If you’ve followed my Instagram–or even my goals and organization posts–you’ll know how long I’ve been searching for my unicorn planner. From binders and printables to real pleather organizers and even planner apps, I’ve tried a lot of different things in my quest for planner peace.
There’s no point in hoarding all these old printables for myself, but maybe other people can get some use out of them! Keep reading to take a look at my process for finding planner peace, grab some FREE planner printables I have to share with you, and check out my new Etsy store, Little Orphan Plannie!
How I fell into the planner rabbit hole…
In January, I posted my first free planner printable and talked about my binder planner system, which worked okay enough for me, but I didn’t want to carry my binder all over town all the time so I wanted something smaller. I found a vintage Day-Timer planner at a thrift shop this summer and I’ve been a devoted ring-bound A5 organizer ever since.
My first update was to condense my original binder into something more portable, which is up on Etsy. But I still wasn’t using it to its fullest extent…
I recently started following planner blogs and Facebook groups, and I learned that there are even more planners out there than the free Pinterest printables I’d found and made. I experimented with a lot of different printables and layouts, but at the end of the day or week, I still wasn’t using them to their fullest extent.
Following planner groups opened my eyes to having not one planner… but two planners: one for your monthly and weekly overview, and one for your daily to-dos. Most #plannergirls have an Erin Condren and a Day Designer that fulfill this need.
However, I am not going to carry around two planners even if I had $120 to spend on them.
What do I have? I have a printer I got at a yard sale for $2, some 25-lb printer paper that I got a really great rebate on from Staples, and a knockoff pleather organizer. Surely, with a small ring-system organizer, I could combine a weekly planner and daily planner into one portable planner?
So it was back to the drawing board, with a more concrete idea of what I needed.
What do I need in my unicorn planner?
- a daily page with hourly breakdowns and task lists
- weekly and monthly overview pages
- a year’s list of important dates
- grocery lists
- cleaning and habit trackers
- blog and social media trackers
- general list pages
- pockets, folders, sleeves
- blank and graph papers
- a layout that is conducive to customization, stickers, and washi tapes
I don’t have all these pages done yet, but I’m hoping that in the future I’ll have my OTP (one true planner). In the meantime, I’ll share with all you lovely people the layouts I’ve been experimenting with lately.
FREE Planner Printables!
When I first saw the modular ECLP/MAMBI style planners, I thought, “That’s great, but where do I put my Post-Its?” So I thought I would go back to my binder roots and I came up with a layout that fit all my favorite sticky note sizes: page flags, mini-notes, and the standard 3″x3″.
They worked pretty okay for a while, but I quickly realized that the binder system is just too big for an everyday planner for me.
After that, I adapted the basic framework into what I’ve been using the last few weeks, which is a smaller (and stickyless) layout for my A5 planner.
I’ve since moved on to a layout that gives me more to-do list space, which is listed in my Etsy store now. But I got some good use out of these layouts.
Why an Etsy store?
I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I think an Etsy store would be an easily maintainable side hustle for me. I have a lot of office supplies and design software already, so I’m planning to upload some more printables and planner tools as I go.
Plus, those planner girls make bank on their stickers. I have student loans to pay for, so I want in on that.
“Why are you sharing some of these for free and charging for the others?” you’re probably asking.
The printables I’m sharing today were made in Microsoft Word, so while they’re almost totally lined up, some of the columns are off by a pica or pixel or two. My university offers a cheap subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, so all my new inserts are made in InDesign, which allows for better alignment other fun stuff. It’s also a little more time consuming to use just for planner layouts.
But the printables I’m selling aren’t going to break the bank! After Etsy fees, I’ll only pull in about a dollar per sale, because I want to keep them affordable for everyone.