I loved the planner I made and used this school year (so much so that my very first post on this blog was all about that planner!). I didn't think it was possible, but I love my new planner is even more!! A lot of the basic format is the same, but I've streamlined the inside, made a bunch of cover designs that all coordinate with the rest of the planner so they are interchangeable, added some new pages, and even figured out how to have laminated tabs! :) I'll be giving you a tour of the inside tomorrow, but today I wanted to talk about how I set it up to make the most of my all-in-one planner.
I have my pages printed on 28lb paper- the rest of the planner creation I do at home. I am still deeply in love with the arc notebooks from Staples. Having the flexibility to move pages around like a 3-ring binder while still laying flat like a spiral-bound notebook is just unbeatable, in my opinion. And because I completely DIY the inside, and use this cheap hole punch from Levenger, it is extremely cost-effective. See how nice it is?
(Side note: the rings in the picture are a little bigger than the ones I regularly use because I'm still using the smaller ones on my current planner.)
I used the same paper tabs as I did this past year. I love the colors and how easy it is to replace if they wear out or you want to change the labels, but they were definitely a bit flimsy. So this year I laminated them! I just used a single-sided laminating sheet. Double-sided lamination won't work for this because you need a complete seal for the lamination to stick and you don't want to laminate over the sticky (and repositionable!) part on the back of the tabs.
I actually use the single-sided laminating sheets for some of my planner pages as well, for things like cleaning checklists that I want to be able to re-use several times, I laminate the page and use a wet erase marker to write on it. The ink comes off easily with a wet paper towel but won't rub off from the other paper. Since the sheets are slightly bigger than the 8.5x11 paper, I had enough space to laminate my tabs on the same sheet, then just cut around the paper and the tabs and voila! I also re-punched the page after I laminated it (which my cheap-o punch handled just fine).
I also have a pen loop and zippered pouch at the back of my planner. I have used both this year and they have held up really well. I keep some blank cards and postage stamps in the pouch, and any time I get a handout in a meeting and don't know where to put it, I throw those in there too. Super handy! The small blue clip in the picture is magnetic. I found some at Walmart on clearance earlier this year and they are awesome! I keep the current month clipped with the current week so I can easily flip back and forth, since those are the pages I tend to use the most often.
Two more things and then I promise I'll stop gushing! :D
You all know how much I love my washi tape. Besides being colorful and fun, it's strong and repositionable- perfect for things that I want to keep in my planner but be able to change out too! I print a copy of my class schedule and district yearly calendar separately and tape them into my planner with washi tape. Inevitably those calendars and schedules tend to change, so this way I can easily change it out when that happens. Plus it adds that little punch of color!
In my recipe section, I have some of these self-adhesive pockets. I keep some of my staple recipes written out on small cards and keep them in those pockets, which are stuck to the pages of the planner. I was unsure of how well they would stay in the pockets, but I have not had any issues with paper falling out this year, so I'm sticking with the same system this year.
That's about it! Putting your planner together is a very personal thing that depends so much on your style, your life, and your needs. Hopefully you got a useful tip or two from my list! I'd love to see and hear how you have "tricked out" your planners as well :) Don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the inside- SO EXCITING!! :D (**updated: check out the complete tour here!)