The thought of using a decorated planner with stickers, colored pens and other embellishments never crossed my mind, until recently. I have always used a planner of sorts, usually it was the professionally stuffy Covey planner. It worked and seemed very corporate ladder friendly. Every weekend I would take a pencil and write in what I needed to accomplish the following week. It kept me on task, but was rather dull.
Then about a year ago, I discovered the Day Designer by Whitney English through a couple of creative entrepreneurs I met on line. I was accustom to uber dry professional planners and the DD, as it’s affectionately referred to, sounded so much hipper. I bought my first one last August, introducing me to a completely new world of planners. On the surface it’s a basic format to scheduling your day, listing your to do’s, noting your dinner menu, and giving you a spot to note what you are grateful for that day. It is so much more in tune with how most of us live our lives these days outside of Covey’s A-D priority way of planning. I joined the Facebook group of Day Designer users and realized there is a movement a foot. The Day Designer, Erin Condren, Plum Paper Planner, Kate Spade and a host of others all have users that embrace the concept of a decorated planner. Each of these planners become so much more. They are part planner, part scrapbook, part inspirational tool and way of life.
These decorated planner enthusiasts use everything from colored pens to washi tape, to stickers and 3M plastic pockets. The decorated planner transforms into a visual feast of your life, dreams, plans and hopes. I am a visual person, but was reluctant to decorate my planner as I thought it would be perceived as frivolous. My experiences have been corporate and it’s a different world from the creative self-employed bloggers, etsy shop owners, and stay at home moms that sing the praises of the decorated planner. There are few professional corporate women in the tribe and more free-spirited entrepreneurs.
Washi tape, scrapbook stickers and paper were not widely available in my twenties and only became popular within the last fifteen years or so. I have not found much reason to walk the scrapbook aisle, although I am a sucker for pretty paper, until I purchased my DD. I walk a thin line between professional corporate ladder climber wanna be and free-spirited entrepreneur, so I am cautious but slowly giving in and decorate my planner subtly.
I’ve collected washi tape, stickers and expanded my collection of colored pens. Each of these elements helps me to decorate each of my days. My life is broken into several key areas, job searching, blogging, projects, and appointments. So, I break my to do list into sections with washi tape, then color code each section to correspond to the area I need to focus on. Right now, I love the slim washi tape, my gold stars and itty bitty frog stickers I found on esty. (more on that later) Each of these elements just bring a bit of color and personality to my day. It sure beats looking at columns of black & white with no other allure.
Next week I will walk you through the best parts of having a planner and show you the tools I use to plan each month strategically.