Jullie: Planner Essentials

Before re-launching this blog, I knew that I'd have to come up with a way to keep posts in order and to regularly schedule new content. I wanted to do better this time around, when it came to consistency and to staying on track.

So, I went back to basics: using a good ol' fashioned planner.

Which meant...putting real ink to actual paper (sorry, iPhone notes app, you just weren't cutting it anymore) and really taking the time to list everything out. It hasn't magically, completely solved my procrastination issues :P, but it's already made a huge difference so far.

Initially, I thought I'd buy a simple little planner, like the dainty little date book that my mom carries around in her purse. But wow, the planner game has changed, my friends. It's anything but old-fashioned anymore. Looking at you, Erin Condren Life Planners. There are so many different formats and brands and sizes available. Then, there are all the little ways to embellish your layouts. To be honest, I love anything artsy-craftsy, so the idea of getting to decorate my planner definitely appealed to me. But I had no idea there was so much stuff out there. It got a little overwhelming. So to simplify, I narrowed it down to just a few essential items. Here's the "beginner's"-type list that I came up with!

1. Planner: There's such a wide variety available. Brands? Erin Condren. Kikki K. Happy Planner. Plum Paper. Types? Fitness. School. Family. Weekly. Monthly. Vertical. Horizontal. Price? Some of these could set you back as much as $75 a pop! I probably spent more time than I'd like to admit, browsing sites and clicking page after page after page.

However, while shopping around, I made sure to remember my one purpose: to keep my blogging in order. I made sure to focus on the things that were just right for me. I wanted something lightweight, that doesn't take up too much desk/bag space, and is easy to carry around. Nothing too fussy. Eventually, I came across SHP Planners on Etsy, and these were a great fit! The price tag was just right, at a not-too-hefty $25. I also went with the vertical weekly layout, and I've been really happy with the overall design. (I even customized the front cover with my name!) Here are some of the other options, though, that I mentioned:

2. Pens: I got pretty excited to choose my pens! I love anything bright and colorful, so YES, I absolutely needed a whole rainbow. This Staedtler pack works great for me! I can color-code whatever I need to, and the ink doesn't bleed through the pages or smear. Other options include:

3. Washi Tape and/or Stickers: If you really wanted to just get by with the bare minimum, all you really need is a couple of rolls of washi tape. They come in a treasure trove's worth of different colors and patterns. You can find them at crafts stores, like Hobby Lobby or Michael's, or even at your local Target. You can mark certain dates with them or cut them into whatever shapes/size strips that you need.

But, if you want to get really fancy and decorative, stickers are the way to go. A friend of mine recommended a couple of Etsy shops, and I ended up getting mine from JennaBeeStudios and PrettySheepy. Jenna sells really great functional stickers and flag stickers, perfect for organizing. Lynn, over at Pretty Sheepy, has these AMAZING Disney themed sets. Perfect for planning Disneyland vacations! ;) Here are a few more shops that I've faved and will definitely come back to:

So, to summarize: you've got your brand new planner, a fresh set of pens, and some extra accessories for decorative purposes...Now, here's the fun part: design your week. I'm still getting the hang of this, (and slowly developing my creative side lol) but every weekend, I just set time aside to sit down and plan out the next few days. It's not only productive, but it's cathartic. Seriously. It's relaxing and almost therapeutic to empty your mind of all these little memos and reminders and ideas that have been building up...

So far, I've liked spreading my quote stickers out through the week, to add some motivation and inspiration. The flags are great for important reminders, and the strips are great for splitting days into sections. Any emails I need to send out? Future meet-ups with Chelsea? Working on a new recipe? Need to have a post drafted by a certain date? Something needs to be published? I put it in the planner.

At this time of year, we're always looking for ways to improve our lives...diets, resolutions, new goals...So if you're looking for a way to simplify and organize your time, I hope this post helps you with your planning! :) On the other hand...If you're already a planner expert, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments! Tips, sticker shops, or even a link to your own blog/social media! I'd love to take a look! <3