I’ve recently jumped into the world of paper planning, because a) my phone is overstuffed with scheduling and b) writing things down seems to make the information stick around in my head a bit longer. My planner is a basic one from Mochi Things as I wasn’t sure how deeply I’d dive into planning and didn’t want to invest too much at first. I also have a cheap Mead planner (this one) specifically for blogging. There are tons of options for planners; it all depends on what you like and what you need. Instead of making recommendations for what book to buy, I’m going to share a few of the fun and functional planner supplies that can work in any planner.
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Planner Supplies: Stickers
Stickers are probably the best part of planning! Some people go all out with customized characters that look just like them, or with stickers that leave no white space in the planner. I personally prefer more functional stickers than decorative stickers, and I’ve been enjoying the weekly planner stickers and mom’s planner stickers (which should be parent’s planner stickers) from Peter Pauper Press, as well as the huge variety of stickers from Me & My Big Ideas. The MAMBI stickers are technically for their Happy Planner but I think they work anywhere so long as you aren’t obsessive about specific sizes.
Planner stickers are also big in the Etsy world. This is where you can get into highly specific stickers that really help with scheduling and tracking! I recently discovered a few great Canadian shops for planner supplies thanks to the twice-annual Planner Boss Collective sale. I suggest The Studyholic, Let’s Plan It, and Sticker Fever for colourful and functional stickers (also great for bullet journals). I’ve found stickers that help me meal plan, set goals, track blog posts, and even remind myself when library books are due. Just hit up Etsy and search for what you need — if it’s not there, guaranteed someone will custom make it for you.
Using planner stickers is as simple as peeling them off and putting them where appropriate: daily, weekly, or monthly activities such as appointments and school events in the right spot on the calendars, to-do stickers and list type stickers in blank spaces and on sidebars, and decorative stickers wherever you’d like! You can also use basic shape stickers like dots and teardrops to colour code your planner by person, event, or task.
Planner Supplies: Writing
This may sound ridiculous but I feel like writing instruments are highly personal. Is that the writer in me coming out? I am picky about pens and markers. I hate blue ink, and strongly prefer writing with black fine tip Sharpie pens. For colour, I use Paper Mate felt tip pens that come in a variety of shades if you want to colour coordinate tasks, people, or events. And if you’re using your planner on the go, you will want to throw your pens (and stickers!) into a storage pouch.
Planner Supplies: Useful Accessories
With a planner and pens you can definitely get organized — the stickers and other things are helpful but not necessary! I have not invested much into accessories, but you can find bookmarks, clips, pen holders, you name it. School supplies like snap-in dividers, sticky tabs, and tape can do double duty as useful planner accessories, so you don’t have to break the bank on specifically planner branded items. K & Company’s Smash line also has some inexpensive products that work well for planners and notebooks, not just Smash books.
Using Your Planner Supplies
Again, this all depends on you, your preferences, and your schedule, but here’s what works for me: I sit down once a week and plan ahead as far as I can, using the monthly calendar to track big things like birthdays, events that cannot be missed, bills, and deadlines. I jump into the weekly section for day-to-day things, like book orders and library due dates, personal reminders for appointments and to-do items, and that kind of thing. In the blank area near the weekly schedule I make various list headings for what will apply that week — meal planning, general to-do, to buy, etc. During the week when something comes up I add it to the planner as soon as I can, and I consult with the planner often!
It’s a bit redundant with my phone scheduling and our huge family fridge calendar. However, I’d rather have things written down three times than not at all.
There you have it! I can see why people get really into planners and accessories; there are so many lovely supplies available, and if you have to organize, it may as well be enjoyable.