Does planning make you feel like you have your life together? In theory, perhaps! In reality, well no, not at all! I am currently so far behind in my planner than I am back-planning by a couple of weeks, so I certainly failed on the ‘planning’ front when you look it in a literal sense. I am reluctant to pre-plan because I live quite an ordinary, simple and quite frankly boring life, so I rarely have any exciting plans to mark in my planner. But more so, I do not always know when things will occur, or what days I will do certain tasks on; I hate being ‘wrong’ or having plans change, I definitely hate wasting stickers. So, I do not want nor do I like to fully commit until I know it has 100% happened – can anyone else relate to this, or am I just speaking crazy non-sense? Most probably, I tend to be quite good at that!!
Some things are a given, some things I definitely do ‘know’ about. Trash days occur weekly; for me, every Monday and Thursday. That I can comfortably ‘commit’ a sticker to; the same with workday; I work Monday-Friday, 9.00am until 4.30pm for the most part. And if I have time off, I at least know a little bit in advance that I could account for this when using my planner.
PHOTO CREDIT: @planner_belle.xo
But the little thing, the things I do mark in my planner (because I do not have all that much else to write), grocery shopping, for instance, I do not do this on a set day. In fact, some weeks I find myself going to the grocery store daily and other weeks, it’s just once or twice. I shower and wash my hair daily so I do not put this in my planner because it’s too consistent, too predictable, it would for me be like writing ‘getting dressed’ in my planner. It’s too obvious!
Though, having said that, I walk my dog several times a day; sometimes, if I need to fill the space or if it’s been a particularly enjoyable or eventful walk, I will make a conscious effort to mark it in my planner. The same with laundry, lol. I don’t ALWAYS mark it, but if I’ve had a quiet day and I need to fill the space, then in goes a laundry sticker!! Sometimes (all the time!) I wish I had more interesting and valuable things to write about and plan for, but in all honesty, most of the time, it’s just the usual… work, Starbucks run, grocery shopping, walking my dog, filling up with gas, going to the Post Office, watching YouTube, planning time, happy mail, etc. Just every day, mediocre stuff.
Every now and then I get to go ‘all-out’… if there’s a birthday, a social event (once in a blue moon!), a vacation or trip, etc., then I get to go that extra step and spend a bit more time ‘highlighting’ and focusing on this in my spread.
I had to laugh at myself recently. A few months ago I had surgery; and since doing so, I’ve had several doctors appointments and physiotherapy sessions. I was nervous about the procedure, naturally, but I couldn’t help but find myself feeling excited too - I was excited to mark all of my appointments in my planner! Not only did I get to use stickers that I do not frequently use, but I also had something valuable and worthwhile to put in my planner – an actual appointment! Something that played some formal significance in my daily schedule!!
PHOTO CREDIT: @planner_belle.xo
No, I did not enjoy going to weekly appointments and constantly having to miss time off work, driving to my therapy and follow up sessions, etc., but at least I had something ‘decent’ to mark in my planner. It was a silver lining I suppose to an otherwise not so great situation.
I guess this brings me on to something we all could do with reminding of now and then -
"Don’t always believe what you see and read on social media."
To an outsider like me, I see lots of people fill their spreads with exciting moments, adventures, family memories, happy times, date nights, movie trips, school events, sporting games, etc. It looks fun, interesting and enviable… but maybe in reality, maybe they are more like me than I realize? Maybe Monday is their trash day too; maybe they spend most nights on their laptop or in front of the tv, not doing much of anything at all… maybe I just chose to see the highlights, or perhaps they just chose to mark those moments in their planner like I do?
I am single, I live alone, and I live in a different country to my family, so, unfortunately, there are not many occasions when I can mark ‘watch Eva’s ballet class’ or ‘dinner at mum’s house’ – it’s usually just me; me, myself and I. I have to learn to accept that. I have to find peace and gratitude in the fact that there are pretty stickers for everything!! That I do not need to have a picture-perfect family life to be a planner-girl. I can plan what works for me. Whether that is pre-planning or back planning. Whether I chose to write down everything, or just a few highlights on that day/ during the week. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to planning.
That’s the beauty of planning; it’s so unique. You can do as you wish; make the most of it how best it suits you, your needs, your style. It may vary from time to time, it may work for you currently but three months down the line, you may find yourself using a completely different system. But you know what? That is okay too. You can do what works for you; in fact, you have to do what works for you.
After all, this is your planner, your life, your happiness. You come first!
I currently use an ECLP as my primary planner; purely because it allows me to decorate my spreads using beautiful kits and lots of gorgeous stickers (I have to stop hoarding them though, I have about 8 from Gilded Press alone that I have hoarded for far longer than I care to admit!)
PHOTO CREDIT: @planner_belle.xo
If it’s foiled, you can bet your last dollar that it will be in my planner. I am a sucker for all things shiny! This was what initially attracted me to Gilded Press way back when (in 2017 I think, or the very end of 2016, Gilded Press was actually still on Etsy and formally know as Watercolor Blooms. None the less, I was a magnet to Gena’s foil!! I was drawn in, and I have no regrets whatsoever)
I have an Hobonichi Weeks too, just because I was hit with that train also a few months back and well, it’s something I have on the side, just for a bit of fun. I use the left side for my daily plans and right side as a bit of a journal/memory keeper.
I write random things in this planner; thoughts and feelings that I otherwise would not want to clutter my EC spread with. My EC planner is what I suppose you could call, my formal planner; whereas my hobo weeks is my ‘time to have some fun and just go with the flow planner’ – it’s far from perfect, it’s definitely not neat. It’s a bit of a hot mess, to be honest, but I actually quite enjoy it. It’s not as demanding and time-consuming as keeping up with my ECLP is. I have also recently purchased a PPW and an A6 Pelle studio ring planner – those I have yet to use either of those. My Pelle is ready to be filled with beautiful vellum, dashboards, and inserts, if and when I am brave enough to print my own inserts… for now, I’m still too much of a chicken to try. The new fall bundle is tempting me though; maybe I will aim for my first set up in time for the change of season.
I also own a B6 Aura Estelle TN, this too lies ‘empty’ at present; keeping up with one planner is hard enough, two is definitely a challenge; any more than that, well, no, just don’t even go there!
So whether you have one planner or multiple planners, whether you are a total girl boss and completely up to date with your spreads or whether you a weeks behind like me and have more stickers than you know what to do with but yet still blank planner pages or inserts staring back you – either way, that is ok too. We are all ‘planners’ – we all have the same purpose and interest at the end of the day. We belong to a community where everyone is equal and where everyone matters. Style, creativity, passion and friendship; that is what constitutes towards being a planner girl (or guy). Not how you plan or how perfect your spreads are. We all have a purpose in this community and we all have our own unique approach. Embrace it! Live your life, you are unique, that is your gift, do not let anyone overshadow you or have you to believe otherwise.
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