My DIY Planner

There has been a discussion going on lately in a group I belong to about fabulously personalized planners to meet the needs to a TpT teacher author.  I looked at them, they were nice and they were, in my humble opinion, very expensive.  I just couldn’t bring myself to pay almost triple figures for a planner… seriously…. no matter how cute and how personalized it was.  The more I thought about it, the more I decided that I could totally make my own!  AND THEN IT HAPPENED….. Flash Freebie!
  My friend Beth, you may know her as Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Designs sparked some creativity with a generous flash freebie that I happened to catch!  Look at these amazing, geometric designs in my favorite shades of orange!  
So…. that got me thinking…. I don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount for a planner…. I love this paper that Beth just posted….. DIY project!!!!  So I started making my own planner.  I used Publisher and I started laying out the calendar feature first.  I found some really adorable calendars to use, but decided that I wanted a LARGE two-page spread for my calendar.  I mean, c;mon, GIVE ME SOME ROOM TO WRITE!!
Then, after I finished my calendar layout, I started making some “blank” pages for brainstorming ideas! (I made a ton more than I’m showing here.. you don’t really want to see all 82 pages *grin*)

Then, because I have a data sickness, I added in some data pages:

And then I made a fun cover 🙂 personalized, of course!
Finally, I went to and visited the PrintShop.  There, I chose to make color copies with a binding option.  66 pages, double sided with color, clear vinyl cover, black vinyl back cover, with black coil binding…. printed and ready to pick up in less than 24 hours for 1/3 of the price of everyone else’s fancy planners.  
As you can see by the pictures, the planner turned out SUPER AWESOME and I am MEGA STOKED that it was ready so darn fast!  I barely got in the door before I pulled out the camera to do a photo shoot!
So… if you can’t bring yourself to buy a super expensive planner for your teaching or business needs… make one yourself!  It took me less than a week, start to finish to create and have it printed.  Most of that time was spent with me being super picky about where I put stuff and formatting.  But HEY, I got what I wanted!  And now I look forward to making another one next year too!!
What do you think?! Am I nuts?  (okay… don’t answer that!) How do you think it turned out?!

Do you have a suggestion for an awesome pen that won’t bleed and dries fast so it won’t smear?  I’d love to hear about your favorite pen!

Categories: DIY.


  1. Your planner looks absolutely fabulous! If I hadn’t already promised myself that I’d go digital for all things planning this year, I’d probably be making one myself. 🙂

    As for pens, my absolute favorites are Sharpie pens. Not the markers, but the pens. They come in a variety of colors, and they never bleed or smear. They’re perfect!

    Hope the planner works well!
    Eberopolis: Teaching Reading & Writing with Technology

  2. I love it! I have been having the same dilemma about the EC planner, and now that I see yours I will be making my own 🙂 great job!


    • I had an EC for 2012, I LOVED everything about it EXCEPT how thick it was. I had totally wanted to use the weekly pages, but didn’t. It was too big to put in my purse, and I use big purses. I probably should’ve gone with the monthly notebook, but couldn’t see spending that much for what is basically notebook paper. If you use it to its full potential, I’m sure you’ll love the EC!

  3. Love how your planner turned out! The pens I just purchased are going to be my go to pens from now on! Got em at Staples for 14.99/set of 7
    They are erasable, and they really work! Here’s a link:

    Have a great rest of the weekend!
    I blogged about my planner–guess we are all currently on the “same page”, lol! Maggie
    Maggie’s Kinder Corner

  4. OMG! Amazing! I totally want one. I can’t wait to see yours in person. AND my favorite pen…When I was in community college my Prof. required the use of a specific pen and only that pen. I didn’t get his obsession at first but after much time spent in the field in all types of weather and my lab book never smeared…I understood. Of course, I don’t remember what brand it is BUT I will know it by sight. I’ll check on that. 🙂

  5. I LOVE the size of your two page monthlies! I write big and my main pet peeve is too-small months. I’ve been making my own planners for years, have bought some cute personalized ones, and even commissioned one from a graphic designer friend, all because I need big months, no weeklies, and FUN colors/patterns. Lately I’m obsessed with faux filofax YouTube vids.
    Anyway, great looking planner!

  6. I love your work!!! I’m trying to create my own but I’m a little worried that because I took the margins off the coil binding will cut off my tables. Do you have any advice? I’d really appreciate it 🙂

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