Lessons Never Learned

Why is it that I never learn my lesson when it comes to my planner?  I have been faced with this situation before—I tried Franklin Covey inserts, tried trimming them so they would fit nicely in a personal Filofax.  In the end I didn’t like how the repunched holes took up more writing than I had anticipated.  I abandoned the idea altogether.  But that didn’t stop me from trying again.  I didn’t learn then, and I didn’t learn now.

A while back, I decorated my monthly tabs with scenes from a Vermont calendar.  This worked very well—I love them, love looking at a new scene each month.  And since that worked so well, I wanted to decorate my tabbed sections in a similar fashion.  I tried this once before as well.  That resulted in my compact binder being too bulky and my not being able to turn the pages with ease.  So I removed those tabs from my compact binder and added them to my household Malden.  However, those tabs were decorated with thick cardstock-type paper, so of course I had the brilliant idea to use regular paper type sheets instead.

To cut the paper to size, I used the same method I did for both my Vermont monthly tabs and the previous section tabs (see links above).  What I was left with was some very nice tabs.


Here they are individually, so that you can see the details.

Contacts front

Contacts back

Writing front

Writing back

Notes front

Notes back

Projects front

Projects back

Lists front

Lists back

Calendar front

Calendar back

I love these tabs—for the most part, they all have the same color scheme, which goes nicely with all of my binders.  I was very excited to use them.  But of course, in the compact binders, any extra paper means less space and less room to turn the pages easily.  I used these tabs for a day or two.  And while I still love them, I cannot use them for the compact binder.  I will hold on to them just in case I ever need or want to switch back to the personal size binder and can use them again.

I might be able to get away with using another Vermont calendar for the tabbed sections.  I am returning in late fall, so maybe I can snag a second one, this time with different photos.  But I’ll see what happens when I get there.  I just may need to accept that I can’t put any extra fancy items in my compact.  I’m a little sad about that, but that is the whole purpose of using the compact to begin with.  And since I have grown to adore the compact size, I’m not willing to give it up for a few sheets of decorated paper.


  1. I love your tabs! Love how the illustrations are associate with the section's function. Total bummer thou that you can't use them right now. :-/

    1. Thanks, Lime Tree. I tried to stay as close as possible between the tab name and the paper I used. Michaels has a lot of great paper but many of them didn't fit my theme. But I like what I found -- it's just too bad I can't use them the way I intended.

  2. Wow, I love the design on those pages, really beautiful!

  3. Lovely paper - definitely worth hanging onto in case you move into a personal at some point :o)

    1. Thanks, LJ. I was so bummed when I realized it wouldn't work. I should have known though. Ah, wishful thinking...

  4. Your tabs look great but I know all about them taking up too much space. Have you thought about tracing the tabs onto the scrapbook paper and then cutting them out? You would have your desing on both sides still. Or you could use stickers/stamps/washi tape etc to jazz up your FF dividers, as they would add minimal thickness... Just some ways around your dilemma....

    1. Yes, I have thought about doing that. Other people make their own tabs from paper or card stock and do well with it. But for some reason, it's a little too finicky for me. I'm not good with cutting the tabs right and if it looks off I won't use them (part of the OCD talking there). I might give it a try again if I can find the right weight paper. The ones above are more like paper and would probably be too thin. Thanks for the suggestion!


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