Photo by Hope House Press – Leather Diary Studio on Unsplash

We all love Carolyn’s notebook, which is one of the Happy Planner Big disc bound books.  When  I went to buy one in person I didn’t like any particular one of the designs. Also I didn’t love the price, especially since we are already a few months into the year. (Interestingly enough this is when one of my favorite almanacs actually starts 🙂  And, like most things, I decided I could make my own and be happier with it.  Of course, like most things, deciding to make it myself is rarely more cost effective, is always a time sink, and more often than not ends up not happening… Hopefully this won’t end up half done…

When I saw Carolyn’s book and saw that she uses it very similarly to how I use my calendar, but also how I use my notebooks I realized that what she had was something that many of us have tried to make in various formats, a book of life. It contains both the calendar which looks forward, and memories of what happened looking to the past, memories and information.  But beyond that it also contains her notes, her herbal studies, her studies of the craft, all in one area.  AND it is all organized.  Carolyn invented a way to have a book of life and have it functional and not overwhelming.

So — There are a lot of things about the Happy Planner that are great, including the discs.  So I bought some and I got the rose gold metal ones that made my millennial inner child incredibly happy.  I also got a set of the sticker layout sheets (I’ll link these things here eventually) to make sure that I had something for the covers, and the hole punch.

Realistically I would have wanted the hole punch anyway, but if you’re keeping track, the only reason this plan is not as expensive as just buying the planner, was the sale at Joann’s buy 2 get 1 free on the Happy Planner, which made the sticker layout sheets free.

Speaking of the hole punch, it is not a good piece of equipment.  It is big and heavy, and for the price it should absolutely punch more than 3 pieces of paper.  I am not sure it will actually punch through the sheets that I am going to laminate.  Nonetheless, It is a necessity.  I have been reading up on alternates but decided to use some of my discretionary money on a lamination machine (wtf why?  I am so anti plastic I do not understand my motivations here…. surely reprinting things when the page gets worn is better…. I’m working on whether to send this back, but my inner child is very excited– Someone help me with the pros and cons…)

The good news is that I already have a lot of cool paper around, cardstock, shimmers, and other things from various projects, my wedding, other weddings I have worked on, and a lot of great ideas.  I found some tab dividers that are great. I am excited to figure out what things I am going to be putting in.

So Far I have been working on pulling great images from Unsplash.com and making the tab pages for the months as well as for the pagan holidays.  Then I’ll be doing other utility pages, and some reference sections (tarot cheat sheet, pendulum board/spirit board, etc).  What are some things you’d like to see in your planner?

For the basic everyday pages I like the DragonTree Apothecary’s planner, and I have the .pdf of their dream book and journal.  I use the printable monthly calendar from https://momenvy.co/2021-calendar-printable/ instead of the Dragontree one because I purchased the undated version of DragonTree Apothecary.  I’ll be finding and adding a good moon phase calendar and I always write in the information from the Practical Witches Almanac into the calendar by hand.  I feel like going through the motions of actually writing that in helps me to remember when the dates are and connects me with the events more than having them pre-printed.  Though, if there was a simple way to import them to a 2 page setup like the mom-envy calendar and print them cleanly I probably would not miss the time spent doing this.

I know that I will still be creating areas for self-care, rituals, correspondence tables, sheets for recording important tarot readings, recording recipes (food, tea, creams, and candles) and plenty more I haven’t thought of.

What things would you want to have as essential your book of life?

Would you be interested in having me post the different .pdf’s here?  or more instructions and pictures?

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