I promise this isn’t a promotion for my Etsy shop! I just wanted to tell you guys about a hobby I love, the main inspiration for the shop.
I love planners. I love filling in what I need to do for the day, organizing it, and looking at my week. I never actually use the planner everyday. I’m gonna be honest, I remember everything I need to do after I write it all down. BUT! Let’s talk planners!
The first “planner” I ever had was my wall calendar. This was used throughout high school to label what I did that day or what happened that day that made me happy (before I knew about gratitude journals). I was an optimistic (highly anxious) teen.
When I started college, I started with a simple planner. The type that are just a calendar with the little boxes afterwards to write things down. I was really dissatisfied with it, though. Sure it was “useful” but it didn’t help me when I had to add more to the schedule and put different times and have to figure out what thing I needed to do first. Basically, it was disorganized. Now, I was new to planning, so I didn’t have any fancy erasable pens, sticky notes, or whatever essential I now may use for my planner. But stubborn and low on money, I used this planner until I was done with it, writing things out on scratch paper and then organizing the best I could in the daily boxes.
The next planner I decided to go for needed to eliminate the flaws of my old planner. I found this really nice planner on Amazon that fit the bill. I wanted daily time slots. That way I could place my classes, work schedule, and due dates. I bought some highlighters to highlight what was school, work, and mom related. I boxed out my free times, so when friends asked if we could do something at a particular time, I didn’t get all mixed up on getting back to them. The planner also had areas for daily and weekly goals, moods, and some other fun inspirational stuff.
This was very useful, and since then, that’s how I do my planners.
One day, I found a great planner that gave me slots for certain family members while also having time slots! Boy, did this help out for babysitting, exchanges, and other things like soccer practice! I loved this planner, but it wasn’t very good for my schooling. When school is over, I’ll probably go back to a planner like that.
Today, I have a two year planner (one year gone) that is more simple than the first “time slot” planner. I like the cool inspirational jazz some planners come with, but I also hated when I wouldn’t use those slots…like I paid for something that I never used. So, a cheaper option that is still functional exactly the way I want is just perfect.
There’s more. Don’t worry.
For a small amount of time, I got into making my own planner. I made my calendars in my bullet journal and used them like I did in high school and due dates. I then left a few pages after each for journaling. This was very useful with COVID. I do want to do this again because it was very therapeutic but way too time consuming for an on-the-go college mom!
I recently invested in a pocket planner for my purse so I could jot down things whenever I didn’t have my big ol’ planner with me. I also bought a mini planner, which I transfer all the pocket planner things into. This seems redundant, but I wanted the mini planner first but it was $30-something and the other one was $2. The next week that same mini planner was on sale for 75% off or something. I got it for like $10, so IMPULSE BUY (because we can do that sometimes). But, I did find that my ugly pocket jot downs with random pens and such are made much more beautiful in my mini planner later when I rewrite my stuff.
Now, let’s talk stickers.
Personally, I don’t like using stickers in my planner unless they are useful. I used to use stickers to keep up with the monthly cycle and important dates (doctor’s appointment, no school, soccer practice, etc.). These stickers went on the main calendar of my planner. I’ve kinda fallen out of doing that since getting pregnant. Also, I’ve used most of those stickers up and need to buy more, but I don’t really feel like spending money right now on stickers I could just write. Everything else is indicated on the weekly pages by highlighters or midliners.
I see a lot of people in the planner community using stickers like crazy in their planners. My OCD cannot allow me to cover up the already pretty printed pages. It literally hurts my soul. But those people do it and make it look so CUTE. I love looking at them and maybe one day I’ll give it a go. I need to not be in school for it though. Doing the stickers like that would just be equivalent to me going back to a simple disorganized planner.
I do use stickers like crazy, but those are in my journals (yes there are multiple). I love using stickers to make my journaling look cute and themey and perfectly me. I can draw too, but there is something so satisfying about placing a sticker on a blank page.
My Planner Issues
Planning comes with issues? Yes…
As much as I love setting up my planner, I never really go back to look at it. That kinda takes away from the whole point doesn’t it? My planner is really big, so I don’t just tote it around unless I’m at school. It was more useful when I went to school 5 days a week, but now I only attend school twice a week. So…I only look at it twice a week…I still really enjoy the time I spend scheduling my week out.
My mini planner is different. It fits in my purse with the pocket planner. It’s easy for me to whip it out and look at what I have going on. I only started that this month, but it surprisingly has been working out smoothly. It is a simple planner, but it’s simple in just the right way. Nothing is labeled, so I can skip a month and it be perfectly fine. I like taking the pressure off missing out on pages. It’s not money down the drain.
Making my own journal planner was actually very reliable for me as well. I almost ALWAYS have my journal on me, so it was easy for me to have it right on hand, especially while I had the perfect space to do school work in general. Unfortunately, my space is so limited and all over the place now that my journal ends up getting left in different places. Honestly, home is the worst place for any of my planners. They either end up staying in my bags or in another room. Come to think of it, I used to almost never be home, but since COVID…well, ya’ll know. I’m very thankful for the time at home, but being sporadically in-and-out of the house throughout the week since things are trying to go back to normal makes keeping up with a planner a lot harder. Sounds a little counterintuitive, doesn’t it….
Anyways, I think I’ll stay part of the planner community, but my style will change with every new chapter I’m sure. Maybe I’ll try my hand at the digital planners next.
What inspires, motivates, and relaxes me I want to share with others in my own way! Happy planning (if you’re into it)!