For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been creating printable planners since 2012. As interest has grown, I’ve devoted more time, polished the designs, and introduced more colors. The goal of the modular planner line is to allow each person to customize their own planner by mixing colors, add ons, and planner types. I am always open to suggestions on more ways to make it customizable!
Creating these planners had become a part time job for my husband and I. We spend hours creating each one, adding the dates (no blank fill-ins here!), testing new colors or tracking options, and managing the store. For that reason, the planners are not free. However, I do offer early bird discounts and freebies to my Facebook fans and Email Subscribers!
VERSIONS: The Planners are available in a couple different types. There will be 2 more coming this spring, and the student versions will be available in April.
- Regular Monthly planner with month- only views
- Regular planner with month and week views
- MEAL PLANNING Planner with weekly meal planning views
- LESSON PLANNING Planner with weekly lesson planning views
COLORS: Each of these designs is offered in 4 colors. The grey option is not only pretty, but easier on ink when printing! The pretty orange was inspired by my sweet soon-to-be sister-in-law Ashley!
FEATURES: Inspired by the things I wish in-store planners or other printable planners had, this modular planner is my best and most robust yet!
- Available in full (letter) size and Junior (8.5 x 5.5in) size.
- Yearly view page, with 2015 and 2016 laid out for future planning.
- Contacts, Usernames/Passwords page.
- “Sneak peak” of upcoming month in the month view.
- Filled in dates. (No writing in the weeks!)
- Notes page at the end of every month, so you have a stopping point to put your Add Ons!
- Additional Notes page at the end of the year, as a space to record things you’ll want to copy into next years planner
- PDF format, set up to print front-to-back. Grey version to save on ink!
THE ADD ONS:
This planner is modular. That means that everyone can start with whichever of the base planners they like, and then add more to it. I’m even working on a way to allow custom covers for the planners![left]Notes Pages
Print as many as you want and turn your planner into a notebook![/left] [right][/right] [left]Blog Tracking pages
Fill in the blanks with your targeted Social Media or statistics. Track your weekly, or monthly progress. You choose![/left] [right][/right] [left]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.[/left] [right][/right] [left]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![/left] [right][/right] [left]Dates To Remember
Track baby’s first steps, your fitness goals, or just birthdays and anniversaries.[/left] [right][/right] [left]Class Schedule
Great to use in the Student Planner, or any other planner! Track each semester’s class schedule so that you always know where you’re headed (or what you’re missing!).[/left] [right][/right]
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Use the coupon code EARLYBIRDPLANNER to get $3 off your planner purchase!
[question] LOVE IT? hop on over to my Shop and get your very own!![/question]
Binders and Covers
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!!
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 aspecial, 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
All in all, I think there are a bunch of great options for binding the planner, and I hope you find the perfect one for you!
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
Be sure to use accessories to further customize your planner and make it exactly what YOU want it to be!
Printing the planners should be easy. For the regular, letter sized version, simply open in up in a PDF reader, select “Print Two-Sided” or “Duplex” (each printer is different). Then follow your printer’s instructions on feeding the paper. Done!
- TIP: If the words are coming out faint, you might need to set your printer’s quality setting to “high” or “fine” or “best”.
The Junior (half size, 8.5in x 5.5in) planners might be a little trickier. I held off on offering this planners for quite some time while I figured out how everyone would be able to print them at home. Printing two to a side when there are two pages to a sheet gets really tricky.
Then it hit me. Don’t print two to a sheet. Cut the sheets first. I tested this method on inkjet and laser printers, and everything worked with no headaches! Here are the steps:
PRINT THE JUNIOR PLANNER
- Cut your paper to 8.5 x 5.5 sheets. Staples or OfficeDepot will do this for a nominal fee. ($4 or so per 100 sheets). I did mine on my rotary cutter.
- Load your paper into your printer’s tray, being sure to use the side you would normally use for envelopes. If your printer has paper guides, be sure to set them to 8.5 x 5.5.
- Open the planner file and click print. This should bring up some settings. Every printer is different, so it is difficult for me to tell you exactly what to click. But usually there is a “page setup” or “advanced” or “Printer options” tab. In that tab, you’ll usually find the paper size. Change it to 8.5 x 5.5. Here is what mine looks like. I had to click Setup > Preferences > Print Preferences to get here.
- Navigate your menus to find the double sided print option. Make sure that is on too. For most ink jet printers, they will print the back side of all the pages first, then have you put the paper back in (per your printer’s instructions) to print the other side.
- That’s it! If you aren’t printing at home, taking the cut paper to a place like OfficeMax or Staples should work the same way.
What are you waiting for?! Use the coupon code EARLYBIRDPLANNER to get $3 off your planner purchase!