Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolutions: Get Organized by designing a date book

Okay, let's start getting organized. yeah, the date book isn't the end all and be all of organization, but it's a good start.

Why make your own? I find the pre-made planners just don't have everything I need to know for my daily life. I need a mileage and expense form, I need certain phone numbers, I need to be able to take notes after appointments and meetings. And I certainly need a list of craft and other groups so I can do some serious planning.

What do you need to keep track of your life?

When you are making your own date book think of what you'd like to carry with you -- addresses, phone numbers, a week at a glance calendar or a monthly one, passwords for websites -- nothing's off limits.

And think of how you want to design it. Are you a by hand kind of person, a fan of scrapbooking or drawing, or are you a computer design person, in love with fonts, wingdings, and clip art?


Personally, I like to have a week to a page on one side, then a section for my notes. I prefer a sheet of 8.5 x 14 (legal size) paper cut in half and cut in half again, so the pages are 4.25 x 7 inches. I find this works for me. You can choose to use any size you want, but if you are going to carry it in your purse or school bag, I find 1/4 of a legal sized sheet or 1/4 of a regular sized sheet (which would be 4 1/4 by 5.5 inches) is a good size. Anything bigger than that and you are going to be annoyed.

I like to have the following in my book:
- phone number page
- date pages
- note pages (beside the date pages)
- library program schedule (so I can plan when I have a down moment)
- a calendar for this year and for next year (because you never know!)
- some lined pages for general thoughts and rambling
- expense pages (for mileage and for expenses!)

I also like to add a pocket to the back page to keep things I might need like business cards, coupons, gift certificates to coffee places I'll never visit because I hate coffee, and things of that nature.

Figure out what pages you need. You'll most certainly need a calendar -- daily, weekly, monthly? -- and probably a place for notes. Do you want to have a place for doodles or a to-do list? Do you like graph, lined, or unlined paper?

Here are some adorable pages you can print at How To Tuesday Planner at Etsy!

DIY Planner has some great, basic pages for a journal or date book!

Free printable calendar from

More free printable calendars (these are good for date books)!

And still more free printable calendars!

It's A New Day has some great pages to print (very nice tree theme).

A whack of downloadable pages here (organizing pages) and here (lined pages) and here (calendar pages, 1 month at a time).

Scrapbook organizer pages for making a crafting journal!

Free graph paper generator (love this page!) or here

Cornell note taking paper (love this stuff!)

Scramping with Miranda has a cute date book idea...(if you like that font, it's called Pharmacy and it's one of my favourites!)

Please tune in tomorrow for some ideas on how to bind this all together!

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