Make Your Personal Planner Personal

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Make your personal planner more personal this year. It will serve you better!

OLAM new calendars

(This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of those links, I will receive some monetary compensation. Your cost is not affected either way.)

Each year about this time, I’m ready for a Do-Over. The summer’s lackadaisical rhythm is about to drive me crazy. Idle hands are the Devil’s handiwork, and so it seems like the kids’ default mode is bickering, causing me to leave whatever task I’m doing to don my referee’s uniform and whistle.

That’s when I know we’re ready for some routine. And for me, routine means getting my personal planner and household notebook retooled. I add new calendars, add planning sheets that will be helpful, ditch systems that aren’t working, and otherwise, get my act together.

Last year, I tried a three-ring binder method. Binders had failed me in the past, but this one that I bought at Target last fall promised to behave like a spiral bound. In theory, I could turn it back on itself. Fail. I didn’t like it all.

notebook contacts

So, I’m going back to my standby of the spiral bound notebook. Yes, there’s a cost involved, but no more than the ten dollars that I shelled out for that binder. And I can make it more cheerful with custom sized pocket folders and other cutesy stuff.

(I’ve heard that Staples has a new binder system like a spiral and a binder, but it’s too pricey for my blood. There’s this one just like it on Amazon. I can’t vouch for either, though.)

Today I’ve been printing like a fiend, picking and choosing which pages to include in my personal planner for this next school year. I’ve got an exciting trip planned for the school supplies aisle at Walmart, too.

It’s important to me that this notebook is both personal and useful. I’ll share the final product next week when it’s all done.


If you’re interested in making one for yourself, you can check out my ebook, Organizing Life as MOM. It’s designed to help you build a personal planner or household notebook that suits you and your life, not some publishers idea of what your life looks like.

You’re unique, so your notebook should be, too.

There is the main book as well as add-on packages for bloggers and homeschoolers. (The blogger pack is significantly modified since its inception two years ago.) If you’ve already purchased the main book, just go for the calendars to upgrade for the new year.


Buy the book and the different add-ons here.

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  1. Spending sometime next week doing just this. I agree every year around this time I feel totally out of sorts and then I realize it is because we have fallen into the lazy days of summer slump for just a bit too long. Relaxing summer days are fun, but they can also seem to become a trap.

  2. I have the notebook system from Staples you mentioned.

    And yes, it’s expensive. But it has changed my life!

    When I think of all the money I’ve wasted on pre-fab planners (not to mention, time) the money spent is more than justifiable. I can customize it however I want, and with the disc hole puncher, I can add whatever pages I need.

    Okay, that’s my ode to the Arc System. Love it love it love it. Only complaint is the price.

    Now if I could just figure out exactly what to include in my planner and make it work for me…seems like I’m always changing something.

    Oh well.

    1. Browse through the past notebook posts. There are quite a few and lots of folks had good ideas about what they do to make it work well for them. I think you (and your planner) have to constantly be changing, because life does.

  3. Have you posted about the finished product yet??? I’ve been anxiously awaiting but wasn’t sure if I missed it somehow.

    1. No, I haven’t had time to get good pics. And it really didn’t turn out THAT much different than the old one. I’ll try to do it soon.

  4. Hi Jessica-
    I purchased your ebook, OLAM, a while back. I’m finally getting around to making my planner, and I want to use your 2 page monthly calendar, but the year says 2013. Is there any way for me to change the year to 2014? I guess I thought your pages would be editable so they could work for years to come. Please let me know as I’m on a roll getting this planner done, and I don’t want to get distracted! 🙂
    Thanks so much-
    Erika Cada