Re-purposing your old planner is a great way to extend the life of your planner and reduce the guilt of buying something new.
I know I’m not alone when I say “I love that exciting feeling you get when you buy a new planner and set it up for the first time”.
But… boy I do feel guilty that my old planner will collect dust and of course part of me feels like money is being wasted.
Over the years I’ve tried different binder sizes and planner systems from disks to rings and back to disks again.
To combat my surplus pile of planners I’ve learnt to creatively reuse, gift and destash them. Keep on reading so you can do the same.
Reusing an old planner for a one-off project
Every now and again there’s a project that requires a lot of your time and planning to get it done successfully.
When I got married I used an old planner to help me keep organised during the months we were planning our wedding. The ring bound planner we used was the one place we kept all the information about our vendors, and the various lists and tasks we divided up between my husband myself.
We wrote notes when dealing with the different vendors and crossed off completed tasks before going to the next one, it was also the place where we kept on top of our wedding budget.
When we moved house, you guessed it we used the same planner. Simply replacing the printables inside to keep track of all the moving parts involved with moving houses.
During a small extension to the house the same planner was used to keep track of the build schedule. Even though the builder was the project manager it was a good way of making sure they delivered what was promised.
Here are some projects to use with your old planner
- Interstate or overseas holiday
- Birthday party or anniversary celebration
- Home renovation
- Moving house
Getting your kids into planning
Our children can be such mini me’s mimicking all our good habits and of course the bad habits too. But, what better way to teach them good habits than to encourage them to use a planner.
Now I know what you are thinking, some kids are too young to fully understand the concepts of planning. That’s ok, start by giving them an old planner and printing off some activity printables or using stickers with a chore chart or a habit tracker, you are still encouraging good habits.
The positives go beyond simple planning. Reading and writing are essential skills everyone needs to develop and repetition is key.
Writing in their planner everyday, even if it’s just half a page is a fun way without them associating it with school work. Kinda sneaky in a good way, just like those meatballs you cooked the other night and you grated vegetables in the mince 🙂
5 – 7 yrs
Getting used to working in a planner using activities, basic handwriting practice, chore charts stickers and colouring in.
8 – 10 yrs
Handwriting skills and the start of planning by entering daily school timetables or out of school activities in a weekly spread or monthly spread. Also a great time to introduce special dates, such as birthdays and public holidays and the start of creative writing with prompts.
11 – 21 yrs
As our kids grow into their teens so do their use of a planner from simple planning for school and assignments to tracking tasks, journaling, list making, a creative outlet for them and more serious use of their planner as an organization tool.
Re-purposing an old planner for a specific ongoing task.
There is definitely a lot of value in having a planner that is for a specific task because you can concentrate on one thing and not get distracted by other tasks.
I’ll be the first to admit that even planning my day the night before, I can still get distracted, so having a specific planner for only one job or task has helped me from always doing the quick wins and neglecting the more difficult tasks.
Plus some information such as the family budget or medical information I prefer to keep seperate from my main planner for privacy.
Here are some ongoing tasks to use with your old planner
- Budgeting planner – Used to do the budget for the household.
- Medical planner – Keeping track of chronic illness
- Business planner – To help you run a small business or Etsy shop
- Social media planner – Keep track of stats and plan your next blog post
- Habit tracker – Can be used to track anything you do daily or monthly
- Repurpose an old planner as a 2nd planner for either work or personal planner
Using an old planner to try out new layouts
Trying out new layouts is a great way to fine-tune your organisation skills when it comes to planning. Seeing things from a different perspective, layout wise as your needs change, rather than shoe-horning your way into a particular layout is important to minimising frustration.
I’m sure we’ve all done this. Purchase a planner with a particular layout in mind and after a short time using it your back to your old planner and your new purchase is gathering dust.
Perfect example is my husband, he moved to a vertical layout week on 2 pages, month on 2 pages and year at a glance from a simple horizontal layout week on 2 pages and notes in the new year.
He quickly found out after only an hour of using the new layout he couldn’t fit everything in. It simply had to do with how much information he writes on a line and the wider horizontal format allowed him to write full sentences.
Rather than switching back to his old inserts. Cutting the ties straight away, I gave him an old 6 ring binder to try out his new printed inserts for at least a month.
The result was pretty substantial, not only did he start fresh, he forced himself to write less, mostly in bullet points where he could quickly brain dump his weekly tasks and appointments. He also found that by using the new layout it didn’t take him as long to do his planning, which meant he didn’t skip planning sessions.
It’s been 5 months since the change and he is still using the new layout, saying the clean break from the old system is what made the change easier.
Gifting your old planner
Gifting our old planners is something that we’ve done many times over the years. It works well with planners such as filofax or Kiki K with a leather cover, when treated well, they last a very long time. In fact any planner that has rings or discs will work.
It’s very easy to buy refill inserts and fill them up like new and definitely a good way to share the planner love and get more people into paper planning.
When re-gifting a planner add the standard pages such as a week on two pages, monthly on two pages, to do’s and some note paper should get the person receiving your old planner well on their way.
You could go one step further and tailor the planner to their particular situation.
For instance if they have recently been diagnosed with a health condition, inserts to track their symptoms can help them gather information for their doctor.
If they are looking into starting a side business inserts for a small business will set them on the right path. Also if a friend recently got engaged then adding some wedding related inserts will be a perfect gift.
Share the planner and re-gift your unused planners and remember to keep the torn or misused binders for the kids.
Destashing your old planner
Given how many planner groups there are on Facebook you’re bound to find one that is specific to your type of planner or brand that you’re into.
Off-loading some of your half used or old planner so someone can reuse the rings, disks and covers is not a bad way to recoup some that money you spent.
In fact that’s how I got into using a happy planner. The Person I bought it from had bought too happy planners with the intention of off-loading the planners with the layouts that didn’t work out.
When you’re destashing your planner be sure to remove any pages that may have any personal information.
When it’s time to ship your planner make sure to use a tracking number and for payment PayPal gives both buyer and seller peace of mind, even though you pay a small fee.
You could of course use direct deposit, but some buyers might hesitate especially if it’s your first time selling in that facebook group.
To find facebook groups to sell your old planners. Use the search query, brand and destash e.g happy planner destash, filofax destash and so on.
Be sure to read the rules of the group so you don’t get banned.
So there you have it, you can now live guilt free as you crack open the packaging of that new planner you just purchased, you now have plenty of uses for your old planners.