11 Ideas On What To Do With Old Planners

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In the back of your closet or at the bottom of a drawer, you might find them—old planners that were bought with the best of intentions. These are the planners that, for one reason or another, remained largely untouched, their pages pristine and free from the ink of appointments, goals, and reminders.

It’s a common scenario, where enthusiasm meets the reality of day-to-day life, leaving these organizational tools underutilized. Now, the question arises: what to do with old planners that were left unused or barely used?

Throwing them away seems wasteful, yet keeping them feels like clinging to clutter. Fortunately, there’s a silver lining to this stationary predicament. Unused planners are blank canvases brimming with potential, waiting to be transformed into something new and purposeful.

In this blog post, we’ll explore 11 innovative ideas to repurpose these planners, turning what might seem like a reminder of unfulfilled plans into valuable and creative resources. Let’s delve into the art of giving new life to old planners, proving that it’s never too late for them to serve a meaningful purpose.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there—staring at that small collection of planners tucked away in our homes. Some of them were too adorable to pass up in the store, yet somehow they didn’t quite match our planning style when it came down to the daily grind.

Others might hold a special place in our hearts, cherished gifts from loved ones that we just couldn’t bring ourselves to use and risk spoiling.

But here’s the good news: these planners don’t have to be resigned to a life of gathering dust or, worse, facing the dreaded fate of the recycling bin. There are countless exciting ways to breathe new life into them, transforming these unused treasures into sources of joy and creativity.

And believe me, some of these repurposing ideas are so fun and fulfilling that I’ve even scooped up an extra planner or two just for the sheer pleasure of giving them a second chance at life.

So, no need to dig out your paintbrushes or worry about your artistic skills—we’re keeping things simple and accessible. Let’s dive in and discover how everyone can reimagine their old planners into something uniquely theirs, no matter their skill level.

Uh, and there are some freebies for you at the end of the post, so keep scrolling!

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What To Do With Old Planners

For the longest time, I’d just keep those empty planners to gather dust until it was time to throw them into recycling.

After all, I thought, I won’t be using them to plan, and they are expired, so what’s the point?

Surprisingly enough, after I started Bullet Journaling, I really started looking at the pages more fluidly and seeing how there are other uses for these old journals.

It might sound strange, but I think the complete customization of the Bullet Journal method really helped me to get out of the box and see new ways of doing things.

So, here are 11 ideas for you to try.

Memory Keeping

Allow me to share what is, hands down, my absolute favorite way to repurpose those old planners who are just lounging around, feeling sorry for themselves because their dates have expired.

Yes, it’s true, the years might not match up, but let’s not forget—the structure of weeks and months remains untouched, a perfect skeleton awaiting a new life. And honestly, who cares about outdated dates when you’re about to transform those pages with an explosion of fun stickers, vibrant pictures, and scribbled notes capturing your dearest memories?

Imagine turning what was once considered a “useless” planner into a treasure trove of your life’s sweetest moments. A memory journal, my friends, is nothing short of magical. It becomes a tangible piece of your journey, a place where all the good little moments that sprinkle your days can be commemorated and revisited anytime you need a smile or a reminder of how far you’ve come.

And let me tell you, the process of creating this memory journal is as delightful as flipping through its pages months or years down the line. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about sitting down with a stack of photos, a collection of stickers (the sparklier, the better, if you ask me!), and your trusty pen, ready to breathe new life into an old planner.

Each page becomes a canvas for your creativity and a snapshot of your life. Birthdays, anniversaries, or even just those quiet, ordinary days that turned out to be unexpectedly wonderful—all of them find a home here.

So why not give it a try? Transform your old, seemingly useless planner into a powerful and precious storage unit for your memories. It’s not just about making the most out of something you already have; it’s about creating something deeply personal and joyful.

And who knows? This little project might just inspire you to view other “useless” items through a new lens of potential and creativity.

Fitness Journal

Have you ever considered turning one of them into your very own fitness journal? Yes, you heard that right. That planner, which might seem outdated at first glance, is actually a goldmine for anyone looking to kickstart or revamp their fitness journey

And the best part? The weeks are already laid out for you, making it the ideal canvas for sketching out your workout plans and keeping an eye on your calorie intake.

Think about it: each page becomes a dedicated space for you to map out your fitness goals, jot down daily exercises, and track the food you eat. You can even add sections for water intake and sleep hours to get a holistic view of your health.

It’s like having a personal trainer and nutritionist right at your fingertips, except it’s DIY, and you get to decorate it with all the motivational quotes and stickers your heart desires!

As you fill in your workouts and meals, you’re not just planning; you’re creating a record of your progress. Imagine flipping back through your fitness journal months from now and seeing how far you’ve come. Those pages will tell the story of your dedication, sweat (quite literally), and triumphs. It’s not just about losing weight or building muscle; it’s about setting a goal, sticking to it, and celebrating every step forward, no matter how small.

And let’s be real, we all have those days when motivation is as elusive as a clean pair of socks on laundry day. That’s where your fitness journal comes in. It becomes a source of inspiration, a reminder of why you started and how much you’ve achieved. Plus, on the practical side, it helps you stay organized and accountable, which, let’s face it, is half the battle when it comes to fitness.

Reuse Next Year

Just because the calendar says one thing doesn’t mean your creativity can’t say another. This or next year, that seemingly outdated journal can become your planning powerhouse, and I’m going to tell you how.

First off, let’s talk about a little magic trick called “date adjustment.” Sounds fancy, but all it really involves is a bit of creativity and some handy stickers. Yes, stickers! Those incredible, versatile little beauties can transform your old journal into a brand-spanking new planner ready to tackle this or next year head-on.

In my shop, for instance, I’ve got an array of printable stickers designed precisely for this purpose. But hey, if rummaging through Etsy is more your style, you’ll find plenty of pre-made stickers waiting to leap onto your pages.

How To Use Your Old Planner - weekly spread in Amy Tangerine planner | Masha Plans

Now, adding new mini calendars is like giving your journal a mini facelift. It’s saying, “I believe in second chances,” and who doesn’t love a good comeback story? With just a few stickers, a little bit of time, and perhaps a cup of your favorite coffee (because everything is better with coffee), you can breathe new life into your planner. It’s like turning back time, but with more flair and a lot less existential dread.

So, with just a little investment – both of time and perhaps a tiny bit of money – you can completely turn around the life of your planner. Make it a testament to your resilience, your creativity, and your unwavering commitment to keeping your life organized, no matter what year it is on the cover.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the dates on the page; it’s about the life you’re building, one day, one plan, one sticker at a time.

Use It For Work

Ah, the eternal struggle of work-life balance, am I right? It’s like trying to keep two very opinionated cats happy in the same room—possible, but it requires some serious strategy. And here’s where our humble hero, the old planner, steps back into the spotlight.

So, why not give your life that beautiful compartmentalization by dedicating your old planner exclusively to the world of work? Imagine this: no more scribbled work notes on the back of grocery receipts or forgotten project deadlines because they got lost in a sea of other appointments. Your old planner could be the knight in shining armor for your work life.

Whether it’s meticulously planning your workdays, jotting down all those meetings (that could have been emails), or keeping track of all your projects, this planner could be your dedicated space for all things work-related. Think of it as creating a little work sanctuary within the pages of your planner.

And the beauty of using an old planner? It’s guilt-free customization. Want to dedicate an entire page to doodle during those particularly long Zoom calls? Go for it. Feel like color-coding your tasks until your planner looks like a rainbow exploded? Why not!

So, dust off that old planner and give it a new lease on life as your work companion. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to bring a little more order and a lot more personality to your professional life.

Give It New Life With Printables

Have you ever looked at your old planner and thought, “If only I could wave a magic wand and turn you into a brand spanking new one”? Well, my friends, consider me your fairy godmother because I’m about to let you in on the closest thing we have to planner magic: printables!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Printables? Really?” But hear me out. The world of printables is vast and varied, filled with all sorts of treasures that can transform your weary old planner into a dazzling beacon of organization and creativity.

Whether you’re a meticulous planner who loves to outline every hour of your day or someone who gets joy from doodling and spontaneous note-taking, there’s a printable out there with your name on it. Seriously, the variety is mind-blowing!

From elegant daily layouts and whimsical weekly spreads to habit trackers that look so good they practically fill themselves out, the options are endless.

But here’s the kicker – not only can you find printables that suit your style and planning needs, but you can also stumble upon a plethora of them for free. Yes, you heard that right, free! It’s like stumbling upon a treasure chest in your backyard. And for those of you looking to splurge a little, there are premium options that can add an extra layer of polish and pizzazz to your planner.

And because I’m all about spreading the love, I’ve got a little something for you. Scroll down to the end of the post, and you’ll find FREE printables ready for you to download and start using straight away. It’s my way of saying thank you for joining me on this journey and encouraging you to breathe new life into your old planner.

Pet Journal

I remember the day I brought my first dog home. It was a mix of pure joy and “What have I gotten myself into?” Suddenly, I was responsible for this little ball of fur that looked at me with those big, trusting eyes as if to say, “Alright, human, now what?”

From figuring out the right kind of food and decoding the mystery of training techniques to keeping up with vaccines, snack schedules, and endless doctor visits – it was like being thrown into the deep end without a life jacket.

But here’s a little secret that can turn your chaos into harmony: an old, cold planner that was lying around, gathering dust. It might sound silly at first, but trust me, using a planner to keep track of all things dog-related will be a game-changer. It will become your go-to for jotting down everything from when the next round of shots was due to the brand of treats that will gain favor with your pet.

And here’s where it gets even better – as time goes on, this planner will transform into something far more precious than a simple organizer. It will become a memory book, a tangible collection of all the beautiful moments you share together. Sprinkling in some photos of our adventures and it’ll turn into a priceless keepsake.

So, if you’re feeling swamped by the whirlwind of pet parenthood, I highly recommend giving this method a try. Start with the basics: jot down feeding times, training sessions, and vet appointments. But don’t stop there. Add in those quirky little details that make your pet unique, the milestones you’ve achieved together, and, of course, plenty of pictures.

In the future, when you flip through those pages, you’ll be greeted with a heartwarming journey of your life together. It’s not just about staying organized; it’s about creating a treasure trove of memories that celebrate the bond between you and your furry companion.

Meal Planning

Meal planning is that one task we all know is the golden ticket to a healthier lifestyle, saving money, and finally getting control over those “What’s for dinner?” panic moments.

Yet, let’s be honest, it can feel like a Herculean challenge, especially if you’re dipping your toes into the meal-planning pool for the first time. But fear not, my fellow planners and food enthusiasts! I’m here to share a little secret weapon that has transformed my meal planning from a dreaded chore into a delightful part of my week: the trusty paper planner.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “A paper planner? In this digital age?” But hear me out. There’s something almost magical about putting pen to paper, creating a tangible connection between your meals and your goals.

It turns the abstract (and often overwhelming) idea of planning your meals into a concrete, manageable task. Plus, there’s no better feeling than physically crossing off a successfully prepped meal – talk about instant gratification!

But here’s where the real fun begins. Use your planner to experiment with new recipes, ingredients, and cooking methods. Make notes on what works (and what doesn’t), favorite recipes, and even track your grocery spending. Before you know it, you’ll have a personalized cookbook right at your fingertips, filled with meals that fit your life and budget.

In essence, a paper planner is not just a tool for keeping track of your meals; it’s a canvas for creativity, a diary of your culinary journey, and a roadmap towards a healthier, happier you.

Cut It For Decorations

Now, this idea might seem a tad drastic at first glance, but trust me, it’s like finding a hidden treasure in your own home. So, let’s dive into the world of planner upcycling, shall we?

Imagine this: You’ve got an old planner lying around. You know the one. It’s been collecting dust on your shelf, silently judging you for abandoning it halfway through the year. But here’s the twist – that planner is actually a goldmine of beautiful lettering, charming decorations, inspiring quotes, and so much more. It’s like a scrapbook of creativity just waiting to be rediscovered.

Now, if the thought of reusing the entire planner seems overwhelming or just not quite right for you, I’ve got a solution that will light up your creative spark.

Why not salvage your favorite elements from this old planner and give them a new lease on life? Yes, I’m talking about a little DIY project where you play the artist, carefully selecting the most beautiful and meaningful pieces from your old planner to breathe new life into your current planner or Bullet Journal.

Grab a pair of scissors, some adhesive, and maybe a cup of your favorite beverage (because crafting is always more fun with a drink in hand, right?). Then, start flipping through your old planner. As you turn the pages, you’ll likely stumble upon a beautifully penned quote that once motivated you on a tough day, or a piece of artwork that made you smile every time you opened your planner. These are the gems you’re going to rescue and repurpose.

Cut out these treasures with care and consider how they might fit into your current planning system. Maybe that motivational quote deserves a spot on the cover of your Bullet Journal, offering inspiration with every glance.

Or perhaps those decorative elements could frame a monthly spread, turning a simple layout into a work of art. The possibilities are endless, and the best part? You’re creating something uniquely yours, infused with memories and pieces of a planner that once helped you navigate life.

Use It To Practice Creative Skills

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got ambitions to brush up on your creative skills. Maybe you’ve been eyeing those gorgeous doodles and artistic masterpieces on Instagram and thinking, “I wish I could do that.”

Well, guess what? You absolutely can, and the secret sauce is something as simple as practice. Yes, you heard me right – practice, practice, practice! And before you start with the “But where? How?” allow me to introduce a genius use for something you’ve already got lying around: your old planner.

Now, hold on to your markers because this is where it gets exciting. That old planner of yours, the one that’s been collecting dust since you swapped it for a shiny new one, is about to become your best buddy in this creative journey.

Picture this: each page, each section for every day of the year, is a blank canvas waiting for your magic touch. It’s like having a pre-organized art journal without the pressure of ruining a fancy new sketchbook.

Here’s a fun challenge to kickstart this adventure: a doodle a day. Yes, you read that correctly. Turn those dated pages into a playground for your doodling experiments.

Imagine flipping through your planner at the end of the year, not just reminiscing about the days gone by but also witnessing the evolution of your doodling prowess. From simple stick figures and shapes to intricate designs and characters, your growth will be right there in ink.

And let me tell you, there’s something incredibly satisfying about filling up those little boxes with doodles. It’s like conquering tiny territories with your creativity.

Plus, it’s a fantastic way to sneak in some daily practice without feeling overwhelmed. Got five minutes while your coffee brews? Doodle time. Waiting for a friend who’s running late? Perfect opportunity to whip out your planner and add to your doodle collection.

Gratitude Journal

What if we took your old forgotten planner and turned it into a gratitude journal?

Instead of letting your old planner collect more dust (or, heaven forbid, end up in the recycling bin), you give it a new lease on life. Each of those pre-dated pages, once destined to chronicle meetings and errands, becomes a space for something infinitely more precious – your daily gratitudes.

Here’s the thing – practicing gratitude is like adding a sprinkle of magic to your everyday life. It’s about finding those little moments that make your heart sing, even on the most mundane of days.

Maybe it’s that first sip of coffee in the morning, the way the sunlight dances through the leaves, or a text from a friend just when you needed it most. These are the moments that truly matter, the ones that weave joy into the fabric of our lives.

And the beauty of using your old planner for this? It couldn’t be easier to get started. You’ve got 365 opportunities to pause and reflect on the good in your life, neatly organized and waiting for you.

Just open to today’s date, grab a pen, and jot down something (or things!) that you’re grateful for. No pressure to write an essay (unless you want to, of course) – even a few words will do the trick.

Use It For Collages

Collages are a wonderful, whimsical world where art doesn’t just imitate life—it dances, sings, and somersaults across the page. If you’ve ever felt the urge to unleash your inner artist but didn’t know where to start, let me tell you, dear friend, collaging in your old planner you’ve been eyeing with a mix of nostalgia and guilt is the way to go. And here’s why: it’s an absolute blast of creativity that’s as freeing as it is fulfilling.

Imagine you’re sitting at your desk, surrounded by what might look to the untrained eye like a chaotic array of magazines, stickers, colorful markers, and various papers of all shapes, sizes, and textures. But to you, this isn’t chaos; it’s the raw materials for your next masterpiece. As you begin to mix and match these elements, something magical happens. Each piece of paper, each snippet of an image, starts to tell a story. Your story.

And the beauty of using your old planner, which let’s face it, has seen better days—for this artistic adventure is absolutely genius. You see, those pages, with their dates and weeks from yesteryear, become mere backdrops to your creativity. With collaging, those pesky numbers and dates get covered up in a tapestry of your own making.

In my collage, I strategically placed photos in such a way that you’d never guess what aas hiding behind them.

This approach to reviving an old planner is more than just a fun pastime; it’s a celebration of your unique perspective. As you blend pictures with doodles and magazine cut-outs with handwritten notes, you’re not just covering up outdated pages—you’re creating something deeply personal and uniquely meaningful. It’s a way to document your life, your aspirations, and your inspirations in a format that’s entirely your own.

And don’t worry if your first attempts don’t come out looking perfect or exactly how you planned them to look – it’s all about them being yours!

And just like that, here are 11 ideas for you to try and repurpose those excellent old planners you have gathering dust in the corner.

Free Printables

As I mentioned before, I do have plenty of free printables you can start using right away to help your old planner get a brand-new life.

Already in the Resources Vault, you’ll find pages, stickers, checklists, and trackers to help you create a unique journal that works for you.

If you don’t have access yet, you can always sign up in the form below.

Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll get the password to get 50+ free Bullet Journal printables, stickers, and worksheets to use right away.

More Resources

ARe you looking for more ideas for your old planner? Or maybe just a few planner and journaling related ideas? I’ve got you covered!

Here are a few blog posts for you to check next:

>>> How do you like using your old planners? Share with us in the comments!

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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling, and Don’t Be A Blob!

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