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