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25 planner themes

Tell me if you’ve ever been here before: a million ideas swirling around in your head, tons of things on the to-do list, and no idea how you’ll ever organize it all so that you can actually be able to DO it!

This happens to me A LOT, probably more than I’m willing to even admit to myself. I am always trying to find ways to organize all of my ideas, and a planner for me has become one of my go-to methods of trying to sort everything out.

Creating a planner is one of the best ways to get your ideas into actual actionable steps! Today I thought I would share some ideas for many different planner theme ideas that can help you organize…well, everything!

Planners Are for More Than Just Daily & Weekly Planning!

When you make your own planner organizer, the possibilities for what you can do with a DIY planner are truly endless. Since you create it entirely for what you want and need, you aren’t limited to using it for just the traditional monthly, weekly and daily planner ideas.

Instead, you can create planners for all sorts of projects and tracking ideas. It’s win-win – get things done and have a LOT of fun making them. 🙂

Here are 25 Theme Ideas for Planners That Go Beyond the “Calendar”

25 planner theme ideas

1. Travel/Vacation Planner

Going on a trip or vacation? Use a planner to map out routes, save important contact numbers for where you’ll be staying, budget your vacation budget, and more!

We do a lot of camping, so one of my BIG goals this year is to get a planner built that keeps track of everything we do when we go camping. From packing checklists to important information printed out for times we are no where near a wifi signal, it’s great to have it all gathered in one place for every trip.

Bonus: You get to use fun travel themed washi tape!

2. Financial/Budget Planner

Managing finances doesn’t have to be boring or tedious – especially if you make your own custom planner! Keep track of bills to pay, set savings goals, & get those finances in check.

My husband and I have tried for years to find a system to work for BOTH of us to stay on top of finances, and we finally realized the best thing we can do is keep a binder where we keep all receipts and follow a hybrid digital/paper cash envelope sort of system.

It’s always a work in progress, and we’re not always on the same page, but it definitely helps us at least make sure we are in the same book!

3. Special Events Planner

It seems like with our family there is always some sort of event happening. Whether it’s for upcoming parties, weddings, holidays or other special events, this is a great way to make sure you don’t overlook a single detail!

Having all of your notes, resources, and lists for the day organized neatly is a great way to make sure that you stay on top of planning the perfect event.

4. Cards, Gifts & Special Days Planner

Along with family and friends comes a lot of special days, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holiday cards.

If you are anything like me at all, it can sometimes be hard to remember when to send out cards or gifts to people on special days like birthdays or anniversaries!

Create a planner that lists birthdays for each month and consider keeping things like cards or their phone number or a running list of gift ideas. This is a planner you could very easily keep reusing year after year – simply add a fresh task checklist page to keep track of when cards & gifts get sent out.

I also like to make a lot of gifts for my friends and family members. When you make handmade gifts, whether it’s a blanket or a homemade candle, it can be tricky to make sure you have all the supplies AND time to finish it. A planner is great for this!

5. Meal Planner

Everybody eats! The first question I get asked every single day at 3:00pm is “What’s For Dinner, Mom?”

Instead of staring blankly at the open pantry cabinet wondering what the heck you’ll make for dinner, use your planner to get organized in the kitchen. You can collect recipes, make grocery shopping lists, keep track of sales and coupons and more.

6. School Planner

This is a great way to get kids involved in the fun of planning! We have three kids who are school-aged, so for us planners are a must in our family!

It is a great way to stay on top of homework, what you’re learning about, when important projects are due, and of course any events happening at school. Kids love it & they are learning important time management and planning skills that will help them long after they leave school.

Did I mention I also have a kid who is in high school? After graduation planning is a BIG task, so it’s very nice to have everything in one place.

7. Productivity Planner

While this idea at first may not seem quite different from a daily planner, a productivity planner is specific for making sure you get what you need to do accomplished. This is more of a planner that helps you manage workflows and everything you do that helps you stay on top of things in life!

Keep track of how you spend your time and consider using monthly tracker pages as a way to monitor your progress over time. This is a great method for stay at home parents or the self-employed to develop good habits to stay on task & motivated!

8. Business Planner

Many of us who love planners also have a business. While you may of course still need a traditional business plan to iron out the full details, making your own DIY planner is of course much more fun than a traditional boring blank business plan!

I’ve also found that no matter how much I try to “digitize” everything, I still find myself coming back to good old pen and paper. It’s also very nice to have all of your business information in one place so that in case of emergency, someone can easily see everything they need to take care of things for your business in times that you can’t.

9. Blog Planner

Do you blog? Why not create a planner for your blog posts, marketing, and more? Keep track of your online happenings while getting a much-needed creative break away from the computer screen!

While I still do the majority of my blog planning online, I know a lot of times my brain feels much more creative when I’m planning on paper! Later, I can easily take any of these notes and build it into a schedule for my websites. 

10. Write That Book Already: Make a Writing Planner!

If you have always dreamed of writing a book, why not use a planner to keep track of all your ideas and writing progress and scheduling writing time? 

Best of all, once you FINISH that book, you can also keep track of important information for working with your editor and agent. If you are self-publishing, there are so many different moving parts it is very good to have a place to organize everything!

11. Cleaning/Home Maintenance Task Tracker

11 out of 9 moms agree: Cleaning is only fun if you can use it as an excuse to use washi tape.

{Okay, so I might have just made that statistic up…just being honest here}.

But it’s true, chores won’t be as boring or tedious when you have a set schedule and routine AND get to play in a pretty DIY planner for it all!

It might not seem like fun, but if I don’t make plans to clean out the refrigerator or even fold the laundry, it won’t get done!  I’ve learned I can’t just try to remember things. I *still* forget that every single Wednesday for the past 25 years of my life is the night to take out the trash!  

There’s also a lot of routine home maintenance that needs to be done on a regular basis. You could keep track of things like changing a furnace filter, fixing that leaky faucet or remembering to get a load of gravel for the driveway. It seems like something is always needing repairs at home!

12. Home Decorating Planner

Are you remodeling the kitchen? Painting the walls? This is a great way to keep all your ideas, paint chips and other samples, and important information and research organized – not to mention keep track of important dates when working with contractors or suppliers!

13. Garden Planner

If you love gardening, this is a great way to organize all the things you want and need to do.

This could be a binder you fill with details on all of the plants you want to plant and how to take care of them. You could also create a schedule for watering and caring for plants and more.

You could even keep track of your garden budget or how your plants grow from one year to the next. Keeping a garden log and notes from one season to the next is a great way to do this.

I also like to keep a section in my garden planner just full of fun layout ideas and inspiring photos. A planner dedicated for gardening is a great way to dream.

14. Health & Wellness Goals Planner

With a household size of 5 people, it’s always important we keep track of everything related to our health in one place! Just knowing when everyone in the family has their routine checkups and other appointments each year is a good start in being more organized.

Whether you’re hoping to exercise more or get your family to eat more vegetables, this type of planner can be a great way to motivate yourself to stay on track for your health and wellness goals.

Also – don’t neglect to think about your mental health! This can be a great way to keep track of things such as a mood chart or even sleep schedules.

15. Hobby Planner

Have a favorite hobby? You can use a planner to schedule when you’ll make time for it, collect ideas and inspiration, and things you want to do and materials you need or techniques to learn.

For example, I have a planner dedicated for sewing project ideas where I print out tutorials, patterns, materials lists, etc. This is a great way to make plans for all those crafty ideas you’ve been meaning to get around to one of these days and actually DO them.

I also have planners dedicated for every other hobby I enjoy: Antique collecting! Coin Collecting! Kayaking! Metal Detecting! Spinning Yarn! Fiber Arts!

To quote my brother at a recent family gathering, “Chelle, what I can’t figure out, is how the heck do you manage have so many hobbies?!?! Like, I’d love to do all that stuff but I don’t have the time!”

Well, to answer my brother’s question, I think the answer is Planners. Seriously. 🙂 

16. Inspiration & Quotes Planner

Okay, so maybe this idea is not so much a planner, but a great idea to add to any planner!

Each day write out a quote or inspiring positive affirmation for the day and reflect on it – at the end of the planner you’ll have a lovely book to look through again and again! You can cut quotes out of old books, or print them out from your favorite quote websites.

Another thing you can do is keep a binder with all of your favorite motivational quotes and inspirational phrases and use it as a swipe file for things to add to other planners in the future. {You know, in case you are hopelessly addicted to planners like I am!} 

17. Relationships

If you’re in a long term relationship with someone, this could make for a great romantic gift or way to make sure your partner and you take the time to nurture your relationship. As someone who’s been married for 11+ years, I know relationships take work! A LOT of work!

You could schedule and plan for date night ideas, romantic get-a-ways, romantic gift ideas, collect relationship advice and quotes and more. When the stress of life starts to add up, a planner like this can help make sure you remember to make time for each other.

18. Spiritual Planner

If you are a spiritual person, a planner can be a great way to reflect on your beliefs, collect inspiring quotes and articles, schedule and create to-do lists, activities that help support your spiritual vision and more.

This kind of planner is going to look very different for many different people, but there truly is no wrong way to do it!

For one person it might mean Bible verses, for another person it might mean tarot cards or spell work. You may even have a unique spiritual path that encompasses both!

19. Use as a Gratitude Journal

junk to joy gratitude journal prompts

This is one of my favorite ideas for a way to add to an existing planner – Use the space for each day to write down something you are thankful for, and collect photographs and memories of all the things that bring you feelings of gratitude.

You can see my post about Gratitude Junk Journals here for some ideas, prompts and inspiration, along with a free printable!

20. The “Read That Book” Planner 

I am a self-confessed book-junkie. I have tried silly things like Chris Brogan’s 3 Book Diet and it just never works out. I LOVE to read, everything, and have been this way since I was a very little girl. I can’t even ride as a passenger in a car on a road trip without reading every single sign, car license plate and more. {Thank goodness for dramamine!}

There are plenty of apps out there like GoodReads to keep track of books you like, but it’s not always easy to actually plan when you will read the book. A few years ago I taught a mini-class to make reading journals at a local library and I realized just how wonderful it is to have a plan for what books to read next!

21. Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? Whether you’re climbing Mt. Everest or have other lofty goals you’d like to try to achieve in life, it’s never too late to start planning!

Maybe you have an ongoing list of books you want to read, foods you want to make or try, places you want to visit or crafts you want to do…a planner is a great way to keep track of these things…and actually get around to doing them!

If you are anything like me with a few thousand pins on Pinterest just hanging out there in the clouds of the internet, having a planner like this can give you some direction to actually start doing these things instead of always just thinking about them! 

You could also have some fun with this and turn it into a Vision board planner! Vision Boards are traditionally made with magazine cut-outs and poster board – but who’s to say you couldn’t make it part of a planner? 

You could take pictures from magazines or that you print out, and then write out your plans for making these things happen! 

22. Boredom Buster

This a great idea for anyone with kids who think they might die from boredom.

It’s also a really good idea for something portable to bring with you to places you might be waiting a long time. If you’ve ever sat with a kid for more than an hour at doctor checkup appointments or the car mechanic, you know what I’m talking about!

For this planner, collect ideas for activities they can do anytime they say they are bored…You could print out puzzles, have the words for songs they can sing, have travel games, lists of things they like to do, places you can visit, etc. etc. 

23. Community/Neighborhood Planning

No man is an island, and it can be wonderful to connect with your neighbors and people who live close to you within your community.

Whether you are a member of various local organizations or just want to keep track of important things to do with the neighbors on your own street, a community planner is perfect for this!

Keep track of community activities, contact information for neighbors, important emergency phone numbers, local companies you trust {ie: your favorite plumber and HVAC guy}, school information, people in various fields of expertise, etc. etc.

This type of planner would especially be a great idea for anyone moving into a new home! 

24. Family History and Ancestry Research Planning

Several years ago, a few of my cousins got really interested in ancestry, and of course I was all on board to learn more. One of my major family goals over the next year is to really get everything about our family’s history organized in such a way that the whole family can use and enjoy it!

There are so many interesting things about family history and ancestry, so I’m always working hard to make sure that I keep track of different activities I do. It’s so easy to get lost in research that you forget that you already researched something OR you lost track of where you put your notes.

While much of it can be done digitally today, it’s also still beneficial to get out and visit libraries, court houses, old churches and other places that keep records. A planner can help you keep track of things you need to do, places to go, and what you are studying and learning about.

25. Estate Planning

Yes, unfortunately, even though we don’t want to think about it, life as it is now is not forever. It’s not the most cheerful of planning, but an important thing to think about. 

It’s also a daunting task just to plan. You have to research estate planners and estate attorneys. You have to think about all of your assets, all of your finances, all of your business, all of your day-to-day things. It could be a full-time job in itself to figure out all these things and get papers and everything dealt with.

Oddly, enough in making my own plans to plan my estate, it actually really helped me find some focus for everything else I like to do in life for the other 24 planners on this list.

It’s sad but true: I’m not going to have all the time in the world to write all the books I want to write, make all the art I want to make, meet all the people I want to meet. But I do have time now, to do the things that matter now!

When you look at life like that, it sure does help you prioritize and really be in the moment with life! What matters most? What matters now?

Yes, There’s a Planner for EVERYTHING!

I hope this list of 25 planning ideas is helpful for you. I know sometimes life is crazy, especially if you are a creative person like me! I always have a bazillion things going on in every direction it seems, and I think a planner is one of the few things that really helps it all stay together!

The nice thing about having all these different ideas for a planner is you can actually enjoy using ALL of the different popular types of planners! You will never find yourself worrying again on whether to make your own or whether you should choose between Erin Condren, Moleskine or Filofax or The Happy Planner again!  

What Planner System is Right for You?

Wondering what type of planners I love and use? You can find my list of favorite planners for 2019 here. And don’t worry if you can’t decide on which one to try – eventually you can try them all in time!

Have you made a planner using any of these themes? I’d love to know what you’ve made in the comments below – or feel free to add any other planner theme ideas you might have – I’m ALWAYS looking for a reason to make a new planner!

Hmmm…I might need a planner just to plan my planners… Just teasing. 🙂 

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