Evolution of a DIY Planner {video}

Creative Business

This one’s for all my planner fans out there, you know who you are!

DIY Planner Evolution

Back in September I shared my Fabric Fauxdori Cover video and promised that I would go more into what’s inside it at a future date. Of course, then October and the Halloween madness struck, and now it’s November and I haven’t fulfilled that promise yet! Allow me to fix that.

(Direct link for the feed readers: DIY Planner Evolution + Clean and Simple Plan with Me November)

The decision to decorate your planner is apparently fraught with peril. As much as I love stickers, I have a lot to keep track of, so I dress my planner up in small ways like with the washi on the page edges. Another benefit of that washi? It reinforces the edges of the paper, making the planner a bit sturdier (at least in my experience). And I’m still absolutely loving my faux-dori planner cover and how easy it is to work with and add things to–I don’t miss ring binders at all!

For anyone still on the hunt for their 2016 planner, the Creative Days Monthly/Weekly Planner is available now in my Etsy shop.

If you want to try your hand at creating your own planner, you can do it in just about any program (Word, Publisher) but I really do prefer InDesign (Scribus is a good open-source alternative). It helps to start by figuring out what you want in a planner–sometimes that means trying out a lot of them or just doodling your own in a spare notebook to find out what sort of information you really need to keep track of. As I said in the video, my biggies are

  • daily to-do lists
  • blog posts
  • menu planning

with fixed appointments only an occasional thing in my life. So all the planners out there that are 50% or more time slots? Not for me. I noticed, back on my hunt for a 2012 planner that started me down the DIY road, that the planners with menu sections were either geared towards moms or had an overly simplified week on a page layout (or other froufrou decorations that didn’t suit me). Of course, had the planner community been then what it is now (or had I known of it), maybe those not-quite-right planners could have benefited from some serious sticker action!

Whatever format you choose to use, I really think everyone can benefit from some sort of time management system. Whether it’s a bullet journal, ongoing to-do lists, even chore charts–whatever takes the guesswork out of the day is going to help you get more done. And it’s not just about making more money and being more productive at work or in your business, it’s about making time for the fun stuff, too. If you check off those boxes for the things you need to do, then you can do the things you want to do with less (or better yet, absolutely no) guilt!

Do you plan? If so, what sort of system do you use? If not, why not?

DIY Planner: Fabric Fauxdori Cover {video}

In The Studio


As I said in my Helmar post, I’m in full-on planner mode these days, and in addition to reformatting my Creative Days planner for 2016, I’m changing binding styles, too!

Inspired by the Midori Traveler’s Notebook as shown in Kiala Givehand’s video on the topic, I’ve joined the many Faux-dori’s out there by making my own cord-bound planner cover!  And since the first one went so well, figuring it out as I went, I decided to make another and video it so anyone who wanted to make a similar fabric planner cover could follow along!

(Direct link for the feed readers: Fabric Fauxdori Planner Cover)

Some of the Fauxdori makers have their own shorthand (like JenDori and FoxyDori), so maybe this is a ScrappyDori? Hey, a girl can try.

I’ve been using my pink cover and my new 2016 planner prototype for a little over a week, now, and I have to say I’m really happy with the changes I’ve made so far! I want to give it another week or so before I decide on the final changes for the 2016 Creative Days planner and put those out at the beginning of October.

What I Used:

  • 16″x9″ Fusible Fleece (1 piece*)
  • 17″x10″ (ish) Fabric (2 pieces*)
  • 1/4″ eyelets (6)
  • Silkies Necklace Cords (2)
  • Foldover Elastic (~12″)
  • 2″ Charm

*To fit an A5 or US Letter folded in half-sized planner or notebook.

Along with the usual sewing bits: scissors, sewing machine, iron, etc.

You know, I’m more inclined to iron for craft projects than I ever feel compelled to on laundry days!

And even though the video is almost an hour, it’s only that long because I wanted to take you guys through the different decisions I made and how I got here–it took less than an hour of actual working time to make this planner cover and it’s mostly straight seams (I rounded the corners, but that’s a personal preference thing).


Midori Traveler’s Notebook
Kiala Givehand’s Book-in-a-Day Traveler’s Notebook Tutorial

JenDori aka ChickSparrow Journals
FoxyDori Etsy Shop (currently on hiatus)

Stretch Magic Silkies Necklace Cords (affiliate link)
Jewelry Fundamentals Thick Elastic Cord (affiliate link)
2.5mm Crimp Tubes (affiliate link)
Fold Over Elastic (affiliate link)
Blue Moon Beads Shortcuts Connectors

If you give this project a go, I’d love to see how yours turns out!