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2017 Calendar and Pretty Cover for Mini Planners

2017 Calendar Feature Picture
Pin 2017 Calendar

It’s here and it’s free! I have just finished creating the 2017 Calendar (Year-at-a-Glance) and planner cover to go with my customizable daily planner pages. I’ve also created mini binder bookmarks that displays months of the year. Scroll to the end of the post to get your free cover, year at a glance, and dividers for your mini planner.

2017 Calendar and Cover Page

This year I have taken classes learning all about Adobe Illustrator. My goal: to make prettier products for my subscribers including my planner pages. These free printables are my first attempt at Adobe Illustrator so I really hope that you like them. Stay tune in the coming year for more free printables as I try to get better and improve my skills and products.

Changes This Year

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

For those who are currently using my planner pages, you will find that I did not include the monthly cover sheets. After using my planner, I realized that those covers weren’t so planner-friendly as I thought. Instead, I am using my bookmarks (with months printed on them) to mark special days along with my Avery color coding labels. I find this more planner-friendly and hope you do too. I use green labels for birthdays, pink for holidays, yellow for special events, and orange for vacations.

Bookmark with Avery color coding labels for 2017 Calendar
This was the prototype bookmark. See below for the one you will receive.
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Putting your Bookmarks Together

To put your 2017 Calendar bookmarks together, first cut on the dotted line and then fold on the solid ones.

Dividers or bookmarks for 2017 Calendar

I suggest laminating your bookmarks so they will last the whole year. With a dry erase marker, mark the placement for your punch holes. Don’t forget that you want the bookmark to stick out on the top a bit, so adjust accordingly. After hole punching your bookmark, snip from the edge of the bookmark (side with the punch holes) to the punch hole. This will allow you to easily move the bookmark. Also, I cut the top inner corner of all my pages and bookmark leaving room for ring tab on the top.

For First Timers to My Site

For those who are here for the first time, scroll down to the end of this post to access my customizable perpetual daily mini planner pages. Also, visit my planner pages post to learn how best to put these pages together. For the printables in this post, I highly suggest laminating them so that they don’t fall apart before the year is over. Another option is to insert your cover/year-at-a-glance calendar sheet into a mini planner page protector. If you’re unable to do either, I suggest purchasing reinforcement labels to protect your paper punch holes from tearing.

Planner cover and 2017 Calendar

Ready to Print Your Freebie?

[content_upgrade id=6037]Click here to receive your free mini planner cover, year at a glance, and dividers.[/content_upgrade]

I hope you enjoy these mini planner pages. Don’t forget: I have the mini binder menu planner and mini binder finances pages that you can access here. I am currently working on a goals worksheet for the upcoming year.

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss out on any upcoming freebies. You can find the forms at the end of this post or in my sidebar to the right.

Have any suggestions for planner inserts that you would like to see made? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to create one for all my readers.

Pinterest image for 2017 Calendar and Cover

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Menu Planner for Mini Binders

menu planner array

Menu Planner for Mini Binders

menu planner pinterest picture

For those of you who have mini planners, I have created an easy to use menu planner.

menu planner array

Every Sunday, I plan our meals for the week and it takes only minutes to do with my menu planner. This menu planner, if laminated, are sturdy and reusable week after week. But before I introduce these pages, here are a few items you may need. Many of these items are optional but will make putting your menu planner together and easier and some items just make it pretty. I’ve also added links if you’d like to purchase them online.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

  1. adjustable hole punch
  2. paper cutter (optional) *scissors will do
  3. laminator or you can take them to an office supply store that will laminate them for you or you can use #4 below
  4. mini binder page protectors (optional) you can use these instead of laminating your pages
  5. Post-It page markers (optional)* you can use a dry erase marker as well (see my example below)

menu planner binder ringsFor those who do not have a mini binder, you can still use these pages by punching a singular hole on the top left corner of each page and threading a keychain ring or binder ring clip through the hole.

I created these sheets so that you can print on both sides to save paper. If you are going to use the menu plan for more than one meal, I suggest printing more of the inventory sheets. After printing all your sheets, I suggest laminating them. If you don’t have a laminator, you can get them laminated at most office supplies stores where they will also cut and hole punch your sheets.

Planner Inventory Sheets

The first few pages of the menu planner consist of the inventory sheets as well as a shopping list page for when you run out of an item. These sheets are divided into proteins; grains, rice, pastas, and potatoes; fruits and vegetables; dairy; miscellaneous; and lastly beverages and desserts. Using Post-Its colorful page markers, I use a different color for each category. This makes finding items and relocating items easier to manage.

three inventory pages for menu plannershopping list for menu planner

*See below on how to make your markers prettier using your printer

Creating your inventory for the first time will probably be the only time consuming part of using this plan. After that, it should only take you a couple of minutes to adjust your inventory each week, preferably after you’ve done your weekly shopping.

Daily Plan Sheets

Your daily plan sheets will consist of two days per side. On the last sheet, I created a rainy day/leftovers section which I use to plan a back up meal. It is my go-to page if we are suppose to barbecue and the weather doesn’t allow for it. Or if something unexpected happens during the week making little time to cook a whole meal, I can then easily switch out a meal for any leftovers I have on hand.

example daily menu planner

Now, if you don’t want to use Post-It markers, then you can also use a dry erase marker and write in both your inventory and meals as I have done below. I recommend using dry erase markers with a fine tip.

example of dry erase menu planner

When planning my meals, I personally like to take out all my sheets and lay them before me. This way, I am not constantly flipping back and forth in my binder.

Making Your Page Markers Prettier

If you are an organizing neat freak like me, then here is how you can make your menu planner prettier with a consistent font on your page markers. First, get your inventory list ready.

inventory list for menu planner

In your word processor, format your document with narrow margins and three columns. In my photo above I only used two but three columns will save you paper. Choose the font that you like and make it bold. I used Lucida Handwriting. For foods that are 13 characters or less including spaces, I went with a font size of 18. In the photos below, you can see where some of my longer food names, like mashed potatoes, went beyond the page marker. To avoid this, go with a size 16 font and it should work. Lastly, you want to double space your page to leave room for your page markers.

After you have written all your inventory items, go ahead and print and do not close out your document. After printing, take your page markers and cover each item with your preferred color as neatly as possible.

partial food list with page markers for menu plannerpage markers covering inventory list of food for menu planner

When you are done, place your list back into your printer feeder/tray so that when it reprints, it will print on the same side of your written page. Hit print again and Voila! Your page markers will be pre-printed with your food items.

printed page markers for menu planner

Now, eventually your page markers will get worn out as you continue to enjoy your menu planner so save your document on your computer as well as the printed version. This way, all you have to do is add page markers to the already printed version. So far, I have been using my planner for over a month and I have yet to change out my markers due to wear.

So if you are ready to try out my menu planner, click here and enjoy!

UPDATE: Click here for my free 2017 Mini Planner Cover and Year-at-a-Glance Sheet as well as the 2017 bookmark.

This post contains affiliate links that help pay for this blog.

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Planner Templates for Mini Binders

Free Planner Templates for Mini Binders

pinterest picture of mini planner templates

It is finally here: free planner templates for mini binders!

UPDATE: Click here for my free 2017 Mini Planner Cover and Year-at-a-Glance Sheet as well as the 2017 bookmark.

If you’ve read my last post on planners you would know that I love having a planner but was unhappy with those sold at most stores. There was never one that fully worked with my lifestyle and so I tried my hand at making my own. I also wanted something compact so I found a pretty mini binder and went to work on creating paper-efficient planner templates that would fit my mini binder. Now, I know that it’s mid-August but I will be working on 2017 very soon especially for those who want to use this as a student planner.

Before you print!

Before you print, you will need some supplies and others are just optional but can make putting this together much easier (and prettier).

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

  1. mini binder(5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″) Avery has a few of these with pretty designs
  2. hole punch
  3. paper cutter (optional) *scissors will do
  4. laminator (optional) *packaging tape will do
  5. mini binder page protectors (optional) *you may need reinforcement labels
  6. index tabs (optional)
  7. heavy paper or cardstock (optional) *you may need reinforcement labels
  8. highlighters or color coding labels (optional)

Here is What You’ll Get

Planner Covers with Year-At-A-Glance

So, I have made several cover pages with a cute ‘charm’. And don’t worry, the website name pictured here will not be there when you download your cover. They are butterfly, heart, purple sun, flowers, cat, apple, and yoga mom. There is also a student planner cover (not pictured). If anyone has suggestions for 2017 ‘charms’ just let me know in the comments below and I’ll get on them soon.

After printing out your cover, I suggest folding it and then put it into a page protector. This will help make it last longer. Or you can print it on cardstock, hole punch it, and use reinforcement labels.

planner templates fold cover yearplanner templates hole punch cover year


I’ve also created a bookmark to keep your daily pages organized. On it, are the last six months so that you do not have to flip to the front’s year-at-a-glance. When you print these there will be two sets of bookmarks: light blue/apricot and pink/apricot. After folding mine in half (along the middle gray column), I laminated it but you can also use packaging tape to make it durable.

planner templates bookmarkfold

After laminating it, hole punch the left side. Remember that you want the bookmark to stick above the pages so line up the holes to the height you would like it at. Using scissors, make a single snip from the hole to the left edge of paper.


Cut the top left corner as shown in the picture so that it doesn’t get in the way of the binder rings’ tabs.


Then insert the bookmark. Now it can be moved daily without having to open the binder rings.bookmarkinsert

Month Covers

Update: I discontinued the month covers for 2017. Click here to get you 2017 mini binder planner cover and year-at-glance.

Your free planner templates will also come with monthly covers. On the back is a space for notes. These will run from September-December 2016. I am working on 2017 and will make this available in November in case you are using this as a student planner.

When you print these, make sure you are using both sides of sheet. That is, September/Notes pages should have October/Notes on back and the same goes for November and December. Then cut each sheet in half for each month.

planner template month page protector

If you decide to put them in page protectors or laminate them, don’t forget that you can use dry erase markers to make notes.


If you decide to forgo the page protectors or lamination, then I suggest using card stock or heavy paper and/or reinforcement labels. This will help to make them last throughout the month. This is actually what I do for my binder. As you can see I hole punch it and use Post-It tabs to help me locate the month.


There a couple of ways to use your month cover. One way is to highlight special days as shown. I am in love with Sharpie’s liquid highlighters!


Or you can use Avery’s color code labels as shown here.


Daily Pages

Last but not least, the daily pages. Some have filled in headings and some are blank. Choose the one that works for you and your child. These are created so that you can save on paper. Each sheet, if you print them front and back, has four days. These sheets are highly customizable so after downloading your free templates, you can keep printing these for years to come.


Here is a sample of the upper portion of my daily page as I would use it. The upper portion is like a to-do list. You can use the left column to add in a time or as a check off box. For the goals section, I added fitness, learning, family and me time. Again, you can customize this to fit your goals. Next, is the pay, errands, and menu section.

top sample page

The lower part of the page, I assigned the green section as my “Blog” to-do section. But again, you use this section as you see fit. Label it whatever you’d like. And, of course, no day is complete without having a few chores to do. I also added a shopping list and notes section.

bottom sample page

Here’s How to Get your Free Planner Templates Now

Click here–> I want my mini planner daily pages!

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Customizing Planners

planner cover page customizing planners

Customizing Planners

UPDATE: Click here for my free 2017 Mini Planner Cover and Year-at-a-Glance Sheet as well as the 2017 bookmark.

pin pic of customizing planners

Trying My Hand at Customizing Planners

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

I know, I know. Customizing planners is now the latest rage. But I swear I had no idea it was the latest fad until I stepped into a Michael’s and saw shelves of stuff dedicated to putting one together. For years now I have looked for planners and organizers that suited my freakishly organized ways…there are none! So I end up buying those planners that just have a lot of lines where I just insert those ‘things to do’ items. It turned out to be equivalent to a mini notebook. My current planner has a 4 months-at-a-glance set up (see arrows in pic below), which I like, and lines for specific times of the day. Pretty boring and most of all ugly.

black planner cover customizing plannersinside classic planner customizing plannersWith my current planner ending in June, I decided to start shopping for a more customizable and pretty planner. The search was on and it was going nowhere. One day while needing to go to Michael’s for paint supplies, I came across their display for creating one’s own planner. I was intrigued with all the beautiful shiny parts that one can buy to create a planner but I was also turned off by what I saw as clutter. Their binders were beautiful but everything else was just clutter with hundreds of stickers and doodads. While this may seem cute for some people I don’t think I could get anything done having to wade through all that stuff. So the next logical step for me to do is to create my own planner and begin customizing it to fit my lifestyle. It wouldn’t hurt to make it look pretty too.

To get started on this new endeavor, I quickly wrote down those things that I wanted in a planner. One thing I needed was a way to remind me of all the things that need my attention on a daily basis. This could be accomplished by listing certain topics on a daily page. Some planners had a ‘bills to pay’ section or ‘errands’ but I needed more than that. I wanted more sections for other parts of my life like fitness goals. I also wanted sections to cover my homeschooling and blogging duties. Lastly, I wanted to have my months (current and next month, if possible), visible on my pages.

Once I felt that I had listed everything I wanted, I got started on creating the most awesome planner. Not! OMG! I didn’t realize how difficult this was to put together. The easiest part was purchasing my beautiful shell of a binder. I got mine at Walmart for under $4. It is made by Avery.

Pretty Mini Binder customizing plannersHaving used a letter size binder a few years ago which I didn’t like for various reasons, I opted for a mini one this time.

Mistake #1 in customizing planners: learn how to use your margins for optimum space and don’t forget that you will need to hole punch these.

Mistake #2 in customizing planners: so that you are not wasting paper, learn how to create printables keeping in mind what the other side of the sheet will look like. You don’t want to hole punch through tomorrow’s schedule.

Mistake #3 in customizing planners: DO NOT ADD MONTHS TO YOUR DAILY SHEETS. This was the worst part. Because I wanted my 4-months-at-a-glance aspect, I had to make sure everything was in order, and if I made a small mistake, then I would have to start over and waste more paper. Not only that but I had to create separate files for each month and make more modifications for the beginning of each month and end. It was just crazy.

Mistake #4 in customizing planners: underestimating how much paper it would take for creating a two-page daily sheet. I was only able to fit two months at a time in my binder.

Mistake #5 in customizing planners: taking my creation to Office Max to be printed out. For about 100 color pages back and front, they wanted to charge me $120, this was without cutting my pages in half and having them hole punched. Never mind, OM, I’ll do it myself.

Ok, so after learning from those mistakes above, I learned how to create my planner without having to rip out all my hair. I learned what margins worked best, used my alignment buttons correctly to avoid hole punch errors, and I made myself a pretty page divider that holds my months at-a-glance. After working with my daily two-page layout, I realized that I did not need that much space and was able to condense my daily aspects into one page. I, also, used one page for Saturday and Sunday planning.

Below is the evolution of my planner (sorry for the blurriness, I’m in the midst of learning how to post better photos). I am now working on adding more parts such as a monthly goals worksheet, fitness goals sheet, finance organizer, blogging planner, and a menu planner. I know, I know, where am I going to fit it? Again, it’s all about optimizing paper space, getting rid of what you don’t need, and coming up with creative ways to fit in the stuff you need. If I can successfully get this finished, I am hoping this could be the start of a cute side business. I wonder if I can make a go of customizing planners for different individuals but first, I’ll test them on the family, starting with hubby’s beer brewing planner and the kid’s student’s planners….binder cover page customizing plannersyear at a glance customizing plannersmonth at a glance customizing plannersMonth covers customizing planners


two page daily pages customizing planners
1st attempt on daily pages: two-page layout
new daily pages customizing planners
last and final attempt on creating a one- page daily sheet for binder
planner divider customizing planners
bookmark like divider with months on front and back


planner divider in use customizing planners
bookmark in binder replacing 4 months at a glance aspect that i love

UPDATE: Click here for my free 2017 Mini Planner Cover and Year-at-a-Glance Sheet as well as the 2017 bookmark.

This post may contain affiliate links that help pay for this blog.