Create your own planner with these DIY free planner printables, compiling your own mix of layouts, trackers and pages for a custom functional system.
What Does It Mean to Plan?
Wow! In the past few blog posts, I have shared my entire process of resetting my life, starting with a few pretty printables and motivation to creating a life plan, setting goals, making project plans and scheduling them on a project calendar.
At this point, I’m basically ready for the new year and can dive into my regular planning routine, week to week. When most people talk about planners and planning, they are basically referring to some type of calendaring system.
Whether you are using daily, weekly or monthly spreads, horizontal or vertical, or whatever other variations – ultimately, it’s about checking in regularly with your schedule and planning out what you are going to do day to day. Which is fantastic and already ahead of the game from those who try to keep it all in their head. I have no idea how they can do that?!
But all of this pre-planning that I have been sharing is oh SO IMPORTANT. Without thinking about your ultimate goals and what is truly a priority in your life, you can find yourself doing a lot of things, but still not finding satisfaction. And I think that’s what happened to me in the past. I have always loved to do things and I keep myself pretty busy in general. I never say I’m bored!
However, being a busy bee doing things, does NOT necessarily mean you will feel great at the end of the day. You might be doing a lot of things for other people or things you think you should do – but in the end, they do not bring you joy at all. So that’s why this whole process brings me closer to peace of mind and dare I say, planner peace?
So Many Planner Options
Just kidding, there probably is no such thing as ultimate planner nirvana. Because we are ever changing and that means our systems need to change with us. That is why I love planner printables so much. I need some type of structure, but I also need the flexibility to change things up constantly.
A perfect example is transitioning from summertime to back-to-school. I have little kids in the house and my summer schedule is nothing like the regular school year. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like dated pre-bound planners. I feel like months are wasted on minimal entries during the summer or vacations.
Suffice to say, we are all different, our lives are different, our schedules are different and thus our needs for planners are different. It’s amazing that there are so many options out there on the market and we can pick and choose whatever works for us personally.
I’m definitely a functional planner, so even though I love ALL THE PRETTY THINGS, I have to face the facts and realize my planner is for productivity, not creativity. I actually have memory keeping and creative journals separate from my planner.
Why Planner Printables?
So when it comes to my planning system, I use planner printables. And yes, I often change it up whenever I feel the need. In the past, I have tried pre-bound planners and bullet journaling. I feel like printables are a bit in the middle, where you have set templates, but you don’t have to draw them out every single time. And since I can create them myself on a budget, I definitely prefer to use digital printables.
For 2020 I’m going with a minimal black and white style, just like all the worksheets you have seen in this series. I’ve created monthly, weekly and daily calendar layouts, so I can use those that apply for whatever season I’m in. I also like my monthly calendar to have six rows, so every day has it’s own box – so I really felt the need to create my own. For 2020 it only applies for March, August and November, but I would rather have extra boxes at the end, than have to squish things into half boxes. I have always disliked the way they put two days in a box on wall calendars!
Personally, I print all the pages I need and compile them all in a ring binder on my desk. I’m not someone who needs to carry my planner with me, so this is definitely an at home, desk planner type of situation. And because I like to keep things flexible, I usually only print things out about month ahead of time. I don’t ever feel the need to have an entire year of dated calendars. If you check-in with your planning regularly, you can fill in the month or week as you go. Or literally just have a future planning page to keep a list, as with bullet journaling.
For actual appointments and dated events, I keep them all in my Google calendar for the reminders on my phone and the ease of moving things around. My paper planner is much more about my work and personal goals and projects that need to be planned out and scheduled out.
Download these Free Planner Printables
For these free planner printables, I decided to create completely blank versions to share here on the blog. Normally, I would fill in titles and dates, since I’m printing straight from my own design files at home. But leaving everything blank means you can fill in the labels and titles yourself. Whether you like a Monday start or a Sunday start, you can create your own and re-use these digital printables repeatedly.
I use variations depending on the season of my life when more or less is happening. Sometimes a horizontal layout works better and other times the vertical layout works better. It really just depends, just as there are periods when the daily page is helpful for a time period when I want to track more information. Take your pick and build your own custom planner!
I hope you will be able to make use of these free planner printables to help you create a system that works for you. Ultimately, it’s about doing the things you want to do and feeling good at the end of the day. I wish you all the best!
This free printable is part of a series shared on this blog to help reset your life. Here are the other related posts:
- 2020 printable binder cover
- mantra: I Believe in Progress Not Perfection
- first step: brain dumping printable
- Life Planning Template
- Goal Setting Worksheet
- Project Planning Template
- Project Calendar Printable
Keep checking this blog for upcoming posts and if you don’t want to miss out on free printables – Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>