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Getting More Organized: Setting Up Your Planner

Updated on January 4, 2014

Organizing My Life

What is a Planner or Filofax?

This hub is about setting up a ring-bound day planner. These planners include a calendar, weekly pages, to do lists, etc. A Filofax is a brand name of a day planner made in the UK. I am mentioning them specifically because I have a Filofax, but also because there is a big community online that calls the paper crafting / decorating involved in keeping a pretty planner "Filofaxing". However, United States brands such as Franklin Covey and Day Runner can be just as effective.

I think the key is getting one that is ring-bound so you can add and move pages freely, but if you have a spiral-bound one or just a notebook, they can work too. Just let this hub inspire you as it will!

Materials to Get

Planner Materials

Decorating your planner and making it your own will make you WANT to check it and work in it so it will be more likely that you'll get your stuff done and make your appointments on time. Make it your own and HAVE FUN with it!! Here are some ways to do just that...

Here are Some Fun and Awesome Supplies to get for Decorating and Setting up your Planner:

Post It Notes - I got some fun-shaped ones from Michaels.

Post It Tabs or Flags - These help with dividers. I got mine at Staples and Office Max

Pocket Dividers - These serve two purposes: creating sections and holding things.

Washi Tape - This tape is awesome for decorating and there are so many out there! I got mine from Ebay, Target, Etsy, Staples, Toys R Us, and even a seller on Instagram!

Stamps & Ink - These get expensive really quick so start slow. I got this cute Ladybug from Michaels and Hobbs got me ink pads from Target for Christmas.

Fun Notepads - I got these on clearance at Michaels after Christmas. Score! Check the Target dollar spot too; they have great supplies.

Hole Punch (not pictured) - I have a standard single punch because I can't find a reasonably-priced 6 hole punch that fits my planner.

Precision Scissors (not pictured)- I think mine are Scotch brand and I love them! Keep out of reach of children.

Oh and...

Lots of Adorable Stickers! (not pictured) - Target, Michales, Japanese Import stores, Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, anywhere!!

Cute Stickers & Notebooks

Setting Up Sections

1. Come up with the different sections you want to have in your planner. Here are my sections:

- Monthly Calendar
- Weekly Pages
- To Do List
- Brainstorming
- Shopping / Meal Planning
- Finances
- Prayers / Spiritual
- Drawings and Doodles

2. Make or buy Dividers. I used the pockets pictured above and some cute notebook pages (which I laminated) to make dividers.

3. Use your Post It Flags / Tabs to mark these sections. I taped the tabs to the tops of my dividers.

4. Arrange the paper so you have what you want in each of your sections. My planner came with colored looseleaf which I use for the Brainstorming section and I cut grid paper to size for my Finances section. I also hole-punched the cute notebook paper (pictured above) to add to some of my sections.

5. Utilize the Pockets! I especially love my Shopping pocket because I can put coupons and grocery lists in it.

Week 1: Happy New Year


Filofax YouTuber I Love


Decorating is the greatest part! I started doing some practice pages before I got my new Filofax for Christmas, and so far I've done two weeks in my ring-bound planner.

Visit my Blog Post: Filofax Week 1 to see how I did it! Included in this post are also my month pages for January.

You get to pick a theme (if you want to) and then use Washi Tape, Stickers and Stamps to decorate accordingly.

You can add post its and hole-punched book marks for additional lists and to-dos if you like.

My Planner Charm

Today is Going to be Amazing!


How to Make a Planner Charm

Personalize your planner even further by making or buying a charm! You can then hang the charm from the last ring. I think it adds an adorable and unique touch to your lovely planner.

I bought a little Hello Kitty charm and then added some of my own beads to it: J for Jamie, awesome bead that I picked up at the Renaissance Faire (something I'm into), and a tiny key that I got at Michaels. I strung everything together and tied it to the ring, but I recommend using an actual clip or ball-chain.

Today Bookmark

You'll need one or two today bookmarks to easily flip to the page you're on. My Filofax, as do most ring-bound planners, came with one ruler-bookmark so I put that on the current month.

Then I made one for the current week. You can too; it's easy!

Find a motivational saying on Pinterest and print it. Then, laminate and hole-punch it. Next, you'll want to snip the holes a bit on the edge so you can easily remove and reinsert it.

You could even find a quote you like and make your own bookmark using an artsy editing site.

Your Strategies

How do you organize your life? Keep track of appointments and things?

See results

Wrapping Up

Planners can really improve your life. Imagine remembering every thing! How helpful would that be? I forget so many things, especially blog post ideas. Now I have a place to write everything down! If I happen to think of something I don't want to forget (again) at the grocery store, BOOM, I have a place to jot it quickly. I also write down my work schedule and doctor appointments, family birthdays and to do lists.

Decorating it and adding my own personal touches makes me so happy! I think these things also encourage me to keep checking back and keep looking inside. That's necessary because honestly, even if you remember to write everything down, you won't remember anything if you don't check back!

If you keep a planner, PLEASE let me know ANY suggestions you have as far as making it great or effective. Leave a comment below!!

Search #Filofax on Instagram for some fantastic inspiration, and follow me @4loveofcupcakes to see my pages and ideas!!


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    • Peg Menges Piper profile image

      Peg Menges Piper 6 months ago

      Just starting a bullet Journal. I've used bullet lists for years to take notes in meetings-school-Bible Study. Years ago, I had a palm pilot with all (yes, all) of my stuff in it. It crashed. I kept on redoing the things via computer and, yes, I lost the data again. Now, I'm using my iPhone for reminders and alarms, etc. But my Bullet Journal is becoming my main planner. I have agreed to not rip out pages or start new bujos. I'm leaving the cross outs and just moving along. Some of the cross outs are becoming doodles.

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 2 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks @Kelly!!

    • profile image

      kelly 2 years ago

      This is Wonderful

    • ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

      Jamie Jensen 2 years ago from Chicago

      @randomcreative that's a great system! Sounds like a bullet journal... ;)

      @Valerie I have all kinds of problems with Google calendar! I tried to sync mine with the hubs' but cannot get it to work. :/

      @peachpurple I'm happy to help; I love talking planners!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      you are more organized than i am, must learn these tricks from you

    • profile image

      Valerie 3 years ago

      I use Google calendar but if I don't have my ipad with me, it's not convenient.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      These days I keep all of my appointments and a lot of my reminders in my phone calendar. I use a spiral notebook for daily "to do" lists, keeping track of my freelance jobs, blog post calendars, and brainstorming for HubPages. I have different sections for different lists / tasks. I like the idea of having a ring binder so that you can change the pages around as you need.