Setting up your planner

Setting Up Your Planner, Part 5: Calendar & Blank Pages

Now is the time to bring this puppy home. Puppy being your planner setup. (thank you captain obvious)

Originally, I had broken this section into 2, but now I see the error in my unnecessary ways.

Rejoice! You’ve made it to the final leg of your setup. Or maybe that’s sad…either way, all vibes welcome.


We’re going to take a quick break on thinking and fill out our monthly calendars with the things we know:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Vacations
  • Days off (including school schedules, if kids)
  • Appointments

If you are still flipping through your old planner for birthdays and anniversaries, now’s the time to grab the free perpetual planner printable. You can get that here.

Another idea: turn a mini notebook into a perpetual planner. Label the top of the page with the month (skip every other page to give yourself more space). Number down the page (again skipping lines) for the days of the month. Voila, DIY perpetual planner. 

You can find mini notebooks here.

Next, for birthdays/anniversaries only, I highly suggest picking a different color pen (or highlight). This will give your brain a shortcut to identify what these are (and not appointments). Another brain shortcut is to write them in the same spot within the day (like the very bottom row of the box).

Of course, you can color code everything to your heart’s content. What do I do? Thanks for asking. I use black ink for everything with the exception of birthdays/anniversaries (which are in purple), and the kids’ school stuff (which I box around with a red pen, since that’s their school color). 

Going backwards, flip to the year in review calendar that sits next to the U.S. Holidays & Observations. This is a great space for a high-level understanding of your year and schedule. 

Using your highlighters, highlight relevant information: 

  • School schedule (start, end, breaks)
  • Holidays
  • Vacations
  • In business, any big launches or project times

On the Holidays & Observations page, add any holidays or observations to the lines below the list if there are important things that did not make the list. Such as religious days, or National Squirrel Appreciation Day (January 21st, if you were wondering).

Blank Font Pages 

You’ve just passed the baton to the final runner in your brain. Just one more mile to finish strong. (finish setup strong, but technically starting your planner strong). 

There are 4 blank/lined pages (2 spreads) directly before the January spread. This is for whatever your little heart desires. 

In case you are blank with ideas, here’s some ideas: 

  • Routines (morning, evening, kids, etc.)
  • Dinner ideas
  • Books/movies/show to read/watch (or alternatively, keep track of the ones your read/watched here)
  • Habit tracking
  • Goals
  • Medical tracking
  • Budgeting

Take a breath

Shut your newly set-up planner, and with your hands still on top of it, take a deep breath. Say a little prayer for the year ahead. Or say a little affirmation that whatever this year brings, you have everything in you to face it. Perhaps the serenity prayer is perfect to end with. 

Cheers to your intentional year.

Sprouted Planners is dedicated to help you live an intentional life through planning.