Instructables
Picture of Make Your Own Planner Pages
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.

 
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Step 1: Page for notes

Picture of 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.
KEUrban5 years ago
Phil,

Just a suggestion on your hole punch. I supervise duplication services at work. Take a big stack of sheets, sandwich them between two of your plywood forms with light cardboard (like on the back of a pad of paper) as the first and last pages of the stack, and then use a drill press to punch the holes. Except for the plywood forms (we have stops set up on the hole punch), that's how we punch hundreds of pages at a time.

Once the drill press is started, and before drilling, hold a block of wax against the bit to lubricate it. Then, drill away.
Phil B (author)  KEUrban4 years ago
I know print shops have special drill presses with a tubular bit to make punch-outs.  I used the sandwiching technique on a dozen pieces of cardstock in a previous Instructible www.instructables.com/id/Bolting-a-Transmission-Pan-Back-in-Place/  Without a tubular bit my results from drilling a compressed sandwich have always left the holes a little rougher around the edges than I like.

When I used this paper planner, I found I often needed to punch holes in just  one or two sheets for inclusion someplace in the planner, as in a reduced copy of a letter or a document I wanted within reach later.  

The tip about the wax is interesting and useful.  Thank you.   
pfred2 Phil B3 years ago
You could probably make your own tubular bit out of a sharpened piece of metallic brake line tubing.
rimar20005 years ago
I'm also a lefty, Phil. Maybe I should copy your idea, because even though I carry my journal, I'm very disorganized with my designs: without exception, thay have lying around in loose sheets.
You and me both. I have piles of papers lying around with notes, sketches, lists, etc. on them. Anymore when I get done with a project I toss out most of the associated paperwork that went into making it. I figure the project is its own documentation.

I have a thing for spiral 3x5 memo books, though I use some 3 ring binders as well, sometimes backwards, as I'm left handed too.

Left handers are the only ones in their right mind!
Phil B (author)  rimar20004 years ago
I viewed your recent Instructible on your annual journal.  So much depends on the user's needs.  I really liked making lots of notes on the left side page when I used this planner.  There will come a time when I do not need so many notes and do not need to remember as many things as now. 
I adore this level of commitment to organization and correcting flaws in common things that righties take for granted.  Kudos to you!
 
Phil B (author)  AngryRedhead5 years ago
Dear "Red,"

Thank you for your comment.  I was using a commercially available  fully-integrated paper planning system before electronic PDA's became inexpensive enough to afford one.  It was so well done that it made the conscientious user "bulletproof."  There was a real feeling of power and control.  Since that time I have adapted what I learned from the paper system to my electronic PDA.  

What I have described could easily be configured for the right-handed person who prefers to make his or her own rather than be at the mercy of a commercial firm.  There will always be people who continue to prefer the look and feel of paper.

I went to a one-room rural school K-6.  It was the only time a left-handed writing desk was provided to me.  Since that time I have had to adapt numerous things for my left-handed ways. 
mslaynie Phil B3 years ago
You're very lucky. My father-in-law went to a small Catholic school, and the nuns actually tied his left hand down to force him to write with his right hand. I've also heard stories of liberal application of a ruler across his left knuckles also. He's got lovely penmanship now, but I don't know if it was worth it.
Phil B (author)  mslaynie3 years ago
My father (born 1910) was forced to write with his right hand rather than follow his natural inclination to write with his left hand. Born 36 years later, I was allowed to write with my left hand. My father attended a small Lutheran parochial school. I did not hear stories about a ruler across the knuckles, nor about hands tied behind his back. I attended a one-room public rural school. It was quite common at one time in all schools to force left-handers to switch over to the right hand. I am not sure how well I would have done at being forced to switch.
Jake_Rider4 years ago
Cool, dude!!
Phil B (author)  Jake_Rider4 years ago
Thanks.
greybunny4 years ago
 I don't know what kind of planner you use, but doesn't this waste more time than it would cost? I am very picky about my planners (I use disposable as I don't have the space or money for a large one) and tried to make one before but after working on it for days I still couldn't get it to come out right - meanwhile wasting many pages every time i thought I had it right. And without a dual sided printer it takes so long. I understand this is instructables, about do-it-yourself, but sometimes you have to decide if something is worth your time and energy. How long did this take you?
 A few months ago I got a planner I liked well enough for $3, that will last me till the end of fall semester (around Christmas). The only things I'd change about it would be having an extra page after the week (one week is 2 pages) for notes (I have to write in the margins now) and the font and cover. 
Phil B (author)  greybunny4 years ago
My main reason for making my own pages was to make more space for my left hand when writing on the notes page, which I did a lot.  Printing the pages off did not take too much time.  Going through an circling consecutive dates for each day took some time.  Setting up the calendar on the computer and double-checking to make certain I had the first day of the month under the correct day of the week took a little time.  It took some time to make my pages, but I could not always buy the pages locally and I liked having them made up just the way I wanted them. 
blodefood4 years ago
I found a planner at a thrift shop that had a week on two pages but there were no day or month numbers so one could write them in.  It just happened that the pages were about the size of a half sheet of letter (north america) sized paper.  So I scanned them and printed out a bunch and slit them.  There were only three holes so I could use a regular paper punch and adjust the position accordingly.
Phil B (author)  blodefood4 years ago
After a while I used a 3-ring binder, too.  A regular punch for three holes worked well, but I did make a special stop I added to position the paper.
lucky duck. n_n
(removed by author or community request)
Phil B (author)  DELETED_motorharp4 years ago
Thank you for your comment. 

The basic two pages per day arrangement is used by several commercial planners.  The page for notes allows you to record all manner of information for later recall. 

I wanted to include a calendar for the current month on the appointments/tasks page.  I have a wristwatch with a universal calendar for the month in a window within the dial's face, and it was the basis for the universal calendar I set up with a word processor document using tab settings, and it has been a very practical solution.

I wish I could say more about the details of the system I used, but it is copyrighted and I would get into trouble if I gave away what that company sells, even though many people have been trained in it by now.

The hole punch described in this Instructable is an idea I developed and have used very well in another application.
ehmbee4 years ago
Nice instructable-while it may seem like an easy way out, I get my templates from DIY Planner. It lets you start with a pre-made, submitted template and go from there, without having to create an Excel document, etc. yourself. I need full-page planner pages for film projects (for shooting schedules, etc.), and they have plenty of those as well as Classic Size (5.5 x 8.5 in.) and Hipster PDA-sized (for 3 x 5 in notecards). Supplement these with your 'ible and the idea of dropping $20-$50 for planner pages seems absolutely ridiculous to the average DIYer.  Again, nice 'ible!
Phil B (author)  ehmbee4 years ago
Thanks for the comment and for the link.  That is an interesting site.  Were I still using a paper planner, I would make use of it.
laxap5 years ago
I have a "Time/system" planner. Due to the PDA an now the  gcal eras, I still use it but only occasionally, and mainly for sketches and quick notes.

I've been always highly annoyed by the holes arrangement and necessity to buy blank paper, or a specific punch, all sold at scandalous prices. This plywood + hole punch trick is a great idea!

How many sheets can you punch in the same time?
laxap laxap5 years ago
OK, 6 sheets, as told in step 7...
Phil B (author)  laxap5 years ago
No problem that you did not notice the number of sheets a person can punch at a time.  We are all human.  You can punch as many sheets as you have strength in your hand.  For me, five or six is about the practical limit. 

I know what you mean about scandalous prices.  Ten years ago when I knew a number of people using these planners I made quite a few plywood punch guides as a favor and surely saved some folks a lot of money.  These paper planners were great for making a few notes on an idea for a project.

Thank you for looking and commenting.
I don't know if this would help, but I've discovered the wonderful leather tooling section where you can buy punches that you use with a hammer.  They're about $5/set and work GREAT on paper and lots of other materials, not so good on felt but meh.  It might be easier to swing a hammer than grasp a grip-style hole puncher.  Here's a step in one of my instructables where I use it on cardboard.  A bonus of the sets is that you can add holes to leather shoe/sandal straps.
 
Phil B (author)  AngryRedhead4 years ago
I viewed your Instructible and have a similar small punch for adding holes to a leather belt.  A larger version of my leather punch would work for planner pages.  Each hole would need to be placed in the exact right spot, and I know I would not get even results.  The plywood with the "U"-shaped openings automatically puts the punch in just the right place for each hole.  I like that part of it, even if other parts of the process may be compromises. 
The punches get quite large if that helps.  I think mine go up to a 1/2" diameter which would be big enough for a ring binder.  Just saying in case it helps because I really like the punches and think they're a little bit of awesome.

For the record, I love your use of a jig for punching holes.  Very clever.
 
Phil B (author)  AngryRedhead4 years ago
It is good to find a tool that does a job well.  It soon becomes a favorite often  used in many new applications.  Thank you for the compliment on the hole jig.  It took a while to think of that and it has worked well when I needed it, as well as for others whom I gifted with a copy.  At the time the company that sold my planner supplies had a $7 cheapie made of plastic and a $40 heavy duty metal punch.