The planning community is so amazing. It's fun and creative but OMG it can be sooooo overwhelming! There's so much to see and learn and obsess over ;) There are so many different types of planners and inserts and stickers. So I've got this great series for you coming over the next few weeks. It will help simplify everything and make choosing your first (or next) planner much easier.
Today we are talking about SHOPPING for PLANNER GOODIES
If you are new to planning, you may be very excited by all the fabulous stickers and accessories that you see out there. Heck, even us old hats are trigger happy with the buy button when we see fun new, shiny planner goodies! But, I urge you not to go out and #buyallthethings... just yet anyway ;)
'Why?' you ask...
'There are soooo many things and I want them ALL!' you say...
Ok, I know it's tempting to but bear with me for just a second here and I'll explain.
Here are some reasons to not buy all the things... just yet.
You don't know what you'll NEED yet.
If you are very new to planning, you may not reaslise that not every sticker fits every planner. Specific sets of stickers are designed to fit precisely into boxes and spaces of specific planners. Happy planner stickers won't fit in your personal sized planner, for example.
Also your planning needs are unique to you, someone else may use page flags to pre-plan their upcoming weeks but if you scratch it in in pencil, then there's no need of stocking your desk drawers with packs and packs of page flags from the Target dollar spot if they aren't a big part of your planning process, right?
You don't know what you'll USE yet.
If you haven't considered your activities and how you want to decorate, you won't be able to know what things you will use. For example, I LOVE coffee stickers, they are sooo cute. But I rarely drink coffee, maybe once or twice a week, and when I do, it's never planned so I don't usually add these stickers to my planner. However I LOVE putting in hockey stickers for the geeklings' hockey practices or a pretty tea cup sticker for when my girlfriend and I are planning on getting together to chat over a cuppa.
Another example is bookmarks. I think bookmarks are super cute, but, I actually prefer paper clips to hold my place. I just finished a whole class for Big Picture Classes about how to make pretty planner clips, so go on over and check it out :D
Excess Planner supplies build up FAST!
Now, I know that planner clips, sticker sheets and other accessories are pretty small and relatively inexpensive, but when you have lots of extras that you aren't using, they can, not only add up to quite a lot of money, but they can end up taking up a lot of room in your creative space. Why not save that space and money for pretty planner things you will actually use!
Ok, now for the fun part!
4 steps you need to take before you buy:
ONE: Get to know your PLANNER, use it and see if it's a good fit for you.
I'm not saying that you have to use it for months and months before you can buy stickers. HELL NO! Just make sure that the stickers will fit your planner and don't buy a big supply until you are sure you are going to use that planner for a long time first. You need to love your planner enough so that you will use it for a good while. Then you know you can invest in a stock of stickers, dividers, and dashboards that fit.
TWO: Watch your activities and Track your schedule
Depending on what you put on your schedule may have a lot to do with what products you use. There's probably no need for knitting stickers, no matter how cute, if you don't knit. You surely know already the main tasks that you do in the run of a week so feel free to start your shopping there, but over the next few weeks, watch what you are writing in your planner frequently that you could substitute with a sticker and watch which pages and sections you are using in your planner the most.
THREE: Answer me this:
Are you more of a functional planner girl or a decorator?
In other words, are you looking to add pretty decoration to the structured pages of your planner or are the stickers and accessories there to help illustrate your schedule itself? A functional planner girl likes her icons stickers of things like laundry, shopping and garbage days, alongside are her water tracker and checklists. A decorator uses pretty products that may have a set theme for the page but are not necessarily task related. For example, the whole week may have a llama or flamingo theme to it, but the tasks and activities are usually written in pen.
Maybe you fall somehere in the midde. I do :D
FOUR: One more question
What are you frustrated with, when it comes to your planner? I always get agrevated when I move from the last weekly spread of one month to the first of the next. There is that monthly spread in between, and usually a page of notes or something and I hate flipping through, trying to find the next week. So I've learned to add a planner clip to the side of my page for easy flipping.
Other solutions to common planner problems include:
- instead of repeatedly writing a task, add a sticker, it's easier and cuter
- a 'today' bookmark helps you find your schedule and to-do list for the day
- tab labels are an easy way to re-assign your section dividers
- checklist or lined boxes help, if you tend to write crooked with no lines
- number stickers can change the dates on outdated pages to not let them go to waste.
Of course, not all planner purchases need to be justfied, there's always a reason for a little happy mail, but I hope that this post helped you whittle down your choices so that when it comes time to shop you can make a good decision and save your budget, both for space and money, for those planner goodies that you REALLY want and need.
If you liked this post you can check out the other posts:
Newbie Planner Girls START HERE!!
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: Choosing a Binding
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: What SIZE to choose
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: What Inserts do I Use?
OMG Where do I Start? Planner Series: How to Make Multiple Planners Work
And if you're new to the Planner World and would like a free (and pretty) Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet with some of the definitions of those terms and acronyms that seem so foreign to you, but everyone else seems to know what they mean, then just click here:
I also have a class specifically to help newbie planner girls get started in this slightly overwhelming but fantastic planner world. Click here for more information:
See you next time to learn how to make multiple planners work!