My hacked planner – 2020 edition

My hacked planner – 2020 edition

It seems as if December is when my thoughts turn to the next year’s plans – and that includes planners.  I’ve had a lot of different variations through the last several years, and frankly – some worked better than others. What follows here is a picture heavy show case of how I have hacked my planner for this year…and why, for me, this is a perfect solution. Finally.

My 2020 planner – cork cover

So as a starting point, I keep my online calendar using google calendar. It’s very easy to sync between my phone, my tablet and my laptop. GC operates in a vertical format, so I knew that this was what I wanted my 2020 planner to have. it’s just easier. And my cardinal rule is that the easier a planner is to use, the more I will use it. In my case, this means keeping things simple.

My planner gets used (and moved around a lot), so I knew that I wanted to create a planner cover that was going to be durable for the long haul. I made this planner cover using cork a perfect application for this material. And very easy to sew.

I long ago became a fan of disc bound systems…it’s just so much easier to keep a running list of something (blog posts, or videos to film, or client notes for example), and then to move those notes aound in the disc bound format. Converting a spiral bound planner to a discbound system is amazingly easy – all you have to do is uncoil the old spiral, trim the edges off with a paper cutter to give you a straight (left side) edge, and then punch that edge with a discbound punch. It took me about an hour to set this up. Note for next year – I’ll shoot a video when I tackle this again for 2021. There are a lot more spiral bound planners than discbound, so it’s likely something I’ll revisit.

Outside cover hacked

Last year, I was gifted a Quilter’s Planner by a friend, and I loved it – in fact, there are pieces of it (Projects, Reference and Patterns) that I have incorporated into my 2020 planner because I found the information so useful.  This year, the QP announced that it was changing the size format of the 2020 Planner, and I knew that I was not going to be making a change to a smaller format. Keeping to simple, and real – as always.

My 2020 calendar started life as a $9.99 special at Michaels – it was vertically laid out, but it was a spiral bound system.  I knew that I could convert it easily enough, and at that price point, I couldn’t say no.

I later learned that there was a reason why it was that price (JANUNARY!!), but it was easy enough to fix.


I later learned that there was a reason why it was that price, but it was easy enough to fix.

I’ve seen a lot of posts which talk about decorating a planner spread. I’m all about the keeping it simple method of planner – so give me a good set of highlighters and of flags, and I am all set.

January Before

I start each month with a macro level of planning – fittiing in deadlines, blog posts, birthdays, meetings, Nana days…and then I get to work filling in the daily and the hourly units from them. The disc also allows me to add other sections to the back of my planner – one for Goals, one for Blogposts, one for thoughts on Fearless, and some blank pages.  I

Jan 20-24

Color coding helps me fill in how I work things through. Always leave time on Friday afternoon to clean up, so you start the following week with a clean slate.

Project pages

I mentioned my 2019 planner – I brought over some of the sections from the Original Quilter’s Planner – including the Projects section. It’s one of my most useful sections in the planner, and it allows me to see at a glance how on track I am. I have more balls in the air than ever this year, and this is going to be a game changer…as will the next section.

I have added a section for blogging goals. This is more than random lists of blog ideas…this is a detailed list of blog topics, laid out by date of blogs that I want to write. I started with 52 topics, and moved on from there. My goal is that there will be one blog for each Monday in 2020.


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