[DIY] 2018 Planner

I would say it has almost been a year since I last posted my planner DIY on my other blog. I had intended it to be a tutorial on YouTube, but I just never got around to filming it. I am a planner/notebook addict and I love using planners to keep myself organized in fact, I currently use three different planners in my life. One for work, one for “adulting” stuff like bill payments, money management, etc., and the third planner I use for social media postings, blog posts, etc.

You would think that somewhere in the mix, I would have found a planner that has everything I could ever want, but I have yet to find that without paying an arm and a leg. So last year I decided to create my own planner, however, as I started to use it, the more I became frustrated because again it wasn’t something that had everything that I wanted. For the upcoming year (2018) I have organized my planner in a way that I hope will have everything that I need and I wanted to share it with you!

Earlier this year I had suffered from a lot of health issues and I have been doing my best to keep a food diary just to be aware of what I am eating because through trial and error, I found out that I can’t have too much gluten incorporate into my diet. I also wanted a way to combine my personal planners into one. Yes, as much as I love my planners, it’s just not practical for me to be carrying all of them. I went to Michael’s and wandered through their planner section to gain some inspiration and I found the below set up:IMG_5729.jpg

I loved the sections each day had and I figured I can set it up to combine my personal planners, however, I was not about paying the $14-$17 for it. So I decided to go ahead and do another DIY planner. For me it was a lot cheaper because I already had majority of the supplies. I just needed to pick up more washi tape and planner stamps to decorate and luckily they were on sale at Michael’s for 50% off!

Mini Binder:

I purchased my mini binder from Target about a year and a half ago and since then they have come out with a lot more designs and they are relatively affordable at $5 each. I find the cutest ones in that section where they typically have the $1 decor/items. They also have some by the actual binder section. I had originally planned to use this as a notebook for church, but I decided to use it for a planner instead.

Monthly Layout:IMG_6041.jpg

For the “months” I used 65lb cardstock from Recollections (Michael’s brand) and you can use any color you would like – I went with a blue/green theme to keep it bright and also refreshing. I cut the cardstock in half so I would end up with two 8.5”x5.5” pieces. I did this with 12 sheets of the cardstock, 1 sheet for each month. If you want to create an 18-month planner, then you will need 18 sheets of cardstock  I then punched holes (about 3″ apart from each other) in them using a single hole punch, but you can definitely use a three-hole punch and adjust the measurements to make the process a lot easier.

I added a 1” header and then created 4 columns and 4 rows (see picture below for measurements). The header is for writing in the month and the squares are for the days. I did this for all 12 months and then I went back in with my Tombow markers to trace over the borders and write in the dates.


This is where I changed my technique – last year, I used the loose-leaf lined paper that is sold in stores and created the below. However, this is where it fell short of my expectations. It’s the same layout I have had in planners in the past, and though it’s great for keeping me organized at work, it’s not great for my everyday life. The weight of the loose-leaf paper is also very light so I was limited to the type of pen I used, which made me not want to use the planner even more. For this planner I decided to go with 65lb white cardstock (from Recollections) because it was thicker than regular paper and it could hold up to more ink. You might be wondering, “If I were to go out and purchase all this cardstock, wouldn’t it end up costing more than an actual planner?” To be honest, I didn’t even use the whole pack of cardstock and I believe they typically go on sale at Michael’s, if not, you can always apply a 40% off coupon to them and they will be inexpensive.

For the layout, I stuck with a 1” header, and I went ahead and created 4 columns with the same measurements that I used for the month. Instead of creating 4 rows, I created 3 rows – one for my food diary, one for my bills/payments, and one for my social/blog. All the measurements are on the picture below.

I outlined everything in pencil and I also labeled the dates that will be written in (i.e. Dec. 31-Jan. 6, Jan. 7-13, etc.). Once I had all the weeks outlined I used my Tombow markers to trace the lines and add more color.

Finishing Touches:

Once I had everything traced with my markers, I went ahead and I decided to washi tape the longer edge of each page, just because I thought it would help make it sturdier and I just wanted an excuse to use some of the cute washi tape that I found at Michael’s. I decided to use leave majority of the blank pages as is, that way I could use them like a bullet journal or jut to write some inspirational quotes. 

I really wanted to share this because I thoroughly enjoyed creating my planner and I think I will be able to fit everything that I want to into just this planner. Does this mean I won’t buy another planner for 2018? No, because like I mentioned above, I’m a planner/notebook addict, but this will probably motivate me to just stick with this planner.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out this post! I am hoping to create a weekly “Plan with Me” post once 2018 hits, so be sure to stay tuned for that! 



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