Building My Personal Planner

So, I mentioned that I was trying to get organized and that I was putting together a personal planner. There are several great planners out there if you don’t want to build one. I bought one from Mom Agenda  and it is lovely but it just doesn’t work for me. I have also had a Franklin Covey planner and several Dayrunner style planners. They just didn’t fit my needs. I have begun to build my own and I am already using it more often and with greater success.

I bought a presentation binder from Office Max that has a window on the front. I have a 2 months at a glance calendar that I printed off from with my print membership. Here is the outside of my planner:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I did buy some personalized pages from Ann Parri Design on Etsy that work really well for me. Here’s a picture of the 2 main ones:

I bought some dividers from the office supply store and set up some categories that work for me. My categories are as follows:


Food & Fitness

Goals & Journal

Contact Info & Important Dates

Here is a shot of the inside:

I keep my current month’s work schedule and some little shopping lists in the inside front pocket. My schedule is also on the calendar in the front window but I like to have the actual hard copy in case I have a sick day or swap days or something like that.

The first page on the right is a page from Get buttoned up’s free printables page here. It is a weekly To do/To call list (from their planner) that I can fill in as things pop up.  I follow this with my weekly view page and then my daily schedule page.  I also keep a page (again from buttoned up) that lets me track my spending so I can keep track of purchases during the week. This helps me to be mindful of my spending (if I have to write it down, I find I think about it a little more), I don’t forget a purchase and cause an overdraft, and I can track trends in spending and see if my actual purchases are anywhere close to my budgeted amount for purchases.

Behind the Food & Fitness tab, I keep a grocery list so that I can fill in items as I think of them.  I also have my daily food and water log and my sleep log (I have issues with sleep due to my odd work schedule).  I keep the food log for many of the same reasons that I keep the spending log (minus the overdraft); I am more mindful of what I eat if I have to write it down and I can track trends and see how my menu plan is working for me and what needs tweaking.

Goals & Journal is just what it sounds like.  I try to set goals monthly and refer to them and the steps needed to achieve them.  They are usually pretty simple things like “Get holiday decorations down and put away” or “Exercise 3 days a week”.  Some are more long-term and related to a household project or continuing education.  I keep a few journal pages in my personal planner so that I can spend a few minutes a day reflecting on events or writing down a problem or a success. This way I always have the pages with me and I can transfer them to the actual Journal binder later.

Contact Info and Important Dates is again, just what it sounds like. I have a page that I found at TipJunkie for recording important dates like birthdays and anniversaries.  I keep a list of my most frequent contacts in this planner, it isn’t a complete address book. These are just numbers it’s handy for me to have on hand.

I keep a folder in the back of the binder and there is also another pocket like in the front.  I can stash receipts or extra forms or take my menu plan out of my household binder and work on it wherever I happen to be.

My personal planner is a work in progress and I am sure it will evolve over time. So far it has been helpful.  I like being able to look at my week on paper and see what’s going on.  The To do/To call list has been very helpful for me because I tend to be forgetful.  I haven’t finished a list in a week yet but I haven’t gotten stressed over it, I just carry over the unfinished items to the next week’s list.

My friend is going back to school and working too. She liked mine so much, she put one together for herself. While it has some of the same elements of mine, she customized it to her needs and is finding it very helpful.

Do you have a personal planner that you carry? Are there things in it that you have found to be “must haves” or things that you find you just don’t use?

Happy Wednesday!


6 responses to “Building My Personal Planner

  1. Danielle,
    What a great post! I’m getting inspired looking at what you put together. Thanks for including the printables – please let us know how you like them and what we could do to improve them.

  2. Sarah,
    Thanks for the comment! I really like the printables you offer and have several of them. I love your forms because they have visual appeal with the bright colors and practical appeal in their ease of use. I have several of the forms in my planner. The Master Goals and Goals List forms, the To Do Itinerary and Laundry List of To Do’s and the Monthly Spending form are the ones I use most often. I also use the page from your Weekly Agenda that I showed in my post. I find them all very helpful in getting organized and can’t think of any suggestions for improvement. Thanks for such a great resource!

  3. Thanks for the links! I have yet to try out but I have heard wonderful things about them. And I just adore TipJunkie! Can’t wait to see all the lists she has come up with.

    I have a big planner that I carry with me that has everything in it! I don’t know how I would function without it. I’m also in school still and think I would fail everything if I didn’t have it! lol

    Jami @Intentionally Living…

    • I like listplanit very much. There are a lot of useful lists and I found a coupon so I got a discount on the membership. They have a free sample planner and then another planner that they will email when you subscribe to the newsletter that is also free.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. I love your personal planner! I am definitely going to use some of your great resources to make mine! Right now I rely on my phone, but I know I want a physical planner.

  5. I’m glad you like it! It really works well for me. My husband likes digital calendars and reminders and such but I need something I can write in and hold and rearrange!

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