About a year ago, I published an article about my first customized planner. With the new year, I designed an updated version with a few improvements to the layout of the pages. Originally I kept my monthly calendar and monthly goal sheets in the front of the planner, followed by a series of different logs (i.e. Health/Fitness, Home Maintenance, etc.). After all of these various sections I listed my weekly goal sheets. While I like the idea of keeping the monthly pages nicely organized together, I found that I didn’t utilize the monthly goals sheets after a couple of months. I never even looked at the home maintenance section, and the health/fitness section design wasn’t used as much either. While in theory it sounded like a great layout, I found out in that practice that I needed to revamp the layout.
For this year’s improved design, I’ve merged the various documents so that most everything flows throughout the year together. For example, here’s how a standard month of documents flow:
- Monthly Calendar (2 pages): When it comes to printing calendar pages, I use Dynamic Template v2.05 software designed by the folks over at DIY Planner. It’s completely free to download. In addition to printing monthly calendars this software is flexible, having settings that can be modified to print daily, weekly, and even yearly pages. Simply select your paper size, choose the calendar type, and tweak the settings to come up with your own printable set of calendars that perfectly fit your planner and your lifestyle.
- Monthly Goals: A template I designed to help stay focused on health, creative, relationship, financial, and spiritual goals as well as ideas, notes, errands, projects, and home maintenance tasks all on one page.
- Goal Refocus template: While searching for various tools and templates, I came across the Goal Refocus template created by Daryl Furuyama who shares experiences in what works in life at WhiteHat BlackBox. It’s a great template to track your progress on five goals over the course of a month on one page. Since I created my planner at the beginning of the year, I’m finding this template is very useful in tracking how much progress I’m making when it comes to two of my health goals: taking vitamins daily and making exercise a priority. As Daryl recommends, you fill in the circle completely if you made a lot of progress on the goal (for example a full 30 minute to hour workout) as compared to some progress (such as fitting in just 10 minutes of stretching when I’m super busy with other priorities). The template is also great since there is space to jot down a quick note by each day and a full side of the page can be dedicated to brainstorming notes to help you stay focused on what’s important.
- 4-5 Weekly Goal pages: A template I designed to that is very similar to the monthly goals sheet.
Now I still have some sections that I keep separate in the back:
- Project Meeting template: Another great template found via DIY Planner that was created from a user using their form widget software. While you can tell that the original designer of the template created it mind for the office since there are spots to log the conference room and conference call information, I use for tracking meeting notes for my various projects outside of work. I particularly liked this meeting template more than other ones I have seen since the layout makes a good use of space to track important details on just one page. Some of the features include spots to keep track of the meeting agenda as well as a graph area for notes. About the only drawback is that there wasn’t a spot to track follow-up items. However, I find myself tracking the action items in the meeting notes section.
- Ideas: basically alternating blank and lined pages for brainstorming on various ideas/projects
- Web Design
- Wish List
In a future post, I’ll share the monthly and weekly goal templates I designed, but in the interim if you looking for templates for your planner, I highly recommend DIY Planner since they include a wide range templates created both their core team of designers as well as contributions from guest designers. You can also use their free DIY Planner Widget Kit software to design your own templates.