Planning 101: Journal and Scrapbook in One

Planning - Bullet Journal Planner

I’m pretty well-known amongst my friends as someone who is overly organized. In fact, one of my managers literally wrote in my annual review that I have the most beautiful To Do Lists she’s ever seen. I attribute most of these organization skills to a non-work hobby I have: planning.

Planning is always a little hard for me to explain. It’s a combination of literal planning – deciding what I’m going to do and when, and scrapbooking – documenting memories. I have 4 major “tools” I use to plan with:

  • Google Cal to time block my schedule. I use this to mark down appointments or plans with friends, my work schedule, workout schedule, and use the “All Day” function to list out specific tasks for a certain day.
  • Apple Notes App to house my general to do list or other thoughts. This could be any note/document app.
  • My Bullet Journal (previously mentioned in a What’s on My Mind) to consolidate everything in my head to a single to do list for that day. I’ve tried other things but this really works best for me because it forces me to think one day at a time and about the things I want to do that day.
  • My “planner” to essentially scrapbook my memories in a weekly view with pretty stickers.

Getting started in my planner

planner with blank inserts

Since everything else is fairly self-explanatory, I’ll focus the rest of this post on how I use my “planner”. There are a few components that make up my planner:

  • The planner cover, mine is the Aura Estelle A5 Wide Cloud Rings Planner. A5W is a custom paper size to fit this specific planner cover, rings is the binding style (compared to a coil bound or disc bound planner), and Cloud is the style of planner from Aura Estelle.
  • The planner inserts, or the paper cut down to fit the planner that you write on. I use the Aura Estelle inserts but I also buy printable inserts from Jesenia’s Printables.
  • Stickers. One of my closest friends owns a sticker shop for planners called Scribble Prints Co that makes planner sticker kits and foiled stickers. I basically get all of my stickers from her because they’re amazing quality (and she’s my friend and I want to support her). I also frequently shop at Once More With Love for character stickers (like a sticker for marking that I mowed the lawn).

Filling in my planner

The “base” of a week in my planner.

The concept of a planner has been around forever – a physical agenda that you write your calendar down in. What I’ve changed is how and when I fill it in. Rather than writing things down ahead of time, I use stickers to decorate my planner with various pieces of art and write down things that happened that I want to remember at the end of the week.

I start by putting down the “base” of a “spread” – basically the most basic decorative elements that make up the weekly view. This includes the large patterned sticker along the bottom (“bottom washi”), the decorative stickers that take up about 1/3 of each day (“full boxes”), and the stickers for the column on the left that isn’t marking a single day (“sidebar”). Some other things I usually add are clear stickers that have foil on them (“bougie boxes”) or small lined stickers at the top and in the middle of each day (“headers”). The elements from these come from a sticker kit, like the ones at SPC.

After the base of the spread is down, I use a variety of stickers specifically designed to fit in the width of the columns of my planner insert and mark down different things that happened that day (either using a sticker or with hand writing or both). The types of events I write down varies from going to the gym to watching a movie or doing chores. The thing I love most about this part is that it’s something I can document for myself and what I want to look back on at the end of the month or year.

A planner “spread” from January

Is this a hobby you have too? Or something you’re interested in trying? Let us know in the comments! And subscribe to our newsletter below for more content from Paint the House Pink!

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