How to Design and Create Your Own Planner Pages Using Word

There are a lot of options out there for different types of planner pages.  But for some reason, none of them worked for me.  I tried several different kinds but couldn’t quite get them to match what I needed.  I modified and tweaked and they worked okay but it wasn’t until I designed pages exactly for my needs that I was satisfied.

If you’re in the same boat – your planner tool just isn’t quite cutting it – then maybe you would benefit from designing your own pages, too.  In case you’re interested, here’s how to get started:

1.       Decide on a page size.  Here are your best options:

  • 8-1/2 x 11 ( easy and cheap but big for carrying around)
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 (easy, lots of options, a little big for carrying around)
  • 4-1/4 x 6-3/4 (takes a little more cutting but a good size to carry – binders only available from Franklin Covey)
  • 3-3/4 x 6-3/4 (takes a little more cutting but a great size to carry around – binders available from Franklin Covey, Day Runner, Day Timer, Filofax)

2.       Determine what you need.  This is the part where you analyze your life and preferences and decide exactly what you need from your planner.  For me, I needed a tool that supported a day that was unpredictable – a tool that gave me options and helped me prioritize in case I was busier than I expected or not as busy as I expected.  You can read about my pages here.

3.       Design the page.  Sometimes it’s easier to design it with pen and paper and then convert it to a Word document.

4.       Create the page using Word (I use Tables for most of my pages).  Here are the margin settings for the pages described above:

  • 8-1/2 x 11 – Top margin 1”, Bottom margin, 1”, Left Side, 1.5”, Right Side, .75”
  • 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 – Top margin .5, Bottom margin .5, Left and Right Margins .7.  You’ll also create 2 columns with 1.5” between columns.  This format prints 2 on a page.  All you have to do is cut down the middle and then punch.
  •  4-1/4 x 6-3/4 (Franklin Covey Compact) – Top margin .5, Bottom margin  2, Left and right margins 1.25.  Two columns with 1.75 or 2” between columns – it just depends.  Sometimes 1.75 will work but sometimes you need 2.  I’m not sure why.
  •  3-3/4 x 6-3/4 (Filofax Personal, Daytimer Portable, other personal sizes) – Top margin .5, Bottom margin 2, Left and right margins  1.5.  Two columns with 2” between columns.

5.       Print.  Cut.  Punch.  Put in your binder.

For hole punching, you can use a single punch purchased from Wal-mart or Target for $2 or you can purchase a custom punch from any of the planner companies.  They vary in price but aren’t cheap.  Don’t bother getting the ones that punch one page at a time.  They’re difficult to use and won’t last very long.

6.       Enjoy greater productivity using pages designed just for you and your life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you want to print your own pages but don’t want to take the time to design them, here are a few options:

Philofaxy
 My Life All In One Place
 DIY Planner 

If you want to buy a binder or paper punch and look and see what pages are available, check out these links:

http://www.franklincovey.com/
http://www.daytimer.com/
http://www.filofax.com/
http://plannerpad.com/
http://www.dayrunner.com/

 Read other time management articles here.

 And finally, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me in the comments below or by email.

 

Comments

  1. i LOVE this post!

    I am a paper planner person and LOVE my planner!

    I call it my “cranberry”
    http://warriormama.com/a-warrior-mama-on-the-go-the-cranberry-part-1/
    http://warriormama.com/a-warrior-mama-on-the-go-the-cranberry-part-2/

    :)
    Lisa

    • So great to meet another paper planner person. There aren’t as many of us as there used to be. I’ll check out your posts. I always love a good planner read.

  2. Not trying to be mean or anything but I just wanted to clarify that Filofax inserts are actually 3 3/4 x 6 3/4 size which you stated to only be Franklin Covey. FC sheets are actually wider but same height. Thank you for giving the printing margins. I might actually create my own inserts :)

    • Thanks, Joy, for pointing out my mistake. What I meant to write was that Franklin Covey pages were 4-1/4 not 3-3/4. And that Filofax pages were 3-3/4 not 3-1/4. Sorry about that. Numbers have never been my strong suit.

      I have both Filofax and Compact FC so I know the difference. I’d like to switch to the Filofax but I’m not sure I can live without that extra 1/2 inch. It doesn’t sound like much but it makes a HUGE difference.

      Thanks for commenting and no worries about correcting me. If I get something wrong, I want to know.

  3. I have a my-tyme, and the pages are 5 1/2 by 7 1/2. I don’t think it will be my best-beloved planner, but it was available, and will get me back in the habit of using a planner. I didn’t use one for about ten years. I have used a BlueSky calendar, mostly.
    I think I could use one of your templates and zoom in or out when printing.

    • I’ve seen those planners. They’ll work. I don’t think I could function without a planner, although at times I’m tempted to try. Whenever I suggest it, my family says: “Nooooooooo. Don’t do it!”

      • Ah, well. My “imperitives” would have been “eat, change the baby, sleep,” and the “importants” “laundry, dishes, grocery shopping.” Repeat. For about ten years. But I have four lovely children to show for it. :)
        I’m ready to be organized again, I have more things on my plate now, and getting more involved in community activities.

        I do have a question- my kids are ever-and-forever asking what’s next, what are we doing today, etc. Would you encourage them to just check the planner, or is that a very bad idea? Any input from your other readers?

        • Four lovely children are definitely a lot of work but so worth it! I only had two but often wished I had had more.

          So I faced the same situation you’re talking about with the kids wanting to know what was going on all the time. My solution was to put a very large monthly calendar in the kitchen and I put all the appointments and activities on that calendar. I didn’t really want the kids getting in my planner and they didn’t really want to. The family calendar on the wall worked great! I was worried it would be hard to maintain my planner and the wall calendar but it wasn’t a big deal at all. So that’s what I would suggest.

  4. Hi Patty,

    In step 4 you wrote:

    4-3/4 x 6-3/4 – Top margin .5, Bottom margin 2, Left and right margins 1.25. Two columns with 2” between columns.
    4-3/4 x 6-3/4 – Top margin .5, Bottom margin 2, Left and right margins 1.5. Two columns with 2” between columns.

    But they are the same thing (the paper size that is)! :)

    Can you correct whichever is wrong, because this is the best post that I have been looking for in order to make my own planner inserts (Filofax). I just want to make sure I’m using the proper margin settings.

    Thanks so much and I do love the blog!

    • I’ll go fix it right now, Kelly.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Kelly. Sorry about the wrong numbers – numbers have never been my thing. But I think it’s fixed now. Let me know if you need any help. I LOVE making my own pages and I’ve learned a lot while doing it. Once you get the template set up, it’s easy and it’s really nice being able to make pages that do exactly what you want them to.

      • thanks for fixing that so fast!

        I just downsized from A5 to personal…so before, making my inserts was a breeze. But the personal sized FF pages have just been terrorizing me…until now! I have been trying to make my own pages, and even resorted to just printing one on a page (wasting too much paper) so this post has been super helpful…TRULY!!

        • So glad I could help.

          I have a few forms already made and available on the blog. Food journal, for example. That one has a template you can download. Several other posts in the time management section have forms you can download.

          Good luck with your pages. It’s fun,isn’t it!

  5. Hi

    I am hoping you could please email me.
    Your site is what I have been looking for. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

    I wanted to know how you get the pretty border effects on the pages you designed… like the page with brown borders?

    Thanks again:)

  6. Thank you so much for this post! I can never find the right pages and have spent so much money on planners. I’m about to switch back from electronic (or at least do a hybrid) and definitely want to create my own pages. Do you have a tutorial on how to create them using Word and Tables?

    • I don’t have a tutorial. My suggestion would be that you take some of my pages that I’ve offered for download and play around with those. That will help you figure out how to do it. There are several forms available here:

      http://homemakersdaily.com/planner-page-extravaganza-download-custom-pages-now/

      This is also an option: http://homemakersdaily.com/how-to-make-custom-planner-pages-without-using-your-computer/

      • Thank you!! I actually used Ashley’s pages and tweaked them a bit. It was a little frustrating at first until I figured it out, but I have it down now and they’re perfect! One more question, what weight of paper do you use? I just have regular 20lb copy paper, but my pens (porous colored pens for color coding) bleed through and it really bugs me. I don’t know if 28lb will be thick enough to stop that or if I should go 32lb. I just don’t want the pages to be so thick they take up too much room. Any advice??

        • Good job!!!

          I use 20 pound paper but I have a regular ball point pen. I have used 24 lb. paper and that did make a difference. I would try the 24 and see if that works better. Every bit of thickness you add does affect how many pages will fit in your binder.

  7. Syafiq Azlan says:

    I am interested to create planner. And i dont know the software that mostly use to create this. Can u let me know the best software to create this? Seriously i hope u can help me. :) thanks

  8. This post needs to actually explain how you use Tables. But thanks.
    Jodie recently posted…“This beautiful little lady has clearly forgotten how to stay asleep!”My Profile

  9. This is perfect! I’ve just ordered my first filofax and I’m hoping it’ll give me a reason to make a dent in my sticker collection, /and/ actually keep track of assignments. (This college semester has been brutal for some reason.) I can’t find any paper locally, and I’ve always preferred designing my own stationary when needed, so I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to post all the dimensions!
    On another note, adding a watermark in Word is a great way to add some faded design to your pages.

  10. almost a year of use, i’m moving out of my FC compact and into the the classic … we’ll see what happens!
    Mari recently posted…q&a at goodreads through july 1My Profile

    • Oh, boy. Let me know how it goes. It’s definitely nice having more room to write but there’s a definite difference in size.

      • i’ve been using the classic as a wallet since christmas. but it’s become a chore for me to come home and transfer all my new appointments and whatever back and forth between planners. last night i used your site and found bunches of different 5×8 daily pages and whatnot, enough for the first two weeks of june. the only thing about this classic is that it has 1/2″ rings, so not really a lot of room. but that also means i won’t be weighing it down like i did the compact. ;) i’ll keep you posted!
        Mari recently posted…q&a at goodreads through july 1My Profile

  11. I’m so excited to make my own planner. I looked through the article and maybe i’m missing it but when i set the margins to do say the 4-1/4 x 6-3/4 , my word document should be set to “landscape” correct. If i put in those margins and do two columns to get two pages they seem too small.

    • Yes – landscape. Every printer is different so you might need to print a test page to be sure. Those settings allow for a margin around the page. If you don’t want that, if you want the printing to go to the edge of the page, you’ll need to adjust the settings. Sometimes – if I need a little more room to get everything to fit, I do adjust the margins a little bit. But normally I like having space around the edges.

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