Last fall, I needed a planner.I don't know why I didn't have one for the calendar year already, but I didn't. I picked up a spiral number at an office supply store, relieved that they had some that started in September. I popped it into a (slightly beat up) planner cover that I'd been saving for some reason, and went on my merry way.
I consulted a co-worker, who sent me several online possibilites, including the Hipster PDA (index cards & a binder clip). I finally settled on my interpretation of the DIY Planner.
I used some scrap paper to make a "mechanical" so I could get the pages laid out correctly (they needed to line up right when printed on both sides and folded together). The first few pages are month calendars, followed by some notes pages, then each 2-page spread has a weekly calendar one one side and a to-do list on the other. At the very back are some more notes/ideas pages. I stuck 2 sheets of slightly thicker paper together with adhesive, and used that as the outer cover (to slide into the cover's sleeve) and stapled the center several times with a long-reach stapler.
To make a six-month calendar, I used 18 sheets of paper, printed on both sides I might be short 2 weeks, since I started it on 13 July, so a full calendar would be 20 pages. If copying costs were 10¢ each, that's about $4. Half that if you get a deal and can print for 5¢ a side. Because I'm also using this for work, I printed it on a duplex machine here. So... free. (If you want a PDF of this calendar, leave a comment with your email address.)
The only thing that bums me out is that I started filling in the dates with an orange Flair pen, which started to give up the ghost. So I picked up a package of metallic gel pens to continue the job. Now it doesn't match! If I decide to make a planner for 2010, it might have the dates pre-printed and will probably be spiral-bound (cut in half instead of folded).
What I love about doing it myself is the fact that I can have the pages the way I use them. I don't have a lot of appointments, but I do have a lot of things to do! (I do have an appointment tonight: meeting John & my friend Jdub at the movie theater to see Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince.)
*A "mechanical" is a way to confirm page placements when you're doing things manually. In an application like InDesign, you do your pages in the order you want to see them, and a plug-in will - ziiip - put them in the right order.