I love me a good planner. I’ve bought at 5 planners just for 2020. I bought one for content projects (yes). I don’t use it. I bought 2 daily planners – one for work, one for play. I don’t use them. I bought a digital planner from Commit 30. I used it for a while. I hacked together my own digital planner on Good Notes (an app I discovered when I bought the planner from Commit 30. And then I found a way to make a good one in Good Notes. It wasn’t that hard, and I’m actually using it, because I made it myself to meet my own needs.
Why traditional planners don’t work for me
Do they work for anyone? We all have unique lives and unique things we want to track. For me, I don’t need a planner to designate half hour increments in my day. My day is nowhere near that complex. I have Google calendar for work meetings and appointments. That’s not what I need a planner for.
Weekdays vs. Weekends
I don’t track work on my planner – I do that elsewhere. I like to keep work and “me time” separate. Otherwise it causes me stress! For Monday through Friday, I just need a small section for each day where I can put things I have to do on that particular day. Then, I need a big section for things I need to do that week, because let’s face it, most things can be procrastinated until Friday. NBD. And then I need a space for ideas, notes, and goals.
For weekends, I need the same stuff, but more of it. Why, oh why, do most planners have LESS space for the weekend? That’s absurd! Because I like to be busy on weekends! Besides, when else is there time to get shit done?
Here’s what my weekday and weekend planner looks like:
Psst. I also just learned how to take a screenshot with your ipad. Click the home button (bit button at the bottom) at the same time you click the “sleep” button at the top. Then you can draw on it etc. and save it in your photos.
Ok, so getting your day planning is the most important step. But I want my planner to do more! Most of my “extras” were inspired by my Commit 30 digital planner, but I added some things and deleted some things. These run across the top of my custom digital planner here.
I chose these categories, which are just essentially blank pages that I can add content to:
- Brilliant ideas – because, duh, everyone needs a spot to record those.
- Goals – same.
- Stickers – I don’t use these much, though I do like the IDEA of them. So they get a spot anyway. (I’m actually more intrigued by the idea of creating stickers than actually using them.)
- Home & garden – because that’s my happiness. Here’s where I put my plans. I have other places I make plans too, like Remember the Milk, Milanote, and Pinterest, but I like to take notes here.
- Cooking, recipes, etc. – not sure if I’ll use this or not. Might delete later.
- Projects. I looovveeee projects!
- Finances, etc. – I usually use this for my monthly budget calculations and then erase them once I’m done and reuse it. Because who wants to memorialize that shit. Best left forgotten!
- Gift ideas – I use this one a lot. All year round.
- And things to buy. I use this one a lot too. More than I probably should! I also keep track of things I’ve ordered here that I haven’t yet received.
The brilliant part of this planner is that the links work. So I just use my apple pencil and click through to whatever month I want, or whatever special page I want. I can also add blank pages wherever. And of course with the apple pencil (best invention ever – I don’t even like Apple that much, but damn I love this pencil!).
I put my months on the left and write – Jan – August on the left and September through December on the right. Because in September, you know you really need to get your shit together in order to get your goals accomplished for the year. So that’s why they’re separate. (I know that is driving some people crazy. HAHA!)
If you want to create your own planner like I did, here’s what you need to do:
Figure out your format and map it out. You’ll design it in Keynote and then import into Goodnotes, so it’s important you have all your pages mapped out ahead of time. Watch the video linked below first before you start working.
You’ll need an ipad, the keynote app (powerpoint for ipad), an apple pencil, and the Good Notes app. That’s just to do it like I did it. I’m sure there are other ways.
This brilliant video on YouTube told me how to do it all. She talks specifically about Bullet Journaling, which I did for a while, but you can follow the same instructions to do any type of planner.