From Rings to Strings: Planning Trends

Like everything else, there are trends and classics when it comes to planning.  My original planner many, many years ago was a personal Filofax Finsbury in breast cancer pink.  This was about 15 years ago.  I fell out of paper planning and swung between a wing and a prayer, a little WHSmith diary and my phone for a while.

I rediscovered planners and the joy of using it to be creative via Instagram.  I promptly purchased a cherry red personal Finsbury and it was love. Then I began to see Erin Condren Life Planners.  Those became very popular fast.  I recently found a photo of my first ever UK Planner Addicts meet in Paperchase London.  It was then I saw how popular ring bound planners were.

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These are trends as I recall I’ve seen.

Filofax

This is a planner classic and I don’t think it will ever really disappear.  Various sizes are popular.  The Malden seems to be a particular favourite of many including me.  It’s lush leather and big rings make it so practical yet beautiful.  Filofax have released various other planner items, including the flex, clipbook and more recently their notebook with removable pages similar to the Happy Planner or Arc system.  I will always revert to a Filofax when rings call me.  For me the quality is good for the price bracket.

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Other Ringbound

In terms of other ring bound trends, other beautiful quality and more pricey options became desirable and still are.  These include Louis Vitton, Kate Spade, Gillio and Van der Spek.

Kikki K also began to feature in this market, with both personal and A5 offerings.

More recently Michael’s in the USA released a range of ring bound affordable planners which are nice.  

Also Carpe Diem – Simple Stories sell A4 planners which are more affordable.  Also Paperchase in the UK have a great range.  Webster’s  Pages also offer a more affordable version.  Also Dokibook are another more affordable range.

Coils

Erin Condren Life Planner is the one which Continues to be popular. Plum Paper planner was also very popular around the time ECLP first became popular.  However the ECLP has endured and has a loyal following. In the UK The Personal Planner offers the ability to customise in lots of ways. Bando is another popular planner and Kate Spade also offers a nice selection.  For 2018 I’m moving from an eclp to a Recollections spiral bound from Michael’s.  It gives me a similar layout but was over half the price.  A kind friend who lives in the USA but visits home in the UK regularly got it for me.

Disc Bound

Me and My Big Ideas – create 365 Happy Planner, is a sort of hybrid between a Filofax, having the flexibility to remove and add pages, with the feel of a coiled planner.  This has plastic discs on the spine.  The pages are cut in such a way that they can be removed, similar to the Arc system.  This planner has proved very popular and continues to be.  Available from mini to large, with it’s changeable covers and multiple insert packs available it is a good priced planner with lots of versatility.  The brand also offers lots of stickers that are very popular too.

Bound Books

The creation by Ryder Carroll of the Bullet Journal system means good quality notebooks such as the Leuchtturm 1917 and Moleskine have increased in popularity.  There are many other beautiful books, such as Scribbles That Matter,  Rhodia and Lemome to name a few.  The Leuchtturm remains the classic and most preferred it would seem.  Search Instagram to see some of the beautiful creations some make in these journals.  Another bound book that many love for planning is the Hobonichi Techo.  I don’t know much about these but they always look beautiful.  

Strings

The Travellers notebook has risen in popularity in 2017.  The original system was the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. The system of being able to add in and take out a variety of notebooks and other items such as dashboards and beautiful vellum papers is at present, the biggest planner trend.  There are a huge number of makers of stringed notebooks.  Popular at present in the UK are Foxy Fix , Chic Sparrow , Meadowgate Leather and Lyradori.   There are so many out there it’s mind bogging! 

 Michael’s have them in the USA and Webster’s Pages are another affordable option.  The range from micro to A5 and there are very many variants in between.  There are also many, many different places to get inserts, from those that are suitable for watercolour paintings to general notebooks.  The most popular is currently dot grid inserts and the most popular size seems to be a B6.  Slightly larger than a pocket sized.

Washi Tape

Washi tape is decorative paper tape that originated in Japan. It has been a popular embellishment for many years. There are so many designs available.  More recently it waved in popularity for those buying weekly sticker kits for planners such as the Erin Condren Life Planner,  as they often have “washi” stripes themed with the kit.  It is however a staple planner item and I have a large collection. My favourite Etsy stores for Wash are BonBonsKawaii and Jadies Crafts for foiled washi.

Planner Charms

Little trinket items that you hand from the top or bottom ring of a ring bound, or the strings or closing loop of a travellers notebook.  These vary greatly.  

Current trends on the front of the Traveller’s Notebook (TN) is a bow or floral clip.  Again, search Instagram or Etsy to see the variety.  My favourites are from Isabelle the Owl, Kawaii Studios,  Dotty Moo and The Punk Planner.

Paperclips

Again, hundreds! From Fimo to embroidered there are so many available to customise your planner,  These have been popular for about 18 months,  If you search Instagram you will find some planners rammed with many of these paperclips.  Each one a tiny work of art.  My favourite store is My Unicorn Planner.  In addition I’m a big fan of an Oli Clip,  a magnetic page marker.  Very strong magnets and come in a range of lovely designs.

Stickers

This has become epic. So many stores.  Many make a living from selling themed kits for the Erin Condren and Happy Planners.  There are a huge number of functional stickers available for anything you can probably think of…yes…even that! 

I am on design teams for Your World of Colour and Katie’s Sticker Company who both do kits.  Your World of Colour also has a huge range of functional stickers.  Check the “about me” on this blog or my Instagram bio for discount codes.

It’s easy to begin to understand why people never seem to find “planner peace” with so many things coming into play.  I personally find that Instagram is wonderful at helping you to feel like you want something else and to buy all the things!  No matter what I buy I will never have a pretty thing like that.  It is after all, a planner.  It’s main purpose is to make me feel organised (even if I’m not!)

I’ve not covered off planner pouches, bags, pens, stencils, pencils cases…  Just know there are, and will continue to be, a myriad of ways to spend your hard earned cash making your planner and your planning journey beautiful.

This is a planner stack from a recent UKPA meet again at Paperchase London. You can see the difference in the types of planners.

Recently I’ve seen prolific planner people moving back towards rings.  Maybe the TN thing is waning?  I’d really like to know what trends I missed out?  Being in the UK it’s UK/Europe biased.  Are there any trends I don’t know about?  I’d love to know.

Have a great day!

 

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Pocket Moleskine Bullet Journal Set Up

Hello.  I thought it worth sharing with you my latest every day carry I’m trialling.  My last post was my beautiful TN which I am still using and love. However the temptation to stuff it full is high,  I also printed two lovely inserts for tracking everything Christmas related which I will share in a later post. Long and short of it, it’s too fat and heavy for an every day carry!

I was lucky enough to get a lovely limited edition Hello Kitty pocket Moleskine from TKMaxx for only £2.99.  So I thought I would make it an every day carry bullet journal.  If you have not yet heard of a Bullet Journal, you need first to go over to it’s creator, Ryder Carroll’s web site   It’s a really simple system, that helps you keep really organised.

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As you know form my previous blogs about my pocket Filofax Malden this size works for for me.  I tried the bullet method before in my TN.  However I felt I was just drawing weekly layouts that I could just buy ready done in a TN insert.  I realised this time that I need to follow Ryder’s basics and then tweak slightly as I learn more about what works for me.

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I vowed to go minimal on sticker usage.  They sometime overload my brain and distract me from just the things I need to do.  That said, I did opt to add a beautiful wreath sticker from It’s Paper Co inside the front.

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First page of course is the index.  This particular book is lined.  I tend to prefer dot grid, but I’m sticking with this book as I don’t intend to draw much in it.

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I’ve saved just two pages for Index which I hope will be sufficient.  I’m using a Pentel Inkjoy 0.7 Gel pen which you can see does ghost.  However it’s not really bothering me.  I’m also ignoring the fact my handwriting is awful!  However my main focus is me and my needs, not it looking pretty for Instagram.

Next is the future log.

 

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On reflection I think maybe the future log could have been laid out differently.  If I had turned the book 90 degrees I could have perhaps made it fit a little better.  That’s the point though of trying it out though in a cheaper book first.

Next is the month overview.  I’m using the classic key presently, suggested by Ryder.

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Then of course, each weekly view.

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I drew this out in advance of the week.  However next week I am trying just doing it a day at a time.  This is because I tend to have more tasks and events at the weekend, and this was too small.  It’s fine if a week goes over two pages, so I want to give myself the flexibility of having as much or as little space I need each day.

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When I used the system previously, I struggled a little with just the future log.  I bought some annual stickers from Oops A Daisy UK (who also sell fab stencils) on Etsy and put them in the back of the book.  I use this to mark school holidays, birthdays and annual leave.  There is space for me to write them next to each month, just not done that yet.

I also added a little pull out pocket calendar from the lovely Ali at Crafty Ali Cat at the back with some washi.

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I use a Leuchtturm 1917 stick in pen loop in the back for my Inkjoy.

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Finally the book came with three cute Hello Kitty bookmarks and I’ve also added into the back pocket a Filofax pocket ruler.

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I also use a coffee cup metal bookmark from Ali Express to mark the current day page.

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That is the set up so far, and I’ve not yet missed having a bigger planner with me.  I am adapting and trying little things as I go.  Last week I used day text stickers from Your World of Colour which looked nice. (Discount code Planitzoe15 for 15% off over £8 spend).  Much neater than my writing!  I also have added in Christmas gift ideas and tracker and an order tracker.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this system if you have, or are thinking of using it.

Have a great day!

Moving to a Traveler’s Notebook

Hi all, long time no blog!

Having spent a long time happily snuggled in my Filofax pocket Malden I thought planner peace was mine. Yet for the last two months I’ve been in a standard sized traveler’s notebook from the amazing Dibs at Inkbandits.

I know, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of the latest thing. But there were a few reasons I tried it out. Firstly weight. Even a pocket filofax can get heavy. The rings themselves weigh a bit. I chose the Inkbandits TN because it’s lovely soft, floppy and importantly light leather.

Secondly I like the ease of putting various books in and out. A finished book is also easier to store. I also use weekly inserts and I love that I can change those about and try different layouts easily. I’m currently in a bullet journal style diary from The Punk Planner. Another superb store for inserts is Ali at Crafty Ali Cat.  If you are looking for something, Ali is fab for custom orders. What this lady can’t do with paper isn’t worth knowing!

Thirdly I find the options to decorate better. I purchased a kit from Gemma over at Isabelle the Owl.  The theme is Mermaid and I adore it. Many stores are now doing TN specific items.

Finally I can still use my huge supply of stickers to decorate. Standard size mean I have a bit more space that I did in my pocket.  I get to use more of the fabulous functional stickers from Your World of Colour. (I have a discount code of Planitzoe for 15% off over £8 spend.)

My inserts are a week on two pages diary undated. A month on two pages for planning ahead. A book for various lists I like to have like wish list, order tracker etc. Finally I have a few pockets for stickers and things I need to carry around.

I have purchased Christmas planning inserts from Organise With Katie too. I normally set up a separate planner for Christmas.  However it makes sense to me to have them with me in my every day carry. The cover is the wider one so it will easily fit more books.

So that is my every day carry for now. I’d love to hear if you use a TN or are considering it. Have a great Autumn!

Zoe x

 

 

Pocket Malden Update

I  shared my set up of the Ochre Pocket Malden in April 2016.  It’s proved to be a popular post and I thought it would be useful to update you on it, as it is still very much in daily use.

I made a decisions around November 2016 to cease putting it in a protective case in my bag.  It was making it heavier and bulkier than necessary and although pulling it out of a case is minimal effort, I still found it a pain.  I reasoned that worst case I could buy another if I hated they way it looked as it aged.  I need not have worried, it has picked up some scuffs and scratches but still looks lovely.  I have the Malden travellers wallet in the same ochre colour that I use as my purse.  That too looks fine with signs of wear.

My current dividers are pink and green ones that I feel are spring like.  I do sometime change them as I do not change the planner now as I just love it so much!  I have a cute butterfly attached to the zip inside I found in a planner I picked up from a charity shop.  I also have a coffee cup one.  I have had planner charms attached to the bottom ring but they invariable get broken in my bag.  The pockets inside have mainly planner stickers in them.

I am using monthly view pages so I can have an overview of the month’s plans.  Because the planner is so chunky (I call it Fat Boy) I remove used weekly pages periodically.  I do keep the whole year monthly view in there as that gives me a key date or events overview instead of keeping all those weekly pages.  I did start off with a year to view but found I use the monthly instead far more so |I removed it.

I decorate my weekly pages.  I pop a little check list onto the top of the page to add my top priorities for the week.  I tend to have a vague theme each week, some weeks are decorated more than others.  I tend to express my sticker obsession better in my Erin Condren Life Planner which stays at home. I store used pages in planners not currently being used.

I have a small contacts section and a finance section where I track my money transfers each month when I am paid.  The just a few notes pages and lists such as all the Disney films my daughter has so we don’t repeat buy!  I really only use these sections.  I played around with various sections but they were just not used (such as order trackers etc.)  SO my sections are: Diary which are my monthly and weekly pages, contacts, lists, finance. notes including a world map and London Underground map and then three clear pockets with stickers in.  I have  small note pad in the back for just jotting things down on.

My pen is a lovely rose gold one I picked up at Christmas from B&M store.  It is metal so has a lovely weight to it. It’s a black gel one.

It’s really working for me.  I could probably slim it down if I removed some of the spare stickers, but I’m happy with it.  I love the fact a Malden is just so stuffable!  I have looked at the new Kingfisher colour Malden that Filofax finally released in pocket size.  I love blue, so may ask for one as my birthday gift in June.  Pocket is a fine size, I just find personal too large to carry around with me.

So that is where I am right now.  Still loving the Malden.  I wish I had bought it sooner, it might have saved me buying loads of others (but probably not!)

Planner Peace and How to Find it?

Planner peace.  I heard this first many years ago when I first joined UK Planner Addicts on Facebook.  What is it?  It seems it is applied when somebody finally finds THE planner and set up and no longer feels the needs to keep buying or switching planners. Sounds good huh?  Sure does, but…does it exist?

I entered the world of planning (born again planner, having left around 2000 and returned 2014) with a very battered Filofax Finsbury in pink.  I loved her the day I got her, but fell into managing my day through Outlook at a work, a cheap diary and for a while my phone planner.  I was excited to set her up again and began googling for ideas.  Fatal!  Suddenly my eyes were opened to the state of my poor well loved Finsbury.  She had scuffs and dinks and horror…rust on her rings.  This is how my ongoing obsession with finding the perfect planner began.

After trialling many different options, I finally settled in 2015 on pocket Filofax for on the go and a larger coil bound for home.  This became a pocket Ochre Malden and an Erin Condren Life Planner.  Planner peace.  I don’t alter the set up of the Malden as I’m happy, and I’m very glad I settled on getting an Erin Condren for home.  I sometimes bounce out of the Malden into another pocket Filofax, but rarely last more than a week or so before I go back to the Malden.  I change up the way I decorate each week in the EC and that suits my changing mood.  If I dislike a way a week is decorated, it’s gone within seven days and I do something else.  This seems to help my peace.

So is it the elusive planner peace I have found?  Who knows. Does my eye wander and look at other planners.  Yes, I am a planner addict.  Do I feel the need to change the two main ones I use, no, not right now.  Might I in the future?  Yes, maybe.  Life changes, our needs change.  I think planner peace is what works for you at that point in time.  That could be for a year, it could be for a week.  I just purchased a Recollections ring bound planner in personal size (shhh….don’t tell my Filofaxes) as I fell in love with it (it’s holographic, what’s not to like?)  I’m playing with day on one page to see how I like it, but it won’t change how I use my other two.

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Can you find planner peace?  Yes, depending on what you call peace.  I had to learn what works for me and not get side tracked by glorious things like using a bullet journal in a beautiful leather Travellers Notebook or the ease of decorating pages in a Happy Planner because they can be removed.  It’s a bit like having a car you like and suits your needs.  That doesn’t stop you wanting a better, more expensive car, but practically you know what you have meets your needs (and pocket.)  I found when I was bouncing around different planners I fell out of love with planning for a while.  You hear people referring to it as “I lost my planning Mojo.”

If you love planners it would be a rare thing for you to settle on just one forever.  Best way is to not actively seek planner peace, rather trust your deep down feelings and thoughts on what you are really drawn to (mine is leather Filofaxes) and stick with that.

Now if I can just find handwriting and pen peace…

Exploring the Planner World

Hi All

My prompt to write this post was from a blogger group I am in on Facebook.  It was asking about the decline in the number of planner related blog posts.  It got me thinking about how I peruse the world of planners and my personal preferences.

I read little in the way of blogs, which is a shame.  There are some fantastic ones out there. If I do, it is usually as a result of seeing a link in a Facebook group or Instagram post.  I realised that I have a preference for Facebook planner related groups (I have a couple I frequent and a few I dip in and out of).  I also spend time every day on Instagram as I have a planner specific profile (@Planitzoe).  Here I follow Etsy stores I like and it also prompts me to them Google or search for items I am interested in which on occasion leads me to a blog or Pinterest.  Finally I also follow several YouTube planner accounts that post video’s regularly.

As a lady with a blog, I then started to think about what has stopped me begin a more regular blogger myself.  I enjoy writing, so why don;t I post at least once a week.  So my key thoughts were as follows.

Images – I personally feel that images are key to an interesting blog.  My preferred sensory cue is Visual and I am certainly drawn more to images (Instagram, YouTube) than just words.  This means I believe my blogs should all have good, interesting, clear and professional images in it.  I don’t have a great set up to take pictures, and find it easier to snap on my phone or iPad.  I have looked into apps that I can use on either to enhance them images but I never feel they are up to my personal standards.  I don’t get time to pull out the DSLR, I don’t own lights and being British rarely get enough natural light!  I’m not invested enough to buy light boxes etc.  So the thought of trying to take, edit and load suitable images is the time eater in my world and puts me off.

Subject matter – generally I write about things I think people want to read.  Sometimes these are not the things I want to talk about.  This is most likely lack of clarity on what I want my blog to be, for who and what purpose.  I feel that I need to re-purpose my blog to just what I want to ramble about planner related.  But, if it’s boring and nobody reads it, what is the point?!

ROI – to the point above, what should the return on my invested time be?  I know some people seem to blog purely for the opportunity to receive items to promote, but that’s not mu purpose.  I want to help people in the world of planners learn more about it.  Guide new people by sharing my learning.  Promote the pleasure of paper based planning in a world that is digital and virtual obsessed.  Finally to connect with like minded people and share in the pleasure of planning.

Frequency – this links in some ways to the images issue.  If I allowed myself to literally pop in and write a quick post without having to think about some of the above, I’m pretty sure I would post more often.

If you are still reading, congratulations and thank you!  You waded through a text heavy, image free, planner related ramble!  To this point, I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

How do you indulge virtually in the planner world?

What are your thoughts on images?

What should a planner blog’s purpose be?

Which planner related blogs have you regular readership?

What subjects do you enjoy the most?

Ramble over, have an awesome week.  I hope your plans come to fruition and your rings stay gap free  😉

Zoe

Black Friday

I need new stickers like a hole in the head.  However, I did buy some on black Friday – rude not to, right?  I will share as I get them through, but I did actually pick some up in person at a UKPA planner mini meet on Saturday.  Stephanie, Queen of UKPA, has started making stickers under the name OMFG Stickers.  It includes some of her own original artwork too which is always great to find.

I bought a selection of her offerings including her new Sisterhood stickers, which I adore. They are also available as journal cards.

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Her pricing is also very reasonable at £2 for most sticker sheets and for the Sisterhood full set.  If you are partial to expressing yourself she also stock some stickers with F words on.  Great for when the going is tough and a emoticon poo just doesn’t express it enough!

I also bought from a few other stores, so will share once they arrive.  I’d love to know what planner goodies you all snagged this weekend?

Have a great Week.

Zoe x