Customise your planner with dividers and dashboards using digital craft supplies

Do you remember the old pastel coloured plain cardboard dividers we use to use in our school binders? I enjoyed decorating those back in the day. I’m so glad planners + binders have evolved into the fun we have today.

Whether it is to hold our place or inspire us, they need not be boring. You can customise your planner with dividers + dashboards and  infuse your personal style into your everyday.  Let’s dive in to customise our planner and learn …

How to make planner dividers + dashboards!

I love that without going to any special extra effort your planner can also become a visual diary or a scrapbook, commonly called a memory planner. I like to think of it as collecting yesterdays + todays, for my tomorrows.

While they are commonly used in day planners, dividers + dashboards can be used in your other memory keeping projects, scrapbooking albums, school folders, home binders + much more.

Whether it is to hold our place or inspire us, dividers + dashboards need not be boring.

Pretty much anything you can hole punch you can use for dividers + dashboards. { See my tip below on punching multiple holes with a two hole punch.} Before we dive into getting crafty I wanted to answer the question about the difference between a dashboard and a divider.

Simply, a dashboard is a divider without a tab.

Dashboards are usually for inspiration + dividers are for separating + quick reference.

The only limit to the use of dividers + dashboards is your imagination.


Dashboards are often the first page in your planner. It is a creative page. They can be purely inspirational or have a smooth surface to hold sticky notes, washi tape + such that can be stored for use.

Creating your own dashboards can be as simple as using a piece of your favourite scrapbooking paper or card, physical or digital, and trim to fit your planner.

# TIP If you are using paper, laminate for a strong durable finish.

Laminating protects + makes your pages more durable. The glossy surface is perfect to store your sticky notes + washi tape. If you don’t own a laminator, there is no need to rush and purchase one. Simple clear sticky book covering, like contact, will work just the same.

You can create dashboards with physical supplies such as papers, stickers, stamps and my personal favourite, washi tape. Digital crafters may use Photoshop or Elements and create with digital papers, stamps + type before printing. Or you may be a hybrid crafter and combine both paper + digital techniques.


As I mentioned earlier, dividers are simply dashboards with tabs.

Tabs can be used on the side or at the top of your dividers. Maybe you like to use a mix of both.

Tabs are simple to make:

  • Measure the size you would like your tab
  • Cut a rectangle of cardboard
  • Score, cut with the back of the knife so it makes a dinted line where you want to fold and doesn’t cut through your cardboard. This pre creases it + makes it easier to get a neat fold.
  • Fold the tab in half + trim if you are wanting a special shape or rounded corners.
  • Glue to your dashboard

# TIP: If you use a favourite paper for your tabs you may want to cover them in clear contact or tape to protect them for frequent use.

Make Your Own Dashboards + Dividers

You can use many programs for creating your own dashboards + dividers. The three I am going to show you today are Photoshop, Photoshop Elements (otherwise referred to as Elements) + Canva (a free online tool for creating graphics).

I am using the FREE digital papers, tabs and quote available at the end of this post in these examples.

create your own dividers + dashboards using the FREE digital papers, tabs + quote

Photoshop + Elements

The steps for creating dashboards + dividers are the same in both Photoshop + Elements. I am using Photoshop CS6 for this tutorial + creating a dashboard for my Kikki K A5 Planner. Keyboard shortcuts are noted in (brackets). Learn more about how Keyboard Shortcuts speed up your work flow here.

Creating your dashboard the digital way

1. Step up your page

  • Select File > New to create a new document (Cmd N)
    • Popular planners binder sizes:
      • Personal – 172 x 95mm
      • Medium – A5 148 x 210mm
      • Large – A4 210 x 297mm + US Letter 8.5x11mm
  • Type in your document name and page size, click OK
  • Select File > Save to save your document (Cmd S)

#TIP Save your document often as you work.

Creating Planner Dashboards and Dividers Step 1 at

The page size for the Kikki K large binder is A5 – 148x210mm.

# TIP: Check your planner page size in the exact measurements rather than relying on the category of personla, medium and large. Companies categorise their sizes differently as Kikki K do here.
2. Add your paper

  • Open your paper jpg file, I’m using JES_paper_CY365-dashboard_glitter.jpg, move it so you can see both your divider page and the paper at the same time
  • Click on the paper layer and drag + drop the paper layer onto your document
  • Position it as necessary using your Pointer Tool (V) and if needed, resize by selecting Edit > Free Transform (Photoshop) or Image > Transform > Free Transform (Photoshop Elements), while holding the Shift key to keep proportions, click + drag the corner square to adjust the size
  • Select File > Save to save your document (Cmd S)
  • Close your paper file, click on the paper file, choose File > Close (Cmd W)

3. Add your graphic
Next you will add a graphic to the front of your dashboard and change the colour of it.

  • Open your quote png file, JES_quote_CY365_livingTheLife.png
  • Drag + drop the quote onto your document, the graphic should be sitting above the paper layer you selected earlier
  • Resize as necessary

Change the colour of the graphic:

  • With the graphic layer selected in the Layers panel, choose Select > All (Cmd A)
  • Press your Up Arrow Key on your keyboard once + then press the Down Arrow Key once to select the quote
  • Using the Eyedropper tool, select a colour from the paper or create a colour by clicking on the Foreground colour in your tool palette, select your colour + click OK
  • Press the Option + Delete keys together to colour your item with the foreground colour

4. Print your divider

Print the front side of your dashboard first.

  • Print your dashboard or divider, select File > Print (Cmd P)

You can use another digital paper to print on the reverse side of your dashboard or you can simply turn off the graphic layer in your Layers panel and print the same paper on the back.

Trim your dashboards ready to hole punch, fix the tab and insert into your planner binder.

planner dividers + dashboards created using the FREE digital papers, tabs + quote below

One piece divider and tab

You can also create your dividers with tabs built in, no cutting and gluing afterwards. To learn how to do that take a look at my article on making planner dividers with digital craft supplies.

photo divider with tab built in

# TIP: When making a divider with a tab in one piece, simply add an extra centimetre to the width. I use an existing planner divider to mark the shape of my tab + trim.

Finishing Touches

To protect and have your dividers and dashboards last longer you may want to laminate them. Laminating strengthens + makes them more durable. The glossy surface is perfect to store your sticky notes + washi tape. If you don’t own a laminator, there is no need to rush and purchase one. Simple clear sticky book covering, like contact, will work just the same.

# TIPIf you are using paper, laminate your dividers for a strong durable finish.

Now that your dividers are protected, let’s punch those holes and insert into your binder.

Here is my tip on punching multiple holes with a standard 2 hole punch.

Punching Multiple Holes witha 2 Hole Punch at

You can use a standard office two hole punch for your planner. Of course you can purchase a 6 hole punch but if you don’t have one you can follow these simple steps with your two hole punch.

  1. Use an existing planner page with holes already pouched to mark where your holes should go. I use a pencil so the lines are faint and can’t been easily seen.
  2. Take the bottom off your hole punch that collect the confetti. Be sure to check that it is not holding any confetti first.
  3. Turn your hole punch over so you can see the bottom when the sharp circles poke through to cut your card + paper.
  4. Position your card or paper into position so you can see the circle you drew in the middle of the hole.
  5. Hold steady + punch. Repeat steps 4 + 5 for all your holes. Easy!

You can follow these same steps with a single hole punch too.

Creating Dashboards at

dashboard created with FREE digital papers + quote, with an overlay of acetate

Free program alternative

If you don’t have Photoshop or Elements, one FREE image editing program worth trying is GIMP. You can change the colours of your items and so much more. While I used it a few times I am no proficient and as such don’t offer advice on using it here. Simply do a Google search for tips and instructions on how to use this program.

More Ideas to Customise Your Planner With Dividers + Dashboards

In addition to creating your own dashboards + dividers digitally, there are many different kinds of items that you can use. I have suggested a few below. You can use these physical items as they are or you may want to scan or photograph and use them digitally. I’d love to hear your ideas on your favourite items.

Scrapbooking Paper
With the vast array of styles + designs available you may like to mix, match + layer papers. Don’t forget about the back.

Including postcards in your planner as a functional piece also serves the process of memory keeping. What better way to remind you of a favourite holiday destination. Having them stick out above the top of your pages serves as a quick, no fuss divider.

Greeting Cards
Just like postcards, greeting cards are a perfect functional memory keeping item to decorate + customise.

The standard size for photos is 6×4, a great size for personal planners. Remember the size doesn’t need to be perfect. If your binder is larger, simply print an enlargement to suit your size. Including photos in your planner as dividers + dashboards are the perfect solution to take your loved ones with you, especially when you travel.

Being sturdy + transparent, acetate is the perfect choice when you want to see what is underneath. Or as an overlay of text on top of an image.

Have you ever wanted to keep the packaging of a favourite product? While this one is a little more unconventional, trimmed down to fit your planner as a divider + dashboard, is a terrific way to include a few of your favourite things in your planner.

Pocket + Journal Cards

With the explosion in pocket scrapbooking, the number of pocket + journal cards are like the number of grains of sand on the beach. There are all sorts of styles that are both functional + decorative. The number of uses for these cards is only limited by your imagination. The standard sizes of pocket cards are 3×4 + 6×4 inches.

6×4 cards are a perfect fit for personal planners. Combine them with your favourite papers and you can use them to customise any size binder.

However you like to create, there are no limits on your imagination and the types + styles of dashboards + dividers you can create.

Get creative + have fun!

Success comes when you #takeaction

Start customising your planner with these FREE digital papers + divider tab printables that coordinate with the Colour Your 365 planner printables. Simply click on the image to download:


Grab your FREE planner printables + creative goodies + join the community!

Share: I’d like to hear from you, “What do you like to include in your planner to personalise it?

How to Make Planner Dividers and Dashboards at

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