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I love being organized.


OK, I love the idea of being organized.

I think this is why I’ve always been drawn to planners. Not people who plan. They annoy me (even as I desperately want to be one of them). I mean the books that keep us organized. Calendars and lists and charts to fill in and check off. So many details!

Too many details.

I love details, but I’ve never found a planner I could wrap my brain around and commit to completely. They either under- or overwhelm me. I often forget to use them. And the planners with too many details leave me feeling guilty if I fail to use all of their features or complete the goal lists for the next 5 years of my life. (Yes, yes, I’ve considered therapy.)

I essentially need monthly calendars, weekly calendars, an address book, and some note paper. Wrapped up in a pretty book. Not too utilitarian, not too frou-frou. Is that too much to ask?

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Last year, when I started working from home, I purchased a leather disc bound organizer. It’s pretty much my office in a notebook, and I love the thing. Easy to organize, reorganize, add paper, remove paper; I absolutely love it. Mid-year, when my little 18 month purse calendar ended, I knew I’d be replacing it with a disc bound planner.

I started with a Junior sized Arc notebook from Staples and increased the disc size to 1″. At the time Levenger’s Circa planner refills were half off, so I decided to give one a go. Levenger makes great stuff, but it’s pricey. Fortunately, it’s interchangeable with Staples’ Arc system, so I Frankensteined my planner together with an Arc body and Circa’s guts. That worked, but again, the Circa pages weren’t exactly what I needed, so I knew I wouldn’t want to buy them again for 2015.

The Junior Arc notebook I had chosen has a clear poly cover, meaning I can design my own cover at my convenience. Google “do it yourself planner” and you’ll get about 22,500,000 results. Right. Everybody and her sister sells planner pages or writes a blog about creating your own planner. (And here I am.) Some of them are very nice. Some of them look like a five year old was set loose in a craft store. My cluttered brain needs simplicity, and as I’m not an artist, I needed someone else to handle that part of it for me. I purchased a pad of 12” x 12” patterned cardstock to make my cover and dividers.

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The front and back covers are a little larger than A5, so I had to cut from a full sheet of cardstock for each, but I was able to get 2 dividers out of each page otherwise.

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Monthly dividers


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I’d considered over-engineering the dividers to choose certain flowers or patterns for certain months, but truthfully, I don’t know a thing about flowers or when they bloom, and I thought random would be fun. 🙂

The back of each page has a vintage wallpaper pattern on it. Here are a few:

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I’d saved the dividers from my Levenger planner to use as templates for this year’s planner and used clear labels and my Brother label maker to print the tabs.

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I also made a bookmark that I could easily move from week to week, reinforcing the punched side with Scotch tape before punching it.

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For the planner pages, I headed to etsy. where I was bombarded with busy, colorful pages that would make me dizzy and bleed my ink dry. It took some time, but I found a lovely, simple, 2 pages per week calendar that was exactly what I was looking for. I’d created a similar undated one years ago in Word that is now long gone. I wanted a dated one this time anyway. Printed on Neenah 32 lb. Premium paper I found at Target.

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I do like to have whole months to look at as well, but they don’t need to be big enough to write on. (Writing on the month and then also writing on the weekly calendar always seemed to be redundant to me.) I just need to picture the month. So, from the same seller, I found this handy folding calendar insert. Perfect.

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I don’t keep all of my contacts’ information in my phone. I have a couple of printed directories that hold most of the people I know, but there are other addresses that I just need to keep all in one place. A small address book is perfect, and so, again, from the same seller, I purchased these address book pages. I really only need 2 pages per letter grouping, so I added a clear label to the top corner of every other page, instead of using a divider with a tab for each one.

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I still had lined note paper left from the Junior Arc notebook I’d purchased, so even though it doesn’t match the rest of the planner *twitch*, I’ll be using that until I run out. Shown here with the zipper pouch I added, as well.

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I’m not a tickled pick kind of person, but I am tickled pink with how this turned out! It has exactly what I need with room to grow. Now, I just need to remember to use it…

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