Make Your Own DIY Planner at Home – with Japanese Elements
As a kid, I would go to a local Morning Glory store in Chicago to check out cute stickers, stationery, and planners. I don’t know why I needed a planner as a kid but I sure loved filling each page with notes, doodles, friends’ birthdays, and addresses.
Fast-forward to 30 something year old adult, I’m still doing the same. But now I’m searching for something that is more minimalistic compared to the ones I had as a kid. The planner now has to serve the purpose of keeping me organized with my life, of course.
I have a daily planner to track how my day goes. (If you’re interested, the planner is from Best Self) In my opinion, it’s one of the best planners to help manage my projects. I’m a visionary type of person that is constantly birthing ideas and this planner helps me prioritize and focus. The only improvements I would suggest to Best Self Co. are that they insert pages for each month and zhoosh it up a bit. The artist in me sees so much room for design improvement!
I created a template in Adobe Illustrator. The Japanese characters displayed on top of each day are elements and represent the seven celestial bodies of our solar system. I wanted my monthly planner to look simple but also have some Asian culture represented as well.
I got this idea from my recent (pre-pandemic) trip to Japan. We were at a cozy café in Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and noticed their calendar display outside. I loved how brilliant and cute this was! I knew what each of the characters meant (they’re the same in Chinese) but I actually didn’t know that they corresponded with the days of the week. I think this is more common in Japan than anywhere else in Asia.
(Of course I find this in the land of the ultra cute. Even their rock typo with the word ca-lend-ar is cute.)
- For Sunday, we have 日 which means “Sun”
- For Monday, we have 月 means “Moon”
- 火 means “Fire” and represents Mars and is assigned to Tuesday
- 水 means “Water” and represents Mercury and is assigned to Wednesday
- 木 means “Wood” and represents Jupiter and is assigned to Thursday
- 金 means “Gold/Metal” and represents Venus and assigned to Friday
- 土 means “Earth” and represents Saturn and is assigned to Saturday
Then I scored each page down the middle to get an even crease line. I did the same for a sheet of cardstock paper, which served as the cover. I then used twine to keep the pages together. I quadruple knotted by the way. This actually does a pretty good job at keeping the pages together. No staples needed. You can easily remove and insert pages this way too.
“You do not follow your dreams, you follow your plan.”
Happy planning, my friends!