Friday, July 17, 2015

Creating the Ultimate Most Organized Creative Planner Ever

These past three posts cover how my notebook has evolved from simple to-do lists to a place where I can express myself visually:

Creating the Ultimate Most Organized Creative Notebook Ever Part 2
Creating the Ultimate Most Organized Creative Notebook Ever Part 3

Throughout the process of creating the perfect notebook for myself, I realized that there are some extra things I needed that I didn't even think about when I started.

For one thing, a notebook simply does not have enough paper in it to last a year. Also I realized that I would like to have a calendar in my notebook as well. I wasn't sure what to do. I began to wonder if I was demanding too much.

I went to Target and started roaming their office supply section to see if anything would hit me.

While working on my notebook I came across planners like The Happy Planner and Life Planner. I think between the two I like The Happy Planner more. It's easy to add to it. Also I've seen the Happy Planner at Hobby Lobby, so if I brought my coupons, this planner could be affordable. The only thing that I don't like about it is the limited selection of cover styles. In that area, the Life Planner has more to offer. However, both of these planners are quite large, so they would be a pain to carry around.

While I was at Target, I came across a sturdy mini-binder. It was plastic, so it would be durable. A mini-binder is a tiny bit bigger than I would like, but it's still not a chore to carry around. It's easy to find printable pages for mini binders on-line, so I wouldn't have to invest a lot of money to make it what I want.

The main thing that's different about a binder compared to a notebook is that pages can be moved around and added to a binder.

I've divided my binder into four sections: Monthly, Daily, Notes, and Shopping. Although the pages can be moved, I've decided to organize the notes section like I would in a notebook. It would be too much to try to group my notes together by physically moving them around. It would be easier to simply write linearly, and then have an index in the front of the notes section so I could find what I'm looking for.

Since I'm not locked into a brand of planner, it's easier for me to give my planner that whimsical anime style that I like, and include all different kinds of papers in different colors. Another plus about using a mini-binder is that pages are half of an 8.5 in x 11 in, so creating pages isn't much work. And if I really needed to, I can order paper already made that size.

It will be about a month before I finish my current notebook and start this planner, but I think it will go well. 

I'm also taking a closer look at discbound notebooks. I learned about them as I was looking for printables for my mini-binder. Turns out discbound notebooks can be easily made from scratch and are also interchangeable with other planner systems, such as The Happy Planner and Arc Planner.

The appeal of discbound notebooks is that they're compact like a spiral bound, but pages can be moved around and added like in a binder. It lies completely flat, and there aren't any huge binder rings in the way while writing. It's also possible to make a notebook in the 5" x 8" range, which is what I really want.

I've already ordered a discbound hole punch, so I can't wait to see what I can make of it. I'll probably do an update post about it. I've also learned a few extra things while creating this notebook that may be helpful that I would like to share in the future.

Overall, I'm glad that I took on this challenge. It involved much more effort than if I bought what was already out there, but I wanted to create something that was specifically tailored to me and how my life works. It's totally worth it!