Hello, my friends and Happy Sunday! I hope this post finds you all happy, healthy and safe. :-)
In my last post I shared the PDF links to my monthly planning sheets for 2022 and today I'd like to dig a little deeper. For those new to my blog, I have been sharing my homemade planner for several years now. In addition to this weekly planner (which includes monthly calendars) I also have shared many seasonal and holiday planning worksheets over the years. (Check out my PRINTABLES archive for more details.)
I absolutely love designing these planning sheets and it makes me so happy to share them here with you all. They are in no way a "professional" product (not at this point anyway!), just a work of my heart ... a "tool" I myself use in order to ...
slow myself down
savor the seasons
focus on my home and family ...
and mindfully prepare for each week of the year!
So today I'd like to walk you through the process of taking these printed-out sheets and transforming them into a personal planner. Then I'll share a few of the completed pages "in action" so to speak!
Ok, shown here in these first pictures is my final planner. I first printed out each PDF (the front section + each of the monthly sections), and then chose a piece of scrapbooking paper (cardstock weight) for the cover. I used similar paper for my monthly dividers. (You'll see an example of these further down in this post). Lastly, I added a thick piece of chipboard as a sturdy back cover.
I had a little fun creating a unique cover design, using some papers and stickers I had on hand ...
I absolutely love a vintage aesthetic, especially woodsy, botanical images. These lovely papers are part of the "Nature Notebook Collection" from Graphic 45 - except for the black and white floral cover which was purchased at Michaels many years ago.
Some years I keep my planning sheets in a 3-ring binder, but I usually have it bound at Staples. In general, it takes about 20 minutes and costs about $6.
Back at home I added adhesive tabs to the monthly divider pages as well as a clear pocket to the inside cover. I decorated that pocket with some stickers personalizing my planner (just for fun!). Currently I have some note papers here I may want to use in my planner, but have not yet figured out how.
The front section of the planner includes a title page, a dated yearly calendar (which I found on Pinterest) and some annual planning pages ...
I used a highlighter on the dated calendar to remind me of our homeschooling schedule. The new year page has some goals written down and to keep them private I just used a pretty piece of scrapbooking paper to cover them.
Next is an undated calendar for keeping track of ALL the events happening this year ... and then an outline where I can plan out our weekly seasonal themes.
The following section is for sketching out a weekly and daily rhythm. I have not filled these in yet since we're awaiting a possible change to our son's therapy schedule. Once I have that information I will be able to complete this section.
The last page in the front section is a monthly homekeeping task calendar. I must stress that this is an IDEA of what should/could be done throughout the year but suffice it to say - have never EVER done it all. I just use these as gentle reminders as I go about planning out a new month!
And speaking of ... here we begin the monthly planning section and - slacker that I am - I completely missed the first two months of the year by the time I got around to making my 2022 planner! So this time around, I begin with March ...
I use this divider page as a kind of "inbox" - if there is some information I need to remember for a certain month, but I'm not actively working in that month yet, I jot it on a sticky note and place it here. Things like - appointments, movie/tv or book releases, random reminders and such. Once I've recorded the info, I remove the sticky - so March (my current month) has no stickies. April, however, is full of them!
(Note: I am always asked about these pretty vintage-style papers and unfortunately they can be hard to find. This particular print is from a collection called "Children's Hour" and while that is out of print, I am happy to report there are many lovely prints to choose from. Just search for "Graphic 45" at Amazon to see what's available at this time. I purchase 12x12 pads and cut the papers down to planner size, which is 8.5" x 11".
Now, flipping this divider page, we find ...
The monthly title page!
When I make up my planning sheets I have such fun looking on Pinterest for vintage designs and seasonal quotations! I have decided to use the backside of the divider page as a spot for a monthly nature diary. I have a phenology wheel here attached to some dot-grid notebook paper, which was then attached to the divider using a Tombow adhesive applicator. I plan to add some photos or perhaps sketches here as well.
And now we come to the first monthly calendar spread!
I edge each monthly calendar with washi tape so it stands out and here is where I attach the adhesive monthly tab. I like to do a little doodling in the open spaces and maybe add some pretty paper cutouts. In the notes column I create a little almanac - listing things special to each month, such as flower, gem, moon, seasonal themes and new releases to look forward to. (I am a big fan of historical romance!)
And here's a peek at the next spread ...
The left page is a monthly vision board - and I just covered it up with some images I found on Pinterest as well as some photos. This is a collage of my March "blessings" ... Irish soda bread on my grandmother's Irish china, pussy willows, melting/mud, maple sugaring, spring teatime, snowdrops, leprechauns and the return of the red-winged blackbirds. :-)
The right page is actually an overview of the month but instead of filling that out, I attached an outdoor almanac here, printed out from our local Mass Audubon website. (I strongly encourage you to tweak the planner to your own specifics! It's easy enough to add special papers here and there ... and I think it adds visual interest, too!)
Ok, and now we have the heart of the planner - the weekly planning spread!
I haven't really played around with this design too much over the years. It still works pretty well for me, covering the main areas of my life. I know some folks prefer a "Sunday start" but honestly, I just see Monday as the first day of my week.
The left side of the spread is where I kind of sketch out ideas and make lists. I signify what's of note for the week (events, appointments, anything outside of the norm), as well as the week's seasonal theme ...
This week (3/14-3/20) we'll be exploring the concept of "Thaw" in honor of Friday's Full Sap Moon. Most of my themes are pretty timely (or seasonal, I should say), but sometimes they're completely spot on! Case in point - it's 30 something degrees today and BLUSTERY as all heck - plus, there is still snow and ice on the ground! But, we are expecting a week of sunshine and temps in the 50s and 60s and so we should see a LOT of melting and dropping and mud and all that comes with it! We'll learn about maple sugaring (which relies on the combination of mild days and freezing nights to get that sap running) and we'll search our woods for signs of spring. (Because of course, as I'm sure you realize - the vernal equinox arrives next Sunday morning!)
I create a meal plan for the week, noting any special seasonal foods to consider making/purchasing ...
And I list out all kinds of ideas for creating seasonal connections and celebrating special days as a family - for instance, St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day as well as the ancient spring feast known as Ostara.
The right hand side of the spread is where I "see" my week at a glance and manage my schedule. I use colored pens to designate when I'll be going somewhere - or when my husband or one of the kids are going somewhere. And then there is a nice big column for notes ...
This can be used as an open space or the lines can be separated into daily notes if you wish. I often use it as a space for lesson planning. I haven't filled out this week's plan yet, but here is a peek at last week's ...
Well, there you have it! A little (or maybe a lot) about how I make and use my own homemade planner. Please see this post if you are interested in checking out my planning sheets for yourself. They are free for your personal use! I just ask that if you share about them online you give me a tag or a link back to my blog. Thanks so much!
Now, some folks have asked me about daily planning ... and well, that's a great question, but I think I'll tackle that topic in a future post! I will however give you a quick peek at a daily planning page I designed for myself ... but more on that (plus that pretty notepad just purchased today) in an upcoming post!
For now I wish you all a wonderful, late winter evening and thank you sincerely for stopping by to read and maybe say hi. I hope you enjoyed the post and I really hope you enjoy my planning sheets!
Please let me know if you have any questions ... but for now, I will say "bye!" Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, my friends ... see you here again very soon!