Hee hee. Get it?
I dug around in my craft room and came up with this little plastic three ring binder. It's about eight inches wide, nine inches tall, and one and 3/4 inches thick. I used to have ideas for scrapbook layouts that I had clipped from magazines pasted inside. Unfortunately, those ideas were looking pretty dated so I decided to go ahead and repurpose the binder!
You can find these little half size binders anywhere - Staples, Walmart. Target has some really cute ones right now. They're pretty reasonably priced, especially when compared to buying a planner. Even the cheaper brands like Day Runner will still set you back about $30.
The ribbon was already on there to hide that this binder has two random holes punched there in the cover. I have no idea what they're for - heck, I don't even remember where I got this binder because I've had it so long! The elastic holds it closed for now until I can decide what I want to do about that situation, since obviously it doesn't have a closure like a real Filofax would.
The smartphone sticky notes were 97 cents at Walmart, and the pad was pretty thick. I took just the top fourth or so to put in here. The houndstooth is a plastic sheet by KI Memories that I had in my stash. I cut off the decorative edges to make the protective top sheet for my binder. I put a little washi tape on a mini binder clip and used that to hold the notepad to the plastic.
Every planner needs a Year at a Glance page, so I Googled "year at a glance 2013" and found one that I liked. They're FREEE!!! I added Hello Kitty and the year at the top in Photoshop. Again, Google image searches will help you find just about anything you're interested in to put up in that space.
Since 2013 is almost over I went ahead and did one for 2014 as well.
The dividers for my sections are pretty simple. I found four sheets of heavyweight, double-sided patterned paper in my stash. I trimmed them down to 5 3/4" x 8 1/2" and reinforced both sides with washi tape where I planned on punching holes. The tabs are old Heidi Swapp self-adhesive tabs that I've had forever. I loved them so much when they came out that I may have hoarded a few. You know how it is.
I added the subjects with my P-Touch labeler. I plan on putting colored bits of paper in the plastic eventually to make them sturdier and easier to tell apart.
This is what a week spread looks like when I open the binder. I used some of the scraps from the KI Memories houndstooth to make two page markers. They're two inches wide and nine inches tall. I traced one of the self adhesive tabs on the top with a fine Sharpie then trimmed it to give them some shape. This way, I can just grab that tab on top and open to the current week.
Can I tell you how much I love having a reason to buy cute stickers now when I see them? I would have skipped the Hello Kitty stickers before, but now they have a purpose! Hooray for reasons to bring more cuteness into your life!
Instead of having a separate section for Monthly pages, I decided to make a monthly calendar that I could move in the planner. Instead of having to flip back and forth between sections to see important dates, it's right there in the middle of my current week for reference. When the week is over I just move the calendar along with the page marker to the next page. When I get to November, this one will stop moving and the one for November will start.
This is my current week's spread. You can see I haven't written anything down yet. I don't have a lot going on next week. Honestly, I don't have a lot planned most weeks. So why do I do this? Well, for starters, I love to decorate the pages. I'm really starting to feel out my style here in the fourth week of doing this. I also make notes at the end of the day of things that happened, what we had for dinner, and any funny things the kids did or said. This way when I go to work on my Project Life pages for those weeks, it's easy to flip back and see things that I may have forgotten about because I didn't take a photo. I also add reminders to mail out birthday cards and what appointments we may have when they come up.
I will go into details about what I used on this page in another post, as this one is already getting pretty long.
The next section is the Meal Planning section. I've shared these printables from Hello Cuteness before. This one comes two to a page, so all i had to do is print, cut the page in half, punch holes, and pop them in the binder. Easy Peasy.
After the meal planning page I have a pocket page that I made from a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock. Just cut the sheet in half, then take one half and fold that in half widthwise. Cut from the top corner to just about an inch and a half from the bottom corner at an angle. Put adhesive along the side edges (not on the fold or where you cut), slide it over one end of the other half of the cardstock, and glue. Ta da! Pocket.
I put washi tape along the edges of the pocket to reinforce it and also give a visual guide to where the opening is. This pocket can be used to hold recipes, coupons, etc. There's a Hello Kitty paper clip (found them at Walgreen's a while back) at the top to hold things as well. This serves as a sort of "this week" page marker for this section.
Behind that is my grocery list. It is also from Hello Cuteness, but I've modified it a bit. I made it smaller to fit in my binder, for starters, since the original was a full sheet. I also modified some of the categories to suit my needs. For instance, the produce category was just not big enough. I never had enough spaces. However, there were whole categories, such as paper products, that I knew I would not use very often. Honestly, the only paper product we use is bathroom tissue and that can go under Misc. when I need to buy it. So I got rid of that and added a Costco section because that is something that I do need.
You have to make your planner work for you, or you won't use it, right?
The next section is dedicated to Project Life. I designed these sheets so there were two on a page. All I did was print, cut, punch, and put them in the binder. Easy. Here's what the blank sheets look like:
If you've seen any of my PL posts, you know that I generally go for this basic layout. Sometimes I'll put three cards across instead of two or four, but I always have three rows of cards. I just don't really like the look of vertical 4" x 6" photos. I don't know why. There are very light lines in there to help me mark off where I am putting what.
If you click on the sheet, you will see an enlarged version. You can right click it and either save it to your computer or print it. It's a surprise freebie, from me to you!
The lines under the grid are to write down what happened when and what you're putting where. You can look at the first photo of this section to see an example of the week I'm working on.
YES I AM BEHIND. :(
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!