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Last week I mentioned making a custom cover for my discbound planner. Here’s my first attempt – I might find another solution for the spine, it’s a very thick card stock and doesn’t slide around on the disc as well as a thinner paper. Hmmm….

The notebook closed from the front (left) and the back (right):
Custom Discbound Cover by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

The cover is made from a paper sample book I’ve had forever. It was already the right height and I only had to add two folds. Any kind of heavy paper would work though, or a light cardboard like a tissue or shoe box.

I collaged mine with paper, black ink, white paint and a few stitches on the sewing machine.

Custom Discbound Cover by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

I definitely want to cut off the extra flap with the vertical pocket on the right (pictured above). It’s too bulky, especially because it sits open on my desk or nightstand 99% of the time.

Custom Discbound Cover by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

The spine width should be just a little bigger than your stack of papers, not including the discs. Once folded, if your paper is thin enough, you can put each fold inside the hole punch. Then use an x-acto and cut out the rectangle shape on the front cover side. My cardboard wouldn’t fit in the hole punch so I did it on a thin paper first, traced it to the cardboard then cut it out by hand. Do a test first so you don’t accidentally punch your nice cover wrong!

Custom Discbound Cover by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

I’m totally loving discbound, read all my other posts about it here: http://ahhh-design.com/tag/discbound/

My Printable Planner Template through 2015 are available too, get ‘em while they’re hot!!

Back in October 2013 I declared my love for Discbound. I’m putting together my plans for 2014 and I’m still loving it, almost. I’ve tried professional planners before and I swoon at photos of Filofaxes just like everyone, especially the hot pink and gold ones. In the end I always go back to handmade though – I love the crafty feel of a handmade, hand sewn, hand glued cover. Hand-drawn templates and textures and a collage of paper and tape make me happy.

So, I ditched the blue leather cover that I originally bought. It was too stiff and boring. I haven’t found a solution yet, as I’m currently using cardboard in the back and a plastic divider in the front. It works for now.

This afternoon I started mocking up a cover that would create a spine for the notebook. I’m pretty close and think I want to make something similar to this old diy cardboard binder I made a couple years back.

Here’s a photo with the test spine:

I was pretty proud of myself because I figured out the right shape to cut so that it still lays flat and the cover doesn’t get in the way. Yeah!

Download the above monthly templates here: 2013_week-month-8x11.pdf (8698 downloads)

My daughter wanted to share her Santa stickers with my notebook, they crack me up. Keep an eye out next week for a new template!

My Printable Planner Template through 2015 are available too, get ’em while they’re hot!!

A new year always brings with it big big BIG ideas and plans and goals. Time for a new planner, new goals, new projects, a new start – all that! I love reading everyone’s New Year’s posts – I went through this exercise by & Kathleen for finding my “feeling” words last week. Tara Swiger has the same idea in saying, pick a word or phrase to guide you. I haven’t found mine yet, but I’m close. More on that soon…

Goals //

With the huge changes in my life the last couple of years my planning style has drastically changed. I like seeing the big picture now, months at a time. Maybe because the weeks and days fly by so fast – the moments last a little longer but only when I can catch them. With that in mind I put together an updated goals template, the same format as this one, but with a little more space and structure.

Free Printable Goals Template by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

Peps decorated it with pencil and stickers, she’s so helpful. It could be used several different ways, these are just a few of my plans for 2014. You could also set it up for a single project… mark when the launch is and work backwards by month with to-do lists to meet the deadline.

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD -> goals.pdf (1769 downloads)

The PDF download has both a vertical and horizontal 8.5×11 versions. They can easily be printed smaller for other sizes.

2014 //

I also put together a full yearly calendar on one page for tracking daily/weekly/monthly routines and events.

Free Printable 2014 Full Year Template by Ahhh Design #diyplanner #routines

For runs I made a key, circles for scheduled and an x for complete. It doesn’t have to be an exercise tracker though, could be anything! Maybe you want to blog 3 times a month or send out a newsletter every month on the 15th… or you could just write down birthdays and anniversaries to remember. Here’s an example of planning trips and big events over the year.

Free Printable 2014 Full Year Template by Ahhh Design #diyplanner

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD -> 2014_full-year.pdf (2017 downloads)

This download also has a vertical and horizontal version of the template – shown above.

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Have a great New Year friends and happy planning! If you haven’t set up a new planner yet this year, check out my Printable Planner Template through 2015!

Discbound DIY Planner

When it comes to planners, for the most part, I’ve been DIY for years. If I was using a store-bought binder it was a cheapo 3-ring because I liked the color. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested in the fancier planners on the market, they just seemed too stuffy or complicated for my tastes.

Earlier this year I stumbled upon this post on ‘I heart organizing’ that mentioned the new line of Martha Stewart planners at Staples. I think I actually went to staples that very same day, I mean, who doesn’t love Martha Stewart? And now she’s making planner supplies?! *swoon*

Although I loved all her little pieces and parts that come with the binder, I wasn’t in LOVE with the actual binder. I don’t go to office supplies often so I spent a good 2 hours just browsing around – and that’s how I discovered the arc, customizable notebook system by staples. WOAH. Even more discbound goodness. I picked out my favorite notebook in about a split second and headed over to the Martha Stewart section to see if it was compatible. Amazing, totally compatible! In doing research for this post I also saw that it’s compatible with the Levenger system as well – it’s rare for planners to be compatible, which I’m sure they do on purpose, so this is pretty spectacular.

So, I had my arc notebook, Martha Stewart dividers in fab colors and was set. But WAIT! Even if I’m using a fancy binder there is NO way I’m using their boring templates. After much discussion back and forth in my head I shelled out another $40 for the Arc hole punch so I could easily make my own.

I used my new awesome planner a bit and then, like usual, forgot about it. GAH, why do I do that?! Anyways, I’m back on it. I’ve been working on a big project for WAY TOO LONG. This past weekend I broke it up into manageable to-do’s and am telling clients I’m out of commission until it’s finished. This little notebook has goals, dates and important things to remember from 30×500 for launching in it so far.

runningI’m also running my very first 5k in a few weeks, so I plotted out all my runs leading up to that. I’ve been training the last 2 months using a couch to 5k app and recently finished the program – I’m on my own now. EEK!

My current planner:

Arc DIY Planner

I’m using a little wooden box to carry planning essentials – ok, maybe not essential. But it has to be pretty!

Arc DIY Planner

Above I’m using my goal template as a project overview. See all my downloadable planner templates here.

Arc DIY Planner

And, of course, I used my daughter’s scribbles as dividers to liven everything up.

Want to know more about discbound planners? Start here! :)
Martha Stewart for Staples
M by Staples, arc
Staple’s Arc Notebook by Dave Seah

I like planning out my week and to-do’s on Sunday evening, if I don’t I end up totally sidetracked when the time comes to actually work. This template is super simple, five blank days to fill in as you like.

DOWNLOAD -> 5-day-week.pdf (8552 downloads)

Example

I used tape so I could use the same sheet every week. A lot of things stay the same like nap time and when my mom watches Pepper. Now I can quickly switch out what I want to work on and when!

5-day-week-example-planner-template

Happy Holidays friend! I glanced at the calendar this morning and realized there are only 24 shopping days left ’till Christmas. WOW, where in the world did this year go?!

I put together a free little gift giving list in an attempt to get organized. On the left you can add the person it’s for plus any notes or ideas. The right is a mini to-do list and money tracker.

DOWNLOAD -> holiday_gifts.pdf (3173 downloads)

I made up a bunch of silly stuff on one to keep my real ideas a surprise!

After using the original Breastfeeding Log for a couple of weeks I pretty much quit updating the poops and pees, too many to count! I also noticed I was constantly flipping back through the pages to compare what times she was feeding at night. Decided to create two new versions that fit more feedings and organize by day. Having the lists next to each other will make day comparisons a snap.

Download -> bf-log-4.pdf (1806 downloads)
Download -> bf-log-6.pdf (1766 downloads)

Anybody else feel like nursing is one big guessing game? Pepper’s gaining weight though and seems pretty stuffed after eating, so… I guess we’re good! I still like tracking her feedings though, watching patterns emerge and knowing if she’s hungry or just fussy.

I looked around the internet for a printable breastfeeding log and they’re all pretty complicated, so I made a simple one. A free 8.5 x 11 breastfeeding log for tracking feed times, breast sides, poops and pees of your little newborn. I color in the triangle depending on which breast she feeds from first and make notes about naps on the right. Pretty boring, but it’s hard to color and draw while holding a little baby! :)

bf-log.pdf (2581 downloads) <- DOWNLOAD

*********Breastfeeding log updates here, new 4-up and 6-up versions.

And how could I do a post about breastfeeding without including a picture, she’s just SO cute!

A couple of weeks ago I posted 4×6 monthly & weekly diy planner templates and then the 4×6 Index Card Folder Tutorial. Below is a tutorial to create the little booklet made from 4×6 Index Cards that fits in the little folder!

Supplies

Directions

First, make sure your printer is set-up to print on 4×6 Index Cards – do a test run on a scrap sheet with the first page of the months-booklet.pdf (6098 downloads) . When it’s ready put 7 Index Cards in the printer and open the print dialog box. It might not look like my example but there should be a spot to select Odd Pages Only.

This will print pages 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13. When finished take your stack of cards, flip them over and put them back in the printer – making sure they’re the right direction. Then go into the print dialog and select Even Pages Only and print. This will print pages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 on the other side of the Index Cards.

The first time I printed the booklet I used scrap paper and light/grayscale ink to test – especially since every printer is different. Also, if you want to print the calendar out and NOT make a booklet don’t use the above PDF – the left side doesn’t match up with the right side. :)

Once they’re all printed, fold each sheet in half. Use a bone folder, scissors or fat marker to smooth out the crease and get it nice and flat. Stack them all together and double check that they are in the right order. When looking at your opened stack the bottom page should be January then February, March, April, May, June and July. The first decorative page of the PDF will be the outside of the booklet.

When they’re stacked together, a glance from the top down will show you how uneven the edge of the booklet is. This is because of the width of the spine and varies depending on the thickness of your paper. I like to push the pages together and trim the edge of the booklet so it’s even.

I then went through every corner of the booklet and rounded it off, the inside corners too. This is optional!

Now it’s ready to bind together! A quick search on google will show you a million different ways to do this – since I’m lazy and love my sewing machine I just opened the stack up and stitched right down the middle to attach them all together.

I wanted to add some little tabs for fun, they’re mostly decorative and honestly don’t help with much functionally. I made a little mark on each page getting lower with each one. I then cut off a small slice below each mark down to the bottom. Redo the rounded punch on the bottom corner of each page and that’s it!

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