I’m trying to answer more reader FAQ’s here on the blog. One of the questions I’ve been asked is what to do when you run out of space in your planner? So here are my suggestions!
1. Sticky notes
The quickest and easiest option on this list – add some sticky notes!
Or make your own with some washi tape
2. Use a discbound notebook
You’re probably already aware of MAMBI’s discbound Happy Planner but there are plenty of other discbound notebooks to choose from (see this post). Since you can add, remove and rearrange pages as often as you like it’s ‘impossible’ to run out of space!
- Guide to Discbound Planners & Frequently Asked Questions
- ARC by Staples versus MAMBI – Which discbound system is better?
3. Separate notebooks
I keep most things in separate notebooks:
- Blog post ideas (and separate pages for each post type)
- Reference notebook – insurance info, password log etc.
- Weekly planner (I rotate to a different one almost every week)
- List notebook – usually in my ARC – just a bunch of flexible list pages pre-printed for whenever the occasion arises
- Project / goals notebook (although I do dabble with separate planners for this too such as the Mi Goals)
- I used to keep a separate notebook for budgeting but have since switched to spreadsheets I made in Excel
Most people tend to use their planner for budgeting and add reminders on their monthly calendar when things a due. The boxes of a traditional monthly calendar are quite small, so instead, use a bill checklist – all of your bills broken down by month on 1 page… super space saver!
This bill checklist is in the free printables library
Similarly, monthly habit trackers save tons of space and make it easier to see which habits (or routine tasks) you need to focus on improving. Download a free printable habit tracker here.
5. Stop Duplicating
Writing things that are due on the monthly view and again on the weekly.
Another space waster: writing out recurring tasks. Just use a colored dot sticker and a key instead. Or abbreviate the task name to a number or a letter. For my blog post workflow, I use letters to represent each task. D = post drafted, E = post edited etc.
You could also switch to using a message board or a family calendar rather than keeping your entire family’s plans in your planner.
6. Washi Tape Flaps
A strip of washi on 1 side means you can still write underneath:
I tried this when I used the Passion Planner
7. White out
I use white out (specifically, white out tape) all the time. Since most planners are made in the USA and I’m in Australia, a lot of the holidays aren’t relevant to me which is where white out comes in handy. Some planners also have the entire world’s holiday’s printed. The Leuchtturm has country codes printed on the weekly, which reference a worldwide holidays chart. A good idea in theory… but it wastes a lot of space.
8. Use more pages
Maybe you’re running out of space because you’re using 1 page to plan the week.
9. You’re planning too much
Move some things to your reference book.
Or start recording the expected time and the actual time it took you to do tasks. Time blocking and scheduling things in an hourly planner may help too!
This printable is from the checklists kit in my shop.
10. Use smaller line spacing
Most planners tend to have about 0.25″ line spacing. A few that have lines closer together are:
11. Use a horizontal planner
The main problem I have with vertical planners is that they just don’t have enough space. By the time you write a task you use half the box and need multiple lines. I always fit more on the page when using horizontal planners, or even better, the planners with days of the week on 1 page and a lined notes page or list on the other page.
My all time favorite type of weekly spread -1 page days of the week + lines on the right
12. Use lined writing space
I tend to find my handwriting is bigger when writing in an unlined planner (and also ends up crooked!).
If there are other FAQ’s you’d like answered, please comment below with your question!
More helpful posts:
- 10 Reasons why I plan using printables (and why you should too!)
- How to choose the right habit tracker for your planner
- Choosing sections for your planner: what to keep in your weekly planner versus a household binder
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