What to Do with an Extra Planner: 10 Creative Ideas to Try!
As a planner addict, I purchase at least three planners a year. How many planners do you buy in a year?
To start the year off right, I alway buy a new planner that starts in January. After using that planner for a few weeks or months, sometimes I discover the planner doesn’t hold everything I need…or it’s too big, or the pages are too decorative, or I see another planner that looks promising and buy it on impulse.
Then, when the academic planners come out, I can’t resist buying another planner mid-year. Does this ever happen to you?
I love the fresh start planner provides. However, I end up with quite a few extra planners laying around. I don’t throw them away. I use them for other things.
Rather than wasting a perfectly good planner, let’s talk about what to do with an extra planner.
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You should keep the majority of your plans in one master planner, but sometimes it is helpful to have an extra planner (or two)!
Here are all of the ways I repurpose my extra planners.
10 Ways to Use an Extra Planner
#1. One Paragraph a Day Journal
Your regular planner is most likely filled with appointments, reminders, and to-do lists. What if you used an extra planner to record your feelings or something special that happened that day. I was inspired to do this after seeing the One Line Per Day Memory Book.
Write one paragraph (two to three sentences) to recap your day. It could be an interaction you had, something good that happened to you, a new experience, your feelings about something you saw, or a new activity you tried.
If you’re a parent, you can write down your children’s milestones, something funny they said or did, or something they learned.
Keep the planner near your bed so you can spend a few minutes writing in it at the end of the day.
#2. Doodle a Day Journal
About ten years ago, my husband purchased this One Sketch a Day: A Visual Journal for me. Using it started a daily routine I have been using ever since!
I make an effort to doodle or sketch every day. In fact, you can check out all of my doodle ideas here.
Not only do I create doodles on my regular planner pages, but I also keep an extra planner just for doodling every day.
It doesn’t matter if your planner is a monthly, weekly, or daily layout. Use the space provided and just start doodling.
Choose a favorite pen and then color in your drawings with colored pencils, markers, or watercolor paints.
#3. Health and Fitness Planner
I start off the year with such good intentions. I’m going to go to the gym, workout, and eat healthy every day. A few weeks later I’m sitting on the couch, my gym bag hasn’t been touched in a week, and I’m deep in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
I’ve found a good way to stay motivated is by holding myself accountable and putting together an achievable plan I can stick with.
To do this, I repurpose an extra planner for my health and fitness goals. In fact, I found several planners on Amazon that are made just for fitness tracking.
At the beginning of the planner, I write down my goal weight and how I want to get there. For example, I want to walk 2-3 miles a day, workout 3 times a week, and get 7 hours sleep.
Then I use the planner pages to record those activities each week. By doing this, it’s easy to see how I’m doing, where I need to improve and give myself a pat on the back for working towards my goals.
I also use the planner to record my daily food intake, calories, and weight each week.
#4. Journal or Diary
If you have an extra daily planner, why not use it for journaling. With the one-page per day format, it provides plenty of room for writing down your thoughts, feelings, problems, successes, and adventures.
In fact, I recently wrote an article about using a bullet journal as a diary and all of the same ideas apply if you are using an extra planner to write in. The article covers how to keep a diary, what to write about, and what you’ll gain by keeping a journal.
#5. Smash Book
One of my favorite uses for an extra planner is memory keeping!
I’m not talking about just writing down what happened that day, although that’s part of it.
I create what is called a smash book.
A Smash Book is a journal that is a planner, memory keeper, and scrapbook all smashed into one.
Use it to store photos, favorite movie stubs, pretty bits of paper or trim, pockets, cards, vacation postcards, or whatever you want to put in there.
Add doodles, cutouts, newspaper clippings, maps, awards, and business cards from your favorite restaurants.
Think of it as a creative space. Let the pages get filled stuff you love.
It’s also an ideal place to use scissors, markers, colored pencils, decorative writing, stickers, washi tape, and watercolor paints.
#6. Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is another great way to use an extra planner.
By taking a few minutes each day to write down what you are grateful for, you will improve your mental well being. In fact, I wrote an article on the benefits of expressing gratitude here: Gratitude Logs for your bullet journal.
I’m not the first person to think of a gratitude journal, either. There are journals available dedicated just to gratitude such as the Gratitude Finder, Gratitude: A Journal, and The 5-Minute Journal.
#7. Finance/Expense Planner
Keeping track of my finances is something that takes a lot of effort for me. So, I find using an extra planner for tracking my money is extremely helpful.
I use it to track monthly bills, expenses, work vs. personal finances, budgets, financial goals, and savings.
There are planners that are already created for this task as well. I found several on Amazon with great reviews:
Boxclever Budget Planner - Really pretty floral print pages with a video showing you how to use it.
GoGirl Budget Planner - Available in 9 colors and comes with cute budgeting stickers.
Limitless Mindset Budget Planner - Undated, start it any time. Includes budgeting envelopes and colorful stickers.
#8. Home Maintenance
How do you remember to change the air filters, schedule chimney maintenance, and when to do spring cleaning? Use an extra planner to track home maintenance as well as a honey-do list.
It’s also a good place to keep track of a weekly, monthly, and annual cleaning schedule in addition to contact numbers for the plumber, electrician, gardener, and handyman.
I was inspired by this Happy Planner Home Organizer.
#9. Editorial Calendar
Do you have a blog, Etsy shop, or post regularly on social media? Do you find it difficult to keep track of when and what you posted on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter?
You may want to use an extra planner to keep your marketing campaigns, posting schedule, and blogs date organized.
I use an extra planner for this task and found it exceptionally useful.
This planner is kept at my desk. When I sit down to work, I just open up my calendar and I can see all of the tasks that need to be accomplished because they are scheduled.
#10. Meal Planning
Do you find it difficult to come up with ideas for meals every day? Why not use the extra planner for meal planning.
If you plan your meals a week in advance, you can create a grocery list for all of the items you’ll need for those meals. After a busy day and it’s time to cook dinner, you simply open your meal planner and make what is scheduled for that day.
Use extra pages in the back of your planner for favorite recipes, too.