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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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…

UKPA Big Meet, ECLP & New Intentions

Wow – what a year so far.  It’s been a crazy few months for me, and unfortunately this blog ended up on the back burner for a while.  I was made redundant after 15 years at the same place.  I started a new job in July which has been a challenge and it involves a longer commute each way.  We have had to work out as a family how we need to alter our days to cover this.  I’m not 100% there, still trying new things, but I feel ready to pick this blog back up.

The main motivator is that I will be attending The UK Planner Addicts group Big Meet 2016.  It is the very first one and I was very lucky to get a ticket.  The event sold out in under 10 minutes!!  I am really excited about meeting new like minded friends.  Getting to look at all the different planners.  Buying lots of stickers from the Etsy stores present of course.  I hear the goody bag is epic too.  So it’s a great subject to blog about.  I will take stacks of photographs and share everything I can.  We also have a guest speaker attending, Kristina Karlsson the founder of Kikki K.wp-1474726470908.jpg

In other news I caved and got an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I now have an 18 month neutral vertical with classic coil, which I purchased from a planner group in the UK.  I also got a lovely cover for it.  I love it.  But the sticker obsession is real!  I’m still working out my style.  I know I’m not a fan of glossy stickers as they are hard to write on, more expensive and thicker.  My planner is already chunking up with each decorated week!  I tried a few no white space weeks and I just can’t cope with the visual aspect of that.  I need a bit of white or I can’t see the wood for the trees.  I still use a pocket Filofax for out and about and the ECLP stays at home.

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So that is a summary of where I am at.  Watch this space for UKPA Big Meet posts.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for plenty of Big Meet 2016 images, as that is where I intend to put everything on the day as we go along.  Let me know if you are going too, I’d love to meet fellow UKPA bloggers.

Erin Condren Life Planner Launch 2016 – who’s in?

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Will I or won’t I?

It’s that time again when everyone seems to be getting super excited about the new Erin Condren Life Planner launch.  As per my previous blog I have always considered getting one.  I have therefore followed the pre-launch information with interest.  Having never owned one it has been educational to follow the launch.

This time they have continued to offer the three layout options, the ever popular vertical, the horizontal and hourly.  This time you can select either the usual coloured weekly pages, which now sport a watercolour effect at the top of the dates, or a new neutral version.  The neutrals are white pages with black through to dark grey on the header bars.  I have read many people saying they prefer this as the watercolours on the coloured one make sticker matching a challenge.  However, somebody also wondered if the black of the top set of bars is too dark and will show through some header stickers.  Time will tell I guess.

The binding coil is now also being offered in black.  I did hear that last year the rose gold one was chipping for some, so I am interested to see if that issue has been resolved, it would look far worse on the black coil.

There is also the Luxe version which features a leather effect cover in three colours, with a quote on the front.  I believe it is a thicker cover than the standard one.

As it is mid-year, for $5 you can have the 18-month version.

Million dollar question, am I buying?  Nope.  I’m still holding out!  Why?  Well last year there were some problems with orders placed in the initial flurry with quality.  Some of the prints were off, coils faulty or incorrect items sent.  I also still think that by the time I add on extras (of course), delivery and potentially customs, it is a very expensive diary.  Also I am currently happy with my Life Designer Planner which is laid out as per the ECLP vertical and fits the stickers made for it perfectly.  I am still playing with decorating and finding my groove and style.  That runs until December so at the earliest I might get the ECLP nearer the end of the year.

At the recent Geaux Wild planer conference in New Orleans, Erin Condren was a guest.  I gather she mentioned a possible European supply being set up in the future.  This would make absolute sense and potentially make it a more palatable option for me and many others outside the US.  I have a friend planning a New York trip in November.  A Staples visit might be on her schedule (especially as she may be easily converted herself to the way of ECLP!)

I am curious to see how the launch goes tomorrow, and what experiences there are with the first rush.  In addition, I would like to see more reviews and see how people get on with both the neutral and coloured versions.

I am really interested in all your thoughts and experiences:

  • Are you buying one now or waiting for year end (if at all)?
  • Which one/s?
  • Have you always had ECLP or is this your first?
  • Are you US or elsewhere?

If you have/are getting one, hit me with your blog/Instagram/YouTube link, I need to live vicariously through you! 😉

Happy purchasing (or not).

Erin Condren Life Planner (the itch I’m trying not to scratch)

Firstly, may I say I adore a Filofax.  I have several personal sized, the Finsbury Breast Cancer in pink being my first ever.  I also discovered I can work daily with a pocket size.  I’m currently in an Ochre Malden which I’m finding it hard to move out of in favour of a more spring-like colour.  That and the ring size of the pocket Malden is superb.

I’m a member of a wonderful Facebook planner group.  They are an awesome group of people.  Their support always goes further than just enabling me to buy more planning things.  However, enabling is their MO.  I swear, I have purchased more items that I never knew existed but suddenly needed, right now.  As such, I now own a laminator, various stamps, project life cards galore (pretty, but as I don’t actually do PL…why?) and pens and page flags to last me a lifetime.  I keep seeing that Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP for short).  What IS it about that planner?  Is it the covers?  The coil?  The stickers?  Maybe it’s one of those things that I’ve been so exposed to visually on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, it’s always on my mind.

I tried the Personal Planner.  A lovely quality, fully customisable planner.  It’s such lovely quality, really function and excellent value.  But…not an ECLP.  Sadly, my Personal Planner had an intimate moment with a cup of coffee.  The back cover got all crinkled and I was so heart-broken it was no longer perfect I couldn’t use it any more (first world problem, I know).  That and it wasn’t an ECLP…

I moved back to Filofax and discovered that I could work daily in a pocket size, after picking up a Raspberry Finsbury in Staples at a bargain price.  I finally relented and bought a pocket Filofax Malden in Ochre. My dream planner.  I waited patiently for my Piaric inserts for 2016 from the US, knowing that the elusive “planner peace” would then be mine.

It was.  For about three months.  But damn, that ECLP itch was still not going away.  Why?  It’s not cheap, plus by the time I caved in and bought all the extra’s I’d get charged customs. They launched a rose gold one last year.  Arrrrrgh!  Fingers in my ears, la la laaaaa.  Can’t see it, don’t need it.

I’ve not caved in yet.  However, I’m using a Life Designer Planner as a stay at home planner along with my pocket Filofax.  I decided as it was on offer recently I would try out the vertical style and ECLP size layout.  I will update soon on how that is working out and if the ECLP itch has been scratched.

Anyone else itching?