Planner Series: Week One of Being an Organized Human Being

 

FullSizeRender (1).jpgThe motivational phrases do wonders to pull me out of my bouts of existential panic.

So I’ve learned a lot about the life of a planner enthusiast in the last seven days, most of which is some variant of ‘these people are charmingly insane.’ That being said, I’m 90% sure I’m well on my way to joining their ranks, because I am totally buying into it. Besides, I was already half-insane before all of this. I might as well strive to be charmingly so through color-coordinating my weekly shopping list

1. There’s a reason people buy branded planners

‘So here is Erin.’ ‘And here’s my Erin.’ ‘This is how I decorate my Erin.’

That was how three different youtubers referred to their planners. (I immediately thought of Jess, who calls her Louis Vuitton bag by the affectionate nickname ‘Louie.’ It’s something that we all affectionately mock her for, and you are welcome to, too.) But these planners were just planners – why the hell did one cost upwards of $60, and why did so many people insist on referring to their social scrapbooks by a nickname?

It turns out that there’s a good reason for this. Erin Condren planners are standardized sizing, so for true planning aficionados, it’s easy to shop for stickers and other accessories when you know just what ‘kit’ you’re looking for. It matters, for example, which layout your planner is, since Erin Condren vertical planners work with different kits than Erin Condren horizontal, and both of those are different than the other prominent brand, Happy Planner.

I mean, still, it’s a lot of money for a planner, but when it becomes your hobby to this extent, it hardly seems a back-breaking annual expense.

2. ‘Functional’ stickers just means less fun stickers

Okay, that’s an over exaggeration, but the best stickers in my opinion are definitely the ones shaped like glittery unicorns or stick figures eating popcorn or origami swans. Those are ‘decorative’ stickers, whereas the little flags, checklist boxes, and teardrops are all considered ‘functional’ stickers. Pretty self-explanatory, but it’s because they serve a function, like emphasizing a certain day or activity or appointment. The good news is a lot of those are glittery, too.

3. If your handwriting sucks, fix yourself

This is a rule that I made up only because all of the people in these videos and pictures all have impeccable handwriting. They all seem to know how to do that ‘pinterest font’ with minimal effort, and I know you know which one I mean. That is bad news for me, who writes like a drunk Tolkien character attempting tengwar transcription, but good news for my cousin Claire, who wrote all of her Christmas card addresses in honest-to-God calligraphy.

4. There are approximately one billion indie sticker shops and they all have discount codes

NEVER PAY FULL PRICE FOR YOUR STICKERS.

I mean, you can if you just want to be a bro and support small business, which I absolutely think you should. But if you’re a planner on a budget (or a planner who is doing this as some warped form of blogging experiment), then just know that most indie sticker shops offer discount codes through their instagrams or various affiliate bloggers/instagrammers/youtubers. A good example of this is Labelled With Love Co., who graciously slipped me a promo code for 30% off (GRACEGETS30) to share with yall if you want to cute up your planner or your binder or your sleeping relative.

il_fullxfull-1114581646_m78rJust imagine lovingly sticking those donuts all over your dozing grandfather’s forehead. Sticker sheet available at Labelled with Love Co., $2.33. 30% off with code GRACEGETS30.

5. The people who do this are onto something

When my friend told me about all of this madness, I laughed. A lot. I was a real jerk about it, actually, but it’s probably because I’m very pregnant and my mood swing pendulum is getting heavier and heavier every day, meaning I go from maniacally cackling to dry sobbing with very little warning. But also because it seemed ridiculous: this was a pointless, expensive waste of time, and why would anyone want to spend their free time color coding a planner when they had a perfectly good calendar on their phone?!

Two things about that. One, I was a total dick, and I’m sorry for judging you, because two, this planning sticker thing is so relaxing. I mean, so relaxing. It’s how I spent my entire Friday night. I turned on The Crown, broke out the stickers and washi tape I’d confusedly bought at Michael’s, and flipped open my planner. ‘Okay,’ I thought to myself with sardonic amusement as I thumbed to the appropriate week. ‘This is ridiculous.’

Thirty minutes later, I was into it. Putting stickers down was fun – that much I already knew – and it was actually forcing me to plan wayyy better than I would have otherwise. Also, I realized with a healthy dose of ‘duh’ that it was sort of like a scrapbook, creating a planner like this.

For example, in the right-hand column that might have otherwise stayed empty forever, I wrote down a list of all of the baby names Orie and I are considering. I never would have written those down had I not done this; they would have continued to live in the Notes app on my phone, and when I trashed my phone, they would’ve been gone, too.

Pus I wrote out funny or cute things Lucy had said or done, deadlines for major projects at work, and created little checkboxes for whether or not I worked out that day. Do you know what’s really huge motivator to get on a treadmill? Knowing you’re gonna get a cute, affirming sticker that says ‘cardio day’ after it’s done. … Also, health benefits or whatever.

So that’s what I’ve learned after delving into this phenomenon a little bit deeper over the last seven days. I’m still only a beginner with my sorry single spread in my off-brand planner, but I’m having way too much fun making my life adorable. Also, it’s fun to put stickers on Orie and see how long it takes him to notice.

I’ll check back in next with a subject that is bound to get your boners raging: sticker reviews!

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