Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, New Planner: Free Printables!!

January 2015 Edit: So glad these pages have been so popular! I've done some editing on them to make the planner even better for 2015. Due to the time I've spent on them, I've listed them for instant download on Etsy for a couple of bucks a piece. You can still score your own awesome planner for less than you'd spend at a big box store! Plus, you have the peace of mind that you are shopping small and supporting a nerdy artist. Thanks again for being so awesome!!

 I do not get excited about New Years basically at all. I am full of whimsy and fairytales about all sorts of things, but I just do not understand the whole obsession with celebrating New Years. Woot woot, the start of another cycle of the calender we adopted as a modern society! Cooooool. Though it's a nice beginning with which to measure change and new commitments, I see no reason to glorify a "new year" as the most important reason to go all "new year new life" and buy a ton of exercise equipment. New Years is a liiiieeee....any day can be the start of a new yeaaaarrrr. It's all about your attitude towards change, not the day of the year!!!! -slapped by everyone who loves new years-

THAT SAID. I find the new year to be a very important time of change for one thing: my planner. Time to get new calendars!! New planners!! And we all know how much I love calendars and planners and office supplies in general. (Hint: It's almost more than chocolate. Which I also love.)

Since I really started getting this blog in shape a few months ago, I started really heavily relying on the freebie planner my mama gave me for planning posts and whatnot. I was also using it to plan events, meals, craft projects, and (for a while) everything I ate. It got a little crowded! But seeing as I started really using it in like, November, I saw no reason to replace it before 2014 rolled into town.
 So, I started thinking about what I would look for in a planner because I knew that once I got into the office supply store, everything would leave my brain and I'd just grab the glittery one. I decided I needed to divide and conquer. I.e., get a planner for life in general, a planner for the blog, a planner for food.....maybe one for pregnancy?? Then I started thinking about THAT idea: What, I'm going to carry four or five planners? I have issues keeping track of two sets of keys. Five planners was not going to happen.

But how, oh how would I find a planner that fit all my needs? I have so many need, you know. I need separation of topics but in one book; lots of room to write but not just a blank book; and, oh yeah, it has to be cutely colored....but not SO MANY COLORS. I can't commit to an outfit for the whole day. How am I to be expected to commit to a very specific color scheme for 365 days?? What if I suddenly decide that fiesta flowers and pictures of crockpots is upsetting??? But...if it's all blank....will I be sad???

Clearly, I was not over thinking the planner thing at alllll. Sarcasm, my dear friends.

Eventually, the stress of thinking about planners made my go troll Pinterest for ideas. I love free printables, so I thought that perhaps there may be a solution to my woes and sadness. First world problems, my dear friends.
 I found a lot of really fantastic, creative, FREE planners available for download. I was so giddy, I could hardly contain myself. While looking about for the perfect one (or perfect several, since mixing and matching is totally legal), I decided on a couple that I loved. Of course that was not enough, so I supplimented some of the pages with my own derpy creations, which I'm going to share with yoooouuuuu!!! Because sharing is caring, and I want to save you the twitching I experienced while trying to find poifect things.

Enough words!! Onto my 2014 Planner!!

 I decided on half a sheet of normal, A4 computer paper for my planner's size. Easy to print, easy to design, easy to carry about in my purse.

Since I could not find a month page that I liked that printed two per A4 paper, I made my own! I went with a write-your-own-month-and-dates style, so I can use it next year if I want. I tell you, I was on my a-game.
 The first section of my planner is for general use: appointments, dates, due dates, birthdays, whatever. Each month starts with my month blank I designed, and is followed by weekly planner pages from JoyKanani.com. Her free printable weekly planner pages come in four colors!! I used the Seagreen for my general pages, and the blue for my blog pages. We'll get to that later.
 Onto the blog!! Everything is separated out by tabs I got at OfficeMax when I took my planner to be bound. I think the tabs were $3, and the binding/covers were $5. $8 for my perfect planner. Score!! At least, I think it is.
I am already putting this section to very good use! I plan about 2-3 weeks out for my posts, as you can see here. It makes writing so much easier!! I just check the planner, type up the post, and schedule it. If I'm all set to write one that is in three weeks, I write it whenever I have free time and schedule dat bad boy. Easy peasey.

 This section is a big one for me. With all my dietary specialness, I need to at least try to plan things a week in advance for what I'm going to eat. There's no "Oops, I don't have a dinner that's safe for me to eat at home, guess I'll go out" when you have such a restricted diet. Meal planning is my refuge, and my arch enemy. It can get a little overwhelming to figure out what to cook for me, when I know Mr. Sailor can eat whatever he wants. Blarg, another rant for another day. Onwards!!
 I loved the free menu planner from SweetBellaRoos, but it didn't fit the size of planner I wanted to make. So I edited it a bit to make it work for me. Love the design!! You can find the original for free download here!
 It doesn't have to be pretty, folks. Seriously, I scribble and scratch all over it. But it gets done!! Even though one night this week I was feeling so barfy that I abandoned the plan completely and ate cereal, at least there is food in the fridge that I can make that is safe for me to eat.
 This is also genius. Shopping list on the plan page! I just tote my planner into the store and I am set to go. No more reading my list and going, "What....did I need beans for? Musta been nothing..." and then not getting beans because I didn't have my meal plan with me to see I was going to make beans and rice tomorrow!! Dang it!! I would highly, highly recommend doing some meal planning if you haven't before. Get your life on track, yo!!
 The final section is another one that I designed!! Woohooo!!! I wanted a section of the planner to be dedicated to my crafty endeavors, but I didn't want a section for each individual craft. So I devised these pages to be opened enough to work for sewing, crocheting, knitting, whatever, but still structured enough to give me notes to reference back to if I want to remake the project. I seriously love these pages.
 The pages are blank on the back, allowing me more room to doodle and take notes if I need too. Sheer planner perfection right here, home dogs. I tell you what. Want one of your own? Find the download here.

 The cover is pretty plain, but my dear friend who lives overseas sent me some adorable stickers of some cute-tastic ponies I dreamed up a while ago. They went straight onto the white vinyl cover. BOOYAH. Personalized cover with art drawn by a friend. Awwwwww yeah.
Sweet babuuuu. Look at dat face!

Hngggg, sooo cuuuttteeee.


So, there you have it! My planner for 2014. Totally personalized, totally perfect, totally not pricey for all the perfection I required. I printed all the pages at home (so....our ink cartridge is low now. But it was over half gone before I started, so I can't take all the blame), sliced them in half with my handy dandy paper cutter, and stacked them up and trotted off to Office Max to bind 'em. It only took a few minutes! I added the tabs post-binding. Guh. I love this planner.



Month Page Download

Please leave a lovely comment if you use my printables!! Let me know how you like them or what you use them for!!

Happy New Planner!!
-Carolyn