How To Make A Motivational Planner Dashboard To Perfect Your Daily Planner
Having a planner to organize your daily life is one thing...but I believe that your planner should also be a place for motivation! And one thing that really helps make that happen is a planner dashboard.
I've been using A5 rings, B6 rings, and mini HP planners for the last several months. Rings allows me to customize the planners to my hearts desires, and learning how to make a planner dashboard really helped me bring them to perfection.
Looking to spruce up your daily planner? This is how to do it.
What Is A Planner Dashboard?
A planner dashboard is usually a cardstock or plastic page insert for your planner. It can also be paper and other fun craft materials (like vellum).
Instead of serving as a planner page that you can fill out, a planner dashboard is a design. Having a planner dashboard breaks up the typical planner pages. It allows you to put your own personal touch on your planner.
While some planner dashboards are purely aesthetic, it's also really common for them to be motivational.
Maybe they have a motivational quote on them. Or they act as kind of a vision board.
Either way, they allow you to add some personal flair and style to your planner.
I know I said that they're for design, but they actually can be functional too. I've seen some with pockets in them or places to hold planner supplies such as sticky notes.
And they can be wherever you want them in your planner! Use them to label the category or section that follows the planner dashboard.
If you're not entirely sure what to do with planner dashboards in your daily planner, I put a list of planner dashboard ideas at the end of this post. But first, how to make your own planner dashboard.
How To Make A Planner Dashboard
You can (and should) shop around for planner dashboards. There are plenty of stationary stores and Etsy shops that make planner dashboards and digital planner dashboard downloads.
But sometimes you want that perfect page, right? And only you can design it.
Dashboards aren't expensive, but they can add up if you buy enough. Buy your own stack of cardstock, vellum, print plastic, or printer paper, and you can print as many dashboards as you like after only paying that one time.
If you choose to do the second option, you might want to glance over these tips for how to make a planner dashboard.
1. Know The Planner Size
I really don't think that I can stress this one enough.
Know your planner size before you take any steps.👏
The planner cover size is often going to be different than the planner's insert size. Know which measurement you're working with before you start designing.
Playing around with measurements and printing again and again is really time consuming. Not to mention annoying.
Here are some common planner sizes. But you should still always double check.
Common Planner Sizes:
5.8 x 8.3
5 x 7
Mini Happy Planner
4.6 x 7
3.75 x 6.75
2. Get What You Need To Make The Planner Dashboard
There are a few things you'll need if you're want to make your own planner dashboard at home. Someone who crafts a lot will probably have all of these items already.
a hole puncher (that matches the size of your planner, or is adjustable for planner size)
a paper cutter (this is my exact affordable one that I have loved)
photos, quotes, etc that you want
a program to design the dashboard (I use Canva)
the paper you want to print on
Let's talk about the paper you'll need:
3. Pick Out The Material
What are planner dashboards made out of? They can be whatever you want really, but many planner dashboards are made out of typical craft room materials. While planner dashboards can definitely be on regular paper, they're usually on higher pt paper and thicker.
Some common planner dashboard materials:
cardstock (50 -100pt)
4. Design Your Planner Dashboard
Now that you have everything you need, it's time to design your dashboard.
In Canva you're going to want to choose the option to set your own dimensions. Size the paper according to the planner that you're making.
There isn't a direct Canva dashboard template, but once you make one you can use that as a template for you.
Canva is perfect for learning how to make a planner dashboard. Once you do it once, you can save the design for later and keep it as a template.
You can add text, stock images, your own images, lines, shapes, and graphics. There's everything you could need, and you can drag and drop them absolutely wherever you want them to be on your dashboard.
I upgraded to Canva pro to help with my dashboard designs because there's more pictures to choose from and all the best fonts are on Canva pro.
My planner dashboard options are limitless! It's so fun to play around until I find a design I like.
I also upload custom fonts and pictures that I've purchased elsewhere. I highly recommend doing that (especially the pictures). Canva Pro has a GIANT library of photos but if you don't have Pro you can buy them on Etsy.
4. How To Make A Planner Dashboard: Printing And Cutting The Dashboard
When you are printing your dashboard, print a practice planner dashboard first.
Trust me on this one. Don't use your quality vellum or fancy paper for the first go, use a piece of regular printer paper.
Until you have the printer settings and stuff down, testing first can save you a lot of trouble. Adjust if the practice doesn't work. If it does, you're good to go on the real thing!
There are two ways to print your planner dashboard:
1. Pre-cut the paper and print the exact size
2. Print on regular letter sized paper and cut it once printed.
It's up to you to decide which one you do. The printer you use might impact which route you go, and the size of the paper might too.
My printer prints A5 pages perfectly, but B6 doesn't work as well. It's just not in the settings. So you'll have to play around with this.
If you want to print on letter sized paper and cut it afterwards, you can add crop marks when you download as a PDF. I also suggest you use print bleed.
You can also add print bleed while you're designing the page. Go to File > Show Print Bleed.
Use a paper cutter to cut the paper the right size.
Before you put the planner dashboard in, you'll have to hole punch the sheet. You can do this before or after you're printing.
You can buy a paper whole punch that is specific to your needs. But they also have adjustable whole punchers that are perfect for making your own planner dashboard!
They adjust to multiple different sizes. I got mine at Michael's, it even has the measurements written on it for a bunch of planner sizes.
They sell them on Amazon too, here's a hole punch to check out.
Planner Dashboard Ideas
So what is a planner dashboard used for?
There are plenty of types of dashboards, and my best advice to you is to feel out what you like best. But I want to give you some planner dashboard ideas before I tell you how to make a planner dashboard yourself.
Some types of planner dashboards might be:
Planner dashboards are the perfect place for inspiration. Place one with your favorite quote on it at the start of your planner and you'll always open it up with a smile.
If you want to divide your planner by sections without using dividers, you can use planner dashboards instead. I've even seen dashboards that do have tabs on them so they can function as dividers.
Other things that can go on your functional planner dashboard are:
Stick clear pockets onto your cardboard or plastic dashboard and store these essential planner supplies on them!
Do you have an inbox in your planner? I like having an "inbox" page because it's the perfect way to jot down quick ideas that you don't have time to schedule out in the planner yet.
A planner dashboard labeled Inbox with a design is a great idea!
Fun & Aesthetic
Your planner dashboard is the perfect place to show off who you are. What's your style?
Put a dashboard in your planner that has your favorite images, designs, and colors on it. When you love your planner, you're a million more times likely to use it!
Use Your Planner Dashboard To Motivate Yourself!
Making my own planner dashboards is actually one of my favorite hobbies now!
I love organizing my life with my planner system, but making my planner pages pretty to look at is more than half the fun. If you want to put together motivational planner dashboards too, I hope the tips I gave you in this post help.
Once you learn how to make a planner dashboard, get creative with it! I love putting my favorite motivational quotes on them because every time I flip past them it serves as a reminder.
It's kind of like having positive affirmations pop up throughout the day. I don't know about you, but affirmations and inspirational quotes always help me through harder days.
Or if I'm feeling super lazy, they can help wake me outta my funk.
I recently made a collage-style planner dashboard that matches my favorite aesthetic perfectly. Just having it puts me in a great mood!