I have been using Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner™ since it was released, and it quickly replaced my previous planning systems. The planner is built on a mystical simplicity that just works. Its cover immediately cries out, “Simple elegance!” After a year of using the planner, I noticed the lineup of identical books with no distinguishing characteristics. So, whenever I needed to refer to something from the past, I had to pull them from the shelf and look inside until I found the quarter I needed. I decided to customize the covers so I could easily distinguish one from another and satisfy my OCD linearity of time among my planners.
I first tried freehand artistic work with the date on the spine and cover. I am no artist, and my end result was less than attractive. As a result, I am not including a photo! It communicated the date and quarter just fine for me, but my “art” resembled something I would have created in 4th grade.
So, I thought I might try out my wife’s Cricut to personalize and customize my FFP cover. In my efforts, I have tried plain vinyl, heavy glitter vinyl, and iron-on vinyl. Regardless of which vinyl you choose, be patient with it.
First Edition, Heavy Glitter Vinyl
My first attempt at using vinyl went pretty well using self-adhesive heavy glitter vinyl, except for my name at the bottom (for which I used plain vinyl). The first thing to notice is that the date line is not straight, but it’s not too bad. The heavy glitter vinyl is the easiest I have worked with and it is thick. It will have a “raised” feeling, and because of its thickness, some of the edges have peeled up. The letters on the spine stayed stuck, but they took some punishment (see the photo below).
Second Try, Plain Vinyl
In Q2, I decided to use the regular “press-on” vinyl for my cover lettering. This vinyl was not the Cricut brand vinyl. It did not cut as smoothly as the thick vinyl did, and the application was more difficult. However, I will say that I have fat fingers that are a bit clumsy. The lettering on the front held up pretty well, but the spine lettering did not hold up as well as the heavy glitter vinyl from Q1 (see image below).
Third Version, Iron-on Vinyl
I decided to try Cricut iron-on vinyl for Q3 because it seemed to me that it would hold up better than the press-on vinyl. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the iron-on transfer didn’t work as well as I had hoped. First, I set the iron to the lowest setting with no steam as suggested. Then I applied the lettering according to the instructions. Apparently, some kind of varnish or sealant is applied to the cover, so the heat from the iron left a permanent but faint stain. The iron-on lettering turned out to be not as durable as the press-on variety. Part of my name was lost as well as some lettering on the spine. And my ironing technique made some of the letters appear to be “melted” into the texture of the book.
Fourth Try, Press on Vinyl – Again
For my fourth and current try at customizing my Full Focus Planner, I went back to the off-brand plain rub-on vinyl. This time, I used heftier font sizes and weights, and I burnished the vinyl onto the book with much more pressure. So far, Q4 is holding up very well, but so did all the others at first. Time will tell if the lettering holds up to my lifestyle. For Q1 2019, I plan to use Cricut brand Premium Vinyl with Permanent adhesive.
Your Planner Cover
I would love to hear how you customize your planner covers, regardless of what brand you use. Your ideas will be helpful to me and to others. So, please share your thoughts and suggestions.
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