For a long time now I have been searching for a good planner to use to organize my blogging. Since there is nothing on the market designed specifically to meet the needs of bloggers, I’ve tried all sorts of things. First I attempted to cobble together different combinations of pre-printed planner pages, but I found I had to purchase a bunch of stuff I’d never use to get the pages I wanted. Then I tried using an online calendar but that didn’t work very well for capturing ideas and taking notes. I even modified a notebook by adding calendar print-outs, but it was too small and I did a kind of sloppy job so I hated using it.
Then one night last week, I was cruising around Pinterest after the kids went to bed when I stumbled upon an absolutely brilliant blog calendar from Beckie at Infarrantly Creative. Beckie has solved the problem of the blog planner/calendar in a ridiculously clever way and she’s provided free printables too!
I was so excited to solve my planner problem that I immediately downloaded Beckie’s printables and got to work on a calendar of my own. I knew I wanted to change a few of the boxes on her planner pages to better suit my needs so I pulled it in to Photoshop Elements and started goofing around with it.
Beckie’s design is divided into two basic sections: a monthly calendar and weekly planner sheets. I started by working on the weekly planner page. I removed the “weekly statistics” and “blogger to encourage” titles in the bottom two boxes and changed them to say “One thing to try” and “One thing that worked”. I’m hoping that setting and tracking a weekly goal will encourage me to keep making improvements to my blog. Next I added an orange chevron background pattern that I downloaded from Sprik Space. Then I turned into a crazy person and decided to re-do all the titles on the page using my favorite font (Avenir). Once I crossed that line, I figured I may as well go all the way, so I swapped in a grid in place of a numbered list for the “to do” and “notes” areas. Since you are not crazy, you should just download Beckie’s perfectly lovely and already-done-for-you pages and use those if you want to make your own planner.
I kept the monthly pages basically the same as they were originally designed. I took an extra few minutes to change the fonts (crazy!) and I also typed the name of the month and changed the color of the background design on each sheet before I printed it out (more crazy!). Finally, I added “The Week in Bentos” to every Friday so I didn’t have to hand write it on the calendar 52 times.
I printed out a year’s worth of calendar pages and planner pages and then I put it all together based on the directions in Beckie’s post (mine is assembled for a right-handed person). My favorite part is the way the calendar pages are mounted on a file folder that’s bound into the book. This allows me to tuck each weekly planner page behind the monthly calendar as I complete it. I love having my monthly and weekly pages visible simultaneously because then I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth.
Becky recommends having your planner bound at an office supply store, but since I have a Bind-It-All (a spiral binding machine) I did it myself at home. (I kind of smooshed the wire though so I think I need to redo it.) I even turned the monthly pages into a tear-off pad using padding compound. I love that stuff.
I decorated the front cover of the planner with some cute typewriter paper because I thought it fit with the writing theme and because I’m obsessed with typewriters. I had already cut one of the typewriters out to use on another project, so I typed “Wendolonia Planner” on a scrap of paper, cut it into a circle and used that to cover the hole.
The inside of the back cover is covered with some sweet camera paper.
And the back cover has paper with typewriters, cameras and sewing stuff on it — perfect for my crafty blog!
Wanna make your own blog planner? Be sure to head to Beckie’s tutorial where you can find the printables and view a video where she shows how the binder is put together.