I'm going to let you in on a not-so-secret : I am obsessed with stationery. Since my days in school, I have a hard time keeping paper blank; I either need to doodle like mad or plan out my entire life on one sheet.
Something I find difficult, however, is finding the notebook or planner that fits all my needs, and looks good. In my area it's hard to find something that checks all the boxes, so to speak, but is designed with old businessmen in mind (soulless green and filing cabinet black, am I right?). As a result, I have resorted to building my own planner. Here is how I put mine together - hopefully it can give you some inspiration in getting your own ready!
What you need:
- Refillable binder
- Plastic Stencils
- Gel Pens, Brush Pens or Markers
- Looseleaf - lined, unlined or dotted
- Plastic Dividers (that can have paper inserted into them)
- Blank Labels
- Spray Paint (optional)
Step 1 is to customize your binder. If you don't have paint on hand & it's not in your budget, feel free to skip to the next step.
- Get a bucket of warm water, spray your desired paint colours into the water & use a paint stick to form the pattern you wish to have on your binder. Possible themes include marble, galaxy, minimalistic, pastel, vintage and neon.
Once finished, dip your binder into the water, then take out and leave to dry. This method is called hydrodipping.
Step 2 - Determine what you want in your binder - calendar, checklists, to do lists, blank pages, grocery lists, fitness logs, spirituality trackers.
Step 3 - Design your blank sticker labels: use them to label dates, important reminders or just cute decorations.
Step 4 - Create dividers to section off each new category. Clear dividers can be hydrodipped as well!
Once you have set up your sections, you can then go back and fill it all in.
A benefit of doing it this way is that it allows you to use it for several years; simply take out completed pages and replace with new sections as your preferences and goals change.
If your goal is not necessarily to cut costs, but to have a completely custom planner, you have a little more freedom to decorate it as you wish. You might also like to purchase premade printable inserts from small creators on Etsy. It's highly likely you will find a creator open to custom-made downloads!