DIY Planner | Moleskine Hack UPDATE

Moleskine Planner Update on Cup of Tea
Remember the post about my DIY Moleskine Planner? I basically took this plain Moleskine notebook and added my own hand drawn calender and to-do areas to make my own perfect planner, customized just the way I like it!

I’ve been using the planner since August, so I figured it was time for an update, as I have made a few tweaks to it.

But, first thing’s first – this planner still rocks my socks. I can’t stress how much I love having a weekly to-do list, sorted by category, instead of a daily to-do list. Some days you’re just really productive with cleaning – you get in a groove! Other days, it feels like a blogging/computer work day. It’s quite freeing!

I did find, though, that I was missing a way to track appointments/deadlines each day. While it may be nice for some to-dos to have a whole week to get accomplished, some things have deadlines. My current set up was too messy.

So right now, I’m trying a new layout in my Moleskine planner. It’s a 2×6 grid. The left column is week days, for appointments, deadlines, and things that HAVE to get done that day. The right column is dedicated to my to-do categories. Right now it’s Home, Blog, Work, Church and Other. I eliminated the Errands/Appts category because I know have the left column.

New Weekly Planner Layout for the DIY Moleskine Planner Hack

And then, the bottom left and right boxes are for Saturday and Sunday.

I write appointments and deadline tasks on the left, and then any other to-dos to be accomplished by the week’s end on the right, in its appropriate space.

Close up of the new weekly layout for the DIY Planner Moleskine Hack

It’s a little different from the past set up. Before it was a 2×3 grid, with a box for each task category. See below for a side-by-side comparison (old layout on left, new layout on right). There is less space to write weekly to-dos, but it hasn’t been a problem, since some to-dos get added to the daily slot.

Old vs. New Weekly Layout of the DIY Planner Moleskine Hack

I’ve been using this set up for a month now, and I’ve just about hit planner perfection! So basically, it’s a weekly planner with monthly views. The layout is a month view, and then the weekly views for that month. Then the next month, and so on. I love it!

The final “phase” in my planner vamp is just making sure I set aside “planner time” every evening and every Sunday. That way I can organize my thoughts and action items for the next day or the next week. I still need to work that into my routine.

Even though I absolutely LOVE my DIY Moleskine hack, I still love drooling over a few planners!

if I had to buy a new planner (and it’s so tempting!), here are a few I’d definitely consider.

Daily To Do Instant Download from Printable Wisdom source

Printable Daily Schedule from Printable Wisdom (Etsy) | If you like the simplicity of a one sheet-er that you can print yourself, this one is adorable! It has space for errands to run, calls to make, etc. I’d probably use this one for a weekly to-do list. You could haul this file down to your local Kinkos and print them off and have them spiral bound, if you want!

Weekly To-Do List from Lizzie Lou Creations


Weekly To Do List Printable from Lizzie Lou Creations (Etsy) | If you’re looking for another printable but more simple/flexible, then this one is a great option as well! It would look nice even printed in black and white. The same Etsy shop has a cute weekly to-do list with additional categories that looks like it would be fun to have.

Emily Ley Simplified Planner



Simplified Planner – Weekly Edition from Emily Ley | First of all, all of Emily’s products are adorable! But this planner, in particular, is spot on! (No pun intended! Well, maybe a little intended…) I love the navy and polka dots! But the inside is really what stands out. It’s just simplified. No bells or whistles. There is just enough guidance with prompts to keep you on task, but clean enough to let you organize it your own way.

Kate Spade Planner


Kate Spade Large Agenda | I love this cover! So cute! But, like the Simplified Planner, the actual pages are so simple and clean. No fuss. Which is what I would look for in a planner.

So what do you think? Are you a paper planner person? Or all electronic? Would you DIY your own planner? Let me know!

For other Moleskine hacks out there:

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*As always, no affiliate links in this post… I’m just not that cool.

August Favorites | TV + Organization + Clothing

August 2014 Favorites | Cup of TeaI typically have at least a few beauty items in my favorites recap, but not this month. I just didn’t buy anything that was favorite worthy.

But I have plenty of favorites, nonetheless!

Planner | You’ve probably already seen my blog post on how I set up my Moleskine notebook to be my own, custom planner.  But it’s just rocked my socks this month! I feel a little more organized, and that should always be a favorite.

The Killing | I mentioned how much my husband and I were enjoying this show. If you love mysteries, crime thrillers, detective dramas, etc., then check this out! The entire series is on Netflix!

SaconneJolys YouTube Channel | I don’t know why these daily vloggers make my day, but they are such a delightful little family! They are a favorite this month because they are an Irish family, but recently moved to London, so I’ve enjoyed watching them all get settled.  Check them out!

Instagram | Yep. Instagram made the list. Instagram is like the social media platform meant for me. All pictures. Loads of interaction. I haven’t been as active this past month on Instagram like I had been previously, but I’ve been enjoying being a stalker on every else’s feeds 🙂

Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans | It’s embarrassing, but I’ve been wearing my maternity skinny jeans since I was pregnant. Which was basically this time last year. Yikes. They were comfortable, but the reason I had such a hard time giving them up was because I couldn’t find a pair of dark skinny jeans that were comfortable, soft, and weren’t bunchy around the ankle. Enter the Rockstar Skinnies from Old Navy! I ended up buying these in the short length, which I think made the difference! | This blog has been popping up on other blogs for the last month or so, but if you haven’t heard of Un-Fancy yet, I’ll just say it’s fabulous! Basically, Caroline has streamlined her wardrobe into a minimalist capsule wardrobe, and creates seasonal looks from a collection of items from the capsule, as well as a few new pieces purchased for the 3 month season. If you’ve ever been interested in a minimalist wardrobe and having a quality vs. quantity existence, then check out this blog! It’s amazing!

Anything you’re loving right now? Would love to hear about it!

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DIY Weekly Planner | Moleskine Hack


*I’ve written an update with a few extra tweaks – you might be interested in that!

I know I’m not the only one who loves planners, lists, keeping organized, etc!  Anyone else love changing out your planners regularly, hoping to find the system?  I do! I do!  (In fact, you may remember I purchased another planner back in the Spring… and it just didn’t work for me.  I didn’t like how the monthly views were all together… kind of annoying.)

A few months ago I showed off my newly purchased Moleskine notebook on Instagram.  The master plan was to take that notebook and turn it into my own little customized planner.

I frequently try different ways to keep to-do lists.  But in early summer I noticed I was loosing track of tasks for the blog and for my consultant work (not good!).  So it was time to rethink my strategy!

My last few months at my last job, just before leaving to stay home full time, I started (can I say invented????) a way to group to-dos by category.  Instead of saying “these are the tasks I will accomplish today”, I wrote to-dos to accomplish by the week’s end.

So I modified this idea for my new home/mom life, and have been using it diligently for the last few months.  It’s high time to show it off!

This custom planner is a home schedule, master calendar, work tracker, AND a blogging calendar, all in one 🙂

First up, here’s an over view of the notebook itself.  It’s the Moleskine Classic Colored Notebook in the Large size.  It’s big enough to hold all my musings, but small enough to toss in the diaper bag.  I love the soft covers of Moleskines versus the hard covers.

The pages are covered with dots in a grid.  How awesome is that? It’s like little polkadots everywhere 🙂 And like all Moleskines, it has a strap to keep it closed, a page marker ribbon thingy, and a pocket for things in the back.  I love the quality of Moleskines!

So here’s how I have it organized!  I created my own monthly views by just drawing lines in a grid pattern.  Each box/day is an 8×8.  I’ve combined Saturday and Sunday into one day.


I use the monthly view as a blog planner and mapping out posts. (It looks a little sparse for September, no?  Don’t worry – I took these pictures a while back!) For our own personal calendar, I still use my weekly note pad from Target, as well as iCal to sync with our phones.

After a month, I then add the corresponding week’s week at a glance view, one week per page. I draw a 2×6 grid, with 6 13×14 rectangles.  I label each box as a category.


As the week goes on, and a to-do pops up for a category, I add it in the category box with a small check box to the left.


When you get in close for a picture, you inevitably capture a shadow 🙂

Here are my categories I’m currently working with:

  • Home – larger “deep clean” type tasks that aren’t a part of my usual daily or weekly cleaning schedule.
  • Blog – the week’s posts, link ups to remember  and then bigger projects I hope to tackle during the week
  • Work – items that my clients have requested with deadlines
  • Errands – sometimes errands, but sometimes also appointments or play dates!
  • Church – I do A LOT of volunteer work for my church, and if I drop the ball, my volunteers I schedule don’t know what’s going on.
  • Other – any miscellaneous tasks or to-dos that don’t necessarily fall into a category above

As the week goes on, I look at my tasks and try to tackle what I see.  I love the flexibility of to-dos for the week, verses a list of tasks for the day.  I have more productive days than others, so I like not being pressured to get certain things done on certain days.

In the back of the notebook, I’ve added some page tabs labeled with a few of my categories.  This allows me space for note taking, jotting down ideas, or other schedules that are important.  For example, I’ve got my monthly deep cleaning schedule jotted down in the Home section, as well as my yearly home tasks.

And finally, in the back pocket, I’ve got stored some spare page tabs.

So there you have it!  I’m LOVING my Moleskine hack and have been using it for a few months now.

You may like a few of my other blog posts on staying organized:
Daily Schedule of a Stay at Home Mom
Daily & Weekly Cleaning Schedule

If you’re interested in seeing other Moleskine hacks out there or other planner inspiration, check out my Pinterest board on the topic:

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