How to Create Your Own Planner with a Mini Binder

Planners have blown up in popularity, which is great news for those of us who love options! It’s easier than ever to order your perfect customized planner, though oftentimes they’ll cost you a pretty penny. That’s why, instead of shelling out for a branded planner, we decided to make our own. Here’s how to create your own planner, exactly to your specifications!


Just Want Our Templates?

We’ve created some DIY planner templates for you! Enter your email below for access to the download, choose your style – simple, watercolor, or  floral – and start to design your own planner. 

Click here to download our DIY Planner pages!


Want to Buy?

If you do decide to go the ready-made route, here are our favorite suggestions for personalized planners.

  • Erin Condren is a popular option for those who love personalization and need space to plan. Their planners can be designed down to the rings, and offer the option to upload your own photos for the cover.
  • Appointed is an option for those who don’t require personalization and want a simple, minimalist planner with high-quality bindings and a clean layout.
  • Inkwell Press is a one-stop shop that offers a personalized planner design studio, accessories, filler paper, and more.
  • Plum Paper is a great choice for teachers since they have specific planner design options to suit educators’ hectic calendars. They also have a wide array of personalization options for standard calendars.
  • May Designs has unique planner designs (including traveler’s notebooks) and also offers the option to customize the notebooks within your planner.


To design your own planner, you’ll need the following:


Planner Tools


  • A mini binder. It’s important your planner is able to fit into your bag or backpack so you can take it with you wherever you go. To build our planner, we used our 1” mini binder with 3 rings.
  • If you choose to go with templates, you’ll need to grab some printer paper to print your them on. If you’re content with hand-drawing your inner pages, grab some filler paper in whatever style you like. Make sure it’s sized to your mini binder!
  • Scissors/a paper cutter. If you’re printing downloadable templates, most are formatted two sheets to a page. Have something on hand to cut them apart.
  • A single hole punch or an adjustable 3-hole punch. You’ll want your pages to align neatly in your DIY planner, so while using an individual hole punch could work just as well, we recommend one you can adjust to size.
  • You can find all kinds of templates for printable planner pages online sized to your binder. To make things even easier, we’ve created some for you! Get access to the downloads via the form at the top of this blog post.


diy planner pages preview

    Make It a Project!

    Our mini binders come in packs of 6 and are priced right (with free 2-day shipping!). If you’re looking for a fun group project for kids or adults, consider hosting a design-your-own-planner event and let everyone get in on the fun!


    If you enjoy decorating and embellishing, grab some extras to personalize your planner. There’s a whole wide world of planner décor out there. Consider these options:


    Planner Decor Tools


    • Washi tape
    • Decorative paper clips
    • Stickers
    • Colored markers and pens
    • Decorative bookmarks
    • Pen Holders

    Make Your Own Planner in 5 Steps

    You’ve got the materials and you’ve got the motivation. Now it’s time to make your own planner.

    Step 1

    Step 1: Print out your templates. If you’re using our templates, they’re sized to fit standard letter-sized printer paper and will print with two sheets per page. To separate each page, cut straight down the center, like this.

    Step 2

    Step 2: Separate your cover, back, and spine pages. The front and back cover pages will be cut down the center to separate just like the other template pages, but the spine page will require a little finagling. We recommend leaving a quarter inch of white space around the design as an ‘invisible border.’

    Then, slide your cover and spine pages into the plastic sleeves.

    step 3

    Step 3: Hole punch your inner pages. We recommend an adjustable hole punch so you can set your hole punch to the correct size without having to measure every time, like you would with an individual hole punch. Our holes slightly overlapped the design, but we were careful to only punch through areas where this wouldn’t obscure information.

    Tip: Make sure to punch your pages on the correct side! Consider how you want them to lay inside your planner and punch the side accordingly.

    Step 4

    Step 4: Set up your planner. Choose which style you prefer – weekly layouts, monthly overviews, checklists and daily tasks – or make a mix of several. The benefit of putting together a DIY planner is that everything is within your control. You can create the perfect planner tailored exactly to your needs.

    step 5

    Step 5: If you like a little bit of flair in your projects, now it’s time to decorate! Don’t limit yourself to simplicity. The sky’s the limit when it comes to making your planner yours. Use washi tape, colorful markers, stickers, and more to perfect your planner.


    Here are the same steps in video form:



    Create Your Own Planner: Teacher Planner DIY

    Teachers have different needs for their planners and their layouts must reflect this. Creating the best teacher lesson planner – or just a great DIY teacher planner binder – is simple. To create a DIY teacher planner, you’ll need the same tools as above with a few slight adjustments.

    Instead of laying your calendars out from January-December, you’ll want your start date to align with the start of school. Find planner pages templates without dates to make this process easier.


    Pro Tip for Teachers

    The website is a site created for teachers, by teachers. You can find all sorts of downloadable and printable resources here at reasonable prices – including teacher lesson plan printables! Check it out.


    Then, choose what works best for you!

    Turn pre-formatted list pages like ours into alphabetized lists of parent contact info.

    Find half-letter size 3-hole punch grid paper and turn this into your gradebook.

    Regular daily calendar pages can keep your lesson plans, with weekly and monthly overviews keeping you organized at a glance.


    DIY Student Planner

    Are you a student instead of a teacher? Follow these steps to make your own DIY student planner to keep track of homework, important test dates, and more.


    What other ways do you personalize your planner? Have you created your own before? We’d love to hear about it! Send us an email if you have a question or just to chat. You can also follow us on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to ensure you don’t miss an update.





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    Grace Treutel is Blue Summit Supplies' Director of Culture. Currently she’s in training to become a Marriage & Family Therapist though her greatest love will always be the written word. Her three novel manuscripts have not yet been published - but just you wait. She lives in Huntsville with her  cute kids and cute pets.

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