How to Make a DIY Planner and Save Serious Money

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Save a ton of money by binding your own planner!

How has your 2017 blog planning been going? Have you been thinking about your goals for the new year yet and begun planning your next stage for your business?

I know I’ve been thinking about it a ton! My to-do list for my blog is completely beyond me, and so I know I have a lot of work that will carry over into 2017. That makes having a planner a few months in advance crucial if I’m going to actually be productive in 2017!

This post may contain affiliate links to stuff I love. It doesn't charge you any extra, but it will help support this blog and my family.

If you haven’t seen it, I recently launched a 2017 printable planner for bloggers and work from home moms. I surveyed a ton of blogger moms and moms who work from home to find out what all those other planners are missing.

The first thing I heard from work at home moms was that those other planners are crazy expensive. Think upwards of $85 and easily over $100 after customization. And, even after being customized, those other planners aren’t really suiting their day-to-day needs as bloggers and mom business owners.

They also came back to me with a ton of awesome ideas!!! I created the pages they needed, and now you can find everything you need to run a business at home in this one planner. (pssst, and if you don’t see it, let me know and I can probably make it for you!)

I had a great response to the planner launch and wanted to give all my planner peeps some tips and tricks to DIY an awesome planner book that will last all year.

Step 1. Print it.

Print out your planner (if you’re using my blogging printable planner, just follow the instructions included with the download). If you’re using your own printer, paper, and ink, you’ll be surprised how much it doesn’t cost. I have used 3rd party ink from Amazon for years, and it’s never failed me for 1/5 of the price.

Step 2. Decide on your binding.

To DIY an amazing planner, you first want to decide if you want a 3 ring binder or a spiral binding. Both of them have their advantages.

If you’re like me, and have a problem with commitment, you might want to go with a 3 ring binder. I actually like that I can move pages/sections at will, and hold extra bulky pages in a holding place until I’m ready to use them

Hang with me here: think about the daily/weekly insert pages. I like to plan my months ahead quickly without having to flip through a bunch of empty weekly planning pages. So, I can keep my extras tucked behind the months, and move them in between the month pages as I’m working into the months. It saves me a ton of time by not needing to flip through those empty daily/weekly planner pages.

But, there is a ton of grace and beauty in a spiral binding. The last 3 years I have used a spiral binding from FedEx Office. I get the plastic cover/backing and the whole planner flows together like one big chunky book. I can flip as needed and it’s “my book.”

I think it costs something like $5-$10 to have it spiral bound (depending on your cover and book size, I think) and is totally worth it if you’re ready for that level of commitment. Spring for the frosted plastic cover. It’s so beautiful and worth it.

You also have limitless choices to go with arc binding, disc-bound, or other binding systems (like the Happy Planner). And be flexible to choose what works for you, despite what comes with each system. Most dividers and covers are punchable these days, meaning, just because it comes with a 3 hole punch in the divider doesn’t mean you can’t also use arc binding.

Which leads me to my next step.

Step 3. Choose your sections and dividers.

Don’t get it bound yet!

Pick out some divider pages. You need to choose your binding first because you might fall in love with a three ring binder and want dividers to coordinate.

Either way, Choose dividers that have colors that you love. If you’re not into neon colors, definitely don’t get neon colored dividers because that’s what the office supply store has available. You’ll be kicking yourself around March when you’re sick of looking at them. And the same goes for text on those dividers. If you don’t want numbers (I know I don’t!), then don’t settle.

Amazon has a ton of beautiful choices. My favorites are these from Martha Stewart. The colors are perfect for happy flair. I also really like these from Avery because of their calm colors.

And for heaven’s sake, pick plastic. You do want this planner to make it through the year, right?

Step 4. Find a cover page.

Sure, there’s a cover page for the planner, but go on over to Pinterest and find a quote that rocks your world. Or at least inspires you. Print that out and enjoy it this year. And if you’re inserting this blogging planner into another planner system, choose a design that makes you happy. 🙂 That’s important, you know.

how to make a diy planner for bloggers

Step 5. Get it bound.

A good 3 hole punch really won’t take you too long (think 5 minutes) to punch through the entire year’s worth of the planner if you’re putting it into a 3 ring binder.

And if you’re taking it to an office supply store to be bound, just be sure you have your pages (and dividers) in order before handing it over to them. You don’t want to be that girl with all her stuff spread out all over the counter with the workers waiting for you to get your act together, right?

Let’s not talk about how I know all about that scenario. :/

And if you’re using a planner system, your steps are pretty similar to the 3 hole punch. Just punch, insert, and get to work!

There you have it! Those are my 5 easy steps to save a ton of money by DIYing your own custom planner!

I just know that once you get your planner up and running, you’ll be saving a ton of time checking off those boxes and actually being productive working toward your goals this year!

What tips did you pick up along the way? Did you choose a cute 3 ring binder or spiral? And what cover page did you choose? I want to see!!! I still need to pick mine out for next year!

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