Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bound planner work-arounds series: Monthly calendars booklet

In my new series on bound-planner work-arounds (as suggested by Mstraat in in the last Free For All Friday) I'll be showing you ways to add features to your bound planner.

In this post I'll show you how to make a monthly calendar booklet to add to your planner, notebook or Bullet Journal. This is especially good for people who go through more than one notebook per year, so you can plan your whole year in the one booklet and move it from notebook to notebook.

You can put this booklet in the back pocket of your planner/ notebook, or if your book doesn't have a pocket you can add an Insta-pocket (which I reviewed here).

To make this booklet I used an address booklet that came in the back pocket of a large Moleskine planner. I chose this booklet because it is very slim. You could also use a Quo Vadis booklet or similar slim notebook.

To start each month on two pages, I made 5 rows of 6 lines each.

Then I drew vertical lines:

I kept the vertical line measurements within the edges taking into account the cut-out areas for the tabs. That made each column 2.75 cm wide.
Below you can see the A-Z tabs:

Here is January filled in:

I cut sticky flags and used them on the A-Z tabs to color code and label the months to find the month I'm looking for easily. Also here you can see the first page and inside cover are available to use for anything you want to reference quickly like goals or emergency information.

There were just enough pages for 12 months of monthly calendars plus a two-page spread for the future year:

The back page is available for any information you want to keep all year, like your contacts backup:

Below you can see how slim the booklet is in the back of my large Moleskine:

Several months ago I made a similar monthly calendars booklet by printing out month pages and taping them into the booklet, but I didn't like that as well because the taped-in pages added a lot of bulk to the booklet.

What's great about making your own monthly booklets is you can make them start any time, so the months can go January-December, on the academic year, starting at the beginning of a project timeline, etc.

You can draw your months any way you like: month on two pages like I've drawn here, month on one page with the opposite page open for lists and notes, or the simpler monthly index like the Bullet Journal style.

When you move this booklet from notebook to notebook, it lets you plan the whole year at a time and also serves as a quick reference of your entire year so you don't have to dig out your old notebook from earlier in the year to check a previous date.  I'm using this monthly booklet as my daily index in my notebook.

Look for more bound planner work-around posts soon!


  1. Great post! I think you meant the columns to be 27.5mm wide (not 2.75mm!)

    1. Actually I meant 2.75 cm. Amended, thanks!

  2. Really great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sheer genius, Laurie! Why didn't I think of this?? I have been buying over-priced tabbed Franklin Covey monthly pages for years... And I have a ton of these Moleskine address books that I never use!! Thanks so much for the idea!

    - Tina

  4. Laurie - i think im missing something because when i click on the bullet journal link i dont see info on bullet journaling... i must be overlooking something? Thank you!

    1. Fixed now, thank you so much for letting me know Nancy!