How to build your perfect planner system? Week 1: Let’s start!

This series is for planner newbies. We will add new things to the system, to leave time to build habits, and feel what good is. I believe in ring-bound planners, because it is the most flexible system, so I'm writing about them. Follow the series, make the steps, and create your perfect planner. You have to know: everyone is different. Every planner is different. I’m trying to write so open as possible, offering choices to you to find your way. But please at the beginning, follow my instructions! Building out a good, working system is not simple. It will be never perfect. Be patient with yourself and your system, try out things, and left your system evolving.

(See you on Youtube.)

What you will need?

A planner 

First you have to decide, what size would be perfect for you. You need more space to write - A5, it is comfortable. You will carry with you a lot? Personal size - you have to now, it is small, really.

A5 and Personal size
But for a lot of people it is working. For me too, but I have more than one planner. Are you not sure? Buy a cheap/used planner, and when you found your size, you can buy, what you really want. When you buy one, pay attention: it lays flat? (It would be...) How many papers can hold it? Bigger rings need more place in your bag. But you have more place for papers too! I think 25 mm is normal, under it is too small, over it for me perfect, but some people find it too bulky.

Binders with 25 mm and 30 mm rings

Recommended brands: Filofax, Kikki K, Dayrunner, Franklin Covey, Dokibook. But probably there is a lot more, what I don't know. More sources: Amazon, Ebay, Spreenow. Recommended sizes: personal or A5 size.

Calendar inserts

A new binder contains almost always a set of calendar inserts. For most of people is week on 2 pages important (you might see this way: wo2p). It can be horizontal or vertical. We can add later more calendars if needed. If you buy a binder without calendar, buy a set for the year (best source: Amazon), or print out from the internet (see by Philofaxy). In this case you will need a puncher, maybe a cutter too, and I wanted to make you a quick start, without special tools, so simpler to buy :D


Hopefully you get notepapers with your binder. For the start, pay no attention too, what color is it, plain, or ruled, or whatever. You need paper to write.

A pen

A pen is a pen, pick one you have. Later you can buy some special pens if you like. But the pen must to be with your planner. Always.

What to do?

Ok, you have all the things above? Lets start.
Your calendar is for writing in time sensitive things. Not for tasks! Write in your calendar every appointments what you have. Write optional programs too. Use your calendar for remembering deadlines. Do not write to do-s here! It is planning. If you want to remember something to do, write it on a notepaper. If you would like to see it near to your calendar, you can put a notepaper between the two pages of your week.

What should you write here? Shopping list. Todays chores. Notes. Anything comes to your mind. It can be messy! You don't mind. If you ran out of place, take a new piece of paper. Other solution: stick a post it on not current half of week.

It can be useful: one post it for shopping list, after buying the things it can be go to the trash. Daily to do-s done, trash. Notes you want to keep: stick somewhere on a notepaper (in your planner :)). Keep your binder always with you, open on your desk, in the kitchen.

Take your planner with you!
Do not let it home! Remind yourself to take a look in it regularly more times a day. If you need, at the beginning set up in your phone reminders ("check your planner"). After a week your planner will be going alive. Maybe messy. Never mind!

I have a not used personal size Filofax, I will show you every week, how it looks by me as I follow my instructions. (I cheat: I move my used inserts here :))

So few paper at the beginning

See you the next week! - Add some structure!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in comment! Share your experiments in our Facebook group, and get more help!  

Find here the whole series.

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