In this series I will be sharing how to make your own planner items, whether it is inserts, like today, or any other planner related items that you can create for yourself. I decided on today’s topic of Diary Inserts as for most of this month I feel that we have been talking about them! It is also around about now, when we are nearly a month into the New Year that I start to think about whether the inserts I have are working for me, especially the diary inserts!
The first thing I like to do when making inserts is to look at what is currently working for me and what isn’t, whether it is wanting to add something into my diary or take something out, change the layout or make areas bigger or smaller (for example making the weekend span one box/line rather than two). I then take a piece (or pieces) of the same sized paper as your inserts are and draw out your idea’s to see if they will work, once I am happy with the layout I have chosen I then go about setting up my design on to a new Microsoft Word document (set up as landscape orientation) and using the “Text Boxes” and “Table” functions I replicate what I have designed.
The next thing I do, before anything else is to go to Excel and create a Day/Date/Month/Year spreadsheet for the month or year I want to use (like in this picture)
If I am creating a D2AP inserts I will leave the spreadsheet like this, if not I then use the Filter function
and select just mondays which will give you all the mondays in that month, select all and cut and paste these into a new tab and do the same for the other days of the week so you end up with a tab under which are all the mondays, then a tab with all the tuesdays etc…
Now save the whole spreadsheet and head back to Word. Now we can start the mail merge process! Mail Merge is a fancy way of obtaining and transferring selected data from your spreadsheet over to your insert design. I would use the Mail Merge Wizard for this part.
Select Mail Merge Wizard then the starting document as “Letters”. Select Starting Document as “Use Current Document”. At Select Recipients click on “Browse” which will bring up a list of documents, find your diary/calendar spreadsheet from the list and click on it.
Depending on how you have saved your spreadsheet, you should get a box like this, for D2AP where you have not split down your days then you should just get a list, for the weekly spreads you should see similar to this
Now you want to select the day that you want your inserts to start on (for mine I am choosing Monday), click on the ok button at the bottom (once you have highlighted your selection) then select “More Items” – select Day then Date, then Month and finally Year (or select each item as you would like it to appear)
Select Preview Letter in the Mail Merge screen then Complete Mail Merge which will give you the completed version of your inserts. You will need to do the same thing for each line of your inserts if you are creating anything other than D2AP inserts. And remember to put a space between each item before you click complete Mail Merge!
Before saving your document, select the size and save as a pdf which can then be printed, or you can print direct from Word!
I hope this basic guide will help you start to play around with designing your own inserts! Let me know what you create in the comments below!