It’s that time of year again.
December is almost over, and it’s the time of year to start looking for a new planner. And if you’re like me, you can find so many cute planners, but none seem to have just the right fit.
As a teacher, artist, and freelance Jill Of All Trades, I wear many different hats. As such, I need more than a few different ways to keep track of all of the things going on in my life. Why can’t all of these things be included in one device?
Any time I come across one of these problems, my natural DIY-Gal kicks in: it’s time to solve this problem my way.
As much as I would love to flex my Adobe Illustrator muscles and hand-design each page to perfectly express my time constraints, love for design, manic lists, hopes, dreams, and grocery lists- I simply do not have time for that. However, I’ll give a big “Thank You!” to the designers that do, because there happen to be a plethora of copyright-free printables and planner resources available within the wide and wonderful world of the internet.
What follows is My 2017 Planner Unveiling (should we give it such a fancy name, hehe) as well as a list of compiled resources to create your own personal planner, free of charge!
The first major decision that I had to make was regarding my planner’s size. I opt for large planners that leave plenty of room for writing, and room for wear and tear. That being said, I opted for a durable, standard 3 ring binder with a sufficiently girly design (I’m a sucker for cute office supplies 😉 ), and standard size 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
The very first thing I needed for the contents of my 2017 planner was a month at a glance calendar. While I do have the need to plan my weeks more specifically, the month at a glance calendar is the best tool for me to get a feel for my month: meetings, teaching days, free days; I need to be able to see all of this at once, quickly. After hours of being completely overwhelmed with all of the beautiful things that the talented designers of the interwebz have to offer, I went with a hand-lettered, illustrated monthly calendar by Jessica Keala:
I fell in love with the hand-drawn aspects of this beautifully illustrated annual set. Check out her website here! There are several variations of this free printable set as well. 🙂
Moving onto the next step, I needed to break my schedule down even further: by days of the week. I am currently a guest teacher for several different school districts, as well as maintain a part-time night job. That being said, I don’t know where my life would be at if I didn’t plan out my crazy, 4-job-and-a-boyfriend schedule on a day to day basis.
The weekly graphic organizer I ended up going with is this stunning weekly planner set by Eliza Ellis:
Classic design featuring many options in color, size, and formatting, Eliza Ellis’ free printable planner pages are a flexible must-have for my 2017 agenda. Click here to get one of your own!
On my next step, I had to get a little creative. I wanted to add a little inspiration for the tough days- you know, the ones we all have 😉 . Upon some internet sifting I found a wonderfully uplifting compilation of inspirational art (that at the same time, didn’t use up the majority of my color ink 😉 ) See below:
I chose to include one inspirational quote of art piece within every month of my year- to set the tone, if you will :). Hop on over to the It’s Always Autumn Blog to get started on compiling your own inspiring imagery!
Continuing with the inspirational and focused theme, I wanted to include something in my annual agenda to keep me on task and focused with the different goals that I set for myself. Instead of scribbling these goals into the margins of my planner, why can’t I dedicate a portion to this specifically? As it turns out, there was already a designer thinking the same thing!
This minimally designed goal sheet also has variations in size, and wording. Take a visit to The Plumed Nest’s website to add this free printable to your 2017 planner this year.
Still continuing with my theme of micro-planning is another necessity within my 2017 Agenda Toolkit: A project planner. Between volunteering, personal projects, blogging, and school-related fun, I always have a project in the works. Those projects would be much better suited with their own dedicated space, somewhere I can reference them quickly. I couldn’t think of a better place to keep this than in my 2017 agenda.
Check out this free printable project planner by Clemintine Creative:
Click here to get one of your own! Clemintine Creative also offers a variety of different planner page sizes for this design as well.
Last, but certainly not least, I needed a format for my monthly budget. Check out this super-cute monthly budget page from The Frugal Mom Blog:
It’s important to keep a budget, no matter how small (and no matter how closely you stick to it, hehe) For me personally, it eliminates the stress of having to remember important financial deadlines, and keeps my financial plan in the back of my mind at all times. This is also another thing that ended up getting scribbled in the margins of notebooks and planners, why not include it within its own space with everything else?
After compiling all of my desired agenda components, a short print job (and a hot mess of hole-punching and collating) later, I had obtained:
THE BEST PLANNER IN THE WORLD!
For me, at least.
I was even lucky enough to snag some swanky linen paper for pennies on the dollar from my local Who Gives A Scrap store in downtown Colorado Springs, adding another element of Paper-Design-Geek-Alert to what is going to become my favorite organizational tool for the next year. 🙂
You can create an agenda that’s perfect for you too! Check out my Planners and Printables board on Pinterest for more free printables and resources that weren’t included here, or do some internet-research of your own!
What are your favorite planning and organizational tools? Leave them in the comments below!
Happy planning! 🙂