A DIY planner can be the perfect option for someone getting into the world of planning and organizing their time, but also doesn’t want to over-commit to pre-made planners online they might end up not liking.
A planner you make yourself allows for full customization and you can choose what goes inside, whether you make the templates yourself or choose pre-made templates.
In this guide you’ll get everything you need to get a fully functional and inexpensive planner to organize your time.
Let’s get started:
What You Need
This is a simple planner guide, and to get yours fully functional you only need 3 things:
- A5 Paper
- Planner Templates
- An A5 Binder
A5 (5.83″ x 8.27″) is the best size for planner pages because it makes for a portable planner and has a nice width for writing.
Let’s break down each of these 3 one by one:
1. A5 Paper
For a planner, you need paper to go inside (you probably know this).
This guide is for A5 Planners, so you need A5 paper.
This is the best A5 Paper available on Amazon. It comes with holes pre-punched so you don’t need to buy an A5 specific hole puncher (which are all terrible), and provides enough paper for over a year’s worth of daily planning templates, or multiple years if you choose to use the weekly/monthly combo templates.
2. Planner Templates
This is probably the most important part of your planner, as you’ll need to select planner templates based on the type of planning you want and the level you can handle.
You might have templates in mind you want to use, but if you don’t, luckily we have a ton of planner templates available.
We’ll go over a few now that you can use to build a complete planner that will help you manage your time, plot out your goals, and keep you on track to being more productive and successful.
To quickly have every planner template on this site sent directly to your inbox instead of downloading the main templates one-by-one, enter your email below and you’ll instantly receive them.
You can also download the core templates for a planner one by one, which we’re going to go over right now:
Year Planner Template: Lay out why you’re doing this whole thing
This high level goal setting template will give us an idea of our career/business goals, personal development and fun goals, and health/fitness goals within the next 12 months.
At the end you can write out what will be the outcome if you achieve all these goals to give yourself a motivational carrot to follow.
Next, a monthly calendar
Every planner needs a monthly calendar to keep track of time, highlight important dates, and serve as the source to help you plan your individual weeks. Use the Year Planner template above to plot out the goals of each month.
Now that you have your Year and Months taken care of, we can tackle weeks in 2 different ways.
Does the idea of planning every hour of every day and writing big journal entries at the end of the day seem daunting? It still does for me to this day.
For something a little easier to start off, try our weekly planner.
You can set the theme for your week, prioritize the top tasks each day, and fill out a one-line daily reflection journal entry, all without turning a page.
It also has extra little things like day ratings, weekly review, wake-up time tracker, and distraction trackers.
It’s great for people just starting out who have trouble filling up a planner and are light writers.
For something more advanced, use our Weekly Planner in combination with our Daily Planner.
If you want to really dive into proper planning, our Weekly Planner and Daily Planner are the way to go.
With the weekly planner, you can further break down your monthly goals by week and make them more concrete with solid deadlines you’ll want to achieve in the upcoming 7 days.
Then with your week plan in mind and on paper, you can break down each individual day for maximum impact, scheduling it down to the hour. Break down your priorities and tasks by Goals, Responsibilities, and Fun.
Also, you can list out distractions you’re intending to avoid each day to be aware of them and to help keep you on track. The Schedule section plans out when you’re supposed to be finishing your tasks, and then wrap it all up in the review section by scoring how well you felt you did and write out how you can do better tomorrow.
That’s it for your planner core. With these templates you can plan an entire year into the future down to the month, the week, day, and even the hour.
If the idea of building your own planner from the ground up sounds like a lot, you can start with our complete A5 Planner, that comes with a binder and a full year’s worth of printed templates inside.
3. A5 Binder
You should now have a complete and functional planner to start organizing your time.
The DIY route allows you to customize your planner and tailor it to your needs and is a long-term cost saver.
As always, if you want all the templates used for this planner, and all other templates on this site, just put your email in the form below and we’ll send you every template.