MTN

Ok, so this page has nothing to do with knitting. If you’re disappointed, just wait, I’ll do a post this week showing you all the progress I’ve made on my sweater and the beginnings of a new shawl.

All of my professional life I’ve been in search of “the perfect planner system”. I’ve tried them all: Franklin Covey, Erin Condren, I don’t know, you name it, I’ve probably tried it. The problem with other people’s systems are they aren’t mine. Franklin Covey doesn’t live my life and having a one-size-fits-all system just doesn’t work for me.

The last calendar I purchased was Erin Condren. I kid you not, one day after I ordered it, I found someone talking about customizing their Midori Traveler’s Notebook. Now, to be fair, in my never ending quest for “the perfect planner system”, I had seen the MTN system, but my hesitation was the time it would take to develop my own system. And really, I’m not a desktop publishing whiz, I don’t know how to do all that stuff, nor do I have time for it.

Oh how wrong I was.

My first stop in having my mind changed was stumbling upon Ray Blake’s website, My Life All In One Place (http://www.mylifeallinoneplace.com/). Ray has a plethora of ready to download and print inserts for the MTN. Great. But they’re still not MY inserts. Then, I stumbled upon this YouTube video describing how to set up an MS Word document so that when you print it out, all you have to do is fold it and bind it. Whoa. My brain was a little blown.

So, instead of doing this in Word, I did it in Publisher because it was better to manipulate the pages this way.

The remainder of this post will describe my process and then link to my files so that you can modify them any way you choose.

The first thing, and arguably the most difficult thing, to do is to understand how the notebook is put together. InspiredBlush (the YT video), does a good job with describing the prototype she built. I did this and it helped tremendously.Take about 20 blank pages of paper and fold them in half. That’s your booklet. Now number the pages, starting with the cover as page 1, the inside cover as page 2, etc. I labeled both left and right sides of the page as 1Left, 1 right, 2 left, 2 right, etc. You’ll see why in a sec.

I then plugged everything out in a spreadsheet. The biggest tip I could give you is that you must have a number of pages that is in a multiple of 4. So that means either 4,8,12,16,20, 24, 28 or 32 pages. You can’t do this with any other number of pages. It won’t work. Don’t try it. You’ll make yourself crazy.

Once everything is planned out in the spreadsheet, it is simply deciding how you want the pages to look. I wanted a Week on 2 pages (WO2P) layout, and because I have the “week” calendar on the left side of the page, it made things a tad easier. This is my layout:

WO2PLayout

The left side is for my normal calendar tracking – the column with the names of the days is for appointments and events and the other column is for my to do list. The letters on the far left are my daily tracking items: Water, Vitamins, Exercise, Sleep, Scripture Reading and Prayer. I just put a little dot to indicate that I did it, or in the case of tracking my sleep I used colored dots (green, yellow and red).

The right side is for the other incidental things that happen during the week. I have a box for all of my grad school stuff that I need to do that week and the curly brackets is for quotes and scripture that I happen upon during the week that are meaningful to me.

Now to the setup. As I said above, I chose to create this in MS Publisher because the pages, text, and objects are easier to manipulate. The page is setup landscape with the left and right margins set to 1.3 inches, top and bottom are .25. This will still be too “tall” for the RS size, so keep in mind that you’ll still need to trim some from top and bottom, in addition to the sides to get everything to fit.

Once you have the first page set up with the correct margins, on the ruler on the left, click and drag it over to 5.5 inches – this is the middle – and will provide you a nice little “marker” so that you can place objects on the page and know where it will fold.

Now to figuring out how to decide what to put on each page. If I had left the right side of the page undated, this would have made things a tad easier – but since I tend to flip through things and use the top right page for numbering, etc., I chose to have the date there. There is a YouTube video that walks you through how to build a prototype that will help you visualize how the pages fit together. I highly recommend you watch it here – the video is by InspiredBlush – just click the link and it will take you right there. Then you should watch Ray Blake’s tutorial on how to bind the notebook once you’ve printed it out. You can find it here.

Here are the 2 files that I used:

Monthly Layout (MO2P) – May 2015 – December 2016
Weekly Layout (WO2P) – April 27 – September 6, 2015

You can find them here

The pages should be printed 2 sided, flipped on the SHORT edge.

EDITED TO ADD:

I also uploaded the Excel spreadsheet that I used to help guide me as to page content. One tab for Monthly, one for the Weekly layout. It helped to have this printed out while I was adding all the dates to the pages – it is what kept me sane.

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