For several years I used a paper planner. Each day had two pages. One page was for the usual appointments and tasks to complete. The other was for notes I wanted to make on any subject. These could even be where I had put something for storage, or the details of a conversation. The system I was using used an indexing procedure so I could find those notes later.
The reason I made my own pages was that I write with my left hand. Most planner pages are designed for a right-handed person. The binder rings really get in the way if you are left-handed.
Step 1: Page for Notes
The left side page in my binder used dots (the period key) to make a faint line on which I could write. My pages were half of a sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper, or 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Holding down the period key causes the page to fill with dots very quickly. Because this page was on the left side of my binder, I left the right margin a bit larger than normal to make room for binder ring holes--about 0.70 inch. I placed two planner pages on one sheet of paper formatted for Landscape rather than Portrait.
Step 2: Right Side Page
This is a screen shot of my right hand page. Again, I used the Landscape format. The appointment items are at the left side of this page because I made only a couple of entries in this column each day. The binder rings gave me minimal problems. I needed more space for my hand when writing in the tasks column because I often wrote things in this column. It is at the right side of the page.
The appointments column began with "Early" for events happening before 8:00 AM. "Late" appeared at the bottom of the column for events scheduled after 7 PM.
One key on the computer keyboard yields a vertical character. I used this to make two narrow columns to indicate a task was completed and to indicate the priority of the task: A, B, or C.
See the next step for a description of the universal calendar.
Step 3: The Universal Calendar
The top line of the page contains the month and year, in this case: February 10 or 2010. I used Right Margin Flush to push it to the far right side of the page.
On this page the left margin is 0.70 inch to make room for binder ring holes.
For the universal calendar, set up thirteen (13) tab settings from left to right 5/16 inch (8 mm) distant from each other.
On the first row abbreviate the days of the week. In the USA calendars begin with Sunday. In much of the world calendars begin with Monday. Either way will work on this calendar. I used two letter abbreviations for the days of the week: Su, Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa. I was able to use a single letter abbreviation for three of the days. The days of the week are named differently in other languages, but a two letter abbreviation for the names of the days would work in those cases, too.
On the first line of the calendar, leave the first six tabs blank. Begin with 1 on the seventh and number consecutively through "7" on the thirteenth tab space. On the second line, number consecutively "2" through "14". On the third line number "9" through "21". On the fourth line number "16" through "28". On the fifth line number "23" through "31". On the sixth line number only "30" through "31".
The red line represents the cursor. Determine what the first day of the month is. In February 2010 the first day is a Monday. Use the Tab key or the Backspace key to move the days of the week as a block to the left or right until the correct day of the week rests over the "1".
Step 4: Mark a Few Things by Hand
February has 28 days this year. At two pages per sheet you need fourteen copies of your calendar pages, which you will cut into two halves for 28 pages. Do not forget to copy the lined pages onto the back of these pages so you can make notes for the next day after you turn today's page. I visually separated the numbers for a given month from the rest of the numbers in the universal calendar by drawing two vertical lines to the left of Sunday and to the right of Saturday. Then I circled "1" on the first page, "2" on the second page, "3" on the third page, and so on through the end of the month. Since February has only 28 days in 2010, I would cross out "29," "30," and "31."
You can also see how I would make entries in the appointments and task sections.
Step 5: Holes to Fit Your Binder
Many planners come with binders that have an unusual number and arrangement for the rings. If you are making your own calendar pages, you need a special hole punch. You can make your own with a piece of 1/2 inch plywood and a standard hole punch like you see in the photo. Cut the plywood to the same size and shape as the planner pages.
Step 6: Marking Holes
Use the rings in your binder or a commercially printed piece of paper from your planner system to mark the hole spacing on your plywood. The hand punch is 7/16 inch wide. Drill holes 7/16 inch in diameter set in from the edge the correct amount for use in your binder. For my binder that was about 3/8 inch. A fence jig on a drill press gives good consistency of results. If you are using plywood, you will get less chipping out of the top and bottom surfaces if the grain on the surfaces runs parallel to the short edge of the paper.
Step 7: Mark and Cut to the Edge
Use a square to mark lines that are tangential to the edges of the holes you drilled. With a fine saw, manual or power, cut out to the edge as shown.
To use, align half-a-dozen pages with the plywood. Hold over a wastebasket. Push the end of the hole punch into each of the holes in the plywood and punch. when you are finished, you will have planner pages that fit your binder, no matter how unusual its ring number or pattern is.