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8 Jan 2011 / Julie

transitioning back to paper (or my first diy of 2011)

i’ve been noticing recently that my reliance on technology is starting to bug me. the power goes out or google has a hiccup and i’m almost paralyzed. not to mention those calendar items i swear were in one spot magically moving themselves around.

on top of which i realized this year that my ability to comprehend the passing of time on gcal doesn’t exist. my brain is still trained to understand a one week/two page paper spread to help me understand how much time i have to do things. so while i love the share-ability with gcal, i’m going back to what has never failed me: paper.

however, the switch wasn’t as easy as just going to the store and buying a calendar. no, of course not. for years i’d been using the Upper Class® Academic Weekly Assignment Book. i still have the archive of them. but last year, when i went to see about switching back i noticed they had changed the design – with larger margins (bad use of space) and heavy dark lines and dates. no can do.

i could bore you with the paragraph of particulars i look for but let’s suffice it to say nothing was meeting the mark. aside from which i have been on a DIY, homemade, don’t-buy-it-if-you-can-make-it kick.

i found a home-designed customizable planner on etsy (i love etsy so hard) for $10. it was a downloadable pdf with various customizable size and layout options which happened to meet all my criteria! i bought it back in september and have been sitting on it since then – fully planning on printing and binding my own book for this year.

well kids, i just finished it! not only do i have a paper planner that works for me and all my particulars but i bound my very first book! i’m so proud!

my stitching

my very first book binding

I found the process to be easier than expected- once i found good resources, of course (which i found fairly hard not knowing the language). I found Michael Shannon’s Make Your Own Moleskine article to be very helpful. I documented some of my process- you can check it out on Flickr. I think my cover (made of a bastardized 10 year old three ring binder) may not hold out the entire year, but i know my binding is secure (though it may loosen over time). I’ve already asked my dad to make me two personalized wood covers that i can reuse every year, just replacing the innards and rebinding.

I also learned that the paper absolutely matters. i had used up exactly my entire stash of 25lb bright white paper that i had saved for a rainy day. when i was filling the dates in before binding i noticed i needed another signature because my book only went until the end of October. the paper i had was 20lb 100% recycled and was significantly thinner. it worked for the pages but didn’t survive the folding or binding as well as the other pages. you can see it sticking out up there in the picture – the second to last signature from the bottom.

so there’s my first DIY project of the year. i know dad’s got a serious stash of waxed thread so i may just put my new skills to good use again before needing to make paper planner #2 for 2012.

Have a good week, kids!

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