Hello back everyone!  I cannot believe we are getting ready to welcome in the month of December.  Where did 2016 go?  I know as I look back on the year I am in awe of how truly fast time passes….and just how much stuff happens within a year. 

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I am also very thankful to have my planner help me relive and celebrate all those memories and moments.  It is so true how much one can forget unless it is photographed and/or written down!

This whole notion definitely got me thinking about what I wanted to share this month.  As we all get ready to ramp up for Christmas celebrations, past year reflections and new year resolutions/anticipations I wanted to share some of my top planner tips with you all.  You  might already be a seasoned planner, or someone who is thinking about getting started.  Whatever your personal situation, hopefully you are able to be inspired and/or assisted by what I am going to share today in getting started on your very own personal planner journey.

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A lot of times I get asked….what do I DO with a planner? Well, anything really!  

TIP#1: Make your planner a reflection of YOU.

A planner can be a "planner", but it also can be so much more…you can really make it anything you want it to be, according to your need/desires.  

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If you are thinking about starting a planner, but are not sure what to actually do or what to make of it, here are some ideas to get you started from things that I have personally done, to others that I have seen both in person and on social media:

  • Traditional Planner (appointments, to-do's, chore lists, etc) this is your "stereotypical" idea of what most people view a planner to be.
  • Goal Planner: a place to write down goals, keep track of progress, inspiration pieces
  • Vision Planner: write down affirmations, collect and include meaningful photographs, journal
  • Quote Planner: store and collect favourite and inspirational quotes
  • Vacation Planner: planning a special vacation? use a planner to help you keep track of all the details and memories from start to finish.
  • Fitness/Weight Loss Planner: use a planner as a fitness/food diary, add in recipes, motivational quotes, photographs
  • Teacher Planner: if you are a teacher planners are a great tool to keep you organized and on track. add in your plans, future plans, craft and classroom ideas
  • Memory Planner: use your planner as a photo diary.  add in notes and journaling from throughout your year along with your favourite photographs
  • Pregnancy Planner: a perfect way for mothers to celebrate and document the pregnancy to birth journey!
  • Meal Planner: keep track of your weekly meals, recipe ides etc.

So, as you can see….planners are truly limitless in what they can become and evolve into!  As long as you make it into something that reflects you, you will be successful!

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TIP#2: Invest in Good Supplies.

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Another top tip of mine is investing in good supplies.  By supplies I mean the basics…a good pen that you love to write with, some good working adhesive and cute fun extras (ex. stickers, stamps).  When you have good supplies that you look forward to using and that work well, you will always look forward to working in your planner.

TIP#3: Keep Your Planner Stash Together and Close At Hand.

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It is always super helpful to have your planner supplies together in one place.  If you have everything stored together in a storage bin or case, you will spend less time looking for your stash and more time creating instead.  Setting yourself up for success is one of my top tips for successful planners.  Make it easy on yourself and not hard to get started!  Time is precious.  Less looking and organizing =  more time for creating/planning and enjoying the process!

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TIP#4: Take Photos and Add Them In!

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Probably my most favourite thing to place into my planner are photographs.  I think for me personally photographs have a way of really personalizing my planner plus they look beautiful printed and help tell my story.  Regardless of your planner theme or style, try adding in the odd photograph.  I can guarantee you you will not only love it but it will also connect you to your planner in a different way.  Also have fun experimenting with different types and sizes of photos….regular size, instax prints, wallet size….they are all so much fun to add into planner pages.

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TIP#5: Use photo sleeves.

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Photo sleeves are a great way to add storage into your planner.  Whether it's for actual photographs, notes or keepsakes…photo sleeves are not only great accessories but also super cute ways to display your life in your planner pages.

TIP#6: Search Pinterest & Instagram for Endless Inspiration.

These days, social media is such an  amazing way to connect and be inspired by fellow creatives.  One of my favourite ways to be inspired and learn innovative and new ideas is to search hashtags on instagram such as: #planner, #plannergirl, #plannernerd #planner ideas.  These hashtags have often led me to discover so many brilliant and talented planners who offer so many creative ways to take your planners in so many amazing directions.  Searching Pinterest is also another great way to connect and be inspired.  There are so many wonderful people to learn from, so take advantage!

TIP#7: Journal.

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Most importantly do not be afraid to "write" in your planner.  Writing and journaling is a great way to personalize your planner and will get you comfortable and more familiar with the process.  Plus it will end up being one of the greatest keepsakes of your life.  Don't be afraid to tell your story!  Even if you are just wanting to keep a planner as a "meal planner"…making a note or two about a specific meal will lend itself to a precious memory or moment down the road.  It does not have to be a lot of writing….anything really counts!

TIP#8: Treat Yourself to a Fun Photo Printer.

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I love my photo printers and use them all the time.  They are great tools because they are very easy and convenient to use which helps me to actually get my photos printed!  I use a variety of printers, but probably my top favourite printers for my planner are my Instax SP-1 Share Printer and My Polaroid ZINK.  These both print instant smaller sized (credit card) sized photos which fit into my planner easily and effortlessly.  Plus they also print directly from my smart phone which is super helpful for me since most of my photos are taken with my iPhone these days.

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So I hope you are able to find these tips helpful and encouraging for those of you who currently do a planner and also for those of you who are thinking about a planner for the new year!  It is a really fun and creative way to document and celebrate your life.

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~ Lindsay Bateman