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How to set up your life planner

How to set up your life planner blog post
You might have heard about a life planner before... the abundant life planner, planners containing life lessons, ones containing some kind of life calendar, and so on... Suddenly, it becomes overwhelming to choose a life planner that works for you, because, and as cliche as this may sound, what works for one will not necessarily work for another. However, here I am to show you all the things you need to set up your life planner - from the basics to the more in-depth and personalized sheets. Let's get to it!...

Suddenly, it becomes overwhelming to choose a life planner that works for you, because, and as cliche as this may sound, what works for one will not necessarily work for another.

However, here I am to show you all the things you need to set up your life planner – from the basics to the more in-depth and personalized sheets. Let’s get to it!

How to set up your life planner

Before you start creating your life planner right away, there are some things you need to have on hand:

  • A good quality folder or binder. Oh, the options! Don’t just choose a binder because it’s pretty. Make sure you decide on one that suits your needs – where will you be taking it? Does it need to fit in your handbag or school bag? Is it high quality so that it doesn’t fall apart in the middle of the year? Just some things to consider…
  • Your favorite pen! Having a good pen (or pencil for some of us) is essential to using your planner.
  • Stickers or sticky notes – or both! Pretty up your weekly planning with stickers – you can find a ton of them online and on Etsy. You can then use sticky notes to highlight important notes, events, and dates.
  • Patience, and the willingness to get to know your planning style. This is important, especially if you’re going to start using a life planner for the first time. You need to see which pages you actually use, how your planning strategy plays out, and how effectively your planner fits into your lifestyle. Trial and error!
  • The right planner pages! A life planner not only consists of calendars, dates, and agendas, but so much more. I have created a list below of all the sheets you need to add for your life planner to actually earn the name “Life Planner”.

The 2024 Life Planner is not just a bunch of calendars and daily sheets, no. It will sort you out with multiple agenda-style sheets, personal pages, financial worksheets, and more! Specifically designed in Canva, a free online editing tool, so that you can make it your own, change designs, print it out and place it in your life planner binder!

The 2024 Planner Templates for Canva include dated and undated 2024 Calendar templates, agenda pages, Weekly, Daily, and Monthly Planner sheets, and so much more! 

How to organize your life planner

When planning – and this goes for nearly everything that needs it – it can get quite messy if you don’t organize it properly.


So the magic trick is to organize your things by section:

  • either by most important towards less important pages
  • or, organized by agendas, important dates, events, and financial sheets in the front, the rest follows…
  • You can also start with notes-type sheets first, then decide which sheets work the best for your planning
  • Many planners also place their favorite sheets at the front of their life binder, simply because it gets you in a “planner mood”  😊

You can use the following list as a guideline of what to include in your life planner binder. The 2024 Life Planner also has all of these sheets included, which means you can save time by using the designs already provided if you want:


The most basic sheets to include in your life planner binder are calendars. Many people prefer undated calendars to fill in by hand each time, but dated calendars are so much more convenient. Besides having calendars in your life planner in which you can track everything, you can also add annual and monthly overview pages, as well as the optional birthday calendar.

1. Monthly Dated Calendars

Like I mentioned, the monthly calendars are an essential part of your life planner, because it enables you to plan ahead.

2. Annual Overview

The annual overview sheet is basically a year calendar fitted onto one sheet. This will give you the dates of each month with no space for planning.

3. Monthly Overview

Individual monthly overview sheets are great because you can get an idea of the most important planning and happenings that month. The ones I have included in the life planner bundle have a current and next month calendar, space for important dates, your monthly goal and motivation, to-do list, appointments, and notes.

4. 2-Monthly Glance (optional)

This is one of my most effective planning sheets which I have added to my own planner. It allows you to plan two months at a time without overdoing it.

5. Birthday Calendar (optional)

The birthday calendar is a nifty extra addition to your life planner and helps you keep track of everyone’s birthdays – this is great especially if you know a lot of people!

Tip: I love planning and I’m sure you do, too! But it can easily get out of hand by planning too far ahead. Then, life happens. And before you know it, you have to re-do an entire month or three’s planning from scratch. Try to keep it to two months ahead at the most. 🙂

The 2024 Planner Templates for Canva include dated and undated 2024 Calendar templates, agenda pages, Weekly, Daily, and Monthly Planner sheets, and so much more! 


Your agenda sheets will form part of your daily, weekly, and monthly planners section in your life binder.

1. Annual Overview Sheets

This sheet allows you to plan the main things for each month without going into too much detail. I have added a few different designs in the life planner in case you don’t want to make your own.

2. Monthly Overview

A monthly overview sheet allows you to plan out everything that’s happing in that month. If this is a regular sheet you will be using, try opting for an undated version which you can use for every month.

3. Monthly Planner

I have literally added 31 lines on one sheet where I can write down the main event/goal on that day.

4. 2-month, 3-month, 4-month planners

If your lifestyle or job requires you to plan two, three, or four months in advance, these sheets are perfect to help you do that. To keep things simple and convenient for yourself, I have added undated versions of all three to the life planner bundle.

5. Monthly to-do list

The monthly to-do list sheet does what it says. It helps you to write down all the things you need to do in a month.

6. Weekly planner sheets, weekly checklist, etc.

I have multiple weekly planner layouts which I can use because sometimes I prefer to change things up with a different style sheet. Having a weekly checklist on one sheet is also great to see what needs to get done each day.

7. Daily planner & daily docket

There are so many different designs for daily planners out there, so this is really that one sheet that you need to discover what works for you. I have added many styles in the life planner bundle if that is what you need, include a daily docket sheet that simply contains a schedule and unnamed boxes and checklists for you to customize.

8. To-do lists and checklists

These are also those kinds of sheets that come in so many different design styles and you need to figure out which ones are the most effective for you to use.

9. Brainstorm Sheet

Sometimes you just need to get something out of your head and on paper. What makes the brainstorm sheet so great is that it basically “prompts” you to get that idea or thought out, which makes for a good, flowing brainstorming session.

10. Important dates

Normally this might go under your “calendars” section, but with all the different monthly and yearly sheets there, it might become too much. Besides, not everyone will use these sheets, unless you have to keep track of a lot of important dates and events in your life.

11. Schedules

It just helps a lot when you have a busy day or event where you need to plan everything by the hour. In the life planner bundle, I have added one for an individual day and one for a weekly schedule.

The 2024 Planner Templates for Canva include dated and undated 2024 Calendar templates, agenda pages, Weekly, Daily, and Monthly Planner sheets, and so much more! 


A super important part of your life planner is managing your money. The financial worksheets can be as basic or as thorough as you’d like it to be.

1. Bill Tracker

Oh, bills, bills, bills! The never-ending story of our daily lives… A good bill tracker I love to use is one where I can track monthly payments of each account and thus get an overview of the year.

2. Budget overview + expenses

Getting an overview of your entire budget helps to see where all your money is actually going. This is also great when you have an expenses sheet because you can track each line item where money was spent.

3. Budget worksheets

Having other types of budget sheets will depend on your own style and needs. If you want the convenience of the life planner bundle – already designed for you – then you’re in luck because I have added multiple budget sheets.

4. Financial goals + sinking funds

Financial goal planning is important when managing money, otherwise, you’re stuck in that spending-earning mindset and might not get ahead. The same goes for the sinking funds worksheet where you can plan out an expense/wishlist item and track your savings for that specific thing. 

5. Savings trackers

I love tracking my savings because it just makes me feel so good! The life planner bundle has two sheets of savings trackers to choose from.

Tip: Try using multiple financial and savings type sheets to see what works for you. If you have debt and might be struggling to make ends meet, this can become an overwhelming and stressful part of building your life planner binder. However, once it gets done, you might just feel super relieved!


Your personal sheets are exactly that: personal! Think trackers for habits, sleep, your mood, and other things unique to you and your personal life. Although these sheets are completely optional to you, I will list down below what type of sheets you can add – these are all available in the life planner templates bundle.

1. Habit Trackers

An essential part of personalized planner sheets is habit trackers. And whether you want a daily, weekly or even annual habit tracker is totally up to you.

2. Mood Tracker

A mood tracker can be very useful, especially if you’re going through something or you want to keep track of your overall feelings, mindset, and mood.

3. Sleep Tracker

I love a good sleep tracker since I am not a very good sleeper. This way, I can see how many hours I need on average, depending on the time of month.

4. Online Course Tracker

A totally random but useful sheet to add to your life planner. If you watch as many online courses as I do, you’ll love this one which I have actually added to the life planner as well!

5. Exercise Planner

Even if you’re not training for a marathon, it is still super useful to have an exercise planner sheet to plan out for the wedding ahead. Speaking of marathons, get the full health & fitness planner here…

6. Password Keeper

With nearly anything and everything being online nowadays, a good password keeper goes a long way. Just be sure to keep it in a safe place.

7. Contacts

Most of us have been through the lost-phone-scenario and it’s a pain to lose all your contacts! Yes, you can sinc to Google or Apple, but if you’re into pen and paper as much as I am, you’d want to write it all down. 

8. Appointments

The basic but important appointments sheet can help you keep track of your monthly things – and this one has been included in this section of my life planner because I would like to keep it personal.

9. Daily Routine Planner

The routine planner is great for mapping out your ideal day. It is divided into morning, afternoon, and evening routines which just makes it easier.

10. Self-care Sheets

Nothing is more personal than self-care, and having these in place helps you to plan out your favorite me-time things. I have added a self-care day and also a weekly planner to the life binder if you don’t feel like designing your own sheets for this.

11. Goal Planners & Trackers

Goals are also a personal aspect of your life planner binder, so make sure to include these different types of sheets, too.

12. 30-day, 90-day, 180-day challenge

If you’re planning on doing some kind of challenge for the next thirty, ninety, or 180 days, make sure you have something to keep track of it. I have added designs for all three in the life planner bundle.

13. Wishlist

We all want things. Some things might be deeper, more emotional things, and others might be more materialistic. You also need to separate the “wants” from the “needs”, so this sheet is great for doing that.

14. Level 10 Life

If you’re not familiar with the Level 10 Life, it’s basically separating your life into ten different categories and tracking them on a scale of 1-10. When a certain aspect of your life seems low, you can make a list of ideas on how to improve that part of your life.

The usual 10 categories for the level 10 life are:

  • family and friends
  • relationship/love
  • self-development
  • career/education
  • health and fitness
  • finances
  • spirituality
  • fun and recreation/joy
  • charity
  • environment

15. 1-year, 5-year, 10-year plans

Setting long-term goals is just as important as your short-term goals because it helps with having a clear vision and sense of life direction. With these sheets, you can plan out what needs to happen one year from now, 5 or 10 years from now, or even 20 years from now!

16. Priorities & priority matrix

Priorities make sure that we don’t procrastinate or spend time on things that don’t add value to our lives or work. Using a priority matrix, you can sort your tasks according to urgency and importance, which makes it easier to decide what to work on next. I have added sheets for both in the life planner.

17. Mindset Sheet

Your mindset determines so many aspects of your life: your attitude, beliefs, mood, and emotions. It also helps you to be a better person by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Write down a thought you generally might have, and write a better, more positive statement next to it.

18. Personal inventory

Taking personal inventory of yourself is a little get-to-know yourself session. I love this sheet. Whenever I’m having trouble deciding what I want to do next in life, or I’m having a case of imposter syndrome in my industry, I look at this sheet. Keep track of your accomplishments, achievements, character traits, etc. 

19. Vision, gratitude, affirmations sheets

These sheets fall into the mindset section of your life planner (see #17), so you can add these here. Having a vision for where you want to be, making a list of all the things you’re grateful for, and keeping an affirmations sheet where you can read it over and over each day, will all form part of your general mindset.

20. Resolutions

Great resolutions form the foundation of goal-setting, and just “brainstorming” this part of your life planner will help with other sheets, too – such as goal planning, level 10 life, and even your financial planning for the year.

21. Ideas

Much like having a brainstorm sheet (like the one under the agenda section of you life planner) the ideas sheet helps you to get your ideas onto paper…

The 2024 Planner Templates for Canva include dated and undated 2024 Calendar templates, agenda pages, Weekly, Daily, and Monthly Planner sheets, and so much more! 


This is usually the more “fun” part of your life planner and will include things like your favorites, books you want to read, etc. It also contains lifestyle-type planning such as shopping, cleaning, meals, and so on.

1. Favorite Quotes

With the millions of quotes out there, it’s hard to find some that you can actually resonate with. But every once in a while one will come your way and you just have to remember it. Yes, this sheet is exactly for that reason. 😌

2. Books to Read

I would like to think that I am an avid reader. But, as with quotes, books are also in their millions and if you find a good book but need to make time for it after your current book, you can list it out on this sheet.

3. Movies to Watch

This year we can look forward to some great releases as most filming has resumed after the worst of the pandemic – plus some oldies but goodies being added to Netflix more often now. List them all out on this sheet! 

4. Series Tracker

If you’re a watching-multiple-series-at-the-same-time kind of person like me, you will often be faced with the issue of keeping track of episodes, especially when you’re watching from different accounts or waiting for new releases. The series tracker I have included in the life planner bundle solves that problem!

5. Favorite Restaurants

The foodie scene in South Africa is massive, so having a sheet for keeping track of my favorite restaurants when we feel like eating out is a must-have!

6. Bucket List

The bucket list is also a great addition to your life planner binder because it can help you with goal setting, too.

7. Places to Travel + packing list

Many items on your bucket list (see previous) might involve traveling, so having sheets for this purpose and a handy packing list is a great addition.

8. Bored list

This is a great lifesaver to have on hand, especially if you have kids. But even if you don’t, having a bored list where you can keep track of things to do and what they cost, or if they are free, is super helpful.

9. Shopping Lists

Your shopping list section can include basic blank sheets which you fill in each time or preset lists for your specific shopping needs. You decide.

10. Gift planner

I love shopping for gifts, and if you do too, you’ll know the struggle of finding that “perfect gift” each time for someone. Have you ever gone shopping, even just basic grocery shopping, and saw something then thought “this would make the perfect gift for [insert name], but their birthday/Christmas is only 7 months away”? Now you can write it down for when the time comes…

11. No-spend activities

It’s like the “bored list” at number 8, but only everything is free. This list will help you to still get out and about even if you’re broke.

12. Hobby, projects planner sheets

Extra sheets that are helpful to your lifestyle, planning, and organization are hobby and project sheets. Adding these to your life binder is optional, but if it’s something you want to plan out, these sheets are great for that.

13. Meal planner + recipe sheets

Meal planning can be challenging if you don’t have a system. Make sure that the sheets you add here, including the recipes you’re actually going to make, works for you and are in an accessible place in your life binder. In the life planner bundle, I have added various meal-related worksheets for you to try out.

14. Master cleaning list

As a planner addict, no genuine life planner binder is complete without the sheets needed to organize your cleaning! Whether you want a basic master cleaning list, or you have a sheet for each purpose, day and week, annual Spring cleaning, etc. is totally up to you.

15. Declutter + purge lists

Just like cleaning, decluttering also needs to happen. So a list for that, and for purging (getting rid of) things are both essential.

16. Online shopping list + tracker

The act of online shopping has increased greatly in the last two years, and if that is something you do regularly, maybe add some sheets for this purpose, too? 

17. Outfit planner

If you’re into planning every single thing in your life, then no life binder is complete without an outfit planner!

Tip: Lifestyle sheets can easily take over a life planner binder, so make sure you only add the sheets you’re really going to use. The number one reason people give up on their planner only for it to end up in a pile somewhere is that they try to plan out every detail of their busy lives in the hope of taking control. It then becomes too much at once and “planner overwhelm” sets in. Take it slow and start with the most important sheets first – calendars, agendas, and financial planning.

written by Tanya

Tanya is a content creator, graphic designer, blogger, and online shop owner. When she’s not designing Canva templates, running her 3 blogs, or hanging out on socials, you’ll find her painting, writing, or spending time outside while drinking coffee. ☕

How to set up your life planner blog post

Hello, Friend!

My name is Tanya and I’m the owner of TWCprintables. Having an organized lifestyle can be both fun and creative, especially if you have the right planners, tools, and resources. I also love designing useful, editable templates for the home and for business.

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