I am one of those planner loving people who learned, late in life, after many years of using a planner that you can actually combine some of the scrapbooking techniques with your planning methods or system. I have one planner, my Plum Paper Planner that I decorate much more than any other planner (currently I am using two more simultaneously) and I love it because decorating that particular planner has become, to an extent, therapeutic. My other planners, the one I use for work, my finances planner and a pocket size one where I record all my expenses are decorated to the minimum, and I am okay with it.
For some people, maybe for those orthodox planner-addicts who use their filofaxes and other planners to become very efficient, decoration might be on the way, some fellow planners have even said that decoration is distracting and stressful. If you are still trying to get the hang of what to decorate and how much? Know that you don’t even have to if it defeats the purpose of getting a planner to begin with. The reason why we all buy a planner is because we want to be on top of our schedules, we want to remember things, we need to manage our time and tasks better and simply, because writing things down on paper helps us be more accountable and keep track of the tasks and projects that we say we will do. To me, decorating my planner, as I said earlier, has become therapeutic. The time I schedule to sit down and take 20 minutes to decorate and plan on my family planner is, sometimes, the only time throughout the day that I have to myself, when I can do my own things and be creative. It has also become a creative outlet where I just “let go of things”.
I believe that creativity, often, allows us to cope with the demands of our daily lives and there are many ways in which you can let your creativity flourish, in this case, I chose to use my planner because I love planners! For many of us in the planning community, our planners are that space where we can keep track of things and tasks that we do on a daily basis, but also document our lives. Some of us document it by just writing them down, but also, many of us document by decorating and using all the bits and parts that are out there for scrapbooking, journaling, doodling and what not.
Is it completely necessary to decorate your planner to be “part of the planning community”? Not really. The moment you start using a planner to organize your life and the moment you start using and developing resources to improve your productivity, I would say you automatically separate yourself from the rest to become a “planner lover”. The more interested you become in what’s out there in the market for planners, the more you will immerse yourself in the planning community. This is also, how you learn what is for you and what really doesn’t make sense for you to use.
When I just had bought my Plum Paper Planner, around the end of January of this year, I discovered a whole world out there! I found out that there are numerous groups of people that are into different planner styles and planning systems, that are using all kinds of things for their planners and many styles of inserts. This is also how I learned that, as a 35 year old woman, I can start using stickers again, play with washi tape, colors, ribbons and all that jazz. I have to admit that because my different planners are for different things and I usually bring them out among different groups of people, I decided to keep the decoration to a minimum on my work planner, the reason being is because I don’t want to raise eyebrows when I take out my planner during a work meeting, and also, because I want to use my moleskin strictly for my “to dos”, meetings, reminders and other notes work related. Decorating it would take too much space and would be distracting during my working hours, simply because I can’t take the time to sit down and decorate it.
My Plum Paper Planner usually stays home and is dedicated to organizing my personal life, I don’t include any work-related matters in there, and I usually take some time at night, after my child is asleep to have some fun, bring out my supplies and be creative with it. It is an integral part of using this planner and I enjoy the process, the decoration makes me happy and I relate that with my personal life, my family and the things I do with/for them. In this case, the decoration has become part of the process, it enhances my using this planner and it also helps me have a visual representation of the different things involved when you manage a household.
I have heard many ladies in different Facebook groups saying that “the decoration” stresses them out. I would say, whether you decide to decorate your planner or not, it is up to you, think about whether it works for you and whether decorating a planner will actually help you be on top of your schedule or will make you more distracted.
You don’t have to decorate your planner if this really is not something you identify with and it is okay.