19-4052 for 2020

The new year is upon us. 2019 has transitioned into a new year, and so is the yearly tradition of revealing a new planner. We are currently in our 2nd decade of the 21st century and hey, I’m also in my 2nd decade of creating DIY planners.

This year, I planned to go basic. It’s good that more and more people are aware of the changes in our environment, and how our present actions will affect the world that the next generation will live in. More people are learning to take care of the environment, reduce carbon footprints, and opt for more sustainable means of living. Reduce, reuse, recycle is still relevant up to this day, and I wanted to accomplish that with the planner.

1. Weekly Calendar

This year, I had a major clean-up session with my stuff at home. We transformed an empty room at home to my little playground (aka craft room) which meant I had to unearth all my old stuff that has been sitting in bins for years and years, and sort through all of them.

I was able to collect a shiz-ton of readings and old test papers from college. There were some that I planned to reread or would still be helpful in my current line of work, and some that could go to recycling.

Most of the readings had print on one side of the paper, which meant I could still use the other side. Instead of buying a new ream of white paper, I used my old readings.

That’s not even 1/4 of all the sheets I collected throughout my 4 years in college

I folded the paper in four, then glued the printed sides together.


Just like last year, each clean side would be a week, which will be easier for me to see a macro view of the deadlines that would take up my week. I liked this image of a weekly planner where boxes were drawn for each day because it made the page look sleek and clean. I copied it and oh, boy, it was such a chore.


Imagine drawing 365 boxes (plus a whole lot more when I made a mistake and had to redo some pages). The picture above ended up to be a reject, because I decided to draw only 7 boxes per page for 7 days a week. The extra space didn’t need a box. I started around October and it took me until mid-November to finish drawing all those boxes.

I’m probably late into the bullet journal trend, but I decided to base the weekly calendar theme on a bullet journal look. Bullet journals are usually handwritten because it allows you to customize your journals to a chosen layout/log/list.

I sampled a few styles of handwriting the days of the week before settling on a style.


I used a watercolor background for the days of the week before writing them down.



I wasn’t too happy with the look of the handwritten dates, so I opted to use number stamps.


2. Months

I wanted to do a color-resist look for the months but I didn’t have the right materials for it. I improvised and used glue as an alternative to masking liquid. The glue turns clear when it dries and resists liquids.



I was already on the theme of trends, I based the color scheme on the Pantone for 2020: the Classic Blue. Teen Vogue released 2020 Pantone colors for fashion, which I used as a color scheme for painting the monthly dividers.

Source: Teen Vogue (months added by me)

I tried my very best to mix paint to match the colors. I think I did okay? The design inspiration was from Fallindesign.com.


I don’t know my months. February before January? lol

I handwrote the monthly calendar, to keep the bullet journal look consistent.

3. Cover

Surprise, surprise, I still have enough illustration board to serve as the covers of the planner. (Funny miracle, my mom also did some major cleaning and found leftover illustration board. All set for 2021!)

I cut it to the size of the planner, then rounded off the edges.


The board accumulated some stains and dirt from years and years of storage. To make it white again, I covered both sides with a sheet of my old readings. For the edges, I lined it with double-sided tape, then secured the middle space with a mixture of water and glue.



I found a cute notebook design on Pinterest which became the inspiration for the design cover. I used an old sponge from a make-up foundation applicator for the circular pattern. I picked the 2020 Pantone of Classic Blue for the paint.




4. Binding and Final Touches

Here came the challenging part, as if the whole project wasn’t challenging enough. I’ve tried coptic binding a couple of times already in the previous years but I never seem to get a hang of it or remember it the next time I do it.

I only managed to take a picture of me punching holes and marking the signatures (folded sections of paper) before I spiraled in a state of confusion of trying to remember how to bind using the copting method.



This time, I followed a new set of instructions. I prefer text instructions to video instructions. Both hands are needed in binding, and it would take an extra step in pausing and playing the video. At least for text instructions, I could just keep the instructions on my laptop then just take quick glances while my hands are fully focused on the binding. The manual that I used had step-by-step instructions and pictures so I didn’t get lost.

Halfway through, when I finally got the hang of it


I learned that thin threads were the reason why my previous coptic binds were flimsy. This time, I doubled on the thread which made the bind more sturdy. The thread was from mom’s craft bin which she hasn’t used in years so I asked if I could have it for my craft needs.

Just like a book, the first page is sort of a title page. I wasn’t really planning on going floral, but I found a way to justify the design on the first page. Taking care of plants is a trend nowadays and I have a few plants under my care now, so I used that as a design. I originally wanted to draw a plant per month, but I didn’t want to take the title of a plant mom because I killed a cactus. hahahaha. ha. ha. ha. ha.

I took inspiration from an artist on Instagram named Shayda, and did the same on the first letter of my name. I was going to cut an outline on the right side just like how Shayda did it, but opted to keep it as is.


5. The Big Reveal

The finished product!



My planner would not be complete without a mini sleeve for cards.




Even the notes page is made from recycled white paper. The pen is a gift from my co-worker, which is mostly eco-friendly and made from recycled materials. Neat!



Work hasn’t resumed for 2020 yet, but I already have deadlines written on it. 2019 was a busy year and I’m prepared for another busy year. As the Eleventh Doctor would exclaim (hey Whovians, a new episode is gonna drop today!), “Geronimo!”

[See the post on Pinterest.]

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