Here’s a quick update on what’s in my Smythson planner. Recently I was using a Week plus Notes undated layout from Rakuten, with a To Do list on the facing page. While I really liked the quality of those inserts, I found that I didn’t have enough space for each day. So I searched for a Week on Two pages layout that would work for me.
Many people have had success with DIYfish’s LMIv2 and 2.1, which feature a Day Per Page or Two Pages Per Day format. But DIYfish also produces this weekly format which is more like a traditional planner page, and has her signature weekly and monthly chart and indexing system.
The great thing for me about these inserts is that you can print them on whatever paper you like. I have a ream of pastel pink paper left over from when I made my own wedding invitations a few years ago, and it’s great to be able to use it up. They coordinate with my binder, especially when I print the monthly page on a darker pink paper. If you decide to use these inserts, I recommend printing the monthly pages on a different colour paper, as it helps you find them quickly.
Initially, I just used them as-is and they worked well for me. But then I decided to spend some time setting up an index, and I really began to appreciate the intelligence of DIYfish’s design. She has really thought about how to take a paper planner into three dimensions!
The index helps you retrieve things easily. To make mine, I just reprinted a monthly checklist and cut the edge wider than a normal page. I used Frixion highlighters for the colour-coding, so I can erase it if I make a mistake. The little rectangles on the index are the same size as the tip of a highlighter: genius!
The monthly chart gives you a visual representation of anything you want to track in your life. You can use it for any purpose you like, but some things I have used it for are keeping myself motivated when I do a No Spend month, recording how often I read to my children and recording the days on which we use our air-conditioning so I can predict the size of our electricity bill.
To decorate, or not to decorate?
I’m in awe of all the talented people who decorate their planner pages every week. However, every attempt I have made at decorating has been a failure. Stickers take up too much space, and the result never looks as good as what I see on YouTube. But I discovered Deco Rush goes really well against the pink paper. So I decided to use a different Deco Rush pen each week, and decorate each week in advance so I don’t forget to do it. Now I understand why people decorate: it makes using a planner so much fun!
You can purchase a three-month trial package; you don’t need to purchase the whole year in one go. You also need a paper trimmer and a punch. The printing wasn’t as tricky as I had anticipated but I recommend you watch this video by Katherine Dobbs Roberts, which explains how to do the cutting.