I’ve had planners for years now (making to-do lists in them was the only way I could get through college) but those tended to just be the cheap ones. I didn’t personalise them at all. It was just over a year ago (April 9th 2015) that I bought my first Filofax (a lovely personal size Filofax) though and a little under a year ago that I started using it and getting into the world of planner decorating.
It’s been interesting looking back at my planner journey. I can see how basic my first planner setup was and how fewer tools I had. I was able to fit everything I needed into this one small set of drawers – well, that didn’t last!
I had my first Planning Life post on June 1st 2015.
How I decorated my planner was all very simple back then. I didn’t use stickers at all really. Washi tapes and sticky notes were my main materials. I’d pick a washi tape I wanted to use and work around that colour scheme, usually just putting the tape down the side and bottom. The planner was definitely more in the practical end of the bar than decorative.
It served it’s purpose. I used this planner for a while, from May until mid-October.
During this time, I did also try out another planner type however. I tried to make a paperdori. I’d seen some cute ones and I really liked the idea. The one I made was alright. It was the inserts that didn’t work for me though. I made mine so that I could fit A6 notebooks in because that was an easy size to get. I planned to have a monthly view book, a book for doodles and a book for lists and records and stuff but I just never got around to that. I realised that I didn’t like having to make my own stuff (seriously, drawing in all those months just got annoying!). Eventually I just abandoned my paperdori attempt.
I enjoyed using my personal planner but I was thinking it was time for a change. At this stage, I wanted a planner with pockets on the inside that I could fill with pretty and useful things. The time to get a new planner came when I was on holiday at the end of September 2015. While in London for a few days I took a day trip to Bath and spotted a Paperchase store – my heaven! I spend a good while looking at the planners they had, debating if I’d go for pocket or personal size one and in the end, the pocket-size won because it was so cute! And importantly, it had pockets on the inside.
When I got back from London, I had a lot of fun setting up and decorating this planner. I personalised it a lot more than I did my personal planner.
I wanted to use this planner as soon as I could but the inserts it came with were for 2016 so for November and December I ended up making my own rough inserts.
While I was sorting out my pocket planner, I needed to figure out what to do with my personal Filofax. It seemed a waste to let it sit around and do nothing so I came up with the idea of re-homing it and gifting it onto my sister. I knew she wouldn’t do much to decorate it so I did that for her, personalising the dividers to fit her style more.
When it came to decorating the proper inserts, I enjoyed it at first. I still used sticky notes and washi tape but I also started using stickers more and even stamps on occasion. If I didn’t have much going on it was great because I could decorate properly but eventually my to-do lists got longer and longer. Not working or being in college, I found I had to put more and more standard things in my planner just to try make sure I’d actually do them.
At this stage, the pocket-size started to become a problem and I fell out of love with my planner. I needed a new one, something bigger.
In March of this year I played with the idea of getting an A5 size Filofax. I bought a temporary planner to use – a cheap Paperchase one to see how I liked the size and even started making my own inserts.
In the end, I didn’t get an A5 size planner – it turns out those are pretty expensive – and I decided to go back to the personal size. It took a while of searching but eventually I found it, Geo!
A month and a half, almost two month, in and me and Geo are doing pretty well. With the inserts I found and my decision to start using planner stickers (because they look nice and also make my life easier), I now really enjoy decorating my pages every week and they really help me focus on organising my lists. This was my first week:
I’ve spent a lot of time getting this planner set up to be something that is both functional but also really pretty and I’m really hoping I’ve found that balance! A year into planning and five planners in, it’d be really nice if I’ve found the perfect planner because I’m not sure I can actually afford any more!
So that’s my planner story, what’s yours?
Oh, and if you’re wondering what you can expect from my planner in the future…here’s an idea:
I’ve gone and bought some planner stickers!