I have always kept a planner. From the time I entered high school and we were required to use them in classes, I have always been a planner. I like knowing exact times of things. I like to know who is going to be where at any given time (as it relates to me). I am not a person who enjoys hearing “I dunno” to my question of “what time do I need to ___________”. Nope, not a happy camper at all.
By nature I am a planner. That’s what it boils down to.
Another reason I am so “obsessed” with planning is that it guides my OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder: read more) in a constructive way. It’s no secret I have mental health issues. I don’t hide it, even though I don’t exactly open conversations with it. Depression is the worst but I also have moments of mania. Planning has always allowed me to keep my brain focused while caving to my obsession with organizing my time and having a creative outlet.
That’s where these tools come in.
In order to help my OCD along and keep my planner looking gorgeous (as well as productive), I need a few things. The obvious: a planner. My planner acts as a distraction (pretty planner fun!) and also as a journal. I am able to keep each day documented on a regular basis thanks to Plum Paper and this is especially true for noting down my flare days. I find it difficult to fully document properly during an actual flare. Honestly, I just want to be left alone. I’m known for simply grabbing my red pen and writing a number between 1-10 to note the degree of pain I am in but the details are saved for the next day when I can think clearly, rationally and admit that I was not actually hit by a Mack truck.
I use a Plum Paper planner.
I have been with Plum now since early 2015 (my first planner was a customized ME planner and started in February 2015. My first planner spread was hot air balloons from what was the KGPlanner and is now Planner Penny). I have tried several of the layouts (ME, Student Custom Classes, Hourly, M-F Grid & Priorities) and I am a sucker for the never-ending customization.
And hey - if you send me your email address with “plum offer” in the subject line and you are new to Plum, I will send you an email back with a discount code for 10% off your order!
Because I like to decorate, I have many planning tools that I use often when trying to achieve a certain aesthetic in my planner. But I also walk a fine line between decorative and functional planning. Last week I noticed that there were a few things y hands kept drifting back to as I planned so I made a mental note to share these things later. And so I am.
Without further ado….
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My Favorite Planning Supplies
I started out in the planner game using generic pens I had laid claim to from some unsuspecting source. I am a horrible pen stealer by nature. Honestly, I simply cannot be trusted.
After spending time on Instagram, surfing the planner community, I discovered “pen tests”. Pen tests are exactly that, grabbing a piece of paper and writing with a pen then sharing that piece of paper online. By watching these other planner girls test their pens, I started paying much more attention to my own.
That’s when I realized I had a problem.
Not only was I spending more time on pens, I was accumulating them relatively quickly. I tried Papermate Flairs (love them but they don’t work well in my Plum), Sharpie fine point (too much shadowing and bleed through), pens from the Target Dollar Spot (didn’t write well and smeared something awful), Frixion erasable pens (ink too light. Though you will find their cousins, the highlighters, on this list) and Staedletters (to marker-ey).
The pen I have no settled with and used the longest s the Inkjoy Gel pens. I prefer the retractable but ever since I discovered that the ink cartridges of the gels fit perfectly in the barrels of the pens I love most from Dollar Tree (they have terrible ink), I have settled on just buying my Inkjoys in blue. The best part about the is the bright colors of the ink and that there is never any smearing. #plannerpenpeace #teamblue :-)
I’ve rounded up a few of the best deals for you:
2 | Planner Penny planner stickers
As mentioned above, Planner Penny (formerly KGPlanner) is the first shop I ever purchased planner stickers from. At the time I was using a set of Sugar Paper LA planners I had picked up at Target around November 2014. The first kit I ever bought was her Frozen kit and I quickly fell in love with planner decorating.
I give Kim full blame for what has now become my planning addiction :-P
Over the years, Kim has changed not only her name but the paper that she prints on. Instead of a flat matte non-removable paper, Planner Penny stickers are made with high quality vinyl and are 100% removable and repositionable. Her designs are cute as can be!
My Favorite Kits:
After I realized that paper clutter overwhelm and the feeling of exhaustion over every schedule were being brought upon me by my very own self, I decided that a system needed to be put into place in order for my brain to boil back to a simmer and allow me a little peace and quiet sometimes. As I gathered the mail one day, I realized that I had a pretty fantastic filing system, however, the paper clutter that I needed and couldn’t yet file was making my work space less than ideal.
If you've been hanging around my Insta, you've probably noticed a new "face" in the background. My JAKAGO Business Padfolio.
What I wanted was a place that I could slide my planner and some planning tools, store the many papers I am presented with each day, hold lists, receipts and other nonsense and be able to close nicely and be tossed in a bag.
Since I am such a sucker for everything having it's own place, I wanted something equally simple and complex when it came to storage areas.
My JAKAGO more than delivered!
Since getting my hands on this one, I have also purchased a palm print folio from Yoobi (Palm is sold out but here’s a super cute banana option!) that acts in a similar manner, holding my business stuff instead of my daily comings and goings.
See my other posts about this folio:
Frixion highlighters were the first I purchased when buying my planner supplies and I have not had to replace them yet. My set came with purple, yellow, pink, green and blue pastel ink and are completely erasable. When making my purchase, I chose them for the price tag, expecting full well to need to buy more before long.
Nope! It’s 2019 and I purchased these on Amazon in 2016. My highlighters are three years old and aren’t even showing signs of wear.
I use my Frixion highlighters to cross things off my lists once they are completed and to color code said activity so I can see at a glance what is finished. The eraser comes in handy because I often highlight too far down and need to go back and fix that. It sure beats needing white-Out all the time!!
5 | Additional Tools I Use for Planning:
Now for my list of one off items.
This list is made up of items that are comparable to my own, even if they are not the exact ones I myself use daily. I rounded these up so that you are able to have a look into the different ideas and ways you can use various items to plan with.
Gimars 3 Pcs Nonslip Unique Measure on Both Ends Design 6 +12 inch Stainless Steel Metal Ruler Kit, Easy to Read Inch&mm&cm Directly, More Polished Edge for School, Office, Architect, Engineers, Craft
My top 4 favorite planning supplies.
I know it isn’t a particularly long list. I did not ever realize how little I actually use when I am working in my planner. Typically, I choose my colors or kit and match up my washi. From there I plug all the appointments listed in my Cozi Family Organizer and then I just take it from there on managing mt to do’s.
Do you have tools that you go to all the time? What are your favorite planner hacks?