I don’t really like buying planners because the pages are never set up exactly the way I want, and they tend to be a bit pricey. I also have lots of little notebooks that live in drawers and never get used up.

There is a solution to this problem.

(This is kind of a silly thing but I’m very pleased with it. It’s not exactly a complicated DIY but an idea you might like to run with.)

Just thick cardboard decorated with papers and fabric for a spine.

Last year I made my own planner using leftover pages from a few small notebooks I had that were the same size. I’d had those notebooks for like 15 years and knew I was never going to use up those last pages. So, I tore off the cardboard covers and glued those pages into a new cover I made from thick cardboard and fabric.

I just glued the fabric over the cardboard to decorate it and make a flexible spine.

Old notebook pages added inside.
Old notebook pages added inside and taped to the inside covers on either side of the spine. If you like binding your own pages together obviously that would work too, but my hope here was to use up old things.

I also had an envelope inside to tuck away business cards and lists.

So that was working well until last week I used up the last pages. So today I tore out those pages and decided to re-vamp the planner. (Understandably the inside is a bit worn.)


I added a little re-used monthly calendar from a brochure that I’d found, and I just paper-clipped in a little notebook that I’ve turned into a weekly calendar. (It makes me laugh that my planner says ‘people to avoid’.)

teehee! irony!
See? Weekly calendar with plenty of room for each day.
See? Weekly calendar with plenty of room for each day.

And I tucked some pages from a notepad in the back for lists and other notes.

Notes notes notes!
Notes notes notes!

I also have a small address book I can just tuck in.

So now the old cover has turned into a little portfolio I can customize in a lot of ways, and when it’s all over I easily recycle the pages of the small notebook and start again.