Forget The Schedule Book, Start The Year With a DIY Whole Life Planner!
Completely Customizable to Every Aspect of Your Life.
My entire life has been contained in schedule books for about 4 years. It’s the habit that has had the most impact on my organization by far. I spend months finding the perfect planner and everything I’ve ever done from appointment to social events to tasks are contained in it. Every year, I spend a few days transferring all of my routines, schedules and budget info to the new planner.
I have an electronic calendar of course, I copy events that my husband will need to know about on that so we’re on the same page, but there’s nothing like having a visual display of your week that you can see all at once. While searching for my 2015 schedule book, I was so tempted to get this $50 schedule book from Erin Conden. I’ve never spent more than $20 on a planner, and last years was free! I downloaded the free one from here.
As I contemplated that purchase (by contemplate, I mean try to convince myself that this is a totally reasonable purchase and then figure out a way to log it as groceries into our budget without my husband questioning it), I thought that if I was going to pay $50 for a planner, I really wanted to be able to customize it to my life- add in budgeting sections and health and fitness for example.
I decided to try to make my own. If I was going to take the effort to do it, I was going to do it right.
I wanted this planner to incorporate every aspect of my life, and last for at least two years. I sat down and sketched out the sections that would be important for me. Below is a list of what my planner includes, just click on the section to be taken to the source to print your own copy. You can also check out my Pinterest “Printables” Board for more ideas or search Pinterest directly for what you’re looking for.
Free Printables Linked Below By Number.
LIFE PLANNER SECTIONS:
Goals and Calendars:
A Family Mission Statement : The Dating Divas
Long Term Goals (3,5, and 10 years): LuLu Lemon
Yearly Goals (for the next two years): Living Locurto
Dates to Remember (anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, special events): KD Buggie Boutique
A 2 page Spread Monthly Calendar Lay Out: Scattered Squirrel (I need the two page spread so I have extra room to write)
Master To Do List: DIY Home Sweet Home: Things that I’m slowly working my way through like decorating the new baby’s room, doing an overhaul of the stockroom, etc.
A Laminated Check List of Daily and Weekly Chores: Happy Money Savers: I can check off with a china pencil or dry erase marker. This is separated into my morning/afternoon/evening routines and weekly routines to follow my FlyLady routine.
Meal Planning: I Heart Planner: 1 page monthly spread with 5 weeks, and space to write in breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. This was the hardest to find since most people don’t make all of their meals at home.
Cleaning Master Plan: Classy Clutter
Laundry Schedule: Classy Clutter
Stockroom Inventory: Organized Home: We use a stockroom method to save time and money on things needed to run the house (you can read more about that here), This creates an inventory of the items so I can tell at a glance what needs to be restocked.
Freezer Meals- Once a Month Batch Cooking:
Recipe Index: Organized Home: Sorts recipes by type (beef, poultry, sides etc), listing the main ingredient and where the recipe can be found (i.e. Pinterest: “Foodie Board” glazed carrots or “Once a Month Cookbook’ pg. 228), so that when I menu plan, I have all of the options available to me and can easily find the recipe.
Batch Cooking: Money Saving Mom: Planning pages for 24 sessions (once a month for the next two years).
An Editorial Calendar
A Link Party Planner
Blog Master To Do List
Bill Payment Checklist: DIY Home Sweet Home: So you can tell at a glance that you haven’t missed a payment.
Monthly Budget Planned and Spent: DIY Home Sweet Home: we use Calendar budget online for daily tracking/budget envelopes – this is just a quick overview of what we had planned and how we did.
Debt Overview: One Beautiful Home
Goal Thermometer: Thermometer Template
Health & Fitness:
Weight Loss Thermometer and Goal Tracking: Thermometer Template
Things I Want To Do This Season. Separated By Holiday
Holiday Dinner Plan (for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Holiday Dinner Time-line (for Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Holiday Budget Worksheet
Holiday Planning To Do List Worksheet
Christmas Countdown Activity Chart
Gift/Cost Planning Sheets
Christmas Card Check-list: Tim and Karla
Blank Note Pages: Paging Super Mom
Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive a FREE copy of the 14 page Ultimate Money Saving Checklist: 200 Ways to Reduce Your Spending, Increase Your Savings and Achieve Your dreams! to include in your planner.
I printed the sections two sided from blogs giving them away for free. Where there was an uneven number of pages, I added my favorite (albeit dorky) book quotes. At Office Max, I had them bound, the indicated pages laminated and a clear cover and black backing put on for $4. I found pen loops in a clearance bin at Staples that glue permanently into the back cover for 50 cents a piece, I bought two- one for a pen and one for a dry erase marker.
I had these stick on tabs to separate my sections in my office supplies, you can find them below. I have an amazing, customized life planner that will last me for two years for $5!
If you can’t find accessories in the clearance section, and you really want them… You can buy them online below. These are affiliate links, which means that your price doesn’t change at all but I’ll be compensated in a small way if you order through this link. It’s just a way to support my work.
This took me almost 10 days to plan out, print out, and find the perfect printables but was well worth the time and effort that went into it (plus, it was kind of fun). You can click on the sections above to be taken to the printable that I used, which should save you a considerable amount of time.
I’ve been using this about a month and it’s met every need I’ve had in a planner. This was an easy win! 🙂
Keep in mind this is a labor of love! You’ll save money, but this is something that will take you a long time to put together. If you don’t have the time to do this and you want the Erin Condren life planner, I have a code for $10 off your first purchase. You can grab that by clicking here. Eventually, I’ll be able to fit the Erin Condren planner into my budget, but for now… the DIY life planner rocks!