Planners & Beyond

Creating An Effective Planning System

Using a planner doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience, even if you are not sure how to approach it for the first time.  The typical approach of adding lots of tasks, schedules, and events is often more confusing than helpful, since it is usually not organized in a way that is easy to understand.  Instead, planning should help focus and redirect you throughout the day.  Establishing a system that works for you is essential, and gives a clear process for setting your goals each month.  Planning systems help your planner to be more functional, and less intimidating if you are just starting out. By design, emails and social media accounts create a lot of distraction.  With an emphasis on bringing you all kinds of different information, digital platforms force you to interact with the world in a chaotic fashion.  On the other hand, planners allow you to focus on specific tasks.  The act of writing down information gives us a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish, and makes it easier for us to remember it later.  While giving you an effective way to focus on your objective, planners are also fun to use.  You’ll remember more, and be less overwhelmed with all the items on your agenda. A key part of your system should be a master calendar or schedule for all of your different appointments and tasks throughout the month.  This helps to coordinate schedules with family members, and helps you focus on the information that is relevant to you.  Your master calendar can be written down in a monthly planner, or managed through iCalendar or Google Calendar.  Having a master schedule gives you the ability to organize, without being distracted by all the information you have written down. One of the most important elements

Read More »

Keeping A Memory Planner

It’s easy to glance at each day in your planner, and forget about all the wonderful activities you did over the course of a week.  Worse, it may feel like you are simply checking off a list before the day is over, without appreciating where you have been.  Fortunately for planners, there is a fun and easy way to start acknowledging these moments without letting them be forgotten.  Memory planning gives you the opportunity to keep track of special events and activities, while still planning according to your needs each day.  It helps you transform your planner into a miniature scrapbook, with the freedom to plan your way. Memory planning is all about keeping track of the fun adventures that you want to remember, without having it become another line or bullet point in your journal.  It could be anything from a weekend hiking trip to a birthday celebration.  This is a great opportunity to showcase photos in your planner, which can be added in the memory section for display.  With photos and memorable descriptions of each activity, your planner becomes a reminder of all the fun you had. Most planners are generally customizable to your needs, allowing you to add a memory section almost anywhere you choose.  In a weekly spread with sections for each day, your memory planning space can be added below your regular list of chores and appointments.  This gives you room to write notes about the activity you would like to remember, or add a fun picture of you and your friends.  This is a space that’s just for you to include information that you may want to remember about your activity.  Quotes and stories can be used, giving a memorable caption for the photos you have chosen. To include photos in your memory planner,

Read More »

All About Bullet Journals

Organizing your thoughts and entering tasks in your planner can be a challenge.  It is confusing to have lists of chores mixed with your to-do list, or homework assignments written next to your work schedule.  In order to make sense of all this information, it helps to organize it systematically.  One of the most effective ways to do this is through bullet journaling, which has become an extremely popular organizational method.  Through bullet journaling, your planning can also be a way to track your thoughts, schoolwork, and projects with a system that is consistent and easy to understand. Bullet journaling was devised by Ryder Carroll, author of The Bullet Journal Method.  He describes this style of journaling as a way to practice mindfulness, leading to a more productive and less stressful day.  Each journal entry is customized to your needs, reflecting individual tasks and how they make you feel.  With bullet points and other symbols to represent each category, it is easy to swiftly distinguish individual entries from one another.   To organize your thoughts with bullet journal, it’s best to start making a list of your goals for the week, month, and year.  These can be organized into separate lists known as “collections,” which help you distinguish by category.  Next, choose symbols that help you distinguish each collection from the others.  The system is highly customizable, allowing you the freedom to choose symbols and organize collections according to your own needs. Many organizational systems are focused on simply keeping track of chores, appointments, and other information.  Bullet journaling is different, in that it allows you to notice how different tasks and responsibilities make you feel.  It encourages you to reflect on each task, responding to it by journaling about your feelings on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.  This

Read More »

Planner Decorating with Hobonichi Weeks

Hobonichi Techo planners are known for their minimalism and exceptional design.  With sturdy binding, elegant functional layouts, and thin Tomoe River paper that is resistant to ink bleeding, Hobonichi notebooks make planning fun and enjoyable.  There are several great options to start planning with a Hobonichi, but Weeks is one of the best choices for those new to using one of these planners.  It’s small size and intuitive layout make it a great resource to start out your planning journey. Weeks is one of the easiest to use of all the Hobonichi Techo planners.  With its compact size and versatile design for weekly scheduling, it makes a great companion to a larger planner.  Weeks is also an excellent journaling tool when used on its own.  Journaling in one of these planners is simple.  It gives you the space you need for creating a spread that reflects your individual interests.  Having the ability to customize in a variety of ways is one reason that Weeks is such a wonderful option for planner lovers. Of the four main varieties of Hobonichi planner, Weeks is one of the most beloved around the world.  When it was introduced in 2011, it was made to be a smaller and lighter version of the full-size Techo planner.  The layout includes a vertical column on the left page, with sections for each day of the week.  On the right page, there is gridded space for drawing, journaling, and notes.  This simple approach is one of the reasons that Weeks has become such a popular option among those who love Hobonichi planners. Decorating and creating an attractive spread is an easy process with the Hobonichi.  Weeks is formatted so that a vertical layout fits easily into the daily sections, giving you an effective tool for planning each day. 

Read More »

The Wonderful World of Hobonichi Planners

There are many planners to choose from, but none are quite the same as the Hobonichi Techo.  These Japanese planners are known for having a minimalistic style, with a variety of unique designs and layouts to choose from.  Once you start planning with a Hobonichi, you’ll notice that they are extremely versatile for journaling, as well as for making daily and weekly spreads. It’s easy to keep track of important information in Hobonichi planners.  They give you the flexibility to approach planning your way, with space to customize and decorate.  Each planner features a special kind of paper called Tomoe River Paper, which is thin, yet resistant to ink bleeding.  It’s no surprise that Hobonichi planners are beloved across the world for their simplicity and elegance. Hobonichi traces its beginning to 2002, when a group of developers in Japan were looking for a new product to sell on their website.  They decided to make a weekly planner in response to requests from customers, eventually creating a notebook that had many of the essential features seen in the present-day Hobonichi Techo.  With adjustments to style and layout over the years, including the addition of an English-language version in 2013, the Hobonichi planner has come a long way. The planners are available in a number of sizes, all of which have different uses and functions.  The four varieties of Hobonichi Techo include the Cousin, Original, Weeks, and Five-Year.  Each of these planners is fun to use, with an intuitive layout that gives you lots of space to be creative with your journaling.  Whether you use it for half a year or across a five year span, Hobonichi has excellent options for all types of planning. The Original is based on the first of the Hobonichi designs, with pages for the day, month,

Read More »

Planner Decorating with Washi Tape

Of all the tools available to planners, washi tape is one of the most useful and versatile. But you may be wondering, why is it so great for planning? Whether you use it for decorating, color-coding, or headers, washi is an integral part of your layout. Planner lovers often use it along with their stickers to enhance designs, accentuate key details, and mark important events. Washi tape is attractive, fun, and has many different uses in your planner. The tape is usually made of bamboo, hemp, and other natural fibers. It comes in small rolls with a variety of colors, giving you lots of versatility for your planner. With so many designs to choose from, washi is an excellent tool for any kind of planner. As an added bonus, most forms of washi can be removed from the sheet if you decide to change your weekly spread. For decorating your planner, look for tape colors that you find appealing. There are many options available, each allowing you the freedom to create different patterns with your sticker kit. Whether you coordinate colors by months or weeks, aligning your washi color schemes will give you a beautiful, eye-catching spread. Decorating is one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of planning. With washi tape and stickers, each week can be customized especially for you. Color-coding is an excellent use for washi, and is effective for tracking all kinds of activities and information. Sections of your planner can be highlighted with similar colors in order to differentiate between areas like finances and chores. Additionally, you can use different colors of tape for certain activities throughout your planner. With color-coding, you’ll have a new organizational tool that makes your spread more attractive and easy to understand. Headers and borders may also be enhanced with

Read More »

My Planner Essentials

Planners: There are two planners that are my go-to. The first is the Erin Condren Vertical.  Get $10 off your first Erin Condren Purchase My next go-to planner is the Hobonichi Weeks. I love how many different colors and patterns there are to choose from to match your personal style. Pens: Favorite pens for Erin Condren Favorite pens for Hobonichi – for my hobo I generally stick to black pens, and add color with stickers and washi.  Washi: Favorite Small Washi Shops: The Pink Room Co. Planner Bunny Press Some of my favorite washi is from Simply Gilded.  She has a great variety of colors and patterns, and it unrolls and adheres super smooth.  Get $5 off your first purchase from Simply Gilded Stickers: Favorite Small Sticker Shops: La Petite Paper Co Jessica Hearts *Please note, this page contains affiliate links. If you choose to shop through my links, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps support my business and family, so I can bring you new and exciting content. 

Read More »

Planner Decorating with Stickers

When you open your planner for the first time, it’s a safe bet that you are eager to start using it. Each blank page is filled with all kinds of possibilities, inspiring us to draw, enter schedules, or map out our next adventure. There are lots of ways to incorporate stickers into your spread, and many uses for each kind of sticker. However, there are two questions we need to answer in order to get the most out of our sticker kits. First, what is it that makes planner stickers so essential? Second, how do you tell the difference between them? The answer to the first is slightly different for everyone, but we feel confident in saying that most planners consider their stickers to be an indispensable tool. Stickers allow you the freedom to make layouts in attractive, eye-catching detail. The formatting is customizable, giving you the opportunity to style your planner in any way you choose. Stickers are visually appealing, fun to use, and have an almost endless number of applications. Without stickers, our planners just wouldn’t have that sense of fun and excitement we feel when we use them. How do you distinguish between all the different kinds of stickers? Planner stickers can be identified with two main varieties, known as decorative and functional. With both types of stickers in hand, the sky is the limit for your planner! Decorative stickers come in all shapes, sizes, and themes. There are many designs to choose from, ranging from seasonal to lifestyle-themed layouts. Decorative sticker kits are available for all planner dimensions, such as the vertical layouts for Erin Condren LifePlanner and Hobonichi Weeks. You also have the option of utilizing die cuts, which provide cute pictures and artwork that can be displayed inside a weekly spread. There are countless

Read More »

Choosing a Planner

Congratulations! You’ve decided to buy your new planner. With so many different customization options and styles, finding the right one can be a challenge. Especially with those beautiful sticker kits that you’ve purchased and can’t wait to use, how are you supposed to choose amongst the wide variety of planner layouts and sizes that are available? Fortunately, you’re not alone! We’re here to help you make the decision on the best planner for your needs, the one that truly allows you to express yourself and make planning fun. Each of these planners offers something for everyone, giving you the flexibility to plan your way. With styles ranging from simple blank pages to weekly layouts, every planner is uniquely suited to different styles and approaches. Consider your own needs, and how you wish to start using your new planner. Do you want more space for sketching and doodling? How about your preferred weekly layout? Ask yourself what matters most to you, while considering what each planner has to offer. Erin Condren Lifeplanners have an intuitive, user-friendly style suitable for beginning and advanced planners alike. With options for vertical and horizontal weekly spreads, the Lifeplanner gives you enough space to customize your daily entries. It also gives you the freedom to add a wide variety of stickers to assist you in making your weekly plans. Lifeplanners have a variety of attractive planner covers, including customized designs to reflect your unique style. For those who like to add and remove pages, Happy Planners utilize metal and plastic disc binders. This gives you the option of rearranging or adding pages in any order you choose. Recommended for those who enjoy having more options for customization, Happy Planners are fun and easy to use. They include lots of space in each weekly section for all

Read More »