea pages), and notes (which includes pages for the mission and vision statements used in the Middle Way Method).
I used D*I*Y Planner templates for all of the pages in my planner. This was the simplest method (and they seriously have templates for just about every situation that you can imagine!), although in the future I think that I might design my own pages, since the D*I*Y Planner pages are fairly bland in appearance.
The heart of the planner and of the Middle Way Method is the weekly planning pages (shown below). The far left column is for your Actions - I use this as a basic to-do list, that I update at the beginning of every week and add to during the week. The middle columns are blocks for the days of the week - in my morning review, I look over the Actions list and at my monthly calendar and decide what tasks I will work on that day. I then write those down in the block for that day, as well as any appointments that I have. Finally, the far right column is the Harmony section - my favourite part of the planner. This provides spaces for physical, social, mental, and spiritual goals for the week, as well as three roles that you want to work on that week. Check out the D*I*Y Planner article on "Living in Harmony" for more information on this.
To keep my place in the right week I made a simple bookmark and wrote "TODAY" in white on the top. I clipped a couple pens into the binder (a Pentel Slicci and Papermate Biodegradable ballpoint, as shown in the photo) and my planner was completed!
This is the third week I have been using this planner, and I have so far not encountered any major problems with it. The weekly and daily reviews keep me focused and also help me to write in my journal regularly, something that I have been struggling with lately. The look of my binder, with its green cover and colourful dividers, makes me actually want to use it.
If you've had difficulties finding a planner that works for you, consider making your own. A little more effort is needed, but the result can be a planner that is perfectly tailored to your needs. And, if you just print out a few pages at a time, if a particular format doesn't work for you, you're not stuck with it for an entire year and can change at any time.