My Planner- Pages – DIY FISH Inserts

My Planner With DIY FIsh

My search for a new planner was prompted by my need to better manage my time. For the last 3 years I had been using the week on 2 pages format of the Erin Condren Life Planner. It worked well to keep track of appointments, but I needed a more indepth system that could not only track multiple areas of my life but where I could manage my time on a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily basis.

The beauty of customising your own planner, is that there are a smorgasbord of planner pages available. You can buy pre printed inserts for discbound planners but I was more interested in creating my own “hybrid” planner at home, using downloadable pages and my home printer. Etsy and Pinterest have a massive assortment of planner pages and templates for everything from meal planning to cleaning schedules. Most are dirt cheap and sometimes even free! Using this method, you can create your own personalised planner, customised to meet your family’s and your lifes needs.

Whilst on the hunt, I stumbled upon the brand DIY Fish. DIY Fish is a store on Etsy that offers a new planner page system, unlike anything I have seen before. THe “Packs” Consist of Monthly, Weekly and Daily pages. The range is MASSIVE and you will literally get lost in her store trying to work out which pack you like the best. I strongly suggest you go in with a clear idea in mind of what you need in a planner page.

What I need/want in a planner page

A Monthly Calendar

An overview calendar of the month ahead to record birthdays, swimming/ballet/soccer/tennis lessons, kindy days etc.

A Weekly Overview (peek at my week)

This is what my Erin Condren offered me I wanted something similar but in a different format. It has to have space for me to plan out blog posts, meals, Tot school, study and of course appointments.

A Daily Page (or two!)

This was afterall the whole reason I was looking for a new planner. I wanted somewhere to schedule my day, write out to do lists, plan in more detail the days activities, write reminders and basically brain dump (more on that later!)

With all this in mind I settled on

Version 2.1 – With a Day On 2 Pages (DO2P) and also bought a 3 Year Chart (for my yearly planning)

The system an be bought in 3 month packs (which is what I did) so after the 3 months if it’s not for you, your not stuck with a whole years worth of planner pages.

Words simply can’t describe how this system works so beautifully, so I have taken you for a walk through my planner in this YouTube clip.

Just after this video I bought the next 3 month pack (Jul-Sept) I bought the same version that has a new slightly different name

Version 2.2 Day on 2 Pages

It has very minimal changes. Here is a quick closer look at the pages.

Yearly

IMG_2972

Monthly

IMG_2985

Weekly

IMG_2986

Daily – Day On 2 Pages

IMG_2987

It also comes with “Charts” to help track other areas of your life. On this Monthly Chart (the Monthly Calendar is on the back) I am tracking my household cleaning zones. It also comes with weekly charts as well.

Monthly Chart

IMG_2984

You simply purchase the planner on Etsy, it is emailed to you within 48 hours (as a downloadable file) and you print, cut and punch at home. If the whole print, cut, punch bit is overwhelming for you, I know a few kind people who will do it for you for a small fee!

Over the next few weeks I will show you a closer look at each section of my planner (starting with the Daily Pages) and how I am using it!

So what do you think, would this work for you?

My Planner – The Discbound System

So let’s start at the very beginning, because like Maria Von Trapp sung, it’s a very good place to start!

To create an organised life, it’s not just about organising your house.  You need to start by organising yourself. You need to create a routine and manage your time so you have the time and energy to clean and organise!

The best way to start is with a planner.

My name is Larissa, and I am a Planner Addict.  Not sure how it all began but becoming a teacher sure did nothing to quash my addiction to making lists, plans and timetables.  I live for lists.  I make them in my sleep I am sure.  I have plans for the day, for the week, for the month, for the year  and for the next ten years!

Over the years I have “played” with many planners.  Some were opened and used with such enthusiasm I thought they were best thing since sliced bread.  A month later they sat lifeless and I had returned to making lists and recording important dates on random scrawled sticky notes.  Some like my Erin Condren Life Planner went the distance.  I have used it for the last three years and it has literally only been in the last few months that we have parted ways.

But since our third baby entered our family,  life has been way too busy for the open format of the Life Planner.  Its beauty in its coloured fonts and gorgeous covers was great to look at but was not helping me manage my time or my life effectively as it could.  It was time to try something new.

So being a list maker I made a list of what I needed in a planner.

5 THINGS I NEED IN A PLANNER

  1. FLEXIBILITY.  There are two kinds of planners.  The ready made and the DIY.  They each have their benefits.  I have always been a ready made kind of girl as I like to be able to buy a planner and start using it straight away.  Ready Made planners are cheap, .  The problem being that it is hard to “add” to a ready made planner.  You need to adjust your needs to suit the format of the planner pages and not the other way around.  The Erin COndren planner has days divided into Morning, Day, Evening.  But I need to do lists, blog notes, tot school ideas, I need my planner to keep track of multiple areas of my life.  Although the Life PLanner was great for keeping track of general appointments it was more a diary than a planner.  I want to be able to add personlaised content and sections to keep track of all areas of my life, in one space.
  2. SPACE.  I need a daily page.  I need space to WRITE! One column is not enough for me.  I want space for a specific time schedule and space for appointments and even a space to jot down notes throughout the day.
  3. MORE THAN A DIARY.  I want my planner to hold my cleaning schedule, blog ideas, meal plans, tot school plans, goals, to do lists, shopping tracker….EVERYTHING!  I need to be able to add things and remove things as I please!
  4. PRETTY.  Of course practical is just not enough, I want it to be pretty too!  I can do without the coloured pages (I cna decorate those myself) but I want the cover at least to be appealing.
  5. SMALL.  I need my planner to be usable but compact.  I want it to be light enough to take in my handbag. My EC was one of the smaller planners I have had but it was still too bulky.  A5 is my perfect size.

After a bit of research I found the perfect system.

THE  DISCBOUND SYSTEM

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 10.06.05 AM

The “Arc Discbound System”

The Discbound System revolves around planners and pages that are bound together by discs.  The beauty of these discs is, unlike ready made planners that are bound, with a discbound you can remove and add pages as you like.

See those nifty little holes the punch makes?  Thats what makes the pages removable!

See those nifty little holes the punch makes? Thats what makes the pages removable!

Using the discbound punch, you simply punch holes in any paper, card, laminate and add it to your planner!  Tuckshop lists, rosters, excursion notes, dividers, plastic pockets, lists, anything can be added to your planner simply by using the discbound punch.  Once an item is in you can also remove it and relocate it to another space in your planner!  This is tricky to describe so this YouTube clip, demonstrates for you. Be kind it’s my first attempt at YouTube!

Now this is just a SYSTEM. It is not a specific planner.

That comes next. To start creating your own discbound planner you will need;

  • the punch and
  • a discbound notebook (I bought a Martha Stewart Discbound notebook a year or so ago, but highly recommend the Arc notebooks).

 As mentioned in the YouTube clip both the Arc Punch and Notebooks can be found at Staples Online and delivery is quick and generally free.  You could even just buy the punch and create your own planner using a laminated piece of cardstock as the cover.  The punch is also available through Amazon as a “travel” punch that is a much cheaper and lighter version of the punch I bought, you just have to find a kind friend overseas to purchase it for you (get your act together AMAZON! Australia needs shipping too!)

You now have the foundations of a completely customisable system.  This system can be used year after year.  As one year ends you don’t need to buy a whole new planner, just update your inserts!

I only wish I had of found this system a long time ago, especially whilst I was working.  I could have easily added all those newsletters, staff meeting notes, rosters into my own planner without stapling plastic pockets into my store bought planner.

So that’s the beginning. But I am afraid it is a long way from finding “Planner Peace” for  now you need some planner pages!

The options for Planner pages are endless but tomorrow I will share with you my choice and in my opinion, THE MOST AMAZING planner pages I have ever come across.

For a sneak peek I have already uploaded a look inside my planner onto my brand spanking new YouTube Channel –

You can check it out and SUBSCRIBE HERE

My Planner – The Daily Pages

I am a thinker.  A middle of the night list maker.  A mind full of chaos and that stops me from sleeping.  A goal setting, idea dreaming, busy bee.

But I am afraid I am also a procrastinator. A starter but not a finisher. An over analyser, that is so busy thinking that she often forgets to DO.

 I want to be a doer.  An accomplisher. So I searched for change and discovered this…..

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 8.13.39 AM

and even better this

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 8.20.07 AM

oh and of course this

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 8.21.52 AM

Sound familiar.  This is me.  My brain is so busy storing every “to do” list that it has no space for anything else, including sleep.

This is the “Getting Things Done” theory by David Allen.  This theory deserves its own blog post (or three!) and I will write more about it in detail. Lets just say its so freaking amazing, I instantly decided to put his ideas into action.

To do this I needed a planner.  Somewhere to brain dump. To write out all of my actionable thoughts, goals and dreams.  Somewhere to create order out of my chaotic mind.  My current planner wasn’t cutting it.  So I took the leap to the self made planner system and the DIY Fish inserts and Discbound System.

But the most appealing and effective part of the planner for me is the DAILY PAGES.  This is something I have never done before.  Used a 2 page spread specifically for that day.  I had always been kind of a weekly overview gal.  But I needed more detail!

So here is a look at what I did!  A peek inside how I use my Daily Pages.

The Daily Pages

 There is just so much to write about this system and about 100 more blog posts in the making, but this is a start.  I was so desperate to share this  video that I want to DO IT NOW so you can get started too!

I will be back to share some pics and more detail of my daily pages and how I use them, so stay tuned and check back soon!