Getting Started with your Planner

October 8, 2015 Erin Condren, InkWELL Press Planner, Planners 4


A couple of weeks ago I began sharing about my addiction to using a paper planner.  I love writing things down…always have.  I’m a natural lister, things to do, things to buy, things to eat…it goes on.  For this reason, a vertical planner works best for me.  Many large and small name planner companies create such a layout.  I chose a weekly layout.  The week is on a two page spread, days of the week across the top, going down vertically.  Some have times, or parts of the day marked.  My current Erin Condren planner uses three headings, morning, day, night. This is an early decorating week from July.

That may work for some, but I prefer to cover those titles up and have sections for Things to do, other, where I may have errands or list mail received such as books or planner related purchases, or appointments. The third section has become my blog notes…if I don’t post it may be open or contain evening plans.  This works for ME….and may not be for others.  I know women who divide it by work, to do and home.  I also have a section where I like to write in dinner menu plans.  I also keep white out tape on hand…things change.  There are horizontal layouts too, where it seems more natural to journal or write things out more.  There are daily page planners too.  I used a Franklin Covey daily planner when I worked in retail management and banking.  I needed the space for tasks and appointments.  My life now is much slower. I wrote last time about my move to an InkWELL Press planner in 2016. It has been delivered and I’ll go into more detail in the future.  This is part of last week’s layout

Some brands to check out are The Happy Planner, Plum Paper planners, Day Designer, Life Simply Planned, Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, and others I know I’m leaving out.  No one is sending me free planners to review.  I’ve just seen a lot.  There also the planners that are in a cover, an example would be a Filofax, these have inserts, sold by the manufacturer or an outside source.

My planner has been more useful to me since I began decorating it.  Some of the decoration is for function, and some is for fun.  I enjoy it more, I keep it open to enjoy and to also mark down the little things.  When you want to learn something new you have to find “your people”.  My search for those people began on Instagram and FB groups.  There are millions of them.  If you begin your search you will certainly find the ones that aren’t for you, and if you are lucky you will find those that are just right.  I found two such groups at first, after trial and error.  I also was kindly guided by a admin to one of the groups, she made all the difference.  One group is Erin Condren Planner Junkies.  It has nothing to do with EC officially.  It is a group of new and old planners who help each other out, share ideas, show photos of weekly layouts and ideas for making better use of your planner.  There are so many different right ways to use your planner.  I started out with just color coding my tasks.  I liked that idea for a while, but it became a bit tedious. The other group is Planner Snobs, and it consists of posts of reviews of stickers, Etsy shops, sharing layouts and finding planner buddies to exchange goodies with.  This group is smaller, more intimate and full of fun.  When I found planner groups and began following planners on Instagram I jumped into the sticker rabbit hole.  I’m not kidding.

Isn’t this pretty?  It’s also practical and records my week.

This phenomena is all over Etsy, if you’re unfamiliar with Etsy its a wonderful marketplace for mostly home crafted anything.  I’d shopped there before looking for unique t shirts and some art prints.  If you don’t know anyone who uses planner stickers this can be a dark and murky adventure, I jumped in, knowing nothing, and struggled a bit.  What was my style, function or all decoration?  Was I going to be that person who completely rebuilt the planner page covering it up with stickers? Was I simply adding stickers to avoid writing in my white space?  I didn’t know.  I ordered “stuff”. Stuff that looked good, that looked fun. It was a bit random.  I also bought washi tape.  This was a mystery to me for so long, it’s basically a decorative tape, I think it began in Japan and it can be found in two million solids and prints and prices and sources.  People hoard it, I started with a few rolls from Michael’s.  My collection has grown.  These are from a recent trip to a craft shop across the state


It took me 2-3 months to find out what my style is, and it’s still evolving.  I’m loving how my planner looks this week.

Next week–acquiring all those stickers and decorations, and what is the best sticker shop and more!!  Thanks for following, leave me questions and comments if there is something you’d like to see.


4 Responses to “Getting Started with your Planner”

  1. Jenn Lawrence

    I blame you for my addiction!! I too, have jumped on the planner bandwagon. I’m a list-maker at heart, and being able to do so in this format has worked out well to me. I also like visual reminders, so having the stickers as reminders helps tremendously. I split my vertical planner up by blog reminders, work reminders, and home reminders. It’s worked out quite well!

  2. lakesidemusing

    Your planner is so pretty! I have a very basic calendar/planner, but would love something like this that would have everything in one place – my day, blog/reading, and menu plans. I’m on the verge of converting. Enjoyed reading this post!

  3. Donna

    I love the look of your planner page. I have 4 calendars right now and its so difficult updating all of them plus the one on my phone. I need a planner– just trying to choose what would work best for my messy handwriting. I think i need pages with lines, did you draw those lines in on the page you posted above or did it come with lined pages. I like the bright bold colors of the condren planners but I see inkwell has printed lines though they are out of stock till november– I am going to check out those facebook groups you posted about too. Enjoyed this post so much

    • Anita

      The EC has lines on the side, but not in the daily boxes. The Inkwell has lines for it’s daily boxes. I need to take some photos of my IWP.

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