Happy Monday! A few months ago, I had the opportunity to guest post on Yesi’s blog and I wanted to share it here on my blog with you as well. She is the absolute sweetest and I was so excited to do a planner related collab with her. Make sure you check out her guest post on my blog here and she is also currently featured in my mini blog series so make sure to read that post too.
It has been two years since I started using a planner and I thought it would be a great idea to share some tips that I think are super important for anyone to know when starting to use a planner. You can read all about my journey into the planner community here. Fast forward to today, I’d like to think that I’ve gained enough experience in this planning community to be able to help others start their planning journey.
I know that most of you have heard of the quote “If I knew then, what I know now…” Well that couldn’t be more true especially in my situation. I wish that I had someone to help me when I first started because I am ashamed to admit to the craziness that came over me for far too long.
With that said, here are My Top 10 Tips to help you start your planning journey!
- CREATE A BUDGET – Before you even browse at all of the different planners that are out there, create a budget for yourself as to just how much you want to spend on this new found hobby/venture. Based on how much you can afford to spend, you can narrow down just how much you should spend on the actual planner itself and then you can factor in the other goodies as you go along.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH – Believe me when I say that there are all types of planners that are available either online or in your local craft stores. You should definitely sign up for promotional emails so that you can use any coupons that are available. You will notice that planners come a variety of sizes and if you plan to carry the planner with you on a daily basis, this will help you determine what size would work best for you.
- DECIDE WHAT YOU WILL USE THE PLANNER FOR – Whether it be for managing day to day activities, personal or business purposes, journaling, finances, etc., it is important to know exactly what you will use it for.
- NEED MORE THAN ONE PLANNER? – Don’t forget to factor this cost into the budget that you have created. Also make sure that you purchase the right size for whatever it is that you are going to be using a second planner for.
- PLANNER ACCESSORIES / DECORATIONS – My best advice is to start small! Buy a small pack of washi tape, one or two sticker books that not only offer the most stickers for your money but those that will work for what you will be using your planner for. Make sure to stock up on your favorite pen(s) as you will be doing a lot of writing and plenty of post it notes.
- USE POST IT NOTES FOR PRE-PLANNING – I use these for pre-planning so that I could avoid having to use white out or cross things out which in turn will make your planner look messy. Use post it notes to mark important events that could be cancelled at any time (Dr.’s appointments, etc.)
- CREATE AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT STRICTLY FOR PLANNING – If you want to meet other planner girls and/or gain planner inspiration, this is the best way to connect with other planners. Everyone shares photos of their planners and you will find tons of photos that offer awesome planner deco inspiration ideas. You can also search Pinterest too and create a board just for Planner Fun. I’ve made some amazing planning friends in the past two years. I look forward to interacting with them everyday. **Don’t forget to use the following hashtags when posting planner pics and/or searching for other planners too: #plannercommunity #plannernerd #planneraddict #plannerfriends
- BUILD UP YOUR WILLPOWER – The reason I say that is because if you decide to create a planning account on Instagram, you need to be prepared for all of the enabling that can occur between planner friends but trust me when I say that it’s all in good fun! The reality is that there are always going to be new and cute things coming out at different stores. I can’t even begin to tell you how many impulse buys I made simply from seeing a picture and making myself believe that “I had to have it!” Boy was I WRONG!
- Also, it is important to remember that not everyone’s budget is the same as yours therefore you have to know your limits and stick to the budget that you have created. While everyone loves to support small businesses including myself, it is very possible to go overboard on buying stickers from Etsy shops. For my own budget reasons, I have successfully avoided this potential habit. In the two years that I have been planning, I have only ordered stickers three times from Etsy and two of them were from the same shop.
Disclaimer: Please know that I am in no way discouraging anyone from purchasing from Etsy as I always give credit to everyone who owns an Etsy shop. I know that it takes dedication, patience and a lot of hard work. I am simply stating that just like anything else, it can become an expensive habit.
- GET CREATIVE – Find other methods of decorating your planner. There are tons of free planner printables available on Pinterest that you can print at home by purchasing inexpensive Avery label paper at either Walmart, Target or Amazon. If you are a crafty person, you can also create your own stickers by using whatever program you’d like and incorporate them into labels. Find a picture of a grocery cart, resize it and use it as reminders for grocery related things in your planner, the same for laundry, etc. You can find tons of videos on You Tube that show you how to create your own DIY dividers, planner covers, and more.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: HAVE FUN! – Decorate it however you wish! Use as many stickers as you want, it’s your planner. Everyone’s decorating style is different so do whatever works for you. I personally am very minimal when it comes to decorating however too much white space drives me insane. My planning style has definitely evolved over the last couple of years and you will find that yours will too.
Well I hope that you have all enjoyed the tips that I have shared with you today. For me, planning has kept me super organized and I highly recommend it to anyone who may be thinking about starting to use a planner. I hope that my tips will help guide you while you choose the planner that will work best for you. I can’t wait to see which one you pick! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so that we can stay connected and share some planner inspiration.