Sunday, February 8, 2015

Home Base: Creative Pursuits - The Start of Planner Love

2015 has been crazy so far, but luckily, I've been feeling crafty lately, and that's becoming a great outlet for me. I joined the wonderful world of Project Life (a type of scrapbooking), and I decorated my office cube (with a bunch of doughnuts). I'm surprised at how much fun I've been having!

My most recent creative activity has become a daily one. I've discovered the very stress-relieving art of planner-using! It's a new year, and that usually means I have a new planner, since December in the Philippines is all about collecting stickers for planners. I'm always in coffee shops so I never had any problems getting the coffee shop planners, and it has become kind of a tradition for me to get planners every year, ever since Starbucks started the whole planner thing. However, last year, it was the other way around. The planners ended up as an excuse to get coffee as a break from the office vending machine, which has become too familiar to me. As a result, I got both of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks planners. I've been using the Starbucks one as my work planner/notebook, while the CBTL one has become my daily life planner. I'll talk about that more in another post though.

Erasable Pilot Frixion pens from National Bookstore

For now, I want to share how I've been using my daily planner. Let me tell you, it has been such an outlet and a time management helper for me! I've always had paper planners and journals because I remember things better when I write them down. I've tried using my phone or my old HP travel companion as a planner, but that didn't work out. I need to write things down.

I haven't been using them as a creative outlet since high school though. Back then, the Filofax was all the rage here, and I had a planner that was full of accessories, pictures, letters, and stuff. I remember going back and forth with my friends to the University Mall in Taft because there was a store there that sold all sorts of planner doodads -- inserts, stickers, card holders, snap-in rulers and covers, etc. It was a fun time! I feel like my current planner obsession is a throwback to those days.

I usually do a planning session of sorts on Sunday nights. I write down what I plan on doing for the week, to-dos I have to remember, any appointments or meetups I may have, and other activities I may have coming up. Then I update the planner very quickly everyday when I have a free moment for stuff that come up at the last minute. I also use my planner as a journal. I do it kind of hobonichi style -- a Japanese type of journaling. I do little doodles and scribble down stuff I want to remember about my day.

Planning keeps me in check. I'm much more likely to do things if I write them down. It's very satisfying to me to check something off the planner, and it also makes my obsessive-compulsive self go nuts whenever I don't do something I planned on doing that I wrote down.

Journaling keeps me sane. I'm a relentless memory-keeper, so I love remembering happy things, and journaling helps me do that. I also get to write down things that bug me and let them go. Using a planner/journal does all this for me.

Okay enough with my rambling. Here are pics of my planner so far. January was my experimental month. I was still figuring things out, in terms of what I like and don't like, what's easy and what's not. I think I'm finally hitting my stride now that it's February.

Stickers are adorable! I remember those sticker collections and sticker books I had back in school that just faded away from lack of use. Now that I'm adult, I still love stickers and I actually use them, which is way better than collecting them to be forgotten.

Foil star stickers from National Bookstore

I tried using stamps in the beginning, but I found that they bleed through to the next page. I also don't think the're great for planners, because they take time to use (you have to make sure the ink is dry, and you have to clean them afterwards). I abandoned this quickly. All my stamps will be used in my Project Life books, but not in my planner.

Wooden stamp set from Divisoria

I love my orange CBTL planner because it's so pretty, but it's far from being the perfect planner. (Don't get me started on that one because I've been fighting the urge to get a new planner but I always stick to one for a year. I want a Kate Spade Wellesley, or a Midori, or a Plum Planner, or an Erin Condren Planner! Gah!) One of the things I don't like about it is that it makes you cram an entire week into one page. The right page of every weekly spread is devoted to some sort of enriching personal activity. It IS called the Giving Journal after all, but I don't have any use for the blank pages. I'm using them to remember song lyrics, or quotes from people, movies, and books, or particular phrases that resonated with me for every particular week. 

Wooden alpha stamp set from Divisoria  

Then I thought of using sticky notes and tabs and things got really fun! I'm using the sticky notes for lists, and quotes, and such. The sticky tabs on the other hand, are for things that aren't fixed in stone in my schedule. That way, I can move a sticky tab to a different day if my schedule changes. 

Japanese stickers, sticky notes and sticky tabs from Robinson's Department Store

Ignore my handwriting and my doodles -- they suck, haha. The way I write in the day boxes seems so random and it is. I just write wherever I feel like it because there's very little space anyway. This is why I need a planner with bigger day boxes -- divided into day and night or morning, afternoon, evening would be awesome. 

Sticky tabs from Robinson's Department Store

I feel like I got my routine down during the first week of February. I do a mix of doodles, stickers, sticky tabs and quotes. I don't color-coordinate spreads and pens like some people do, by the way. I just use whatever I feel like using.

Dong-A rainbow gel pens and paper + glitter stickers from National Bookstore

I don't use the monthly pages that much. I just use them to mark special days and holidays, among a few other things. I don't see the need to write down stuff on the monthly pages only to repeat them in the weekly ones.

Here's a closer look at one of my weekly spreads. My "thing to remember for the week" on a sticky note is from a cute text of encouragement that my dad sent me.

There's a really fun envelope flap in the back of the CBTL 2015 planner, which I found handy for all my planner paraphernalia. I just keep the stuff I tend to use daily in there, and they fit perfectly. I keep my other sticky notes and notepads at home, and I've also been hoarding stickers lately. I think I found a way to keep them, which I'll hopefully talk about in another post soon.

That's it! This all started with me just wanting to make my new planner more interesting, and then it just evolved from there. Now I'm watching planner videos on YouTube, and stalking planner girls on Instagram. I love it!

Do you use a planner? How do you use yours? Let's talk! 


  1. Oh my gosh! You are the planner queen! Every page is super cute! I have been using the Starbucks planner as sort of my life/work planner. It looks boring as hell. I have to get those cute stickers and post its.

    1. Haha thanks. I'm not artsy in any way, but I'm really enjoying these little creative activities. Go decorate your planner! It's great for de-stressing.