HOW TO MAKE A LIFE PLANNER ON A BUDGET

Sharing is caring!

Inside: The cutest functional printable life planner you’ve ever seen! Learn how to DIY your own home management binder for under $30.

white and black yearly planner notebook

This post includes affiliate links. When you make a purchase from these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Plan Your Life Like a Boss! FREE Planner

FREE Planner Printable Pages

  • Use these free planner printables to take control of your life.
  • Includes budget, meal, and project planner inserts.
  • Undated to use over and over again!

Sign up to get your planner today!

As I entered the store, trying to find a cute and inspirational life planner, the wall of planners available overwhelmed me. Floral, simple, colorful, planner covers drew me in. I’ve always had a love affair with planners and organizers. Even when I was a kid, my favorite gifts were cute planners and journals. 

And I wanted one that was not only cute, but functional.

I had no idea which planner met this criteria.

scissors and two paper clips beside opened spiral notebook

And I was worried it wouldn’t meet all my needs.

This one at Staples was cute, but it didn’t have all the pages I wanted and no way to customize it! And I spent hours trying to open each one to find out what layouts they had.

My online shopping search yielded:

  • A weekly page I liked from one planner 
  • A daily page from a different planner
  • NO pages I liked all in one place
person holding notepad and pen flat lay photography

I want Daily. Weekly. Project.

Basically, I want it all! lol

Like if Adrian from Monk had a planner, it would be this organized planner I envisioned.

Good news: I knew that if you can’t buy it, then you can make it.

And I discovered how to make a gloriously ORGANIZED life planner for under $30 quickly in a few minutes.

white and browm notebook

What Is A Life Planner?

Planners originally started two centuries ago and people began to “pencil  you in” on their schedule. Just an interesting tidbit I found.

While digital options are ok, for me to use on my phone isn’t practical. The font is too small and I can’t see it very well. There’s just something about putting pen to paper helps me organize my thoughts better.

I created this planner over 2 years ago.

It helps me:

  • Take control of my schedule
  • Plan my meals 
  • Crush my goals

All in one place!

To make this life planner work for you, make sure you follow all of my instructions for how to make it in the best, most affordable way possible.

Plan Your Life Like a Boss! FREE Planner

FREE Planner Printable Pages

  • Use these free planner printables to take control of your life.
  • Includes budget, meal, and project planner inserts.
  • Undated to use over and over again!

Sign up for my newsletter to get your planner today!

What You Need To Make A DIY Life Planner

Before you can get the supplies to make this customized home management binder or life planner, you need to know what pages are important for planning your life.

Step one: Select the size binder to fit your needs.

I use a 1” binder for my planner, but I have a trick for saving paper and ink coming up

Step two: Gather supplies.

Life Planner Supply List:

  • Daily planner page
  • Weekly planner page
  • Meal planning layout
  • Goal trackers
  • I like these markers for the trick coming up
  • Heavyweight clear page protectors
  • Laminator

How To Choose Supplies To Make A Life Binder:

Avoid costly mistakes! Keep the following important tips in mind for choosing supplies to make this DIY life binder:

CHOOSING A BINDER

I recommend choosing sturdy binders to make this project.

Cheap binders come apart at the rings which makes turning the pages annoying. And bend and sometimes crack after a lot of use. 

Sturdy binders are:

  • Not likely to break after a lot of use
  • Won’t come apart at the rings
  • Make your planning heart happy

Office supply stores have these on sale at the beginning of the year or when it’s back to school time. Or you can get this one in stock right now.

assorted files

Look for binders with these features:

  • 1″ to 1.5″ wide
  • Has slot on the end and in the front to put a pretty printable binder cover and labeled spine
  • Pocket to hold misc. papers

THE BEST SHEET PROTECTORS FOR MAKING A LIFE BINDER

Using sturdy sheet protectors is a great idea. Then you can save printer ink by only printing a few pages and using dry erase markers on the sheet protectors.

However, if you like to use the pages as more of a journal, you’ll want to print them out and actually write on each page. The choice is yours!

USE A LAMINATOR AND A 3-HOLE PUCHH

Alternatively, you can use a laminator to laminate the pages and a 3-hole punch to put the pages in your binder and the dry erase markers to mark on the pages.

You can easily use a pencil on the pages if you prefer to print out each page.

How To Set Up Your DIY Life Binder

Step three: Put The Binder Together.

Follow these steps to make your life planner binder:

  1. Print out 1 or 12 monthly planner pages.
  2. Print out 1 or 4 weekly pages
  3. Print out 5-7 daily pages (I print these front and back)
  4. Place in the sturdy sheet protectors or laminate the weekly and daily pages.
  5. Print a goal and habit tracker
  6. Print a meal planner and budget planner if desired
  7. Add cute stickers to decorate these pages

The larger the binder, the longer it will take to put together. I like to do 6 month planning. At the beginning of the year and then again gearing up for back to school.

Make multiple planners and separate finances with its own binder as well as having a journal or a work binder.

Frequently Asked Questions And Common Problems To Avoid

gray and black laptop computer on white table

Q: How do you use a life planner as a binder?

Determine the categories that help you plan your life. These categories could be as simple as:

  • Monthly priorities
  • Daily tasks
  • Weekly tasks

 

Q: What should I keep in my life binder?

Besides the above categories, you could add pages such as habit trackers, goal planners, meal planning, and finance trackers

Q: How do I create a life plan?

Get started by thinking about your dream life and complete a self assessment. Prioritize what’s important and set SMART goals. Create an action plan and regularly review and adjust as necessary.

Q: Where can I get a life binder?

Purchase a binder and use my Plan Your Life Like A Boss! planner printables

Q: Do I need a daily planner?

Using a daily planner is totally up to you! Some people love to plan their days by the hour and others just like to be able to see all the things they need to accomplish by glancing at just a week at a time.

Decorate With Planner Stickers

person writing at the tale

Step Four: Get Creative And Decorate Your Planner

Ideas for decorating with planner stickers:

  • colorful or patterned washi tape is great for
  • decorate blank spaces on your pages
  • need cover a whoops? use a cute sticker
  • use stickers for medical appointments, birthdays, and holidays

 

flat lay photography of turned-on silver iPad beside Apple Pencil

Genius Tip For Actually Using The Life Planner

If you’re a visual person like me, sometimes my planner being in a closed book means I won’t actually open it to use it.

One day, I had a light bulb moment to help me use my planner.

I thought, “Maybe if I laminate my weekly planner layout and my daily planner pages, and hang them up in my mudroom, I’ll actually remember things.” and yep it worked like a charm!

I hang my weekly and daily planner pages with a clip on the wall in a prominent pllace. On Sunday, I transfer important dates from my monthly planner to the weekly and daily layouts. (This way I only have to actually open my binder once a week!)

Then I fill out my daily planner pages. Both the weekly and daily planner pages I use fine-tip dry-erase markers on.

Customize your planner pages with stickers and use the layouts you like the most.

Plan Your Life Like a Boss! FREE Planner

FREE Planner Printable Pages

  • Use these free planner printables to take control of your life.
  • Includes budget, meal, and project planner inserts.
  • Undated to use over and over again!

Sign up to get your planner today!

How Will You Use Your Life Planner?

Drop me a comment and share your idea!! If you post your pics to Instagram, please be sure to tag @myfavoritehomestead so we can all admire your layouts.

Save this idea for later on Pinterest

How to diy a life planner on a budget with pink planner.

Sharing is caring!

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER TO GET YOUR FREE PLAN YOUR LIFE LIKE A BOSS! 23 PAGE PLANNER AS A THANK YOU!