WFMW: Make Your Own Planner

I love Shannon's Works for Me Wednesday linkup because there are some amazing ideas every week from smart moms in the blogosphere.

I don't often post my own WFMW; not because nothing works for me, but because the best WFMW posts come with detailed instructions and pictures.

And because I always often forget to make a note on my calendar that I need to start thinking about a WFMW post over the weekend if I plan to post the following Wednesday.

Which is my WFMW today is a great idea - for me, at least. I get real-life functionality + blog fodder for WFMW...score!

Here goes!

Make Your Own Planner

I've bought the Mom's Plan-It calendar for our refrigerator for the past three years {actually, this year I bought the Family Plan-It version since the Mom one was sold out at Barnes & Noble}.

I can't recommend these calendars enough for you moms out there who run a busy family and need one good calendar to track all of the individual activities, appointments, and events for everyone..

But what I've really needed for the past few years is a planner for myself, something portable where I can keep track of those appointments and such and a place where I can, well, plan.

Rather than fork over another $14.99 + tax and shipping for the Mom's Plan-It Engagement Calendar, I decided to make my own.

Here's what I used:

~ 1 spiral bound notebook (purchased last summer during back-to-school shopping for $0.05)

~ Stiff cardboard (I used the cardboard box used to ship my Family Plan-It Calendar)

~ Cotton fabric from my bottomless box of unfinished sewing projects (free, but tinged with a mixture of guilt and frustration over what I haven't finished)

~ Craft glue (free; see above)

~ Stapler (wrangled away from Tater who uses it just about every day to make little books out of index cards)

~ Sharpies (every mom worth her salt has some of these lying around)

~ Ruler or other straight edge

How I made it:

1. Cut cardboard to fit the front and back cover of the notebook. Then, staple cardboard mercilessly and without regard to any preconceived notions of perfection.

2. Cut the fabric to fit over the front and the inside of the front cover and cut a matching piece to fit over the back and the inside of the back cover. Commence stapling the fabric to the cardboard cover, pulling tightly so it lies flat. Have the glue standing by to help you tack down any reluctant edges.

3. Be sure to fold and tuck the edges of the fabric neatly before stapling so you won't have to rip out a bunch of staples with your fingertips and start over again.

4. Cut out a cute little coordinating piece of fabric and glue that sucker on the front cover, tucking edges neatly. Once it's dry, take your sharpies and write whatever you want on there as a title.

5. Now, here's the time consuming part: go through each page and add your planner structure with your Sharpies and a straight edge ruler. I really like the weekly planning page offered by MomAdvice, so I used that as my inspiration. It took some time to complete all 52 weeks, but I did it a bit at a time.

My finished product:

And, my weekly pages:

Now, I KNOW some of you out there are Etsy-worthy crafters; I, as evidenced by my endless pile of half-finished craft-projects, am most assuredly not. Those of you out there with mad crafty skillz could take this idea and really make it shine in a way that my impatient self did not.

Still, I'm happy with how this turned out and plan on making one for my seven year old daughter to use as a journal.

My homemade 2009 planner cost me all of $0.05 and a couple of hours here and there.

And that totally works for me!