diy {the best of my days notepad- 2011}

****You can find the 2012 version, by clicking here****

Recently my husband needed a small gift to pass out to small group leaders at our church. Last year they did plastic footballs with logos on them. I made a few negative comments about the footballs and his response to me was instead of complaining I should come up with something better. Thank you Chris, point taken.

He needed something inexpensive and over 250 of them. The theme he was working with was regarding making the most of the time we’ve been given. I created a little daily calendar/notepad. The idea is simple: write down the best part of your day…each day. At the end of the day when I reflect on what was the best of my day, it is usually not “I answered all the emails in my inbox” or something of that nature. It usually involves still moments cuddling on the couch with a child or something related to relationships in my life.

(For sake of cuteness, I wrapped mine with ribbon, baker’s twine, paper doilies, fabric tape, & repurposed coffee sleeve)

The intention was for these to go to adults, but I wanted to my older two boys (4 & 6) to have one. I’ve started doing it with them at night. I want them to learn to think through how they spend their time each day and to continue to practice gratitude. As a mom, it has been good for me to hear each day was stood out to them as the best. It prompts them to share with me things they don’t always on their own.

I didn’t get the notepads made until after January started (it does drive me a bit crazy not to have the full month, but I am getting over it). The first day my boys did it they wrote “I love to play outside with Kennedi.” and “Getting to go to Target and get a slushie with Nana.”

I look forward to reading over their “bests” at the end of the year…and making sure I repeat their “bests” throughout this year.

I wanted to make the pdf files available for you to download to make your own. I wish I had done this before Christmas…they would have been great Christmas gifts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the ball with this for Christmas 2011. If you are like me and it bothers you that you can’t start this on January 1st…just make stuff up:)

Because of recent server issues I am hosting the pdf file on Google Docs. Once you click on the link to open the file in Google Docs, you will need to select “File” on the top left of the screen and then “download original”. Enjoy!

Download Here


1. Print the 4 sheets onto white cardstock

2. Cut out each month (there is a faint grid background to help you see where to cut)

3. Punch a hole in the top corner

4. Combine using a small ring

5. Wrap cutely if giving as a gift

UPDATE: Despite my attempts to double check dates, I missed January 31st on the notepad. I apologize that you will have to write that date in. Next time I attempt a download I’ll have someone else double check it!


And it totally unrelated news…my bedroom subflooring is getting painted. Don’t be jealous my 1990s Umbros.


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  • Jen B - Hi! I’m new to your blog and just had to say how much I LOVE this idea! What a simple but effective way to focus on the positive. I sure could use more of that in my life. :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Stuff I read this week in cyperspace — A Familiar Path - [...] The Best of Days notepad by Ashleyann. I didn’t print one of these, but I started writing down one sentence from each day in my calendar that I wanted to remember. I love it. [...]

  • Freebie: Daily Journaling Notepad · Scrapbooking | - [...] simple daily journaling pad is meant to help you record the best part of each day for this year. Created by AshleyAnn over at Under the Sycamore Tree. This could make great [...]

  • Julie - These are SO cute!!! Thanks so much for sharing! Think there’s anyway to make 2012 available so I can start on Christmas gifts for next year?? :) Just trying to stay true to my New Years Resolutions…staying organized (i.e. not waiting until the last minute to make Christmas gifts!).

  • Ashley Ann Notepad of Gratitude at Hey Little Birdie | Shopping Blog - [...] Ann is one of my cherished daily blog reads. Earlier this month, she posted a DIY notepad that is true gift. The idea is simple – before bedtime, write down your favorite moment from [...]

  • The Best of My Days « burlapandtwine - [...] the second craft of the week with my friend Swan. We’d read about a great journaling idea here for capturing the best parts of each day and decided to replicate it for [...]

  • Syndi - Love it! I copied your idea and worked mine in MS Word; I wanted an 5.5×8 page (two per legal size page) for my daughter (7y/o, 2nd grd) so she could have a little more space. I think it’s a great idea for her to jot down the little things that make her happy and be able to revisit them years from now. Her first entry: “Somebody peed in the hall! Awesome, right?!” …Not exactly what I had in mind :-)

  • patty - love this! visiting from miss melissa at familiar path… and um, surely you played soccer if you are in umbras, no? :)

  • Next week roundup | False Dandelions - [...] The best of my days notepad Since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more optimistic, this notebook might be a valuable exercise for me. [...]

  • Robin Gibson - THIS is an AMAZING idea, and LOVE LOVE LOVE how your made your book! THANKS for sharing! I am going to make one in the am, when I have some more time!
    LOVE IT!

  • Rebecca - Pure Awesomeness! Thanks for the download and thanks to Kolette Hall for sharing the link to your blog on her blog!

  • Angie F - LOVE that I can do this with my girls!! YEAH!!! Thanks so much! I’m here from Kolette’s blog.

  • Mary Ann - Thank you for the great best of my days download!

  • Cheri - Love this concept – thanks for sharing. I linked back to you over on my blog!

  • DIY – the best of my days notepad idea « 7 line photography - [...] can create your own monthly pads or DOWNLOAD the FREE Design from Ashely Ann Photography. [...]

  • Audre - Thank you so much for this! I totally LOVE it. Is there a way to change the year to 2012? I want to get an early start on Christmas gifts! Thanks again!!

  • Amy - I love this idea. I want to use it for teacher gifts for this year, but I need to know if there is a way to change Jan-May from 2011 to 2012. The sooner you let me know the better…we start school in one week and I need to make 70 of these by then. Thanks!

  • Sue - Hi Ashley, I have recently found your blog and I LOVE your crafts! Any chance you will post a 2012 google doc for this? I would love to make this for my moms group ladies for christmas (I know, I am waaaay ahead) and I was hoping you might be able to tweak the doc! Thanks so much!

  • Adriane - Hi, I just found your blog (it’s 10/2/11) and saw this. WOW! I want to do this for 2012! Will you be making one for the new year??? Thanks!

  • Aimee - I LOVE this project! What a meaningful keepsake! I would really like to have this for 2012. Before I try to recreate the wheel, are you going to make one for 2012?

  • Aimee - Are you going to post a 2012 edition? I love this! What a blessing

  • Leah - Any chance you will be making one for 2012. I would love to make these for my friends for Christmas. I’m in 7th grade and I love to craft. Thank you, Leah

  • Cloud9 Design - thank you so much!! this is such a wonderful idea!!! :)


  • Mai Vacheresse - Keep it Undemanding, Laid-back to Follow and be Enormously CONSISTENT.

  • DIY-mas « The Wordy Thirties - [...] of My Days Notebook – from Ashley Ann (includes downloadable [...]

  • Tina - This is so adorable!! and nicely done!!! Awesome idea :)

  • Louise - The download for the 2012 edition doesn’t work :(
    creative idea!

  • Tara - Just discovered your site and I love it. Thank you for posting the best-of-my-days notepad download. I just tried the link for the 2012 version and it didn’t work. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Best of My Days « Karla M Curry - [...] decorated hers with recycled cardboard coffee sleeves, doilies and colorful ribbon and yarn in her 2011 version.  I didn’t have all of these things but I did find some of what I learned is upholstery [...]

  • The Best of My Days {January} — Sacred Mundane - [...] For Christmas a friend gave me a beautiful and unique hand-made gift: The Best of My Days. Twelve simple pages, labeled for each month, with long and narrow and numbered space for each day. Just enough room to write a few words for each day of the year — the best of my days. I hung it right above my kitchen sink, where I can see it all the time. And this simple exercise, of reflecting each day on one simple joy, has been a delightful and unexpected part of my 2012. I love the Week’s end with thanks and will continue to do it, but thought at month’s end it’d be fun to just share the best of my days. (Make your own!) [...]

  • Summer Valentine - I love this idea and would like to make it for teacher gifts. I cannot seem to change it to 2013. Any suggestions?


  • Stephanie - I know this is an old post but I’ve had it stored in my memory bank as a great little gift idea for our church staff. I was wondering how you made it? I looked at your download in hopes I could just change the year but I couldn’t figure out how!?! Of course I can just wing it :) and create my own, but yours is soooo cute. If you have a chance in your crazy busy life these days can you tell me how you created yours? Our staff party isn’t until Jan. 4th so I have a week to get it done. Thanks a bunch!

  • AshleyAnn - Stephanie – Here is a link to the 2013 one

  • 2012 Best of My Days Notepad {free download} » - […] year I shared a little notepad for jotting down one thing that stood out as the best thing from that day. I use these with my […]

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