How To: Divide Notebook Sections Without Tabs

I had a very stationary/organizer rich Christmas for which I’m very thankful. It will take several posts for me to catch everyone up on all the awesomeness I received and have started using already. However, this is a quick, easy idea which hit me as I was getting ready for a nap.

Let me introduce you to my Magic Notebook.


It’s an adorable lined and themed notebook that my fiance picked up for me from ThinkGeek (available here). Before you run off and buy this book, I do want to warn you that the binding on mine started failing the moment I opened it. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with all of them or if I just received a faulty one. That said, the awesome theme would be worth it if you can snag it on sale (or free using Geek Points).

A couple of days after Christmas as we were watching TableTop and wishing we had a place to record all of the games we wanted to buy and play, and I thought to myself, “Hey, Amber, you just got that nifty notebook.” I promptly began recording a list of games, appropriately titled “This List is Wil Wheaton’s Fault.” Shortly after, I migrated our list of movies to watch from Evernote, where it wasn’t being used and also created a Gift Ideas list.

But then, there was a problem: I needed a way to quickly find these lists. My first instinct was to add tabs, but I couldn’t decide which from my collection would look the best. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the tabs would ruin the theme anyway.

Here’s where the nap came in.

I laid down for a nap and I was thinking about my tabs and my new awesome Magic “ALL THE LISTS EVER” Notebook. I couldn’t decide which of my tabs I wanted to use. My biggest concern was none of the tabs I had would look right with the theme of the notebook… then I remembered a pin from Pinterest, showing how someone took a notebook and washi taped pages together for a smashbook. It hit me suddenly, if you didn’t do the same number of pages for each of them, but rather assigned a certain roll of washi to each list, you could tell your sections apart.

It was the best of both worlds, easy to find sections done in a way that it wouldn’t ruin the style of the notebook. After, all, the washi’d edges wouldn’t be seen from the front. Excited by the idea, I went back and washi’d my three lists. After that nap, of course. I didn’t perfectly get my washi lined up so that it would fold right in half, but it was “good enough”. Look at me conquering that perfectionism!

If you take your time and were using a different notebook with even margins, you’d be able to get it perfectly lined up. Either way, the end result is the same:

Easy to see and flip to sections… without tabs!

Run out and share the news my friends! This is a simple, yet glorious discovery!

So what do you think you’ll use this miraculous discovery for? Have any notebooks that need sections?


Let’s Talk About Planners: Choosing a Planner – Bound Planners

One of my first entries on this blog was about how I was going to do my own DIY hPDA (hipster PDA) because I couldn’t find any planners that had everything I wanted and blah blah blah. The truth is… that endeavor fell on its face. Shortly after that I ordered a cute weekly planner from Buttoned.Up I didn’t use because the spaces were too small for me, then moved to a Franklin Covey I spent money on only to use it for three months and abandon.

In July, I tried to go back to digital planning. I downloaded apps. I built a system. It worked for less than two weeks. The biggest drawback for digital planning for me is that I work in a building with signal blockers installed for security purposes. It makes it impossible to update anything while at work. I simply couldn’t utilize it and gave up.

Then I found Facebook planner and Filofax groups and the possibilities became ENDLESS. There are possibly thousands of options out there: different brands, styles, sizes, and combinations. I’m well on my way to getting my planning in control and back on track, but there are plenty of people out there like me who are either new to planning or searching for the “perfect” system. It can be almost overwhelming at first. So I thought I’d try to help out by offering hints, tips, and suggestions on getting started and being successful with paper planning.

The goal of this series of entries will be to help you chose the planner that’s right for you and help you explore how to use a planner to get your life in control.

The first step, of course, will be to choose a planner. There are tons of different choices that go into picking a planner or planning system you want. First, we’ll need to identify whether a bound or unbound system will work best for you. Today’s entry will focus on bound planners: their pros and cons and a list of examples and where to buy them. Next week we’ll take a look at your unbound planner options.

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A New Year, A New Blog, A New Printable

I’ve been blogging on and off for approximately 8 years now. I’ve blogged everything from my personal life to fan fiction to what it’s like to be white and nerdy, but until sometime last year, I’d never really been serious about it. Last year, a friend from my past (Jason of Big Bear’s Den) roped me into doing a podcast (Talk Nerdy 2 Me) and since then I’ve been blogging fairly steadily. I did hit a slump with my other blog, Something Nerdy This Way Comes, last year in October. To put it simply, I was distracted. There was something shiny (*cough* Pinterest *cough*), my creative ADD kicked in, and I had grand plans of running two blogs and crafting and working and… and…

And reality kicked in, so nothing came of it.

Until this year. I’ve finally put together my own little space on the interwebs (, picked up blogging right where I left off, and decided to post my first entry here.

This blog is going to focus on content that just doesn’t quite fit in Something Nerdy This Way Comes. It will be the home to my crafts, DIY, organization tips, and perhaps even recipes. It’s my own little domestically blissful escape, where Pinterest projects come to life, and where I can get my Martha on. That doesn’t mean that there will be nothing nerdy in this blog; let’s face it, nerd is a way of life. My projects may be superhero themed or my cosplay creations may end up on both blogs, but I will strive to bring you unique content as often as possible.

Enough of that… on to why you’re really here: the free printable.

In my search for the perfect planner, I’ve discovered one thing: no one makes it. No one makes a planner that is going to be the size I want, has all the perfect pages for me, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. After much searching on the internet for pre-made planners/planner systems, I finally stumbled upon weekly.agenda by buttoned up. So far, it’s working pretty well for me. I’m not using every feature of the planner, but I’m coming close, and for me that’s pretty dang good. There are a LOT of things I love about this planner. The price is not one of them, even though I got mine during their Black Friday sale. Also, the size of the week is starting to frustrate me. Sometimes I want to be able to write larger than microscopic.

A couple of weeks after ordering my planner I stumbled upon D*I*Y Planner and the hipster PDA. For those of you late to this concept (like me), the hipster PDA is a stack of index cards with your plans, lists, and ideas bound together. It’s portable, inexpensive, and not constrictive. People love the hipster PDA. I was enamored with it… except for one thing. I can’t print onto 3×5 index cards with my printer, and printable index cards from Avery have a lot of waste – not to mention aren’t as inexpensive as their dollar store counterparts.

So, what’s a girl to do? Well, simple, I’ve decided I’m going to make my hipster PDA out of 4×6 cards and print directly on them. I’m going to take this year to develop my own templates and my own binding methods to come up with the perfect planner. Meanwhile, I’ll use my ridiculously expensive planner until I can’t use it any longer.

Which leads me to my first free printable. This is the main guts to any planner, journal, or diary – the weekly planning bit. I prefer the 2 page for 1 week layout which is my first offering. The printable is simple. It’s black and white, to keep printing inexpensive and to allow you to use colored index cards if you wish. It mimics a hand drawn look with typewriter lettering, but it was created completely in Photoshop. Designed with 0.5″ margin in portrait to give you multiple center binding options and still preserve the room to write. It is undated, designed so that you can circle the month and the date the week begins on. You can add dates to each day or leave it.

I can also see uses in this for journaling, scrapbooking, mixed media art… you name it!

Below you will find links for three file formats: Adobe Photoshop (.psd), PNG, and PDF. The PSD is for those of you who wish to get creative and add color, designs, or otherwise personalize it. I left it as a layered image. Feel free to do what you want with it. The PNG is for people who wish to use the aforementioned Avery (or other brand) index or postcards and need a flexible layout. Download the images and import them into your word printing layout. For those who want simplicity, you can download the PDF and use Adobe Reader to simply print directly on to your 4×6 index cards with no clipping, worries about customizing, or layout.

Alternatively, download the ZIP file that has all three options.


ZIP: download
PDF: Mon – Wed, Thurs – Sun
PNG: Mon – Wed, Thurs – Sun
PSD: Mon – Wed, Thurs – Sun