Planner Friday – Moody Blues

Another color theme this week; that’s becoming sort of my default these days, when more creative themes are in short supply.  When in doubt, go to design-seeds and pick a palette or search “dark blue” on Pinterest and see what happens.

One thing I’ve decided is to do away with the meal planning bit on the sidebar next week; I’m just not using it, and I think I got better use out of the “this week” list that used to be there.  I still haven’t figured out how to plan food for the week but neither of the stickers I’ve made have worked worth a damn.  That’s the cool thing about planners, even if you don’t make your own stuff – you can always try a different strategy to get what you need out of your system.  Or you can chuck it and find a whole new system!  

The important things are these:

1 – Your planner is useful and helps you accomplish what you want to accomplish (whatever that means for you)

2 – Your planner keeps you coming back to it, which could mean it’s crazy pretty, or that it’s strictly utilitarian, whatever gets your fangs out.  

This week’s font:  Beautify Script (free)

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End of March Planner Roundup

I got kind of behind in posting weeklies in March, so here’s the return of the monthly review.

February 27-April 5 – Moana Theme

(More about this theme on that week’s blog post.)

Font:  Vaiana, available on Etsy

March 6-12 – Spring Wildflowers Theme

(More about this theme on that week’s blog post.)

Font: Cupcake!

March 13-19 – Mermaid Washi Theme

(More about this theme on that week’s blog post.)

Mermaid Washi – available here

Bookmark – available here

March 20-26 – Ostara Theme

Font:  Druchilla

As I said on Instagram:  Blessed Ostara! The Spring Equinox was always one of my favorite Pagan holidays. A day for renewal and rebirth in more ways than one. May it be so for all.

 

March 27-April 2 – Turquoise & White Theme

Font:  Jenthill

Note – the “washi” strips with the white flowers aren’t actually washi, so there’s no source for them – I made them just with a strip of color and a wingding font I got for free somewhere.  

 

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Planner Friday: Washi Mermies

This week came on fast, and I was utterly lacking in fucks with regard to my planner theme, so I kept it simple.

I had recently picked up this set of Jane Davenport washi tapes at Michaels**, so I grabbed the mermaid-y one and used it as the main visual cue.  It’s all washi, plus one single sticker I had in my plannerstash (the light-on-ocean box in the left sidebar).  I didn’t even bother with my trackers this week.  

I like how it turned out.  Further proof you don’t have to make whole sheets of stickers or overthink your planner pretties.  Just whip out some tape and go to town.

This week also showcases my new bookmark from Stickebeans, who made the Marauder’s Map cover and bookmark I used last year.  I still adore both and they’ve held up very well – I’m sure I’ll switch back eventually. I just wanted something new to look at for a while, and Stickebeans makes such excellent-quality products I was keen to order more from her shop.  

(She uses wonderfully thick lamination and her covers/bookmarks can practically stop a bullet.  I really wish she did custom work so I could’ve had this year’s cover done so beautifully, but given the volume of order she has I don’t blame her for keeping things simple!) 

Note the little figurine of Pua and Hei-Hei from Moana that I found on Amazon.  (These pics are often taken on my desk at my day job, which is why you see my Funkos and such.)

I’ve been using the divisions just like I normally do – the top one for my to-do list, the middle section for events and things I did, and the bottom for writing progress.

**I like the tapes in the set, but I warn you, if you want to buy them:  The purpleish tape with the affirmative words has a spelling error in it, which kind of killed that one for me.  I can’t believe it got all the way into production without anyone catching it.  Several of the others however, including the mermaids and the blue one that says “I’m learning to fly,” are just gorgeous.

Incidentally the Marauder’s Map bookmark shown on Etsy also has a spelling error, but the real thing does NOT.  If it worries you mention it to the shopkeeper, but mine was perfect.  

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Planner Friday: Lavender Sage

I’m a bit behind in posting my weekly spreads – if you want them as they happen you should follow me on Instagram (not to mention you’ll get all the latest images of my FunkoPop collection which I know you’re all dying for).  

The week of the 6-12 I needed some peace, some quiet.  I recently came up with the idea to scroll for theme inspiration on DesignSeeds – all those lovely color palettes!  I scrolled until I hit upon one that had the feel I wanted; I don’t remember exactly which it was, but there are quite a few with the general scheme I ended up using, like this one:

Then I used it as inspiration to hunt through Pinterest for suitable images.  

I made some quick headers (the font is Julius Sans One), and voila, a soft and gentle color theme that I really, really loved looking at.  

That’s really the point of all of this – what feels good when you look at it?  What makes you want to open your planner and use it?  What makes you leave the pages open and touch them once in a while, smile at the colors or the pictures?  

I like how it has a sort of Jane Austen-y feel to it, maybe because the woman with the book reminds me of Elizabeth Bennett.  It’s feminine without being…girly.  I love the grey-lavender of actual lavender plants, and the grey-green of sage leaves, so they wound up in the theme as well.

(There’s nothing wrong with girly, really, it’s just not what I wanted.)

I was also trying a new meal-planning thing, hence the new sticker, but I ended up not liking it, so this week I tried a new sidebar thing I’ll show you in my next Planner Friday post.  

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I have altered the sidebar. Pray I do not alter it further.

It’s funny how when people get involved with the whole planner-mania, they do exactly what I did:  BUY STUFF.  

Stickers! Stamps! Dashboards!  Wait, what the hell’s a dashboard? Washi tape! Clips! Bookmarks!  MORE WASHI TAPE!  SO MANY STICKERS! Pens!  OMG more pens!  No wait, I don’t like Erin Condren, let’s try a Filo!  No, a Happy Planner!  Wait, how about a Traveler’s Notebook?  I’M GOING TO NEED MORE STICKERS!

This is of course part of the fun.  Less fun is when you realize how much money you’ve spent on things you never actually use – but part of the process is discovering what you really need in a planner, versus what you want just because it’s pretty or fun.  We all have different planner needs and personalities.  

Most people use a mix of premade stickers, stamps, and so on.  Some people are crazy artistic and doodle or color all over their weekly spreads, or even turn them into art journals and collages.  Some people have tons of functional stickers and barely decorate at all.  It’s all “right,” and it’s all really fascinating to a person like myself who likes to figure out how people tick.

I’ve been through a number of planners in the last few years myself, starting with an Erin Condren, wandering through two sizes of Filofax, trying (and hating) a Traveler’s Notebook system (which is all the rage right now, along with Bullet Journaling), and finally settling for 2016 on a Plum Paper vertical.  Amazingly I stuck with it the whole year, though I did add a sort of modified Bullet Journal for list making and note taking.

Even within my Plum, however, my style and needs have evolved over the last twelve months.  The best example of this is my self-care sticker, which has become quite a different looking beast from its first incarnation.

Incarnation 1: Originally it was meant to be a sticker for every day, as you can see; tiny, cute, but still useful. The problem was it became evident within the first couple of weeks that I was already adding way too much bulk to my planner each week.  (I ended up removing months as I went for the first half of the year because the damn thing was just too thick; I’ve got other ideas on how to keep this year’s from running amok.)  So what if I tried a weekly sidebar?  My sidebar was kind of useless as it was, so:

Incarnation 2:  Still cute icons, but with a full on Baymax.  (I use the Baymax Index, as I call it, to track my mood so I can watch for cycle changes.)  I liked the graph but it was taking up too much space, so I tried boxes.

Incarnation 3: Again I felt like I was using up too much real estate for poor old Baymax, so I tried using my own little drawing of him and squishing him up a little.  I also added a check box for calling my mom every week, and for doing something nice for myself:

Incarnation 4: That was when I realized I was tired of the cute little icons and wanted something more like the sidebar trackers I sold in my Etsy shop.  So I created my own version of that.

Incarnation 5: I liked the format a lot, but it kind of clashed with a lot of the themes I was doing.  What if I tried making it match?

Incarnation 6: So, on the week I did my Peach Trees theme, I tried a sort of ombre-esque color palette, changed up the fonts, and pretty much loved the result.  I set up the file in Pixelmator where each tracker was its own group, and I could go into each and switch the background color and font without much ado.

It is, to be honest, a pain in the butt to switch it out every week, and some weeks I put more effort into it than others.  But the result pleases me so much I keep doing it.  I can always go with the old one in the rainbow colors, which I kept so I could use it when I needed a default, but I do want to create another couple of more generic versions so I can have something to just throw onto the sticker sheet when I don’t feel like screwing with it.

I can even stick a background image in and avoid dealing with the individual box colors entirely if I like.  This one, the starry sky, is one of my absolute favorites, but this week’s is giving it a run for its money just because of the simplicity and elegance of it:

I’ve also changed the headers I use on the daily columns – I started off with a “top three” box, a header for current projects, and one for writing, but over time I realized what I really needed was a straight up to do list, a diary-esque place to note the events of the day, and a place to jot down what I wanted to work on writing-wise and what I’d actually accomplished.  The addition of the shopping list (above) is recent, and I like it. 

I plan to alter the sidebar further in the next week or two, as my needs have again changed.  But this gives you an idea of how your own planner style can evolve (even if you’re not a crazy person with rudimentary Photoshopping skills like me); you don’t have to stick with what you bought the first week if it makes you crazy.  Often you can use what you have in a new way, alter it gently with washi or a white pen, and at least try out new things before you buy new products…although if you’re like most planner fiends, the products are such a huge part of the fun you have a Raskog or at least a shoebox full of your toys.  If you don’t yet…just give it time.  *laugh*  We’re all mad here.

 

Note:  Since people tend to ask, the process of making stickers for each week’s theme takes about two hours from start to finish.  I know the dimensions of the stickers I use by heart, so I can whip out new headers and such in minutes, but resizing images from the internet and then fitting everything on the Silhouette template page takes a while.  I don’t bother making a cut file for my own personal stuff, as that would add another hour at least plus the time it takes to fire up the Cameo and cut the stickers out; usually I use my paper trimmer and a craft knife.  It’s a meditative process to me, and the actual decoration usually happens at Starbucks on Sunday or Monday.  Some weeks I just don’t feel like it, so I slap on some tape and go with it.  If it’s not fun, I don’t do it.  

Note 2:  People also ask about “apply minty paste.”  A long time ago I came across this on Tumblr and thought it was both funny and unsettling and definitely more interesting than “brush your teeth”:

If you want to see how the sidebar, and the rest of my weekly stickers, all work together, have a gander at the Planner Things page.

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