Moleskine Planner Hack


I have a trail of dead behind me… well, dead planners, I should say. I have bought planners to help keep me organized as far back as the 7th grade, but every year without fail, they would fall into disuse and get scrunched, scratched and dropped by the wayside. Each of these planners had in common a variety of features I never used, not enough of those I wanted, and in addition were usually made of flimsy, ugly materials.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me to make my own planner in all those years. Maybe I was just hoping that out there, somewhere, an ideal planner lay in wait for the day I would snatch it up and we would blissfully twirl off into the sunset together.

In the fall of 2007 (I remember this because it was an epiphany, really) I saw Lea’s homemade planner. She had printed out dates onto strips of paper in a pretty font and pasted them into a lovely lined notebook. I was bowled over by this new idea. All the planners I’d bought previously weren’t up to snuff, so why shouldn’t I make my own? With some fear and trepidation (I was venturing into unknown creative territory here) I bought a lined  notebook at Austin’s BookPeople and proceeded to print my paste my way into an inferior imitation of Lea’s gorgeous planner. I used the planner for two months before I realized it wasn’t right for me–and I turned to Google to help me build a better planner.


In my search, I found this insanely useful post which inspired me to finally break down and design my own planner.

My first iteration was pretty much the same as in that post: a plain black Moleskine notebook, into which I pasted sheets of cardstock to serve as dividers between sections. The sections were a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, and then the remaining pages became a section for lists or other information. The great thing about this planner was that I actually used it! I have come to the end of it and realized that aside from a few tweaks here and there, I love everything about it:  how customizeable it is and how it meets my needs without superfluous features.

Weekly View

So now it’s time for version 2.0. Here are the specs:


  • Red, unlined Moleskine (found at BookPeople as well).
  • Pretty scrapbook paper from Michael’s. It’s heavy like cardstock as well.
  • Stabilo point 88 colored pens, in very light grey for the lines and then an accent color. Darker Stabilo pens tend to show through the Moleskine paper  (the darker colors actually bleed through), so the lighter the color, the better, imho.
  • Ruler, pencil, and glue stick – I made a template for the measurements rather than measure each and every page.


  • Monthly Calendar – I didn’t paste two pages together in 2.0 because I wanted more pages at the end. I also created a grid which can accommodate months spread over 6 weeks, so that two dates don’t have to share a square.
  • Weekly section- I moved my “expenses” section to the end. It still has a line at the top to announce the dates of the week, and another line for week-long events. Day-long events get written at the top of each day.
  • Expenses Tracker – I omitted the list section in this version because I keep a small notebook as a catch-all for lists and immediate information anyway, and instead created a section to track the money I spend and the food I eat.


So that’s my new personal planner. That last picture is of a final detail I decided to add: rather than just writing the section names, I created little labels for them out of the leftover scrapbook paper. Enjoy, and let me know if you make your own!



  1. Lea said,

    June 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Annemarie, your planner looks SO GORGEOUS! I should have known you would show me up completely!

    I hope it brings you joy every day you use it. That’s the real advantage of making pretty things for ourselves, isn’t it? Who else gets to say they find joy in their planner!

    I couldn’t be more proud to have tipped you off. (:

  2. Lea said,

    June 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    P.S. Thank you for all the sweet, sweet comments on my blog. Now that I’ve found yours, expect me to return the favor!

  3. Lea said,

    June 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Omigosh! I hope you can delete excess comments. Clearly mine posted all those times last night when I thought it wasn’t working! *Blush*

    Oh well, hope you feel super popular.

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