A crash course on how to create your own DIY scheduler

If you’re in the habit of using schedulers, I’m sure it’s been tough to find one that suits your exact needs. You’d come across one in the perfect colour but in a size too small for scribbling in. Or you’d find one in the perfect size but with the wrong layout.

DIY your own scheduler and you’ll never face such issues ever again! Having started my own DIY scheduler earlier this year, I honestly believe they’re worth the time and effort. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get one going!

The basic materials you’ll need are:  

  • The notebook

It can be any kind of notebook so long you like its look and feel! In my case, I used a lovely red one that I received as a Christmas gift. It doesn’t have to have blank pages! In fact, I found that lined pages help me set up my pages more easily. Some people prefer grid paper. It’s really up to you.

The notebook in question.
  • A ruler

I use estimation more often these days, but a ruler is incredibly helpful when just starting out.

  • A pen or two

Kinda self-explanatory, this one. A marker is optional but highly recommended!

  • Some choice stationery

Never underestimate the power of a few pretty tapes. If you aren’t already a stationery hoarder (like me, cough), three or four washi tapes (of different widths) are honestly all you’ll need. The tapes will help you with the Days of the Week—at the top of your monthly spreads, especially—and take away the stress and tediousness of drawing grid lines. If you make a mistake, you can easily remove the tape and reposition it to where it should go.

A roll of washi tape has incredible mileage and can last several months, so they’re a pretty good investment. You’ll find great tapes at affordable prices on sites like Aliexpress, as well as lovely stickers to embellish your scheduler with (optional). Just be careful, as you might find yourself with 10 or 20 items in your cart in no time…

If you aren’t one for fancy designs, here’s an awesome thing I discovered one day by sheer chance: nail art strip tape is an incredible alternative for washi tape. They’re incredibly thin and cheap to boot. (Case in point: a quick search led me to a listing for 9 nail strip tapes on Qoo10 for just half a dollar.)  For an example of nail strip tape in action, see an image of my January monthly spread below!

See the extra thin red tape used vertically? That’s nail strip tape! You learnt it here first, guys.

That’s all you’ll need!

Here’s a quick run through of how to get from empty pages to the spread above.

Setting Up a Monthly Spread

Pull out your phone or a physical calendar to take a look at the month you’re preparing for.

Thereafter, decide how you want the week to be ordered (this will affect the amount of columns you’ll need) and how large you want your individual grids to be. I’ve decided to just maximise all the space I have. Then get your ruler out to measure and mark small dots with your pen (or pencil) that indicate where your tape should go. Or go freestyle if you’re confident! Like this:

January 2020 spread: I stick the Day-of-the-Week (DOTW) tapes on first and let the days guide me as to where my grid lines should go! Start sticking grid tapes according to the first day of the month.

After you’re done taping vertically, go horizontal! I like ruled pages because they make things easier to measure: I need 5 columns, so 5 rows for each!

Taping in progress…I ran out of tape midway

When you’re done setting up the grids, everything else is easy peasy! Stick some stickers where you like, write the dates down in the grids with your pen, and then write the month in the empty space available! Voila! A new monthly spread done and dusted. Easy, isn’t it?

Daily spreads

If you need more space to document little events in greater detail, a quick hack is to split a page up via a thin tape or a drawn line. I use DOTW tape here too, but you can just hand write the days.

For sudden thoughts and grocery lists and whatever else, add a notes section!

Of course, this is just how I organise my DIY scheduler. There are tons of other ways to set your own up. My friend uses a trusty grid notebook, some highlighters, as well as a couple of pens. Her DIY planner still looks as just as lovely. Just go along with your personal preferences!

She has a calendar overview at the beginning for easy reference.

Instead of a monthly overview, she does a weekly spread! She also includes a budget section, which is a great alternative to apps.

Include whatever sections you fancy!

If you find that this system doesn’t suit your needs, the bullet journalling/scheduling style could be what you need instead! Check it out here so that you have more options available.

With that, you should be ready to DIY your scheduler in no time! Why not do one up for the year 2020? Happy planning!



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