If you’ve bought a basic planner you want to customise to be a bit less generic and a bit more personal, here are a few quick options:
1. Add your own cover
If you have a coil bound or discbound planner, it’s easy to personalise your planner with a custom cover. See this post for a tutorial (and free planner cover). Another quick option is to print digital paper. Or just use scrapbooking paper cut to size & laminate.
2. Monogram it to make it your own
You don’t need paid graphic design software to make a basic monogram. See this post for a tutorial on how to make simple monograms in Microsoft Word. You can then turn that monogram into a label which you stick on the front cover.
3. Print your own pages
Save time re-writing tasks out. Type up a master list of things you do each month, or write out the list once, scan it onto your computer and print 12 copies. If you still want to be able to write on the page underneath, use some washi tape fixed to the top to create a flap.
Another option is to create 12 different lists (1 for each month) which include standard tasks and seasonal tasks. E.g. you probably only need to clean the roof gutters once a year.
If there’s a particular page layout you like for bullet journaling you could draw it up once, scan it onto your computer and print again and again. Same with a notepad you’ve purchased but you’re running short on pages and can’t find it in the shop anymore.
- 7 Ways to make colors POP when printing using an Inkjet printer
- How to get rid of a white border when printing printable (borderless, no bleed, no scaling step by step video tutorial)
- How to Choose a Printer (Including the best printer for printing printables and planner stickers)
- Best Paper for Printing Printables
- How to clean your printer (prevent smudging, streaks and make the colors POP!)
4. Washi Tape
There are so many uses for washi tape. Some quick ways to personalise:
- Color code your pages (wrap some washi around the edges – especially the corners)
- Use for tabs
- Cover up headings you don’t need
- Use it to create multiple sections. E.g. on a horizontal spread you may want to separate weekdays into 2 sections for work and personal
- Use a strip to mark vacation days instead of writing the same thing over and over again
- Use it to create a border around boxes on the monthly calendar e.g. birthdays
If you want to add a bookmark (with a tab), see this post for a tutorial.
5. Sticky notes
If you don’t have sticky notes… you need them! Sticky notes are best for meal planning, recurring tasks, flagging due dates and important things. My favorite size sticky notes for planning are:
- Post it Note 2″ wide x approx 0.75″ high (pictured below – you can trim the ends to fit the boxes)
- Aspire (they’re super sticky) 2″ wide x 1.5″ high
- Target lined sticky notes
Read more: My favorite sticky note brands for planning
You could create a ‘bank’ of sticky notes for meal planning on one of the notes pages, then transfer to the monthly calendar as required.
You can do the same thing for recurring tasks, school classes, reminders etc.
6. Change headings
Planner stickers are the quickest way to switch out headings. I made Erin Condren header size stickers which suits most planners.
But sometimes the planner’s text is too small for a sticker, in which case I use whiteout. Another option is to use a marker pen and write over the top. I find white pen works best! Sakura Gelly Roll & Uniball Signo are my go to. Pilot Pop’lol is cheaper than those 2 brands but their white pen doesn’t work as well (have to write a couple of times for the white to show).
Stating the obvious here but white pen works much on better darker colors – not very easy to see against pastel
7. Laminated List Bookmark
This is a good idea for weekly recurring tasks. If you type it up (or hand write your list) and laminate it, it’ll save a ton of time. You can add this to your planner the same way to add a cover.
You can make your own list and laminate (a notepad works well), or download a free printable here.
If you don’t own a laminating machine, just use some washi tape, move it around as needed and when the washi tape looses it’s stickiness just grab some more… Has anyone ever actually finished a roll of washi tape?!
More planning tips
- DIY Planner Tutorial: How to make your own planner stickers without a Silhouette machine
- My all time favorite planner supplies
- How to choose the right habit tracker for your planner
- It’s That Kinda Day Weekly Planner
- Bloom teacher planner review and flip through
- Unbound Undated Weekly Planner Review
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