Welcome to Planning 101 where I share my advice to beginning planners! Last time we talked about what you should consider when finding the perfect planner for you. Today I will be sharing my favorite sources for inspiration so that you can develop your planning style.
My top 2 sources for inspiration are YouTube and Instagram. YouTube has to be my favorite because it was how I got into planning! Watching how YouTubers assemble their spreads can give you lots of ideas on how to do your own. Personally, my school spreads are adapted from Kirsten Michelle and my summer spreads are inspired by Andrea from Scribble Prints Co. Obviously the style and layout you choose should be visually appealing to you, so pick a planner who you think decorates well, and alter their layout to fit your life.
I would recommend starting with white-space planners like Jkruuuplans or Kayla from Microscope Beauty because their decorating is very functional and easy to follow. Once you feel comfortable with that type of planning, you can jump to white-space planners like Kirsten, Andrea, and tons of other YouTubers. I would highly recommend watching real plans instead of mock or rewind spreads so you can get an idea of how they use their planners functionally. I’m not saying mock spreads aren’t inspirational, but they could be more decorative, which may not be what you’re looking for.
For me, the place to start is with choosing how you want to divide your days in your planners. Traditionally, there are 3 different categories, however you can always add or remove headers according to what you need on a day to day basis. The most common headers are “to do,” “today,” and “little things,” however I use “school,” “today,” and “to do” during the academic year. I’ve also seen people use work headers instead of little things which would work as well. I don’t have kids myself, but I like the concept of dividing the day by members of the family. You could have personal, kids, errands, etc. It all depends on how you categorize your life in your mind.
Next choose how you want to decorate each section. Do you want to use a full box or keep it blank? Checklists or Checkboxes? Labels or Littles? Utimately it’ll depend on how busy you are. If you need lots of space, you should choose smaller stickers so that you can fit more. However if your week is more laid back, you could spread stickers out and use a more random pattern. This is where I think finding inspiration is key. Seeing h0w other people use their stickers can be very helpful for you to develop your own system. That’s why I will normally give you a little sentence or two on how I would use printables, especially for the more strange or different pieces.
Next, you’ll want to focus on the sidebar, if you even want to use one. A lot of people cover it up with washi or just leave it blank to use as a to do list. If you do want to use stickers, find 2-3 things you’d like to keep track of. I personally keep a “reminders” list for things that I want to accomplish by the end of the week instead of on a set day. I also have a weekly ombre for keeping track of my nail polish. Finally, I’ll stack two habit trackers to mark when I complete certain tasks. I’ve seen people mark dinners, tasks for this week, reminders for next week, shipments, work hours, spending, schedules, and more with their sidebar. It just depends on what types of things you’d like to keep track of. Look for tasks that you complete daily or generic weekly ideas that don’t fit on a specific date.
I would highly advise developing a system. I think a repetitive style of planning can be boring, but I find it to be the most functional. That’s not to say that you can’t change things up. If you find something you really like, change things up. Ultimately you want your planner to be as functional as possible, and the best way to do that is to change it up as your life changes.
Hopefully this post was helpful, and good luck in your planning!