Friday, June 15, 2018

That time of year: making my own planner pages

Q: What do you get if you cross an Organization Nut with a DIY-er?    

A:  Er, you get . . . me?

Today happened to be my annual planner-page-making day.  I have mentioned once or twice that my daily planner rules my life.  Each weekday page in my planner has space for a daily to-do list along the left column, and place for my scheduled activities on the right column, and a bit of extra space for notes (phone numbers, notes from conversations, mileage numbers, whatever) at the bottom.    (Saturday and Sunday share one page, with one rather freewheeling column per day).  

I love my planner.  Thinking about trying to go about my days without it is like trying to imagine driving a powerful car without a steering wheel.  How do people who don't use planners keep track of all those little tasks that swirl around us all?  How do they remember when the last time they did X (gave blood, talked to the person who promised to send something) was?  I'm not sure, and I'm not even sure I want to know.  I'm stuck on my planner, so I'll keep doing what works so well for me.

Yesterday and today, according to my planner.
I had a LONG to-do list today!
I used to buy my pages annually from the Franklin Quest folks (later, Franklin Covey), but eventually I realized I could use my geeky spreadsheet skills to make my own pages in Excel.   Merging some cells, rotating words in a few other cells, fancy borders and such, and eventually I had a relatively nice-looking layout.

The truly fun (and geeky) part was figuring out the order of the days so that after I printed these double-sided, and then folded/sliced the pages in half, the days would come out in the right order.  In case you're wondering, the order is:

Monday-Thursday-Wednesday-Tuesday  --  Friday-Tuesday-Monday-Sat/Sun  --

Obvious, right?

Coming up with the spreadsheet that makes this all happen was the intellectually satisfying part of this whole venture.  Once that was done, the rest is almost in the arts-and-crafts realm.  I print this spreadsheet file out, using Century Gothic font (both because I like it, and because the internet lore claims that the Century Gothic font uses less ink than other comparable fonts).

The printed pages, still needing some cut and punch
Then I get to use the paper slicer.  Do you love using the paper slicer as much as I do?  I guiltily admit that even though this slicer is supposed to belong to the whole department, I've added my own permanent-ink markings on the ruler at the top that help me slice my planner pages quickly and correctly.

Ssssslice!  I do love using a paper slicer.
Not sure why it feels so satifying.
When that's done, I have a pile of 8.5" x 4.25' blank sheets, for scrap paper, and a bunch of planner pages, almost ready to go.
A pile of note pages, plus a year's worth of planner pages,
almost done.
You wouldn't think that punching the holes in the paper -- with an already-calibrated 6-hole punch, mind you -- would be the tricky part.  But somehow, I *always* mess up punching some of the pages.
Whoops.  Some kind of mess-up like this
happens *every* year.
Fortunately, this year I only messed up four pages; since they're summer pages, I'll just treat those as "holey days".  [heh].  And then all that's left to do is store the pages, ready to go.
My life, past and future.  
And what does all this fun end up costing me?  I usually manage to pick up reams of interesting paper at yard sales, so the paper is like, maybe, $1?   And the printing, at 7¢ per page, comes out to just under $11. 

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