PWOOOOH. That is the sound of me exhaling. You see, I have been diligently, tirelessly, CONSTANTLY working on this 2014 printable planner for weeks. I have poured my heart and soul into this printable for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I love you. I love to share with you. And I really, really want you to look at my planner and think “OMG THIS IS AWESOME!!”
Secondly, I print and use the planner, too. So I want to make sure its top-notch.
We’ll get to the third reason in a minute. First, I want to tell you all about the planner!
This year, I went ALL OUT. Not only did I come up with 2 new versions of the planner (a LESSON PLAN and a MEAL PLAN version!!), but I made versions with and without holidays for our international readers. I also created a bunch of Add Ons that allow you to customize your planner how YOU need it to work. (If you’ve got an idea for an add on, drop me a comment!!)
The Planner:[question]Update: Whoa Bonus! Because so many people requested it – I made HALF SIZE planners! Check them out![/question]
DESIGN: This year I did the planner in a couple of versions. Here they are so far.
- Regular Monthly planner with month- only views (with or without holidays)
- Regular planner with month and week views (with or without holidays)
- MEAL PLANNING Planner with weekly meal planning views (with or without holidays)
- LESSON PLANNING Planner with weekly lesson planning views (with or without holidays)
COLORS: Each of these designs is offered in 3 designs so far. (Remember when I asked on FB about your FAVE colors!? ♥) I designed all of these patterns myself!
FEATURES: This year I took all of the feedback I got from the 2013 and the student planners and made sure to tweak things for this new planner. It boasts a lot of great features!!
- Yearly view page, with 2014 and 2015 laid out in front of you.
- Contacts, Usernames/Passwords page.
- “Sneak peak” of upcoming month in the month view.
- Filled in dates. (No writing in the weeks!)
- Optional US Holiday Highlighted.
- Notes page at the end of every month, so you have a stopping point to put your Add Ons!
- PDF format, set up to print front-to-back. I specifically made the Geometric Grey to save on ink!
The Add Ons:
This year, I decided to make the planner modular. This way, everyone would start with one of the “basic” planners, and then make it their own. I know some of you are wondering – “Where is the blog tracking!?” Well, its here! But its not alone. Check out all the add ons I’ve created so far!
- Notes Pages
Print as many as you want and turn your planner into a notebook!
- Blog Tracking pages
Fill in the blanks with your targeted Social Media or statistics. Track your weekly, or monthly progress. You choose!
- Activity/Extra curricular tracking
Print one for each child, each sport – whatever! Use these pages to keep track of coaches/contacts, season start and finish, special days, games etc.
- Meal Plan & Shopping
The meal planning planner not for you? No problem! Print these pages and tear them out to take shopping, and hang on the fridge after!
- Dates To Remember
Track baby’s first steps, your fitness goals, or just birthdays and anniversaries.
Last year I suggested that everyone get their planner bound in either a spiral or a twin loop binding. While I still love that choice, it doesn’t allow for you to add things like the Add Ons. So, I spent way too much time but I did a lot of research on other methods.
Obviously you can just pop the planner into a regular 3 ring binder. I tend not to like binders because they are so stiff, and the rings get in my way while I write, and they don’t fold back on themselves like a regular notebook. So I searched for an alternative. I came up with two.
Flex Notebook $5 : Five Star has a new notebook line called “Flex.” It is basically a 3 ring binder, but with flexible rings and a cover that folds back on itself. They come in a variety of colors and only cost about $5-7 depending on the version. I think this is a great potential planner cover.
- Color variety
- No special punch needed
- None of the regular 3 ring binder folders fit. They stick out of the edges. (Although, I did just notice there is a Flex “Note Binder” for $16 on Amazon that might not have this problem.)
- Cover is a little flimsy.
- Might not hold enough paper. (Pictured holds 120 sheets- again, the Flex “Note Binder”).
I think for most people, this option will be perfect. I even found that a good eraser and some elbow grease will erase the brand markings on the cover. Then you could leave it as is, or decorate!!
I was looking for something a little more professional, and I really wanted some sort of folder that I could tuck papers in. I tend to tuck papers in my planner and lose them, so I wanted to alleviate that.
Staples Arc System/Martha Stewart $30- $70 : Staples has a line of “discbound” notebooks called the Arc system. In recent years Martha Stewart has come out with some office products, including a rebranded, Martha Blue leather discbound notebook for $29. Between the color, the business card pockets and the pen sleeve, I knew this planner cover was perfect for me. I armed myself with a coupon and bit the bullet.
The main drawback (and its a big one) for this notebook is also what makes it so flexible. The cover doesn’t use any sort of ring binding. It uses a special, solid disc that the specially punched paper sort of grabs on to. Key word: specially punched. I went ahead an invested in the $40 punch since I’ve been book binding for years, and I’ve used my custom planner for 2 years already. You might not be willing to jump in at that cost. (I’ve recently read that this punch on Amazon also works with the Martha/Staples Arc system. If anyone tries it, let me know)
- Professional, business card pockets and pen holder
- Flexible, folds back easily.
- Plenty of accessories to add (I got 3 pocket folders and a clip in ruler.)
- Easily add/remove pages without opening a ring.
- Can purchase larger discs for more paper.
- Can punch and include smaller scraps of paper in with larger pages, since it doesn’t have to be large enough to reach 3 rings like a binder.
- Expensive to start
- Must use special punch
- Limited color selection in covers
Accessories : A personal planner is always made better with accessories! Here is what I use:
- I LOVED my Avery stick on printable tabs from last year (#16281). So, I did the same thing again.
- Like I mentioned above I bought some clear paper folders to go inside my planner. These have been ESSENTIAL in keeping me from losing stuff that I normally just “tuck” in.
- I used those folders to hold some post it flags in pretty colors. I just take the backs off the pad and stick them to the folder. (Martha and Staples had a bunch of shmancy post-its and page markers etc but when I buy expensive stuff like that, I’m too cheap to use them. Its plain Jane Post-it Flags for me!)
- I tend to write with my Pilot G-2 pens. I get them in all sorts of colors and change by the day =D
Download The Planner:
Are you as geeked out as I am over this planner!? Probably not -because I am the geekiest of geeks- and also because this planner signifies a big step for me. This is the third reason I’ve been working so hard on it.
Third (oh my gosh this is the first time I’ve admitted this on the blog) I am working to transition into being a full time blogger.
Whew! There, I said it. Over the past 2 years working on saynotsweetanne.com I have come to a lot of realizations. One of those is that this is my passion. What I do here, share here, experience here is amazing. It fuels the rest of my day. It feeds my creativity and I love it. In fact, the only downside I can find is that I don’t have as much time to spend as I want to (what with a full time job and all). So, I’m trying to find ways that the blog might support more than just itself monetarily, so that I can pursue this passion of mine FULL TIME.
I know, you’re wondering where the planner comes in. Well, after much deliberation, several brain-picking sessions with other bloggers and finance people, I have decided to sell the printable planners in my Etsy shop. They are beautiful, time consuming, and hopefully you’ll think they are worth it. I have never charged for anything that originated on this site before, and so I found the choice to be difficult.
Don’t worry though, I will continue to reward all of my readers with coupons, free Add ons etc. Be sure to Like Sweet Anne Designs on FB and sign up for the craft newsletter so that you don’t miss a deal!
Right now, all Fans of the Sweet Anne Designs FB Page get a coupon code!