Since I became a planner addict in 2015, my planners have all been self customized. I have bought a planner once in between using my self customized planners but that planner didn’t last long. I stopped using it midway and went back into my self customized planners.
So why do I self customize my planner?
I couldn’t find a planner that suit my needs
From the very first planner, I’ve already self customized which is an A4 notebook that I used as a daily planner. Self customizing this first daily planner wasn’t my first thought. I did try looking for daily planners but I couldn’t find one that I like and have the timings fit with my timings. Most planners have standard timings and none I’ve seen fit my timings. Then I decided I could just get a notebook and have it in my own timings.
After slightly more than half a year of daily planning, I began to find it too tedious to be planning everyday. Whatever I’m doing everyday were mostly the same and most likely I wasn’t doing things at the time I had planned. So I switched to a weekly planner which again self customizing wasn’t my first thought and I couldn’t find a suitable one that I like. So I self customized my first weekly planner.
The planner which I bought and didn’t last long was actually after my first self customized weekly planner. When that planner made me became on and off with planning and eventually drifted away from planning, I decided to ditch that planner and go back into planning by starting my second self customized weekly planner. Since then, all my planners have been self customized.
My third self customized weekly planner did make me on and off with planning and eventually drift away from planning again when I tried to change the layout but overall, self customized planners still worked best for me. I did look at planners online and when I’m out shopping throughout these 3 years as a planner addict, but I still couldn’t find one that suits what I need in my planner.
Self customizing my planners gave me lots of flexibility. I can include whatever I want to suit my needs and design it however I like. Every week can be different. If I feel I don’t need a certain thing on a certain week, I can just exclude it. If I want to include something new on a certain week, I can simply just include it.
Even from my very first daily planner, I was only customizing it to suit the timings I want at the beginning but I added trackers and started decorating subsequently.
I started self customizing my planners because I couldn’t find a planner that suit my needs but after I made my first weekly planner, I realised the money benefits of self customizing my planner. For my first two weekly planners, I was actually using an exercise book that was leftover from school. As for the cover decorations, I did buy a few stickers but I already had most of those that I used.
For my third planner that didn’t work out, I bought a jotter book because I wanted to use a book without lines and try something different. So although I did spend money, self customizing a planner is still cheaper than buying a planner.
My current planner is of course self customized as well but with a different way of planning. I really wanted something different from my first two self customized weekly planners and since the third one didn’t work out, I tried to find some other ideas. I came across the term, digital planning, while I was researching for planner ideas and decided to start a new planning system which incorporates it.
I still prefer paper planners, so I don’t view my planner on a digital screen on a day to day basis but I decorate my weekly spreads digitally on the computer and print them out. I do have a post which I wrote recently about this new planning system that I’m loving so much. Even after 3 months, I still get excited every week to decorate and plan the following week.
I did think of buying a planner before I decided on incorporating digital into my planning but as it has always been, nothing suits my needs. I’ve realised that decorating digitally does give me more flexibility than using printables and stickers. It’s definitely cheaper than buying a planner and since I print them out after I’ve decorated and planned, it’s the same as printing the printables and sticking them.
So that is the story of my journey with self customizing my planners and the reasons why I self customize them. With my current planner incorporating digital, I’ve actually included more than just weekly spreads. It’s actually becoming a bullet journal style which I’ve thought of trying but my drawing is terrible and I don’t know calligraphy, so this new idea to decorate digitally is perfect for me to bullet journal which is meant to be a cheaper way of planning that’s self customized with lots of flexibility for creativity.